Top 20 Greatest Inventions of All Time Technology is a core component of the human experience. We have been creating tools to help us tame the physical world since the early days of our species. Any attempt to count down the most important technological inventions is certainly debatable, but here are some major advancements that should probably be on any such list (in chronological order): 1. FIRE - it can be argued that fire was discovered rather than invented. Plastic-Bottle Bulbs Shed Some Light on the Situation - Design For the millions who live in the shantytowns of the developing world, there are better things to spend money on than electricity. But many corrugated-iron-roofed shacks, like the ones seen throughout the poorer neighborhoods of Manila, Philippines, lack windows to let in natural light, leaving residents the choice of complete darkness or running expensive electric bulbs all day. However, a new development project called Liter of Light aims to solve that predicament through an unexpected and highly affordable technology: old soda bottles. When filled with water (with some bleach to keep out the algae) and snugly inserted into custom-cut holes in a roof, plastic bottles refract the sun's rays, scattering about 55 watts of light across a would-be pitch black room. The new lighting source can be rigged up in less than an hour, and it lasts for five years. Liter of Light has already set up 10,000 solar bottle bulbs in homes across Manila and Laguna, the adjacent province.
The Secret Life of Plants It means even on the lower levels of life, there is a profound consciousness or awareness that bonds all things together. Published in 1973, The Secret Life of Plants was written by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. It is described as "A fascinating account of the physical, emotional, and spiritual relations between plants and man." Essentially, the subject of the book is the idea that plants may be sentient, despite their lack of a nervous system and a brain.
What Apple, Google, And Tesla Get Wrong Don Norman is a technological optimist. The author of The Design of Everyday Things and head of UC San Diego's Design Lab believes that artificial intelligence might only take the worst parts of our jobs, and when it gets smart enough, it will pity us rather than destroy humanity. On these points, the scientist in him admits that he might be wrong, but Norman would prefer to live his life hoping for the best. Because nobody wants to go to sleep at night expecting a Terminator in his bed in the morning. But that doesn’t mean Norman isn’t critical of the direction of Silicon Valley’s powerhouse companies often celebrated for merging technology and design. In a casual, stream-of-consciousness conversation with Co.Design, Norman dissected what’s wrong with Apple, Google, Microsoft, and, as a little bonus we pushed for, Tesla.
T-shirt charges your phone by absorbing ambient sound First there were tie-dyes, then there were hypercolors. Could piezoelectric fabrics that charge your mobile phone while you wear them be the next big T-shirt fad? That's what the French telecom company, Orange, is counting on, reports the Telegraph. The shirts utilize ambient sound as a catalyst to produce electric voltage, and are being rolled out just in time for the Glastonbury Music Festival in Britain. Developers hope that the shirts will offer a convenient, eco-friendly way for festival goers to charge their phones while they're rocking out away from the grid.
Shh! Don’t Tell Them There’s No Magic In Design Thinking When the term Design Thinking first emerged on the scene, I found it completely puzzling. People were treating it as if it was a revolutionary new methodology to produce better products and services. They were talking about how entire companies were adopting this new approach, and those companies were becoming more competitive in the marketplace and seeing huge increases in customer satisfaction. Now, every few years, someone touts some new approach or method that’s going to change the world. Kempf I've been spending time over the last month getting to grips with Petra Kempf's remarkable publication You are the City. Subtitled "Observation, organization, and transformation of urban settings", the main element of this publication are 22 sheets of clear acetate, onto which are printed different conceptual layers and frameworks of a city. It's based on a earlier project called Met(r)onymy 1, from 2001. In 'You are the City', the 22 diagram drawings are split into four operational categories: Cosmological Ground; Leglisative Agencies; Currents, Flows and Forces; Nodes, Loops and Connections. By combining different sheets, and adding layers, a huge range of different compositions can be created - a handmade decon version of SimCity. It invites the user to make new urban connections and realities, as different spatial arrangements and possibilities reveal themselves.
The Astounding Design Of Eixample, Barcelona Constructed in the early 20th century, Eixample is a district of the Spanish city of Barcelona known for the urban planning that divided the district into octagonal blocks. Influenced by a range of schools of architecture, Eixample Barcelona was designed in a grid pattern with long streets, wide avenues, and rounded street corners. Despite being in the center of a thriving European metropolis, the district provides improved living conditions for inhabitants including extensive sun light, improved ventilation, and more open green space for public use. And of course, the result from the grid-like structure is astounding from above: Boarding a moving train: The way to speed up rail travel? The 'Moving Platforms' concept envisions city-wide tram networks that are integrated with a high-speed rail service. When a tram runs next to a high-speed train, the tram speeds up and train slows down. The moving tram "docks" with the moving train, allowing passengers to cross between tram and train without either vehicle stopping.
Folding Concrete?! Flat-Pack Building Blocks of the Future This may be the biggest invention since that long-standing, still-universal staple of the construction industry: the red clay brick. A single identical unit, multiplied by four, forms a rigid structural element – stack these and set them side by side, and you have nothing short of a material revolution. Watch the videos to fully see how these function!
The Greenest Office Building In The World Is About To Open In Seattle Seattle’s Bullitt Center is being heralded as the greenest, most energy-efficient commercial office building in the world. It’s not that the six-story, 50,000-square-foot building is utilizing never-before-seen technology. But it’s combining a lot of different existing technologies and methods to create a structure that’s a showpiece for green design--and a model for others to follow. A project of the Bullitt Foundation, a Seattle-based sustainability advocacy group, the Bullitt Center has an incredibly ambitious goal. From the website: See The Invention That Just Changed Biking Forever What is the solution to a greener, more physically-fit planet? Biking! Even though forward-thinking cities already use bikes for their transportation, the US has been lagging behind.
History Esslinger's products caught the eye of Steve Jobs as he was searching for the design magic that would give Apple Computer a market edge. A multimillion-dollar deal was struck, esslinger design arrived in California, and the company took on a new name: frog design. In 1984, frog's design language for Apple, first embodied by the Apple IIc system, launched with great fanfare and commercial success. The design was recognized by Time Magazine as the “Design of the Year” and inducted into the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum of Art. Apple’s revenue soared from $700 million in 1982 to $4 billion in 1986. 1919–1933 - Bauhaus-Archiv Walter Gropius becomes Director of the former Grand-Ducal Saxon College of Fine Arts [Grossherzoglich Sächsische Hochschule für bildende Kunst] in Weimar. He unites it formally with the College of Applied Art [Kunstgewerbeschule], which had already been dissolved in 1915, and gives the institution the new name ‘State Bauhaus in Weimar’ [Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]. The official date of its foundation is 1 April 1919.