Innovation
Can VR Save the Movie Theater?

With streaming services becoming larger players in the studio system, and phones that allow movie watching without the need for a computer or television, the movie theater has struggled to stay relevant. A Los Angeles startup called Dreamscape Immersive is offering one solution: a “VR Multiplex” in Century City that will offer untethered VR headsets and an open space allowing customers to interact with both virtual and real objects. 

Salesforce Gets “Meta” With Data Analysis About Color Use In Data Analyses

Turns out that data analysis never stops with what’s on the page (or screen). A recent analysis by Salesforce examined the way people responded to different colors of data, as well as the speed and accuracy of decisions made based on that information. The results surprised the Salesforce team.

Bentley Reinvents Production Process for New Continental GT
The Container Store Reorganizes Itself With New Store Concept
An Organic Solution to the Plastic Problem

How Design Inspires Creativity in the Workplace

We’re all born with varying degrees of creativity. Companies that want to be competitive and innovative in today’s market are turning to workplace design as a solution to boost creativity. Rapidly, the design community has responded by envisioning projects and products that honor the creative urge in all of us and seek to hone that drive into an even sharper expression of what the contemporary digital workforce is able to accomplish. 

Mattress Innovator Casper to Start Selling Sleep (Yes, That’s Right)
Electric Paint Lights Up Limitless Creative Possibilities
Advertisement
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

DARPA, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center, unveiled a reconfigurable wheel track for defense vehicles, which improves their durability in combat zones with varied terrain. The wheel track enables the vehicle to shift between round wheels, ideal for traversing hard surfaces, and a triangular track, which is better suited for rugged ground. The transition between the two modes takes roughly two seconds without a break in speed, an impressive feat considering the vehicles could be traveling up to 70 mph.

Advertisement
Neuroscientist Creates Gilded Pieces of Brain Art
How Architects Infuse Pastries With Precision
Wutopia Lab Treats Two Shenzhen Homes to Gender-Inflected Makeover

Running Shoes Can Now Be Made From Recycled Ocean Trash

Plastic in our oceans is a serious problem. The majority of deadly waste comes from abandoned fishing gear, nets, and lines made from tough nylon, but bottles are prevalent, too. To make a dent in this problem and get a conversation going about what private companies can do to combat ocean pollution, partnered with to produce a stylish running shoe made out of recycled ocean plastics.

Lincoln’s Latest SUV Embraces Aeronautic Aesthetics
Via Verde Tackles Air Pollution at the Source
Advertisement
Need Blacker Than Black Paint? You Got It

Anish Kapoor may have Vantablack all to himself, but he hasn’t cornered the market on all super-black pigments. NASA and NanoLab, a Massachusetts-based nano materials company, together produced a new blacker-than-black paint last year, and this time it’s available to the general public. Singularity Black takes its name from an astronomical theory about the gravitational power at the center of black holes, and is primarily used by NASA to coat observation equipment, absorbing errant light that can otherwise interfere with the instruments’ delicate sensors. 

From Waste to Walls

Finding a way to curtail plastic waste is one of humanity's greatest challenges. One solution that’s been growing in popularity around the globe are Ecobricks: plastic bottles filled with compressed, non-biodegradable plastic trash. These bricks can be tied, glued, or mortared together to create walls for structures, playgrounds, stools, tables, and many other practical objects.

Konnichiwa, Hello Kitty Shinkansen!
Trash Would Make a Great Construction Material
Hologram Table Could Revolutionize Collaborative Work

Elon Musk's Hyperloop Plays to Pedestrians

After an incendiary marketing campaign and heated tiffs with urban planners, Elon Musk’s plans for the Boring Company seem to have shifted. The Hyperloop's tunnels, which will shuttle automobiles beneath the traffic-jammed streets of Los Angeles on magnetized tracks, will now include an urban loop system. It seems vaguely like a conventional subway, but rather than having large stations where multiple lines converge, it will have thousands of small stations the size of a single parking space that will blend seamlessly into the urban fabric, Musk tweeted.

The Humble Mushroom Becomes an Alternative Construction Material
An Ambitious Waste-to-Energy Plant Comes to Copenhagen
FreelandBuck Creates Visual Puzzles by Cloning Historical Ceilings
Rising Sea Levels Prompt Innovations in Amphibious Architecture

Dutch firm Waterstudio focuses on the growing field of water-based design, with founder Koen Olthuis pushing the idea of the “blue city”—a city that can not only withstand the rising sea levels but benefits from them; using water to store, generate, and reduce the use of energy. To put the idea into practice, Waterstudio is partnering with Oddysea Development to create a man-made mini Atlantis called Arabian Oddysea in Bahrain, boasting an Arabian horse track and a man-made mountain. With a target completion date of 2023, Arabian Oddysea will incorporate innovative aqueous elements like floating solar panels, water batteries, and a seawall that generates energy.

IKEA Dips Its Toe Into Augmented Reality

IKEA has taken its penchant for great products and an absurdly easy consumer experience to the digital realm with the augmented reality app IKEA Place. Built on Apple’s ARKit technology, Place allows prospective shoppers to drop automatically scaled products (with up to 98% accuracy) into rooms—users simply scan a space, browse available products, select, move, and place. The app even allows users to send photos or videos of their augmented reality creation for second opinions. 

Architectural Drafting Meets Minecraft
More Efficient Air Conditioning Via the Sky
Designer Spends 10 Years Building Paper Model of a Boeing 777

An Architect Has a Vision for Planting Trees on Mars

Architect Samar El Sayary believes the future of the Red Planet is green. His submission to 2017’s Mars City Design competition took home first place in the sustainability category for its inspiring use of robotic, mobile pods that will plant trees across the surface of Mars in protected skins that double as energy harvesters. Rather than relying on the sun, El Sayary explained, the pods will convert the vibrational energy from wind and cosmic rays into electricity that will sustain the flora within.

Adidas Is Running a "Creator Farm" in Brooklyn
Core Studio Curates Industrial-Inspired Show in Eindhoven Garage
Manhattan Skyscraper Concept Solves for Sustainable, Affordable Living
Google Street View Helps an Agoraphobic Woman Travel the World

Jacqui Kenny, housebound due to a debilitating diagnosis of agoraphobia (a fear of crowded or remote places), is a master of the screen-grab. The former business-owner discovered the nearly limitless “travel” possibilities of Google Street View. Using the panoramic power of Google Street View, Kenny can travel to any number of countries across the globe. To date, she has taken over 27,000 screenshots, and assembled a portfolio of 200 neatly framed and edited photos of everyday life across our planet.

Urban Footprint Transforms Data into Better City Simulations

Software startup Urban Footprint, and their product of the same name, are looking to radically transform the way cities plan for the future. Their software program allows urban planners to test a range of scenarios and study a broad set of impacts, including traffic and commute times, walkability, carbon emissions, and effects on the local economy. The state of California was so impressed with this technology at a recent demonstration that it is releasing the software to over 500 of its cities, counties, and regional agencies through a partnership with Urban Footprint.

Print Your City! Designs Chair From 100 Pounds of Plastic Waste
Inspired by Case Study Houses, WATG Urban Builds the First Freeform 3-D Printed Home
Adjaye Associates Masters Interactivity at New York's Spyscape Museum

Nendo’s Oki Sato Gives the Portable Toilet a Sleek Redesign

The devastating impact of natural disasters on power grids, water supplies, and basic hygiene spurred  principal Oki Sato to rethink a relief-effort essential: the portable toilet. Unlike standard mobile loos, with their clunky and cumbersome structures, the elemental  is, well, good to go.

Tokyo Salon by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects Evokes Braids and Twists
The Arrivals Designs Clothes That Pay Tribute to Architecture
Emojis Double as Gargoyles