Jana Horn: After All This Time

Jana Horn’s upcoming album, The Window Is The Dream, is set for release in April and from it comes the lead single, “After All This Time.” Horn’s featherweight vocals float over the track’s soft percussion, gentle cello and guitar. The album “began as a failed program,” says the Texas-based artist in a statement. “I wrote these songs in the thick of a writing program. I was reading all the time, sometimes five-hundred pages a week or more, there was no music on, for years maybe; my record player broke, the stereo in my car, my laptop was on its last speaker and then it started twitching. The feeling of those days was holding on, as though centripetal force alone was keeping everything going. Songs spilled. Days go by / they don’t have time. Even the walks I took were circular, around the cemetery and back.”

This emergency response kickscooter solves inaccessibility issues faced by ambulance in critical situations

While you won’t imagine any other use of a kick scooter than casual commuting or fun for the kiddos, realms of the concept design world have other ideas.

To cut it short, using kick scooter as a medical emergency responders’ first line of contact with the injured person for the quickest response possible. Quite a valid idea in case of emergencies that occur in places where a four-wheeled ambulance or even two-wheelers cannot reach. For instance; multistorey buildings, crowded malls, shopping centers, or airports.

Designer: Ulises Varela, Sofia Caruso and Ezequiel Garelli

Every passing by minute means a high risk of fatality to the patient and that’s what the Inmed emergency medical scooter aims to tend to. This two-wheeler is stationed inside highly crowded places for the quickest emergency response until the time ambulance or a doctor arrives. The paramedics can utilize Inmed loaded with the vital emergency kit to reach within minutes of any mishap. The scooter has medical items like alcohol, gauze, scissors, gloves, and more to give first aid.

If you notice closely, the kick scooter has a stable platform with a place to keep the feet parallel, well balanced apart. This is a vital design revamp since in the rush of the movement, the respondent can go off balance. Also, it means better maneuverability to keep up the required pace in tight situations. The kick scooter is loaded with a 450-watt motor inside the front wheel which is fed by the 36V battery. This lends the vehicle a total range of 20 km on a single charge.

Inmed is loaded with a 4-inch touchscreen with all the required functions. On activating the emergency protocol function, the GSP shows the shortest possible route to reach the patient. It displays the battery percentage, current speed, total distance traveled and ambient temperature. To alarm other motorists, the vehicle projects two separate beams of light from the handlebars. The visual design of the emergency kick scooter lets bystanders make way to prevent any delays.

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Studio CL creates Santiago apartment building as "exercise in micro-density"

Studio CL DSP Apartment

Studio CL has created a concrete apartment block in Chile made out of precast concrete that was designed as a prototype for a multi-family housing unit.

Named DSP Apartment, the building is sited in Santiago on a site previously occupied by a single-family residence.

Aluminium covered apartment block in Chile
Studio CL created an apartment building in Santiago

Prompted by the “dramatic surge” in real estate development in the Chilean capital over the past twenty years, the design was meant to increase the density of the neighborhood.

Studio CL was commissioned by the Japanese/Chilean design collective Ochoalcubo to create a multi-family housing block.

Garage storage under concrete apartment building
Each floor features a different housing typology

“The DSP apartment building proposes a sustainable way for housing development,” said Studio CL.

“Fitted in a lot previously occupied by just one residence, it’s an exercise in micro-scale density.”

Staircase and concrete ceiling
A bike storage area allows entrance into the ground floor apartment and the courtyard staircase

The structure encapsulates three different homes with different typologies: a duplex with a backyard on the ground floor, a studio apartment on the second, and a penthouse with a rooftop on the top floor.

Constructed mostly with precast concrete panels and a steel frame, the building used a form traditionally reserved for parking garages in order to achieve flexibility in the floor plans.

Steel-plated stairway in concrete courtyard
The staircase made of is steel plated

The design team also aimed for speed in order to keep up with the fast-paced development and need for density in the growing urban core, creating a system that allows the construction to proceed from foundation to completion in just over a month.

A series of “shelves” act as floors by using a double-tee flooring system, achieving structural solidity “without the need for central support”.

“This single quality allows for the multiplicity of types inside the building, making each floor’s interior effectively independent from the one below,” said the studio.

Walkway in in courtyard
A walkway connects the penthouse

An absence of columns allowed for expansive glass to fill in the spaces between the floors so that the apartments have long windows that run through the widths of the apartments on the street-facing facade.

The sides of the building are largely solid concrete.

Rounded staircase with sky above
The staircase has rounded edges

Over the facade, an operable second skin of aluminium mesh was placed in order to provide shade as well as privacy.

While the exterior of the building has a toned-down appearance, the causeways and public areas were given details that make the building liveable.

Exposed concrete rafters
Structural elements were left exposed for the interiors

These include a central courtyard that connects the ground-floor bike storage area to the upper levels. On the second storey, a walkway connects the second-storey studio with the entrance to the second floor of the duplex.

For the penthouse, which is separated by the courtyard, the walkway was lined with glass and a separate section of the staircase leads to the rooftop.

At the centre of this is a steel-plate staircase that was painted white, with round edges on the turnarounds.

Window to courtyard stairwell
Windows open up to the courtyard

Studio CL kept some of the structural elements of the building uncovered for the interiors of the apartments. Exposed concrete rafters and walls were complemented by light wood and tile.

While the street-facing windows let in plenty of light, additional windows were placed to face the courtyard, allowing sunlight to enter the rooms placed around the core.

According to the studio, these design decisions allow for “new urbanites to find housing” while maintaining some of the neighbourhood character that had been erased by “predatory development.”

Studio CL was founded in Santiago in 2012 by Daniel Lazo and Gabriel Caceres.

Private rooftop penthouse
The penthouse has a private rooftop

Other progressive apartment buildings in Santiago include Izquierdo Lehmann Arquitectos and Francisco Saul’s San Crescente housing block, which is placed under a single long glued-laminated timber roof.

The photography is by Bruno Gilberto.

The post Studio CL creates Santiago apartment building as “exercise in micro-density” appeared first on Dezeen.

Elephants Contribute to the Fight Against Climate Change

A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that elephants—some of the last remaining megaherbivores in rainforests—are crucial to protecting the planet. Analyzing the animals’ feeding habits in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo and LuiKotale, researchers discerned that elephants are picky eaters whose choices aid the capture of carbon. They tend to opt for leaves from trees with lower wood density, helping the trees avoid overcrowding and enabling the growth of larger trees that sequester more carbon. Elephants also prefer fruit that stems from higher-density wood trees, which helps to disperse their seeds throughout the forest. Though seemingly contradictory, by eating trees elephants help mitigate carbon dioxide in the air. Learn more about how they fight climate change at INVERSE.

Image courtesy of World Wildlife/Matt Bango

Elago W3 Stand for Apple Watch Ultra will teleport user onto a nostalgic journey of time and functionality

San Diago-based accessories maker, Elago, has made it a custom to recreate Apple’s loved Macintosh Computer into a charging dock for the Cupertino tech giant’s new watch editions. The W3 charging stands – for Apple Watch series – through the years have paid ode to the iconic iMac that put Apple at the pinnacle of personal computing.

Meant to wirelessly charge the Apple Watch under the disguise of a classic Macintosh, Elago has this time refreshed the design to accommodate Apple’s largest watch to date. The W3 Stand is designed to sit comfortably on the nightstand while charging the Apple Watch Ultra docked into it. With the Nightstand Mode kicked in, it can function as an alarm clock and display time and messages for you.

Designer: Elago

Click Here to Buy Now!

The new Elago W3 Stand is likely to impress Apple Watch patrons with its throwback design and ability to charge the Watch Ultra. Simply place the watch into the charging stand and the watch screen will instantly transform into a retro Macintosh computer.

The stand – which is compatible with Apple Watch Ultra, Series 8, and all previous models – is made of durable, non-recycled silicone. The construction material renders the accessory feels great to the touch and durable enough to last a lifetime. Use of silicone also ensures that the charging stand is safe to use in homes with children and pets.

If you’re not a big Apple fan, but know someone in your circle, the Elago W3 Stand for the Apple Watch Ultra can make and ideal gift for them. The dock will teleport the recipient onto a nostalgic journey of time and functionality. If you are considering it an option, you’ll be glad to learn that the W3 Stand comes in two color options: Black and White, and is now available online for $13.99.

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Dezeen Agenda features Brexit survey and Invisible Studio saying "if we never worked in the UK again wouldn't mind"

The latest edition of our weekly Dezeen Agenda newsletter features Invisible Studio’s announcement that it is moving its operations out of the UK as a response to Brexit. Subscribe to Dezeen Agenda now.

The news that architecture practice Invisible Studio is moving its operations out of the UK was revealed in a recent study conducted by Dezeen that aimed to explore the impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The survey concluded that nine in 10 UK architecture studios feel they have been negatively affected by Brexit, while 84 per cent would rejoin the EU if given the option.

Invisible Studio founder Piers Taylor told Dezeen it is “actively investing in a future outside of the UK”.

“We’re far happier working in continental Europe and the rest of the world, but as we look at the havoc Brexit has unleashed, if we never worked in the UK again we wouldn’t mind one bit,” the studio said.

Interior of Invisible Studio's yoga studio at The Newt in Somerset
Invisible Studio founder Piers Taylor, pictured here at the studio’s Somerset hotel yoga studio, told Dezeen “Brexit unleashed havoc”

This week’s newsletter also features a furniture collection created using archival designs by architect Frank Lloyd Wright (top), British architects who’ve recently carried out their own energy-led retrofits and the launch of a new monthly Dezeen newsletter “Dezeen In Depth”.

Dezeen Agenda

Dezeen Agenda is a curated newsletter sent every Tuesday containing the most important news highlights from Dezeen. Read the latest edition of Dezeen Agenda or subscribe here.

You can also subscribe to our other newsletters; Dezeen Debate sent every Thursday featuring the hottest reader comments and most-debated stories, Dezeen Daily is our daily bulletin that contains every story published in the preceding 24 hours and Dezeen In Depth is sent on the last Friday of every month and delves deeper into the major stories shaping architecture and design. 

The post Dezeen Agenda features Brexit survey and Invisible Studio saying “if we never worked in the UK again wouldn’t mind” appeared first on Dezeen.

Bittoni Architects designs co-living project geared toward LA newcomers

Common Melrose by Bittoni Architects

California studio Bittoni Architects has completed Common Melrose, a communal living complex with 23 bedrooms that is meant to be an “affordable alternative to traditional living arrangements”.

Built on a formerly vacant lot, Common Melrose stretches along a commercial avenue in an area between Central LA and Hollywood. Designed by LA’s Bittoni Architects, it contains 23 furnished, rentable bedrooms and is meant to offer a pleasant and economical co-living environment for people new to Los Angeles.

White stucco walls on rectilinear living complex in Los Angeles
Common Melrose is a communal living complex in Los Angeles

“Common Melrose introduces thoughtful communal living considerations for the ever-growing population of Los Angeles newcomers without sacrificing tactful, modern design,” the team said.

“It offers a more affordable alternative to traditional living arrangements that not only places residents in the heart of Los Angeles, but also fosters the community building that city transplants crave.”

Common Melrose housing block in Los Angeles by Bittoni Architects
Its facade is clad in stucco

The project was backed by local firm Proper Development and the New York company Common, which operates co-living developments in multiple US cities.

Bittoni is working with Common on seven additional co-living projects in Los Angeles.

Low-slung rectilinear housing complex in LA clad in white stucco
Bittoni Architects designed the complex for city newcomers

Rectangular in plan, the development consists of two duplex-style buildings with white stucco walls and ipe wood accents.

The timber-framed buildings have various cutouts, helping break up their boxy form.

Recessed openings on housing by Bittoni Architects
Recessed openings feature on the building

Recessed openings “temper the fishbowl feeling typically associated with city dwellings,” the team said.

The 8,400-square-foot (780-square-metre) development is broken up into four units, each with ground-floor communal space and a series of bedrooms on an upper level.

Open-plan kitchen and dining space within Common Melrose housing in Los Angeles
The ground levels include kitchens and dining space

Amongst the units, interior layouts vary slightly but the programmatic elements are the same.

On the ground level, one finds a living room, kitchen, dining area and laundry room. The public area is designed to “cultivate day-to-day social interactions for the building’s tenants”, the team said.

Neutral interior colour palette within living room by Bittoni Architects
Interiors are defined by a neutral colour palette

Sliding doors lead to a front patio that is set behind a low fence. The fence blocks street views while still allowing tenants to feel connected to the neighbourhood.

The upper floor holds several bathrooms and either five or six bedrooms, along with cove-like balconies. The bedrooms range from 130 to 175 square feet (12 to 16 square metres).

Bedroom at Common Melrose housing complex
Rooms are fitted with comfy furnishings

Finishes include wooden flooring, plaster walls and lacquered kitchen cabinets. Rooms are fitted with comfy furnishings, potted plants and contemporary artwork. The interior design was overseen by Common’s in-house team.

Atop each building is a furnished rooftop terrace.

Furnished rooftop terrace on top of Los Angeles housing block
Atop each building is a furnished rooftop terrace

“The shared roof decks provide a supplemental gathering space that allows residents to fully embrace the southern California weather and scenery,” the team said.

Each bedroom at Common Melrose can be occupied by up to two people. The rent is around $1,400 to $1,600 (£1131 to £1293).

The team said the housing complex is meant to draw tenants of varying ages.

“While the appeal of co-living first drew young adults who were just starting out, an older generation has recently been drawn to this living alternative by the prospect of more social interaction — likely a result of the isolating pandemic,” the team said.

Rectilinear co-housing complex in Los Angeles
The housing complex is meant to attract tenants of varying ages

High housing prices, combined with increased density and changing demographics, have spurred a growing interest in co-living arrangements in America and elsewhere.

Other examples include a micro-apartment concept in Seoul that is meant to be a “blank canvas” for residents and a small Denver complex by Productora that offers eight units and shared amenities within striking blue buildings.

The exterior photography is by Bittoni Architects. The interior photography is by Seth Caplan.

The post Bittoni Architects designs co-living project geared toward LA newcomers appeared first on Dezeen.

Great Industrial Design Student Work: A Monomaterial Compliant-Mechanism Scale

While studying Industrial Design at ECAL, Theodore Simon produced this Lari scale as his diploma project. While scales typically contain several different materials and parts, from the weighing surface to the spring to the dial and the indicator, Simon devised a way to make his monomaterial, and made from just two parts.

“During my previous studies in micro-engineering, my curiosity for the technical nature of production was sharpened, particularly towards the elasticity of different materials. Lari stems from research on compliant mechanisms which make use of that elasticity to provide motion, thus reducing the number of parts, simplifying production and facilitating recycling.”

“This kitchen scale, entirely made of plastic, consists of two parts. The item to be weighed is disposed on the tray which is linked to the base by two flexible parallel beams. This allows the tray to remain level. The other part is a flexible indicator actuated by the movement of the tray which allows calibration to zero by sliding in the base.”

Now graduated, Simon’s got his ID Bachelor’s, but it looks like no one’s snapped him up at press time. If you’re hiring, he’s based in Geneva.

Konstantin Grcic's Locker Box and Drop Box for Vitra

At first glance these Locker Boxes could be mistaken for steel toolboxes. In fact the design, done by Konstantin Grcic for Vitra, consists of recycled/recyclable polypropylene sides, aluminum tubes providing the lengthwise structure and polyester textile panels with welded seams slung between the tubes serving as the walls.

And while these are meant for carrying tools, they are the tools wielded by knowledge workers:

“Flexible work methods have been transforming our offices for several years now. Work is no longer confined to an assigned desk, but occurs in changing locations – according to whether the task requires productive exchanges with colleagues or quiet concentration. It is therefore practical for employees to always have their personal utensils with them.

“Konstantin Grcic teamed up with Vitra to develop the Locker Box and Locker Box small: two compact, portable caddies of different size that can hold work tools, such as a laptop, keyboard, papers, pens, cables, hard drives, headphones etc. and be easily stored away at the end of the day.”

They come with nametags so you can keep track of yours.

I really like the aesthetic, and the construction is clever. It appears that there are three aluminum tubes with circular cross-sections, fastened at the topmost point and the bottom two corners of each side. It then appears that the unseen tubes that the fabric panels are slung between are racetrack-shaped in section, and require no fasteners but are captured by bosses on the inside of the side panels. (At least that’s what I’m guessing based on this photo below.)

Rounding out the pair are a larger, double-decker Drop Box:

The price points mean it would be better if your employer, and not you, ponied up for these: The Locker Box small, Locker Box and Drop Box run $310, $325 and $565, respectively.

Design Speculations, January 2023: AI's Collective Mindset Takeover and The Great Layoff Wave

Design Speculations is a monthly feature that rounds up the latest news and postulates on what it implies for the future of design.


We may just be scratching the surface of 2023 as January wraps, but the world has wasted no time in showering us with a flood of news with seemingly huge implications for our near future.

The AI revolution is at your doorstep

It’s difficult to write about the news in January without diving headfirst into the topic of artificial intelligence and how it is infiltrating our lives and workplaces. The second half of 2022 saw the soft launch of Midjourney and DALL-E to the public, and the AI writing phenomenon ChatGPT reached over 1 million users by December 2022 (causing the site to shut down seemingly indefinitely). The surge of interest in this technology even led to Microsoft’s quick acquisition of it, as the company announced at Davos on January 17 that OpenAI would be integrated into Microsoft Azure “soon.” Google CEO Sundar Pichai has declared a “code red” at HQ to mitigate the imminent risk of their search engine’s irrelevance without integration of comparable AI.

It’s too soon to tell what this rapid evolution will mean for designers—at this point, the greatest threat appears to be to assistants and writers (gulp). However, if the last six months to a year are any indication, the idea that artificial intelligence will reorganize logistical areas of industry while leaving knowledge workers completely unscathed is up for debate.

Google search: our robot overlords

There are, conversely, many positive ways to look at this revolution. You don’t have to look far to find news highlighting AI’s potential for co-collaboration and increased efficiency for anyone using it. Healthcare experts are estimating ChatGPT could be instrumental in making healthcare more accessible. A study between Microsoft and PwC concluded with a prediction that responsible use of AI could drop greenhouse gases by 4% before 2030. At the very least, it’s likely to help the process of cleaning out your email inbox easier!

But all the speculation also suggests if you’d like to remain relevant and employable, you’ll need to keep up with the times. “Most of the US economy is knowledge and information work, and that’s who’s going to be most squarely affected by this,” Director of Stanford’s Digital Economy Lab Erik Brynjolfsson recently told CBS Sunday Morning. “I would put people like lawyers right at the top of the list, obviously a lot of copywriters, screenwriters. But I like to use the word affected, not replaced because I think if done right, it’s not going to be AI replacing lawyers; it’s going to be lawyers working with AI replacing lawyers who don’t work with AI.”

As natural advocates for change, designers are well-positioned to take advantage of AI as a partner in their work to advance the field. The question remains: in the future, what will the job of designer entail, and what labor will we hand off to our artificial intelligent companions?

Whatever’s in store for our future, it’s still important to continually interrogate ethics and objectives in the midst of developing these softwares. News of workers in Kenya performing the “mentally scarring” work of flagging harmful content on the Internet to make OpenAI less biased and racist demonstrates the simultaneously crucial and potentially exploitative nature of creating unprejudiced AI. There are also legal repercussions to consider if checks and balances aren’t embedded within the product development process. Plenty of lawsuits have already emerged in the AI space, such as the recent case of Getty Images suing Stable Diffusion for copyright infringement.

AI first and foremost ought to be regarded as a tool for humans to create better work rather than an outright replacement of human labor—and should without question be designed by an extremely diverse committee of practitioners. Because what ultimately shapes the future of this technology is how we, as humans, choose to nurture its growth and advancement.

Some interesting AI stories from January 2023:

ChatGPT: Grading artificial intelligence’s writing” on CBS Sunday Morning

A helpful overview of ChatGPT and the many angles to consider when it comes to its potential effects on society.

How Generative AI Will Supercharge Productivity

James Currier makes a case for the power of generative tech, arguing, “we will finally have tools that will take us from zero to one, making creation easier than ever…The unique eye of the artist will still be valuable. Writers can still edit and refine the AI’s draft copy into their individual voice. They’ll just be better, faster, and more efficient at their jobs, leaving more room for curation.”

This 22-year-old is trying to save us from ChatGPT before it changes writing forever

“‘I think we’re absolutely at an inflection point,’ Tian says. ‘This technology is incredible. I do believe it’s the future. But, at the same time, it’s like we’re opening Pandora’s Box. And we need safeguards to adopt it responsibly.'”

Don’t Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It. 

In this article for The New York Times, Kevin Roose argues that banning technologies like ChatGPT in schools will not only be extremely difficult, but could be detrimental to students, teachers and the evolution of education.

The Lack of Women Data Scientists Hurts Artificial Intelligence

Despite the existence of pipeline programs aiming to diversify the field, only 17% of people enrolled in computer and information sciences Ph.D. programs identify as women—what can be done to address this gender gap?

Job stability for many in January felt murky at best

It’s a somewhat strange coincidence this AI revolution coincides with a continuing wave of massive layoffs in tech, adding uncertainty to previously solid roles in the overall work landscape. Reuters reports the job market is still tight and unemployment is low, suggesting layoffs are a “return to normal” after the employment surge in 2021 and 2022. Some companies seem to outright fear an upcoming recession. Stanford Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer even hinted layoffs are an example of “social contagion,” suggesting companies are making decisions out of worry that they misalign with general industry trends. All things considered, there’s already been a surreal up is down feeling to the news about work and commerce in 2023.

Some of the most secure jobs in recent years have been at large, in-house companies, but the recent layoffs at Slack/Salesforce and now over 12,000 job cuts at Google, all of which include layoffs of designers, give shape to what can be expected in the next year.

Will 2023 see startups, small studios, and freelancers picking up on the slack of a reduced in-house workforce? Layoffs hint at this possibility. This news also makes clear there are going to be (and already are) a lot of highly skilled designers, directors, etc. looking for work in the coming months.

This is all perhaps good news for the “small fry” agencies, studios and consultancies looking for work in 2023, but an extra hill for talented people to climb in an already shaky job market.

I’ve seen other interesting hints of what’s possibly to come as a result of these company actions via LinkedIn. Some of those laid off are trying to capture the collective energy of tens of thousands of frustrated, talented individuals by suggesting ex-Googlers, Spotifiers, Meta-ers(?) ought to start their own thing. Identity crises are abound.

There’s also growing discourse about the idea of fighting for unions in the tech space thanks to the cavalier manner in which layoffs took place. Unions are gaining more universal approval within the general population of America as reported by Gallup, up to 71% as of August 2022 compared to 64% prior to the pandemic.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say: watch this space.

Articles worth reading:

Tech Layoffs Shock Young Workers. The Older People? Not So Much.

“‘It seemed like tech companies had so much opportunity,’ said Ms. Chang, 26. ‘If you got a job, you made it. It was a sustainable path.’ Brian Pulliam, on the other hand, brushed off the news that the crypto exchange Coinbase was eliminating his job. Ever since the 48-year-old engineer was laid off from his first job at the video game company Atari in 2003, he said, he has asked himself once a year: ‘If I were laid off, what would I do?'”

Why are there so many tech layoffs, and why should we be worried? Stanford scholar explains

In a larger context, why should we care about layoffs? Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, who studies how the workplace affects human health, lays it out simply: “Layoffs kill people, literally.”

Would it really be so bad if AI took our jobs?

A rumination on the future of jobs, and the true value of work we sometimes lose sight of.

Other interesting links this month:

Image source: Jonathan Chng via Unsplash

Recycled Polyester Doesn’t Fix Fast Fashion’s Over-Production Problems

Will 2023 be the year we start to question our current sustainability models in production? Still in the thick of greenwashing, more information is beginning to hit the mainstream that sheds the truth of sustainability practices like the use of recycled polyester—for one, that it’s typically only recyclable once in the case of turning plastic bottles into items like activewear, and two, it’s a source of microplastic shedding into our waterways.

What Gen Z Thinks About Work, College, and the Internet

I’ve just recently discovered Rex Woodbury’s “Digital Native” Substack and this latest send is a fascinating survey of Gen Zers—not to mention it has some pretty mind-boggling factoids sprinkled in there (like the fact that 85% of college students today in 11 years will have jobs that not yet exist).

frog Trends 2023: Collide, Connect, Care

frog’s annual trend report remains an interesting barometer for what to expect in the coming year of design. Highlights in the 2023 report include more on creative AI, the mainstreaming of 3D printing, a technological boom within the healthcare industry, “anti-bland UI” and more.