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.
ETH Zurich Creates Super-Light Concrete Ceiling
As 3-D printing becomes more available, the potential to create unprecedented architectural feats has exploded. The latest iteration of this growing trend involves a research team at ETH Zurich and the super-slim concrete ceiling they made with a 3-D printed sand mold. The team made a total of 11 1,000-square-foot slabs, which will be installed in their ongoing DFAB House project.
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.
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.
For the first time in human history, it’s possible to stand in the middle of a nuclear blast and remain unscathed. Students at Fukuyama Technical High School produced a five-minute VR experience that shows what it was like immediately before, during, and after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The production took two full years to complete.
Solar-Powered Ikea Gadgets are Coming
Icelandic-Danish artist and environmental activist Olafur Eliasson recently announced a new partnership with furniture giant IKEA to mass produce solar-powered, off-the-grid gadgets. IKEA and Eliasson aim to continue the mission started with his Little Sun solar-energy enterprise and eventually expand on it with new products. It is not exactly known yet what IKEA will produce, but some early concept ideas, like water pumps and off-grid satellite-communication devices, were suggested.
The Latest Unlikely Sustainable Building Material? Carrots!
Researchers in England have discovered that carrots may soon emerge as a sustainable—and affordable—way to strengthen concrete. When combined with ordinary cement, nano platelets extracted from root vegetable fibers can greatly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing. This discovery could have a huge impact, especially considering how cement production accounts for around 8% of the world's total carbon dioxide emissions.
Ocean plastic is a serious problem and humans are scrambling to turn the tide in the battle for oceanic cleanliness. The ban on plastic straws is one way to stop some of the trash, but that's only a small piece of the puzzle. Waste Shark, an aquatic drone, may be a more successful solution, designed to pick up as much as 770 pounds of trash over a 16-hour work day.
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?
Carbon Capture Tech Is Finally Cheap Enough to Be Practical
Carbon capture presents the easiest, most intuitive way of getting the excess carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere, but it hasn’t been a financially viable option at scale. A new study suggests that may not be the case anymore. Carbon capture could be accomplished for a cheap price of $94 to $232 per ton.
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.
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.