Imagine being an 18 year old with a smartphone, a lot of free time after school and on weekends, and an almost $600 stipend from the federal government. About 10,000 French teenagers found themselves in just such a situation when the French government's Culture Pass app went live in September. Designed like a "Tinder for the arts", users can swipe left or right on cultural activities happening in their immediate surroundings, which the government hopes will result in more fluid and accepting definition of culture for the French. The Culture Pass project will cost France's government approximately $490 million a year and is heavily subsidized by contributions from Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
The Marijuana-As-Healthcare Revolution Passes Major Milestone
This past decade has seen some major political and culture shifts in attitude towards marijuana—with nine states approving its recreational use and another 21 states approving medicinal use, the U.S. is slowly coming around to this hotly contested plant's powers of persuasion. Another major shift in opinion happened last week, when the FDA approved the first cannabis-based drug for prescription across all 50 states. This drug specifically targets and reduces episodes of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a form of epilepsy, and Dravet syndrome, a brain dysfunction, by 25%.
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.
We may not have flying cars or jet packs (yet), but the future is undoubtedly here. That reality of unprecedented changed applies to what and how we eat, too. The future of food looks hopeful, with a predicted abundance of tasty faux-meat products, personalized diets tailored to your genome, and an increase in genetically engineered foods that will provide more nutrition in a smaller serving size.
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.
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?
Art in the 21st century is bursting out of frames and into the real world. Tokyo’s Digital Art Museum immerses visitors into 107,000 square feet of psychedelic visualizations, many of which are interactive. A group of ultra-technologists called teamLab brought this unprecedented space to life.
House-Flipping Has Come to the Virtual World
One of the best parts of The Sims, the wildly popular life simulation video game, is building and renovating the house the Sims inhabit. Finally, there’s a game that lets players focus exclusively on that pursuit without the mundane life stuff, like getting a job or taking a shower. House Flipper, available on Steam for under $20, allows players to flip a fixer-upper in impressively rendered virtual detail with complete creative control.
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.
From keychains to bullet trains, Hello Kitty is one successful cartoon cat. The expressionless feline made her shinkansen debut this year on a pink-and-white train that will whisk commuters and tourists between Fukuoka and Osaka. Everything from the windows, seat covers, flooring, and even a specialized photo-op carriage are decked out with Hello Kitty decorations.
FreelandBuck Creates Visual Puzzles by Cloning Historical Ceilings
The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery presented its first large-scale architectural commission, an immersive site-specific ceiling installation by architectural firm FreelandBuck. Parallax Gap is a visualization of American ceiling design from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, exploring the concept of parallax, or how the position of an object appears to shift from one viewpoint to the next. Utilizing Rhinoceros and Grasshopper programs, FreelandBuck recreated structures from nine buildings including Cincinnati’s Union Terminal and Philadelphia’s City Hall on stacked polypropylene panels.
Emojis Double as Gargoyles
In the Dutch city of Amersfoot, on the façade of a perfectly normal brick structure, Attika Architekten emblazoned 22 emoji roundels. The commonly used text messaging symbols have traversed that formally solid line between digital and analog visual representation. What was formerly meant to quickly communicate emotional states has now been uplifted to a state of permanence once reserved for heads of state and religious icons.
As humanity plunges further into the 21st century, the question of what kind of new occupations people will be able to pursue sometimes gets lost in all the wild speculation about future products. A group of artists from AKQA and Misk Global Forum decided to try their hand at imaging the employment possibilities in the year 2030, based on several panels at the World Economic Forum.
MIT Creates Tiny Robot Jewelry
MIT Research Lab has unveiled small robots that attach themselves to clothes via magnets. The lab presents them as “living jewelry”, although due to limited battery life, the pieces will only live for about 45 minutes. For now, Project Kino is purely cosmetic, but in time the MIT team aims to give them a “brain of their own."
Ever Been in a Semi-Anechoic Chamber?
Doug Wheeler’s 1971 PSAD Synthetic Desert III, installed at the Guggenheim Museum in 2017, creates an immersive optical and acoustic experience. It's designed as a “semi-anechoic chamber” that nullifies sound and creates the impression of unfolding space. Created with engineering firm Arup, the latest incarnation of Synthetic Desert is made up of mostly Basotect®, a muffling foam used to eliminate noise in subways and elevators.