- WeWork, the venture capital fueled coworking space company, has been seeking expansion into other aspects of life over the past few years, ranging from dorm-like corporate apartments to gyms. Now they're turning their attention to childhood education, and the first design concepts from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have been released. The style is aggressively bland: a beige-soaked bastardization of a Montessori school that's more oriented towards adult tastes than creating a rich learning environment for young minds. This is that most pompous type of design, imposing a rigid notion of 'good taste' that is almost puritanical in its self-imposed discipline of nothingness. While it's totally in line with the affluent lifestyle brand WeWork seems to strive for, it is at odds with the beautifully messy chaos of being a kid and experiencing the world for the first time.
- Considering the past and present of 'modest' clothing for women, sometimes a representation of personal freedom, sometimes an artifact of intense social pressures.
- Warby Parker is using the latest iPhone facial imaging tech to show you what their glasses would look like on your face. Not the most exciting application, but a real indicator of a non-gaming augmented reality application entering the mainstream.
- The gross practice of brands using stories about accessibility tech as a PR tool, without committing real resources to developing the projects into real products that would improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Bias and Brains:
- Naomi Wu, a designer/hacker/engineer (or maker, if you prefer that verbiage) has been harassed with odd claims that she is a fabricated persona, backed by an amalgam of skilled (male) engineers. There's zero evidence of this bizarre theory, but that didn't stop Maker CEO Dale Dougherty from taking the wild conspiracy theory for fact, and making public statements to that effect. It's emblematic of how sexist ideas of who is and is not a legitimate engineer, coder, or 'maker' persist within some very influential and powerful organizations. If Dougherty was better versed in the history of technological and scientific innovations, he would know that the more typical truth is that pioneering work of female inventors is obscured or co-opted by their male counterparts.