Cordae feat. Anderson .Paak: Two Tens

Maryland-raised rapper Cordae taps Anderson .Paak and J. Cole for the jazzy “Two Tens.” Apparently the track is one of many by the trio, as the artist told Zane Lowe recently, “We literally got a mixtape full of joints of me and Paak… Well, we got an EP full of joints with me, Paak and Cole beats.” Over a mellow soundscape, Cordae and .Paak trade verses swiftly and effortlessly, crafting a slick, breezy bop.

 

Viktor & Rolf creates rotated ballgowns for Paris Couture Week

Tulle dress in Viktor & Rolf's Spring Summer 23 couture show

Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf presented “surreal” tulle ballgowns that feature striking sideways and upside-down silhouettes for its latest collection at Paris Couture Week.

The Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 show took place yesterday afternoon in an opulent room within Paris‘ Intercontinental Le Grand hotel – a historic city landmark that opened in 1862.

Slanted dress with tulle skirt positioned at a dramatic angle on a model
The show took place yesterday at Paris’ Intercontinental Le Grand hotel

Called Late Stage Capitalism Waltz, Viktor & Rolf created a collection of 18 ballgowns crafted predominantly from tulle, which intend to recall the “golden days” of mid-20th-century haute couture, according to the brand.

While the show began with a series of familiar evening looks, as the presentation went on, the models displayed gowns that had been flipped in various directions to create unconventional silhouettes.

Lilac Viktor & Rolf gown arranged at an angle on model's body
A lilac gown was arranged at an angle

Traditional garments including a pale yellow dress topped with a Swarovski crystal-clad bodice gave way to a coral-belted lilac gown with a mille-feuille skirt, which was tilted dramatically at a lopsided angle across the model’s body.

The structures were 3D-printed in collaboration with mannequin manufacturer Hands Boodt Mannequins.

Upside-down Cinderella-style couture ballgown by Viktor & Rolf
The “upside-down dress” conceals its wearer’s face entirely

Another look displayed a powder-blue “upside-down dress” characterised by an upright tulle skirt that appeared to defy gravity and concealed the model’s head and upper body, revealing only a structured corset that finished at the top of their thighs.

“A singular and narrowly defined ‘fashion ideal’ is presented and artistically manipulated to put itself into question,” said Viktor & Rolf of the inverted ballgowns.

“The dress, while retaining its idealised shape, antagonises, alienates and frees itself from the body in a surreal way.”

3D-printed dress positioned alongside its wearer on the catwalk
On the catwalk, one creation looked as if it was floating alongside the model

Other unconventional gowns in the collection include a pastel-hued floor-length dress cinched at the waist with a silk bow.

Only subtly attached to the neutral corset on the model’s body, the gown was designed to give the impression that it was floating alongside the model.

Viktor & Rolf lilac tulle dress with large hole in its centre
Another horizontal dress was designed to give the impression of a dress viewed from above

“The body, while retaining the ‘dessous‘ that sculpts its silhouette – traditionally an integrated part of the structure of a couture dress – moves away from the garment,” explained the brand.

“The familiar becomes strange, as the mundane transforms into the absurd and vice versa. This collection visualises the sense of alienation the collection title refers to.”

Viktor & Rolf took cues from the work of 18th-century French painters François Boucher and Antoine Watteau for the dresses’ overarching pastel colour scheme, while the Swarovski crystals that adorn many of the gowns intend to echo the evening looks of the mid-20th century.

To complete their outfits, models wore mesh and satin-encrusted Christian Louboutin stilettos.

“With its delicate atmosphere, the collection appears to set the tone for an almost stereotypical vision of haute couture as an anachronistic dream of soft femininity,” concluded Viktor & Rolf.

Inverted white ballgown worn horizontally on the catwalk
The collection inverted traditional ballgowns

Collections launched at Paris Couture Week have been causing a stir. On Monday, French fashion house Schiaparelli presented a catwalk of models wearing gowns adorned with faux taxidermied lion, wolf and leopard heads.

In previous years, Viktor & Rolf emblazoned delicate dresses with bold, kitsch slogans while the brand’s Autumn Winter 2020 collection channelled coronavirus with “unapproachable” coats defined by spikes and tubes.

The images are courtesy of Viktor & Rolf. 

The post Viktor & Rolf creates rotated ballgowns for Paris Couture Week appeared first on Dezeen.

A Case for AI's Creative Potential: The OP-Z Stable Diffusion Synthesizer for Teenage Engineering

There’s been much talk lately about ChatGPT and its uncanny ability to mimic human prose. Burning questions inevitably start to gnaw away at us as we learn more: will we need eventually need human writers at all? Have we created something destined to replace us?

That’s why it’s refreshing to see examples that remind us AI can be envisioned to enhance and highlight our own creativity. Take for example in late 2022, when Teenage Engineering, hybrid think tank-design studio MODEM, and creative studio Bureau Cool collaborated to create a visual experience powered by AI. The result aims to accurately reflect the visual experience of synesthesia, based off of published theories by scientists Richard E. Cytowic, M.D, Stephen Palmer, and Olivier Messiaen. The teams used Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z Synthesizer and connected it to Stable Diffusion to generate live images and colors in reaction to music.

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The OP-Z Stable Diffusion setup works by responding to key elements of the music such as pitch, key density, tempo and notes. Each element is associated with a color scheme according to synesthesia theory, i.e. high pitch matches with bright tones, low pitch matches dark tones. The music determines this script and creates “prompts”, which are then delivered to AI image generation program Diffusion Cloud API to build an image based on the prompt. These responses converge to create a complex light show of image and color that undulate with the music, something generated by machine that maintains an emotive, human feel.

A visualization of how the OP-Z Stable Diffusion software model works and responds to musical directives.

While the current model works off of pre-determined image and colors prompts, it’s not hard to imagine how this could be “hacked” by artists with a desire to generate their own imagery to accompany music. It’s near impossible to explain the feeling of synesthesia to someone who hasn’t experienced it; but what if you could offer this technology up to any artist to toy with, regardless of skill? The creative potential is endless.

This project is an interesting one to highlight for its optimistic perspective on how AI can serve the creative process. MODEM co-founder Bas van de Poel describes his biggest takeaway of the project being this sense of potential for future technologies to aid in the “augmentation of human capability.” I can’t think of a more hopeful way to describe the relationship we’re beginning to form with artificial intelligence. “I think the role of creative people is shifting more towards a curator,” van de Poel describes. “Where instead of generating all the final images yourself, you’re selecting the ones that fit best.”

AI is a powerful tool for creating new media, as it can draw on millions of existing data points to generate new content. However, it’s important to remember humans still have an essential role to play in the realm of creativity. “Machines don’t know what a good picture is,” van de Poel mentions. “And maybe at some point, from a technical and aesthetic point of view, they’re able to define what a good picture is. But it’s still it’s based on [the best examples out there], so it’s not able to create new trends.” For now, humans remain the true creative trailblazers.

Flat vs. Wok: Concept for a Morphing Stovetop Heating Element

Because woks are domed on the bottom, they don’t jive well with a flat stovetop. For that reason, there exist wok-specific induction stoves, both standalone and drop-in, where the heating element is concave:

The problem is that if you cook with both woks and conventional flat-bottomed pots and pans, you give up a measure of flexibility by committing to either type of stovetop. Thus Seoul-based industrial designer Myung-Nyun Kim designed this Amphi concept for a stovetop with a morphing heating element:

The idea is that each concentric circle of the rightmost heating element would be able to move:

“Each of the circular parts stay in plane when heating a [flat-bottomed] pan,” Kim writes. “When heating a wok, the heating elements extend downwards to fit the wok like an amphitheater.” Hence the concept name.

In the image below, you can see a metallic strip on part of the circumference. “During the use of the wok, in order to mix ingredients, people move the wok intensely,” Kim writes. “Therefore this particular part was designed with a metallic cover for protection, [at the spot] where the wok would continuously hit.”

Interestingly, Kim envisions the knob that controls the temperature as being magnetic and removable, as per user preference. Users would still be able to control the temperature without the knob as the surface below it would be a touch-sensitive dial.

And while there’s no word on what type of mechanical magic would be required to get this to work, Kim does address one glaring issue: “The drawback of movable, sliced heating elements is that ingredients would fall through the spaces in between,” he writes. “For a solution, heat-resistant silicone packings would go between each piece to prevent ingredients from falling, without affecting the up-and-down movements.”

Well, it is concept work after all.

Useful Secrets Within a 4.2-Billion-Year-Old Asteroid

Three tiny fragments were collected by a Japanese spacecraft in 2005 from a 4.2-billion-year-old asteroid known as Itokawa. Smaller than the diameter of a hair, these components contain information that could help prevent an asteroid colliding with Earth. Itokawa, a rubble-pile asteroid (created when “solid asteroids collide and the resulting fragments assemble into new structures”), is almost as old as the solar system itself. Held together by a gravitational pull between its composing elements (dust, pebbles, rocks and a void), rubble-pile asteroids are “giant space cushions,” that are good at absorbing shock. Because they are so resilient, scientists believe that the best way for them to avoid a collision with Earth would be to nudge it off course, “but that would probably require a lead time of several years.” The lead author of the study, professor Fred Jourdan of Curtin University, says that more than understanding how to deflect different asteroids, this study reveals just how much can be understood from a few specks of dust. “We can get big stories like that out of [something] very, very small… Every grain has its own story to tell.” Read more at The Guardian.

Image courtesy of SETI

This air purifier for kids concept puts a friendly face on clean air

Air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers are slowly becoming more common in houses these days. The newly-gained awareness that the air we breathe at home may not be as clean as we thought has helped push these appliances into living rooms and bedrooms. And just like many appliances, these come in impersonal and utilitarian designs, often as large cylinders standing in the center of the room. Their presence can be a bit disconcerting or even intimidating to children, encroaching on what they consider to be safe spaces at home. Unfortunately, these machines are seldom designed with kids in mind except for safety purposes, but this air purifier design concept tries to add an emotional element that makes them a more welcome addition to family life.

Designer: Matteo Ercole

It’s almost too easy to simply put a literal face on an appliance to make it look friendlier and then call it a day. That only does the bare minimum and might just confuse kids in the long run. After all, they might expect a smiling face at home to be a new friend, only to be disappointed by the machine’s lack of response. Willy, in contrast, seems to be alive, reacting to the presence of children while it goes about its duties, purifying the air around them.

Technically, Willy doesn’t actually have a face. It has two long slots that seem to resemble eyes and relies on our brains to fill in the rest. This capability, which even kids have, has long been utilized in both product and character designs, giving things a more anthropomorphic appearance by using only the suggestion of facial features. It leaves it to the viewer’s imagination to complete the face to match their personal tastes.

Willy isn’t just a friendly face, though. Those “eyes” are actually its ears, housing microphones that can pick up sound, allowing the head to turn toward its direction. While it doesn’t exactly have any practical utility as far as cleaning the air goes, it makes it seem like the appliance is attentive to the child. It’s as if Willy was an actual robot without going in that design direction.

Of course, it also has the standard air purifier parts, including HEPA H13 filters. Willy’s actual controls are on the top of its head, safely out of small kids’ reach, and its brain, the electronics that drive its functions, are also located there, following its anthropomorphic theme. In terms of technology, the design doesn’t really present anything groundbreaking, but it does give the appliance a more human touch that kids and even some adults will be able to appreciate.

 

The post This air purifier for kids concept puts a friendly face on clean air first appeared on Yanko Design.

NVIDIA Webcam Filter Fakes Your Eye Contact for Video Chats and Presentations

Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with someone who will not, or cannot, make eye contact with you. Trust, a sense of connection and the certainty that you’re even being listened to are vastly diminished. Yet we’ve all grown used to Zoom calls where no one is making eye contact, as webcam locations don’t jive with the screen, and we’ve come to accept it as a limitation of the technology. Has our trust and confidence suffered as a result?

The engineers at Nvidia think so, and thus have been hard at work on a feature called Eye Contact. This is a filter that uses an AI-based algorithm to essentially re-render your eyes as if they’re pointed directly at the camera.

If you turn your head or look far enough away, the software knows better than to leave your eyeballs floating in space; if your eyes cross the “successful gaze redirection” threshold, the software lets your eyes move with you, and smooths out the transition “to mimic the typical motion of human eyes.”

And obviously, the feature can also come in handy if you’re recording a presentation and are reading off of a teleprompter.

The feature’s full name is NVIDIA Maxine Eye Contact. Developers can download an SDK here (Windows and Linux), and the feature is already available for those who use the NVIDIA Broadcast App.

via petapixel

Industrial Design Duo Invent All-Terrain Wagon Towable by Hand, Bike or Car

Industrial designers Bryce Gibson and Kurt MacLaurin invented the Mule, an all-terrain wagon that can be pulled by hand, towed by a bicycle or mounted in the hitch receiver of a car.

While it was initially designed for their own families to use while camping, beachgoing, cycling, adventuring, etc., Gibson and MacLaurin realized they were onto something and set up a company, Earth+Kin, to Kickstart production. (It succeeded wildly, landing $100K+ in pledges.)

Beefy 16″ pneumatic tires and a sturdy frame give it a 100-pound weight capacity. Volume-wise, it can swallow roughly 120 liters.

The “Kin” part of the company name has an obvious source. As for “Earth,” the Mule is made from aluminum (which is of course recyclable), 100% post-consumer recycled fabrics, and no plastic.

“Built with hardened 6000 series aircraft grade aluminum, zero single use plastic, and the desire to never hear ‘Dad can you fix this?’ again. This thing is a beast. It has no moving parts (well, wheel bearings and wheels), interchangeable and removable roll bars, 100% recycled GRS Certified fabrics and surprising attention to detail. When a $.05 plastic nub would suffice, EARTH+KIN opted for an exponentially more expensive custom CNC’d aluminum attachment point that can be replaced if needed.”

And it breaks down for storage:

Their old Kickstarter video is the only one I could find that shows the Mule in action:

The Mule runs $200.

Top 10 indoor gardens that all plant lovers need to fulfill their modern gardening goals

Gardening is an extremely soothing activity and can be considered therapeutic. I may not engage in it at all times, but whenever I do, I feel quite calm and relaxed. Growing, nurturing, and tending to plants can be pretty satisfying, allowing you to destress, and letting your worries fade away. We don’t always have access to outdoor gardens, so an excellent solution to that issue is indoor gardens! Indoor gardening is a modern solution that enables you to grow, and be surrounded by plants, and keeps you connected to nature. From a household plant cultivator that doubles up as a compost bin, to a minimalist plant shelf that you can carry around in your home – we have a myriad range of options when it comes to growing plants in your home. These unique, innovative, and thoughtful designs promise to take care of all your indoor gardening needs. I don’t know about you, but I’m really considering trying one of them out, I wouldn’t mind adding indoor gardening to my daily routine!

1. Paradise

Looking much like a rolling cart, Paradise is an automated plant cultivator and compost bin that utilizes integrated technology to alert users when the plants or compost need to be paid attention to. It is designed to reduce domestic waste and is built of modular pieces that work in tandem to create optimal conditions for growing plants. Starting from its top, Paradise features an LED strip that pours artificial sunlight over integrated planters located on top of Paradise’s first module.

Why is it noteworthy?

While spending more time at home has brought some much-needed rejuvenation to our interior design, it has also contributed to a global increase in domestic waste. Inspired to change that, designer Robin Akira created Paradise, a household plant cultivator with integrated compost bins and an odor-sealing lid to make use of and reduce our domestic waste.

What we like

  • Integrates greenery into our interior spaces
  • An odor-sealing lid

What we dislike

  • Could be messy to have such a design in our indoor living space
  • It’s a concept!

2. The LetPot LPH-Max

The LetPot LPH-Max is a tabletop planter that makes gardening at home super easy, even for those who don’t have a green thumb and end up killing most of their plants. The LetPot LPH-Max takes control of the entire plant’s cultivation cycle, from seed to sprout to harvest… and it does so without any soil!

Why is it noteworthy?

The LetPot LPH-Max is a smart hydroponic plant cultivator that works entirely autonomously. It provides the plant with the water and nutrition it needs and even comes with an automatic sun-mimicking LED panel that gives the plants the light they need to photosynthesize. This effectively streamlines the entire growth process so there’s no soil or dirt involved, and you don’t even need to keep the plants in a well-lit area.

What we like

  • You don’t need to worry about tending to your kitchen garden because the LPH-Max does it all for you
  • The LetPot LPH-Max can handle growing up to 21 plant pods simultaneously across a variety of flower, herb, and leafy green species

What we dislike

  • The design is restricted to 21 pots, not allowing for growth for interested users.

3. Blume

Called Blume, this special planter has been equipped with a trellis that can be connected according to your specifications, allowing it to grow alongside your plant. You can link up the multiple parts using a threaded knob, and they can spread in different directions – upward, downwards, sideways, etc.

Why is it noteworthy?

This planter is made from various materials. The base uses cement while the trellises are made from wood and the knobs are metal. The base planter is 8 inches high while the trellis can go as high as 30 inches depending on the design and style that you want. While the official photos show natural cement, white, and gold, there are also custom colors available if you want your planter to be more colorful and add to your plants’ natural greens and browns.

What we like

  • Customizable and made-to-order
  • Grows alongside your plant

What we dislike

  • The structure seems fragile and may have trouble holding onto a heavy plant

4. Ta’care

This minimal plant shelf is called Ta’care, and it is super easy to carry around, allowing you to move your plants wherever you want them to be, irrespective if you have a lot of space or less of it. It features a clean design with a simple form and subtle color. The designer focused primarily on functionality, rather than aesthetics. What the plant shelf lacks in decoration, makes up with the fact that it allows the plants to be the center of attention, as they deserve to be.

Why is it noteworthy?

It is made from simple metal tubes and sheets and the top part forms a handle that allows you to carry the shelf with the plants so you can bring them to the balcony or near the window so they can get natural sunlight or bring to the living room to protect them from the weather.

What we like

  • Focuses more on functionality rather than decoration
  • Allows you to move your plants around

What we dislike

  • The design itself may occupy a lot of space in your home

5. The LG tiiun

Designed to be a unique and innovative home appliance, the LG tiiun allows you to grow your own veggies and herbs in the comfort of your home. It mimics the size of a dorm refrigerator and features a height of 3 feet. It has been equipped with two shelves that hold 6 all-in-one seed packages and seed kits.

Why is it noteworthy?

The term tiiun comes from the Korean word meaning ‘to sprout’ and is LG’s way of indicating that this appliance is an all-in-one self-sufficient garden. The appliance creates a perfect microclimate and all the right conditions for the plants to grow, even mimicking light cycles so you could potentially keep your tiiun anywhere in a room without worrying about access to proper sunlight. LG’s Flexible Weather Control System creates the ideal situations for organic growth while also keeping pests at bay. An internal watering system also delivers water to the plants (8 times a day) to keep them hydrated. All you really have to do is install the tiiun and sit back while your plants grow on their own!

What we like

  • A foolproof way to grow your own veggies and herbs in the comfort of your home
  • Fun and simple even for those with no gardening experience

What we dislike

  • The form is a bit too bulky and un-organic

6. The MULTO

Created in collaboration with multiple award-winning industrial designers Xavier Houy (who has a Red Dot Design Award and a Platinum A’ Design Award to his name, among others), MULTO is the result of over 6 years’ worth of research and development, go towards what Prêt à Pousser calls the ultimate vertical kitchen garden, capable of growing everything from microgreens to root vegetables.

Why is it noteworthy?

Prêt à Pousser’s most significant achievement with the MULTO is its new hydroponic technology. Referred to as their ‘Ebb & Flow’ system, MULTO’s water reservoir comes with a discreet pump that periodically pumps water to the roots, and then drains it out – similar to an ocean’s tide. Working similarly to a hydroponic gardening system (but engineered to be better), this enables the circulation of nutrients and allows the plant’s roots to absorb more oxygen, creating a better yield. How much better? Well, Prêt à Pousser’s founder Romain Behaghel claims that MULTO’s Ebb & Flow increases your plant’s yield by 200%, giving you twice as many fruits, veggies, or leafy greens.

What we like

  • New hydroponic technology
  • You can simply expand your produce by plugging a new tier on top to create your own vertical farm

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. Plant Light Nº1

Drawing the fine line between a functional piece of plant-growing hardware and an elegant tabletop lighting accessory, Plant Light Nº1 turns your interior space into an ideal set of conditions for growing plants.

Why is it noteworthy?

The light comes with a neo-industrial design aesthetic, and sports a surface to rest your planter on. Above it sits a height-adjustable lamp that comes equipped with full-spectrum LEDs that mimic the light quality (color), light intensity (brightness), and photoperiod (duration) of the sun, allowing any plant to grow indoors.

What we like

  • Comes with a matrix of full-spectrum 90+ CRI LEDs that mimic the sun in a way that sets PL1 apart
  • A built-in timer allows PL1 to intuitively switch on or off, providing the right duration of light for your plants

What we dislike

  • It’s not available yet!

8. The LUA

LUA Pet Plant Lighting Concept Image

LUA Pet Plant Lighting Concept Design

The LUA is one ideal solution for those with pet plants. But, of course, not many people will understand why you have such but don’t worry about what they think.

Why is it noteworthy?

For desk plants, you may consider getting this LUA. It’s a plant lighting solution that can further make your favorite plant stand out. We understand how it can be challenging to care for indoor plants because of insufficient lighting. But there are solutions like the LUA. Indoor plants help the surrounding by keeping the atmosphere fresh and clean. In addition, for some people, plants help in providing emotional stability. Just one look at your plants and you can already calm down and destress.

What we like

  • Boasts a clean, white tone for a simple and refreshing look
  • The design is very minimalist as no unnecessary wires are exposed

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

9. The Oasis

Not all homes are built to have gardens, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run your own mini farm where you are. This concept for a hydroponic smart farm is something that can fit in whatever space you may be staying in.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Oasis is a smart farm that’s meant for home, and it can grow your vegetables and store them before you consume them. The design is inspired by both mountains and desert oases, hence the name. Some of the items that were used to create a concept design for it include blenders, coffee makers, smart speakers, etc. What the designer came up with is something that looks like a mini-greenhouse with a transparent cover. It kind of reminds me of a bread container, except we get plants and vegetables inside.

What we like

  • There’s a part here called Fresh Keeper where you can store the vegetables once you’ve harvested them without needing to move them to the refrigerator
  • There’s an app that you can use to monitor your plants and your water levels

What we dislike

  • It’s still a concept!

10. CURA

CURA is an all-encompassing plant-growth apparatus that takes care of the light and water requirements for any plant. Its automated systems can be programmed to suit the light requirements for flowering plants, air-purifying plants, herbaceous plants, or decorative plants, and when CURA’s halo-shaped lamp isn’t nourishing your plant, it can be turned into an ambient light that adds a pop of color to your space!

Why is it noteworthy?

Available in 3 sizes and across floor-standing, tabletop, and wall-mounted varieties, CURA is a halo-shaped horticultural light that’s designed to activate and promote plant growth. Powered by OSRAM LEDs, the lamp can output different wavelengths of light that help create the right growth conditions for different types of plants. CURA comes with presets for Herbs & Greens, Flowers & Fruits, Germination, Indoor Garden Plants, and more, while also handling different stages in a plant’s growth cycle, from germination to flower and fruit-bearing stages.

What we like

  • The lamp can either be programmed to work automatically or can be configured using CURA’s smartphone app, allowing you to effectively play horticulturist with your indoor plants
  • The lamp in Ambient Mode can also be configured to dynamically respond to music

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

The post Top 10 indoor gardens that all plant lovers need to fulfill their modern gardening goals first appeared on Yanko Design.

Sovereign Land Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

From Clothing The Gaps (a hybrid social enterprise and apparel brand), this long-sleeve “Sovereign Land” T-shirt states a fact and can work as a conversation starter about invasion, sovereignty and land rights. The Melbourne/Naarm-based collective designs and prints the garment in Wurundjeri Country in an ethical manner. Made from 100% cotton, its bold colors also echo those of the Aboriginal Flag. Price is in AUD.