Reduce Green House Emissions by Using These Colorful Paints instead of Air Conditioners

The interplay between color, light, and temperature has long been a subject of scientific exploration. The colors we perceive are the result of how objects absorb and reflect light, with white being the most reflective and black being the least. Harnessing this science, researchers at Stanford University have pioneered an eco-friendly solution to regulate indoor temperatures and significantly reduce energy consumption, providing a promising alternative to traditional air conditioning systems. This breakthrough comes at a critical juncture, as the global demand for cooling and heating places immense strain on energy resources and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Designer: Stanford Research Team

I am someone who lives in Dubai and don’t even get me started about how hot it gets here throughout the year, and in the summers, it’s honestly unbearable. Living in hot climates like Dubai often means facing sweltering summers where air conditioning becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. However, the environmental consequences of heavy air conditioning usage cannot be ignored. There are many such cities with a similar issue especially with the global temperatures rising. Isn’t it so ironic that the medium we use (AC) to cool our environment momentarily, increases the temperatures in the longer run? In response to this dilemma, scientists have been tirelessly working to develop innovative solutions, and one such breakthrough is the newly invented range of paints from Stanford University.

In October of the previous year, researchers at Purdue University made headlines with their iteration of the world’s whitest paint, reflecting a remarkable 97.1% of the sun’s rays. Building on this achievement, the team at Stanford University has gone a step further by creating a palette of colors, including orange, yellow, blue, and white. This collection of pigments is designed to regulate temperatures, making spaces cooler during summer and warmer in winter, thus reducing the need for excessive heating and air conditioning.

The significance of this invention cannot be understated. Currently, heating and cooling consume around 13% of the world’s energy, contributing to approximately 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The innovative paints developed by Stanford researchers are poised to address this energy challenge head-on, substantially reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.

Key to the success of these paints is their unique composition. Unlike conventional paints, these new colors employ a dual-layer design. The bottom layer utilizes aluminum flakes to create an infrared reflective surface, while an ultrathin, infrared transparent upper layer is made from inorganic nanoparticles. This innovative structure allows the paint to reflect a significant portion of high mid-infrared light, a major contributor to heat absorption. This dual-layer design has practical implications for both cooling and heating. For instance, when applied to exterior walls and roofs, the paint reflects sunlight, preventing heat buildup. Conversely, when applied to interior walls, the lower layer reflects infrared waves, helping to retain heat within the space.

Tests have demonstrated the remarkable effectiveness of these paints. In cold conditions, energy usage for heating was reduced by 36%, while in warm conditions, cooling energy requirements were decreased by nearly 21%. This level of energy savings has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach climate control in buildings and vehicles.

One of the most appealing aspects of these paints is their aesthetics. Unlike traditional low-emissivity paints that are limited to white, metallic silver, or gray, this new range offers a variety of colors. The infrared transparent upper layer enables a broader spectrum of hues, allowing for energy-efficient designs that do not compromise on appearance. This development is particularly important for architecture and design, where aesthetics play a significant role in building construction and urban planning.

Importantly, the new paints are also durable and versatile. Both layers of the paint are water-repellent, ensuring stability even in humid environments. Cleaning painted surfaces is a breeze, requiring nothing more than a wet cloth or water flushing. Moreover, these paints have demonstrated resilience in extreme conditions, from high temperatures to acidic environments, without compromising their performance or appearance.

As this revolutionary technology continues to evolve, the research team is committed to further refining the paint formulations for real-world applications. They are exploring the possibility of replacing organic solutions with water-based alternatives, which would enhance eco-friendliness and commercial viability.

In conclusion, the innovative paints developed by scientists at Stanford University hold the promise of transforming the way we approach temperature regulation in buildings, vehicles, and beyond. By harnessing the power of color and light reflection, these paints offer an environmentally friendly solution to the growing energy consumption associated with heating and cooling. As we continue to strive for sustainable living, such groundbreaking innovations provide a glimmer of hope for a cooler, greener future.

The post Reduce Green House Emissions by Using These Colorful Paints instead of Air Conditioners first appeared on Yanko Design.

A Discovery Converting Fog into Water Means Rural Areas Can Easily Access Their Own Clean Drinking Water

We have come across so much fog and mist in our lives but have you ever thought of reversing the method of evaporation and using all these abundant water particles for potable use? In a groundbreaking achievement, researchers at ETH Zurich and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz have unlocked a transformative way to address water scarcity and pollution. By harnessing the power of fog, they have developed a cutting-edge technology that converts fog into clean, drinkable water while simultaneously purifying it from pollutants. This innovation not only offers a sustainable solution to water shortages but also contributes to environmental preservation.

Team: ETH Zurich, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research

Researhers: Ritwick Ghosh, Adrien Baut, Giorgio Belleri, Michael Kappl, Hans-Jürgen Butt, and Thomas M. Schutzius

The core of this revolutionary technology lies in a closely meshed lattice of metal wire, ingeniously coated with a specialized mixture of polymers and titanium dioxide. This unique combination serves a dual purpose: efficiently capturing water droplets from fog and rapidly channeling them into a collection container before the wind can scatter them. Meanwhile, titanium dioxide plays a pivotal role in a chemical process that breaks down organic pollutants found in the droplets, resulting in a purer water source.

The process starts with the closely woven mesh attracting and retaining water droplets, a feat accomplished by the polymers. This clever design minimizes the risk of droplets being blown away by the wind, ensuring maximum water capture efficiency. Simultaneously, titanium dioxide initiates a chemical reaction that disintegrates the molecules of various organic pollutants present in the water droplets. This dual mechanism leads to the production of clean, drinkable water that’s safe for human consumption.

A remarkable aspect of this innovation is its sustainability quotient. The materials employed and the technology’s reliance on solar panels for power consumption contribute to its eco-friendly nature. Harnessing the power of the sun, a mere thirty minutes of sunlight can recharge the titanium dioxide, granting an additional twenty-four hours of purification through photocatalytic memory. This efficient utilization of resources potentially translates into minimal maintenance and energy requirements. The collaborative efforts of researchers have yielded astonishing results. Rigorous testing in both laboratory and small-scale pilot plant settings in Zurich has demonstrated the system’s capabilities. Notably, the nets were able to harvest eight percent of the water content from fog and eliminate a staggering ninety-four percent of harmful compounds that could render the water undrinkable or unsuitable for various applications. This included the efficient breakdown of fine diesel droplets and the elimination of the hormonally active agent bisphenol A.

The technology’s potential extends beyond fog conversion. In industrial cooling towers, where steam typically dissipates into the atmosphere, this innovation can be employed to recover and purify water before its release. This opens possibilities for more responsible water management in industries.

The breakthrough potential of this fog-to-water technology is not confined to laboratories. With its capability to function efficiently in fog-prone regions such as Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Morocco, and Oman, the innovation promises to bring clean, drinkable water to areas plagued by water scarcity. It stands as a beacon of hope for a sustainable future where access to clean water is a reality for all.

The collaborative efforts of ETH Zurich and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have led to a groundbreaking innovation that transforms polluted fog into a valuable resource—clean, drinkable water. This technology holds immense promise in addressing water scarcity challenges while championing environmental responsibility. With its remarkable ability to harness fog and purify water, it ushers in a future where access to clean water is within reach, safeguarding the health and well-being of communities worldwide.

The post A Discovery Converting Fog into Water Means Rural Areas Can Easily Access Their Own Clean Drinking Water first appeared on Yanko Design.

Fungi could be the material that keeps your home fire-proof in the future

Just the other night while I was on vacation, a fire alarm went off in our hostel and I slightly panicked that we would meet our end in a small albeit picturesque corner of the world. It’s not something that anyone would want but with the way most buildings are structured, it’s also a very distinct possibility. But what if there was a flame-resistant and sustainable material that can prevent things like this from happening and what if that material is fungi?

Designer: RMIT University

A team from a Melbourne university has now been able to create material from the chemical composition of mycelium that is fire-retardant and can eventually be used for building insulation. Basically, you’re turning fungi into mycelium sheets that can be used for the building industry and even other industries like fashion. Not only is it fire-retardant but it is alos sustainable and also scalable to some extent.

They were able to produce this paper thin layer that can be put over flammable substrates and this was done through the process of bioengineering these fungi. The mycelium turns into char when exposed to intense heat or fire so this is something that can used for building insulation if you want to keep the structure fireproof. They will also be able to collaborate with the mushroom industry to help it become a bit more scalable.

There is also that added bonus of the fungi being safe not just for humans but also a good thing for the environment. Bioderived mycelium is plastic and toxins free band is also able to produce naturally occurring water and carbon dioxide. The researchers are now working on creating bioengineered fungal mats to boost the fire-safety ratings in buildings as they aim to be able to reduce flame intensity in a sustainable way.

The post Fungi could be the material that keeps your home fire-proof in the future first appeared on Yanko Design.

The Secret to Stronger, Lighter Tools: Meet the Hand-Plier with a Durable, Hollow Design

Following in the footsteps of this generative-designed adjustable wrench by Desktop Metal, the Alu-Zange is an aluminum prototype for a pair of hand-pliers with maximum strength in a minimal material footprint. Designed by Jakob Kukula, former student at Bauhaus University, Weimar, the Alu-Zange pushes the boundaries of product functionality using SKO, or Soft-Kill Option, an evolutionary approach for topology optimization that uses algorithms to determine the least amount of material required to retain 100% product functionality. In a way, SKO works exactly how nature does, optimizing the shape and structure of the skeletons of animals, giving them an evolutionary edge in their own way.

The Alu-Zange was the result of an SKO-based university project, but its practical design has applications that extend beyond the confines of a school curriculum. The hand-plier comes with a design that’s ergonomic and functional, but boasts of a lightweight design thanks to how little material it actually uses. To ensure that the slim plier has no points of failure, it comes with a four-point linkage system that lets you grip objects with the handles. easily. Moreover, the handles have a grippy, broad design that can either be held the conventional way, or in a secure manner by sliding your thumb and finger into the hollow elements in the grip’s design.

Designer: Jakob Kukula

The Alu-Zange’s unique design is the result of a generative algorithm that helps determine the form with the best strength-to-weight ratio possible. Obviously, ergonomics and usability play a main role here, which is where Jakob’s design abilities come in. The unique linkage system between the grip and the plier jaws is a unique touch too, and I could totally see it having its own function as well, like gripping or breaking open things… but I’m getting ahead of myself here. What’s remarkable here is how incredibly skeletal the plier looks, showing that you don’t need to make workshop tools rugged. You just need to be efficient with how you allocate material.

Purely for the purpose of this university exercise, Jakob fabricated his concept from plastic and aluminum, although the real tool would be made from cast iron or tool steel. It’s possible to 3D-print this design, although casting seems like the best bet too, given how the form has no complicated contours that would make molding and de-molding difficult. The hinge could still be a single pivot mechanism if you ask me, but I’m honestly curious to see how this 4-point linkage would work.

The post The Secret to Stronger, Lighter Tools: Meet the Hand-Plier with a Durable, Hollow Design first appeared on Yanko Design.

3D-printed workshop wrench offers 100% of the strength with just 70% of the material

Look at these wrenches and you’ll almost instantly notice something different about them. Unlike the die-cast wrenches you see with solid metal bodies, these unique tools from Desktop Metal come with a textured inner surface, featuring multiple holes and cavities. The inner surface of these wrenches use a gyroid-style in-fill, commonly seen in 3D printing to fill up inner spaces with support material while conserving plastic. The gyroid inner mass gives these metal wrenches their strength while simultaneously cutting down on material and weight. The result is the same, functional tool but with nearly 30% less mass and weight.

Designer: Desktop Metal

This sort of intricate manufacturing is only achievable using 3D printing. In this case, the wrenches are fabricated using a process known as Single Pass Jetting, a proprietary form of metal 3D printing developed in-house by Desktop Metal. The prototype wrench is less of an actual product and more of a showcase of Desktop Metal’s capabilities, with its extensive range of metal printing machines that cover industrial and consumer-grade use-cases.

The result of Desktop Metal’s SPJ printing is quite remarkable. The parts have a much higher and more uniform density (up to 99%) than other metal 3D printing methods while being much faster too. The way single-pass jetting or binder jetting technology works is that it uses a binding material in a vat of powdered metal to create metal products rather than using lasers to fuse metallic dust together. Once the part is made, it’s sent into a furnace for the sintering process, which causes the metallic parts to fuse together and the binder to melt out in the process. You can read more about it here.

The post 3D-printed workshop wrench offers 100% of the strength with just 70% of the material first appeared on Yanko Design.

Computer accessories look like delicious hard candy on your desktop

From keyboards to mice to webcams, computer peripherals have existed since the dawn of computers themselves, and most of these were designed for technical function more than anything else. It has only been in the last few decades that ergonomics and comfort have become a core focus for some but not all of these products, and aesthetics have arrived even more recently only. Of course, function, ergonomics, and form aren’t mutually exclusive, but it takes a lot more work to make sure that all three boxes are checked. It requires a lot of back and forth between designers and engineers and definitely a lot of prototyping and waiting time. With the right tool, however, that waiting time could take only minutes, or at most two days, allowing manufacturers to play around with materials and finishes that lead to eye-catching results like this almost literally sweet collection of peripherals for desktops and laptops.

Designer: Beta Design Office

It’s not really that much of a surprise that computer accessories have traditionally been labeled as utilitarian or even geeky products. The most common designs don’t inspire much appreciation because of their, well, common forms, and they aren’t even that comfortable to use for long periods of time. Fortunately, we have come to a point where good ergonomics and good lucks have become more important and also more common, like these prototypes for three of the most common computer accessories that look almost delicious enough to lick.

The Mayku Accessories collection comprises a keyboard, a mouse, and a more traditional webcam that attaches to the top of a monitor. While their designs don’t show anything functionally new, it’s their appearance that really catches the eye. Instead of using the usual flat surfaces and sharp corners, these products use “softer,” more curved forms, like the sides and tops of the keycaps, the entire surface of the mouse, or the body of the webcam.

While the designs themselves are already interesting, the story behind their creation is equally so. It is the result of multiple iterations and prototypes that played around with different colors, materials, and finishes, more commonly known as “CMF” in the design world. The end result is a series of shells that use soft colors and sometimes transparent materials, making these usually cold and impersonal devices look like hard candy or even soft marshmallows.

What actually made this possible is a novel machine called the Mayku Multiplier that allows the creation of molds and parts in just minutes rather than hours. This has made it easier to create those prototypes with different CMFs, allowing designers to quickly discuss and change designs in just days instead of weeks. With tools such as this multiplier and 3D printers becoming more accessible, it will be easier and more feasible to create designs that buck trends and appeal to the sensibilities of different people while still maintaining their technical features and ergonomics.

The post Computer accessories look like delicious hard candy on your desktop first appeared on Yanko Design.

AI-enhanced super workers could be a reality with this AR headband that can be fastened to industrial helmets

Frontline workers in hazardous industrial environments are often overworked due to shortage of labor and are exposed to perilous situations, which can lead to errors and increase the proportion of man-made hazards. Since state-of-the-art technology is changing the face of other industries; it is only fitting to integrate augmented reality into the helmet – the most important accessory – of frontline workers at oil & gas plants, power, aviation, railway, and many such industries to solve these problems.

Enter X-Craft – the first augmented reality device to achieve an explosion-proof protection rating. Designed by Rokid, the X-Craft is created in order to bring a technological transformation in the industry and produce a generation of “super workers.” Basically, this is an industrial explosion-proof AR headband that can fit around safety helmets and hard hats to armor frontline workers with technology that can facilitate in inspections, remote collaborations, trainings, and day-to-day operations.

Designer: Rokid

The headband in addition to AI and AR integration is also embedded with a 5G module to ensure brisk processing and real-time information storage and transmission. The headband is further equipped with a 40° field of view (FoV) display – right in front of the eye – and has a movable camera positioned just above. A secondary camera flip to switch is placed further up – around the forehead (when the headband is worn). The display employs waveguide optical technology to ensure it has a see-through aesthetic with high contrast and light transmission of up to 80 percent.

For the ones who work in more high-risk environments, the headband – featuring a user-friendly control knob on the temple – can be further attached with other peripherals and accessories such as industrial endoscope, infrared sensors, etc to enhance its capabilities and be more assistive to workers. Even with all the tech embedded and the possibility of additional attachments, the headband remains comfortable to wear. Its weight is evenly distributed and the headband’s detachable buckle ensures it can be wrapped around a large variety of helmets and hard hats.

Born to assist super workers in the highest-risk environments, the X-Craft is made to beat the elements. The IP66 water and dustproof rated headband can easily process large amounts of information and data over the cloud and facilitate real-time remote collaboration between teams. To ensure what is seen and transmitted is without a glitch, the X-Craft features three AI-enabled noise reduction mics that pick accurate sounds in the nosiest industrial environments.

The post AI-enhanced super workers could be a reality with this AR headband that can be fastened to industrial helmets first appeared on Yanko Design.

The world’s largest algae growth pond uses nature-based technology to capture CO2 emissions

Brilliant Planet, a renewable energy semiconductor manufacturing company, operates a 30,000-square-meter production facility where they capture CO2 emissions via the largest algae growth pond in the world.

Algae is like magic. Consumed by humans as a superfood, algae promotes healthy skin, produces essential amino acids, and contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Then, on a larger scale, when algae are grown in the sunlight, the plants absorb carbon dioxide, like any other plant, and release oxygen into the atmosphere.

Designer: Brilliant Planet

For higher productivity rates, algae can be grown in controlled areas to absorb large amounts of CO2 and convert it to biomass and oxygen via photosynthesis. Brilliant Planet, a UK-based renewable energy semiconductor manufacturing company, is tapping into the magic of algae to create an affordable means of “permanently and quantifiably sequestering carbon at the gigaton scale,” as the company describes.

In 2013, Brilliant Planet began as a three-square-meter experiment on the shores of St Helena, South Africa. Today, they’ve grown into a 30,000-square-meter production facility based in the coastal desert of Morocco, where the world’s largest algae growth pond can be found. While algae systems, a full service that converts algae to energy, exist in high numbers around the world, Brilliant Planet stands apart from the rest by being entirely nature-based.

Speaking about their nature-based operation, Brilliant Planet notes, “We’re different from conventional algae systems. We don’t scale up an artificial test tube with artificial seawater and pumped in carbon dioxide. Our nature-based system scales down the ocean to use natural seawater, nutrients, and CO2. This natural process deacidifies seawater, enhances local ecosystems, and also enables paradigm-shifting levels of affordability.”

In the ocean, algae blooms take place seasonally, but Brilliant Planet developed a natural process that essentially “downscales” the ocean to grow algae quickly all year-round. Through this process, the algae system can sequester CO2 at far less cost and at a much quicker rate than direct air capture plants that are meant to capture airborne CO2 particles. For nearly five years, Brilliant Planet has been running its test site in Morocco to much avail, leading to plans for larger demonstration facilities and ultimately a commercial facility by 2024.

The post The world’s largest algae growth pond uses nature-based technology to capture CO2 emissions first appeared on Yanko Design.

3D-printed artificial reefs made from cremains are designed to regenerate marine biodiversity

Resting Reefs is a system of artificial reefs that are 3D-printed from the cremated ashes of passed-over loved ones.

Spreading the ashes of relatives who’ve passed over across the ocean is a beautiful way to memorialize loved ones. While the symbolism behind it is the point of tossing your loved ones’ ashes into the wind, Royal College of Art graduates Louise Lenborg Skajem and Aura Elena Murillo Pérez developed a means to still memorialize our passed-over loved ones while regenerating endangered ecosystems in the process. Resting Reef, a line of artificial reefs made from cremated ashes using 3D technologies, marks the culmination of Lenborg Skajem’s and Murillo Pérez’s studies at RCA.

Designers: Louise Lenborg Skajem and Aura Elena Murillo Pérez

Working with the remains of deceased animals instead of human ashes, the design duo combined animal bones with pulverized oyster shells and a binder to create a composite to be 3D-printed into stippled mounds that resemble underwater reefs. While the designers are still testing their formulas, “it will contain a binder like a low-carbon cement suitable for marine environments.”

The 3D-printed mounds offer ideal growing conditions for oysters by mimicking the form and natural growing scheme of ​​stromatolite reefs, which are formed from microorganisms like blue-green algae. Forming the cremated ashes into solid reef mounds also allows surviving family members to visit their loved ones’ eternal resting places.

Built to prevent natural and human-induced erosion, protect shorelines from the natural elements, and regenerate native biodiversity, Resting Reef transforms traditional funeral services into preservational burial methods that protect marine life. Putting the customizable process in their own words, the design duo explains, “The way they grow is in layers, which is very similar to how oyster shells grow. We are using 3D printers to bio-mimic similar layers and ridges that are ideal for small marine organisms to attach to.”

The post 3D-printed artificial reefs made from cremains are designed to regenerate marine biodiversity first appeared on Yanko Design.

Traditional Czechoslovakian glassmakers handcraft these multifaceted glass crystal light fixtures

Bomma implements the Czechoslovakian craft of glassmaking to produce whimsical, yet elegant displays of glass crystal light fixtures.

Bomma is a glassmaking company that specializes in the traditional Czechoslovakian craft of glassmaking to produce customized household fixtures and decorative interior elements. The tradition dates back centuries in the East Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. Bringing it into the contemporary world, modern technologies and bespoke machinery join arms with master craftsmen to deliver fixtures rooted in history built for today’s world.

Designer: Bomma, Dechem Studio, studio deFORM, rückl, Ota Svoboda

Hailing from Dechem Studio, studio deFORM, and rückl, the designers, including Ota Svoboda, behind Bomma’s recent line have been inspired by irregular shapes of the natural world. The craftsmen work with six tons of refined, extra-clear crystal each and every day to add to the company’s eighteen collections of light fixtures. Five different glass crystal compositions comprise Bomma’s Constellations project, which takes one of the five crystal compositions and configures them into bespoke lighting fixtures.

The Pyrite collection, inspired by the mineral of its namesake, is defined by and recognized for its cubic structure. “By blowing a molten organic substance into a precise cold form, the skilled hands of our glassmakers create a unique light fixture of [an] elemental, yet perfect shape,” the glassmakers at Bomma go on to describe, “The gleaming surface of this hand-blown crystal cube is enclosed from three sides by a polished metal component in either silver or gold tones.”

The Dark & Bright Star collection takes fun house lighting and gives it a touch of coordinated elegance to resemble the look of a starry night sky. “The light source is placed within each mouth-blown piece,” the craftsmen describe the textured glass covering as, “the shining center of a precisely cut crystal star.”

Keeping with the same whimsical personality, Bomma’s Soap Mini collection consists of an asymmetrical collection of raindrop-shaped glass light bulbs. When configured in a cluster together, the light bulbs are meant to take on the look of irregular, cartoon clouds of soap bubbles as the designers note, “Each piece is hand-blown without a mold, producing an original in both shape and color.”

Bomma describes the Lens collection as “hypnotic,” for its bulbous glass coverings and shaded color tones. Characterized by two convex lens coverings that encase the bulb’s light source, “two lenses harmoniously encapsulate their interior light source, playing a symphony of reflections.

In close collaboration with Bomma’s sister brand, Rückl, the Metamorphosis collection “combines the talents of these sister glassmaking brands – the breathtaking art of hand-cut crystal from Rückl, with exceptional technical solutions and the principle of light constellations typical for Bomma.”

The fixtures stand out for their snakeskin-like textures that form into the shapes of Chinese lanterns. Coated in muted tones of black, amber, and white, the Metamorphosis collection is all about the mood lighting.

Suspended from the ceiling, the collections of light fixtures create dazzling chandelier displays. 

The craftsmen work with heavy glass fixtures using only their hands and bespoke machinery. 

Requiring a team of builders, the light fixtures are handblown and molded into shape.

Each step of the process is delicate and requires the finest touch. 

The post Traditional Czechoslovakian glassmakers handcraft these multifaceted glass crystal light fixtures first appeared on Yanko Design.