Every one of us owns and uses furniture. We associate highly personal narratives with certain favorite pieces. In light of this, it’s no wonder that the ongoing amalgamation of everyday life, entertainment and robotics has not stopped short of our furniture. “Tabby” is a lamp with a furry coat that seems to breathe and reacts to being stroked.
LEGO has come out with its latest toolkit aimed at adults with an interest in architecture and design. The LEGO Architecture Studio design toolkit includes more than 1,200 all-white and transparent building blocks, with 73 different pieces. The kit also comes with a guidebook with architecture designs, tips and information on building concepts such as scale, symmetry, mass and density, space and section.
A pair of companies in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood and Tel Aviv are positioning themselves as the “Wintel” of the bio-hacking era. One company, called Genome Compiler, builds software for designing synthetic life forms, while the other, Cambrian Genomics, is experimenting with ways to cheaply laser print DNA.
Like the old Microsoft-Intel relationship of the PC era, they believe they have the symbiotic relationship necessary to usher in a new era where anybody can inexpensively create their own life forms. Genome Compiler is backed with $3 million in funding, including $2 million from Autodesk. Cambrian is funded by Founders Fund, Felicis Ventures and Draper Associates.
“We are democratizing creation,” said Genome Compiler co-founder Omri Amirav-Drory. “Cells are nothing more than a computer, running a program and the program is the genetic code. The code is DNA. The software are the chromosomes. The hardware is the wetware.”
These photos, taken over Saturn's north pole by NASA's Cassini orbiter on 27 November 2012, from a distance of 376,171 kilometers (233,742 miles), show a very interesting and intriguing atmospheric phenomenon.
As the American Institute of Physics writes: "In the 1960s and 1970s, observations of Mars and Venus showed that planets that seemed much like the Earth could have frightfully different atmospheres. The greenhouse effect had made Venus a furnace, while lack of atmosphere had locked Mars in a deep freeze. This was visible evidence that climate can be delicately balanced, so that a planet's atmosphere could flip from a livable state to a deadly one."
"Rightsizing" streets is about editing the built environment, revising streetscapes to meet the changing needs of drivers, bikers and pedestrians.
Code for America was toying with this and, more specifically, how to help communities picture what's possible when you begin to look at all that asphalt as an editable surface. They pointed to this great tool, newly built and still in progress: StreetMix.net.
The app - developed over a few hours at a hackathon two weeks ago by a group of Code for America fellows - will allow you to edit your street online, adding a bike lane to your boulevard or snipping out that 8-foot parking curb.
Ambient social networking apps help you see information about the people around you. Thanks to our phones, we’ll soon be able to look at people we’ve never seen before and know all about them, and sense things about the people nearby. It’s a profound shift in how the physical world works.
Initially, ambient social networking is about the serendipity: Install the app, forget about it, and when there is an interesting connection nearby, it’ll notify you. When we launched Highlight, we were surprised by how few people you needed on the mesh for this to work. With our small community of early adopters, people were bumping into friends thousands of miles from home. Random pings about people nearby were leading to job offers, business partnerships, and new relationships.
These moments are around us all the time. They’ve always been around us. We’ve just never been able to see them.
WiFi is everywhere, floating and whirling around us somehow, but where is it really? In Immaterials: Light painting WiFi, Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen and Einar Sneve Martinussen use a rod of blinking lights to visualize signal strength in their college town.
Mortal Engine is a intermedia dance performance by Australian dance company Chunky Move that uses movement and sound responsive projections to portray an ever-shifting, shimmering world in which the limits of the human body are an illusion.
Dancers from Wayne McGregor | Random Dance at rAandom International's acclaimed Rain Room installation in the Barbican's Curve gallery, performing continuously evolving interventions in the Rain.
Rain Room is an installation by digital-based contemporary art studio rAndom International. It is a 100square metre field of falling water for visitors to walk through and experience how it might feel to control the rain.
An installation launched at dawn on 22nd September 2007. A crowd of people formed around an enormous, iridescent, circular foil that was pinned to the ground with sandbags. Throughout the morning, the “balloon” was gradually filled with warm air which caused it to rise up slowly. The bright colours of the foil gradually intensified with the rising sun.
Saraceno's utopian vision is for cities that float in the air, which has lead him to create a series of experimental structures like this one, that can be inhabited and also make use natural energies.
Hi-fi company SONOS have paired up with New York-based studio SOFTlab to create an interactive installation that uses 600 fluorescent lights capable of reacting to sound.
The lights reactions are programmed using SONOS PLAY:3, PLAY:5 and SUB speakers. The installation covers four rooms, with each of the rooms filled with speakers and fluorescent light tubes that react to the frequencies in the music chosen by visitors.
Three Edmonton designers and artists plan to turn a former CN overpass that was once a vital link across 97th Street to Edmonton’s downtown rail yards into a “living bridge” by creating a garden out of what’s now a gravel-strewn concrete pedestrian walkway.
The trio and up to 50 volunteers will use rolled straw-filled sacking this weekend to build 25 circular raised beds over 97th Street near 105th Avenue, planting flowers, drought-resistant indigenous grasses, vines and shrubs.
The move is part of an international push for “urban intervention” or “tactical urbanism,” a grassroots movement to improve city life.
WebLight is the result of an exploration into the potential possibilities of reusing plastic bags. Made from recycled content, each WebLight is individually hand made and features an intricate pattern of texture and holes that are the direct result of its unique forming process.
100% recycled and recyclable HDPE Plastic - 70% post consumer / 30% factory waste.
WebLight is recyclable and made from 100% recycled plastic bags and factory waste. The forming process uses 100% renewable energy sources and DesignByThem also offers a product stewardship program where it takes back products to be either repaired, reused or recycled.
German-based Turkish-born artist Sakir Gökcebag manages to unlock the magical potential of toilet paper rolls in his ’Trans-Layers’ series of installations completed in 2010. Visit Gökcebag’s website for many more interesting examples of his work.
For five years, Squidsoup has been trying to build an interactive, three-dimensional light show that constitutes a "holistic experience."
The result is a project called Submergence, on display at Oslo's Galleri ROM, where over 8,000 orbs hang from the ceiling and glow different colors, in different patterns, in response to visitors' movement.
From the gallery's description:
"Imagine walking through a virtual world, where pixels on a screen are replaced by thousands of points of light floating in space. Imagine that these points of light create environments, atmospheres and physical spaces that you can enter, affect, immerse yourself in."
CommonStudio, a design practice with an “urban social ecology” bent, is populating local bars, businesses, schools, and parks across the US with Greenaid vending machines. The machines dispense seedbombs, or gumball-sized orbs made of nutrient clay, compost, and seeds. For a couple of quarters, consumers can transform side yards, median strips, and vacant lots in their community from forgotten gray spaces into places to admire. Within days (weather permitting), green shoots color the landscape.
Greenaid is the brainchild of Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud, who started the business after inheriting a collection of old gumball machines from Kim’s father. They originally filled them with candy, but no one was interested. After they started dispensing seedbombs, their vending business boomed.
A solar eruption gracefully rose up from the sun on Dec. 31, 2012, twisting and turning. Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun. The length of the eruption extends about 160,000 miles out from the Sun. With Earth about 7,900 miles in diameter, this relatively minor eruption is about 20 times the diameter of our planet.
MARBLES by Studio Roosegaarde are large colored shapes which interact with people via sound, light and color.
Each MARBLE contains interactive technologies that instinctively respond to human proximity or touch, triggering changes of color and sound. MARBLES are also able to multiply these interactions between themselves, communicating with each other.
As dusk falls in the park, MARBLES transforms the landscape into an interactive environment of light and play.