- When analyzing the outputs of human culture we think of architecture, high art, revolutionary technologies and design icons. But nothing is a more honest reflection of an era than what is discarded: the debris of living and consuming as society. A designer in New York has compiled some of the most commonly encountered bits of trash into a periodic table of street waste.
- Snapchat revealed their first hardware product: Snap Spectacles, and rebranded to Snap Inc. As with any big tech play, opinions abound. We think it's a cleverly designed product for several reasons, which you can read here.
Feeding the Future:
- The history of irrigation technology in the U.S. and it's precarious future in the face of climate change. As humans, we have amazing powers to re-engineer our environments to suit a variety of needs and wants but we can be undone by our own greed or optimism, hoping or believing that the resource pools we draw from will always provide. To survive, we have to adjust those expectations and be more shrewd in our resource management practices.
- Vegan food company Hampton Creek (best known for their eggless Mayo products) commissioned an audit of their environmental claims of huge water savings over their egg-based competition. The outside auditor found that the reduction in water used was significantly smaller, and Hampton Creek quietly removed their sustainability calculators and proclamations. The article from Bloomberg finds other problems at the company, ranging from dubious data to suspicions of outright fraud. Given that reducing animal protein consumption is critical for reducing carbon emissions in general, let's hope that the alleged malfeasance of one of the biggest names in the category of future food doesn't have a chilling effect on investment in the segment overall.
Just a Game:
- One of the huge challenges of managing a major product recall is getting the word out to those affected before something goes wrong. Samsung is using the very device being recalled to put the message to users: when your potentially volatile Galaxy Note7 boots up, it tells you how dangerous it is to keep using it and asks you to power it down. Another article goes behind the scenes of Samsung to understand how the critical flaw may have made it through the design and engineering process in the first place.
Roadmapping the Future:
- Apple's CEO Tim Cook says he favors Augmented Reality tech over Virtual Reality - citing, among other things, how AR allows users to stay more engaged in the real world. Given Apple's long track record of guiding big trends in consumer electronics and computing - there will be a lot of technologist's following Apple's moves in AR closely.
- Making the things we use last longer (particularly resource intensive products like electronics) is one of the best things that can be done for environmental sustainability. Sweden is trying to incentivize repair practices through cutting the tax rate on repair services significantly and increasing taxes on chemical inputs for creating new products.