The Week In Design: 10 Stories You Can’t Miss

This week we were promised floating parks, flying bikes, and earbuds that will give us superhuman hearing.

In a fun, fashionable move forward, Google’s Advanced Technology And Projects (ATAP) lab has teamed up with Levi's to develop a smart fabric that is able to conduct “electrical variations in the skin,” bend, and morph according to the wearer. This means that your denim, in the near future, could potentially act like a touch screen, and even sync up with your social media devices. Called Project Jacquard, the collaboration recruited creatives in fashion, textile production, coding, and development to produce the conductive yarns that make up the smart fabric. According to, “gesture-sensitive areas can be woven at precise locations, anywhere on the textile. Alternatively, sensor grids can be woven throughout the textile, creating large, interactive surfaces that could be used to make larger products, like smart furniture and art installations.”

It was recently announced that by 2019, Hudson pier will have a floating public park and performance space thanks to fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and her media mogul husband Barry Diller. They’re funding the entire $113 million-project. Construction begins next year.


The key to saving the Earth’s biodiversity, specifically coral reefs, may lie in 3D mapping software. Sly Lee, and his team of scientists at the Hydrous, use software to map how coral reefs have changed over time, then give that data to policymakers in order to advocate for better protective measures.


This past week, these colorful, light-producing smart shoes by Japanese startup No New Folk Studio took the internet by storm. The kicks are able to act as both a lighting system and an audio-visual controller, and contain over 100 LEDs as well as a system of advanced motion sensors to create vivid light paintings via fancy footwork. Currently, the group is hoping to fund their project through Indiegogo.

French artist Alban Guého’s Flood was selected this week to take part in the 2015 Nuit Blanche Festival in Paris. This year, the annual one-night event will address climate topics to be presented at the COP21 forum, which will take place in November. His work takes a critical eye to “extreme natural phenomena,” which many believe are directly related to human interference, and tries to relate it to biblical references of a great flood caused by man’s hubris (sound familiar?).

New York City’s guerrilla Beautification Project is currently under way! Check out these amazing temporary (and unauthorized) murals around the city.

Marvel promised all of us a female wolverine, and we are willing to wait for it.

It was also announced this week that a team from Hungary had developed an electric flying bike that actually works. The Flike, a tricopter, has so far stayed in flight for over a minute, and with a new lithium-polymer battery, will soon be able to sustain a 30-40 minute ride.

Just in time for festival season, Wired introduced us to Doppler, creators of a magic set of earbuds called Herethat which are supposed to offer “superhuman hearing 1.0,” and the ability to “adjust the world’s sounds to your exact liking.” It launches in two weeks and we are PSYCHED.

If you’d like to visit a real shit show, head on over to the Italy’s Museo della Merda. Yes, merda literally means shit. But hey, it’s housed in a castle (part of it held together by poop)! The museum is dedicated to demonstrating “what a useful and living substance crap really is.”

Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

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It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

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The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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