Artist grows fungi into lamp shades

December 10, 2018

Photos: Nir Meiri London-based designer Nir Meiri selects materials for his creations that most would not consider. Recently, the Nir Meiri Design Studio presented Mycelium Lights at the London Design Festival 2018. According to, this is its latest project—the result of ongoing material research in mycelium, the vegetative part

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Drone-operated fire rescue net introduced

November 26, 2018

A group of six students from Guangzhou, China, has designed a concept called NET GUARD that’s a combination of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and cloth net for rescuing people from fires in high-rise buildings. When the drone and net combination receives a distress signal, it uses GPS to pinpoint

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Robotic skin can animate objects

October 22, 2018

Photo: Yale University. Scientists at Yale University have developed a robotic skin that can be applied to inanimate objects seemingly bringing them to life. The elastic “skin” sheets are embedded with a variety of sensors and actuators capable of animating the legs of a stuffed animal or causing a foam

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Eco-friendly, acoustic panels made of hemp husks

October 18, 2018

Russian design studio Aotta presents a new sound-absorbing and lightweight panel made of hemp husks. A completely organic material, the husks are routinely disposed of as useless waste. That means the material is a cheap resource. Aotta’s hemp husk panels are a naturally porous membrane for absorbing sound reflections, and

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Researchers investigate seeds’ natural “armor”

October 8, 2018

Biomimicry has revealed ways that nature can be copied to create new products and improve existing ones. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire in the U.S. has shown how the seed coats of certain plants could help in the development of flexible materials that are

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Printing 3D sand: strength and design freedom in concrete

August 20, 2018

Glass fiber-reinforced concrete is sprayed on the 3D printed formwork in several consecutive layers. Photo: Digital Building Technologies (DBT) ETH zürich / andrei jipa Researchers in Switzerland have fabricated a lightweight 80-square-meter concrete slab ceiling that uses 3D sand printing for its formwork. The ceiling consists of 11 segments of

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Giant space blanket serves a communal purpose

August 6, 2018

Photo: Alex Shtanuk Moscow-based designer Alex Shtanuk will be contributing a piece of space travel nostalgia to the 2018 Burning Man gathering later this summer in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, while giving festival attendees a place to escape the desert heat. A giant “space blanket” will provide a

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Functioning QR codes are woven into a jacket

July 23, 2018

Photo: Julie Helles Eriksen Artist Julie Helles Ericksen has created a jacket with QR codes woven into it that can access digital information as the wearer shares it. According to Ericksen, “We communicate to others through what we wear, what we post on social media and what we choose to

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Wearable controller tracks hand and finger gestures

July 10, 2018

Photo and video: Vicara A hand-wearable device called Kai enables the wearer to control any digital device by tracking hand and finger gestures. Human augmentation start-up Vicara has created the device, a smart band that fits over the hand, that’s meant to increase productivity. Kai features gesture-based computer interaction technology

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Facial recognition technology used in adidas display

June 25, 2018

Adidas has commissioned designer Behnaz Farahi to create a display case with the ability to “read” facial expressions and respond to them. According to the designer, the emotive display called “Mesolite” was designed to showcase an adidas concept shoe. The name is a reference to Mesolite crystals, which it closely resembles

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