This tiny gaming console lets you relive all your nostalgic GameBoy titles in a modern compact design

With a name as mysterious as OBJKT-2, this little gizmo from the mind of designer Sushant Kumar lets you relive all your golden GameBoy memories. Styled to be even smaller than the Analogue Pocket, OBJKT-2 makes classic gaming even more portable, letting you load all your popular GameBoy titles via an SD card, and even add modules that enhance your gaming experience. The little device is roughly the size of a GameBoy Color cartridge but sports a vivid color display that measures roughly 2.2-inch diagonally, and two thumbsticks on the bottom that can independently be used as a D-pad and XYAB keys, as well as two shoulder keys on the upper left and right corner. For good measure, the OBJKT-2 even has a USB-C and 3.5mm port crammed into its base, making it the most feature-dense console for its incredibly compact size.

The compact little gaming console can be used independently, as shown above, but also supports a nifty set of modules that enhance the gaming experience. The first two modules fit right into the two tiny joysticks, giving them much more surface area and making them a lot more comfortable to rest your thumbs on for long gameplays. As an added bonus, the USB-C port on the bottom lets you plug in an extra battery pack so you can go for hours without worrying about losing progress to a low battery. The battery pack even supports pass-through charging in case you plan on stretching your gameplay to the maximum limits. (that Super Mario speed run record isn’t going to beat itself)

The name OBJKT-2 begs the question – where’s OBJKT-1? Well, the console is a part of Sushant’s experimental TINY OBJECTS series (OBJKT-1 is a retromodern speaker about the size of a keycap, with a gear-shaped volume ring on the side). For now, the TINY OBJECTS series is just a 3D modeling and rendering exercise within Blender (Sushant is also selling NFTs on the side), although who said we can’t be optimistic about a prototype in the near future? You can follow Sushant aka SooshiPasta on Instagram for more.

Designer: Sushant Kumar

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Sundance 2022 New Frontier: On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World)

An earth-shattering VR work that lets participants experience the onset of a nuclear emergency in Hawaii

Virtual reality storytelling is frequently spoken of as a tool for empathy and understanding. Many of the VR, augmented reality and immersive entries at this year’s Sundance Film Festival support this belief—from the trailblazing, compassionate feature-length documentary We Met in Virtual Reality (filmed entirely in VRChat) to the many highlights of the New Frontier category. In New Frontier’s narrative VR work On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World): Take Cover (which we experienced through an Oculus Quest 2 from home during the festival), participants step into the onset of a nuclear emergency from an imaginatively rendered Hawaii. For the five-minute immersive story—which references the real-life ballistic missile warning that happened on 13 January 2018—impending doom becomes tactile as fear and poetry mix in the air.

Archer’s Mark co-founders Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, along with co-writer, educator and spoken-word poet Dr Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio and executive producer and nuclear arms control and disarmament scholar Tamara Lilinoe Patton, manifested this earth-shattering experience; one that blends fiction and reality. It’s part of the mission of Archer’s Mark, a platform-agnostic independent production company that explores storytelling tools to stretch cultural boundaries and establish truths. Following our experience with On the Morning You Wake, we connected with Brett to understand how it all came to be.

“The creative gestation of the project has been unconventional to say the least, but it feels like the decentralized nature of the development process enabled us to take a really collective approach from the outset, adding collaborators and partners at key stages in the life of the project,” Brett tells us of how their path differed from that of a traditional film production.

“The first creative kernel appeared way back at the start of 2018, when we were approached by Susanna Pollack at Games for Change, an incredible non-profit based in New York, who had seen [Archer’s Mark’s previous award-winning VR work] Notes on Blindness and wanted to discuss ways in which we could use VR to bring the issue of contemporary nuclear threat to a new audience.”

Games for Change provided crucial guidance through Patton and Alexander Glaser at Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security. “Their expertise in the nuclear field became absolutely pivotal to the project’s creative direction. It was they who suggested that we look at the events of 13 January 2018, when a ballistic missile alert was sent to everyone in Hawaii,” Brett explains. “Tamara’s own experience of receiving phone calls and text messages from family and friends throughout the alert actually appears in chapter one of the project—Take Cover, which was what just premiered at Sundance—and the importance of articulating personal experience became a fundamental principle of our creative approach.”

“Coming from a documentary background, Steve and I knew that we had to be led by the testimony of those who experienced the alert first-hand, and we spent nearly a year speaking to dozens of people from across Hawaii who shared their accounts with extraordinary generosity and candor,” Brett continues. “We then spent several months condensing dozens of hours of those interviews into a three-act structure that we felt would best accommodate the range of experiences and perspectives we had heard.”

From the audio, Brett and his team then began to determine the parameters of the world we see and hear within the VR film. Absolutely everything reflects a decision they made. “I guess the single most important factor in determining the audience’s perspective in the project was the fact that we knew it needed to be grounded in the first-person testimony of those that experienced the missile alert. So, the majority of the opening scenes are dramatized at a 1:1 room scale, making the user feel present in the moment and the space.”

“As the experience progresses we do sometimes shift perspective toward a more global view,” he continues, “as we start to understand more about how this missile alert is, unfortunately, far less of a freak accident than we would like to believe, and very much determined by globalized and interconnected military-political structures.” Through this perspective change, Brett intends to address the fact that today, urgency over a nuclear threat has diminished because—for many citizens—the sense of danger is simply impossible to comprehend because of its vastness or abstractness.

“By expanding the user’s perspective and allowing them to see how deeply embedded the events of 13 January 2018 are in ongoing structures of military and colonial violence, our aim was for the audience to feel on a visceral level a direct link between these global systems and the testimony of those who lived through the tangible effects of them that day,” Brett says.

With collaborators, insight and perspective in place, Brett began to move the production forward. “It probably sounds like—and is—a bit of a cliché, but the nature of producing in VR means that it can feel like you’re trying to drive a speeding train while building the track in front of you,” he says. “In VR, the tools at your disposal not only change throughout the production, but so too do the capabilities of the devices and platforms through which your project will reach its audience.”

“On one hand that’s incredibly exciting, continually opening up creative solutions and possibilities. On the other, it means the number of variables you have to keep in your head when making critical creative decisions can be pretty overwhelming at times,” he continues. Support from their financiers—BFI, Oculus VR for Good and ARTE France—and their team of developers at French studios Atlas V and Novelab allowed them to navigate the VR production pipeline.

“From the start of the project, we knew we wanted to shoot all of our human characters using photorealistic volumetric capture, allowing audiences to connect with them on a human level as they underwent the life-changing events of 13 January 2018,” Brett says. “That meant shooting each character using an array of 140 cameras and 120 infrared sensors to capture organic, authentic, natural performances. Alongside this approach to the characters, we were very focused on the importance of creating a point cloud/particle-based art direction as a means of referencing atomic scale.”

During the VR experience, “there’s a dramatic shift in the visual identity of the environment around the user at the precise moment that the missile alert is received by people across the islands. We always referred to this part of the experience as our ‘loss of cabin pressure’ moment, when the floor suddenly drops from beneath us, our perceived reality crumbles and the photo-real environments and characters dissolve, giving way to a spectral, point cloud-based art direction.” It’s a powerful, metaphoric transformation that could only be enacted through the comprehensive visual experience in this medium.

Regarding the breadth of the world, Brett adds, “The creation of those environments was an iterative process over many months, as the dev team worked incredibly hard to optimize the number, shape, movement and brightness of the points. The result is the rendering of a kind of ghostly, otherworldly dimension—a virtual space that reminds us the threat of deadly nuclear conflict lies, barely visible to most of us, just under the surface of our everyday lives.”

As Brett mentioned, two chapters will be released in the future. “We’re really excited about how the three-act structure of the piece allows us such dramatic potential both to explore the false missile alert of 2018 through the eyes of those who experienced it first-hand, and also to place those events into the wider context of the global security crisis we’re all now facing,” he says.

Though the following episodes will contain the same amount of emotional gravity, Brett offers a sense of hope. “We really wanted to avoid leaving audiences with the sense of nihilism or helplessness that so many works in the nuclear space have engendered in the past,” he says. “Instead, we want our audiences to experience a truly galvanizing moment when they remove their headsets. In the memorable words of our co-writer Dr Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, it’s our hope that, if we have the courage and the conviction to stand together and make a change, then ‘maybe, just maybe, the world may not have to end again tomorrow.’”

None of this would have been possible without the entire confluence of talent involved. “The result has been a genuine work of blended authorship, where no single creator could or should lay claim to the final artistic output—auteur theory sucks—but all of us can hopefully feel a real sense of ownership and investment in the project,” Brett adds.

“In a world of an increasingly corporate and homogenized media,” Brett says, “it’s so crucial that we continue carving out space for new, unexpected and truthful voices and perspectives.” Archer’s Mark turns 15 years old this year and the next 15 (and beyond) will only strengthen this mission.

Images courtesy of Archer’s Mark, Atlas V and the Sundance Institute

This configurable remote control is the one remote to rule them all that your fingers might love

This ingenious remote control almost solves all the hangups people have with complicated remote and flat smartphones while giving your finger an almost familiar sensation.

Smart home products are invading our houses, be it in the living room or in our personal sanctuaries. From lights to speakers to TVs to even ovens, almost anything can be controlled with a smartphone these days. That’s not always the most convenient way to control all these devices, even when they’re located in a single place. A dedicated remote control can free your phone for other uses, and this configurable device could be the only one your fingers will ever need.

Designer: Ruwido

Traditional TV remotes are often considered to be the bane of usability and simplicity with their dozens of buttons, but few would deny the benefits that tactile and haptic feedback has on our minds, especially when it comes to developing muscle memory. Some smart TV remotes have ditched all but the most essential buttons but at the cost of flexibility.

Smartphones seem to offer the best of those two worlds since controls can change at a moment’s notice to control almost any smart device, but it sacrifices the physicality of control in the process. Additionally, using the phone as a remote means not using the phone as a phone, which cuts into the time you might otherwise spend on social media. A dedicated remote is still a better option, and the Ruwido Liza might actually have the perfect blend of all three worlds.

It doesn’t have the dizzying number of buttons as a typical remote, but the Liza easily has three or four times the “buttons” as an Apple TV remote. What’s special about these concave buttons is that they are actually tiny touch screens that provide haptic feedback when pressed. Unlike a phone’s screen, the vibration of each “button” gives better tactile feedback, even if they’re not exactly like a physical button that you can feel when it goes down at each press.

Unlike many programmable remote controls, the Liza does show the icons that you assigned for each button, including cover art for your favorite albums or playlists, for example. This takes away the guesswork when switching between different smart appliances and helps develop the muscle memory that conventional remotes are best known for. All that’s left now is for the Liza to support more smart home products and services beyond Spotify, Sonos, Philips Hue, and some TVs, and it will truly be the one remote you’ll ever need.

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UK’s First LGBTQ+ Museum Will Open This Spring

After four years of planning and countless delays due to the pandemic, the UK’s first queer museum, called Queer Britain, is slated to open this spring. Occupying a historic space in King’s Cross owned by fundraising charity Art Fund, the museum will feature four galleries to showcase past, present and future queer stories as well as workshop and educational spaces. “LGBTQ+ communities have been crying out for this for decades, and it will be for everyone,” says director and co-founder of Queer Britain, Joseph Galliano. “I want people to be able to look back so that they can better understand who they are today and how we got here and so that together we can all imagine a best of all possible futures—and that is LGBTQ+ people as well as our heterosexual counterparts.” Learn more about this milestone at Dazed.

Image courtesy of Queer Britain

This minimalist furniture set can keep your stuff germ-free and charge your phones, too

Minimalist-looking furniture doesn’t always mean they serve a single purpose only, especially if they can hide their other functions in plain sight.

There are quite a few trends in the past few years that have sent ripples through different industries, changing the ways things are traditionally made or how things usually function. For example, there has been an increase in devices that claim to sanitize your belongings at home with UVC light. The ubiquity of smartphones inside the house has also pushed even the likes of IKEA to adopt new features to accommodate these electronic devices. Another example is this furniture set that, at first glance, is both minimalist and minimal, but actually hide their smart features in an ingenious way.

Designers: Martin Poon and One Object Design Studio

We have gotten used to seeing a lot of minimalist products, especially as furniture or even appliances for the home. There is an undeniable appeal in the cleanliness and purity of these objects, and their simple or singular use also almost has this liberating feeling that frees the mind from having to think twice about what something does. That said, there’s always the possibility of incorporating more features in what looks like a simple design, like what this WITS collection on home furniture demonstrates.

ROLL, for example, looks like a simple fabric-covered stool, though the seam at the top clearly indicates that it can be opened. Rather than being a hidden container, however, it can accommodate a detachable UV light module that can clean larger objects like toys, books, or even bags. It’s something handy to have around the house, especially during these days when people tend to worry alot about indoor sanitation.

FLOAT definitely has a simple cabinet feel to it, one that’s designed to stand by your bed for easy access to your things. However, a portion of its top surface actually acts as a wireless charging area for your phone so you won’t have to worry about forgetting to plug your phone in every night. Pull the top drawer, however, and you’ll be greeted by a soft LED light that could save you a lot of pain at night.

BOX is like a smaller version of ROLL, though clearly not to be sat on. Its body is wrapped in the same soft fabric as the stool, conveying feelings of comfort and warmth for the home. The wooden cover, however, comes off to reveal plenty of room inside for keys, wallets, and even your phone. It is also compatible with the same UV light module to disinfect your things while they lie in wait for their next use.

Last but not least is the LAYER sofa table, admittedly the most complex among these minimalist pieces of furniture. Its wooden top can swivel to any position to maximize or minimize the area the side table occupies, while its foot can stand inside a basket that serves as additional storage. And like its wooden sibling, the FLOAT, the LAYER also has a wireless charging area for your phone while you take your dinner and binge on your favorite show.

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Práctica Arquitectura reinterprets Mexican hacienda in volcanic stone

Modern Mexican hacienda set around a courtyard

Mexican studio Práctica Arquitectura has designed La Hacienda Járdin, a holiday home in Tepoztlán built from Texcal volcanic stone and Durango pine around a central courtyard.

Located one hour south of Mexico City, La Hacienda Járdin was designed for a family as a weekend retreat that will eventually be used as a retirement home.

Dog lounging by courtyard of La Hacienda Jardin
La Hacienda Járdin was built from volcanic stone and pine wood

Monterrey-based Práctica Arquitectura created the two-storey home as a reinterpretation of a classic Mexican hacienda – a large ranch or plantation.

Here, the studio chose to design the building to be more adaptable than typical haciendas, aiming to create spaces that could change as the way in which the home is used evolves.

Bird's eye view of Mexican hacienda
A large courtyard sits at the centre

Haciendas are usually surrounded by gardens, but this project turned the concept on its head by creating a building that looks like a hacienda but instead has the garden at its centre.

“The typical haciendas in Mexico and in most parts of Latin America and Spain are spaces with large gardens around them and restricted dark-cold inner areas, impossible to rearrange to the needs of their inhabitants,” David Martinez, head of Práctica Arquitectura, told Dezeen.

La Hacienda Jardin by Practica Arquitectura
The upper floor overlooks the courtyard

“This project takes formal inspiration in the hacienda, reducing the elements to its minimal, being a roofed wall, creating different paths of circulation within,” he added.

“It solves the issues intrinsic to the typology through light and the possbility of organizing each space without any restriction.”

La Hacienda Jardin is made from wood and stone
Endemic plants were chosen for the courtyard landscaping

The 750-square-metre residence features a perimeter wall built from Texcal volcanic stone, the same stone as that of the nearby El Tepozteco mountain.

The house’s structure is made from Durango pine, which was also used for interior beams and poles, while huanacaxtle wood was chosen for the latticework and finishes in the house.

“The decision to work with local materials respond to the architectural dialogue the project establishes with the town of Tepoztlán, the mountain (El Tepozteco) and landscape, the climate and the vegetation,” Martinez said.

La Hacienda Járdin’s ground floor holds four bedrooms, as well as the kitchen and numerous areas that open up to the courtyard for combined indoor and outdoor socialising in the temperate climate.

Wood and stone interior
Durango pine and huanacaxtle wood give the interiors a warm feel

Upstairs, the main bedroom overlooks the courtyard. The first floor also has living space next to the bedroom.

The courtyard features a sunken seating area and is planted with greenery suitable for the region.

“The architectural program questions the area’s predominant practice of first fencing off a property and then inserting a building and landscaping the rest,” Práctica Arquitectura said.

Evening view of modern Mexican hacienda
The house has solar panels and is irrigated by water catchment systems

“This project does the opposite; it becomes a roofed wall open to the elements that contains a garden of endemic vegetation in its centre,” the studio added.

Wooden lattices and pergolas were used to create an open feel and a “play of light and shadows”, while the roof over the courtyard was designed to frame views of the Tepozteco mountain.

Hacienda Jardin at night
Much of the house opens up to the exterior

Práctica Arquitectura added sustainable elements to La Hacienda Járdin, such as solar panels for its electricity and drainage with a controlled septic tank.

The residence also has irrigation from water catchment systems, as well as natural absorption wells.

Other recent projects in Tepoztlán include HGR Arquitectos’ Casa Texcal, a holiday home formed of intersecting gabled volumes, and a wood-and-stone garden home by Rozana Montiel.

The photography is by César Béjar and Oscar Hernández.

Project credits:

Firm: Práctica Arquitectura
Lead architect: David Martínez Ramos
Team: José Flores Buzo, Eduardo Sosa, Andrés Dillon
Woodwork: L atelier – Julien Pinon
Location: Tepoztlán, Morelos
Landscape: David Martínez Ramos
Construction: CS8X – Carlos Sanorte

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Apple Watch-inspired battery-powered microwave oven helps heat food while camping

When you’re out camping or enjoying a picnic, the convenience of preparing a meal and the ease of heating a beverage/food are two important aspects for a good time. Portable microwave ovens have to an extent made this possible for us, but the traditional options have their own demerits: Unappealing design and power consumption for instance. Stepping up with a stylish new form factor and battery-powered design, the Campo is a fine solution to our requirements in the great outdoors.

Portable microwave ovens that work without electricity have made a huge difference to how we travel and camp. They make it convenient to cook a meal briskly or defrost frozen foods and heat beverages during the outing. The market is flooded with low-wattage microwaves for camping that include all the important elements of making a camper happy. Despite their minimum power requirement, however, these ovens tend to drain your car’s battery quickly.

Designer: Siyun Bae

Before you plug your microwave into the vehicle’s battery and end up draining it down to the point where your vehicle refuses to start; spare a thought for the Campo microwave oven. This is microwave powered by a rechargeable battery to let you do the heating and cooking without requiring continuous juice up from your car. It would be a good idea to just carry your microwave like a helmet and place it on a flat surface to begin preparing the meal instantly.

The Campo, inspired by the curves of an Apple Watch and the concept of a portable EV battery, is made in nature-friendly colors. Its helmet-like design, where the visor (the lid in this case) can be rolled up with a handle. Inside you have a magnetically fastened plate, over which you can keep the item you want to cook or heat and set the timer (which is displayed on the handle you can roll back down to start the microwave). The ease of portability is ensured by a locking mechanism on the side of the unit, which locks in place when the handle is rolled up or pushed down flat.

Given its appealing shape and design, the Campo could easily fit in the center console of your vehicle, so you can even enjoy a piping hot cup of joe while driving. In addition to its application in the outdoors, a microwave of this sort can come in handy during unexpected power outages or an uncalled backyard party, which turns a normal day into a surprising camping event.

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Intg designs Korean bank lounge with "floating meeting room"

Hana Bank lounge

Local design studio Intg has created minimalist interiors informed by traditional Korean architecture for a Seoul bank lounge.

The private lounge was completed for Hana Bank, which is based in Yeouido, the main finance and investment banking district in Seoul, South Korea.

Hana Bank lounge
Hana Bank’s lounge features a “floating meeting room”

Seoul studio Intg created a two-storey, 1,104 square-metre lounge with VIP zones as well as areas for regular customers, including various meeting spaces.

The studio aimed to design a space that would encourage clients to visit the branch in person in an age when banking is increasingly digital.

Lounge with mote
The lounge includes various spaces for clients

When visitors enter the lounge, they are met by a statement glass box in the centre of the space that is filled with seating and side tables, which Intg described as a “floating meeting room”.

According to the design studio, the room – which is bordered by a moat of bright blue sand arranged in a swirly formation – takes cues from traditional Asian architecture.

Blue sand by Intg
Intg built a moat of bright blue sand around the meeting room

“It is designed to subtly reflect the way people enter living spaces after stepping over a stone in traditional Korean houses,” Intg co-founder Daniel Song told Dezeen.

“Separate meeting rooms are placed like islands similar to the Hanok structure,” he continued, citing the Korean term for such houses.

Among the minimalist furniture in the meeting room are chubby midnight-blue Kerman sofas by German brand E15, as well as Italian furniture company Cassina’s Le Corbusier-style Capitol Complex armchairs.

“While traditionally, bank branches hide meetings room into corners, we placed ours in the middle to make customers feel valued,” explained Song.

Minimalist furniture
Minimalist furniture features in the project

The studio used stone floors for the room and metal to construct the meeting room in reference to the strength and security of bank safes.

A large, mossy mound of rocks and plants rises up from the ground and adds a touch of nature to the otherwise dark and angular lounge.

The lounge “is designed to melt digital into analogue with an emphasis on tangible experience,” Song explained.

Mossy rock formation
A mossy rock formation rises up from the stone floor

Intg (pronounced “in-teg”) was co-founded by Daniel Song and Kate Cho and has a portfolio spanning hotels and houses to work and retail spaces.

Other recent projects in banks and financial institutions include Ministry of Design’s “banking conservatory” in Singapore and a metal-clad cash-processing centre in Paris by Jean-Paul Viguier.

The photography is courtesy of Intg.

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Brexit is "one of history's great own goals" say architects

Stephen Barrett of RSHP

Brexit is a “disaster” that is leading to less overseas work and a loss of talented workers, according to leading UK architects.

Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects spoke of the “sense of isolation” his studio has felt since the UK left the European Union, while Sarah Wigglesworth of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects said her business is struggling to recruit and tender contracts.

A senior partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners said it is causing “friction and asymmetry”, while a Glasgow-based studio claimed pressure on the architecture industry means smaller practices are “struggling to compete with lowball fee offers from direct competitors”.

One year on from the end of the transition period when the EU’s rules ceased to apply in Britain, Dezeen spoke to six UK architects about how Brexit has impacted their work.

While some pointed to the widely reported surges in building material and labour costs, they also acknowledged that it is difficult to separate the role Brexit has played from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Others said the challenge is encouraging innovative and collaborative approaches to designing buildings.

Stephen Barrett of RSHP

“We would opt to return to how things were before in a heartbeat”
Stephen Barrett, partner and head of Paris office, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

“In short, it’s still too soon to have a complete and accurate picture.

“Two words do immediately spring to mind, however: friction and asymmetry. Firstly, contrary to the promises being made by those advocating the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, processes that were fluid and straightforward are now more complicated and expensive, requiring significant additional time, energy and administration.

“Secondly, and it’s an obvious point, the impacts of Brexit on the UK are much deeper than the corresponding impacts on the UK’s EU neighbours. Whilst we eagerly await evidence to the contrary, to date nothing suggests that Brexit isn’t anything other than one of history’s great own goals.

“Brexit has prompted us to invest in our Paris office, to formalize and expand our presence in Europe. Brexit undermines longstanding arrangements in relation to mutual professional recognition, significantly affecting the ability of UK-based practices to qualify and compete for work across the EU.

“Furthermore, without an EU presence, obtaining the required professional insurance, and notably decennial cover is also more difficult, if not impossible.

“Were we to have a choice, as a practice I suspect we would opt to return to how things were before in a heartbeat.”

Photograph of Andrew Waugh

“The real issue for us is that sense of isolation”
Andrew Waugh, director, Waugh Thistleton Architects

“We still have our European flag flying at Waugh Thistleton Architects – literally hung on the wall. It’s the first thing you see when you enter the studio.

“Pre-Brexit about a third of the office were from the EU. Now we have only two real Europeans left with us in the UK. We do have satellite offices in Venice and Madrid, so that’s a small positive. But we still miss them all – the diversity, panache and breadth of knowledge that they brought.

“The real issue for us is that sense of isolation that we are supposed to embrace. So while really progressive legislation and research is happening in Europe and an actual effort being made into lowering carbon and promoting timber construction, here it’s not really happening.

“And then of course there’s the labour shortages, material shortages, inflation, all for what? Singapore-on-Thames? And so one man could obtain power? Party on Johnson!

“Our cunning plan is to move the office back to Europe.”

Sarah Wigglesworth

“Brexit is turning into the disaster that many who voted Remain predicted”
Sarah Wigglesworth, founder, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects

“Brexit is turning into the disaster many who voted Remain predicted. Shortages of staff, higher prices, loss of exports, loss of students in our universities and so forth.

“As a business we are finding it hard to recruit, construction price hikes are making tender difficult and we are finding materials shortages.

“Cancelling large infrastructure projects will not help the building economy. With high inflation, the nation will be poorer but will it make us more humble?”

Nick Fairham of BDP

“It’s difficult to isolate the impact of Brexit”
Nick Fairham, chief executive, BDP

“At BDP, we have always embraced the inclusive studio environment that the barrier-free EU environment allowed. Some of our projects stalled due to Brexit jitters but with the pandemic affecting the entire sector, it’s difficult to isolate the impact of Brexit alone.

“We have adapted our design approach to meet the challenges. The widely reported shortage of materials and labour in the construction market have undoubtedly increased prices and as such, we have invested in digital technology and continue to design to accommodate for off-site manufacture.

“Ultimately, it all points to a more careful post-Brexit approach to design, where off-site manufacture, local sourcing and employment are pre-eminent and the exciting possibilities of re-using rather than throwing away are explored.

“Necessity is the mother of invention — we hope that through the need to adopt new ways of working, using digital design and manufacture to carefully mitigate environmental impact and promote efficiency and wellbeing, we are entering the era of careful, not careless, design.”

Naila Yousuf

“Despite Brexit, our studio has remained delightfully mixed”
Naila Yousuf, partner, Wright & Wright Architects

“Industry-wide materials shortages have been a recurring theme this year, as have extraordinary inflationary costs, though whether those are a product of Covid-19 uncertainty or Brexit is up for debate.

“Material shortages could have hindered the delivery of our projects, particularly the procurement of innovative materials like cross-laminated timber, certified Passivhaus glazing, or specialist mechanical and electrical kit.

“However, the challenge experienced by many did not negatively impact our attitude to design, or the progress of projects on-site, which is a testament to the client, design team and contractors with who we have been working.

“Despite Brexit, our studio has remained delightfully mixed [with] 30 per cent from the EU and further afield, and our studio culture is all the richer for it.”

Marc Cairns of New Practice

“We have seen the already challenging project budgets we’re working to slashed”
Marc Cairns, managing director, New Practice

“A key area of focus for New Practice is community-led development delivered in partnership with the public sector, local organisations and community groups.

“As the impacts of our exit from the European Union take hold we have seen the already challenging project budgets we’re working to slashed and, unfortunately, in some cases projects have been scrapped completely due to increasing material costs and supply-chain risk.

“Critically, this is resulting in often the most disadvantaged communities missing out on meaningful schemes.

“Similar situations across the industry have also created greater competition between peers vying for these opportunities, with micro-practices struggling to compete with lowball fee offers from direct competitors and much more established practises willing to take a hit on ‘loss leader’ projects.

“However, there is a glimmer of a silver lining in all this. We’ve also seen an increase in collaboration between firms of all scales looking to innovate and offer something different in this challenging transition and we hope that this is a trend that continues to build across the industry in years to come.”

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They Now Make USB-C Charging Cables with Built-In Wattage Meters

These USB-C charging cables, from a company you’ve never heard of, feature a built-in wattage meter that tells you how fast your devices are charging. 6.6 feet long, the cables are braided and supposedly durable.

Sean Hollister over at The Verge rolled the dice and bought one, stating it feels “surprisingly high-quality” and checked them for accuracy, giving them the thumbs-up. He did have some caveats, which you can read at the review.

I think they look cool and am amazed that they exist—but I can’t think of a single reason why I’d want to see how fast something was charging. If anything, I wish the cable could tell me how much time my device had left before it becomes, like most tech devices will these days, obsolete and unusable.