This smart-cane uses Google Maps, Alexa, and Obstacle Detection to guide the visually impaired

A pretty great way to integrate smart tech and voice assistants into the lives of people who need them the most, WeWALK is a smart cane that takes today’s tech and makes it more accessible. Designed to be more than just a walking stick for the visually impaired, WeWALK is a smart-cane that detects obstacles, pairs with smartphones, and responds to voice commands.

The collapsible smart-cane looks a tad bit different than most regular walking sticks, but that’s because it absolutely is. A massive win for inclusive design, the smart-cane comes with an ultrasonic sensor that helps detect obstacles and notify the user to avoid a collision. It also pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, integrating with features on your smartphone that make navigation easier. Its compatibility with voice assistants, and ability to read map-data helps the walking stick turn into a wayfinder that you can talk to. Touch-sensitive controls on the WeWALK help you toggle its functions, and an in-built microphone help you talk right into it, asking your phone’s voice assistant to guide you to the nearest café, grocer, bus-stop, or even to your house. The stick then becomes your seeing-eye-dog, helping you by telling you when to turn, where to stop, and if you should avoid a lamppost, a tree, or any other obstacle.

Eliminating the need to take your phone out for navigation, or the need to ask a nearby person to help you get to where you want to go, WeWALK aims at liberating the visually impaired through technology that’s meant for everyone. Easy to use, and more importantly portable, WeWALK helps get people seamlessly from point A to point B with a sense of freedom and confidence that’s absolutely liberating!

Designers: YGA & Vestel

Soho House opens second Los Angeles outpost in Downtown warehouse

Soho Warehouse LA

Soho House has turned a former warehouse in Downtown Los Angeles into a new spot for its members, featuring a rooftop pool, hotel rooms and garden.

Called Soho Warehouse, the new members’ club occupies a factory building that dates back to 1916 that was renovated and designed in-house by Soho House & Co. Located in the city’s Industrial District in downtown, it marks the largest North American outpost for the international member’s club.

Soho Warehouse LA

The 80,000-square-foot (7,432-square-metre) space spans seven storeys of lounge, dining and meeting spaces, and is complete with 48 bedrooms, a gym, courtyard cafe, and a rooftop patio and outdoor pool overlooking the city.

Soho Warehouse LA

It is the third Soho House location in California and the West Coast area in general, following another Los Angeles outpost in West Hollywood designed by Michaelis Boyd and a spot in Malibu about an hour outside the city.

Soho Warehouse LA

The decor of Soho Warehouse takes cues from two different styles that are prominent in the building’s history – art deco accents referencing its early 1900s construction and pieces that are evocative of the 1970s when it functioned as a recording space.

Soho Warehouse LA

The interior design “draws inspiration from the local downtown LA area and the building’s historic roots,” the team said. “Staying true to the original design, all exposed brick walls, including graffiti tagged before Soho House took over the space, remain untouched.”

Soho Warehouse LA

On the rooftop is an outdoor bar, lounge and pool area, which is filled with cream-coloured seating and sun covers. The level below contains one of Soho Warehouse’s two club levels, including a sitting area with a metallic fireplace, a sun-lit bar and a restaurant with an open kitchen.

Pops of dark blush, charcoal, cream and teal are interspersed throughout.

Soho Warehouse LA

A feature of the project is the concrete walls marked with graffiti, paired alongside exposed ductworks and pillars for an industrial feel.

Vintage furniture, plants, wood tables and leather stools all feature in the areas as well.

Soho Warehouse LA

For art, Soho House collaborated with local artists and galleries, including a mural by local street artist Shepard Fairey on the building’s original loading dock door next to reception.

On the rooftop patio, hemp lounge chairs have a custom print created by local artist and illustrator Ethan Lipsitz. Other decorative elements include a wallpaper by Genevieve Gaignard that lines a stairwell and a canvas mural by Paul Davies.

Soho Warehouse LA

Bedrooms of varying size are located on the first, second and third floors, and feature original brickwork and exposed pipes. Some suites are styled like residences and have a kitchenette, dining area, powder room, walk-in closet and free-standing bathtub.

Soho Warehouse LA

On the ground floor is another restaurant with exposed wood beams and panelling, rustic cobblestone floors and lightwells.

An outdoor patio and garden is located within the property’s former loading dock, and is filled with wood furniture, umbrellas, olive trees and jasmine.

Soho Warehouse LA

Rounding out the project is a split-level gym with a sauna and steam room on the ground floor, in addition to an in-room shopping experience with a collection by Montreal retailer SSENSE and pieces from LA designer Rhude, making it the first Soho House to offer such a service.

Soho House was founded in London in 1995 by Nick Jones as a private members’ club for people in the creative and media industries and has grown to clubs around the world, including locations in Brooklyn, Amsterdam and Mumbai.

The company launched Soho Home in the US this year for a range of furniture and homeware pieces from its outposts available for purchase.

The post Soho House opens second Los Angeles outpost in Downtown warehouse appeared first on Dezeen.

Susanne DesRoches on Design's Unique Ability to Tackle the Climate Crisis

This interview is part of a series featuring the presenters participating in this year’s Core77 Conference, “The Third Wave”, a one-day event that will explore the future of the design industry and the role designers will play in it.

Climate change is the ultimate systemic problem and mitigating its consequences will require a multi-pronged approach involving governments, policymakers, corporations, designers, etc. Nobody knows this better than Susanne DesRoches, New York City’s Deputy Director of Infrastructure and Energy. Trained as an industrial designer at Pratt, DesRoches believes design’s iterative nature is a crucial key to the puzzle. As part of her work at the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Resiliency, DesRoches is creating the tools that will empower architects, engineers, and other design professionals to create resilient structures for the future.

DesRoches will discuss her path from industrial design to sustainability during the fast-approaching 2019 Core77 Conference. We recently caught up with her to find out more about her background and design’s role in tackling climate change.

Core77: You studied Industrial Design at Pratt as an undergraduate, worked in exhibition design, then joined the Port Authority in 2009. Now you lead New York City’s infrastructure and energy policy. Can you tell me more about this trajectory and what led you to sustainability?

Susanne: After Pratt, I worked for about ten years at two different firms, Hixon Design Consultants and ESI Design. My focus was on architectural spaces and exhibition design. I began working on green building projects, in particular a Mercy Corps project in 2006, which involved a 5,000 square foot permanent exhibition space that was certified LEED Platinum.

Through the course of that work, I became interested in sustainability principles. However, I recognized that I was neither an engineer nor an architect, and that developing larger-scale strategic initiatives encouraging sustainability was where I wanted my career to go. At the time I was in my mid-thirties, and I went back to school full-time at Columbia, where I got a Master’s of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy. I spent the bulk of my time there learning about the science behind climate change and what the impacts were, both globally and locally. I started to envision myself in a different type of career where I could apply industrial design processes to policymaking and organizational strategic initiatives.

And then you started at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey?

Yes, I joined the PA after graduation, becoming their first Sustainable Design Manager. I worked in the Engineering Department, which designs and constructs major infrastructure. To assist the engineers and architects at the PA, I developed two design guidelines: the Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines and the Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines. My philosophy was—How do we incorporate sustainable and climate-resilient practices into every project that we’re doing? What guidance does an engineer or an architect need to be able to do that?

I was at the Port Authority when Hurricane Sandy struck, so I quickly shifted from focusing primarily on sustainability to focusing on climate resiliency. It was a crash course in disaster recovery. In the two years after Sandy, as the Chief of Resilience and Sustainability, I led the Engineering Department’s post-Sandy recovery and resiliency projects.

Currently, at the New York City Mayor’s Offices of Sustainability and Resiliency, I lead a team of policy advisors focused on NYC’s energy policy and infrastructure resiliency.

It’s been almost seven years since Hurricane Sandy. How has the conversation around resiliency changed since the initial post-hurricane plan was laid out by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in June 2013?

Since the City’s initial post-hurricane plan (called A Stronger More Resilient New York) was published in 2013, we have broadened the city’s approach from a strong focus on extreme weather events to one that encompasses all of the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, storm surge, rising temperatures, and increased precipitation. These climate hazards all have risks and there’s no single solution or approach. We are always looking for strategies that both protect against climate impacts and have other co-benefits for city residents. For instance, improving social cohesion is a critical strategy because we know the more closely-knit a community is, the better its members will do in the face of a disaster.

What role does design play in New York City’s environmental reform plans?

Design plays a large role. We need innovation and creative thinking to solve these multi-layered issues, particularly as climate change evolves over time. So we aren’t just solving for one set of issues, we’re solving for a shifting climate. The key benefit that design offers as we move forward with our sustainability and resiliency plans is that by their very nature, they’re iterative. They allow for incremental ideas, and they allow us to evaluate how well strategies are working. That inherent iterative design process is very beneficial to climate change planning.

Resiliency encompasses multiple strategies, from large-scale coastal projects to installing more curbside rain gardens at the neighborhood level. What are the most promising of those strategies?

There’s no silver bullet for any one risk. What we really need to incorporate is more holistic thinking across different risks. When we think about achieving resiliency over time, the best strategies have an adaptive capacity. They need to work today, and they need to be able to shift and evolve in the future in order to function in the climate that we find ourselves in in 2050, in 2080, and beyond.

At the Mayor’s Offices, one key step we have taken toward that goal is the publication of the City’s Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines. The Guidelines take an approach that is quite innovative and reflects new thinking for design and engineering. They show teams how to not only use historical weather data, but to incorporate climate change projections, so we ensure infrastructure and buildings can withstand the future environment.

Tell me a bit about the process of putting those guidelines together.

Creating the Guidelines was a multi-agency process. We used the best climate change science we have today to develop a rubric for new projects. The Guidelines prompt project teams to answer: What is the useful life of a new capital project? How is the climate changing over that period of time? Ultimately, projects should be built using the climate projections at the end of the facility’s life.

We had a lot of input from NYC agencies, including the Department of Design and Construction, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, and other capital agencies that build the facilities New Yorkers rely on. This was to ensure that the Guidelines could function as an instructional document for the engineering, architecture, and planning communities—all of the design industry. We wanted the Guidelines to be a how-to manual, not an aspirational document.

Could you give us a brief example of how a designer would use the guidelines?

If you were building a substation in the floodplain, the Guidelines would tell you the project’s floodplain elevation. This is the height off the ground that floodwater from an anticipated storm would reach today. A substation typically lasts for 50 years, therefore the sea level rise projection you should use is for the 2070s timeframe. Following the Guidelines, the project would now be protected to a sea-level rise height adjusted to the 2070s.

It’s very practical. The Guidelines also provide information on how to incorporate heat in the form of wet-bulb days and dry-bulb days, and how many of those days we expect per year. This information is critical for HVAC design, as well as building facades and windows. The Guidelines provide those raw numbers for designers to use in engineering and architectural codes and standards.

They actively impact the physical outcomes of design because if you design something to be heated and cooled using today’s temperature thresholds, you’ll end up with one particular design, but when you use the forward-looking climate projections, that design will change to accommodate future conditions.

Are we any closer to a LEED equivalent for resiliency?

I would say that the industry is in the early stages of learning how to augment historical climate data with future-looking data. Some systems, such as the EnVision system, include climate adaptation. However, currently, it’s a pretty light touch. The focus of these systems is still primarily sustainability principles. As changes to the climate become more and more a part of our everyday lives, both locally and globally, we’re going to start to see other systems emerge that adopt climate projections as a new design normal.

Beyond climate change, NYC also suffers from issues of climate justice. Rising temperatures disproportionately impact vulnerable neighborhoods, for example. What are some of the ways that cities can tackle these issues through design?

As you mentioned, extreme heat kills more New Yorkers than any other weather event. This is something that our office takes very seriously, and we’re acting on that now. We have issued our Cool Neighborhoods program which has an approximately $106 million budget. This plan focuses on neighborhoods where we know residents are more vulnerable to heat. It includes targeted planting more street trees, painting roofs white, and raising awareness about the availability of cooling centers.

There are all kinds of benefits to this program. Not only can something simple like implementing reflective roofs save lives by keeping buildings cooler, it can also reduce energy use and lower electricity bills. As we think about ways to get to carbon neutrality—which the city has committed to by 2050, in accordance with the Paris Agreement—we want to look for strategies that both reduce carbon emissions as well as make our climate more livable.

The Adesse Watch showcases minimalism achieved through ‘design-by-subtraction’

Minimalism is much more than just sleek lines, simple forms, or the liberal use of the color white. To Jansen Che, minimalism means looking at a product and identifying what’s unnecessary, what’s expendable. The Adesse Watch (shown here in renders, although Jansen says a real watch is coming soon) literally has a watch strap and face. It strips away the watch of everything Jansen believes can be removed, but still retains the watch’s functionality. The watch has absolutely no hands, a plain, unbranded face, and even uses minimal markings around the rim of the inside of the case, rather than on the dial itself. This results in the watch’s dial being an absolute empty canvas. Taking inspiration from an hourglass’s ability to use shadows to tell time, Adesse comes with an offset on the surface of its watch-dial. The offset casts a slight shadow, making it visible as a hand, which points to the time. The offset works as an hour hand, but also does a pretty good job of telling the time by minutes. As the hand progresses from one hour to the next, slight indentations help the user read the time in 15 minute increments. While this isn’t exactly a watch for someone who needs absolutely accurate timekeeping, it’s perfect for someone with a more zen-like spirit, or someone who doesn’t want a computer or a fancy chronograph on their wrist, but just a watch that lets you empty your mind and breathe a little.

The Adesse Watch is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Jansen Che

"Bringing a sauna into the desert was so mad that we had to do it" say Burning Man pavilion designers

Burning Man Steam of Life by JKMM

Finnish studio JKMM Architects built a timber sauna in the desert for over 1000 revellers to sweat it out during this year’s Burning Man festival.

Burning Man Steam of Life by JKMM

JKMM Architects teamed up with Finish creative collaborative Sauna on Fire to bring the traditional Finnish sauna into the depths of the Nevada desert.

“We wanted to share the sauna both as a building type and actual experience with fellow Burners, because it is so deeply representative of Finnish identity and culture,” JKMM’s Samppa Lappalaine told Dezeen. “We also thought bringing a sauna into the desert was so mad that we had to do it.”

Burning Man Steam of Life by JKMM

Called Steam of Life, the pavilion was created in response to 2019 Burning Man theme Metamorphosis, with the idea was to provide a place for attendees of the annual event in the Nevada desert to rest and relax.

It was visited by over 1000 attendees during the annual event, which took place from 25 August to 2 September in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

“We felt that a desert sauna responds well to this year’s theme of metamorphosis,”  Lappalaine said. “Saunas are about cleansing and regeneration – both physical and spiritual.”

Burning Man Steam of Life by JKMM

The team used a minimal number of building parts to construct the circular pavilion. Timber slabs stacked on top of one another round the entire edifice allowing light to stream in naturally. Two different sizes of plywood form the ceilings, interior walls and sauna seating of the temporary construction.

“Saunas are great examples of timber construction,” said Lappalaine. “The Steam of Life pavilion shows how wood can be used in versatile and imaginative ways.”

“It’s also a tactile, even a humane material, and when sourced properly sustainable too,” Lappalainee continued.

All of the material for the timber pavilion was locally sourced apart from the sauna, which the team transported from Finland.

Burning Man Steam of Life by JKMM

For the duration of the festival, revellers were invited to enjoy the space which is designed to “feel like a regenerative cycle.”

The layout follows a circulation route, which begins with a dimly lit passageway that leads to the löylyhuone steam room, where guests bathe on benches near the stove, which emits heat by burning rocks.

Burning Man Steam of Life by JKMM

After cleansing, visitors continued to a dimly lit space that opens to an atrium located at the centre of the installation. This area is used for the necessary cooling down and meditative relaxing period that comes after spending time in a steam room.

Other temporary installations built for exhibit included Playascape by Alex Haw of Atmos Studio and a circular staircase of stepping stones.

Burning Man Steam of Life by JKMM

Burning Man was first founded on a San Francisco beach in 1986 by the late Larry Harvey. It has since grown into to host a population of 70,000 in the temporary metropolis known as Black Rock City.

Earlier this year, Burning Man co-founder Will Roger told Dezeen how they came to create a pop-up city in the desert.

Photography is by Hannu Rytky.

The post “Bringing a sauna into the desert was so mad that we had to do it” say Burning Man pavilion designers appeared first on Dezeen.

Restoring Apple’s iconic design language to the iPhone 11

Despite the undeniably powerful photographic capabilities that the newly released family of iPhones has brought with them, we can’t help but miss the iconically minimal and design that its ancestors were famed for carrying! This case aims to restore some of this clean design language, whilst simultaneously offering a welcomed level of protection!

On the reverse of the case is a metal cover that conceals the mind-boggling cameras; the gentle and smooth slide of this component not only reveals the lenses, but using the case’s embedded NFC technology, it automatically turns on the camera. This considered operation leads to a beautifully simplistic user experience!

Designer: cloudandco for aaby

Architects mock UK housing minister for revealing that "3D architects" are doing it "on a computer"

Esther McVey

UK architects and critics have ridiculed UK housing minister Esther McVey, who gave a speech announcing that architects are using computers as a “new way” to design buildings.

Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester today, McVey seemed to suggest that architects are moving into a new age where they will be creating 3D buildings for the first time.

“Well, if we have this new way of doing it, 3D architects… 3D visionaries… doing it with it on a computer,” the housing minister said during a panel discussion with business minister Nadhim Zahawi and northern powerhouse minister Jake Berry.

The broad and confusing statement about modern construction techniques was widely mocked on Twitter, with Financial Times architecture critic Edwin Heathcote asking how we had lived without 3D architecture for so long.

“They have architecture on computers now?,” asked former Its Nice That Editor Owen Pritchard.

Guardian critic Oliver Wainwright added: ‘A thrilling day for @Conservatives >architecture policies – not only ushering in a brave new dawn of ‘3D architects doing it on the computer’, but also a new ‘right to fight ugliness’ that will clearly solve everything.”

Numerous commenters also mocked the idea that McVey had discovered 3D architecture.

“Esther McVey, the housing minister, thinks making houses in 3D is a recent development,” said comedy writer James Felton. While Simon Constantine, tweeted a picture of an etch a sketch with a basic drawing of a house with caption “EXCLUSIVE: Leaked pictures of the architectural designs for Esther McVey’s new home.”

Political commentators were equally confused with Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator tweeting: “I don’t know much about the process of designing buildings but I thought that was quite normal, especially the 3D element.”

Dezeen columnist Phineas Harper had a different theory about McVey’s excitement.

“3D visionaries doing it with it on a computer” – Esther McVey has just returned from her first meeting with Patrik Schumacher and is very excited,” he tweeted.

Being more constructive, Kendy Crush pointed out that AutoCAD was released 37 years ago.

Esther McVey is 52. She was 15 when AutoCAD was first released,” he explained.

McVey is the ninth Housing Minister in the past nine years. She replaced Kit Malthouse in the role in July 2019 and serves in Boris Johnson’s conservative government.

Johnson has also been making news in architecture circles as members of RIBA are campaigning to have is honorary title removed.

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This Concept Envisions How We Can Dine More Enjoyably In the Midst of Future Food Scarcity

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We live in precarious times and scarcity of food is, at this point, an undeniable projection. While seeing a slow decline in your favorite produce may be hard to imagine, it’s also important to envision how a life without them might be designed. Designer Meydan Levy of Bazalel Academy of Art and Design’s conceptual project “Neo Fruit”, the 2019 Core77 Design Awards winning student project in the Speculative Design category, focuses on one of the most anciently depicted foods that has served as a symbol of abundance throughout history— fruit.

Neo Fruits were designed by Levy to be produced with 4D printers using cellulose, an organic material that can easily be structurally manipulated. The dry structure, or “the peel”, is enriched with phytochemicals. The internal makeup of the fruit is filled with micro-tubes, which mineral and vitamin-enriched liquids are then injected into to simulate the real material insides of fruit.

This liquid injection creates a dynamic life-like object that both indicates shelf life and averts the previously freaky, dystopian supplemental foods into a more traditional, consumable package. The romanticism around fruit often indicated by timing— eating when at its peak ripeness— is kept intact.

“Fruit provoke emotions and desires, have a perfect packaging…[and use color] to indicate which minerals they contain,” notes Levy. Neo fruit utilizes the experience of consuming through interactive packaging that still maintains the main themes of the fruit itself, allowing users to reap the benefits of nutrition supplements enjoyably. The color given to the inside nutritional supplements is designed to recall fruit in its original form, and remind the user both familiar indications of nutritional value and ripeness.

Levy’s idea was bred from the fact that while the world population is growing, the rising demand for food and consequences of modern agricultural and industrial processes means we’ve arrived at a time where a paradigm shift is urgent. Neo Fruits is a collection of artificially designed fruits that intend to fill the gap our history to food has created both sensuously and economically.

The experiential act of eating the fruit bridges nature, human, and the symbolism we’ve been drawn to throughout history. “The idea is not to critique,” says Meydan, “but to present an aspiration, a vision, derived of curiosity and thought.”

Check out Neo Fruits project in full on our Core77 Design Awards site of 2019 honorees

Today Is Your Last Day to Buy Tickets to the 2019 Core77 Conference, "The Third Wave"

The days of easily disrupting markets with iterations of existing technology are waning. Creating value through planned obsolescence and optimized supply chains is no longer interesting or acceptable to a marketplace with high expectations of performance, functionality and quality. Moving beyond our current commercial and financial understanding of ‘innovation’ will require transformative ideas and approaching challenges with an experimental mind frame, compelling insights and a focus on the human element.

What future do you want, and how can you prepare for the next wave to hit the world of design? What practices need to be lifted up, and which ones should be left in the dust?

View the full content here

These special art-filaments are like oil-paints for your 3D printer

You could either sketch with an ordinary pencil, or you could with a Staedtler or a Pentel. You could paint a portrait with off-brand poster colors, or you could use oil paints to create magic on a canvas. There’s a difference in the quality of your output based on the medium you use. That’s what sets Graft Milk apart from most of the 3D printing filament brands there are today.

For long, 3D filaments have focused on more technical features, like being able to be printed seamlessly without strands of plastic ruining surface texture, or being easy to remove off your printer’s print-bed… but the guys behind Graft Milk realized what truly was lacking in this particular market. You see, printing filament is just like any art medium. A filament’s quality should not be limited to its physical property, but should also consider an artist’s aesthetic needs. Graft Milk’s PLA filaments come in a beautiful set of pastel colors, unlike off-the-shelf filaments and their standard reds, blues, greens, and blacks. Graft Milk’s filaments are a spectrum of colors that mimic natural materials like terracotta, sandstone, and marble, and are custom-engineered to be printed with a beautiful matte finish, making prints really showcase contours and details beautifully.

Graft Milk’s filaments were designed to not be coated with a layer of primer and paint. Their beautiful color palette and matte printing makes prints look absolutely eye-poppingly beautiful right off the print-bed. Custom-made for artists and designers, Graft Milk’s filaments are akin to having a great set of Copic markers, or oil paints, rather than being stuck with a hideous set of RGB color pencils. Available in 10 wonderful colors, these filaments can be used to print products that can go right from the print-bed to the mantelpiece, or even to the store shelf. No sanding, primer-coating, and spray-painting needed. Go ahead and directly print your matte masterpiece!

Designer: Douglas Larsen

Click Here to Buy Now: $25. Hurry, for a limited time only!

Graft Milk – The New Art Filament

The world’s first premium 3D printing filament created specifically with designers and artists in mind. Graft Milk has come out with a palette of ten complementary colors, all with a delicate prototype-ready matte finish.

The video above showcases how a scan of a Roman sculpture displayed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art from an iPhone scan was recreated in Mustard Dust.

It captures every minute detail, every fine layer, every curve you have designed.

Colors You Want

Click Here to Buy Now: $25. Hurry, for a limited time only!