LuxeLife

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

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

Glowing Plants?

 

MIT engineers have developed a method to illuminate plants. By embedding specialized nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant, they induced the plants to give off dim light for nearly four hours. They believe that, with further optimization, such plants will one day be bright enough to illuminate a workspace.

 

“The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp — a lamp that you don’t have to plug in. The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself,” says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the study.

 

This technology could also be used to provide low-intensity indoor lighting, or to transform trees into self-powered streetlights, the researchers say. The group’s goal is to engineer plants to take over many of the functions now performed by electrical devices. The researchers have previously designed plants that can detect explosives and communicate that information to a smartphone, as well as plants that can monitor drought conditions.

 

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

Lighting Pompeii with Sun-Like LEDs

 

Seoul Semiconductor’s natural spectrum LEDs recently were used for a lighting project to illuminate the restored murals of the Casa dei Vettii in the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii, Italy. The lighting project was undertaken by the Lumen Center Italia (LCI), which specified the SunLike Series natural spectrum LEDs because they produce light that closely matches the spectrum of natural sunlight, which conveys the colors and textures of the restored murals accurately as they would naturally appear.

 

LCI developed spotlights that employ nine units of 25W COB-type SunLike Series natural spectrum LEDs. The LEDs reproduce the spectrum of sunlight as closely as possible to show the color of the object as it appears in natural light and provide a good sense of depth based on high contrast ratio to accurately represent the murals. LCI has also illuminated art works master pieces in the Vatican Museums, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and others, including: Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus, the paintings of Botticelli, Tiziano, and Bruegel.

 

source: seoulsemico

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