You already have a tasty looking sleeping bag for when you’re outdoors, but what about when you’re just chilling at home? Lazy Oaf’s got your back – and butt – with this sleeping bag shaped like a slice. Just don’t spill your real pizza on it.
Designed by Alexsander Suhih and Maxim Mezentsev, the E-inkey is similar to the Optimus Popularis in that the appearance of each key can be modified. But the E-inkey uses E-ink, so it’s lighter and consumes less electricity.
Last week, when Smith + Gill Architects unveiled its design for Imperial Tower, which will become Mumbai’s tallest building (by a lot!), their description of the project confounded many critics. “The building,” the architects explained, “is designed to confuse the wind.” Huh? Curious to know exactly what that meant, I got in touch with the Gordon Gill, one half of the Chicago-based office.
There aren’t many skyscrapers in the city, which is part of the reason Smith + Gill’s design shocked so many people. Misgivings about the city's dramatic divide between rich and poor aside, the 116-story, kidney-shaped supertall will tower 1200 feet above the rest of Mumbai when it opens. The glass facade is punched with dozens of cut-outs—sometimes they’re balconies, sometimes they’re gardens, and sometimes they’re functionless.
According to Gill, the cut-out pattern isn’t ornamental—it’s a crucial structural detail that alleviates the negative pressure formed by wind buffeting the tall, thin structure. “What happens is that the wind goes around it on one side, creating a vortex at the opposite end. The same thing happens on the other side, creating negative pressure, and pulling the building from side to side. If the building is smooth, you can end up with a harmonic movement, like a blade of grass in the wind.”
That’s why most supertalls have mass dampers on the roof—they counteract the natural vibration of the building. Imperial Tower, Gill explains, seeks to counteract vibration by breaking up the negative pressure that streams along the facade. “I always say we’re basically tuning the building,” he says. “If we think of this thing as an instrument, you’re cutting grooves into the body, you can basically define the characteristics of its behavior.”
There still aren’t a huge number of supertalls in the world—and spending the cash and years to build one doesn’t leave much room for experimentation. “Ideas about wind behavior is still being developed,” Gill explains. “When I was in school, the basic assumption was that an extruded tube was the perfect shape. Then it was an extruded square. The truth is, neither one of those is accurate.”
Instead, the office relies on data from a wind tunnel facility in Waterloo, Canada, to provide feedback on how the wind will react to particular footprint, environment, or facade. They also borrow ideas from auto and aerospace engineering; After all, structures that reach close to a half mile into the sky are more like space shuttles than buildings. And just like an early space mission, we won't know if this design actually works until it's tested. [Smith + Gill]
Similar to the Tick Clip, Why The Friday’s Instant Table are tall clamps that can be attached to any suitable material to make a table or perhaps a bed. The resulting furniture can easily be disassembled.
I have been tasked to make a slideshow for an event at work. I don’t want to make a generic PowerPoint with just boring text or pictures. What are some ways I can enhance the slideshow so it looks impressive and knocks the socks off my audience?
Are we on the verge of a third industrial revolution? The editors at The Economist certainly think so. But while rapid prototyping and the open source movement have been around for decades now, we had yet to see anyone take a truly comprehensive look at the transformation in manufacturing. That is, until the New Museum's latest show, Adhocracy, came along.
Adhocracy is, in the word of its curator, Domus editor Joseph Grima, “an exhibition about people who make things.” In more specific terms, it’s a collection of 25 machines, printers, apps, and objects that illustrate how rapid prototyping and DIY culture is changing how we make and buy objects.
That can mean anything from a set of standardized joints that let the user build a bike out of nearly any material, to a solar-powered 3D printer that uses sand from the surrounding desert, to an opensource guide to repairing household appliances. The objects vary, but the ethos stays the same: making is no longer the purview of companies which manufacture millions of the same object. It's the right of individuals, who are manufacturing one or two objects to fit their own unique needs, then passing along their code. Take a look at eight highlights below—or check out the show until July 7.
ProdUSER by Tristan Kopp:
ProdUSER isn't a bike—it's a series of connections that let people built their own bikes, out of whatever materials available. Those metal joints on the frames? Those are the components. The idea is to make it easier to assemble a bike in remote or developing areas.
Blablablab’s “Be Your Own Souvenir” project:
Visitors can have their portrait printed at this installation by Barcelona studio Blablablab, which uses three Kinects to generate a point cloud of whomever is standing on a platform in the gallery. Then, the person manning the booth exports the model to the nearby MakerBot 3D printer, et voila—your own souvenir. Of yourself.
Markus Kayser's Solar Sinter:
German designer Markus Kayser made news back in 2010 with a device he called SunCutter—a solar-powered laser cutter. Solar Sinter goes one step further: the solar-powered 3D printer generates objects using sand from wherever it's placed. It's a desert-optimized rapid prototyping wonder.
OpenStructures by Thomas Lommée and Jesse Howard
OpenStructures isn't an object so much as a network. It gives DIYers a modular grid around which to design and model their work, establishing a standard vocabulary that would make designs—like kids' swing or 3D-printed water filter above—easier to share. It's been described as "Esperanto for objects."
Thibault Brevet’s DRM Chair:
The DRM (or Digital Rights Management) Chair is a commentary on the practice of building planned self-destruction into a particular digital product. After it's been sat on eight times, the chair falls apart—just like a virtual DRM for digital files.
In the late 1950s, Heineken asked Dutch architect John Habraken to design a bottle that could double as a building material in developing countries. Only 60,000 of the bottles were ever produced, thanks to what some describe as the "internal bureaucracy" of the company. Today, some are pushing for their reintroduction in developing countries, where ready-made bricks could be hugely useful.
Drones+ app by Josh Begley
Drones+ isn't exactly an object, and it doesn't deal with manufacturing, but it is a great example of the ethos of the show. NYU grad student Josh Begley created the app to notify users of recent CIA drone strikes that resulted in mortalities—the app, for mysterious reasons, was later rejected by the Apple Store.
Unfold’s “Stratigraphic Manufactury:
Using clay dug up from sites around the city, the designers behind the Stratigraphic Manufactury print cups, bowls, and vases from ceramic powder. They published their 3D models online, and asked people from around the world to print the same objects using local clay. The result is a series of objects that are the same, but subtly different, thanks to the unique properties of local materials.
Escalators that curve. Escalators that glow. Quadruple-decker, gold-plated, Tron-themed escalators. The moving staircase may have been an American invention, but it's the Japanese who have really perfected them.
Tokyo Escalator, a blog devoted to the city's many variations on a theme, shows us some of the most fascinating. The encyclopedic site is the work of one Miha Tamura, a local blogger who snaps escalators around the city as she finds them. She's an equal-opportunity elevator photographer, capturing the boring along with the unusual, and says she considers her images "data" rather than art. But, as she told Ping Magazine, she does have a favorite:
The most amazing is the spiral escalator made by Mitsubishi Electric. Curving escalators were conceived from early on when escalators were invented, but they are very difficult and even today Mitsubishi Electric is the only one in the world who can make them. If I hadn’t come across this spiral escalator in Yokohama I don’t think I would have committed myself to escalators as much as I have.
To most of us, escalators are only remarkable when they feature in a hilarious YouTube video. But Tamura's work is a reminder that at one time, they were nothing short of revolutionary—a piece of technology that articulated the unique needs of the super-dense city.
Mitsubishi's curving masterpiece.