Xiaomi Mi Watch: Not the first time the Chinese company blatantly copied Apple

To this day the MIUI interface looks like Apple’s long removed sibling, and Xiaomi’s Mi 8 was widely considered a carbon copy of the notched iPhone X, and if you ever go to Google and type the words Xiaomi and Copy into the search bar, the third word that promptly shows up in the search suggestions is Apple. Xiaomi has built its brand taking literal lessons from its Cupertino-based cousin, and is often even referred to as the Apple of China. With the release of its new Mi Watch, Xiaomi falls back into its old habit of taking perhaps too much inspiration from Apple.

This is the Mi Watch, Xiaomi’s first stab at a smartwatch after having made multiple iterations of the Mi Band, its own fitness tracker. Slated for a November 5th launch, the Mi Watch looks virtually like the Apple Watch, except for its flat sides (almost like an iPhone 3 to iPhone 4 transition). The watch is fitted with Xiaomi’s watch UI which should come as no surprise, looks like Apple’s interface too. The Mi Watch sports a crown where you’d see one on the Apple Watch, and comes with on-board Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, fitness tracking, and even an e-SIM feature… what’s next Xiaomi, an on-board ECG reader and Apple Care?!

Designer: Xiaomi

Guggenheim New York announces Rem Koolhaas exhibit Countryside, The Future

Rem Koolhaas Countryside, The Future Exhibition at Guggenheim

Rem Koolhaas will explore the radical change of the countryside in an exhibition coming to New York’s Guggenheim museum next year.

Opening February 2020, Countryside, The Future will showcase findings from an ongoing investigation led by Koolhaas and AMO, the research arm of the architect’s firm OMA.

The aim of the project is to take the focus away from cities to instead investigate rural areas, which Koolhaas says have “changed almost beyond recognition”.

“In the past decades, I have noticed that while much of our energies and intelligence have been focused on the urban areas of the world – under the influence of global warming, the market economy, American tech companies, African and European initiatives, Chinese politics, and other forces – the countryside has changed almost beyond recognition,” said the architect.

“The story of this transformation is largely untold, and it is particularly meaningful for AMO to present it in one of the world’s great museums in one of the world’s densest cities.”

Rem Koolhaas Countryside, The Future Exhibition at Guggenheim
Among the featured projects is a glass-house farming concept

Koolhaas and AMO are developing the research project with students at Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the University of Nairobi, to showcase change through case studies.

“Countryside, The Future will mark a shift from a focus on the urban to the rural, remote, deserted, and wild territories collectively investigated here as ‘countryside,’ or the 98 per cent of the earth’s surface not occupied by cities,” the Guggenheim added.

The examples concentrate on the urgent environmental, political and socioeconomic changes facing countryside locations around the world, including China, South America and California.

Findings will be shown in a multi-sensory installation that includes photos, videos and archival materials displayed against a wallpaper that wraps the length the museum’s spiralling rotunda.

“Countryside, The Future will offer speculation on the future through evidence of transition from a diverse range of sites,” the museum continued.

“It documents examples from around the world as case studies, exposing the dramatic transformations that have taken place in the countryside, while our attention has been collectively focused on the city.”

Rem Koolhaas Countryside, The Future Exhibition at Guggenheim
Photography on display will include these images which indicate that large plots of land devoted to raising cattle are necessary to sustaining urban life

Topics explored through the experimental work encompass artificial intelligence, political radicalisation, global warming, mass and micro migration, human-animal ecosystems, the impact of a digital world and subsidies and tax incentives.

Projects include glass-house farming concept, in which “superfluous” light used during photosynthesis is removed, and a set of imagery that show the amount of land necessary for raising cattle.

Countryside, The Future will open on 20 February 2020 and close in the summer of that year.

An illustrated report featuring the exhibition’s content and related public programming will also be published by Taschen in tandem with the showcase.

Focusing on rural areas forms a departure for the architect who has previously focused on cities, including the seminal book Delirious New York, which uses New York City as a metaphor for human behaviour, and SMLXL, which documents the first 20 years of OMA’s design work.

Koolhaas founded OMA, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in 1975. The internationally recognised studio now has offices in Rotterdam, New York, Hong Kong, Beijing, Doha, Dubai and Perth. Its current projects include plans to build a residential tower in Kuwait City, a waterfront conference centre in Shenzhen and an angular facade extension for the New Museum.

AMO, meanwhile, is known for more experimental projects like catwalks for fashion brands Prada and Miu Miu. It has also created a display system made up of 43 slim free-standing steel walls for the permanent collection of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum.

New York’s Guggenheim was designed and completed by celebrated 20th-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Previous exhibitions in the museum have included an installation by Doug Wheeler that surrounded a standing platform with a desert of white spikes.

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This gorgeous leather wallet-case for the iPhone 11 Pro was built with 360° drop protection

As much as Tim Apple says that the iPhone 11 Pro has the toughest glass on any smartphone, it isn’t what I call world-proof yet. Chances are, you’re still going to spring for a $70 case to give your $1200 phone a second layer of protection… and the Nomad Rugged Folio’s honestly left a pretty good first impression on me.

Built with Horween leather on both the front and back, this folio case is relatively meaty, thanks to the thick TPE bumper running around its sides that protects it from 6ft drops, no matter what angle the iPhone falls at. The case comes with a lip around the camera bump too, so you’re never left with a crack or a scratch around your camera lens, while at the same time, the folio case’s compatibility with wireless chargers means you don’t need to take your iPhone out of its cover every time you want to charge it. The front flap comes with a microfiber inner lining to keep your phone’s display scratch-free, while letting you carry up to 6 cards too. The case prolongs the life of your smartphone, keeping it as good as new, while the Horween leather on the other hand develops a unique patina over time, giving your phone its own individual persona!

Designer: Nomad

Currently Crowdfunding: An Epic 12-in-1 Toolbox, a Skill-Developing Drone Game, and More

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Navigating the world of crowdfunding can be overwhelming, to put it lightly. Which projects are worth backing? Where’s the filter to weed out the hundreds of useless smart devices? To make the process less frustrating, we scour the various online crowdfunding platforms to put together a weekly roundup of our favorite campaigns for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

Created by a swordmaker, this line of chef’s knives combines professional-grade blades with a beautiful Canadian maple grip to bring more artistry to the everyday act of cooking.

Billed as a “toolshed in a toolbox,” this “ultra-organized” toolbox includes pretty much any tool you’ll ever need: a hammer drill, drill press, jigsaw, scroll saw, circular saw, table saw, hot wire cutter, hot wire cutter, table sander, and mini-lathe. The ingenious UniGrip can be used with all of the above to transform them into handheld tools, while the top of the box doubles as a stainless steel work table for when you need benchtop tools. It also manages to squeeze in extra batteries, a fast-charger, an AC-DC converter, a worklight, and a protractor.

Interested in motorcycle design? This sketchbook is packed with reference materials, tutorials, and perspective guides to get your drawings to the next level.

Easily get a campfire going with this portable fire pit. The stainless steel plates were designed with 534 triangular holes to allow contained views of the whole fire. It comes with a handy carrying bag and a grill plate.

Two London-based brothers developed this innovative drone flying game to help beginner pilots boost their flying skills in a safe, fun way.

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Greenery is often "sole legitimisation" for unsustainable buildings says Céline Baumann

Celine Baumann Parliament of Plants

Plants will be used to greenwash developments until landscape architecture is given a bigger role in urban planning says French landscape architect Céline Baumann.

Baumann, whose work is one of 40 visions for the future of architecture currently on display at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, warned that plants on buildings are often a distraction from a development’s less eco-friendly qualities.

“Greenery is unfortunately too often used as an alibi for new developments, by wrapping buildings in green as sole legitimisation of an otherwise unsustainable project,” Baumann told Dezeen.

“Green surfaces such as walls and roofs are often very high maintenance and demands a lot of water and chemicals to thrive.”

Commodifying nature can lead to higher pollution

Many new developments are incorporating vertical forests, green roofs, urban farms and living walls. But unless these are deployed properly and sensitively, she said, they give little benefit – or are even actively harmful.

“Greenery is not per se ecological, and the commodification of nature can lead in fact to reduced biodiversity and higher pollution levels,” said Baumann.

Celine Baumann story, Islington's dead living wall
A living wall in Islington died after just three years. Photo by Steve Fareham

Ten years ago a London council was accused of wasting £100,000 on the UK’s first living wall when all the plants died. The structure was designed to replace the parkland that was lost when a children’s centre was built on the site, but within three years it was brown and withered.

Since then may new developments have featured green walls and roofs, as cities strive to address high levels of pollution and risks of flooding with sustainable architecture.

This trend for plant-covered buildings is ultimately positive, said Baumann.

“There’s a greater awareness today on the positive impact of plants in our urban environment in term of improving air quality, reducing pollution, creating cooling island, promoting biodiversity and fostering citizen’s physical and mental health,” she said. “This is very encouraging.”

Landscape architects must be given a bigger role

To make sure greenery is used in the right way, planting experts need to be involved in a much more significant way, not just as window dressing.

“Landscape architects today can be radical only if they are given a bigger role in city planning and new developments,” said Baumann. “Their understanding of open spaces as well as of natural processes is crucial to allow the creation of more inclusive, liveable, and truly sustainable cities.”

Celine Baumann Parliament of Plants
Parliament of Plants replaces white male politicians with flowers and leaves

Baumann’s peice exploring the queer lives of plants and their potential for imagining a post-anthropocene landscape is part of an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, called What is radical today?

Curated by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado, it is a display of 40 radical projects from architects including Peter Cook, Denise Scott Brown and Dezeen columnist Sam Jacob.

Parliament of Plants is Baumann’s adaption of the 18th century painting by Karl Anton Hickel, which depicts a cast of white male politicians sitting in the UK House of Commons. Instead of people, each portrait has been replaced by a plant.

“It was painted at a time when imperial powers sponsored colonial expeditions that supported scientific exploration, imperial conquests, and global trade,” said Baumann.

“Palms, bamboos, arums, rubber trees, and cactuses ranked prominently among the motivations for voyages of discovery, together with costly spices, medicinal herbs, and cash crops.”

Plants offer new ways of thinking

Her piece asks how the world could have been different if “the vegetable world had taken power” at this point in history.

“Would they be better at tackling issues of races, gender, normativity, inclusivity, ecology and climate change than we are?” Baumann asked.

Plants offer a radical alternative vision for living in the future, argues the landscape architect, because they are inherently queer – in the sexual and gender minority sense.

Celine Baumann in What is radical today?
What is radical today? is on show at the Royal Academy of Arts

“Some plants are unisexual and possess either male or female attributes on a single tree, like the yew or the gingko. Others contain both male and female inflorescences on the same plant: the spruce or the birch tree for example,” said Baumann.

“Others are multi-gendered: the wild carrot is both male and hermaphroditic. Some specimens are transitionally transgender: going from one sex to the other, like in the case of the field maple. Such a range of possibilities can be framed as queer.”

“We are suffering from plant blindness”

It is these queer attributes that make plants uniquely adaptable to different soils and climates, or able to foil would-be predators.

Humanity needs to open their eyes to the alternative modes of being to plan for ways of living once we have moved beyond the anthropocene, suggested Baumann. For the first time in history, humans have become the major force impacting the planet’s climate and environment.

“We are suffering from plant blindness,” she said.

“We don’t really see nature around us, having lost touch with the plant world within our urban environment. Trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs can though be a great source of inspiration, by providing alternatives to the way we design and act. In a post-anthropocene era, flora would be given a voice and be respected.”

Main image is by Projekt_Kaffeebart via Pixabay.

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"Designers are starting to understand they don't design in a vacuum" says Natsai Audrey Chieza

Natsai Audrey Chieza says role of designers has fundamentally changed

Good design is about interrogating systems not just creating beautiful chairs, biofabrication designer Natsai Audrey Chieza argued at Dezeen Day.

Chieza agreed with panel moderator and Dezeen co-founder, Marcus Fairs, that she is less interested in designing iconic products and chooses instead to focus on materials, processes, which is the future of the discipline.

“It’s not to say that we can’t have designers making chairs,” said Chieza. “But I think what designers are starting to do is understand that they don’t design in a vacuum.”

“There is a system at play and maybe what it means to make good design in the future is to interrogate that system, and to really push it,” she told the audience at Dezeen Day.

The challenge is working at scale

Chieza was speaking on a panel about post-plastic materials, alongside architect Arthur Mamou-Mani and designer Nienke Hoogvliet.

The next step for designers working with new materials, she said, is how to implement their ideas at a commercial scale.

“It’s very excited that we have new material systems that are coming but I think designers need to work really hard to determine how we actually scale it for impact,” she argued. “That’s the challenge for anybody working in the space.”

“[Otherwise we] find ourselves working with brand new materials that have so much potential, but actually the business model is broken and we’re designing for landfill.”

These are the questions at the heart of Faber Futures, the biodesign agency founded by Chieza, which explores production methods using living, natural materials.

The agency’s most well-known project for example, the Index Award-winning Coelicolor, uses bacteria rather than harmful chemicals to dye fabrics while using up to 500 times less water.

“It’s about grassroots individuals”

Neither designers nor industries can afford to wait for governments to take direct legislative or regulatory action on climate change. Instead, Chieza explained, change needs to come from the bottom up.

“We can’t wait for politics,” she said. “It’s not going to happen that way. It’s about the grassroots individuals and designers.”

“The industry is just suffering from inertia, and waiting for some kind of top-down policy to tell them what to do, and perhaps not really anticipating that they need to be able to start implementing some of these strategies today,” Chieza continued.

“If you actually want to be competitive in 10 years, you better start now.”

The panel talk was held as part of Dezeen Day at the BFI Southbank on 30 October. The conference featured a series of discussions on the industry’s most pressing issues, from the circular economy t0 education.

MoMA’s design and architecture curator Paola Antonelli gave a keynote reflecting on her Broken Nature exhibition and said that anger as an important engine for change, while Liam Young argued that architects should be designing video game environments.

The post “Designers are starting to understand they don’t design in a vacuum” says Natsai Audrey Chieza appeared first on Dezeen.

Dezeen Weekly features the winners of Dezeen Awards 2019

Edition Office

The latest edition of Dezeen Weekly includes the winners of Dezeen Awards 2019 and plans for a forested smart city in Mexico. Subscribe to Dezeen Weekly ›

The post Dezeen Weekly features the winners of Dezeen Awards 2019 appeared first on Dezeen.

Banksy Sells his Art on an Online Store

Dans la continuité de son shop éphémère baptisé “Gross Domestic Product” (Produit Intérieur Brut), Banksy a récemment ouvert une boutique en ligne du même nom. On y trouve des pièces signées par le street artiste et empreintes de son ton satirique, comme un mobile bébé constitué d’une vingtaine de caméras de surveillance, ou encore un camion avec des figurines de migrants pour apprendre à compter.

S’il s’est toujours opposé à la marchandisation de son art, Banksy a été contraint de créer ce site pour protéger ses œuvres face à une entreprise qui souhaite déposer son nom pour commercialiser de fausses marchandises. Les bénéfices, comme ceux du pop-up store, financeront des missions de sauvetage de migrants en Méditerranée. 

Fabriquées dans un studio d’art et non industriellement, la totalité des œuvres est d’ores et déjà en rupture de stock. “GDP peut être une expérience de vente très décevante – surtout si vous parvenez à faire un achat”, prévient l’artiste.

Images via : grossdomesticproduct.com







Top Entries in Bizarre Japanese Halloween Costume Competition, Part 4

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

A Japanese competition called Jimi Halloween, which roughly translates to “mundane/sober Halloween,” welcomes costumes that illustrate the foibles of modern life in a capitalist workaholic society. Here’s Part 4 of our favorites from this year.

Person Who Forgot to Take Out the Trash and is Racing to Beat the Pickup

A Left-Handed Person Struggling at a Restaurant Soup Station

Fan Who Tries to Make Heart Symbol with Pop Idol But She Won’t Do It

Person Whose Job is to Bring Microphone to Audience Members at a Q&A Session

Person Woken Up by the Delivery of an Amazon Package

Woman Who Bought an Off-Shoru (Off-the-Shoulder Dress) But Mis-estimated Her Shoulder Size

Guy Losing a Game of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Person Whose Eyeglasses Get Fogged Up Over a Hot Drink

People Who Were Helping a Friend Move, But Got Caught Up Reading Old Manga Issues They Were Packing

Person Who Only Eats Organic Food, Yet Appears Malnourished and Unhealthy

Click here for Part 5.

Top Entries in Bizarre Japanese Halloween Costume Competition, Part 5

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

(Part 4)

A Japanese competition called Jimi Halloween, which roughly translates to “mundane/sober Halloween,” welcomes costumes that illustrate the foibles of modern life in a capitalist workaholic society. Here’s Part 5 of our favorites from this year.

Guy Who Wins Bingo But is Too Shy To Announce It

Girl Who Grew Up With Only Brothers and Only Gets Hand-Me-Down Clothing for Boys

Guy Who Washes His Hands and Dries Them On His Clothes

Person You Mistake for a Store Clerk When You Visit the Optician

Person Who Buys an Umbrella Because It’s Raining–Then It Stops Raining

Guy With Difficult-to-Read Nametag

Guy Who Was Called to the Jobsite from the Head Office

A Right-Handed Person (the guy playing him is a lefty)

Co-Worker Sent to the Vending Machine to Get Coffee for Everyone Else

Elementary School Physical Education Teacher Who is Not Good at Exercise