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.
Nestlé and Unilever Push U.S. Government for A Price on Carbon
It looks like Nestlé and Unilever have swallowed the climate change Kool-Aid. On top of their commitment to develop reusable packing with TerraCycle, they are now a part of the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance. Through this Alliance they are pressuring the U.S. government to double down on Paris Climate Accord-like plans such as a carbon tax and clean energy development. Jokes on them, though—this administration doesn't believe in climate change! They do, however, believe in acquiescing to Big Business so there could be hope!
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.
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."
Oslo Commits To Green Living With Wireless Taxi Charging
Norway already has the world beat when it comes to electric car ownership, but the Scandinavian country aims to go one step further by equipping the streets of Oslo with wireless electric charging infrastructure for taxis. The taxis will be charged through induction technology integrated into the street. This will help the city meet its zero-emission taxis by 2023 goal.
Biodegradable Planters May Be Key to Reforestation
There's no question that reforestation is a critical component to combating climate change, but the manual labor and cost are frequently-cited deterrents to getting it done. Two Brazilian brothers may have found a solution to the problem. Their biodegradable planter protects seeds and saplings from ants and helps keep them adequately watered, enabling the baby plants to grow into the giants that people think of when they hear "rainforest".
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.
Snøhetta Debuts New Chair Made of Recycled Fish Nets and Steel
According to Circular Ocean, some 705,000 tons of fishing gear are lost or discarded in the ocean every year. That's a lot of virgin nylon, a strong and durable material, floating uselessly in the ocean and even worse, strangling thousands of whales, sea lions, and other marine animals. Once the problem became apparent, a whole industry popped up around gathering these discarded fish nets and transforming them into viable new products. Internationally-renowned design firm Snøhetta joined the competition at the 2019 Stockholm Design Week with their S-1500 chair, which is made of recycled fishing gear and repurposed steel. Because it uses locally sourced recyclable materials, the S-1500 has one of the lowest carbon footprints on the market.
Office Warfare Is Over Thanks To This Temperature-Regulating Fabric
Almost no one can agree on what the perfect temperature is, and when you're in an office, it becomes very apparent. Good thing a team at the University of Maryland may have introduced the perfect solution. They developed a new fabric that both allows heat to leave the garment and locks it in, depending on the body's temperature. It could be the perfect solution for not only athletes and bickering coworkers, but also the elderly and babies who require constant comfort.
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.
Retail in 2019: More Subscriptions, More Sustainability, and More Startups
There's no doubt that online retail has changed the "how" of shopping, but this unbelievably expansive marketplace has opened up new possibilities for the "what" of shopping, as well. 2018 saw a proliferation of subscription services and new approaches to familiar markets. 2019 continues that trend, but with greater emphasis put on sustainable materials, social inclusivity, and crowd-sourced design.
Giant Corporations Take First Step Towards Real Climate Accountability With Reusable Packaging
Neoliberalism, the morally bankrupt economic ideology that pervades the majority of world governments and markets, would have you believe that by simply using LEDs, taking public transportation, or buying a Prius you can make a significant impact in the fight against climate change. This is, of course, , argues Guardian columnist Martin Lukas, when faced with the fact that only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these emissions come from the petrochemical industry, which produces about 300 million metric tons of cheap virgin plastic every year. Emissions from petrochemical plants are expected to , according to New York Times. That's why a recent announcement that brands such as PepsiCo, Unilever, and Nestlé will begin testing out reusable packaging in a pilot program with recycling company TerraCycle comes as big news. Not only does it offer a glimmer of hope for a reduction in plastic production, but it shows that world-wide demand for corporate climate accountability can be effective.
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.
The Future of Coral Reefs May Depend on Robot Fertilizers
"Living Coral" may be Pantone's 2019 color of the year, but the situation of real coral is quite dire. Warming global ocean temperatures threaten to totally destroy coral reefs and destabilize the marine ecosystems that they support. It's a manmade problem, and one scientist is proposing a manmade solution: LarvalBot, an underwater robot equipped to dispense heat resistant coral larvae over failing reefs.
Put Your Greenest Foot Forward
Going green isn’t just a trend anymore. Companies across industries have picked up on the general public's existential panic about the state of the planet and are actively working to make sustainability practices standard. One such corporation is Kickstarter, the funding platform that popularized both the Pebble smartwatch and the return of Reading Rainbow, which recently launched its own Environmental Resources Center to help aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs seamlessly integrate sustainability into their projects.