A unibody, swappable, easy to clean seating design made for the Honda Kaibun project is giving us all the VIP feels. Honda Kaibun is a conceptual autonomous vehicle design that aimed to maximize the interior space and minimize the manufacturing cost & environmental impact.
There are two models depending on trip distance and this seat is made to fit both. The two-passenger module has leaner seats and individual control screens, as well as an extendable auxiliary table to maximize space. The idea was to create something clean, inspired by the seats in airplanes. The interior of the vehicle is divided into two pods and the divider is inspired by a Japanese panel. The layout is comfortable enough for passengers to extend legs thanks to the cabin layout designed around the wheel arches of the car as well as the design of the seat. While it is designed for small-distance shared transportation, these seats can be implemented for long-distance bus and train travel too. It would significantly improve the experience and encourage more people to take public/shared transportation!
Popcorn Monsoon does exactly what the name says – makes it rain popcorn! Everyone’s favorite movie theater snack that has also been a food staple for thousands of years finally gets the aesthetic machine upgrade it deserves. While the ancient Peruvians didn’t douse it with salt and butter like we do today, the process of heating kernels till they burst fluffy – whether using hot oil or heated air – has remained relatively the same. Carlier hasn’t invented anything but her Orville Redenbacher meets Alessi popcorn machine certainly makes the process of air popping (the healthiest method, mind you!) more colorful, playful, and dramatic! You can use a pot, foil-covered pan, specialty popper, microwave bag, or an air popper but the joy of hearing those mini Big Bang sounds remains the same.
“The drawings with which this project started were made to create a world of pure imagination that still makes sense in this one. Starting with shape and color makes a design process playful, later on, a surprising yet suitable function can be found and in this case, it translated into a popcorn machine. Like any other functional product, it had to be conceptualized and constructively thought through. Most popcorn machines are very dull and you can’t see the action – that’s what this machine blows up (literally!),” says Carlier. Add the kernels via a small cork-topped funnel, they will be heated up in cyclonic action, and eventually pour down like joyful, crunchy, edible rain!
You see gears in action and they’re pretty easy to fathom. Metal wheels with interlocking teeth – rotate one wheel and the other wheel rotates in the opposite direction. Change the size of one wheel and it affects the speed at which the other wheel rotates. That’s basically how any simple gearbox on an automobile/bicycle works, translating rotations from a motor or your feet into rotating wheels. What happens when you replace the teeth with magnets? The video above wonderfully explains how gears can work without the mechanical action of interlocking teeth… in fact, they can work without even touching each other! These magnetic gears are pretty interesting and whimsical to look at!
YouTuber Magnetic Games shows how these gears work by putting them together from scratch. With 3 3D-printed wheels, the apparatus comes to life. One wheel holds 32 magnets (16 on each side), while the other houses 8 magnets (4 on each side). A third stationary wheel comes with bolts attached in each hole (helping the magnetic attraction pass from one wheel to another), and the apparatus is set up with the wheels on a common axle.
Rotating one wheel causes the other to turn in the opposite direction. The wheel with more magnets rotates at a slower pace, while the wheel with less magnets rotates with a higher speed (sort of like a larger gear and smaller gear). Obviously, the magnetic resistance isn’t comparable to the physical resistance of metal gears (you couldn’t really use these in a car or bicycle), but it DOES highlight a unique relationship between gears and magnets – something I knew nothing of until now! Plus, think about it this way, less physical contact = less wear-and-tear…
People usually see a beautiful piece of material, an artist sees the unleashed potential it holds. That is what I believe designer Dan Nguyen’s motto must be every time he looks at the material of his choice – the humble block wood and turns it into fluid and soft piece of art.
Ironic by design, the San Diego based artist takes this hard material and transforms them into massive wood sculptures that hold soft ripples and folds. Nuge’s process begins with sketching out the ripples that are followed by wood cutting and then smoothing it out, till you have this flowing expanse of wood that immediately provides visual calmness to your interiors. To hear it in Nuge’s own words, “The art that I create today, in essence, is a rebellion to my architectural background. I create organic forms out of wood that is in stark contrast to the hard lines and rigid nature of architecture. My work is about flow, energy, and human connection. It is because of these elements that I have a heavy emphasis for creating everything by hand.”
Art is an extension of the artist’s imagination and their dedication to bringing that design to life. “In a world where technology is integrated into every part of our lives feeding us instant gratification, there is a beauty to being able to produce something heartfelt with my hands. This method requires enormous patience but also allows me to revisit my work daily. I massage the surface into place in a way that could not be experienced behind a computer screen. The energy can be felt when my soul is poured into my work.” And it is this energy+soothing presence you feel when you watch Nuge at work!
Designer: Dan Nguyen for L&G projects contemporary art
Probably spurred by the way the pandemic absolutely upended social communications, Google unveiled Project Starline today at its I/O 2021 event – a one-of-a-kind teleconferencing system that ditches the camera and screen for something much more advanced. Dubbed as a ‘magic window’, Project Starline creates a lifelike hologram of the person you’re chatting with. Rather than interacting with a 2-dimensional representation of them, Starline makes it feel like you’re in a chatting booth with a real person sitting behind a sheet of glass… and it’s all thanks to incredibly complex 3D scanning, imaging, and AI recognition technology.
The video does a pretty standup job of explaining how Project Starline basically works. Instead of two parties staring at their phone screens, Starline’s video-booth allows people to interact with each other via rather futuristic holograms. It literally feels like having the opposite person right in front of you, and the 3D hologram can be viewed from multiple angles for that feeling of ‘true depth’.
The technology Google is currently using is far from anything found in regular consumer tech. According to WIRED, Project Starline’s video booth uses an entire slew of depth sensors to capture you and your movements (while an AI isolates you, the foreground, from the background). 3D video is then sent to a “light field display” that lets the viewer see a complete 3D hologram of the person they’re talking to. In a demo video, people using the tech describe how lifelike the experience is. It’s “as if she was right in front of me,” one person says.
Project Starline is still in an incredibly nascent stage. It uses highly specialized (and ridiculously expensive) equipment, and it hasn’t even been cleared for sale by the FCC yet, which means we’re potentially years away from being able to chat with 3D holograms of each other. There’s even the question of how our existing internet connections could support this dense and heavy image transfer – after all, you’re not video chatting, you’re 3D chatting. Notably, the tech also seems to work only with one-on-one chats (there’s a small snippet of a 3-person chat although the third person’s a baby) and group chats seem a bit like a stretch for now. However, if the demo is as real as the Google Duplex demo we saw a few years back (where an AI booked a reservation at a salon via phone call), Project Starline might have completely reinvented video chats. Can’t wait for a day when smartphones have this technology within them!
The Bruno’s Swing is a tribute to and a celebration of the joys of motherhood! Designed by Federica Sala after the birth of her son, the swing practically becomes a kinetic sculpture and an icon of the love a mother has for her child.
“I had recently stopped swinging Bruno in my arms because he had become too heavy, but I still had that feeling: it was a wonderful sensation and I wanted to keep it”, says Federica. With Bruno’s Swing, the child sits within a heart-shaped seat, suspended from a bent-metal frame that’s styled to look like a mother. When the child swings, it almost looks as if the heart is beating with the child within it, creating a wonderful metaphor for motherly love! “It is difficult to keep the sensations: at the moment they seem unforgettable, but then many others come along and it is difficult to feel them again. This work is for Bruno to enjoy, but it is above all a ‘memorandum’ for me of this moment in which I felt like that, a strong woman, very close to her son, very much alive, with a heart that was pounding for this union.”
Being an only child, I have grown up being the only one who received all the attention from my parents. So I’m sure this sentiment is echoed heavily in my mother’s heart – the constant tug of war to hold onto her child tight and catch those moments before I grow up.
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