As progress slows toward putting self-driving cars on the road, it’s looking like the vehicles may first be put to use schlepping things rather than people. Packages, after all, don’t complain when the robot takes the longer way around because it’s uncomfortable making left turns across traffic. The nice thing is that both people and packages can comfortably fit into cubes. Zoox, despite its new Amazonian overlords, insists that it’s still focused on robotaxis, though Levinson says “a lot of things are possible with our platform.”
More than 90 materials, ranging from recycled paper, plastic, metals and leather made from kombucha, were presented at the first workshop, which took place in December. “I wanted to create an open-source space that’s democratised in the sense that it can be added to by designers, artists and other people during workshops,” says Edwards, asking: “What is Johannesburg’s material future?” Read more (Times)
In this conversation, Philip spends time Dr. Jenny L. Davis, author of How Artifacts Afford: The Power and Politics of Everyday Things. In their conversation, they discuss the conditions and frameworks that are part nuanced field of affordances. They cover the political choices of technology and culture and the inherent role that power plays in our design choices.
The color blue has been an integral part of Indian civilization. The Indigo dying process dates back to the ancient Indus valley of Harappa. The mention of “blue gods” in Hinduism (Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Rama) indeed emphasizes the fact that blue had a significant presence in Indian culture for thousands of years. However, as Leo Shvedsky wrote in the article at Good.is, ancient civilizations had no word for the color blue. It was the last color to appear in many languages, including Greek, Chinese, Japanese, and Hebrew. Read more
Hedges are an admirably versatile metaphor. In Brexit Britain, they are a barrier. In Covid Britain, they are a frontier: this far but no farther. Most of all, in a Britain battered by recent economic and political storms, they are a much-needed hug. Other nations love their hedges, too, of course, but only in Britain do they seem so bound up with national identity. The hedge speaks to the romantic idea of the country as a green and pleasant land, but its cheerful dullness undercuts this notion before we get too carried away. Our souls are in those hedges and those hedges are in our souls. Read more (Smithsonian Magazine)
The biophilic compulsion to unite indoors and outdoors is leaping beyond the familiar tropes of eco-sustainability — natural fibers, salvaged lumber and the war against carcinogens and toxins. Adherents want not just personal and environmental health but also psychological and spiritual well-being.
As the pandemic leaves offices around the world empty, Catherine Nixey asks what was the point of them anyway?