To say that open offices may not have been the productivity godsend they were touted to be is a bit of an understatement. It seems everyone—from the common office worker to journalists to big-name designers—has conceded that these workplaces cater more to distraction than to productivity. Luckily, those challenges may soon be erased by Panasonic's WearSpace, a futuristic headgear that resembles horse blinders and promises a 60% reduction in the wearer's peripheral vision.
Rolling Joints Is a Pain, So Let a Machine Do It For You
The legalization of marijuana is taking North America by storm. What started in Colorado has expanded to nine U.S. states and the entirety of Canada, meaning that a whole host of new means and methods for enjoying a legal high will start to hit the mainstream market. The , a minimalist-looking machine that literally rolls joints for the user, is one such option. What a time to be alive!
From Fringe Idea to Mainstream Imperative: The Future of Design Depends on Biomimicry
Over the Earth's 3.8 billion-year history, plants and animals have come up with ingenious design solutions to keep them alive and thriving. Today, the idea of looking to nature to improve the functionality and sustainability of humanity’s creations is gaining steam in the architecture, design, and engineering industries. It's called biomimicry and it's here to stay.
It’s full steam—er, electricity—ahead for autonomous vehicles. The hospitality industry expressed its excitement over this swiftly emerging tech at the 12th annual Radical Innovation Awards, selecting Steve Lee’s Autonomous Travel Suite as the grand prize winner. The Aprilli Design Studios's project won the jury and audience over with its sleek design, game-changing door-to-door service, and easy integration with future tech.
At-Home HIV Testing Is Now a Reality
In 2017, HIV/AIDS claimed nearly one million lives, with an additional 36.9 million people living with the disease. HIV is a treatable illness if caught early, but once it becomes AIDS it is fatal. A new device developed by product designer Hans Ramzan gives people in the developing world, where the majority of new HIV/AIDs cases emerge, the power to test themselves at home for the virus, removing dependence on foreign aid.
The Truth Is Out There In Technosignatures
The quest to find evidence of extraterrestrial life has largely focused on the hunt for exo-planets and watery moons, but in the 20th century it was all about finding technosignatures. Largely comprised of radio signals and/or microwaves, technosignatures present not only an opportunity to find alien life, but intelligent alien life. Representatives from NASA, SETI, the Planetary Science Institute, and large research universities held a three-day conference in Houston to re-examine this avenue, astoundingly due to pressure from Congress in support of these efforts. Maybe it has something to do with .
People generally don't like how technology can track their location at all times—the profusion of articles about how to hide from Google and Facebook's panopticon-like power make that perfectly clear. Silicon Valley–based startup Lime, which deploys and operates dockless bicycles in over 88 American cities, may slightly improve that opinion. A few city planning departments have turned to Lime's data about user locations to understand how people are biking in their cities and how to accommodate those riders with new and improved bicycle infrastructure.
Star-Studded Design Team Reimagines Claude Debussy’s Only Opera, Pelléas et Mélisande
A new incarnation of Pelléas et Mélisande, the only opera ever completed by Claude Debussy, in 1902, is a feast for the eyes—literally. Current-day directors and choreographers and envisioned the production as a window into the human soul. “The libretto is so much about vision that we thought to make the story unfold inside an eyeball,” Jalet explains.
Women Are Finally Having Their Moment in Architecture
Since antiquity, architecture has remained in the realm of "men's professions." A handful of female architects made dents, but their accomplishments went virtually unrecognized by professional institutions and the public at large. But women architects are finally getting their due credit and professional barriers are incrementally lifting, enabling several women to make lasting contributions to some of the world's most design-forward cityscapes.
Carbon capture may be in its infancy, but it'll need to grow quickly if we're to rely on it to mitigate global climate change. The currently has ten teams competing for the $20 million purse prize. The goal is to transform captured carbon into products that can be used in the built environment, or as alternative fuels, or commercially available items.
HQ by WeWork Ditches Kombucha, Keeps Short Term Leases
If it seems WeWork couldn't possibly do more with the modern office, think again. The $20 billion company realizes that for some of its tenants who represent established companies, such as Microsoft or Facebook, the built-in culture that WeWork offers isn't what's needed. For that reason they created HQ by WeWork, a pared-down arrangement with less staff and minimal WeWork branding.
LEGO Builds A Life-Size Bugatti Chiron
The life-sized LEGO Bugatti Chiron might not drive as fast as the original, but it still looks great. Over 13,000 hours of work and a million LEGO Technics went into recreating the world's fourth-fastest car, which sports motors from the LEGO Power Function platform. The car tops out at just 12 mph, making it 21-times slower than the real Bugatti Chiron.
Music and movies are available with just a press of a button thanks to modern technology. Now imagine that instantaneous convenience applied to cars. That's what a handful of car subscription services, which would allow customers country-wide to change automobiles as frequently as they skip songs, are angling to fully develop over the coming years.
NASA Scientists Use Tech-Forward Tools to Monitor Water Conservation
If less than 2% of the world's fresh water is usable and the earth's population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, then humanity needs to figure out water conservation, and fast. A team of NASA scientists hope to offset this crisis through weather and water-related research. They're surveying the Sierra Nevada mountain range to get a better idea of how climate change affects reliable access to water.
Mexico Aims to Take the Lead in Latin American Solar Development
In the Mexican state of Coahuila, Italian energy firm Enel will install 2.3 million solar panels over nearly 3,000 acres, providing enough electricity to power 1.3 million homes by the end of 2018. By 2024, Mexico aims to generate up to 35% of its energy from renewables, a sizable portion of which will come directly from solar panels. Only a few years ago, Mexico's energy industry was driven by a crude-oil-based state monopoly, but the emerging realities of climate change provoked the government into exploring greener alternatives.