Since apparently there are not enough people we can interact with in the world, we are now able to communicate with plants. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has specific researchers for “cyborg botany”, has developed technology that allows plants to act as sensors and displays.
Corona Tackles Plastic Pollution with Stackable 6-Packs
In an innovative bid to remove all plastic from their packaging, Corona parent company Group Modelo is working on an open-source, stackable solution to bringing your own beer.
Designers Take Back Time With The Help Of Manufacturers
The advent of the Internet has done more to revolutionize the way design is realized today than any other technological advancement. Certainly, the proliferation of personal computers enhanced the way designers work, but the Internet’s immeasurable value lies in its capacity to create new marketplaces, facilitate an exchange of ideas and images at breakneck speed, and induce far-flung but fruitful collaborations. That demand for excellence makes today a very challenging time to be a designer. There is, however, a growing trend in the industry that lessens a substantial load on designers. It’s been called “the rise of dealer designers” and while these individuals are not new to the industry, their ability to drastically relieve the pressure of client demands on designers is coming to the light.
How do you get people to stop wasting water? Appeal to their aesthetic and moral sensibilities. Sukle, a Denver-based advertising agency, did just that with a series of billboards that made use of sticky notes, colored pencils, aluminum cans, clay, and LEGOS, among other materials, to remind people to only use what they need.
In The Future, People Will Move Through Cities In Multi-Directional Elevators
It may sound fantastical, even Wonka-esque, but future urban citizens will navigate their cities not by foot, but by a multi-directional elevator system called MULTI. First proposed in 2014, MULTI could use magnetic levitation technology to move multiple cabins of people up, down, and sideways in "hanging cities" of the future. These hanging cities, says squareone's Design Director Kostas Poulopoulos, will create "a three-dimensional mega-grid that combines towers and multi-story horizontal sectors into a 24-hour urban hub for live, work, and play."
Toronto's Quayside Neighborhood Is Going To Be Incredibly Cool and Green
Sidewalk Labs has revealed some of the concept renderings for Quayside, the Alphabet-helmed smart city development project in Toronto, and it certainly looks like a city of the future. The predominant construction material is timber and the overall design skews towards modularity. There will also be a built-in recycling and composting system that could divert 80% of the district's waste from the landfill. If all goes according to plan and approval is given, Sidewalk Labs estimates Quayside could be up and running within five to six years. Still, the project has attracted a significant amount of controversy due to high levels of secrecy surrounding the contract signed between Alphabet and Waterfront Toronto, as well as concerns over furtive data-gathering apparatuses built into the neighborhood's infrastructure.
Innovation. It's a huge word, laden with diverse meanings, hopes, fears, and confusion for people living in the 21st century. For designers and those involved in the design industry, the question of innovation penetrates both the way business is done and the future development of the built environment and products. At the inaugural Innovation Conference, held by Interior Design in partnership with Interface flooring, ten luminaries from a varied assortment of industries took the stage at NeueHouse to expound on what innovation looks like today.
Veganism — The Next Frontier in Hospitality Design
Veganism may not be the ideal diet to mitigate the effects of climate change—there's another diet for that—but its emphasis on compassionate treatment of animals could be the start of a new paradigm in interior design. Case in point, the world's first vegan hotel suite, created by Bompas & Parr for Hilton's London Bankside property, exclusively uses plant-based products and completely eliminates any use of wool, leather, or feathers. The suite makes extensive use of Piñatex, a faux-leather material made of pineapple leaves, as well as cotton in the carpeting.
Tired of solar glare? Sick of air pollution? London-based EcoLogicStudio is working on an algae-powered “living curtain” that’ll help with both issues. Housing colonies of micro algae, the curtain harnesses their photosynthetic processes, capturing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen in the process. EcoLogicStudio hopes that their curtains can be integrated into new buildings, or simply draped over existing ones, helping make cities a little cleaner and futuristic looking.
Potato Peels Find New Life as Alternative MDF Material
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and chipboard may soon find themselves replaced by a new, biodegradable product—and good riddance, too! These commonly used materials are not recyclable and are full of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde. Instead, London-based designer team Chip[s] Board proposes using waste potato peelings combined with fibers from bamboo, hops, wood or more potatoes for furniture construction. Not only will this remove MDF and chipboard from landfills, but it could also reduce food waste, another major environmental and social problem.
Pants, Now Available In Indestructible
Sports gear company Vollebak recently unveiled the "100 year pant," a water-and-fireproof pair that promises to outlive you. Inspired by astronaut gear and military technology, the pants are much lighter and generally more comfortable than previous incarnations of armor-gear. Well suited for firefighters, stuntmen, and soldiers, most of their features are superfluous to most – but if you die testing their flame resistance, at least you'll go out with your pants on.
Tomorrow's french fries may be just as fattening and delicious as they are today, but their packaging may feel very different. A trio of Italian designers devised a form of packaging, called Peel Saver, made from recycled potato skins. Aimed at reducing waste from food truck and other cheap eats places, Peel Saver is cheap to produce and fully biodegradable.
Black Widows May Be Deadly But Their Silk Could Save Lives
Scientists at Northwestern University and San Diego State University may have unraveled the mysteries of the Black Widow's super-strong web. MRI and NMR imaging revealed the molecular structure of the glands that make the spider's silk, which could be extrapolated to synthetically reproduce this stronger-than-steel material at scale. Everything from bridges to bulletproof vests could one day be impervious thanks to one of the world's deadliest spiders.
Poured Concrete Flooring Eliminates Disease in Bangladeshi Homes
An acronym for architecture for health in vulnerable environments, ARCHIVE Global believes design can help combat disease. A recent pilot project confirms the belief. In 2014, the nonprofit launched Health From the Ground Up, an initiative to improve conditions for the disadvantaged in Southeast Asia. Upon learning that thousands of Bangladeshi children die due to parasites harbored in the dirt floors often used in their homes, the team focused on a single basic element: new flooring material. They chose poured concrete, not only easy to maintain and less likely to transmit disease but also able to be installed by local masons. A month after installation in 10 homes, post-construction surveys revealed no new infections in the children living there.