Innovation
Design | Science
Back in Black: MIT “Accidentally” Invents the Blackest Material in Existence

Last week a team of MIT engineers reported that they’d created a material that absorbs 99.995 percent of light — making it even blacker than the already mind-bending Vantablack.

Design | Sustainability

An Architect Introduces a Fresh Take on the Classic To-Go Cup

In the quest to create a sustainable alternative to the disposable paper cups used by most coffee shops, award-winning architect, Safia Qureshi, launched a new business called CupClub. CupClub creates plastic cups that can be used 132 times before being recycled. The business establishes designated cup drop-off points (often at coffee shops) throughout London, where tossed cups are then collected and expertly cleaned for reuse. 

Design | Science
Biophilic Design Benefits Students, Even in Schools with Tight Budgets
Design | Engineering
Can Shifts in Skyscraper Design Eliminate Wind Tunnels?
Design | Sustainability
Paper or Pasta? A New Take on Eco-Friendly Straws

Biophilic Design Benefits Students, Even in Schools with Tight Budgets

Long before the term ‘biophilia’ entered the scientific lexicon in the 1970s, it served as an innate design practice. In Hellenistic Greek and Roman architecture, open-air courtyards functioned as the center of the home, providing a calming respite with fresh air, natural light, and views of nature. Though few homes today are built around secluded outdoor oases, biophilic elements enable designers to create similarly stimulating and restorative spaces in built environments, ultimately improving the health and wellness of those within them.    

Tech | Engineering
"Ice" to Meet You: The Mini-Submarines that Could Re-Freeze the Arctic
Design | Materials
Fashion Makes Way for Innovative Eco Collections
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Design | Materials
Scientists Turn to Soap and Detergent in Quest for Battery Alternatives

As the demand for energy storage grows, given our increasing reliance on technology, scientists say inexpensive products, like soap and detergent, have properties that could help create alternatives to lithium-ion batteries.  

Design | Engineering

Will Your Next Smart Device be a Succulent?

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. 

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Design | Materials
Corona Tackles Plastic Pollution with Stackable 6-Packs
Design | Materials
Colgate Jumps on the Eco Train with Reimagined Toothpaste Packaging
Design | Sustainability
Meet the Water Bottle That Cleans Itself
Design | Fashion

Another Beloved Brand Goes Green

Everlane and Adidas may be soaking up all the literal limelight right now for their forays into sustainable sneakers, but they'll soon by joined by Keds. The casual sneaker company will unveil a new collection built on a collaboration with textile company Ace & Jig, featuring shoes made entirely from scraps of waste material. The collection exemplifies Keds two-pronged approach to sustainable footwear, prioritizing ethical materials over trends. 

Design | Architecture
Tezuka Architects Designs Super-Cute, Bubbly Nursery School
Design | Sustainability
These Designers Are Shaping the Future of Water
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Design | Sustainability
Denver Ad Agency Uses Artful Billboards To Drive Home Water Conservation Message

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. 

Design | Urban Planning

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."

Design | Sustainability
Get Busy Living Sustainably Or Get Busy Dying Sustainably
Design | Sustainability
Biodegradable Planters May Be Key to Reforestation
Design | Sustainability
Crustaceans a New Contender in the Fight to Find Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics
Design | Urban Planning

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. 

Design | Sustainability
Snøhetta Debuts New Chair Made of Recycled Fish Nets and Steel
Design | Materials
Office Warfare Is Over Thanks To This Temperature-Regulating Fabric
Interior Design's Innovation Conference Tackles Today's Brave New World
Check Out Highlights From Innovation Conference 2019
Design | Fashion

Ica & Kostika Launch Nature-Inspired, 3D-Printed Killer Heels

The humble seahorse may not be an intuitive place to find inspiration, but that's exactly where 3D-printed shoe outfit Ica & Kostika looked for their latest collection. Cast in a silvery finish, the seahorse-inspired shoe is part of a larger collection called Exobiology. The shoes are meticulously designed and constructed to fit the natural shape of the wearer's foot. 

Design | Science
Inside the Mind of Neri Oxman
Design | Materials
Mycelium Wows Again In New Nir Meiri Lamps
Design | Interior Design
Veganism — The Next Frontier in Hospitality Design
Design | Products

LG's Roll-Up TV is the Perfect Product for Viewing "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo"

At CES 2019, LG unveiled the world's first rollable TV, which is comprised of just two parts: a super slim OLED screen and a base with built-in soundbar. When not in use, the TV descends into the base and winds around a spool, becoming a piece of unobtrusive furniture. Sure to please both techies and those who strictly adhere to the "a place for everything, and everything in its place" mantra, LG's game-changing product will go on sale later this year. 

Design | Robotics
Cerambot Lets You 3D Print Your Own Ceramics
Design | Interior Design
Terrarium, But Make It Aesthetic
Design | Materials
Who needs velvet curtains when you can have algae?
Design | Materials
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. 

Design | Architecture

Students Tackle Urban Loneliness Through Architecture

Architecture and urban planning have been proven to be incredibly useful tools in combatting the negative effects of climate change on the city level. Could design thinking be the answer to mitigating the epidemic of loneliness in our urban centers, as well? PhD researcher Tanzil Shafique set out to discover if it was possible with his M.Arch students at the Melbourne School of Design and the answer is a resounding yes (view student work here). 

Design | Architecture
Welcome to NewIstanbul
Design | Urban Planning
Holland's Neo-Atlantis
Design | Fashion
Pants, Now Available In Indestructible
Design | Transportation

Dutch Government Embraces Flex Space in Trains

Flex space is a well-known component of the modern open office, but that concept has now transitioned over to the transportation sector. The Dutch National Railway Company's new series of flexible and modular trains, designed by Dutch firm Mecanoo and Gispen, offers passengers different seating configurations to use as an office, lounge, and socialization spaces. While still in conceptual stages, it's possible that this concept could change the face of transportation in the future. 

Design | Food
Radical Seasonality, The New Grocery Store Paradigm
Design | Products
Stop! You're Under Arrest for A Bad Choice of Font!
Design | Food
You Can Feel A Little Less Guilty About Eating French Fries Now