Archive for the ‘Sustainable’ Category

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The city of Milan and designer Fabio Novembre have created an oasis in the middle of the city by using Fiat 500C’s as tree planters…

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The planters are 1:1 scale cars made of fibreglass that contain trees which are then “parked” along Milan’s fashionable via Montenapoleone.

From the organizers:

Until September 30th, the street par excellence of Milan’s fashion hub will host the initiative “Per fare un albero” (“To make a tree”), the result of an idea of the Municipality of Milan – Department for Design, Events and Fashion in collaboration with Fiat Automobiles.

Twenty fibreglass structures in the shape of the Fiat 500C, created by the designer Fabio Novembre in a 1:1 scale, containing trees of different shapes and sizes will, in fact, be positioned in via Montenapoleone to colour and make the summer more liveable in the Lombardy capital.

After via Montenapoleone, the unique creations of “Per fare un albero” will be transferred to other areas in the city, in order to keep it alive during the remaining months of the year.

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original link by mocoloco

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“How tightly can a product’s lifecycle be compressed… and what are the ramifications of doing this?”

These are the questions Elliott Montgomery asks with his MicroCycle project–a mini manufacturing station-turned-public outreach kiosk that recently appeared on the south end of Union Square in New York City. Here, he and his posse created fabric shopping bags (made from salvaged materials, natch) but doesn’t sell them. Instead, you can buy one by providing “an idea” for localized manufacture, materials sourcing, or the like. He designed and built the solar units for Solar1’s outreach project I Heart PV.

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@Jennifer van der Meer‘s a fan: “What’s so fun about Elliott’s installations is that he gets people to think in the immediate, about the waste streams available in their neighborhood, today, that can be recommissioned into something useful. He also thinks in terms of future reuse, plotting identified waste streams on a map, and posted online as an open source database.

Learn more about this project and Elliott’s other work at epmid.com.

Original link from Core77

At this point in history, Industrial Design is poised to undergo major evolutionary changes. New technologies, new materials and increasingly sophisticated consumer tastes all demand colossal transformations. Perhaps most exciting among these is the development of Kinetic Design which entails the aesthetic design of physical movement. Through this practice, industrial designers will not just create forms, but choreograph those forms’ movements through space. Kinetic Design will literally open a new dimension for the aesthetic development of physical objects and the world will be richer for it.

At Industrial Design schools around the world, students are being trained to create the objects that fill our lives. Sadly, with few exceptions, today’s young designers are walking out into the world with more-or-less the same tool sets as designers of 60 years ago. One can observe this phenomenon quite readily by perusing the course catalogs of leading design schools such as Art Center College of Design or Pratt Institute. Green initiatives and CAD (computer aided design) related courses comprise the only notable updates to curricula around the world. This is astonishingly meager given the rapidly changing nature of the field itself. The addition of Kinetic Design will help broaden curricula in order to stimulate new thinking and new potentials.

Companies would never send their ideas off to market without determining what materials they were to be made of or what color. It follows that Industry should commit this same attention to how their ideas move. The animation of products is at least as important an aesthetic factor as form, color, or material.

Most Industrial Design firms and departments consist of individuals with various combinations of specifically named aesthetic skills: there are designers who can draw, there are designers who can create foam or CAD models, there are designers who can develop color and graphic treatments, etc. Presently, there is no specifically designated class of designers qualified to decide how products move. Kinetic Designers will soon fill this void.

It is universally understood that rigorous aesthetic control over all the aspects of an object’s development produces more beautiful and pleasing results. Designer Raymond Loewy explained it succinctly saying, “Ugliness does not sell.” Companies would never send their ideas off to market without determining what materials they were to be made of or what color. It follows that Industry should commit this same attention to how their ideas move. The animation of products is at least as important an aesthetic factor as form, color, or material.

In order to meet this demand within the profession, design schools will increasingly need to produce graduates who know how their objects should move. Designers are not just form-givers, they are whole object creators and experience designers. By incorporating the creative and experiential notions of Kinetic Design into their vocabulary, designers will produce more exciting, more unified products, which will in turn lead to greater commercial success.

original link core77

Ben Hopson is a designer, artist, and educator working in Brooklyn, NY. Examples of his work in Kinetic Design can be seen at http://www.benhopson.com.

A Taiwanese research group has developed stereo speakers in paper, which will lead to low-cost speakers perfect for thin devices such as LCD TVs or even talking movie posters to be used as advertisements.

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Engineers at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) have already produced rolls of paper stereo speakers and say they will be used in cars starting from next year. They are also planning a splash introduction of the new technology at a big exhibition in Taipei next year in which they will unroll a three-story high banner that can blare out tunes.

“A lot of companies are interested in this product,” said Chen Ming-daw, a research director at ITRI. “We don’t have enough people to handle all the attention right now.”

They call it Flexpeaker because you can roll it up or fold it just like regular paper.

One cool way the technology will be used is on movie posters.

The goal for the researchers is to be able to mass produce standard poster-size speakers (A2, or 60centimeters by 44cm) costing just US$20 each. Movie makers could then put out posters with soundtrack music or movie highlights emanating from them as people walk by.

The special paper is made by sandwiching thin electrodes that receive audio signals and a prepolarized diaphragm into the paper structure. A special Flexpeaker adapter between the MP3 player and the speaker is used to play music through the paper. But in a year, ITRI hope to develop a chip that will do away with the adapter and allow people to plug a digital music player directly into the speaker.

They’re also working on wireless technologies.

In July, the group will show off its first Bluetooth enabled paper speaker, which will eliminate the need for wires, said Liou Chang-ho, project manager of ITRI’s Flexpeaker initiative.

One limitation with Flexpeaker is that while It’s very good with sounds at frequencies between 500Hz to 20KHz, it doesn’t handle low frequency sounds well.

That problem can be offset by adding a subwoofer to any system with the paper speakers, said Liou. That’s the idea ITRI is working on for LCD TV makers. The paper speakers are so thin that they’re perfect for the current push to ultra thin LCD TVs, a maker simply has to add a subwoofer to make a quality sound system.

ITRI is already working with a company to produce the speakers in rolls, like rolls of paper.

“Once it’s being made in rolls, the cost will drop a lot,” said Liou.

Thanks to the good folks at WATG’s Wimberly Labs, we got a tour today of some truly remarkable visualization and collaboration technology, including EON Reality’s immersive 3D room.

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The cave (or iCube, as we’re told they would prefer we call it) is comprised of three white walls and a floor, all about 10′ x 10′ in size. Onto each surface is projected a high-resolution, stereoscopic image. A viewer stands in the room wearing polarized 3D glasses — like you might use in a 3D movie — with small markers that stick out a bit from the frames.

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The markers are illuminated by IR LED floodlights located on the perimeter of the room, and IR-sensitive cameras use those positions to determine the precise location of each eye within the room. From those positions, stereo images for each projector are calculated and rendered on the fly, and the result is absolutely amazing.

We had heard about this technology before, but seeing is believing. Of course to get the real experience you need to physically be in the space, but you might enjoy living vicariously through David’s experience (click here to see the vid in HD instead):

WATG’s incredible hotel and resort work provide a superb example of the power of this tool. Why not let a client walk through their new resort before ground has even been broken? Take them into one of these and they’ll never settle for blueprints and a miniature model again.

Part of what makes this experience so wonderful is the lack of heavy, complicated headgear. The viewer is free to walk around, and the environment responds to their every move. There’s no training required or cumbersome technology to stand in the way of the content. But the effect doesn’t come cheap: you’ll need over half a million dollars and a lot of space to pull this off.

Now, how can we do something similar for pennies on the dollar?

[unofficially:

A simple, featherweight headset, a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ white room, and $600,000 worth of projector and computer equipment, combined with the smarts of the folks at Eon Reality, results in one insanely real experience. ]

unfortunately this video clip didn’t have any info who was the artist to create this beautful piece of technology

Using sensors and photo apertures recreates your image into raster patter like dot matrix. Very low key and highly interesting

The creative cats and kittens at Obscura Digital have put together a stunning piece of performance art / data manipulation demo which combines their proprietary multi-touch software with Musion’s Eyeliner 3D holographic projection system. Like that BMW installation we saw recently, this is one of those odd combinations of technology and art which is best seen in action rather than described — so check out the video after the break and see the work in all its mind-bending glory.

DJ MoCAP, master of time and white space, has developed a camera-based controller for the TRAKTOR Scratch DJ System. Just sketch the deck onto a piece of white paper and turn any high contrast surface into a mixing table. There seems to be a bit of latency but overall the system looks fairly responsive. Why? Why not, we say. Video demonstration after the break.

moldable mouse

Finally, a mouse just for you. Thanks to the folks at Lite-On, you’ll never have to suffer the debilitating discomfort of an unshapely mouse ever again. The Moldable Mouse will make all your bad memories of ill-fitting input devices float away, using a lightweight modeling clay combined with a nylon and polyurethane fabric to make up its surface. Once you’re palming your new best friend, you can shape its contours to whatever form you desire, though we’re pretty sure making a perfect cube will present a challenge. The “stick-on” buttons and scroll-wheel can be added to any location you like, and communicate via RFID. The thing won a Red Dot design award and everything… but coming soon? Probably not.




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