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.
CRISPR Therapy Tackles Some of Humanity's Worse Genetic Ailments
CRISPR may only be six years old but it's already made some impressive, and infamous, waves in the scientific community. Currently scientists around the world are using the gene-editing technology in several clinical trials and research efforts to correct some of humanity's most debilitating genetic ailments. Some of these conditions included Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, inherited childhood blindness (specifically Leber’s congenital amaurosis type 10), and sickle cell disease.
How Kari Pei Transposes Abstract Expression from Canvas to Carpet
Interface Lead Product Designer Kari Pei's latest collection, Simple Abstraction, translates Gerhardt Richter’s painterly language into a carpet collection that highlights just how thin the border between art and design really is.
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."
Get Busy Living Sustainably Or Get Busy Dying Sustainably
It may be taboo to discuss death, but the fact of the matter is that we modern day humans continue to mess up the planet long after we've stopped driving our cars or picking up our trash. Coffin production wastes natural timber resources, embalming leaches toxic chemicals into our water, and cremation emits chemicals into the air. That's why New York-based designer Shaina Garfield invented Leaves, a sustainable coffin that decomposes the body naturally with the aid of a fungi-laced rope and a pine wood surface.
It's called the Replicator and it could very well be the future of 3-D printing. Inspired by both Star Trek and CT scanners, the Replicator projects a video of a 3-D image into a synthetic resin that solidifies under certain intensities of light. The result is a super smooth, bespoke object. Right now the Replicator can only print things at the centimeter scale, but the possibilities once it is scaled up could be astounding.
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.
New Solar Blind Harvests More Power Than Window Coatings
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.
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.
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 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.
The Robotic Future of Farming
Thanks to advances in zoological sciences, we know that humans are not the only species that have the capacity for self-awareness, language, or even farming. But one cognitive ability we do have over other animals is thinking into the far future, which is a skill we've been under-employing as we face the looming threat of cataclysmic climate change and a swelling global population. But changes in the way we do agriculture, which currently produces 33% of green house gas emissions, could have long term positive effects on our planet. And a lot of these changes will be the result of robots taking on most of the tasks on large and small farms.
Technology Veers Into the Absurd at CES 2019
Every January, tech investors, manufacturers, enthusiasts, and journalists flock to Las Vegas to get a glimpse at what the products of the future may look like at CES. This year's crop of gadgets brought some exciting developments in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and robotics (including one that can bake bread). But it wouldn't be CES without some truly head-scratching, and ego-deflating, entries.