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

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

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

Cell-Sized Robots

 

Researchers at MIT have created what may be the smallest robots yet that can sense their environment, store data, and even carry out computational tasks. These devices, which are about the size of a human egg cell, consist of tiny electronic circuits made of two-dimensional materials, piggybacking on minuscule particles called colloids.

 

Colloids, which insoluble particles or molecules anywhere from a billionth to a millionth of a meter across, are so small they can stay suspended indefinitely in a liquid or even in air. By coupling these tiny objects to complex circuitry, the researchers hope to lay the groundwork for devices that could be dispersed to carry out diagnostic journeys through anything from the human digestive system to oil and gas pipelines, or perhaps to waft through air to measure compounds inside a chemical processor or refinery.

 

Tiny robots made by the MIT team are self-powered, requiring no external power source or even internal batteries. A simple photodiode provides the trickle of electricity that the tiny robots’ circuits require to power their computation and memory circuits. That’s enough to let them sense information about their environment, store those data in their memory, and then later have the data read out after accomplishing their mission.

 

Such devices could ultimately be a boon for the oil and gas industry, Currently, the main way of checking for leaks or other issues in pipelines is to have a crew physically drive along the pipe and inspect it with expensive instruments. In principle, the new devices could be inserted into one end of the pipeline, carried along with the flow, and then removed at the other end, providing a record of the conditions they encountered along the way, including the presence of contaminants that could indicate the location of problem areas. Similarly, such particles could potentially be used for diagnostic purposes in the body, for example to pass through the digestive tract searching for signs of inflammation or other disease indicators.

 

source: MIT

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in an Interactive Experience

 

Innovative technology companies have joined together with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to bring Wright’s vision to the world. Through the combination of a powerful 3D imaging laser scanner, sophisticated documentation and an immersive media platform, anybody anywhere can now experience the work of the master architect.

 

True to Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision, this immersive experience represents a new way for the world to access, preserve, and think about design and organic architecture. Roam the property and go inside Taliesin West through this immersive experience that provides a deeper understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy on organic architecture and how it comes to life in the design and structure of his winter home and studio. Experience Wright’s usage of compression and release as you enter the living room. Go to the land bridge and view the desert landscape. Take in the structural desert masonry as you wander the hallways and pass unique elements such as the light fixtures and furniture, most of which were designed by Wright himself. Take a walk through on your own: http://franklloydwright.org/3dlab/

 

source: franklloydwright.org

Robotically Fabricated Exhibition Hall

 

The Landesgartenschau Exhibition Hall is an architectural prototype building and a showcase for the current developments in computational design and robotic fabrication for lightweight timber construction. Funded by the European Union and the state of Baden-Württemberg, the building is the first to have its primary structure entirely made of robotically prefabricated beech plywood plates. This newly developed timber plate construction is made possible through integrative computational design, simulation, fabrication and surveying methods resulting not only in a highly performative and resource efficient plate shell structure but also in innovative architecture.

 

 

 

source: ICD Institute

The Printing of Shape-Shifting Objects

 

A team of researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and two other institutions has developed a new 3-D printing method to create objects that can permanently transform into a range of different shapes in response to heat. The team, which included researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, created the objects by printing layers of shape memory polymers with each layer designed to respond differently when exposed to heat.

 

Their development of the new 3-D printed objects follows earlier work the team had done using smart shape memory polymers (SMPs), which have the ability to remember one shape and change to another programmed shape when uniform heat is applied, to make objects that could fold themselves along hinges.

 

To demonstrate the capabilities of the new process, the team fabricated several objects that could bend or expand quickly when immersed in hot water – including a model of a flower whose petals bend like a real daisy responding to sunlight and a lattice-shaped object that could expand by nearly eight times its original size.

 

The new 4-D objects could enable a range of new product features, such as allowing products that could be stacked flat or rolled for shipping and then expanded once in use, the researchers said. Eventually, the technology could enable components that could respond to stimuli such as temperature, moisture or light in a way that is precisely timed to create space structures, deployable medical devices, robots, toys and range of other structures.

 

 

source: Georgia Tech

Lego Goes Green

 

 

Production has started on a range of sustainable LEGO elements made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane. The new sustainable LEGO ‘botanical’ elements will come in varieties including leaves, bushes and trees. The move is part of the LEGO Group’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030.

 

The new sustainable LEGO elements are made from polyethylene, which is a soft, durable and flexible plastic, and while they are based on sugar-cane material, they are technically identical to those produced using conventional plastic. The elements have been tested to ensure the plant-based plastic meets the high standards for quality and safety that the LEGO Group has.

 

“LEGO products have always been about providing high quality play experiences giving every child the chance to shape their own world through inventive play. Children and parents will not notice any difference in the quality or appearance of the new elements, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene,” said Tim Brooks.

 

source: lego

Ron Arad: Out of the Box

 

Ron Arad’s constant experimentation with the possibilities of materials such as steel, aluminum or polyamide and his radical re-conception of the form and structure of furniture has put him at the forefront of contemporary design and architecture.

 

Born in Tel Aviv in 1951, educated at the Jerusalem Academy of Art and later at the Architectural Association in London, Ron Arad co-founded with Caroline Thorman the design and production studio One Off in 1981 and later, in 1989, Ron Arad Associates architecture and design practice. In 2008 Ron Arad Architects was established alongside Ron Arad Associates. From 1994 to 1999 he established the Ron Arad Studio, design and production unit in Como, Italy. He was Professor of Design Product at the Royal College of Art in London up until 2009. Ron Arad was awarded the 2011 London Design Week Medal for design excellence and was became a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2013.

 

Arad’s career as a designer began with the Rover chair, a leather car seat of a Rover V8 2L anchored on a tubular steel frame. Alongside his limited edition studio work, Arad designs for many leading international companies including Kartell, Vitra, Moroso, Fiam, Driade, Alessi, Cappellini, Cassina, WMF and Magis among many others. He has designed a number of Public Art pieces, most recently the Vortext in Seoul, Korea, and the Kesher Sculpture at Tel Aviv University.

 

Arad designed the ToHA office complex in Tel Aviv, under construction until 2018. Once completed, it will be the tallest skyscraper in Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sources: ronarad, wikipedia