- Examining the graphic design of democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign posters.
- While 'sustainable' materials are a perennial element in design school thesis exhibitions, those solutions typically stay frozen in portfolios or within gallery walls. The reasons for the limited reach of those proposed materials are many: higher raw input costs than existing options, labor-intensive techniques, and perhaps most of all, almost no one understanding how to work with those new materials. An online database called Materiom is looking to change that, by putting together a comprehensive, living how-to guide.
- About a plan to build a densely populated techno-religious utopia for Mormons in Vermont. Historically, attempts of minority groups (whether religious, ethnic, or political) to build their own self-sufficient communities has been met with hostility by surrounding populations belonging to the majority. That majority frequently leverages state power via bureaucratic hurdles like permitting, zoning, and preservation initiatives, which can be broadly interpreted and so are prone to weaponization by those seeking to maintain the status quo.
- Amazon uses a credit-score style point rating system to cajole or coerce sellers that use their platform into behaving much like the e-commerce giant itself: pushing toward razor thin margins and goods that stay moving as constantly, quickly, and fluidly as possible.
- New(ish) training methodologies for robotic grippers and arms is helping expand the range of cost-effective applications for those technologies. Maybe someday soon we will have affordable robots that can unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, and other domestic tasks that have evaded easy automation via single-purpose appliances.
- Disney's R&D program has led to the development of a robotic stunt double .
- Every object found in a drained canal in Amsterdam, photographed, logged, and put online in a massive, beautiful representation of material culture over time. The collection is full of the common and concerning alike: coins, guns, transit passes, human bones, electronics, thread spools. The object timeline also reveals when manufacturing techniques and materials become widely available and inexpensive enough that they could be carelessly lost to the waters or intentionally discarded.
- A fascinating story on the origins of aquariums and how bringing a slice of the oceanic world into the home became a brief Victorian era craze, with saltwater peddlers, best-selling guides to marine life, and some real damage done to coastal habitats by the reckless harvesting of specimens.