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Gilded Ceramic Radio

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The Hibou Gilded Ceramic Radio by French designers Celia Torvisco and Raphaël Pluvinage is operated by touch. Users control the volume, frequency and on/off functions with gentle swipes of the finger over the surface of the device.

The movements are detected by Palladium – a silvery-white metal within the paint used to decorate the object – which conducts the electricity conveyed by the user’s touch. The patterns on the radio are designed to make using the device simple and intuitive – the volume control is drawn out into a long line to allow small adjustments.

(Source: dezeen.com)

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The Lepsis

Hailed as a solution to the world’s growing food shortages, insects are an efficient and sustainable source of protein. Every 100 g of dried insects provides 53 g of protein, a higher proportion than beef and fish. According to a recent report from the United Nations (UN), the prospect of farms processing insects for feed might soon become a global reality due to the growing demand for sustainable food sources.

Designer Mansour Ourasanah is encouraging people to grow their very own nutritious creepy crawlies at home. The San Francisco-based designer has collaborated with US domestic appliance company KitchenAid to develop Lepsis – an insect breeder that enables consumers to farm, harvest and kill grasshoppers before turning them into food. Designed to save space and energy, the vessel is small enough for a kitchen counter top.

“In order to move toward a sustainable future, we must do away with our culinary hang-ups and redefine the paradigm of food,” explains Ourasanah.

See Insects Au Gratin by Susana Soares, which looks at new ways of consuming the mini-beasts.

(Source: finedininglovers.com)

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Tutti Frutti

Kew Gardens has teamed up with British gastronomic duo Bompas & Parr to create a display that will challenge visitors to rethink the food they eat on a daily basis.

The Tutti Frutti installation is part of Kew Gardens’ IncrEdibles festival, which celebrates the diversity of edible plants. The focal point of the installation is a floating pineapple island situated within a pond. Visitors can explore the pond in rowing boats, before entering a secret banana grotto hidden beneath the pineapple structure.

The installation is supported by a fruit-themed publication, featuring contributions by British photographer Martin Parr, Spanish chef Elena Arzak and New-York based visual artist Jennifer Rubell.

Food scarcity is a prevalent theme. The burden of feeding the fast-growing population is inciting chefs, designers and environmentalists to seek uncharted and plentiful food sources. See Austerity and Thrive Live for more concepts designed around survival in times of crisis.

(Source: jellymongers.com)

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Yo-man

American chocolate brand Hershey is launching a new candy brand in China called Lancaster – Yo-man in Chinese – to target one of the world’s fastest-growing candy markets.

Hershey has crafted three flavours specifically for Chinese consumers using a milk-condensing process called nai bei. The candy will be distributed in the Chinese cities of Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chengdu in June 2013. The brand expects to expand throughout China later in the year.

This is the first time Hershey has launched a new brand outside the US. Hershey hopes to gain a share of China’s milk candy confectionary market, which is estimated to be worth 7.5bn yuan ($1.2bn), accounting for one quarter of the total candy market.

“Consumers in China love high-quality, delicious candy that reflects care and craftsmanship and gives them a rich taste experience that is distinct and premium,” said Jane Xu, Vice President and General Manager of Greater China for The Hershey Company. “Lancaster Nai Bei candy provides consumers with a milk candy experience that is unlike any other product available in the China market.”

(Source: confectionarynews.com)

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Balancing Act

Forgetting to water your plants could be a thing of the past thanks to Japanese designer Risako Matsumoto. His latest project Water Balance consists of a piece of wood with a glass vial on one side and a sliding weight on the other. The design maintains perfect balance until the plant is dry, signaling to the owner that it’s time to top up the water.

(Source: psfk.com)

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Milan 2013: Food Storage

Food Storage by Italian creative design studio Friday Project is designed to help us eat more healthily.

Based on the principles of the food guide pyramid, the storage system dedicates more space to what we should eat more of. The unit provides space for cereals, pasta and bread, a drawer for vegetables that need to be kept in darkness and a terracotta box to conserve products out of the refrigerator.

According to the studio, Food Storage provides “an educational system for our diet,” by displaying the food we have in our homes and encouraging us to combine them in a more nutritious way.

(Source: fridayproject.it)

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The Mataerial Printer

Researchers Saša Jokić and Petr Vovikov from Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) have created a gravity-defying 3D printer.

The Mataerial printer uses plastic made from thermosetting polymers, which solidify instantly, allowing it to draw freeform shapes in the air extending from any surface. The process, which the designers call “anti-gravity object modelling”, is a form of extrusion that instantly creates chunky three-dimensional rods, rather than slowly building up two-dimensional layers like a standard 3D printer. Users can customise the colour of the plastic and the width of the tube to their exact specifications.

(Source: dezeen.com)

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Ideo’s Future Packaging Concepts

International design firm and innovation consultancy IDEO has launched a collection of future-facing packaging concepts that explore how packaging design can assume a more guiding role in a product’s final consumption.

Published under Designs On – IDEO’s internal innovation platform that presents provocations around pertinent topics, such as food and global warming – the pamphlet presents 18 unexpected packaging designs for products, tools, scents and environments.

Taking inspiration from the billions of discarded cigarette butts that litter the UK’s streets, Ben Forman designed Cigg Seed – a biodegradable cigarette butt that’s embedded with wildflower seeds, which sprout and blossom into wildflower meadows when flicked and discarded. Chopsticks by Gregory Perez and Guoning Hu highlights the resources expended to manufacture disposable wooden chopsticks – housing the chopsticks inside a twig provides an inherent reminder of their environmental impact. Expired by the designers Kuen Chang and Jin Ko repackages medication in bottles that ‘ripen’ with brown spots, like a banana, to indicate the pill’s freshness.

For more innovative packaging concepts, see Ecologically Wrapped and The Disappearing Package

(Source: designs-on.com)

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Edios: Enhancing the Senses

A group of students at London’s Royal College of Art have designed two experimental masks that allow wearers to selectively enhance their hearing and vision. The Eidos masks are designed to enhance sensory perception by tuning in to selective sights and sounds around the wearer and applying effects to amplify particular senses.

The Eidos Vision mask lets wearers control the way they see motion. The device uses a head-mounted camera, which transmits imagery to a computer to apply effects before sending it back for the viewer to watch in real time.

Eidos Audio allows wearers to hear sounds more selectively, using a directional microphone and audio processors to neutralise background noise. The sound is transmitted straight to the inner ear via bone vibrations.

(Source: dezeen.com)

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The Glowing Plant Project

A group of students from California-based institutions Stanford University and Singularity University are using synthetic biology to design glow-in-the-dark plants, which they hope will be the first step in using plants to replace conventional streetlights.

The students will use software from Genome Compiler – a programme for designing DNA code – to inject bioluminescent genes into Arabidopsis plants (a member of the mustard family). Inspired by fireflies and luminescence in aquatic creatures, the team hopes to develop a strand of plants as the first step towards creating a natural, sustainable light source.

The project needs $65,000 in funding from Kickstarter donations to purchase and print the genes identified on the Genome Compiler. In return, backers are offered kits to create their own glowing plant at home.

(Source: kickstarter.com)

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