Bright ideas that will change the way our world works
Most people assume that a designer’s job is to make things beautiful; to elevate an ordinary object so that it stands out. This assumption isn’t unfair but it misses something essential.
The beauty of an object is often nestled in its idea. While good design can appeal, great design can provide a problem with both its diagnosis and its cure.
This month, the UAE’s focus tunes in on Dubai Design Week, a six-day (October 24 to 29) event hosted at the Dubai Design District that celebrates the practical, and future, application of great design, and how it can affect our lives for the better.
One of the most anticipated parts of the week is the Global Grad Show, an exhibition dedicated to uncovering some of the industry’s brightest future talents. We asked the show’s curator Brendan McGetrick for his pick of designs that could very well change the future:
Recandescent by John Routledge
Recandescent is an artificial light source that combines traditional lighting technology with innovative nano-technology to create the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly light bulb ever. Not only does it have the potential to replace LED as the world’s dominant source of artificial light, but every component can also be reused or recycled almost indefinitely. Designed by John Routledge from the RCA, this product was inspired by the advances in hot mirror technology developed by MIT. Not only does this light bulb help prevent the destruction of the environment; we think that it looks really edgy too.
Raiden by Kouroush Atefipour
Named after the bad-ass Mortal Kombat character, Raiden envisions a world built on new augmenting technology. By using a series of Tesla coil drivers, Raiden is an exoskeleton for hands and arms allowing up to 12,000 volts of raw electricity to spark from its user's fingers.
The ideas is that in doing so, the disruption in energy cells in products allows us to remove the necessity of batteries, thus imagining a more sustainable product life cycle where one battery fits all. This unique source of energy can reduce the product's weight and cost, hence delivering a new form of multibody-enabled technology and the products it subsequently creates.
In essence, Raiden is all the coolest things about science fiction put into the hands of man.
Algae Harvester by Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden
As if out of a sci-fi novel, the creation of an algae-eating drone that cleans the water and refuels itself with biofuel produced by the algae it picks up has huge potential. Designed by Fredrik Ausinsch the algae sea collector would systematically remove the surface blooms, which would result in a drastic reduction of toxins in the water, as well as preventing the spread of anoxic sediments that would improve reproduction of local fish. The vessel pumps algae and water into a dewatering system and separates the biomass from the water. It would then be stored in a tank and the water reused to thrust the drone forward.
Axiom by Ella Yuns Jeong, Ellie Cho, Jonah Lu, Matthew Cadiz
The majority of people today suffer from physical discomfort rooted in poor posture due to their prolonged habits, lifestyle, and work environment. Incorrect forms during a workout can not only increase chances of injuries but contribute to solidifying their postures. Axiom is a weight training system which communicates, and guides athletes through three types of tactile feedback (directional, beat, ripple), enacting the guiding gestures of a personal trainer. Textile sensors, EMG sensors, and haptic sensors which are woven into the polyester spandex and detect user's unique anatomical structure and biomechanics, muscle recruitment order, and movements. The activators magnetically attach to the electrical contact points of the suit to transfer data to the Axiom mobile app, allowing users to receive real-time feedback and review after the workout. Axiom challenges athletes to redefine their goals.
Aeon: Digital Inheritance by Mathieu Delacroix
Passing on material assets after we die isn’t an issue, but what about our digital data? With our lives now embedded online, every day we produce information which only we have access to – data that could well be lost forever. Aeon seeks to create a process of how someone can preserve their digital lifetime posthumously using digital archiving services (photos, videos, music, important documents etc). Using a cloud-based system, Aeon allows the user to sort through their data through its “branch of life” interface, which after death is passed on to two authorised witnesses via its network.