From stone axes to mobile phones, throughout history humans have given birth to a wide range of technologies that extend our physical and mental capabilities. Today it is almost impossible to imagine a world without technology. That’s why we developed the Pyramid of Technology kit, a workshop-in-a-box to visualize how technology becomes nature in seven steps. Launching this week at What Design Can Do in Amsterdam, now available for pre-order in our web shop!
In our rapidly changing digital world, what does the future of young generations look like? And how do they perceive such developments? With the ReadICTed to Robots project, the library of the Dutch province Gelderland-South aims to encourage information and communication technologies (ICT) and digital knowledge in education. To achieve this goal, the organization decided to employ two social robots, Bibi and Robin, to work in the library. Students in secondary education will be taught to interact with robots in order to increase their knowledge and digital skills.
With an growing world population, we will have to change the ways we produce food in order to feed everyone. The employment of robotics for food production and agriculture is one approach the problem. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed a robot that mimics a two handed animal, the sloth. What inspired them was not the laziness sloths are usually known for, but the way they swing from branch to branch. The task of this robot is to help farmers to control their crops more efficiently.
In an possible automated world, will it be time to put humans out to pasture? This and many other questions laid the foundation for the exhibition Humans Needs Not Apply at the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. The show illuminates a robotic future where human jobs have ceased to exist and computers run in full automation to alarming, yet exhilarating, ends. From Lady Charrerley’s Tinderbot to Self Typing Machines and NNN fellows Driessens & Verstappen‘s Massage Robots coming from the ceiling in their installation Tickle Salon. If you are in Dublin, make sure not to miss it! The exhibition runs until May 21st.
Image: Tickle Robot
During the last the Geneva Motor Show, French aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Italian design company Italdesign recently unveiled their brand new modular transportation system Pop.UP for urban environments. This new transportation system features an incredible aircraft-car and a flexible system supporting the vehicle.
“An illegal theme park exposing the ideology of the aesthetics of hacking”. “A hybrid drone targeting technological domination”. “A psychedelic fridge to raise doubt about fake news”. Do these quotes sound artificial to you? Not so strange, since they are generated by an artificial intelligence. Predictive Art Bot is one of the many tweeting bots on the Internet. It is an algorithm that generates random combinations of recent headlines of online articles and publishes new non-human expressions of potential artistic concepts on Twitter. This results in funny, strange, alien and random headlines.
Since the introduction of computers and the Internet, the digital has been conceptualised as virtual, untouchable, and immaterial. The metaphor of ‘the cloud’ illustrates this very well. When you store your data in the cloud, you store your data on someone else’s computer. You might not see the computer and it might be on the other side of the world, but the fact that you can’t see it doesn’t mean it does not exist. Digital technologies are becoming more and more advanced, smaller, smarter, increasingly integrated with our bodies and environments.
Our best congratulations to Dutch experience designer Leanne Wijnsma for winning the STRP Award for Creative Technology (ACT), a new European prize that encourages the merging of innovative powers. Wijnsma won with her project Smell of Data, which the jury regarded as “a wonderfully layered and many-facetted project that brings together the digital and the sensorial in a surprising and meaningful way”. During this year’s edition of the STRP Biënnale (in Eindhoven from March 24 to April 2), Wijnsma will premiere her documentary about her search for a more instinctive Internet and will showcase the initial project.