“When we look at what is truly sustainable, the only real model that has worked for over long periods of time is the natural world.” This Janine Benyus quote from her tedtalk advocates the use of biomimicry to improve current systems. The design process of biomimicry seeks to emulate patterns and processes found in nature. Because in nature all systems are efficient and no waste is created. Biomimicry has been used in various fields and led to some revolutionary discoveries: Velcro was the result of a study on the shape of burden burrs, the Japanese bullet train came from its engineer’s love of birds and noting how the Kingfisher darts into water. Now, another company is making use of this design lens to tackle the obstacles surrounding greenhouse production. The Sahara Forest Project is quietly working on one of the most innovative greenhouse designs in a long time.
The Saltwater Greenhouse uses seawater for temperature control to allow vegetable production in areas with limited access to freshwater. The concept was inspired by the natural water cycle by which seawater evaporates, cools to form clouds and returns to earth under the form of precipitation. While the idea took root in Finland, where SFP is based, the test pilots for the greenhouse are taking place in the deserts of Jordan and Qatar. This is because the Seawater Greenhouses is a greenhouse system design that promises to turn even the most arid land into an oasis using only seawater and light.
We have written about the innovative, social good marketing campaigns from Brazilian biscuits company Zeze Biscuits, including compliments from strangers at traffic lights, and designated bus seats for friendly people. Recently, the company presented their latest campaign, which saw on-demand footballs provided for Brazilian kids in the neighborhood. READ MORE…
Solar Impulse’s biggest legacy will be in your home – not in the skies
by Neil Ashton
After 12 years of planning and testing, Solar Impulse has finally completed its epic voyage around the world. The solar-powered plane first set off from Abu Dhabi 16 months ago, and it has since travelled some 25,000 miles (40,000km) over 17 gruelling legs – all without using a single drop of fuel.
Solar Impulse is no ordinary aircraft – it has the span of a Boeing 747 but weighs little more than a family car. Covering these huge carbon-fibre composite wings are more than 17,000 solar cells, which provide energy for its four propellers during the day, while also charging four lithium batteries which provide power during the night.
To save weight, the unpressurised cabin has just enough room for one pilot, no bigger than the front of a typical car. For up to five days and nights the pilots, Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard have to do everything in this confined space. Fly, eat, sleep (just 20 minutes at a time) and wash. In theory, Solar Impulse could fly continuously for many months, but the tiny cockpit means it must land to swap pilots after each leg. As part of their trip they have broken several world records including the longest continuous flight of any solo fixed wing aircraft – almost 118 hours.
But after this epic voyage, the real question is what will be the legacy of Solar Impulse? Are we likely to see 747s with solar cells anytime soon? The short answer is unfortunately no.
Kokiri Lab is a California-based think tank focused on pushing the boundaries of wearable tech. Their latest endeavor, Project Nourished, aims to create the most immersive virtual experience of eating. Using a VR headset, a bone conduction transducer and a scent diffuser, the team turns cubes of agar agar, a jelly-like substance made from algae, into almost any food imaginable. READ MORE…
This artwork is an inspiring view into IBM Watson’s ability to decode the subtle inferences that emerge from natural language, based on analysis of colloquial expression, tonality, sentiment and thematic concepts.
Google has had the monopoly on search engines for the past decade. The service works in such a way that already popular sites always come up on top, while small companies remain undiscovered on page 10 or even 100, unless they can afford to hire SEO specialists and pander to Google’s algorithms. Now, Million Short is an alternative search engine, which enables users to remove up to the first 1,000,000 Google results, in order to make browsing the web more surprising and give the underdog a fighting chance. READ MORE…
For education, Microsoft HoloLens will help make incredible leaps forward in productivity, collaboration, and innovation. Microsoft HoloLens transforms the way we teach anatomy and our understanding of the human body as we help to prepare the next generation of doctors.
Clothes to help wild animals survive in natural habitats, eco-friendly packaging made from algae, dynamic garments that can be configured to match style preferences – Follow the Lexus Design Award 2016 on Tumblr as we reveal this year’s 12 finalists and share your thoughts.