LuxeLife

Neo Mint: 2020

 

Renowned trend forecaster WGSN, headquartered in London, has declared their prediction for 2020’s color of the year: Neo Mint. Unlike Pantone, who issue the color for the upcoming year, WGSN takes a look into the distant future.

 

Their reason behind the color choice is because Neo Mint is a minted mint tone which combines technology, science, and nature. Additionally the color feels futuristic and is equally suitable for men and women.

 

In fashion, some designers such as Jil Sander and Dries van Noten, showed a similar color for the fall/winter season 2018/19. Neo Mint is a perfect sparring partner to other pastel shades, especially for spring, but the color is also doing well with all metallics.

 

For interiors, it was seen in the staging of Hermès and Mini show at the Salone del Mobile and Gucci’s “Gucci Clinic.”

 

 

sources: wgsn, textilwirtschaft

Bionic Mushrooms

 

Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology have taken an ordinary white button mushroom from a grocery store and made it bionic, supercharging it with 3D-printed clusters of cyanobacteria that generate electricity and swirls of graphene nanoribbons that can collect the current.

 

The hybrids are part of a broader effort to better improve our understanding of cells biological machinery and how to use those intricate molecular gears and levers to fabricate new technologies and useful systems for defense, healthcare and the environment.

 

Cyanobacteria’s ability to produce electricity is well known in bioengineering circles. However, researchers have been limited in using these microbes in bioengineered systems because cyanobacteria do not survive long on artificial bio-compatible surfaces. The team wondered if white button mushrooms, which naturally host a rich microbiota but not cyanobacteria specifically, could provide the right environment – nutrients, moisture, pH and temperature — for the cyanobacteria to produce electricity for a longer period.

 

Using a robotic arm-based 3D printer,  they printed “electronic ink” containing the graphene nanoribbons. This printed branched network serves as an electricity-collecting network atop the mushroom’s cap by acting like a nano-probe – to access bio-electrons generated inside the cyanobacterial cells.

 

Next, they printed a “bio-ink” containing cyanobacteria onto the mushroom’s cap in a spiral pattern intersecting with the electronic ink at multiple contact points. At these locations, electrons could transfer through the outer membranes of the cyanobacteria to the conductive network of graphene nanoribbons. Shining a light on the mushrooms activated cyanobacterial photosynthesis, generating a photocurrent.

 

In addition to the cyanobacteria living longer in a state of engineered symbiosis, the research team showed that the amount of electricity these bacteria produce can vary depending on the density and alignment with which they are packed, such that the more densely packed together they are, the more electricity they produce. With 3D printing, it was possible to assemble them so as to boost their electricity-producing activity eight-fold more than the casted cyanobacteria using a laboratory pipette.

 

Recently, a few researchers have 3D printed bacterial cells in different spatial geometrical patterns, but this team is not only the first to pattern it to augment their electricity-generating behavior but also integrate it to develop a functional bionic architecture. The team imagines enormous opportunities for next-generation bio-hybrid applications. Some bacteria can glow, while others sense toxins or produce fuel. By seamlessly integrating these microbes with nanomaterials, they could potentially realize many other amazing designer bio-hybrids for the environment, defense, healthcare and many other fields.

 

source: Stevens Institute of Technology

Trove of Over 130,000 Warhol Photographic Exposures

 

Photographs by Andy Warhol that have never before been displayed publicly are at the heart of the exhibition Contact Warhol: Photography Without End, which draws on a trove of over 130,000 photographic exposures that Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center acquired from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in 2014. The collection of 3,600 contact sheets and corresponding negatives represent the complete range of Warhol’s black-and-white photographic practice from 1976 until his unexpected death in 1987.

 

The exhibition brings to life Warhol’s many interactions with the social and celebrity elite of his time with portraits of stars such as Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli, and Dolly Parton; younger sensations in the art world such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat; and political stars, including Nancy Reagan, Maria Shriver, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Contact Warhol, curated by Stanford Professors Richard Meyer and Peggy Phelan, traces Warhol’s photography from the most fundamental level of the contact sheet to the most fully developed silkscreen paintings. The collection is on display now through January 6, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

source: stanford

AI Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light

 

 

A team of UCLA electrical and computer engineers has created a physical artificial neural network — a device modeled on how the human brain works — that can analyze large volumes of data and identify objects at the actual speed of light. The device was created using a 3D printer at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering.

 

Numerous devices in everyday life today use computerized cameras to identify objects — think of automated teller machines that can “read” handwritten dollar amounts when you deposit a check, or internet search engines that can quickly match photos to other similar images in their databases. But those systems rely on a piece of equipment to image the object, first by “seeing” it with a camera or optical sensor, then processing what it sees into data, and finally using computing programs to figure out what it is.

 

The UCLA-developed device gets a head start. Called a “diffractive deep neural network,” it uses the light bouncing from the object itself to identify that object in as little time as it would take for a computer to simply “see” the object. The UCLA device does not need advanced computing programs to process an image of the object and decide what the object is after its optical sensors pick it up. And no energy is consumed to run the device because it only uses diffraction of light.

 

New technologies based on the device could be used to speed up data-intensive tasks that involve sorting and identifying objects. For example, a driverless car using the technology could react instantaneously — even faster than it does using current technology — to a stop sign. With a device based on the UCLA system, the car would “read” the sign as soon as the light from the sign hits it, as opposed to having to “wait” for the car’s camera to image the object and then use its computers to figure out what the object is.

 

Technology based on the invention could also be used in microscopic imaging and medicine, for example, to sort through millions of cells for signs of disease. “This work opens up fundamentally new opportunities to use an artificial intelligence-based passive device to instantaneously analyze data, images and classify objects,” said Aydogan Ozcan, the study’s principal investigator and the UCLA Chancellor’s Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This optical artificial neural network device is intuitively modeled on how the brain processes information. It could be scaled up to enable new camera designs and unique optical components that work passively in medical technologies, robotics, security or any application where image and video data are essential.”

 

The process of creating the artificial neural network began with a computer-simulated design. Then, the researchers used a 3D printer to create very thin, 8 centimeter-square polymer wafers. Each wafer has uneven surfaces, which help diffract light coming from the object in different directions. The layers look opaque to the eye but submillimeter-wavelength terahertz frequencies of light used in the experiments can travel through them. And each layer is composed of tens of thousands of artificial neurons — in this case, tiny pixels that the light travels through. Together, a series of pixelated layers functions as an “optical network” that shapes how incoming light from the object travels through them. The network identifies an object because the light coming from the object is mostly diffracted toward a single pixel that is assigned to that type of object.

 

The researchers then trained the network using a computer to identify the objects in front of it by learning the pattern of diffracted light each object produces as the light from that object passes through the device. The “training” used a branch of artificial intelligence called deep learning, in which machines “learn” through repetition and over time as patterns emerge. “This is intuitively like a very complex maze of glass and mirrors,” Ozcan said. “The light enters a diffractive network and bounces around the maze until it exits. The system determines what the object is by where most of the light ends up exiting.”

 

In their experiments, the researchers demonstrated that the device could accurately identify handwritten numbers and items of clothing — both of which are commonly used tests in artificial intelligence studies. To do that, they placed images in front of a terahertz light source and let the device “see” those images through optical diffraction. They also trained the device to act as a lens that projects the image of an object placed in front of the optical network to the other side of it — much like how a typical camera lens works, but using artificial intelligence instead of physics.

 

source: UCLA

Seattle’s BOREALIS, a festival of light

 

BOREALIS, a festival of light was a first-in-the US global competition and exhibition of technology and light art that took place each evening in Seattle from October 11-14, 2018. The festival featured a unique combination of live music, street art performance, lighting art installations, and multi-media video mapping designed to transform surrounding built environments of landmark buildings and facades into a virtual reality extravaganza – an urban canvas for unconventional storytelling by artists from around the globe.

 

From Seattle’s Lake Union Park, the selected video-mapping artists showcased their work on the architecturally unique Museum of History and Industry building, the festival extended south with approximately 25 light art installations.

 

During the event, attendees experienced the interactive light art displays, sampled food from participating food trucks, quenched their thirst at the festival beer and wine garden, and enjoyed live music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

source: borealisfestivaloflight

Warhol Auctioned on Blockchain

 

 

For the first time ever, a multi-million dollar tokenised artwork, Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs (1980), has been sold to qualified participants on Maecenas, an art investment platform built on blockchain, in the private beta launch of the platform. Facilitated in partnership with London-based Dadiani Syndicate, a fine art gallery, the cryptocurrency auction attracted over 800 sign-ups within weeks, several times the expected number.

 

It is the first time that a high-profile artwork from an internationally renowned artist has been tokenised and auctioned successfully using blockchain technology. The highest bid in the Dutch auction was US$6.5 million and more than 6 million ART tokens were used by the Ethereum smart contract during the auction. Maecenas was successful in achieving its main goal for this private beta launch, which was to validate the end-to-end process of the Dutch auction and artwork tokenisation using blockchain technology.

 

The buyers were a mix of sophisticated investors, crypto enthusiasts and fine art professionals. The participants were mostly from Europe and Asia. Marcelo García Casil, CEO of Maecenas, said “This is a historical moment, for us and for the blockchain community. We have achieved a significant milestone that marks the beginning of a new era. Tokenisation of assets is the most prominent and exciting use case of blockchain technology, and we’re proud to be pioneers in this space. This Warhol painting is the first of many more to come and we are looking forward to seeing and leading the financial revolution for the art market.”

 

Eleesa Dadiani, founder of Dadiani Syndicate, added “This auction was unchartered territory; a new model in an age-old market. The unprecedented demand, and speed with which the first fraction has been sold, has gone a long way to validating our vision of a more democratic and open art investment market.”

 

Maecenas tokenised 14 Small Electric Chairs by converting it into tamper-proof digital certificates or “fractions” based on the Ethereum network. Buyers then purchased fractions of 14 Small Electric Chairs with Bitcoin, Ether or the ART token, a cryptocurrency created for Maecenas. The auction was run entirely by a smart contract. The Maecenas blockchain gives buyers access to artworks that have been verified and are stored securely. Both the sale and subsequent trading of these certificates are tracked on a blockchain. Owners of the artwork fractions can sell their certificates to other buyers at any time via the Maecenas marketplace. The success of this auction makes a new progress from banks to cryptocurrencies that’ll lead a new way to invest in artwork, as Maecenas pursues its goal to democratise access to fine art.

 

14 Small Electric Chairs is part of Warhol’s 1980 Reversal series – a postmodern reworking of his iconic 1960s Death and Disaster Series. The artwork is certificated from the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board in New York.

 

source: maecenas

Hidden in a Picasso Blue Period Painting

 

 

An international partnership of the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS), the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, has used multiple modes of light to uncover details hidden beneath the visible surface of Pablo Picasso’s painting “La Miséreuse accroupie” (The Crouching Woman), a major work from the artist’s Blue Period. The 1902 oil painting, owned by the AGO in Toronto, Canada, depicts a crouching and cloaked woman, painted in white, blues, grays and greens.

 

With knowledge of an underlying landscape revealed long ago by X-ray radiography at the AGO, researchers used non-invasive portable imaging techniques, including infrared reflectance hyperspectral imaging adapted by the National Gallery of Art and then an X-ray fluorescence imaging instrument developed at Northwestern, to detail buried images connected to other works by Picasso — including a watercolor recently sold at auction — as well as the presence of a landscape likely by another Barcelona painter underneath “La Miséreuse accroupie.”

 

Picasso painted over another painter’s work after rotating it 90 degrees to the right, using some of the landscape forms in his own final composition of “La Miséreuse accroupie.” Picasso incorporated the lines of the cliff edges into the woman’s back, for example. Picasso also made a major compositional change, the researchers report. The artist initially painted the woman with a right arm and hand holding a disk but then covered them with her cloak in the final work.

 

By closely observing “La Miséreuse accroupie,” AGO had observed distinct textures and contrasting underlying color that peeked through the crack lines and did not match the visible composition. X-ray radiography was the first non-invasive tool used to uncover hidden information in “La Miséreuse accroupie;” it revealed a horizontal landscape by a different Barcelona painter, whose identity remains unknown, under the visible surface of Picasso’s painting.

 

For a more detailed understanding of the repositioned arm, NU-ACCESS scientists next investigated the painting using images generated by their X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanner. The NU-ACCESS team traveled twice to the AGO in Canada with their portable tools for the study.

 

This system produces grayscale images showing the distribution of elements associated with various pigments of the painting. The scientists were able to analyze 70 percent of the painting in 24 hours. Together with micro-samples extracted from strategic locations, the XRF results, along with further images generated by Delaney from the hyperspectral reflectance, reveal the steps of creation taken by Picasso.

 

The iron- and chromium-based pigments of the surface layer correlated with the painting’s current structure and its palette of mostly blues (painted with the iron-based Prussian blue and with ultramarine, Picasso’s Blue Period blue of choice) and yellow-greens (painted with chromium-based yellows). The elemental maps of cadmium- and lead-based pigments, however, revealed the presence of the woman’s right arm and hand beneath the visible surface.

 

Questions raised by this research on Picasso’s influence and style during his Blue Period will be further explored in a Picasso Blue Period exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., in 2020 through 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

source: northwestern

Sleeping with Masterpieces

 

Founded in 1824 and housing over 2300 pieces of art dating from the mid-13th century to the 1900s, The National Gallery showcases paintings by the world’s greatest masters, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh.

 

In an exclusive collaboration, The National Gallery and Savoir Beds and have joined forces to deliver an inspiring approach that takes art in interiors to another level. Once commissioned, the design is specially printed in the UK on a selection of three fabrics – lustrous velvet, textured linen viscose and versatile cotton. Finished with a bespoke plaque detailing the portrait and artist, every commission will be personally approved by The National Gallery to guarantee the design preserves the essence and integrity of one of the greatest art institutes in the world.

 

 

 

sources: nationalgallery, avoirbeds, wikipedia

3D-Printed Concrete Dome for Mars

 

NASA has named Northwestern University and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) as one of the five leading teams in the latest phase of the 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge competition. Launched in 2014, the competition invited 18 research teams from around the world to design autonomously constructed habitats that have the potential to support human life on Mars and the Moon.

 

The Northwestern University/SOM concept—led by Northwestern, with SOM providing support on engineering and design—includes a 3D-printed concrete dome designed to be manufactured and printed on Mars. The printed material acts as a shell when completed, protecting inhabitants from solar radiation, wind-borne debris, and meteorite impacts. The material is placed over an inflatable formwork system that doubles as a pressure vessel simulating Earth’s atmosphere. The structure also incorporates modular connection points with entry airlocks suited for colony expansion.

 

Northwestern University will continue to lead the next phase of the competition, which will focus on 3D prints of the foundation and wall elements for the dome structure. Deadlines and milestones will be announced by NASA in the coming months.

 

 

 

sources: northwestern, som

Illuminating the Carolinas

 

 

Light sculptures of Butterflies, Deer, and Venus Fly Traps are illuminatomg Brookgreen’s Summer Lights Festival. Located south of Myrtle Beach, Brookgreen Gardens is the floral jewel of South Carolina’s coastal community. The 9,127-acre property preserves the natural and cultivated landscape of this historic site.

 

The lighting festival takes place within Brookgreen Gardens at their Lowcountry Zoo where guests have the opportunity to see native animals in areas maintained as close as possible to their natural habitats as possible. The festival closes August 19.

 

 

 

sources: brookgreen, aldahazel, southstrandnews