Car of the future becomes extension of the home

June 1, 2018

Imagine the automobile of the future as an extension of your home: it could be stored in your house and might even match your furnishings. This is the concept the carmaker Renault explored when they unveiled Symbioz, a personal autonomous automobile, at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2017. Designed to be as livable as …

Fabric backdrop complements interactive exhibit

The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Wiess Energy Hall recently underwent a renovation that more than tripled the space from 8,500 square feet to 30,000 square feet. The new gallery, dubbed Wiess Energy Hall 3.0, features exciting, interactive exhibits on the science and technology of energy. Conceived and created by Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design & …

A tent for the trees

Hammocks are popular once again as people realize they provide a great way to relax effortlessly outdoors. For hikers and campers, they offer a lightweight way to rest with ease. But how about a hammock that is also a tent? Tentsile, the London, England-based manufacturer of tree-camping tents, has introduced a solo tree tent that …

Textile sculptures detail beauty and fragility

Textile artist Jannick Deslauriers takes delicate fabrics and creates detailed sculptures of objects that seem to be lost in time, broken and decaying. Her work evokes a sense of the ephemeral nature of commonplace items that we assume are solid and unchanging—telephone poles, an apartment building or a piano, for example. The Montreal-based artist’s recent …

Polymer mat destroys water pollutants

It’s called bait, hook and destroy, a process that removes pollutants from water. While it sounds dramatic, the process is achieved using a polymer mat that can target harmful contaminants and fish them out. Developed by scientists at the Rice University-led Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Center, the mat employs titanium dioxide, a common material used …

Curtains for textural graphics

Brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are Paris-based designers known for a fresh, modern aesthetic that plays with silhouette and texture. They have always had an interest in embroidery due to its ability to enhance textiles, as well as its grounding in French cultural tradition. When Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat tapped the team to create a …

Suited for speed

May 1, 2018

The only naturally refrigerated bobsled track in the world, the Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz-Celerina, is located in Switzerland’s Engadine Valley. Dating back to 1904, it is also the world’s oldest track, built for vacationing British guests. In March, the local Cristal Da Glatsch club held a bobsled race to support the track. Racers were …

A smarter jacket for first responders

Smart technology offers endless practical applications, but its potential for first responders has lifesaving possibilities. The technology company Nokia, working with South Korean apparel company Kolon and Czech Republic software developer GINA, has introduced a prototype jacket for police, firefighters and other emergency responders. Called the CHASE (connected health and safety equipment) LifeTech FR (first …

The future is… comfy

In the 1980s science fiction hit “Back to the Future,” Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels through time wearing a pair of high-flying, self-lacing Nike Air Mags. In real life, Nike produced 89 pairs of the techno sneakers in 2016 to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to the tune of $6.5 …

Insulating fabric, or polar bear pelt?

Polar bears have a thick pelt that keeps them warm in the arctic environment even when temperatures average -40°F during the winter months. Scientists at China’s Zhejiang University College of Chemical and Biological Engineering studied the microstructure and thermal insulation qualities of the polar bear’s coat and have developed a fiber that mimics it. The …