Innovation
Genetically Modified Houseplants Could Be the Next Technology to Track Our Environments

Sure, houseplants are good for our health and wellbeing from a holistic, biophilic point of view. But what if they could track our environment and alert us to dangers the way wearable tech monitors our internal workings? Scientists from the University of Tennessee think that with the possibility of genetic engineering we may be able to update the famous "canary in a coal mine" idiom for the 21st century. 

LEGO Takes Inspiration from a Different Kind of Cube

LEGO blocks continue to entertain budding and established architects, but now they're both fun and environmentally friendly. LEGO has launched their first sustainable building brick series, called Plants From Plants, made of sugarcane-derived plastic. This effort is part of a larger company-wide plan to manufacture most of its products in environmentally friendly ways or with recycled materials by 2030. 

High Heel–Related Foot Pain May Soon Be a Thing of the Past
The Latest Unlikely Sustainable Building Material? Carrots!
Ford's Manufacturing Employees Get a Boost From Wearable Exoskeletons

Carbon May Be Humanity’s Best Bet Against Climate Change

One of the most ambitious fights against global warming today is being fought on the carbon capture and sequestration front. Instead of viewing carbon as a problem, entrepreneurs across many sectors are viewing carbon as an economic and environmental opportunity.

Bio-Imaging Stays True to Its Roots With an Update to the Humble X-ray
The Wall-E of Water Arrives to Clean Up Our Ocean-Bound Trash
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WeLive Aims to Disrupt Sad, Anonymous City Living Next

WeWork, the co-working company that has almost single-handedly redefined the modern workplace, isn’t content to simply make the traditional office obsolete. It has recently turned its eye toward the residential sphere with their newest project, WeLive, an optimized and amenity-heavy half-apartment, half-college dorm setup where there’s free beer in the laundry room. So, what's it actually like to live there?

The Secret to Blow-Out Fireworks Shows

Pyro Spectaculars is a family-run business well-versed in the intricate art of expertly choreographed explosions. The company handles everything from the creation of the firecrackers to post-show cleanup. In this way, they have complete control to create a near-cinematic experience. 

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Direct-to-Consumer Online Paint is Finally Here
The Best New HIV Defense May Exist in a Grain of Rice
Carbon Capture Tech Is Finally Cheap Enough to Be Practical

Honda Has Officially Ceased Production of Asimo, The World’s Cutest Humanoid Robot

Sayonara, Asimo! Throughout its 18-year-long life, Honda's humanoid robot delighted and inspired people around the world with charming antics and a peculiar walk. But Asimo's legacy lives on in Honda’s new companion and mobility-assistance bots, which debuted at CES 2018.

Solar Panels Get a Biological Boost
Alice Bleton's Capsule Prototype Reconnects Office Workers With the Outdoors
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Kiss L.A. Traffic Goodbye With Electric Double-Decker Buses

Think double-decker buses are only for sightseeing? Alexander Dennis is eschewing that stereotype by introducing North America’s first electric double-decker transit bus to Southern California next year. The manufacturer’s Enviro500 model, which will soon help alleviate traffic between the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles, will sport a Proterra E2 battery that enables a travel distance of up to 200 miles per charge.

Soap Brand Borrows From Brutalism

Finally, a bar of soap for the truly zealous lovers of the Brutalist style. Called Tetra Soap, the three-sided, graphite-gray bar draws inspiration from concrete Tetrapods that line coasts the world over. The design, besides being aesthetically adventurous, also provides a better grip than a traditional bar soap.

New Disposable Cup Modernizes Traditional Gourd Containers
The Surprisingly Scientific Way Ben & Jerry’s Brings New Flavors to Your Freezer
The Sky Is the Limit for Aston Martin

Flying Taxis Get the Ferrari Treatment

We may not have flying cars yet, but when we do, they won’t look anything like the bulky vehicular visions Hollywood brought us in Blade Runner or The Fifth Element. The future of flying cars comes courtesy of Frank Stephenson, the automotive designer whose style made the Fiat 500 and McLaren P1 iconic cars. Stephenson will design these taxis in partnership with Lilium, the Bavarian firm spearheading the project.

520 Computers, 470 Projectors, 50 Installations, 1 Amazing Museum
3D-Printed Amphibious Mask Prepares for an Underwater Future
House-Flipping Has Come to the Virtual World
Spider-Like Robot Will Keep Your Succulents Alive

Keeping succulents alive isn’t too demanding, but some of us just aren’t blessed with a green thumb. Thankfully, the robot ranks have expanded with HEXA, a mobile flowerpot that monitors its occupant’s solar needs and moves on its own into and out of shade. When it’s time to be watered, HEXA does a little dance on its six arachnid-looking legs.

Mariko Mori Investigates String Theory in New Sculpture Series

Internationally renowned artist Mariko Mori’s new series, Invisible Dimension, continues her fixation on otherworldly subjects. Inspired by her recent investigations into particle physics, string theory, and the multiverse, Mori's sculptures are sinuous and bulbous in form. They took over three floors of Sean Kelly Gallery near Hudson Yards this spring, and two of the works, Cycloid V and Ekpyrotic String VI incorporated existing columns.

Can VR Save the Movie Theater?
Salesforce Gets “Meta” With Data Analysis About Color Use In Data Analyses
Bentley Reinvents Production Process for New Continental GT

The Container Store Reorganizes Itself With New Store Concept

America’s favorite retailer for all things organization will start to look a bit different over the next year. The new store design, labeled “Next Generation Store,” draws on consumers’ interest in more up-front help with the planning stages for their projects. New features include digital design tools, design specialists, and two new closet and kitchen studios for inspiration.

An Organic Solution to the Plastic Problem
Akihisa Hirata Builds a Literal Urban Jungle in Tokyo
Mattress Innovator Casper to Start Selling Sleep (Yes, That’s Right)
Electric Paint Lights Up Limitless Creative Possibilities

In the 21st century, paint is so much more than a basic vehicle for color. From paints that serve as writeable surfaces to super black pigments that protect space-faring equipment, this ubiquitous substance can pull double duty in inventive ways. The next paint revolution comes courtesy of London-based startup Bare Conductive, which has found an inexpensive way to make carbon-based electric paint that can create circuits or perform cold soldering when it dries.

In 2022, You Can Finally Step Inside a Studio Ghibli Movie

Celebrated Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, helmed by co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, has unveiled visualizations for a theme park slated for completion in 2022. The nearly 500-acre attraction will feature recreations of the 19th-century European brick architecture that takes pride of place in such beloved films as Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle. No designers have been named yet, but Studio Ghibli asserts that the end result will respect Japan’s historical origins and natural environment.

Combat Vehicles Get a Clever Robotic Update
Neuroscientist Creates Gilded Pieces of Brain Art
How Architects Infuse Pastries With Precision

Wutopia Lab Treats Two Shenzhen Homes to Gender-Inflected Makeover

Spotlighting a global lineup of firms, the  alternates between Hong Kong and neighboring Shenzhen, China. The latter hosted the most recent biennale, but, unlike previous ones sited in typical exhibition venues, this edition staged high-concept interventions in migrant villages outside the city center. It was there that  transformed side-by-side residences into His House and Her House, a gender-inflected meditation on the modern cosmopolis.

Running Shoes Can Now Be Made From Recycled Ocean Trash
Lincoln’s Latest SUV Embraces Aeronautic Aesthetics
Via Verde Tackles Air Pollution at the Source
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