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LG's Array of Seamless LED Panels Allows for Home Cinema Screens in Unusual Shapes and Sizes

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

LG's new Direct View LED Home Cinema Screens are made up of panels that are assembled at your house by a professional installer. The panels go together seamlessly, and the modular system means you can order a gigantic screen in a conventional or unconventional aspect ratio. Some examples:

Then, well, it gets a little crazy:

As you can imagine, LG's not shipping these in mere cardboard boxes. No, these arrive in "custom-designed, branded, wheeled ATA flight cases to make sure everything arrives safe and sound. Premium protection for each stunning display. No more searching to make sure you received every box. No forklifts or pallet jacks required, simply roll the cases into your space."

Prices for these aren't listed. As they say, if you have to ask….

Industrial Design Student Work: Segev Kaspi's Forest Ranger Druids

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Here's a wonderfully bizarre, terrifically imaginative project from Industrial Design student Segev Kaspi. Called Forest Ranger Druids, it's Kaspi's graduation project at Israel's Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, and was intended to "stimulate public discussion of atmospheric CO2 levels and the importance of rehabilitating the world's forests." Kaspi has envisioned some startling forms at the intersection of robotics and character design:

"A series of robotic forest rangers were developed to support reforestation efforts and sustainable forest management."

"Each robot is assigned a defined role in managing and preserving the forest. Their roles and design language reflect a long process of studying the work of forest rangers and an attempt to gain an in-depth understanding of the needs of the world's forests."

"The robotic foresters operate in systems that change in accordance with the forest's needs, and can function as separate individuals or as members of work groups."

"The project's visual and conceptual power derives from the hybrid connection of two worlds that are perceived as opposites – nature and technology – to offer a possible solution for an urgent problem."

Here's animations of the tasks they'd perform:

Check out more of Kaspi's work here.

Why the Smithsonian is Preparing a "Real" X-Wing Fighter to Display

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

This building's name is long: The Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

That's the facility where the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum prepares aircraft to be displayed. One that's in there now, getting prepped for showtime, has a name that's as short as the building's is long: "X-wing Starfighter."

Specifically, it's "a screen-used T-70 X-wing on loan to us from Lucasfilm," Margaret Weitekamp, who chairs the museum's space history department, explains to Tested's Adam Savage.

Weitekamp is as familiar with the fictional craft's lineage as she is with the real stuff. "When you look at the difference between this and that T-65B that Luke Skywalker would've flown, you see a designer who is thinking about, well what would the next generation look like? How might they have developed the engines, developed the guns?" (Nerds will recognize that the T-70 was flown by pilot Poe Dameron in the more recent Star Wars installments.)

One challenge that Weitekamp's crew has to work out in the hangar is how to suspend it from wires when it goes on exhibition. This T-70 was used for hangar shots in the films, and has been designed and built to support its own weight whilst resting on the ground. Hoisting it into the air, safely, requires a careful examination of the craft's structure and some ginger testing.

Another challenge is figuring out where the craft may have sustained actual Earth damage during the shipping process, versus the convincing wear-and-tear that Lucasfilm's fastidious modelmakers added to the vehicle. Weitekamp, in the video below, points out a damaged spot that caused her to fret, before learning it was intentionally painted on.

The video below, where Weitekamp goes over the X-wing with Savage, is well worth the watch. In it, she answers the question:

"Why does the premiere museum of real aviation and real spaceflight want an imaginary spaceship? Imagination and inspiration. Those are such important themes for everything that we have here. And we know that if you want to design and build and fly any of these things, you have to be dreaming it up, and a lot of that starts with these fictional visions and the power of that."

The X-wing will go on display next year, in the museum's flagship building on the National Mall.

This Course Embraces Play to Help Students Build Confidence in UI Design Skills

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Despite technology's expansion and wide range of possibilities, its reputation for being dry and complicated can be a barrier to entry. Aspiring designers and engineers may feel unable to fit into a rapidly accelerating workplace without the proper tools and training.

Royal College of Art and Imperial College London instructors Arthur Carabott and Guillaume Couche have noticed the resulting strain on Master's students.

"The environment of graduate-level design education is an environment that can all too easily foster insecurity, a sense of inferiority, and 'imposter syndrome,'" they said in a statement. "With a broad range of student backgrounds and skill levels, and high academic expectations, many students may feel intimidated by what they do not know. This is especially true of technical skills, where the bar is continuously rising."

In order to bolster confidence, Carabott and Couche created Intentional Interactions, a technology intensive open to the school's Innovation Design students, as well as visiting students from Beijing's Tsinghua University. In this three-week module, each student designed electronic programs around a simple robotic arm. Students were encouraged to take the project wherever they wanted, which led to a wide range of wild approaches. The team described a resulting "explosion of creativity, with students creating interactive lamps, physical games, dancing birds, interactive sculptures…a physical iPhone Spotify DJ [and] a shy lamp that avoids human touch."

The course was irresistible for its focus on play, as well as its accessibility to students without prior coding experience. Carabott and Couche knew they could easily access high-tech equipment through their connection to higher learning, but wanted to make sure what they chose remained accessible to students after the course ended. The duo's three criteria for planning the course required tools that were 1) regularly used in the industry, 2) available and affordable, and 3) provided [transferable] skills. They also wanted to make sure the resulting course was approachable to newcomers while remaining challenging to students with higher technical proficiency.

"We needed a common thread to assess everyone's progress and make sure basic principles were understood, but the module would have to encourage bifurcations and creativity," the team said. "After considering all of this, custom robot arms felt natural. With anthropomorphism and the uniquely human ability to transpose life into the [simplest] objects, we felt this concept could turn simple motions into delightful emotions."

Students were first trained to operate a simulation of the arm on the popular software programs Unity and Arduino. After creating a control system, the students could easily design interactions between the physical and digital arm.

Each student was required to work by themselves, which Carabott and Couche hoped would encourage the sense of ownership often missing from group projects. They knew the more technically adept students tended to dominate in moments of shared responsibility, prioritizing a good grade over fully learning a process. Carabott and Couche wanted to make sure each student fully understood the tools they were using, as well as to encourage greater innovation in their professional lives.

"For the students, we felt we could provide the greatest value by objectively increasing their technical skills, with the underlying aim of increasing their emotional well-being as well," they said. "This is why we taught fundamental and transferable skills, using industry standard tools, without any sugar coating…Students worked in an open environment, with time dedicated to peer review and support, in order to help them feel comfortable learning together, and being honest about the learning they still needed. We also wanted to mimic a full design project for the students: not only creating the work, but documenting it and presenting it to the world, ultimately creating something worthy of their portfolios."

At the end of the year, the students presented their individual projects to the class, as well as guest lecturer and designer Durrell Bishop. The instructors then gave the class a surprise group assignment, where students had to dissemble, clean, and reassemble their tools in a collaborative light installation. The program was well-reviewed by participating students and ranked as one of the year's best modules in the school's end of year survey.

The success of Intentional Interactions provides a fantastic example of how educators and employers can take technological innovation out of the ivory tower. By fostering an inclusive environment that rewarded play and welcomed beginners, Carabott and Couche showed students and the design world that technology should be accessible and fun. Their focus away from dry, limited interaction systems like coding and UX encouraged students to dream big and focus on their own unique talents. With this kind of program, an aspiring engineer can make exactly the kind of technology they want to make, instead of what they think they should. A graduating student with that kind of training is more likely to enter the professional world with confidence, a heightened sense of creativity, and a sustained love for their chosen work.

Bishop was wowed by the course, and agreed wholeheartedly on its positive effect for students.

"It's a workshop that lets people play…with the right tools [and gives] them a really nice foundation that they feel like they can build on," he said. "It's going to change those students' lives."

Intentional Interactions is the Winner in the Design Education Initiative category of the 2021 Core77 Design Awards. You can check out all of the 2021 winners now on the Core77 Design Awards website.

Register for Episode 1 of our New Webinar Series with Jimmy DiResta, "Mockup to Market"

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Jimmy DiResta's new (free!) webinar series with Core77 launches in just two weeks on Wednesday, September 29th at 11 AM EST with Episode 1, "Brainstorming & Idea Generation"! The first episode will kick off a 5 week series exploring new product development using a DIY mindset, with crafty legend and YouTube star Jimmy DiResta.

Episode 1, which is now open for registration, starts as any product development journey does with the question, "how can I find my way to a golden ticket idea?" DiResta will share, first off, why he finds value in launching an entrepreneurial idea using a DIY approach, and how he generates many of his ideas while ensuring they are original.

Participants will take away from this chat with:

1. Confidence in beginning their business-focused design journey

2. Inspiration for how to spark new curiosities that lead to unique, one-of-a-kind design explorations

3. A better understanding of how to use research to confirm your idea is original with potential to succeed in the market

Ready to begin the search for your big idea? Register now for Episode 1 of our "DiResta on Design" series, airing live on Wednesday, September 29th at 11 AM EST!

Loop's Reusable Packaging System Moves to Supermarkets

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

In order to reduce single-use packaging and move towards a refill economy, reusable packaging is needed.

In the vision of ID firm Sich Design Studio, this reusable packaging would be owned by the consumer, like a gas can.

In the alternate vision of Loop, a startup that manufactures, cleans and restocks reusable packaging, this packaging is owned by the vendor, like glass milk bottles were in the 1950s.

Loop has partnered up with large chains like Kroger and Walgreens in the U.S., and ten Tesco supermarket stores in the UK. To use the latter as an example, here's how it works: Customers in the store can select from a range of over 100 products—including staples like pasta, rice, oil and sugar, as well as name-brand products like Heinz ketchup, Tetley tea and Coca-Cola soda—and purchase it in Loop-designed packaging right off the shelf.

Customers pay an additional refundable deposit of £0.20 (USD $0.28) for each package. Once they've consumed the product and emptied the packaging at home, they bring it back to the supermarket and deposit them in a Loop collection kiosk. Their deposits are refunded a few days later, via an app. And for those who don't feel like loading containers into the box one-at-a-time, they can also grab a Loop Returns Bag (also for a deposit), fill it with used Loop containers, and drop the bag into the box.

Those dirty containers, meanwhile, go to Loop partner Ecolab, a cleaning and hygiene services company. Once cleaned they're sent to a Loop warehouse and refilling facility. DHL handles the trucking in between.

Despite all of those extra steps in the reusable packaging's journey, Tesco says that "Prices for the contents of each item are comparable to the original." I am well curious as to how the economics of that all plays out.

While I'm not sure if anyone has done the math on carbon emissions, water usage and such, the math on the packaging impact has been worked out. "The impact of switching just three items of the weekly shop," writes Tesco, "could be enormous: if customers in the 10 stores switched their recyclable tomato ketchup, cola and washing up liquid bottles to the reusable Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Coca-Cola and Ecover alternatives, the packaging would be used and reused more than two and a half million times a year."

Deadline Extended to October 15! Parmigiano Reggiano Design Challenge 2021 sponsored by Alessi and Kartell

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is made today with the same locally-sourced, simple ingredients and the same artisanal methods that were first developed almost 1,000 years ago. This commitment to authenticity is one of the many reasons why Parmigiano Reggiano is considered an icon of Italian culture and it’s also why we’re launching this Design Challenge. The goal of this competition is to celebrate the role that authenticity plays in elevating the experience of cooking and eating.View the full content here

Electric Car With an On-Board E-Bike Buddy

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Electric car company Polestar and electric bike company Cake have announced another collaboration, following their stand-on cargo bike: Their Electric Mobility Bundle. It consists of Cake's lightweight Makka bike essentially docked on the back of the Polestar 2 car, and it would apparently be sold as a set.

The companies are calling it "the solution to urban mobility," and the pairing has been designed in response to policies of certain European cities, whereby cars are banned or limited in the city center. The idea here is that you'd live out in the suburbs; drive to your job in the city; park your Polestar 2 on the city outskirts; then undock the Makka and ride the rest of the way to the office, presumably docking it in bicycle parking infrastructure.

As far as the flow of power, you charge the car, and the car charges the bike. The two are attached by what they're calling an "umbilical cord," which I don't think is an apt analogy, though it sounds cute.

Prior to the emergence of COVID, it would have been easy to criticize the concept, at least for mass uptake; green forms of mass transit are undoubtedly the most efficient way to move lots of people through a city center. If large numbers of commuters instead drove a Polestar 2/Makka combination, bike traffic in the city center would quickly grow unmanageable, and the revenue loss to the mass transit services could be problematic. But now that folks aren't keen to pile into mass transit vehicles filled with people, the appeal of this mobility bundle might have more sway with individuals.

One thing I'd like to see is some non-cartoon footage of how easy or hard it is to get the bike on and off of the rack, which at this point appears to be little more than an aluminum extrusion plugged into a tow hitch.

That's an area that surely warrants some design attention, for both the appearance of the rack and the UX of mounting and demounting the bike.

Sander Nevejans' Ultra-Thin Folding Chairs

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

It makes sense that this is called the Hong Kong Chair, as that's a city where every square centimeter of interior space counts. Created by Belgian designer Sander Nevejans, it's just 2cm thick when folded. "The cold drawn Italian steel not only provides the chair's strength," writes Nevejans, who grew up working in his family's metal fabrication business, "it also adds to its elegant styling within [an interior]."

For those who prefer armrests, Nevejans also designed this Sydney Lounge Chair, which also folds down to 2cm.

Both chairs are powder-coated and feature European Oak as the wood. They were supposed to launch this year, but production has presumably been delayed by the pandemic.

Love Hultén's Killer Design for a Retro-tastic Portable Synthesizer

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Designer extraordinaire Love Hultén is at it again. This time he's received a commission to design a portable synthesizer, and his resultant EC1 doesn't disappoint:

There is considerable assembly required, but it all looks pretty do-able. The video shows you how it goes together, then reveals its impressive sonic capabilities:

An Armchair, A Sustainability Audit,and the Circular Future

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Edited by Emily R. Pellerin


I bet you're so familiar with IKEA's iconic POÄNG chair that you can easily draw it from memory: its bent wood, cantilevered frame and simple upholstery create a single, swooping motion in profile. You may have owned it at one point (are sitting in it now, even!), and have a fondness for its little bounce.

You've no doubt also seen it a dozen times abandoned on a sidewalk or alley, hoping for a second chance in someone else's home.

For many people, this is exactly how they envision the end of this chair's life: discarded. But we designers know the sad fact that, once they're plucked from street-side abandonment, too many of our objects end up in a landfill – their ultimate end-of-life – where the chemicals and plastics they were made from will contaminate the air and the watershed.

IKEA knows this too. They also know that, instead of languishing in a landfill, the materials used to make POÄNG could be the raw material banks of the future. They are not sitting still with this knowledge; they've in fact been spending the past couple years redesigning their entire product line for the circular economy. It's quite momentous.

We'll get into that in a minute. But first: since the existing POÄNG product is so ubiquitous and embodies such common manufacturing methods and materials, let's take a preemptive look at exactly what goes into making it, how easily it can currently be repaired, and if the chair is at all designed for disassembly.

Why does the POÄNG seem to be dumped on sidewalks more than the average furniture? IKEA is working on that. Photos: Sarah Templin

An Audit

If we were to redesign the POÄNG with longevity, repair, and the circular economy in mind, we would start by completing an audit to assess the sustainability of each material and process used.

First, can this product be easily disassembled? For POÄNG, the answer is "yes"; all components can be disassembled. Right on, IKEA.

Next, what materials can be reclaimed as technical nutrient (i.e. recycled) or biological nutrient (i.e. composted)? (Read more about that process here.)

The chair's hardware can, in fact, be reused or reclaimed as a technical nutrient – but unfortunately, its elements are likely too small to recycle at most residential recycling facilities, which returns responsibility to the consumer. Let's consider this a near-win, but definitely not a miss.

Generally speaking, there's a chance that upholstery textiles can be reclaimed too, depending on their make-up. POÄNG uses blended fiber upholstery fabrics, which IKEA could hypothetically make into new fibers (IKEA cites both a 100% polyester fabric and a cotton/viscose/rayon/linen/poly blend). Then there's Polyurethane upholstery foam, which the chair is stuffed with. It's notoriously difficult to recycle; at best it can be shredded and down-cycled into carpet padding. And if the upholstery foam is glued to the frame – as is the industry standard with upholstered furniture, though is NOT the case with POÄNG (a win!) – the adhesive prevents both the cushioning and the frame from easily being reclaimed. In other words, there are some gray-area successes in the case of POÄNG's fabric make-up.

On to the bones: if a product frame's veneer is over solid wood, which it is for POÄNG, there are options for reclaiming it. If, in reality, the veneer is over particle board, which is unfortunately an industry standard, it would then be full of toxic chemicals that are harmful to both the employees using them and to the consumer, off-gassing into the home. (Those chemicals seep into the soil and the watershed when the product eventually finds itself at the dump.) Another point for IKEA.

To holistically interpret the sustainability of POÄNG, we also need to assess how easily it can be repaired by a layperson. This involves auditing the ready availability of replacement hardware and cushions, and the ability to refinish its surfaces or to reupholster it entirely. We all know that IKEA does a good job of making replacement hardware available in their stores, so we might be able to repair the chair if necessary. However, for POÄNG in particular, no other replacement parts except for its cushioning are currently available directly from IKEA.

The verdict is that while it has some industry-comparable successful elements, some elements of POÄNG's design would realistically need to be reconsidered to make it a more intentionally sustainable product. IKEA is certainly not alone with this diagnosis; most furniture companies are making their products to meet worse standards, with materials that can't be reclaimed, for objects whose only future is the landfill.

POÄNG is under pressure to live up to IKEA's sustainability goals. Photo: Inter IKEA Systems B.V

What does IKEA have to say about this?

IKEA has ambitious and influential sustainability goals. As the world's largest furniture company, their initiatives have the potential to create a ripple effect across all manufacturing.

Among other things, they have been working to become energy independent by investing heavily in wind and solar power. They launched a buy-back program this year across 27 markets to refurbish and resell used IKEA furniture, with products too beat up to refurbish being recycled into raw material for future products; and they are working towards selling exclusively circular products, with an aggressive deadline of 2030.

On this particular goal, Lena Julle, the company's Sustainability Manager, tells us about the results of assessing the circular capability of over 9,500 products last year. "POÄNG was one of the products. We learned a lot about what works well today, and what we will need to update to reach our 2030 goal to sell 100% circular products." Just as our audit showed, their research found that the chair performs well against the standards of circularity, but that it falls short of being all-the-way there. "The circularity score of this product can be improved," Julle says, "by applying more standardized parts, and using more recycled or renewable material in the cushion." IKEA identifying these clear, actionable steps forward for their product is not only progressive, it is also radically hopeful.

The amazing thing about the infamous IKEA home assembly

In a way, Design for Disassembly (DfD) has always been part of IKEA's design philosophy, even if they weren't necessarily thinking of it that way. Speaking to their history of designing flat pack objects for home assembly, Julle notes that "it is also relatively easy to take steps in designing these same products to be disassembled." Having this design precedent has, in turn, made DfD very intuitive for their design team.

But anyone who has ever tried to move an IKEA bookshelf from one home to another might have a different issue in mind, one from which Julle doesn't shy away: "The big challenge lies in designing products that are possible to put back together and continue to look and function as they did before they were taken apart." With these co-standards in mind, the company eventually altered the way it thinks about circularity, revising their design principles to now include assembly, disassembly and reassembly. "This is a game-changer in enabling reuse, refurbishment, and remanufacturing, as well as continuing to enable recycling at the end of product life," says Julle. "This is the true opportunity in prolonging product life."

IKEA's wedge dowel allows furniture to be easily disassembled for moving, repair, and IKEA's buy-back program. Photo: Inter IKEA Systems B.V

With this new mantra in mind, 5 years ago IKEA introduced their wedge dowel. The proprietary wood joinery and milled grooves design was developed through craft-based, trial-and-error iterations by the brother-sister in-house designers Marianne and Knut Hagberg. The dowel is a prime example of how turning to traditional design methodologies updated a major brand's product for a more effective future. Its design allows a table to be easily assembled and disassembled without tools, hardware, or the risk of the joints getting dinged up. It's a triple win: this method reduces the material used in the design, prolongs the potential life span of the furniture, and simplifies the assembly and disassembly experience.

IKEA's commitments and implementations are not only newsworthy, they're also roadmaps. Many of the approaches they mention as crucial elements of their future planning— like audits and contemporary adaptations of traditional joinery— are in fact simple, straightforward methods rooted in centuries of design. In turn, the power in their design decisions is accessible to much of the industry across the board – it's up to us, as designers, to harness it.

UI Question: What's the Easiest, Safest Gesture to Activate a Vehicle's Automatic Liftgate?

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Great UX for a vehicle: You approach it while carrying a heavy package, and the liftgate automatically opens, allowing you to easily load. This sounds simple to execute, but surprisingly, as of yet there is no universal and perfect solution.

From a UI/UX perspective, the challenge for car manufacturers is how to avoid unintentionally triggering the opening. Imagine how annoying it would be if your trunk popped open anytime you came near it. Worse, imagine if you have something expensive in the trunk, park in a crowded parking lot and are unaware that you've triggered the trunk to open as you walk away. Thus the designers have to require a little extra UI step to confirm the user's intent, and this is what prevents it from being the magic-like experience described in the first paragraph.

Some cars feature a button on the key fob that automatically pops the trunk. But that requires at least one free hand.

Manufacturers like Toyota, GM and Honda have a low-mounted sensor that requires you to kick your foot in the air underneath the bumper. But that can be precarious for someone wearing high heels, especially if carrying something. And even wearing the most stable boots in the world, I wouldn't want to try lifting one foot in the air while carrying something heavy, particularly if I was on a slick surface.

Hyundai, Kia and Genesis have a system where you stand by the trunk for three seconds, then the liftgate automatically opens. But that three seconds can seem like an eternity if you're carrying something super-heavy.

Radac Automotive, an auto supplier that develops radar-based sensing technology, has a "Two Feet on the Ground" solution requiring "no unsafe kicking motions." Their system requires you to step up to the rear of the car, and then step back. This little dance move then pops the door.

I'm not crazy about any of the four options, but I'd choose Radac's. I think rather than gestures, voice recognition might be the way to go here, but that brings up a host of other problems.

What do you think the ideal UI would be?

Here's What It Looks Like When You Move a Car's Driving Components to the Back Seat

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Like many of us, I'm constantly seeking new ways to belittle my chauffeur. One person in Dubai figured out the best way to do it, way back in 2008: Pay an automotive customization shop to modify your SUV and place all of the driving components in the back seat area.

In this manner, you and your companion can ride up front, where the view is better. What's-his-face can sit behind you, so you don't have to look at the back of his stupid head.

The YouTube demonstration is quite strange: The head customizer, who is inside the car, seems surprised to be in a video.

An Industrial Designer's Sketchbook Shirt

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

"I am literally 'that guy' who walks around New York City with a sketchbook," writes industrial designer Kevin Banos, "constantly sketching and questioning my environment."

Banos favors the smaller Fields-Notes-sized sketchbooks, and wanted a practical shirt—something that could be worn to "interviews, client meetings and social outings"—that would ensure his sketchbook and a pen were always on-hand. Thus he teamed up with fellow designer Matthew Colon to create the Oxford-style Sketchbook Shirt:

"Made of 100% oxford cotton, averaging 28 stitches per inch, and featuring elegant mother of pearl buttons, this is one shirt I am proud to step out on the streets in," Banos writes. "In case you are wondering: Yes, the guy modeling the shirt is me!"

The Sketchbook Shirt appears to be a one-off, with no production plans.

Yuu Asaka's Designey Twist on Jigsaw Puzzles

Core 77 - 16 hours 8 min ago

Puzzle designer Yuu Asaka's creations are ranked in categories 8 (Complex), 9 (Very Difficult) and 10 (Insane) on PuzzleScore, and it's easy to see why. Asaka has turned jigsaw puzzle design on its head: Here the pieces don't need to interlock, but they must all fit into the included tray. Some of the puzzles have five corner pieces; others have more holes than circles to fill them. Some examples:

Puzzle 29

Oleo Puzzle 10

Wave Puzzle 5

Ice Puzzle 9

Wave Puzzle 7

PuzzleScore says some of these may take up to three days to solve.

While I admire Asaka's unconventional thinking, any one of these puzzles would drive me nuts.

You can see more here.

Facebook Enters Smart Glasses Market. Do you know the Competitors?

Design News - Wed, 2021-09-15 05:31
Read our takeaways about the state of smart glasses technology in today’s market.

AI Used for Early Detection and Treatment of Illnesses

Design News - Wed, 2021-09-15 05:25
Researchers have developed a bio-compatible implantable AI platform that classifies in real-time healthy and pathological patterns in biological signals such as heartbeats.

Clever Invention: A Canoe Paddle With a Built-In Bilge Pump

Core 77 - Wed, 2021-09-15 04:12

Here's something I didn't realize about seaplanes: "Seaplane floats are typically made of riveted aluminum and over time will leak," pilot John Hartz told New Atlas, "so part of the pre-flight is to pump out each float compartment. Paddles are also necessary equipment, because you can't motor all the way into the dock and there is no reverse."

Bilge pumps like the one above exist, as do canoe paddles. But Hartz's fellow seaplane pilot Dan Dufault had the genius idea to combine them, and the duo spent five years getting the design right. The result is their Paddlepump:

It also happens to be perfect for those with boats:

The shafts are made from anodized aluminum and telescope from 36" to 60". Inside is a "custom designed internal valving system [that] offers an effortless operation, high velocity flow, and quick bailing," the duo writes.

"Every canoe, dingy, kayak, and seaplane requires both a paddle and a bilge pump. We simply put them together to save weight, bulk, and simplify the experience."

Can This Interactive Game Help Young People Gain Media and Information Literacy?

Core 77 - Wed, 2021-09-15 04:12

Over the past decade, technology has wildly shifted the average American's relationship to the media. Since the mid-2000s, social media went from a nascent phenomenon to a billion-dollar industry and informational juggernaut. Earlier this year, a study by the Pew Research Center reported that 71% of American adults get at least some of their news from social media. Since the algorithms built into websites like Facebook tend to favor more divisive, sensational news, this has had a negative effect on media literacy. Social media posts aren't held to journalistic standards, so any information with the right hook can go viral. The results of this effect include skewed elections, widespread exposure to traumatic photos and videos, and heightened political rifts within communities.

This barrage of confusing information has intensified the already present strain of adolescence and young adulthood. While today's kids and teens form their opinions and identities, their access to smartphones and social media mean they're bound to interact with a wide range of messages they don't understand.

"In the pre-teen years, children begin to understand abstract concepts like causation and fairness," said a statement by Seattle design firm Artefact. "With the average American pre-teen consuming more than four and a half hours of screen media per day, it's crucial that this age group develop the critical analysis and Internet literacy needed to navigate the digital world responsibly."

Artefact hopes to empower young people with their online game The Most Likely Machine, a free educational tool perfect for remote learning. This program teaches users about the basics of creating an algorithm before illustrating the biases programmed into them. In the Most Likely Machine, a user is tasked with creating yearbook superlatives for historical figures. After assigning a person to each superlative, the user must illustrate what informed that choice. Users then assign a handful of traits that describe a person more likely to win the superlatives, creating an algorithm that will pick a winner for each. The results come with fun facts about why the algorithm selected each winner, likely contradicting a user's original assumptions. Players might be shocked to learn that Albert Einstein was a high school dropout, or that Cleopatra loved to play pranks on strangers.

In less than 15 minutes, this game helps young people make sense of the world by inviting them to challenge their own assumptions. These assumptions often show up within algorithms as biases, which can have devastating real-life consequences. The game briefly summarizes the negative effects of poorly designed algorithms, like a government-designed grading tool that judged students more harshly than their teachers. The Artefact team hopes this encourages students to be more critical of the information they receive.

"With so much content at our fingertips, digital literacy is proving to be one of the most essential pillars of an engaged and informed civil society," said the Artefact team. "But digital literacy is only one element of being a savvy digital citizen…Algorithms are the key building blocks of the digital world, and the foundation for many of its greatest capabilities – and worst consequences."

Accessible educational software becomes more and more essential as increasing stress weighs on educators, families, and young individuals. After a year of remote learning, kids are looking for stimulation, while adults are looking for educational videos and games that make it easier to nourish developing minds. With its fun, intuitive gameplay and socially responsible messaging, the Most Likely Machine makes it easy for kids and teens to learn media literacy while also giving tired teachers or parents an opportunity for a break. While they enjoy a moment of downtime, they can rest assured that their student or child is learning more about how to consciously navigate a confusing world.

"We hope the Most Likely Machine prototype serves as inspiration and a step toward a future where digital learning experiences are not only engaging and meaningful, but support students and teachers as they navigate remote education," said the Artefact team.

The Most Likely Machine is a Professional Winner in the Interaction category of the 2021 Core77 Design Awards. You can check out all of the 2021 winners now on the Core77 Design Awards website.

How to Make a Spiral Staircase More Dangerous: Allow It to Spin

Core 77 - Wed, 2021-09-15 04:12

Design students, look away. There is no application here.

At first I thought it was motorized, but now I think it's free-spinning, and he's just moving it with his feet and momentum.

What I really want to see, is him trying to walk down it.

No word on who designed/built this, or why, but plenty of discussion on it here.