The Week in Design

Drake went high art, Ikea gave much-needed homes to Iraqi refugees, and Cape Town got a whole lot of Mexican wrestlers.

Living better

In 2013, Ikea developed a prototype for refugee shelters that could be easily produced, shipped, and actually provide a pleasant, habitable experience. As Gizmodo reports, this week at the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition, the UN Refugee Agency ordered 10,000 Better Shelter units to be sent to Iraq, where over 2.5 million people have been displaced.

This program is just some of the work that the Ikea Foundation has developed as part of their initiatives devoted to social issues in developing countries.

Started from the bottom now Sotheby’s

Drake is our latest renaissance man. Adding to his prestigious repertoire of cred (street, sports, etc.), is his latest accomplishment: art. On April 28, S|2, Sotheby’s gallery extension, will present an art show curated by the Canadian rapper, Page Six reports. The show, which runs through June, will feature an exhibition exploring the dialogue between music and art through the work of black American contemporary creatives. “The exhibition aims to examine this relationship in pairing works by celebrated artists with songs selected by Drake.” So an art show with headphones? Okay!

Live in the now

You know that real-life sensation that you experience on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland? You feel the cool breeze of the night (when it’s actually hot AF outside); you feel a tremble when the pirates fire the cannons. There’s now a new at-home viewing system that will give you the real-life thrills you’ve previously only experienced on an amusement park ride, or in an IMAX theater. Ceekars 4D Headphones enable “users to feel the atmosphere of the virtual reality they are experiencing through personalized soundscapes and haptic feedback,” PSFK reports. Ceekars 4D Headphones start at $179, and are currently raising funds on Indiegogo.

Men in tights

I’m all for creative methods of advertising but Zang, a chocolate company based in Cape Town, is taking it a little bit too far. I’m talking pervy levels too far. In honor of their new “pick-me-up” caffeinated chocolate bar, Zang is giving the public free piggybacks. Get it, pick-me-up? PSFK has the pictures to prove it. Oof! If getting a free ride from a stranger wasn’t creepy enough, the people providing the service are buff men in luchador gear. Mask, tights, the works. If I wanted a lift from a weird transportation service, I would’ve called Uber.

Off with his head?

So there’s been some backlash over the Bjork exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, which we recently covered here. It’s mostly coming from a handful of male art critics who deem Bjork’s body of work unworthy of consideration as modern art. Now one of these critics is calling for the MoMA’s curator to be ousted. Christian Viveros-Fauné writes that Klaus Biesenbach should be fired for putting on this show. “Despite the crowds lined up outside the museum to see Biesenbach's newest addition to MoMA's recent string of curatorial turkeys, discontent within the famously tight-lipped institution appears to have turned against the German curator.” Despite people flocking to an art institution? Despite bringing art to the masses? How dare he?!

Massive idea

PeeWee Herman, my personal design guru, wrote about a revolutionary tool created by Lance Abernethy, a maintenance engineer living in New Zealand. If you can’t tell by this gif, it’s an itsy bitsy drill that runs on a hearing aid battery. “I have always liked small things and have created small items since I was a little kid,” Abernethy said. “I was with my work colleagues and was talking about mythical stories about one country making a twist drill and sending it to another. The other country returned it with a hole through the middle. Things like this easily challenge me, and my idea was born.”

via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less