- A great article on how as gender roles around cooking shift to be a bit more balanced, the way cooking appliances and kitchens are styled has pivoted toward the stereotypically masculine. The author calls attention to OXO, which unlike many other household good brands has carved out a different path: away from gendered ideas and towards forms designed to fit any human. Such a balance is of course precisely how a tool-type object should be approached: flexible, open, with as little prescriptive signaling as possible.
- Cameron Tonkinwise on the myth of a simple product.
Making Technology Work for Us:
- A short documentary on the farmers fighting for the right to repair their tractors, and its potential policy impact on large consumer electronics companies.
- LiDAR imaging in Guatemala has revealed that Maya cities were larger, more densely populated, and more complex than the work of earlier archaeologists suggested. So often we are preoccupied with how technologies will shape and impact the future, but the use of something like LiDAR to better understand where we came from, how we lived, and how earlier societies were structured will likely provide greater insights into how we ought to do things going forward than wide-eyed sci-fi speculation.
- "What can you possibly change?" On how social norms will have to morph (through the pressures applied by persistent weirdos, growing in number) to develop common, compatible ways of living less damaging lifestyles.
- 3D printer company Desktop Metal has announced some software called Live Parts that looks a lot like topology optimization but makes some claims of greater functionality and value. An early version of the program will be available to SolidWorks users as of today. Even if it only matches similar topology optimization software, making that kind of technology widely available increases the opportunities for engineers to begin implementing those techniques, and for more direct printed parts to find their way into real world products and applications.
- Bloomberg examines (with some great visuals and infographics) the reasons people in the U.S. are spending less money on apparel than they used to. Notably, in 2010 average spending on technology products eclipsed average apparel spend. The extent to which a smart phone, smart watch, or set of headphones make up some of the same social functions as brand-name fashion is another element worth considering. Those devices are more persistent, more personal, and as visible in our day-to-day as any article of clothing.