Design-for-debate

Second life prostitute

The world’s oldest profession has made quick inroads into virtual life. You can make a quick buck if you’re willing to accept in-game money for sexual services -whether that’s just dirty chat, or full-on animated action. For example, “Khannea” took her first client on her very first day in Second Life, and since then has been busy working many days per week, several hours per day. She dresses her avatar in provocative clothing, and simulates sexual activity using a variety of animated actions and pre-recorded sounds.

“I do this for fun, because I am exceedingly good at it, and because I make relatively easy money,” she says. Khannea charges 750 Lindens (about $3 at current exchange rates) per half hour “of varied activity,” but clients generally tip more. On one occasion a man in game paid her 5,000 Lindens, but, she says, “I expect he was taking revenge on his [real world] girlfriend by spending her virtual money. It takes all kinds.”

Related posts: Online gamers unmasked, Meta meta reality, Online RPG funeral gets ambushed.

Read about more ways of making money in virtual worlds at Forbes.

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Design-for-debate

Featherless Chicken

Behold the featherless chicken, created by Scientists at the genetics faculty at the Rehovot Agronomy Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel.The idea behind the development of this naked bird is that it will create a more ‘convenient’ and energy efficient chicken which can live in warm countries where feathered chickens don’t do well and cooling systems are too expensive to be commonly affordable. Not growing feathers saves energy that can be used to grow meat.

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Made-to-debate

Roachbot

After the nuclear war, the only one that will be left are the roaches. This guy thought it was a good idea to start building cars for them. Watch the video on Youtube.

Also watch this shrimp work out… But that’s not Next Nature, that’s just funny.

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Guided Growth

How To Grow A Chair: An Interview with Richard Reames

Using ancient grafting techniques and a few basic tools, Richard Reames shapes living trees into furniture and sculpture near his home in Oregon for clients worldwide. He is the author of two self-published books, How to Grow a Chair: The Art of Tree Trunk Topiary with Barbara Delbol, and Arborsculpture: Solutions for a Small Planet, published in June. His work was on display this summer at the World Expo in Aichi, Japan. Joshua Foer spoke to Reames in July 2005 by telephone.

Read the whole interview

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Biomimicry

Close to skin technology

Wearable Interfaces, Smart Materials and Living Fabrics.

V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam-based Virtueel Platform, the expertise centre for E-Culture, organise a two-day event on the theme of close-to-the-skin technology on 9th-10th of November 2006.

Recent developments in science, including DNA and stem cell research, tissue culturing, smart materials and wearable technology, have a growing impact on how we perceive materials and clothing in design practice. In laboratories across the globe researchers at the boundaries of materials research, electronics, chemistry, and biotechnology are laying the foundations of future applications. It is vital to think about the impact that the introduction of these kinds of technologies may have on society.

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Calm-technology

Wind Shaped Pavillion

The Wind Shaped Pavilion is a design proposal for a large fabric structure that can be used as a public or private pavilion. As a lightweight fabric structure, the wind slowly and randomly rotates each of the six segments around a central open support frame. This continually alters the shape of the pavilion, while at the same time generating electrical power for its nighttime illumination.

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Hyperreality

The Animal Sweater

The pattern on the Animal Sweater suggests a new way to experience commercial imagery. The Animal sweater, designed by Karl Grandin, was first shown at The Biggest Visual Power Show in Zollverein, Germany in 2006. The images here are from the Sandberg Institute’s New Work show in Amsterdam in September 2006. Check out the Animal site.

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