Beauty, Design, Smart Ideas.

Posts from the ‘Technology’ category

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Most of us think of gas stations as pure utility. A shapeless and forgettable stop on your way to your next destination. Sure, some people may have their ‘brand’ that they go to, but the structures themselves rarely get any love. Luckily, design does matter to some people, and these standout stations are a great example of iconic landmarks from unexpected places. Via FastCo Design:
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As a car design geek, it’s always fun to see what automakers have up their sleeves for the future. Often a company will release a concept car that is stylistically cutting-edge, but basically just a shiny paperweight, it doesn’t operate or move the conversation very much. When Mercedes released their vision for the car of 2030 earlier this year, they had some true vision, and some actual moving parts. The F 015 is a strangely named, and even stranger looking car. A shiny jellybean of a thing, the windows are made to blend with the rest of the body, giving it a uniformly sleek and ‘what’s inside there?’ appearance. The car is fully autonomous, so aware of its surroundings that it will stop for a pedestrian, project a crosswalk, and audibly tell someone it’s safe to walk. The Verge recently took a spin in the car and has an interesting report on it. Who knows if Mercedes’ will follow through on this vision of the future, but it’s cool to see an automaker do some deep thinking.



Passengers sit facing one another, allowing for a level of interaction not achievable in today’s cars. The controls are able to be taken over manually, though this seems like a future-pod that most passengers would prefer being passive within.






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These remarkable images of alien worlds and the cosmos aren’t quite what they seem. At all, actually. Indeed, these visions of outer space are the creation of Navid Baraty, and they are amazingly made with household items like cinnamon, baking powder, glassware, food coloring and water. Placed on a scanner, his worlds are remarkably real looking. Pretty amazing work! Via Colossal:

Cosmos // Moss and Fog

Black hole – bottom of a glass of coffee, salt, sugar, corn starch, cinnamon

Cosmos // Moss and Fog

Planet – bottom of a glass containing half and half, water, food coloring. Stars – salt, cinnamon, baking powder

Cosmos // Moss and Fog

Planet – bottom of a glass containing half and half, water, food coloring. Moons – bottom of a glass containing coconut milk, water, food coloring. Stars – salt, cinnamon, baking powder, tums

Cosmos // Moss and Fog

Spiral galaxy – baking soda, curry powder, chalk, salt, sugar, cinnamon

Cosmos // Moss and Fog

Nebula – makeup, olive oil, chalk, baby powder, salt, water

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Using a technological process that filters artificial light through an ‘atmosphere’ that resembles Earth’s own atmosphere, the CoeLux produces a light that is convincingly real. The uses for this type of light are nearly limitless, and you can imagine a basement space being bathed in light that feels like a sunny day. We’re excited by the prospect of places like hospitals using attractive lighting solutions like the CoeLux. Via Colossal:



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The Canadians have had colorful currency for a long time, but now that whimsy is also part of the new Passport design, including UV-reactive images that can only be seen under a blacklight. Via FeelDesain:

The UV images are completely normal looking under everyday light. But when you put a blacklight on them, the pages come alive with wildly bright and standout hues. Along with a biometric chip, this passport is going to be extremely hard to falsify. Party on!


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ICEHOTEL has been building an exquisite hotel from scratch every year for the last 25 years. This year’s hotel is a stunner, with 42 artists from 11 countries contributing to the creation of the amazing structure made solely of frozen water. Located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, and we’ve been told by friends that it is totally worth the visit.  Via UrDesign:



The most important car show of the year kicked off in Detroit this week, and with it comes some pretty amazing new rides. Take the 2017 Ford GT, a supercar with superb lines. The teardrop shape and active aerodynamics make it supremely sexy and slippery, and the all carbon body combined with a 600+ horsepower engine means this thing is fast. Via DesignBoom:






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Offices are increasingly realizing that sitting at a desk all day isn’t healthy. Indeed, it’s downright bad for you. Standing desks are one way to combat it. But they’re pretty traditional. To bust the field wide open, Dutch studio RAAAF has taken on a concept project called “The End of Sitting”. They’ve created a series of glacier and boulder-like surfaces, and no formal chairs or tables. Pretty off-the-wall, and pretty cool. Via Wired:

“What if we had an environment without chairs and tables, and we don’t think in these archetypes, but in terms of activities?”

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Albertus Seba was a Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and collector. Born in 1665, Seba grew up near the ocean, and at a young age was captivated by the diversity of life living in the sea.

Seba moved to Amsterdam as an apprentice and opened around 1700 a pharmacy near the harbour. Seba asked sailors and ship surgeons to bring exotic plants and animal products he could use for preparing drugs. Seba also started to collect snakes, birds, insects, shells and lizards in his house. From 1711 he delivered drugs to the Russian court in Saint Petersburg and sometimes accepted fresh ginger as payment. Seba promoted his collection with the head-physician to the tsar, Robert Arskine, and early 1716 Peter the Great bought the complete collection. Seven months later seventeen trunks arrived in Russia. With Seba as an intermediate, Frederik Ruysch, a famous botanist, again sold his collection to the tsar. A special building was designed, and from 1728 till 1830 both collections were exposed in the Kunstkammer. With the acquisition of the two collections, the Russian Academy of Sciences had two modern, very well-documented collections at its disposal.

Albertus sometimes accepted fresh ginger as payment. Mmm…

Seba commissioned high quality, painstaking illustrations of nearly his entire collection, which were turned into engravings for publishing. Thesaurus was his biggest project, and one he didn’t live to see the completion of. His commissioned works hold a high level of esteem for nature collectors and artists alike, showing a great attention to detail and a certain whimsy and layout which remains relevant to this day.

Seba’s Thesaurus was a beautiful publication, in a large part because the boundary between art and science was still pretty fuzzy. Animals posed artfully, and shells were arranged in decorative patterns. Some of the work was fanciful or even folly, such as the many electric-blue snakes and the seven-headed hydra, yet much of it exhibited an almost unprecedented attention to detail and accuracy.

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