Kitx, created by Kit Willow Podgornik, is a conscious and therapeutic fashion Brand which uses ancient Ayurvedic recipes from South India to dye its fabrics and add antibacterial properties to garments. Meanwhile, Emily Bode designs textiles with medicinal properties using indigo yarns dyed by hand with basil, neem and turmeric, resulting in an aromatic tissue that helps cure respiratory problems.
White Spots App brings users to places that are disconnected from the internet understanding that being offline is the new luxury. The app uses an intelligent geo-localization system and virtual reality to show digital networks that surround a person in real time, and spots unconnected places on a world map. The app proposes different routes to nearest “white spot”, a place free of electromagnetic waves where feel calmer and safer.
The fashion brand Become has launched intelligent basics garments to help menopausal women manage hot flashes. The seamless knit technology wicks moisture and heat away from the body as users’ temperature increases. When body begins the rapid cool down, it transfers the heat back to prevent the chills while keeping the moisture at bay.
The DO Black, developed by Doconomy, is a credit card that tracks the carbon dioxide emissions of purchases and caps the climate impact of users' spending. The card is linked with an app that uses the Åland Index calculation system to measure the CO2 produced with every transaction allowing users to put limits on their consumptions to reduce the carbon footprint each day.
Spot, designed by Gadi Amit studio, is a toy to foster a kind of junior-level mindfulness by nurturing children's attention spans. The Artificial intelligence-equipped toy is a handheld scanner that kids can point at a living object in nature to hear it talk back, incorporating useful information to suit children ages five to nine. Then Spot uses its in-built projector to present a story woven around the day's discoveries creating a new play at bedtime. The designers found that this kind of toy could encourage focus and a natural pace of experiencing as opposed to instant gratification.
Inmergo headphones, designed by Rocco Giovannoni, provides a rich audio for people who are hard of hearing trough a new bone-conduction audio technology. The headphones, made with soft silicone, bypasses the eardrum and convey sound as vibrations through the bones of the skull, directly to the cochlea — the "hearing" part of the inner ear, but it does so via waterproof speakers that are fully immersed in liquid and then sealed in a pliable membrane. This membrane sits against a person's skin, transmitting sound vibrations through touch.
The design studio Donttakethisthewrongway installed bright yellow punching bags on the streets of Soho, Chelsea and Washington Square Park inviting New Yorkers to release their frustrations in a safe, communal space. The public punching bags offered an outlet for expressing emotions that we all face daily in a city, as a means to develop a healthier way to address personal and collective issues in a public setting.
A DANCE CLUB TO FIGHT LONELINESS AMONG ELDERLY PEOPLE
The Posh Club is a social club for the elderly in the style of an “elegant” evening tea inspired by the 40’s with live shows and volunteer waiters, to combat loneliness and promote intergenerational interaction.
Paradise Now by Bompas and Parr was a free and open-air urban facility that invited people to collectively enjoy a sunset in dunes infused with vitamins, rehydrate under fog falls, and cleanse themselves with rainwater enriched with minerals from exotic springs from around the world.
The opera ‘The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 o’clock’, created by Liz Diller, brought together 1,000 singers along the NYC High Line in a free, immersive choral experience that helped rethink public space in an artistic and collective way.
The artwork Forced Empathy, by Tania Bruguera in the Tate Modern, requires that a large group of people come together and lie on the floor at the same time to reveal - through the body heat generated by the entire group - a hidden portrait of Yousef, a young Syrian who emigrated to London.
CopenHill is a revolutionary power plant in Copenhagen which burns waste instead of fossil fuel and has a roof with multiples functions. Based on the idea of “hedonistic sustainability”, the architects created a real mountain with a green forest area, a hiking trail, climbing and a ski slope. The design adds a “fun factor” into a nondescript industrial building and inserts a hill in the city’s flat topography.
A WEBSITE TO PROMOTE TRANSPARENCY BEHIND ALGORITHMS
Algo Transparency (algotransparency.org) aims to inform citizens on the mechanisms behind the algorithms that determine and shape access to information. The goal is avoiding the bias that Artificial Intelligence creates from market needs that negatively influence people. Technological experts developed a program that identifies the most recommended videos by YouTube’s algorithm, based on a given search.
Sony’s studio, Pixelopus, has released a new videogame called Concrete Genie where the protagonist, Ash, is a young artist living in dull fishing town. His job is to fill the landscape with street art using a magic paintbrush, dodging bullies and adding colors to their life. Developers turned to the PlayStation’s DualShock 4 controller, utilizing the motion sensors to turn it into a paintbrush.
The Pokémon Company has announced that it will soon launch an app that ‘turns sleeping into entertainment’. The app will track nightly sleep and assign a score based on sleep target – how regular, how long, etc. The aim will be to reward the day gaming experience when healthier sleeping habits are achieved.
A CIRCUS USES HOLOGRAMS INSTEAD OF LIVE ANIMAL PERFORMERS
The German Circus Roncalli uses 3-D holograms to present animal performers in its shows. Some of the holographic acts replicate traditional circus fare while others are more fantastical. In this way, the circus is preserving the tradition of animal acts while eliminating concerns of animal cruelty.
An anti-groping device developed by the firm Shachihata in Japan will help victims of sexual harassment on public transport to mark their assailants with an invisible ink stamp in the shape of a hand. People can then use the device's black light to identify those who have been marked.
Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu and Caroline Hlahla designed the Sibahle doll collection (‘we are beautiful’ in the Zulu language), with the intention of changing the paradigm of African toys based on ‘white’ models and proposing new references to girls and boys. The collection includes black and mestizo dolls, with Indian features and even vitiligo.
The company Vollebak has designed a T-shirt using just plants and algae. The shirt is made from pulped eucalyptus and beech from sustainably managed forests, and algae grown in bioreactorswill, so the tissue can biodegrade in just 12 weeks.
Nike Adventure Club is a subscription plan for kid’s sneakers to make it easy for parents to keep up with their kids’ fast-growing feet and tendency to trash sneakers quickly. It offers parents three subscription tiers meant for kids ages two through 10. They can sign up to get four pairs of sneakers a year for $20 a month, six pairs for $30 a month, or 12 pairs for $50 a month. This subscription program is also a way to start building loyal customers from children.
British Airways is offerinng VR entertainment on select first class flights. Customers have their own 3D cinema in the sky, and can watch a variety of films, documentaries and travel shows in 2D, 3D or 360° formats. The line-up also includes a range of expertly-selected therapeutic VR experiences, such as guided meditation and sound therapy, specifically designed for those who fear flying.
Yona is the brainchild of musician Ash Koosha and artist Isabella Winthrop, who programmed her with the ability to create her own lyrics, chords and melodies through Artificial Intelligence. The virtual performance is a perfect mix between emotion, creativity and science. Yona develops in accordance with aggregate data of users online to expand ideas of collective consciousness, machine creativity and online ownership.
ARCHITECTURE AND FOREST THERAPY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY
The Green Villa is a hybrid office and residential building designed by MVRDV based on the principles of forest therapy, with plants embedded into its architecture. Studies shows that plants decrease people’s cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. The project includes a plant and tree library, as well as recycled rainwater to nourish the front-facing plants year-round.
Amelia Showfields is a character played by an actress in Showfields: a curated, immersive retail experience where customers can interact with products before they buy them providing both entertainment and escapism. Amelia gives customers a tour of the store, entertains them and adds a spark of whimsical madness to store.
In the last 12 months more Swedes have refused to take air travels because of “Flygskam” feeling, or “flight shame”, the embarrassment that local travellers feel about their environmental impact (source: Swedavia). The 16-year-old Swedish climate-change activist Greta Thunberg is sailing currently from Britain to New York, where she will attend the UN’s Climate Action Summit. Due to the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with air travel, Greta refuses to fly.
Due to butterfly populations plummeting, a new New York office building designed by Terreform One has been conceived to help give monarch butterflies a place to live. The facade is a wildlife habitat with a climate-controlled space where suspended milkweed vines and flowers support butterflies through their life cycle. Tiles that are 3D-printed from carbon-absorbing concrete give the insects places to land. Gardens on the roof and a terrace are filled with more pollinator-friendly plants.
AIR CONDITIONER WEARABLES TO FACE HEAT WAVES IN THE CITY
Sony designed Reon Pocket, a cooling wearable device to put right at the back of the neck in a specially designed undershirt’s pocket and deliver instant cooling thanks to a property of semi-conductors called the Peltier effect. The startup Embr Labs developed the Embr Wave bracelet. At the press of a button, a ceramic plate placed in contact with the skin gets really cold, providing a bit of relief by targeting the sensitive thermoreceptor nerves on the inside of wrist.
BIODEGRADABLE TENNIS DRESS MADE WITH LAB-GROWN SPIDER SILK
Adidas and Stella McCartney used vegan spider-style silk to create the Biofabric Tennis Dress, which can fully biodegrade. Bolt Threads, the bioengineering startup that created the fiber, studied the silk made by ‘argiope bruennichi’ – a type of orb-weaver spider that commonly spins its own web – to recreate a version of the proteins in a laboratory.
Protesters in Hong Kong have been pointing high-powered lasers directly at surveillance cameras — a high-tech protest strategy intended to confuse facial recognition systems and to avoid identification.
Designer José de la O and technology firm Mirai Innovation have developed an innovative design system that allows participants to manipulate a generic computer model of a vase using brain signals. People are able to alter different characteristics of the vase (colors, height, diameter) by relaxing or concentrating their minds. A headgear captures the bio-signals produced by participants’ brains and transmits these to a computer and 3D printer to produce a physical object.
The design studio Bompas & Parr has created a vegan suite inside the Hilton hotel in London, omitting the use of leather, wool and feathers. Most surfaces have been upholstered in Piñatex, an alternative fabric made of cellulose fibers that are found in waste pineapple leaves.
G. Graves and A. Jain developed Growduce, a device for recycling organic waste and biofabrication in the home. Made of a biocomposter, the microorganisms ferment and metabolize the waste to create an organic rubber that can then be used by a 3D printer to shape everyday objects.
Ginkgo Bioworks, through synthetic biology, managed to resynthesize gene sequences and encode fragrance-producing enzymes, using DNA extracted from flowers that disappeared in the 19th century, stored in the herbarium of Harvard University. The flowers’ aromas were reconstructed using identical scent molecules.
Viome collects stool samples from consumers and uses Artificial Intelligence to provide personalized food recommendations based on each individual’s biology and gut microbiome. Habit (Campbell Soup Co.) collects DNA samples and uses AI to provide guidance on personal nutrition.
The exhibition “Other Generosity”, by Eero Lundén and Juulia Kauste, explores how architecture can facilitate the symbiotic coexistence of nature and human environments. Membranes with air and water combine to create a visible and dynamic cellular structure that responds to external (and sometimes invisible) stimuli.
The artist Cj Hendry has designed Rorschach, a psych ward mimicked as a children's wonderland to reflect on the concept of what is healthy and insane in our society. The exhibition presents artworks she developed in reference to the Rorschach psychological test as well as a large inflatable looks like a children's bouncy castle, its padded white walls and floors also take cues from those found in psychiatric institutes. To complete the psych ward experience, viewers are provided with a white wristband upon entering, as if they are admitted to the Rorschach Psychological Institute.
“Les Arcanistes” is Studiopepe’s new Manifesto Project investigating the strong bond between matter and the archetypical power of symbols. The exhibition was conceived in a large industrial goldworking plant from the 20th century and was integrated by different installations. The “Alchemist’s Lab”, to distill herbs and plant essences that are believed to have premonitory powers. The “Water Spring” to experience water’s ability to vibrate to different frequencies just like the human body. The “Material Library” to collect and assemble materials that work by assonance and dissonance. The “Mantic Society” where visitors can sit at the table with a fortune-teller and be told about their transformation potential.
A Space for Being designed by Google and Johns Hopkins University’s Arts + Mind Lab is a multiroom experience that is informed by the principles of neuroaesthetics and shows how different aesthetic experiences can impact our health and wellbeing. The exhibition, comprising several interactive spaces, features a subtle variation of lighting, scent, music, artwork, materials and proportion that create a distinct sensory experience. Before entering, visitors are fitted with a specially-made band, which measures the person’s physiological responses along the way. Each band is equipped with four sensors that measure the wearer’s heart activity, breathing rate and skin conductance, temperature and body motion. The data is then downloaded and analysed at the end of the installation.
The “Unfluencer – Designing the Designer” is an immersive experience designed by Georg Lendorff for Freitag which proposes a reflection and confession for consumers’ and designers’ sins, free from all external influences. The brand wants to open a discussion about bad design into a fun and exciting experience. “Just like it’s more freeing and truthful to talk about our stupid, unnecessary and unsustainable shopping mistakes, after all, neither consumers nor designers are immune to negative forces, constraints, simple errors or delusions”, says Freitag.
Sound Gravity is an object designed by Natsumi Kobayashi for ‘Pulse’, the Yamaha Design Lab’s exhibition, that envelops the body in the sounds and vibrations of musical instruments. The object offers an experience somewhat like wrapping your arms around a cello and diving into the sounds it produces, providing an unusual broad contrast of emotions.
Bvlgari invited the Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno to draw inspiration from the meteoric origins of gold, with his resulting "cosmic web" using constellations of spider webs to create floating galaxies. The installation ‘Weaving the Cosmos’ transforms the Planetarium of Milan into a space in which the micro and macro dimensions are closely connected, bringing into play an interaction between the geometry of the constellations and the spiderwebs.
‘Leading with Light’ is an immersive experience designed for Rhizomatiks Studio for Lexus that explores the inter-relationships between humans, light and technology. The interactive and emotional installation combines playful and dynamic lighting with human dance and advanced robotics. This choreographed exhibition uses countless beams of light as robots interact with the movements of a single performer.
Hyundai introduces “Style Set Free”, an innovative vision for how vehicles will become individual living spaces. The car brand offers a future-oriented customer experience that enables people to create their own life space inside their vehicles, thanks to upgradeable products and services.
Tell Me More is an installation that explores ways of promoting physical interaction in the era of digital communication. The space, designed by Rapt Studio, encourages strangers to converse through "drapery-clad stages" for interaction and spotlights that highlight intimate one-to-ones.
100% PERSONALIZED FASHION TO OPTIMIZE THE USE OF MATERIALS
Algorithimic Couture is a digitized couture project by research collective Synflux that reduces the amount of fabric needed to make clothes by creating garments that exactly fit the wearer's body. It involves 3D-scanning a body to determine its exact proportions, which are used to create customised clothing.
NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation center in Manhattan is implementing horticultural therapy to help patients feel better. The act of nurturing a plant can be a transportive part of a patient's recovery process by reducing stress, improve moods, and elevate well-being.
Finnish artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho show the impact of climate changethrough a light installation located in a Scottish coastal town. A series of sensors interact with the sea tide and activate three synchronised beams of light, which represent a scientific estimate of the level that the sea could rise to if the earth continues to warm.
Japanese company Open Meals will soon be offering 3D-printed sushi tailored to customer nutritional requirements by analyzing their saliva, urine and stool. The Sushi Singularity concept will be employed in a restaurant that makes use of robotic arms and 3D printers that are fed with biodata to create the sushi.
Yamaha developed a new technology based on Artificial Intelligence that translates the movements of dancers into musical notes on a piano to create a new form of expression that fuses body movements and music. The renowned dancer Kaiji Moriyama used it during a concert in Tokyo entitled Mai Hi Ten Yu, dancing and "playing" the piano with his body, accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Scharoun Ensemble.
An AR-based surgery room allows doctors and nurses to “see inside the patient” through AR glasses while performing micro-invasive surgeries. The Philips and Microsoft Augmented Reality concept, built for HoloLens 2, brings live imaging and other sources of vital data currently displayed on large 2D screens into a 3D holographic augmented reality environment that can be ergonomically, easily and intuitively controlled by the physician.
Exploring the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence and robotization in the service sector, Makr Shakr launched Toni, a robot bartender with the capacity to handle 158 bottles, create personalized drinks, memorize hundreds of recipes and serve up to 80 drinks per hour.
'ASICS Blackout Track,' is the world’s first running track to train the mind. The sportswear brand has created a custom-built 150-metre course in the Printworks space in South London which has been completely cloaked in darkness, with no tech, no music, no scenery, no comfort and no finish line. The project was developed in collaboration with leading sports scientists and top coaches to eliminate distractions and enhance runner's ability to completely focus on synchronising the mind and body.
Back & Light is an immersive mural painted by the Japanese-Brazilian artist Oscar Oiwa inside an inflatable dome — with over 2,700 square feet of surface area — located beside New York City’s Cadillac House. The intricate composition features Oiwa’s signature surreal landscapes and otherworldly characters in black and white. The artist’s entire process was live-streamed outside the structure for the public to see.
The Life, Marina Abramović’s performance, explores the combination of art and technology in mixed reality. Using wearable ‘augmented experience’ goggles, viewers are able to see Abramović as a digital sculpture while she floats in and out of the installation, her body dissolving in a cloud of glitter as if she’s coming from another dimension.
Nendo has created an immersive monochrome design for an exhibition that draws on the graphic artist MC Escher's work, famous for his optical illusions and impossible realities. The studio took the simple shape of a house as the basis of its designs for the project, adapting it to different dimensions and scales, playing with geometry and three-dimensional forms.
The advances in 3D metal printing will soon revolutionize industrial manufacturing systems. Various sectors such as automotive, aviation, medical implants and jewelry will introduce designs impossible to achieve with a mold. It will also be possible to change the metal alloy in areas of the same piece giving it a mix of different properties. Furthermore, with additive manufacturing there is less waste than conventional metal casting. Finally, instead of maintaining a large inventory of components, a company can simply print one when the customer needs it.
Ken Kelleher designs digital sculptures that are placed in public spaces and are able to astonish the viewer, altering the actual spatial perception of where they are. Each rendering has gigantic dimensions and seems in strong contrast with the surrounding environment of galleries, parks, and streets as if to underline the mixed characters of reality.
Textile Architecture Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich created ‘KnitCandela’, a double-curved concrete shell made with a 3D-knitted formwork applying textile technology to architecture. Following a digitally generated pattern, an industrial knitting machine produced the shuttering of the formwork for the shell structure: it knitted a complete shape with steel cables in 36 hours.
Parse/Error designs adaptive lamps that use data on the social and political mood to change the observer's experience and behavior. For example, a connected artwork that responds to the emotions published on Twitter through a real-time visualization of the use of (crying face) and (loudly crying face) emojis around the world.
Human manipulation through the artistic vision of Ronit Baranga. The sculptor produces figurative ceramic works that combine human characteristics with inanimate objects such as teacups, saucers, and plates.
BREAKING UP BEAUTY STANDARDS IN THE COSMETIC INDUSTRY
The cosmetics industry is exploring new ideas around beauty by opening its campaigns to people who break traditional standards. Baby Chanco and Sato Kondo are the faces of Pantene’s campaign that promotes life without colouring hair.
Ephemeral and immersive sculptures, the works of Pablo Valbuena emphasizes the architecture of the place that welcomes them. The artist models sound, light and movement to suggest a parallel architecture to the visitor. A space in perpetual transformation where the border between the real and the perceived disappears in favor of the imaginary.
Petit Pli proposes clothing that grows with kids based on origami principles. Ryan Mario Yasin, a London engineer, designed a smart technical fabric applying what in mechanics is called negative Poisson’s ratio: the internal structure deforms when stretched, becoming thicker, perpendicular to the applied force. When the fabric stretches it grows bi-directionally. A principle already used for biomedical implants. Clothing will fit children aged 4 to 36 months.
Beautonomy is pushing customization to a whole new level by empowering customers to create make-up products, choosing colors, type of product, design the packaging and sell them through their markeplace earning a commission and, effectively, helping them become entrepreneurs. An example of how some brands are acting as business enablers to consumers who increasingly desire to take an active role in their relationship with them.
The Museum of Transgender HIRstory & Art MOTHA, is a semi-fictional, transient institution located in the New Museum (NYC) that serves as a platform for exhibiting trans history and cultural production. Chris Vargas, the founder, notes that “for millennia, the patriarchy has had versions of history; now transgender people have a gender-neutral HIRstory all their own.”
The “infinity puzzle” designed by Nervous System is a jigsaw puzzle of the world map based on an icosahedral projection but with no edges, no North, no South, and no fixed shape. The finished image is always be different, no two journeys are ever the same.
Dawn ver.β is a pop-up cafe featuring five robot waiters remotely controlled from home by people with severe physical disabilities. The OriHime-D robots transmit video images and audio via the internet, allowing their controllers to direct them from home via computer.
The above photograph isn’t actually a photo of a real person. It is an image created by Artificial Intelligence and generated from two source photographs. The results are incredibly lifelike. Fake people, spaces and objects can be created with this technology developed by NVIDIA.
Facing Emotions is an AI-powered app developed by Huawei and the Polish Blind Association that translates emotions into sounds for the blind and visually impaired. The app uses the phone back camera to scan the face of the person with whom the blind person is talking to. AI then processes the identified emotions into a sound which can be heard on the phone in real time.
The IBM Food Trust system is a network in the cloud based on the blockchain that allows a greater traceability, transparencyand efficiency in the food industry. Not only does this allow for the optimization of internal processes, but it also provides consumers with reliable information
For the London Design Biennale, the Norwegian pavilion explores the impact of inclusive design in the classroom, aiming to improve educational outcomes and individual well-being. One of the technologies is an unique telepresence robot that allows children with long-term illnesses to feel included in school life – educationally and socially.
Zozotown, a fashion e-commerce site, introduced Zozosuit, an intelligent bodysuit to help customers know the measurements of their body before buying clothes online. The suit has sensors that allow users to instantly measure their body and transfer data to an app via Bluetooth.
The ‘Haus of Amazing’ club for drag queen kids is an online community founded by Desmond, a popular 10-year-old drag-boy on social networks, to help other children express themselves freely and creatively in a safe environment.
Atomic Lab is a social and technological project that designs hand prostheses printed in 3-D, with sustainable material PLA (derived from corn) and adaptable in movements to the needs of people. Artificial hands are for people with low resources.
AUTONOMOUS AND FUNCTIONALLY REPROGRAMMABLE VEHICLES
The Vision Urbanetic concept car developed by Mercedes Benz is a glimpse into what the carmaker imagines city transportation will look like in 2030 and beyond. The concept revolves around the idea of a fully autonomous chassis, with interchangeable pods, that can switch between people movers and cargo delivery to suit city demand.
Lesson of Moon, a performance where a young ballet dancer and a little robot are engaged in a process of empathic mimesis questioning our perception of the human and the non-human. Work created by Shonen Company and Ballet de Marseille.
CHANGES IN ETHICAL BOUNDARIES IN THE ERA OF THE IMAGE
Likeness is an installation created by Simon Fujiwara that explores the current visceral need to make images, a behavior that push the ethical borders. Based on a genetic and styling exercise, Fujiwara installs a wax reproduction of the figure of Anne Frank (identical to that exhibited since 2012 at the Madame Tussauds museum in Berlin) and a video with details of the sculpture filmed with a camera equipped with an arm and a fully robotic device.
Light Matters is an immersive installation composed of thousands of programmable LEDs of blue and red color, which translate the emotional states through which the visitor is literally invited to penetrate and experience this digital and sensory universe. Erwin Redl translates into the physical space the abstract aesthetic language of virtual reality and 3D modeling.
Mind Pilot was an interactive installation that allowed people to pilot a helium filled airship through the power of their mind. Designed by Loop.Ph, the experience encouraged the idea of an inclusive future where people with varying physical abilities can use technology such as mind power to experience and operate a flight. The pilot wore a virtual reality headset that stimulated the sense of being in flight, and a device that measured brain waves and sent signals that navigated the balloon through the space.
Based on interviews with professionals in the financial sector, Liz Glynn’s interactive performance at Frieze London 2018 explored volatility and risk. Dancers moved in response to sales, data points and traffic at the fair, probing the commodification of uncertainty and the impulse to quantify human emotion.
Hacking the status quo to imagine possible futures
The value of differentiation is one of the fundamental cultural values that has emerged and solidified in the 21st century. If, until the 90's, the desire to resemble others through consumption was a valid mechanism to achieve social acceptance – nowadays.
Hacking the status quo to imagine possible futures
The value of differentiation is one of the fundamental cultural values that has emerged and solidified in the 21st century. If, until the 90's, the desire to resemble others through consumption was a valid mechanism to achieve social acceptance – nowadays.