A poetic and thoughtful list of 250 things an architect should know, ranging from "the rate at which that carpet you specified off-gasses" to "how people pee."
In our mass produced world, designers and engineers typically build averaged products that attempt to serve the full human range of needs, however, more tailor-made solutions can often serve us better. Customized goods built to suit an individual's body are a common example of how bespoke processes can make our lives more comfortable, but we can extend those practices to things like interfaces and alerts as well. This study of children responding to alarms (one with tone only, the other with their mother's recorded voice) suggests we are wired to respond strongly to personal stimuli, rather than generic prompts.
Roadmapping the Future:
An odd project seeking to genetically engineer cats that will change color when in the presence of radiation, to warn our future descendants of the nuclear waste we are leaving behind. Many have attempted to design symbols, mythologies, and architectures that would prevent the careless wanderer of the future from radiological doom, and while these endeavors may verge on the absurd, they underscore the long, complex consequences of our scientific and technological efforts as a civilization that begin in optimism.
Increased government spending is a significant contributor to recent economic growth in the U.S., according The Wall Street Journal. Military project spending is a big piece of that growth pie, which tends to benefit manufacturers, engineering firms, and technology providers over other sectors. Given that the U.S. has effectively been running intensive, continuous warfare operations around the globe since 2001, the flow of money to be made from the military-industrial complex is driven less by new geopolitical events, and more by presidential proclivities.
Now that China has drastically cut the amount of low-quality recyclable materials they are accepting from abroad, other countries (primarily in Southeast Asia) are absorbing some of the demand. Despite new outlets popping up, net-exporter recycling programs from nations like the U.S. and France are struggling to make the economics work. Ultimately, anything fabricated ends up somewhere. Plastic production rates need to go down (through a combination of reduced demand and more circular systems) unless we are all willing to have the landfill begin at our own doorstep. Interestingly, Chinese entrepreneurs are buying or building material reprocessing plants in the U.S., to bring recycled material standards up to the level that China will accept, and profit in the process.
A fascinating and weirdly beautiful viral social media trend in China referred to as the "flaunt your wealth challenge" amounts to a photo or video of a fallen person, surrounded by the artifacts and objects of their day-to-day life. It's a sort of living, 21st century version of ancient ancestor practices of being buried or entombed with their earthly possessions.