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Smoke signals replace wires in interactive art installation

Binairy Talk is a charming interactive installation that blends smoke signals with computer language. Created by a pair of German design students, the project takes text input and transforms it into binary code as part of an attempt to illustrate how data surrounds us constantly. The results are then represented by puffs of water vapor which are subsequently blasted across the room by what...

Photo Essay

Giant ants are infesting the Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery in London is swarming with giant ants. The massive insects are on the ceiling and on the walls. They teem in the corners, their bodies pressed so thickly together that it is almost possible to imagine that they might be guarding a nest. Rafael Gómezbarros' sculptures measure 50 centimeters (20 inches) in length, and are put together from materials like resin, fiber glass, and human skull casts. Entitled Casa Tomada (Taken House), the skin-crawling exhibit is meant to depict the plight of immigrant workers across the world. It is also a tribute to his countrymen whose lives have been affected by the Colombian conflict, which has been raging for half a century now.

In an interview with The City Paper, Gómezbarros explains that he chose ants as his subject material as they represent a fascinating duality. While often symbolic of hard labour and cooperation, the insects are also frequently regarded as pests — just like the immigrant worker. The Saatchi Gallery is...

Insects are stealing our jobs

Modern furniture makers collide as Herman Miller buys Design Within Reach

Office furniture giant Herman Miller is acquiring the modern design retailer Design Within Reach. The pairing puts together two of the bigger names in modern-styled furniture: Herman Miller, which dates back to 1905, and Design Within Reach, which was founded just a decade and a half ago, in 1998. While Herman Miller is known in particular for its office chairs, Design Within Reach's fame doesn't come from any one category in particular. Instead, it sells a wide variety of home furnishings,...

Quick read

Secret's origin story is no longer a secret

According to a new story in FastCompany, Secret began as a Snapchat competitor called Whispr. Then, founders Chrys Bader and David Byttow realized that ephemerality didn't make sense for an app about confessions. What about when you want to read...

Photo Essay

Japan's new Cruise Train is a luxury hotel on rails

Japan is already a global leader in train technology, so it would only follow that they'd be lapping the rest of the world in train design, too. Already, the country has produced gorgeous fleets of luxury trains with chic, retro stylings. Now, Japan's JR East railway company has commissioned a new luxury train, the Cruise Train, which will be a way for Japanese one-percenters to check out the country in style. The opulent transport, which...

Jibo could be the robot assistant you fall in love with

Whether it's a matter of price or functionality, robotic assistants have never really caught on. The Roomba is a genuine cultural movement, but no such luck for little bots with serious brains, the kind that sit on your desk, patiently waiting for you to come home, and ask about your day when you stroll through the door. Jibo could finally change that.

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