Soligami may sound like a delicious cured meat, but it's actually the next development in transforming windows into solar panels. While there are currently coatings that can generate solar energy from windows, they darken rooms and aren't particularly efficient. Soligami, developed by Australia-based design firm Prevalent, would hang like a drape and use unique origami-inspired folds to bounce light around across multiple panels, generating large amounts of energy.
Office Warfare Is Over Thanks To This Temperature-Regulating Fabric
Almost no one can agree on what the perfect temperature is, and when you're in an office, it becomes very apparent. Good thing a team at the University of Maryland may have introduced the perfect solution. They developed a new fabric that both allows heat to leave the garment and locks it in, depending on the body's temperature. It could be the perfect solution for not only athletes and bickering coworkers, but also the elderly and babies who require constant comfort.
Bad Acoustics Are A Killer. Here's What Designers Can Do About It.
Noise is all around us, whether we like it or not. We're only now beginning to understand the detrimental effects loud sounds can have on our health. Luckily, we can mitigate those effects with design thinking.
Neri Oxman is at the forefront science, design, and academic celebrity. A winner of the National Design Award and a pioneering force at MIT's Mediated Matter Lab, Oxman is known the world over for her unique creative vision on how the natural world and the built environments of the future will coalesce. Deep dive into her predictions for a new biophilic future in this 2018 interview with Oxman in Dwell magazine.
Mycelium Wows Again In New Nir Meiri Lamps
Mycelium, the underground "root" part of fungi, is having a moment in the design industry. It's been shown to be stronger than concrete pound for pound and fully biodegradable, making it a compelling material for construction. Lighting designer Nir Meiri took a different approach, instead choosing to highlight the beauty of mycelium in a series of tabletop lamps. Produced in partnership with Biohm, the lamps' light source is in the base and illuminates the naturally-derived shade from below, casting this unusual but beautiful material in a soft glow.
Veganism — The Next Frontier in Hospitality Design
Veganism may not be the ideal diet to mitigate the effects of climate change—there's 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.
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.
English Town Trades in Coal Economy for Solar-Powered Housing
Renewable energy use has increased rapidly in U.K., leaving local economies previously dependent on coal-generated electricity in the lurch. But in the town of Rugeley, a shuttered coal plant is undergoing an incredible transformation into sustainably-powered housing. Engie, the former owner of the plant, wants to see its former site become "one of the most efficient, low-carbon redevelopment projects in the U.K.”
Cerambot Lets You 3D Print Your Own Ceramics
Ceramicists make it look so easy — with only gentle pushing, folding, and sculpting they can mold a mound of clay into something delicate and functional. Now, thanks to continued innovation in 3D printing, even the casual hobbyist can make their own ceramic pieces at home. Cerambot uses real clay, making it a more eco-friendly 3D printer, and can print with pinpoint accuracy.
For years we've been hearing all about the decline of brick-and-mortar shops, but it turns out that prediction just isn't true. Shopping isn't going full-on digital, but rather embracing a blend of physical and virtual opportunities. Big name brands like Walmart, Amazon, and Alibaba are turning to solutions like augmented reality, robots, and dynamic personalized ad displays in and out of physical stores to reinvigorate retail.
Taylor Swift Knows Your Face
When you've achieved Taylor Swift levels of fame, stalkers are an unfortunate and inevitable reality. In order to keep the superstar safe at a recent California concert, Swift's team employed a sneaky facial recognition kiosk, disguised as videos of behind-the-scene rehearsals, to send scans back to a team in Nashville who would then compare them to a database of Swift's known pursuers. The take away? Future tech continues to be an ethical morass!
Dreaming in Digital
Artificial intelligence may be a nascent technology but its capabilities are already startlingly advanced. The next industry to be touched by AI's incredible potential may be gaming. A new software developed by chipmaker Nvidia could take a huge burden off developers with its ability to dream up incredibly detailed scenes in mere minutes.
No stranger to existential living, Rotterdam has emerged as a design hotbed for dealing with rising seas. The Dutch have famously existed as a waterlogged population for centuries. Now, the country has incorporated their new climate change-related aquatic peril into an economic and development opportunity, channeling funds into neighborhood and urban development that doubles as flood management. For the Dutch, surviving floods is a national identity—only time will tell if that eventually goes global.
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.
Moooi Smacks Down Counterfeiters With New App
Cheating sucks, in relationships, in school, and definitely in business. Everyone, from individual designers to giant design houses, goes to great lengths to make sure their intellectual property stays out of the hands of counterfeiters, but Moooi may have found a solution that is foolproof and looks cool, too. Going forward, all Moooi products will come with a small floral button that contains a identifying microchip. Shoppers with the brand's new authentication app can scan the button and confirm if what they're looking at is a real Moooi product.