The concept of a pop-up shop is a store that is temporary and small. They come in a myriad of styles, and designers have a lot of fun creating innovative, quirky spaces, if even for temporary use. This pop-up shop for Nike is a wonderland of throwback mid-80’s color and fun. The use of geometry and pop-art are excellent, and it beckons the casual shopper in… Set for launch this winter in NYC. Via FastCo Design:
What happens when you pit five great bicycling cities against each other, aiming to find the coolest new design for an urban bike? The Oregon Manifest, an inspiring event that has spawned some truly awesome rides. This year is no exception, with five unique and innovative designs coming out of Chicago, New York, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Each city’s team had to design and craft a working bike that took on challenges that cyclists face, while creating a beautiful ride that might make it to mass production. The winning bike design is decided by you, the voter, and will be put into production starting in 2015, thanks in partnership with Fuji bikes. Each city’s entry has a short video showcasing the design and features, check them all out and vote on your favorite!
Chicago – The Blackline
New York – The Merge
Seattle – The Denny
Portland – Solid
San Francisco – Evo
I’m sure you’ve heard Carl Sagan’s famous Pale Blue Dot, a beautiful tribute to our little, fragile planet.
As the Voyager 1 spacecraft was leaving our solar system, Sagan requested it take one final image on its way out. The image is here. If you look carefully, you’ll see the tiniest speck of light on the right side. That is Earth. That is us. As he states, everything we’ve ever known or loved.
A bonsai tree in space. Wow. This week a Japanese artist launched a bonsai tree and a bouquet of flowers into space from the site of Burning Man. What?! Using high altitude helium balloons and with the help of JP Aerospace, Azuma Makoto launched these living plants into the stratosphere within a thin metal frame. The why is much less important than the wow.
To accomplish this mission, titled Exobiotanica, Makoto and his 10-person crew teamed with Sacramento-based JP Aerospace — “America’s Other Space Program” — a volunteer-based organization that constructs and sends vessels into orbit. JP’s owner and founder, John Powell, started launching things into the upper atmosphere in 1977, when he was still a teenager. “The best thing about this project is that space is so foreign to most of us,” says Powell, “so seeing a familiar object like a bouquet of flowers flying above Earth domesticates space, and the idea of traveling into it.”
So there are lamps shaped like cloud, and then there’s Cloud, an interactive piece so beautiful that it shouldn’t even be called a lamp. It’s pretty remarkable. And at over $3,000, it should be. The thunder mode is so fantastic. As a West-coast transplant, thunderstorms are one of the things I miss most about the Midwest/East coast. I’d leave it on thunder mode most days.
Via the artist’s site: The Cloud is an interactive lamp and speaker system, designed to mimic a thundercloud in both appearance and entertainment. Using motion sensors the cloud detects a user’s presence and creates a unique lightning and thunder show dictated by their movement. The system features a powerful speaker system from which the user can stream music via any Bluetooth compatible device. Using color-changing lights the cloud is able to adapt to the desired lighting color and brightness. The cloud also has alternative modes such as a nightlight and music reactive mode.
‘Cloud’ is an Arduino-controlled, motion-triggered lightning & thunder performance. It is also a music-activated visualizer and suspended speaker unit.
Some visions for the future of food harken back to the tool ‘ol days of organic farming and food you recognize. Other visions paint a more science-fiction approach, where the food we eat has been engineered to become something entirely new. From London’s Royal College of Arts, designer Johanna Schmeer has created a very odd and alien looking vision. Via Wired:
She explores how synthetic biological material can be used to provide nutrition.
In her vision, humans would get their nutrients from photosynthesizing pods and vessels.
It’s a bizarre vision, and not necessarily appetizing. But my guess is that we will have both this type of hyper-futuristic approach, as well as a return-to-farm style of food production.
392 Megawatts is a huge amount of energy, from any power plant. 392 Megawatts of carbon-free solar power is astounding. Remarkable in size and capacity, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is the biggest in the world, and one of the few power-tower solar thermal plants operating today. Instead of the solar panels you see on a house roof or your old calculator, this type of solar reflects light from thousands of reflective mirrors and concentrates it to boil water and turn a turbine. The mirrors are computer controlled and send huge amounts of heat to giant boilers 459 feet in the air. The system generates enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes. Fantastic.
Via Gizmodo, Wikipedia, and Brightsource Energy
If you averaged the world’s handwriting into a single typeface, what would it look like? BIC took on the challenge, combining hundreds of thousands of hand written letterforms from various demographics into a unified form. You can see the difference between different countries, ages, genders and professions, blended into one. Via DesignBoom:
The Burj Khalifa will simply be another tall building when these two towers are completed. The Phoenix Towers, to be built in the huge city of Wuhan, in central China, will rise a full kilometer into the sky. At 3,281 feet tall, this enormous undertaking plans to incorporate a huge number of green energy technologies, including wind, solar, thermal, biomass boilers and hydrogen fuel cells. At well over 200 floors and built on an island, the towers will be huge and garish, but also a hugely visible symbol of sustainable ingenuity and design, something lacking in modern China. Designed by UK Architecture firm Chetwoods. Via the architect:
Based on the traditional Chinese Phoenix – two birds, male Feng and female Huang; The plan was generated from Yin/Yang form to represent perfectly balanced union; Symbiotic – the Feng tower uses cutting edge technology to feed the Huang tower with renewable power.