Tag: Designed-by-Evolution

Nongenetic Evolution

On the origin of the e-bike

The oldest known serious candidate forerunner for the bicycle is the ‘running machine’ built by the German Baron Karl von Drais. His two-wheeled machine became known as the Draisienne and was first shown to the public in 1817. Two decades later a Scottish blacksmith by the name of Kirkpatrick MacMillan allegedly made a first mechanically propelled bicycle. In 1842 a Glasgow newspaper reported “a gentleman from Dumfries-shire bestride a velocipede of ingenious design” knocked over a little girl and was fined five shillings. This was probably the first bicycle traffic incident and many associate it with MacMillan.

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Nongenetic Evolution

Interview: Huub Ehlhardt on the evolution of products

“To understand why a product is the way it is today, you need to learn about its evolutionary background.” Meet Huub Ehlhardt, an engineer with a PhD in product design. Huub believes that innovation is best not described as a sequence of disruptive inventions, but as a gradual evolution of products. Together with Arthur Eger, he wrote On the Origin of Products; The Evolution of Product Innovation and Design. Over the next few weeks, Huub takes us on an intellectual joyride on the origins of the word processor, LED lamp, e-bike and smartphone. Kicking off the series, we sat down with Huub to learn what he’s all about.

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Wild Systems

Future AI may hallucinate and get depressed — just like the rest of us

Scientists believe the introduction of a hormone-like system, such as the one found in the human brain, could give AI the ability to reason and make decisions like people do. Recent research indicates human emotion, to a certain extent, is the byproduct of learning. And that means machines may have to risk depression or worse if they ever want to think or feel.

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living light
Hypernature

Conversation with Ermi van Oers, Designer Who Wants to Bring the Living Light to Your Living Room

Do you sometimes wish your lighting was a bit more lively? Or even alive? The Living Light is no ordinary lamp. A unique design project, it harnesses the energy of living plants to provide light. We spoke to Ermi van Oers, designer of the unusual product, to find out more about the Living Light, the philosophy behind it and the team’s plans for the future.

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