30 September 2013

Topomorphic Display ~ MIT's Reformable Surface!

RISD President Maeda spots MIT Media Lab Tangible Media maestros...

Leidenfrost FX ~ Water Goes Wiggly thru Maze!

MissC spots the Leidenfrost Maze!

Imagineers in Exile ~ Immersive Digital Storytelling

Media Lab colleague Dan Novy spots Imagineers in Exile, immersive digital storytelling by a dandypunk...
"Excerpts from an immersive art gallery show, in which the audience are surrounded by illustrations. Projection mapping brings the illustrations to life as the audience follows an epic adventure on the walls around the space. Some characters from the drawings manifest themselves in live performance. A new concept combining digital story telling, immersive theatre and traditional illustration."

MENA Redrawn ~ Wright Speculation in NYTimes

Robin Wright redraws map of the MENA region in NYTimes...

Global Inequality ~ Worldmap of Palma Ratios...

Max Fisher in the WashPo's WorldViews shares maps of How the world’s countries compare on income inequality using the Palma ratio, which is...
"much more elegant than the Gini coefficient and better suited at comparing the rich and the poor. The Palma simply compares the richest 10 percent of people with the poorest 40 percent."

28 September 2013

Flying Paper Premiere ~ Palestine Fest @ MFA

Exciting to hear that Nitin Sawhney's collaborative film production Flying Paper has its local premiere at the Boston Palestine Film Festival (BPFF) at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). Nitin not only co-founded the festival, but will be here to speak and share the film.

16 September 2013

True Giving ~ Unexpected Returns, Great Promo!

Neetzan Z at Gawker spots great Thai Giving promo for True...

Small Spaces ~ UD spots HK's Tiny Apartments...

UniqueDaily shares small spaces imagery from Hong Kong-based activist Society for Community Organisation (SoCO)...
"...in a bid to document the plight of the city's most underprivileged people. With a land mass of 1,104sq km (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. As rent is so high -- around HKD$90 (£8) per square foot a month -- and the waiting list for public housing so long, many are forced to live in inconceivably small spaces to survive."

Sustainability-by-Design ~ NYT OpEd on Overpop

Read today's bold OpEd in NYTimes by Professor Erle Ellis asserting that Overpopulation Is Not the Problem...
"The conditions that sustain humanity are not natural and never have been. Since prehistory, human populations have used technologies and engineered ecosystems to sustain populations well beyond the capabilities of unaltered “natural” ecosystems. [...] Our predecessors in the genus Homo used social hunting strategies and tools of stone and fire to extract more sustenance from landscapes than would otherwise be possible. And, of course, Homo sapiens went much further [...] Who knows what will be possible with the technologies of the future? The important message from these rough numbers should be clear. There really is no such thing as a human carrying capacity. We are nothing at all like bacteria in a petri dish. Why is it that highly trained natural scientists don’t understand this? [...] The science of human sustenance is inherently a social science. Neither physics nor chemistry nor even biology is adequate to understand how it has been possible for one species to reshape both its own future and the destiny of an entire planet. This is the science of the Anthropocene. [...] The only limits to creating a planet that future generations will be proud of are our imaginations and our social systems. In moving toward a better Anthropocene, the environment will be what we make it."
FYI, DeLong shares Human Population estimates...

15 September 2013

Moments of Science ~ DRo & JBo @ IgNobels '13!

This past week Daniel Rosenberg and I again donned the clothe of Momentous Scientists at the IgNobel prize ceremony and demo'd both the sparky Wimshurst influence machine (at 0:18:25) and Plasma Glow Bars (at 1:00:26)! Plus here's Daniel doing promo for the IgNobels with plasma accoutrement... And here's PBS's take on things...

14 September 2013

Gearlegs ~ Jumping Juvenile Issus Coleoptratus!

Sindya Bhanoo in the NYTimes Observatory column spots the study by Bristol researchers Malcolm Burrows and Gregory Sutton of the gear mechanism in the hind legs of the juvenile Issus Coleoptratus...
"...a champion jumper found in gardens throughout Europe. Its coglike joints were first described in the 1950s, but it was only with advanced high-speed video that the scientists were able to prove how the joints worked. Before the insect leaps forward, it hooks its gear teeth on one leg to the gear teeth on the other. That way, Dr. Burrows said, “the power is delivered to both legs at the same time, so no leg is twisted.” The legs are synchronized within 30 millionths of a second."

02 September 2013

Future Craft 2013 ~ Radical Sustainability @ MIT

My entrepreneurial colleagues Leonardo Bonanni, Amanda Parkes, and I with the support of Professor Hiroshi Ishii are offering Future Craft 2013 ~ Radical Sustainability in Product and Venture Development on Tuesdays 6-9pm starting September 10th. In this fourth installment of Future Craft, we will look at way to re-shape business, technology and design to create new, radically sustainable products and companies. Business-as-usual is unsustainable -- socially, economically, and environmentally -- so new generations of goods and services are emerging and Future Craft will look at new ways of making things, from the way materials are sourced and manufactured to the way customers are considered. We are interested in re-configuring industry, its systems and services.

Understanding MIT ~ Crafting Creative Places!

My DUSP Campus Planning colleague Bob Simha and I are hosting our Understanding MIT seminar again this Fall 2013 every Tuesday afternoon 4-6pm starting next week September 10th to survey research universities and how they work, with the Institute as our live-case study. Each week, we invite a different senior academic, administrative, and trustee leader of MIT to share with us what they do to help the Institute stay vital in the short, medium, and long term -- and ask what we can do to be pro-active in improving MIT as well.
This is part of my larger action-research agenda on understanding creative places and innovation ecosystems and is sister-class to our MIT CityScience Design Workshop on Innovation Hubs.

MIT Development Ventures ~ Action Lab 2013

My MIT colleague Alex (Sandy) Pentland and I are again hosting our Development Ventures action lab class this Fall 2013 at the Media Lab starting this Thursday, 5 September, with special focus on frugal, DIY, and ultraffordable technologies as well as exponential innovations including mobiles, big data, and analytics.
As always, we look forward to the latest new venture concepts our students propose -- in domains ranging from Health & Wellness, Energy & Sustainability, Education & Creativity, Commerce & Financial Services, Civic Engagement and beyond -- and we try to help the most motivated teams and promising ideas actually start and thrive!

MIT Neurotechnology Ventures ~ Money+Minds!

My MIT Media Lab colleague Ed Boyden and I are again co-hosting our Neurotechnology Ventures class this Fall at the Media Lab starting Thursday afternoon 5 September 2013 from 2-4pm. This course is all about envisioning, planning, and building ventures -- both entrepreneurial startups and intrapreneurial product-lines or business units -- to bring neuroengineering innovations to the world.
Compelling venture themes include Neuroimaging, Neuromarketing, Neurology/Psychiatry Screening & Diagnosis, Mood & Behavioral Influencing, Rehabilitation, Neurosurgery, Neuropharmacology, Brain Stimulation, Prosthetics, Sensory and Motor Augmentation, Regenerative Neuromedicine, Learning, Memory & Cognitive Influencing, and more.

Innovation Hubs ~ MIT Urban Design Workshop

My MIT Media Lab CityScience colleagues Kent Larson and Ryan Chin (and team) are hosting a design workshop this Fall 2013 on Innovation Hubs looking at the greater Kendall Square area as a Living Lab for high-density, thriving urban neighborhood design.
"This workshop will explore new urban systems for high-density cities including systems for mobility, energy, food production, and live/work. The workshop will focus on the design of resilient, scalable, adaptable, and reconfigurable systems. This course will utilize CityScope, an urban simulation tool [...] to prototype the design of Compact Urban Cells [...] walkable neighborhoods with a diverse mix of live/work areas that utilize shared mobility systems, distributed renewable power generation, shared spaces, and integrated vertical urban farming. As a test case, the course will focus on the redesign of Kendall Square as a new sustainable model for developing hyper-dense urban environments in the U.S. and abroad. Students will initially study precedents for innovation hubs in other cities, and then they will build [CityScope urban models] to represent their design interventions and illustrate system-level affects."

Bold Songdo ~ BBC on Korea's Green Smart City

The BBC's Lucy Williamson reports in their Tomorrow's Cities series asking Just how smart is Songdo? the new city 40 km from Seoul...
"On the technological front, a brand new city offers the chance to build some futuristic hardware. Songdo has been designed with sensors to monitor temperature, energy use and traffic flow. These sensors can -- in theory -- alert you, personally, when your bus is due. Or let the local authority know about any problems. A lot of these innovations are designed with the environment in mind -- charging stations for electric cars, for example, or a water-recycling system that prevents clean drinking water being used to flush office toilets. The waste disposal system is also impressive -- or it would be if you could see it. Because there are no rubbish trucks trawling the streets or vast bins dotted around blocks of flats. Instead, all household waste is sucked directly from individual kitchens through a vast underground network of tunnels, to waste processing centres, where it's automatically sorted, deodorised and treated to be kinder to the environment."
I've been paying attention to the Songdo development for years now since hearing about it from the Gale International developers here in Boston. And it's exciting to see how many things they've gotten right, including the district waste scheme, close links with airport and some transit, and interwoven greenspace. But I fear they're missing some key dimensions of what make for vibrant innovation hubs, the subject of our MIT CityScience workshop this coming Fall 2013.

How Big is Amsterdam? ~ Interactographic Map

Nice interactive map comparing metropolitan Amsterdam to other geographies. Here's vs Boston... And here vs Silicon Valley centered on Stanford... Vs Cape Town... Vs Doha... Vs Aqaba+Eilat... Vs Mumbai... Thanks to MapPorn for spotting.