Sunlight in your Pocket
Little Sun, designed by renowned artist Olafur Eliasson in collaboration with Frederick Ottesen, is a sunburst-shaped solar-powered LED light that is already bringing electricity-free illumination to far corners of the globe. Little Sun debuted at the World Economic Forum in Africa in 2012 and was recently awarded MIT’s 2014 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts. The $100,000 cash prize will go towards producing the light, a 6 cm x 6 cm single cell mono-crystalline solar module that produces five hours of reading light for every four hours of sunlight it absorbs. Eliasson explains, “It offers a solution to energy inequality, of course — but it also ties us emotionally and physically to what energy means today.” Available at the MoMa Store.
Image via Little Sun
Bookshelf: What We’re Reading
New book Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential synthesizes six years of research on Nobel Prize winners, CEOs, politicians, and media personalities to get to the essence of what makes a winning personality: the combination of strength and warmth. Available for pre-order, an excellent design resource, Manuals 1 Design & Identity Guidelines, compiles the corporate identity manuals from the 1960s to early 1980s of household names like NASA, Lufthansa, and ABC. Extraordinary: From Everyday Objects to Art details the work of artists who delight in transforming household products like eggs, pencils or plastic cups into inspired art that transcend mere function.
Image by Nick Hollot
Museums After Dark
The “After Hours” program is the first recipient of the IK Prize, an initiative that facilitates the enjoyment of art through the use of digital technology. The prize winners Tommaso Lanza, Ross Cairns, and David Di Duca, also known as “The Workers,” plan to bring art to night owls with the use of hi-tech robotics. Beginning this summer, anyone with a Wi-Fi connection will be able to sign up to for a late night self-guided through the Tate Britain thanks to camera wielding robots.
Image via Movie Mania
A new company, Free Play, specially designs delightful and thoughtful abstract playgrounds that encourage creative play. After noticing his daughters’ obsession with the hulking metal structures in a Richard Serra exhibition at the MoMA, Dan Schriebman began to brainstorm ideas for a playground that children actually wanted to use. The results are sculptural designs that encourage a different engagement than run of the mill swings and slides, motivating ‘unstructured play’ where kids can explore, discover, and reconfigure. This kind of imaginative play is proven to be critical to a child’s intellectual, physical, and social development. The first set of structures will be unveiled at a new FIFA stadium in Al Ain, UAE.
Image Free Play via Wired
Design Shanghai launches February 27 bringing 150 of the brightest names in architecture and international design to China for a week of showcases featuring contemporary, classic, and limited edition furniture, textiles, lighting, and more. Set in the palatial and newly renovated Shanghai Exhibition Centre, the event will place a strong emphasis on China’s rapid growth and give their growing class of elite consumers the opportunity to purchase high-end global designs from the likes of Tom Dixon, Alessi, and Fritz Hansen. The most sought after and exclusive collectibles will go up for auction March 2.
Image via Design Show Shanghai
100 Years of History at Grand Central
A new beautifully designed website commemorates 100 years of rich history at Grand Central Station in New York City. Created in partnership with the New York Transit Museum, the website explores the engineering, design, and “decline & renewal” of one of the country’s largest and busiest public travel hubs. Videos, stories, historical documents and photographs take the user on a journey from the station’s early days of steam fueled travel to its central role today as a travel, cultural, and culinary destination. In addition, the resource offers insight into the iconic depot’s future with plans, maps, and images of the new train station being dug beneath Manhattan at this very moment.
Image via mkfeeney
Bookshelf: What We’re Reading
Generation Press releases a limited-edition rainbow hued catalog to accompany Barber Osgerby’s exhibition In the Making. The authors of Design Transitions: Inspiring Stories. Global Viewpoints. How Design is Changing traveled the world searching and speaking to design practitioners in hopes of answering the question “How are design practices changing?” Lidewij Edelkoort’s The Pop-Up Generation ruminates on the generation born behind a screen and looks at how their ability to fluidly move between digital and analog has created a whole new kind of hybrid art.
Image by jab5
Design Indaba Film Festival
Premiering February 21, Design Indaba FilmFest 2014 will present an array of films devoted to creativity in its countless forms. With feature-length films on urban design, street and performance art, photography, architecture, motion graphics and more, it will be sure to delight design fans of all types. Not only is the event’s content unique- the moving-going experience sets itself apart with a selection of films being screened at an old drive-in at Maiden’s Cove, Clifton and the rest projected at South Africa’s oldest surviving building The Castle of Good Hope. Never-before seen in South Africa, the films ruminate on inspiration, human nature, and the urban condition, undoubtedly leaving the viewer with a lasting impression.
Watson travels to Africa
IBM is bringing super computer Watson to Africa to assist researchers in tackling pressing needs in the healthcare, sanitation, education, human mobility, and infrastructure sectors. “Project Lucy,” named after our earliest known human descendant, is IBM’s ten-year and 100 million dollar initiative that gives scientists the time and resources to utilize Watson’s computing abilities to help solve Africa’s most crucial challenges. The compilation and analysis of big data will assist experts in comprehending the obstacles that contribute to Africa’s stagnate economy and pervasive poverty. Food prices, GDP, and the size of diseased populations are just a few of the categories the project will seek to better understand through data compilation and the identification of emerging patterns.
Image via Freestock.ca
Following in the footsteps of Random International’s wildly popular Rain Room installation that debuted at London’s Barbican before moving on to the Museum of Modern Art, United Visual Artists (UVA) debuts their own immersive exhibit Momentum at the London art centre this month. The spatial experience consists of “12 pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing” patterning the curved walls and encircling the visitor in fluid light and a rhythmic soundscape. Conceptualized and executed in just six months and described as “a blissfully meditative experience,” the installation is certainly not to be missed if in London between now and June 1.
Image by James Medcraft via It’s Nice That