Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Microsoft have joined forces to create Skinput, a bio-acoustic sensing device that allows your skin to be used as a touch-screen interface. An armband is equipped with a projector to display a menu or phone keys, as well as an acoustic sensor that analyzes distinct sounds made on the surface of skin related to specific bone density, joints and tissue. That information is delivered through a Bluetooth device back to the phone to determine what button has been pressed.
The move away from homogenised, global products to ones that embrace local crafts and vernacular design is gathering pace. Referencing the growth of the idea of authenticity and hand-crafted objects is Spirit, one of our trends for Spring/Summer 2011. This trend story is also featured in the current issue of Mix magazine and Mix Trends Irish design studio Superfolk perfectly captures this ethos with its economical collection of low-key but beautifully executed furniture that uses locally sourced materials and techniques including basket weaving and craft.
Spotted at Design Indaba Expo 2010 a beautiful collection of suspension lighting by designers Dani Le Roy and Laura Summs. Produced under the label Moonbasket, the duo combine their passion for knitting with a desire to aid impoverished communities in surrounding townships.
We’ve been following the progress of the Plastiki for over a year now. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s the pet project of eco-adventurer David de Rothschild and it’s a huge boat made from recycled plastic bottles. The vessel has been under construction and late last week, the crew finally unveiled it in the San Francisco Bay. This is the start point for what will be an 11,000 mile trek to Sydney, highlighting the problem of plastic as both a pollutant and design issue.
Discover the versatility of a basic material: wood. Take, as a starting point, one block of wood. Cut it into pieces, and you can transform it into some great-looking items to grace your home.
In One Block of Wood Nina Tolstrup presents 15 stylish, straight-forward projects that can be made with a minimum of fuss, even if you are new to woodworking.
This glow-in-the-dark toilet paper charges up during the day with natural light or ambient artificial light.
In a world where scientific discovery and exploration is slowly but surely unravelling the myriad mysteries of the universe, it’s gratifying to know that some idiot can still find time to come up with such a ludicrous invention as Glow In The Dark Loo Roll.
Gestaltkunstwerk Vases German artist Markus Linnenbrink’s edition of lacquer-coated plastic recyclables
German artist Markus Linnenbrink recently crafted a set of vases from recyclables, reinventing their surfaces using colorful resins.
The Dortmund-based sculptor calls his latest work Gestaltkunstwerk; roughly translated, it means “formed artwork” and is a play-on-words of Gesamtkunstwerk “consummate art.”.
These trendy paper bags are the result of project “Papier”, a collaboration between Saskia and Stefan Diez and winner of the German Designpreis 2010. The series is an experiment in revising the classical typology: the two designers pointed out the basic requirements to a travel bag – durability, protection and light weight – and sought for an appropriate material other than the traditional choices of leather and reinforced textiles.
Jahara Studio is a Brazilian based design studio founded by Bruno Jahara, a Brazilian designer who has worked with the likes of Jaime Hayon, Fabrica and Flavio Albanese in the past. The colourful plates, lamps and mugs are his latest creation, and are made from 100% recycled aluminium. Their name, Batucada, refers to a percussion beat used in carnival parties in that country, in which people often play instruments made of tin.
CircleBath is Foster + Partners’ first hospital and the first in a programme of new independent hospitals which offer a radical departure from orthodox approaches to hospital planning. After a period of commissioning, CircleBath is expected to open to patients in February.
Solanterns are an attempt to replace potentially dangerous kerosene lamps with more environmentally friendly solar powered lamps in Kenya. A Solantern is available locally for 2000 Ksh ($25). While the lantern requires a considerable initial investment, the long term savings are great, as families usually spend around $90 per year on kerosene.
GROWING grass on your roof and other attempts to make homes carbon neutral are mere “green bling”. So says Rachel Armstrong of University College London (UCL), who suggests that her smart paint can turn buildings into carbon sinks.
Armstrong created the paint by dissolving salts and esters in oil droplets. Repeated coatings react with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce calcium carbonate – which is the main constituent of limestone – and alcohol. The resulting “biolime” will provide extra strength and insulation, she says. How much CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere in this way has not yet been tested.
Treehugger reports on an intriguing cell phone concept design that’s powered by sugar. Daizi Zheng’s mobile phone runs on a battery that can generate power using soda, or any other kind of sugary liquid. It’s unique idea, and a potential solution to the environmental problems that come with disposing traditional batteries.
Bold, experimental and inventive, Ron Arad defies categorisation. This internationally acclaimed London-based maverick is variously described as a designer, architect and artist. Ron Arad: Restless is the first major exhibition of Arad’s work in the UK. It opens at Barbican Art Gallery on 18 February 2010
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