Tag: Web Design

Sea Shepherd Puts Tattoos Of Extinct Animals On Bodies For Lifelong Awareness

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image courtesy of Sea Shepherd

Some animals are, unfortunately, lost in the past. Once their species dies out, it’s easy to forget that they even existed.

Marine conservation nonprofit Sea Shepherd is preserving the memory of extinct ocean creatures through an unexpected canvas: human skin. It has teamed up with creative boutique FRED & FARID New York and renowned Los Angeles-based tattoo artist Stephen Carballo to create body art of animals that have disappeared as a result of irresponsible human activity, allowing them to forever live in our consciousness.

The marine animals may be gone from the planet, but they’ll now float about on these walking mediums as beacons for action, potentially saving other endangered species from going extinct. Tattoos happen to be easy conversation starters, so the charity thought, why not set the ball rolling with them on World Animal Day on October 4?

 

Sea Shepherd’s new Extinct Ink campaign pays homage to creatures like the Mexican Dace, a ray-finned fish that once lived in Mexico but died out in 1983 due to a rise in agricultural activities and water resource demands. It also remembers the Baiji, or Yangtze River Dolphin, a white-finned dolphin from Eastern China that was hunted down and subjected to pollution until its demise in 2002.

 



Image courtesy of Sea Shepherd

 

There once also lived the long-legged Javan Lapwing bird of Java, Indonesia, which was left to die after its habitat was wiped out in 1940. And the Silver Trout, a fish species native to the Northeastern United States, disappeared in 1939 as a result of overfishing and being chased out by human-introduced fish.

 

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image via Sea Shepherd

 

The hope is that these unfamiliar marine creatures will spark strangers’ curiosity and get them talking.

 

“I think it’s a very good conversation starter, especially because they are not the typical animals that you will see as tattoos,” shares the tattoo artist.

According to Sea Shepherd, everyone meets an average of 10,000 people in their lifetime. Since body art is permanent, that means there are “10,000 opportunities” to educate others about protecting the ocean, the nonprofit tells DesignTAXI.

 

Owners of the art will essentially be lifelong ambassadors of ocean animal conservation. “What’s so powerful about these tattoos is they’re not just spreading our mission for a day, or a week, or a month… These tattoos will last a lifetime,” explains Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson. He adds that the collection of body art is “a reminder to all of us about what can happen if we don’t protect marine life.”

Lex Ryan, who was among the first to be inked with one of the poignant designs, says: “I like the idea of having something—if someone asks me the question about it—I can kind of give them some knowledge about what we have done basically to make these animals go extinct.” Ryan had the Javan Iapwing etched into the skin of her biceps.

 



Image courtesy of Sea Shepherd

 

Sea Shepherd says a number of other tattoo studios are joining in on the inking initiative to revive long-lost species in our conscience.

 

 

 

[via Sea Shepherd]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420621/Sea-Shepherd-Puts-Tattoos-Of-Extinct-Animals-On-Bodies-For-Lifelong-Awareness/

Artist Mr Doodle Covers His Entire House With His Iconic Scribblings

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via Mr Doodle, featured with permission

 

Scribbling on the walls was always a no-no when we were kids. Sam Cox, an illustrator from Kent, South East England, however, has dreamed of living in a house filled with doodles ever since he was a little boy.

Now, at 28, with a brag-worthy title of the world’s fifth-most successful artist under the age of 40 at auction, Cox—known by his moniker Mr Doodle—is more than capable of fulfilling his childhood dream. This week, he revealed his trippy house-sized artwork, which is furnished with little more than walls upon walls of his signature black and white drawings.

Mr Doodle reportedly purchased the property for US$1.5 million. Back then, it was just an empty space. He’d spend the next three years scribbling onto everything from his bedding to doorways, façade, toilet, and even microwave—sometimes while performing mundane tasks like brushing his teeth.

No stone was left unturned by his marker until the abode became The Doodle House, a living space the creator shares with his artist wife Alana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Mr Doodle (@mrdoodle)

 

The process involved 238 gallons of white paint, along with 2,296 pen nibs, 401 cans of black spray paint for the exterior, and 286 bottles of black drawing paint for the interiors. On top of that, Mr Doodle produced an elaborate stop-motion video of 1,857 photographs that chronicled the past three years.

 

 

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, the artist told correspondent Tim Muffett that waking up with a doodle-full roof over his head is “sort of paradise” for him.

Mr Doodle, who has amassed a considerable Instagram following of 2.7 million with his dizzying creations, said doodling away has been like “an out-of-body experience” where he’s allowed to enter a “free-flowing state.”

 

We’re live from the home of @itsmrdoodle on @bbcbreakfast – he’s only doodled his entire house. Plus @jonkay01 and @sallynugent in doodle form…. pic.twitter.com/KtaCpRnaby

— Tim Muffett (@timmuffett) October 3, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Mr Doodle (@mrdoodle)

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Mr Doodle (@mrdoodle)

 

 

 

 

[via People and BBC, video and images via Mr Doodle, featured with permission]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420619/Artist-Mr-Doodle-Covers-His-Entire-House-With-His-Iconic-Scribblings/

Kim Kardashian Fined For Undisclosed Paid Promotion Of Cryptocurrency



Photo 188928358 © Hutchinsphoto | Dreamstime.com

 

In a strange turn of events in the cryptocurrency industry, Kim Kardashian has been officially sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for promoting EthereumMax without disclosing that it was an advertisement. 
 
The fine she incurred was a whopping US$1.26 million, an amount drawn from not disclosing that she was initially paid US$250,000 for advertising for the market. The total includes a US$1 million penalty and a US$260,000 disgorgement to represent her promotional payment and prejudgement of interests by profiting from the terms set by EthereumMax. 
 
When presented with the penalty, Kardashian acquiesced to pay it in full without agreeing or denying the claims made against her. In addition, she has promised not to promote any cryptocurrency for the next three years.
 
In 2017, the SEC warned that celebrities who do not state they are being paid to advertise for a brand could be considered unlawful. 
 
Kardashian had previously posted on her Instagram stories in 2021 touting that a friend had directed her to EthereumMax and that she had profited from investing in it. The SEC had warned people of the issue of following along with a post from a celebrity claiming they had made money off of investing in cryptocurrency. 
 
Kardashian has a reach of 200 million followers on Instagram, many of whom are impressionable young fans. While she might make a quick buck from the post, her directing them to invest could cause many people to lose money, especially as the cryptocurrency winter rages on. 
 
In fact, she did manage to convince a considerable number of people at that time. According to Ars Technica, one in five adults had seen her post. In addition, a poll showed that 19% of people had invested in the company. 
 
Unfortunately, Kardashian was just one of many celebrities at the time that engaged in promotion for different cryptocurrency offers. 
 
 
 
[via Ars Technica and BBC, cover image via Photo 188928358 © Hutchinsphoto | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420620/Kim-Kardashian-Fined-For-Undisclosed-Paid-Promotion-Of-Cryptocurrency/

Apple iPhone 15 Ultra Might Have Not One, But Two Selfie Cameras



Photo 256188836 © Nguyen Quang | Dreamstime.com

 

Though the iPhone 14 lineup has just been released, and the novelty of the Dynamic Island remains fresh in our minds, talk has already shifted to the iPhone 15 Ultra, which is rumored to be graced by two cameras at the front.

 

The news was first spotted by industry insider MajinBu on Twitter, who detailed the placement of two lenses on the Ultra. This could be good news for every selfie enthusiast out there as the front camera quality will likely be upgraded. The new addition could also provide wide and ultra-wide lenses and better zoom.

 

According to what is reported by my source iPhone 15 Ultra will have 2 front cameras, USB-C and will start from 256GB. iPhone 15 Pro instead will always start from 128GB and will have USB-C but only 1 front camera #iphone #iphone15 #iphone15ultra pic.twitter.com/lIn6OhMNko

— Majin Bu (@MajinBuOfficial) September 26, 2022

 

Another key feature that sets the yet-to-be-announced iPhone 15 Ultra apart from its siblings is the rumored introduction of the much-awaited USB-C port that could charge phones at Thunderbolt speed 4. It is also said that storage for the phone will start at 256 GB.

 

Perhaps the next most prominent change is that the Ultra is meant to overtake the Pro Max as the new lineup is said to include the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and of course, the iPhone 15 Ultra.

 

According to MajinBu, the Pro version of the phone will begin at 128 GB and retain a single front-facing camera. Unfortunately, information on the other lower models has yet to trickle through the grapevine.

 

If this is anything to go by, as we approach the release of the next generation of iPhones, there are sure to be plenty of exciting reports to keep us fueled till next fall.

 

 

 

[via Hypebeast and Screen Rant, Photo 256188836 © Nguyen Quang | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420618/Apple-iPhone-15-Ultra-Might-Have-Not-One-But-Two-Selfie-Cameras/

Disney Launches Slabs Of Wood As $6,500 Theme Park Mementos



Image ID 25532697 © via Khunaspix | Dreamstime.com

 

Ardent Disney fans can have their own piece of Pirates of the Caribbean treasure, because a new Disneyland-exclusive souvenir won’t come cheap. The theme park in Anaheim, California, has created quite the buzz after announcing that it is putting collectibles from the Pirates of the Caribbean Heritage Timeline up for sale. 

 

One of the mementos, revealed to be priced at US$6,500, is essentially a slab of wood from one of two Rusty Fig trees that were part of the ride’s décor. 

Stumped? According to Hypebeast, the idea to sell the hunk of wood came about when the trees had to be cut down after they were found to have been diseased. Instead of chucking away the remains, park employee Rhonda Wood suggested turning them into collectible souvenirs for fans. 

 

Would you pay $6500 to own a piece of the Pirates of the Caribbean queue at Disneyland? The Heritage Timeline pieces were made from 2 trees from the entrance. They were cut down during the most recent renovation. There are only 45 available. #disneyparks #disney #Disneyland pic.twitter.com/732oZe973I

— Monorail Supply Co (@MonorailSplyCo) September 29, 2022

 

As they say, axe marks the spot.

Each slab notes the particular tree’s history, and how it was involved with the ride, documenting the journey from when it first took root in 1987 to when the attraction was last updated in 2006. 

The accompanying plaque says the souvenir hopes to preserve “a special part of Disneyland Resort,” while at the same time, affording fans the chance to appreciate the beauty of nature all around us. 

Only 45 pieces of the collectible are up for grabs, though the price tag may just be one reason why the item may not find its way into many homes. 

 

 

 

[via HYPEBEAST and Monorail Supply Co, cover image via Khunaspix | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420610/Disney-Launches-Slabs-Of-Wood-As-6-500-Theme-Park-Mementos/

Balenciaga Makes Lay’s Potato Chip Bag An Official, Crisp Fashion Statement



Images via Balenciaga and Alex / Adobe Stock

 

Fashionistas might want to take a bite out of the yummiest item to have come out of Spring/Summer 2023 catwalks: a Lay’s potato chip bag.

The look was first teased by Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia—often known simply as Demna—in June, when he attended Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts’ graduate fashion show toting a pack of Lay’s Original Wavy Potato Chips. The appearance fueled tittle-tattle about whether a snack-themed purse was in the works.

Well, before the idea got stale, the luxury house finally confirmed the moreish it-bag during its muddied presentation at Paris Fashion Week, where a couple of models were seen clutching Lay’s-branded calfskin bags and looking like ultimate snacks.

 

It appears that Balenciaga’s snack ‘bags’ will arrive in a few “flavors,” including classic, lime, and salt and vinegar. Closeup visuals shared by high-fashion curator Lil Jupiter on Instagram reveal that “Balenciaga Paris” are also branded on the clutches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by LilJupiter (@liljupiterr)

 

The bag retains a crinkled silhouette, scrunching in the middle as if perpetually being held in someone’s hand.

It’s too early for pricing details to be out, but you just know it’s going to be worth multiple crates of snacks. The perk is that you can fill this clutch with as many potato chips as you want. This won’t be one of those bags that comes with 50% air.

If you’re unsure how to style the accessory, Demna previously paired his Lay’s clutch with a tracksuit and a baseball cap. 

Don’t sweat it, though. The purse’s rudimentary appeal means that anybody—and we mean anybody—can pull it off. Anyone from Cara Delevigne to Homer Simpson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Balenciaga 🕊 (@balenciaga)

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Lay’s (@lays)

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Balenciaga by Demna (@demnagram)

 

 

 

[via Dazed and Lil Jupiter, images via various sources]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420616/Balenciaga-Makes-Lay-s-Potato-Chip-Bag-An-Official-Crisp-Fashion-Statement/

Buckingham Palace Portion May Open To Public With Proposed Queen Elizabeth Park



Image via Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Gardens

 

Architects are proposing for a park to bloom in memory of the late Queen Elizabeth II. While many royal family members, living and dead, have received areas and monuments dedicated to them, this new memorial is taking a step out of tradition and is asking for something pretty radical to be done. 

 
Envisioned by writer Stefan Simanowitz and architect Antonio Pisanò, the plan looks at taking a sliver of the gardens of Buckingham Palace and making it accessible to the public

 



Image via Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Gardens

The palace gardens currently cover 42 acres in the heart of busy London. The proposal wants to take a small section along Grosvernor Place road. Besides giving the people a place to remember the Queen, the svelte space is also meant to be a natural sanctuary, a reprieve for the public in one of the most polluted parts of the city. 
 
The memorial gardens scheme also outlines features to keep the public away from the private grounds. Currently, a wall encloses the palace, and instead of taking the barrier down, arches have been suggested to be placed for entry. At the same time, a separate high-security fence to cordon off the area will be put in place to prevent people from wandering around the zone. However, the exact dimensions of the memorial park have yet to be determined. 

 



Image via Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Gardens

Currently, the only way to visit the palace grounds is through scheduled paid guided tours during the summer months. 
 
From the renders on the project’s website, it looks like the space is meant to be an overgrown garden filled with lush bushes and flowers, almost like a meadow that has a pathway carved into it.  

 



Image via Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Gardens

The proposal was first presented to the palace in 2015, and the assistant of the then-Prince Charles wrote back to the team stating that the king was now interested in learning more about the idea. The plan then shifted for the Queen’s Jubilee; since her passing, it is now being proposed as a memorial park. 

 

The Queen already has a garden in her name, the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park in east London. However, the team has pictured a place where people can be as close to her as they can by walking in an area where she would have once walked. 
 
 
 
[via Dezeen and Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Gardens, images via Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Gardens]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420615/Buckingham-Palace-Portion-May-Open-To-Public-With-Proposed-Queen-Elizabeth-Park/

Artist Envisions Dearly-Departed Celebrities As If They Were Alive Today With AI

Images by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

Too many stars have had their light extinguished too soon. That tinge of sadness looking at album artwork or a magazine cover and seeing a celebrity whose life was cut short never goes away.

You’ve been warned about how artificial intelligence can be used for the wrong reasons. Turkish lawyer and photographer Alper Yesiltas, however, sees its possibilities. Amazed by its potential, he asked himself how he could find positivity by harnessing the power of machine learning. Then, the idea struck: He’d be able to meet the people he missed—nothing would make him happier.

In a series called As If Nothing Happened, Yesiltas portrays long-gone pop-culture icons—from Princess Diana to Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, and Paul Walker—at their real ages today.

As if no time was lost. As if there were no tragedy.

The artist combined a number of AI-powered software like photo restorer Remini, Adobe Lightroom, and VSCO to create his hyperrealistic portraits, according to My Modern Met. Steering from the one-click process often associated with AI imaging tools, though, Yesiltas puts care into his reworkings. Each image requires a unique set of enhancements and amount of time.

 

The results are more than worth it, and the stars are captured such that it looks like they’ve only recently had their pictures taken.

Reconnect with some of your favorite actors and musicians in the reimagined works below. Be sure to follow Alper Yesiltas on Instagram to follow this poignant ongoing project.

 

 

Michael Jackson at age 64

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

Princess Diana at age 61

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

 

Selena at age 51

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

 

Heath Ledger at age 43

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

 

Freddie Mercury at age 77

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

Amy Winehouse at age 38

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

 

Paul Walker at age 48

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

River Phoenix at age 52

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

The Beatles, including the late John Lennon (imagined at age 82) and George Harrison (imagined at age 79)

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

 

Tupac Shakur at age 51

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Alper Yesiltas (@alperyesiltas)

Image by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission

 

 

 

[via BuzzFeed and My Modern Met, images by Alper Yesiltas and featured with permission]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420612/Artist-Envisions-Dearly-Departed-Celebrities-As-If-They-Were-Alive-Today-With-AI/

Pharrell Opens Digital Auction House With Personal Items, Rare Streetwear Pieces



Image ID 47626244 © via Turkbug | Dreamstime.com and JOOPITER

 

If you’re looking to get your hands on some of the most coveted streetwear items, look no further than JOOPITER, a new auction site launched by Pharrell Williams that curates pop-culture rarities.

 

Hoping to merge the white-glove experience of traditional auction houses with the convenience of online retailers, the site will debut with a collection of the singer’s own personal items, titled Son of a Pharaoh, in tribute to his father. 

Items listed will range from a 20-carat Asscher-cut diamond ring to an 18-karat yellow gold Audemars Piguet and his iconic Vivienne Westwood hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by JOOPITER (@joopiterofficial)

 

According to Robb Report, there will be 52 lots up for auction in total, though Pharrell did reveal he has “three or four times” more items to list in the future.

Going forward, JOOPITER won’t just be featuring his collections, with the mogul promising some “high-profile auctions” to come, though he hasn’t revealed which celebrities are participating just yet.

 

Sellers are expected to showcase 20- to 30-minute-long videos telling the stories behind the items for sale. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by JOOPITER (@joopiterofficial)

The lots up for grabs will feature in a live preview on October 14 and 15 in New York at a yet-to-be disclosed location.

 

Interestingly, those who can’t quite afford the luxurious items will still be able snag merchandise, including T-shirts and hoodies, with photographs of the articles. 

Head here for more information and updates on the upcoming sale. 

 

 

 

[via Robb Report and VMAN, cover image via Turkbug | Dreamstime.com and Joopiter]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420608/Pharrell-Opens-Digital-Auction-House-With-Personal-Items-Rare-Streetwear-Pieces/

Heinz Creates The First Stain-Proof Thobe For Middle-Eastern Eaters

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via Wunderman Thompson

 

One of the most recognizable outfits in the Middle East, the traditional white thobe, is often donned by men in the region, with every country in the Gulf having its own special variation of the robe. 

According to Little Black Book, careful attention is paid when making the thobe, with specific guidelines surrounding the fabric’s fibers to how the garment is sewn.

As such, it’s a point of great pride for many men donning it, and most are known to keep spares on hand at all times in case the crisp white cloth ever gets dirtied. 

Naturally, with it being so pristine, there’s always the risk of staining the garment, especially if you’re digging into a burger or hotdog with lots of ketchup. 

 



Image via Wunderman Thompson

 

To overcome this, Heinz has come up with an ‘Unstainable Thobe’ in collaboration with advertising agency Wunderman Thompson Dubai, allowing its customers to enjoy the best of condiments without fear. 

After rounds of consultation with local tailors, textile makers, and designers, the companies have opted for an innovative fabric that promises a high-tech protective barrier that keeps stains at bay. 

It certainly is impressive—by using a protective coating formed by nanotechnology, the thobe’s fibers are said to be able to ward off any liquids, allowing one to remove any semblances of stains with just a splash of water and a piece of cloth. 

Even more astonishing, as the water-resistant material is said to comprise millions of silicone nano-filaments, the garment can apparently be soaked in a tub full of water but still come out dry. 

There’s no doubt that with such a resilient robe, fans of Heinz in the Middle East will be able to “eat fearlessly.” 

 

 

 

 

[via LBB Online and The Stable, images via Wunderman Thompson]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420609/Heinz-Creates-The-First-Stain-Proof-Thobe-For-Middle-Eastern-Eaters/

This Self-Flying Electric Air Taxi Is Almost Ready For Liftoff



Image via Wisk Aero / Business Wire

 

Wisk Aero, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company, is gearing to take its latest go-to-market flyer to the skies.
 
The newest version of the eVTOL, Generation 6, is creating a niche in the market as a self-flying air taxi that can soar without the need for a pilot to operate it. 
 
The yellow autonomous flyer has six front and six rear rotors, each fitted with five blades that tilt horizontally and vertically. This sixth-gen version can fly at speeds of 120 knots and reach altitudes of 2,500 to 4,000 feet. Its batteries allow it to fly a distance of 90 miles, and it can be fully juiced up in less than 15 minutes, thanks to fast chargers.

 

In addition, it can seat up to four passengers and has plenty of storage space for baggage. 

 

Autonomous, Self-Flying, No Pilot on Board…however you describe it, we’re going for it! Here’s how it works.

Learn more about out autonomous technology and self-flying first approach on our website – https://t.co/8xjgVJIMsI – or via the video below!

— Wisk (@WiskAero) October 3, 2022

For a more comfortable flying experience, the air cruiser features large windows, Wi-Fi, and charging ports. 
 
Wisk Aero noted at the unveiling on Monday that the vehicle is meant to be supervised by ground crew and will be taken over by humans only if necessary. If that doesn’t make you feel any safer, Wisk mentioned that the Generation 6 has a “one-in-a-billion chance” of crashing. Unfortunately, there was no evidence provided to solidify this claim. 
 
However, Jon Lovegren, the firm’s head of autonomy, proclaims that as the company continues to promote its safety technology, he expects potential passengers to grow more secure with the idea of flying in a crewless plane. 

 

Backing the business is The Boeing Company, which Wisk Aero has received a US$450 million grant from; and Kitty Hawk Corporation, one of the first original air taxi enterprises.   
 
The Generation 6 is Wisk Aero’s latest attempt at obtaining certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The eVTOL will have to pass all safety and design standards to receive this approval. Once that happens, Wisk will be able to begin production. 
 
And if all goes well, the company aims to price flights at US$3 per mile. According to TechCrunch, Wisk intends to bring its fleet to 20 cities over the next five years once it has received the all-clear from the FAA. 
 
 
 
[via TechCrunch and Gizmodo, cover image via Wisk Aero / Business Wire]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420611/This-Self-Flying-Electric-Air-Taxi-Is-Almost-Ready-For-Liftoff/

Biden Restores Art Committee Previously Disbanded During Trump Administration



Image ID 44244412 © via Ukrainian photographer Alexpro9500 | Dreamstime.com

 

In a win for arts and culture, President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order that reinstates the US Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, a group of cultural experts that advise on industry-related matters.

Previously, the group had been disbanded during the Trump Administration in 2017, when its members collectively resigned following the then-president’s response to the Charlottesville riots; in particular, the notorious nationalist Unite the Right rally. 

In response, the committee was dissolved, with the administration saying it wasn’t “a responsible way to spend American tax dollars” and was wasting public funding. 

Now, following a bid from 15 lawmakers last year, the committee has officially been restored, with President Biden noting that having a thriving arts scene would be “essential to the well-being, health, vitality, and democracy” of the country. 

According to ARTnews, the committee traces its roots back to 1982, when it was established under the Reagan Administration. 

The First Lady traditionally serves as the honorary chairwoman, with the group growing from just an advisory panel to leading efforts in supporting arts education and preservation efforts federally. 

As per a statement on the executive order, President Biden said that the arts, humanities, museum, and library services will be expanded to “strengthen public, physical, and mental health; wellness; and healing, including within military and veteran communities.” 

It plans to increase children’s access to high-quality arts and humanities education, so as to equip them with the creative skills needed to succeed in other areas of life. 

Additionally, the President promised to “safeguard and promote the artistic and cultural heritage of the United States and its people domestically and internationally” by promoting more diverse voices and experiences. 

While the members of the committee have yet to be confirmed, the board will comprise 25 leaders in the industry, and start out with biannual meetings.

 

 

 

[via ARTnews and The White House, cover image via Ukrainian photographer Alexpro9500 | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420607/Biden-Restores-Art-Committee-Previously-Disbanded-During-Trump-Administration/

Maserati Goes Green With The Unveiling Of Its First-Ever Electric Car



Image via Maserati

 

Just four years shy of its 100th anniversary, Maserati is opening the doors to a new chapter in its storied history with the rollout of its first all-electric car, the GranTurismo Folgore. 

The automaker reveals that the sports vehicle will hit the roads next year, alongside the Modena and Trofeo, two gas-powered versions launching at the same time. 

With its name meaning “lightning” in Italian, it’s only fitting the Folgore is the most powerful of the bunch, comprising a 92.5kW battery to power three 300kW motors, delivering an impressive 760 horsepower. 

 



Image via Maserati

 

According to a statement, the brand took care to ensure the GranTurismo—an undoubtedly recognizable silhouette—embodied both aesthetics and function in the form of aluminum, magnesium, and high-performance steel, without having it appear over the top.

Within its confines, the modern cabin will come with the Maserati Intelligent Assistant (MIA) Multimedia system, the latest infotainment capabilities, and a comfortable touchscreen display that merges all the car’s main functions into one. 

Naturally, as with any other Maserati, the all-electric model will feature its signature engine roar as part of an “all-around sound experience,” using an immersive 3D sound system with two levels of customization. 

All vehicles sold as part of the launch will have been developed at the Maserati Innovation Lab and produced at the Mirafiori manufacturing hub in Turin, Italy. 

 



Image via Maserati

 

 

 

[via PC Mag and Maserati, images via Maserati]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420606/Maserati-Goes-Green-With-The-Unveiling-Of-Its-First-Ever-Electric-Car/

Bruce Willis Denies Selling Digital Likeness For Deepfaking Projects

Photo 176310492 © Featureflash | Dreamstime.com

In a meta episode showing how deepfakes can get out of hand, Bruce Willis’ agent has refuted widespread reports suggesting that the A-lister is selling the rights of his “digital twin” to US deepfake firm Deepcake.

The Daily Mail purported that the actor could “still appear in movies after selling his image rights to Deepcake,” supposedly making him the first Hollywood celebrity to agree to such a deal. This was subsequently shared by news outlets like the Telegraph.

 

The concept of a VFX stunt double performing in one’s stead is especially notable with Willis, as his family had opened up about his aphasia diagnosis in March. The condition is caused by damage to the brain and impedes patients from properly processing and expressing language. As a result, Willis is stepping away from his acting career.

However, Willis’ team has now shared with media outlets like the Hollywood Reporter that the actor “has no partnership or agreement with this Deepcake company.”

Deepcake, too, tells publications that Willis’ image cannot be sold as, legally, it belongs to him by default. A spokesperson says “the wording” of its statements has been misconstrued by mass media. The incident proves that little is understood about laws surrounding deepfakes.

 

“What he definitely did is that he gave us his consent (and a lot of materials) to make his Digital Twin,” explains the representative, via the BBC.

In 2021, Deepcake created a series of mobile service commercials in Russia starring the digital likeness of Willis. It says future appropriations of his face are subjected to the actor’s consent.

 

 

[via Hollywood Reporter and BBC, cover photo 176310492 © Featureflash | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420605/Bruce-Willis-Denies-Selling-Digital-Likeness-For-Deepfaking-Projects/

Anker Debuts Health-Sensing Earbuds That Read Your Heartbeat Throughout The Day



Image via Soundcore

 
Anker’s Soundcore division is stepping up to assume the functions of smartwatches and fitness rings by placing a heart-measuring sensor right in your ears. 
 
The Liberty 4 earbuds’ sensor rests in the right side, emitting a red light whenever it is taking the wearer’s blood oxygen.

 



Image via Soundcore

While many users will want to use the sensor during workouts, the earpiece can also measure your heart rate continuously throughout the day. And if you do intend to leave the earphones in all day, they are equipped with CloudComfort tips that feature an extra layer to mold to the canal of your ear. 
 
Along with the buds is a dedicated app that allows you to customize workout routines and keep a log of your heart rate at different times of the day. You will also be able to adjust your sound preferences through the app. 

 



Image via Soundcore

With that being said, Anker has yet to announce the IP rating of the Liberty 4.
 
Though a better insight into your heart isn’t the only thing the earbuds offer, the gadget also comes with spatial audio that can track your head, ensuring that you will always have surround sound regardless of your movement. To do so, Soundcore has implemented a gyroscope to track activity. 

 

On top of all of this, you can also connect the earpiece to more than one device at a time through the multi-point connectivity option that links up your laptop and phone to the gadget through Bluetooth. 
 
The charging case can keep the Liberty 4 juiced up for 28 hours, and just 15 minutes can produce three hours of playback. The buds themselves boast nine hours of battery life, but that drops to just five when spatial audio is engaged. 
 
Liberty 4 comes in two colors, white and black, and retails for US$149.99. Both versions will be on sale from October 10. 
 
 
 
[via Engadget and iClarified, images via Soundcore]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420603/Anker-Debuts-Health-Sensing-Earbuds-That-Read-Your-Heartbeat-Throughout-The-Day/

Food Packaging To Move Nutrition Labels To Forefront Under Proposed US Law



Photo 22025463 © Flynt | Dreamstime.com

 

Within the next eight years, grocery store shelves could look a little more informative. 
 
The Joe Biden administration is looking to move nutritional labels from the back of the box to the front to better educate residents of what they’re putting into their bodies. 
 
A 44-page bid was issued with the proposal, explaining how the main goal is to ease the obesity issue in the country by presenting the facts about snacking straight up in front. It also suggests a review of details manufacturers should share and states that “healthy” claims on packaging would now have to have solid nutritional criteria to back up the statements. 
 
As nutrition labels can sometimes be hard to decipher, the administration is looking to make them more digestible with a “traffic light system” that will alert shoppers to what is good for them and what is not.

 

Just like a traffic light, green gives the go-ahead (for healthier foods), yellow says to slow down (symbolizing moderately-healthy products), and red says to pause (unhealthy).

 

While this would leave brands scrambling to overhaul their packaging, having a society equipped with the knowledge to make the right snacking decisions could save many lives in the long run. 
 
The plan was presented just ahead of a conference to discuss the hunger crisis in the US. A seminar of this ilk has not been held since 1969, the likes of which brought about the introduction of food stamps.
 
The scheme would also include medically-tailored meals and a nutrition assistance program to spread the word about eating healthily. 
 
Unfortunately, changes such as these could take years before they hit grocery store shelves nationwide. Until then, more research is being done on the proposal before new concrete guidelines are presented. 
 
 
 
[via The Dieline and NPR, Photo 22025463 © Flynt | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420601/Food-Packaging-To-Move-Nutrition-Labels-To-Forefront-Under-Proposed-US-Law/

100% Solar Town Survives Hurricane Ian Without Shutting Down

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via Babcock Ranch

Babcock Ranch is what Florida is like in the postcards. The neighborhood, touted as America’s “first solar-powered town,” is teeming with palm trees, sunshine, and happy families unaffected by pressing problems like climate change. Most of all, it’s pretty much relentless toward some of the devastating effects of natural disasters faced by surrounding towns.

Its claims were finally put to the test when Hurricane Ian rolled in and caused significant damage across western Cuba and the southeast United States, most particularly in Florida and South Carolina, CNN reports.

While the deadly cyclone took out parts of the nearby Fort Myers and Naples with its over 100-mph winds, and shut down power for more than 2.6 million Florida residents, Babcock Ranch’s electricity, water, and internet connection stayed alive.

Some trees were knocked down and roof fragments were dislodged, but no other dire wreckage was reported. For a near-Category 5 storm, that’s saying something.

First open to residents in 2018, Babcock Ranch is a fairly new neighborhood. The pretty picture is modeled after former NFL player Syd Kitson’s childhood hometown in Orange, New Jersey, all while depending wholly on renewable energy and upholding Florida’s strict building regulations.

Babcock Ranch, situated on 18,000 acres of land, is next to a giant solar array of 700,000 panels, which generate more electricity than the capacity consumed by the town’s 2,000 homes. Functioning like a regular neighborhood, it has retail locations, dining establishments, a school, a daycare facility, and playgrounds.

 



Video screenshot via Babcock Ranch

 

Clever landscape planning ensures that the streets flood—while houses keep dry—and the natural landscape helps with irrigation of runoff. All dwellings have been awarded at least a Bronze from the Florida Green Building Coalition, and they’re also constructed from sustainable materials.

Meanwhile, the town’s power and internet lines are buried underground to keep out of storms.

The houses face green spaces, with much of the landscaping dominated by native foliage. For additional food, residents and dining businesses can obtain produce at Babcock Ranch’s community gardens. Of course, the town also promises views of Babcock’s namesake lake.

 



A solar tree in Babcock Ranch. Video screenshot via Babcock Ranch

 

Many Babcock Ranch residents drive electric cars. This is the Sunshine State, after all, where solar power is abundant.

Relieved that the town has delivered on its promise, homeowners are lauding it as proof that fully sustainable eco neighborhoods are attainable, so long as there’s the right vision in place and the community works together in harmony.

 

 

[via CNN and Forbes, images via Babcock Ranch]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420604/100-Solar-Town-Survives-Hurricane-Ian-Without-Shutting-Down/

Tesla’s Humanoid Robot Underwhelms At Demo—Friendly But Rough Around Edges

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via Tesla

 

At Tesla’s much-anticipated AI Day 2 event, CEO Elon Musk called to the stage ‘Optimus’, the humanoid robot that has been under construction—and scrutiny—since it was first announced a year ago. The curtains then pulled back, not for a man in a robot costume to take the stage this time, but for an actual, albeit unfinished, product to hobble onto the stage. 
 
The droid walked about the stage, waved to the audience, and even performed some knee raises to demonstrate flexibility, and still, it failed to rouse a standing ovation. Perhaps the audience was waiting for a fully-fledged humanoid Optimus to leap onto the stage and assemble a Tesla. Still, any progress from a man dressed as a robot is, perhaps, welcome upgrade. 

 

pic.twitter.com/EzxImHtqBP

— Tesla (@Tesla) October 1, 2022

The prototype was paraded around for the beginning of the presentation—exposed circuit boards and all—before Musk sent it back to resume development. He did note that the droid could do a lot more, but it was too delicate to show off any of its current skills in its state. 

 

A next-generation version of Optimus was also carried onto the stage with the help of three employees. 

 



Image via Tesla

The Associated Press reported that AI researcher Filip Piekniewski was unimpressed with the whole thing and even called it a “scam.” 
 
As the conference went on, Musk presented videos of Optimus carrying out said tasks, such as watering plants, carrying a heavy box, and lifting metal rods. But other than that, there was little to show that it was in a league of its own.

 



Image via Tesla

Musk stated that the final product will be a highly capable droid that can ease the burden of manufacturing and will cost less than a car. It’s roughly estimated to go for US$20,000. 
 
The presentation wrapped up with  Musk giving a roadmap of three to five years before Optimus takes up positions in factories worldwide.

 

There was also a moment when he touched on not wanting the robots to herald a Skynet-like future for our world. To prevent this, he mentions several safeguarding features, including a physical stop button that cannot be tampered with. But, again, with its current abilities, it’s safe to say we have nothing to worry about. 
 

 
 

[via BBC and TechCrunch, images via Tesla]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420600/Tesla-s-Humanoid-Robot-Underwhelms-At-Demo-Friendly-But-Rough-Around-Edges/

Google Designs Thin Keyboard That’s Also A Bug Trap—And You Can Build It At Home

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via Google Japan

 

If your smartphone can perform so much more than making and taking phone calls, who’s to say your keyboard should only be for typing? Google has found a qwerky set of uses for your mundane QWERTY setup, bringing its functionality out of the office to even accommodate outdoorsy folks. Not only that, the company has shared the blueprint online for anyone looking to experiment outside of their type.

Google Japan has introduced the Gboard ‘Bar’, a stick-shaped iteration of the computer keyboard that lines up every button in a row. Its rationale is that users often have to look in four directions (left, right, up, and down) to find the right keys. The linear design, on the other hand, supposedly streamlines this process, quite literally, by drawing the gaze only from the left to right.

 

Image via Google Japan

“With this keyboard, it is very convenient to know immediately that the 16th letter from the left is ‘G’,” explains one designer.

 

 

The keyboard follows a similarly wacky ‘Teacup Version’ Gboard created by Google Japan that wraps the set of keys into a holdable drinking cup to “prevent spills.”

Contrary to what you may have in mind, the Gboard Bar doesn’t stretch much longer than how far you can reach. At around 65 inches across, it stands at about the height of the average American woman, or spans “wide enough for a cat to walk across.”

The tech giant additionally touts the redesigned keyboard’s ergonomic appeal, describing that it enables users to naturally stretch their arms and legs. It also suggests that two people can sit in front of the keyboard and type on it as though they are playing the piano. Collaboration at its finest!

 



Image via Google Japan

 

The product’s compact nature makes it easy for it to be stashed away when it’s not in use. And with a width of only 64 millimeters (2.52 inches), it can squeeze into the most cluttered of office desks.

Most importantly, the stick-shaped design opens up all sorts of unprecedented possibilities. Say your eraser fell out of your hand and rolled under the table. You can use the keyboard to reach into the gap, or other less-accessible spaces.

If you’re feeling lazy and don’t have a Google Nest to switch off your lights by voice command, a simple solution would be to use the stick.

 



Image via Google Japan

 

Google Japan also recommends doubling the keyboard as a ruler, a chopstick holder, a bug catcher (if you attach a net), and even a trekking pole.

 



Video screenshot via Google Japan

 

If you haven’t guessed by now, this is just for laughs, but Google Japan evidently knows some might find the accessory useful. As such, it has made the design open-source and uploaded the relevant resources so anyone with a 3D printer can build or personalize this keyboard at home.

 



Image via Google Japan

 

Google Japan says it may even create a gaming version that lights up in seven colors in the future, though we reckon reaching sideways to locate the attack button would be a liability instead of a strength.

 

 

[via Tom’s Hardware and XDA Developers, images via Google Japan]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420602/Google-Designs-Thin-Keyboard-That-s-Also-A-Bug-Trap-And-You-Can-Build-It-At-Home/

How Bella Hadid’s Spray-On Dress That Turned Into Real Fabric Was Created



Image via Coperni

 

Paris Fashion Week has commenced, and perhaps one of its more shining moments—scratch that, one of fashion’s more shining moments—was the Coperni show, where a dress was sprayed directly onto model Bella Hadid. 
 
Coperni had opened with Hadid stepping up almost naked onto an illuminated platform before two people rushed up to her, whipped out some paint guns, and began spraying on her body. Out of it came a white substance that looked like cobwebs etching up her and eventually formed into a skin-tight white dress. 

 



Image via Coperni

 

Charlotte Raymond, the brand’s head of design, then stepped onto the stage, fashioned the dress’s neckline, and cut a slit up its side.

 

Besides Hadid’s stellar performance of staying straight-faced as the cold glue-like substance was sprayed onto her, the formula of the dress itself took everyone’s breath away.
 

The paint comes from Fabrican, a company that makes sprayable non-woven fabric from synthetic fibers and polymers. The material is compressed into an air gun and, as you saw, dries instantly upon contact with the surface.

 



Image via Coperni

 

At the showcase, the substance solidified into a garment that looked like it was made from a silky elastic. The end product was a slinky off-shoulder number that moved and flowed as Hadid strutted down the runway. 
 
The dress can be taken off just as one would a figure-hugging outfit, and it can even be washed, dried, and reused. Though, we imagine slipping into it again would probably need an extra set of hands to get back on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by coperni (@coperni)

Many have noted how this moment had an impact on the fashion world akin to that of Alexander McQueen’s Spring 1999 show, where two robots painted Shalom Harlow in black as she was spun around. But, according to The New York Times, the Fabrican dress wasn’t inspired or meant to overshadow McQueen’s genius; instead, it pays homage to the namesake of the fashion brand, mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus. 
 
The brand was first founded in 2013 and focused on infusing science and fashion together. Previously, it had created a handblown glass handbag that sold for nearly US$3,000. 
 
 
 
[via The New York Times and Hypebeast, images via Coperni]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420598/How-Bella-Hadid-s-Spray-On-Dress-That-Turned-Into-Real-Fabric-Was-Created/

Jollibee Opens In Times Square To The Warm Welcome Of Neighboring Billboards

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Images via Jollibee Foods Corporation

Jollibee’s allure outside of its homebase in the Philippines has been marinating for a bit. Not only does it have over 1,300 locations worldwide to date, but the fast-food joint’s signature Chickenjoy has also been rated by Eater as “the best chain fried chicken in America.”

As it turns out, the queen ’bee is so famous, it’s an icon even to the faces of the billboard capital of the world.

On August 18, Jollibee opened its flagship restaurant at 1500 Broadway in Times Square, bringing its fried chicken, burgers, and Filipino-style spaghetti to the heart of New York City. Moving into the busy district wasn’t easy, of course. Jollibee isn’t from around these parts, and it has to try even harder to stand out in a sea of flashy signs in a place almost synonymous with billboards.

The winning recipe is no other than the taste of the brand’s iconic fried chicken, as Jollibee’s creative agency David&Goliath finds out. It’s a temptation that no meat-eater, not even the glamorous models at Times Square, can resist.

 

Here’s a cute Jollibee billboard ad on Times Square NYC 🙂 #Jollibee #NYC #TimesSquare pic.twitter.com/ISgLFgC2so

— DON TAGALA (@dontagala) September 27, 2022

Jollibee’s innocuous-looking digital banners can be seen near its Times Square location, its fourth in New York. If you stand there long enough, you’ll be treated to a fun visual of starving perfume and watch models forgetting their roles in the surrounding billboards and making a—for the lack of a better word—beeline for the chain’s chicken buckets.

“Jollibee’s iconic signature fried chicken, Chickenjoy, is so crispy and so juicy, it’s literally hard to resist. So, we thought, what if our Jollibee OOH looks so delicious, it entices models from adjacent eye-catching fashion ads to reach off their boards, and onto ours, to grab a piece of Chickenjoy?” shares David&Goliath’s Executive Creative Director Josh Miller in a press release. “Jollibee is all about spreading joy through great–tasting food. Here, we’re spreading it to NYC, to Times Square, and even the models in neighboring ads.”

 

 

 

 

 

[via Little Black Book, ABS-CBN, Reel 360, cover image via Jollibee Foods Corporation]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420599/Jollibee-Opens-In-Times-Square-To-The-Warm-Welcome-Of-Neighboring-Billboards/

Google Creates ‘Dreamfusion’ AI Tool That Produces Great 3D Models From Text



Image via Dreamfusion

 

Last year, Google introduced its Dream Fields AI system that could turn your thoughts into 3D objects. Now, to knock its predecessor out of the ring with a new take on the AI art movement is Dreamfusion.
 
Dreamfusion is an updated version of the company’s previously announced ‘Dream Fields’ in 2021 which also could take text and churn out 3D renderings. Ben Poole, a co-author of its proof-of-concept paper, announced the new version on Twitter.

 

Happy to announce DreamFusion, our new method for Text-to-3D!https://t.co/4xI2VHcoQW

We optimize a NeRF from scratch using a pretrained text-to-image diffusion model. No 3D data needed!

Joint work w/ the incredible team of @BenMildenhall @ajayj_ @jon_barron#dreamfusion pic.twitter.com/YeG0zaFxuu

— Ben Poole (@poolio) September 29, 2022

One key difference between both models is that Dreamfusion is powered by Google’s in-house Imagen technology. The system creates 3D visions via a neural network of 2D partial datasets known as the Neural Radiance Field (NeRF). 
 

In contrast to the old Dream Fields, the new model will be able to re-light shots and provide greater depth and higher quality. It also allows multiple images to be placed and collated together in one scene. 

 

On the website are images of animals doing different activities, from wearing crowns to taking selfies. The 3D pictures show great depth and visualization, even if they slightly miss that realistic mark. 

 
While Dreamfusion cannot currently produce hyperrealistic images like OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 can, its paper indicates that it has all the foundations to be able to do so one day.

 

However, as it’s still in its early phases, many of the sample renders on the Dreamfusion website may look a little off or unfinished. Still, if this is just what the first version can do, there’s no telling how far it could eventually be taken in the 3D modeling and video game industries once the system is fully realized.

With that, there is currently no set date for its arrival in the AI art sphere. 

 

 

 

[via Futurism and The Decoder, cover image via Dreamfusion]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420596/Google-Creates-Dreamfusion-AI-Tool-That-Produces-Great-3D-Models-From-Text/

FDA Approves ALS Drug That Internet Sensation ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Helped Fund

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Photo 114610756 © Salajean | Dreamstime.com

Ice, Ice Baby. It’s no secret that the Ice Bucket Challenge, born in the era of the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style, froze the internet.

 

The wildly successful awareness campaign started by two patients saw participants from Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey to Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, David Beckham, and Justin Timberlake, who all paid it forward by either having a bucket of iced water dumped over their heads and nominating a friend, or by making a donation of US$100 to the ALS Association.

ALS, short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative condition that gradually damages nerve cells in charge of voluntary movements, leaving the patient unable to move, breathe, speak, or eat at the end of their life. The disease is currently incurable. Most people with the condition—about 6,000 in the US—succumb to it within two to five years of a diagnosis.

 

Pat Quinn and Pete Frates started the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 to educate the public about their illness. Evidently, it worked: The ALS Association has now reported that US$115 million was raised from over 17 million videos of the viral social media trend. US$2.2 million of those donations funded the development of Relyvrio, an ALS drug that was just approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 29.

 

 

“We are thinking of Pat Quinn and Pete Frates, who championed the Ice Bucket Challenge and changed the trajectory of ALS forever,” says Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of the ALS Association, in a press statement. Frates and Quinn passed away in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

While Relyvrio doesn’t cure ALS, it slows down the rate of the neurodegenerative disease taking over the body. A study of 137 patients suggests that the drug can extend a patient’s life by five or six months.

Six months added to a person’s life could mean that they’d be able to be part of another milestone, like their child’s graduation or a wedding, notes Balas, as cited by NPR.

Balas says the FDA green-lighting the treatment is “further proof of how the Ice Bucket Challenge dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS.”

“Since then, we’ve seen new genes discovered, new assistive technology developed to help people living with ALS, and far more people living with ALS have access to care services than ever before,” Balas adds.

However, the true effectiveness of Relyvrio—developed by Amylyx Pharmaceuticals and a combination of two drugs—has been contested by medical experts, including the FDA’s own scientists.

Critics point out the trial’s small sample, which is less significant than the few hundreds normally expected of FDA studies. The Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory also concluded in March that the Relyvrio research did not offer “substantial evidence” of the drug’s efficacy, NPR reports.

Dr David Rind, chief medical officer of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, argues that Relyvrio’s creators should be able to prove that the drug works with a larger trial if it can indeed prolong lives by five to six months.

Further, being treated with Relyvrio isn’t cheap. It’s expected that the drug will cost about US$158,000 a year. Seeing as how its success rate isn’t a surety, Dr Rind is asking that the price of the drug be lowered for the time being.

 

A larger trial for Relyvrio is in the works in Phoenix, and its findings will only be concluded over a year later. Amylyx’s founders reassure skeptics that if the results aren’t as positive as the first study, they will make the responsible decision of removing the treatment from the market.

 

 

[via Mashable and NPR, cover photo 114610756 © Salajean | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420597/FDA-Approves-ALS-Drug-That-Internet-Sensation-Ice-Bucket-Challenge-Helped-Fund/

IKEA Welcomes Magical Elves Into Homes With 2022 Holiday Decor Collection

Image via IKEA

It’s now October, which means it’s been a good couple of months since Christmas music began blasting through speakers as you walked down aisles in stores. Now, you can start decorating too with IKEA’s winter 2022 array.

The Swedish furniture giant is bringing the festive spirit into your living room, kitchen, lights, and other nooks and crannies of your home with three holiday selections this year.

The body of IKEA’s holiday lineup is VINTERFINT, a line of décor drawn from its designers’ childhood memories of fairytales and Scandinavian landscapes.

 



Image via IKEA

 

The cottagecore collection of everything from tree ornaments to wrapping paper invites folkloric creatures like elves and moose into your living space. They’ll be hard at work overnight, turning your abode into a winter wonderland.

 



Image via IKEA

 



Image via IKEA

 

“I love the playfulness of elves in Scandinavian fairytales,” explains IKEA designer Eva Lundgreen. “I wanted to bring that same playfulness to the patterns we created for the VINTERFINT 2022 collection.”

 



Image via IKEA

 



Image via IKEA

 

Pastels and stripes bring a modern flair to the homey, storytelling-forward ware.

 



Image via IKEA

 

“I loved taking traditional Scandinavian figures like the julbock (Yule goat) and moose and adding pastel colors and folk art-inspired patterns for a modern twist,” Lundgreen adds.

 



Image via IKEA

 



Image via IKEA

 

IKEA’s 2022 holiday scent is a bouquet of orange and cloves, and you can find it in its VINTERFINT candles of the year.

 



Image via IKEA

 

Illuminating it all is the updated STRÅLA lights collection, which includes cozy LED lanterns, star-shaped lamps, among other indoor and outdoor options.

 



Image via IKEA

 



Image via IKEA

 



Image via IKEA

 



Image via IKEA

 

Warming up bellies in the colder months is the VINTERSAGA food and drink series, where you’ll find lovely bites and refreshments like gingerbread house kits, mulled fruit drinks, spiced cookies, chocolate-coated toffees, and marshmallows.

 



Image via IKEA

 



Image via IKEA

IKEA’s holiday items are now available in stores and online.

 

 

[via Apartment Therapy and IKEA, images via IKEA]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420595/IKEA-Welcomes-Magical-Elves-Into-Homes-With-2022-Holiday-Decor-Collection/

LEGO’s Russian Replacement Launches Under ‘World Of Cubes’ Name

Photo 169313352 © Zarifaufa | Dreamstime.com

 

Everything is awesome in LEGO’s eyes, except Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Along with other international names, the toymaker left the country to cut ties with the Kremlin, leaving behind 81 shops.

In the wake of closures, Russian retail conglomerate Inventive Retail Group (IRG) is rebuilding the brand with the new moniker of Mir Kubikov, or World of Cubes, according to a Reuters report.

 

World of Cubes has begun the transition to replace LEGO’s branding with the Mir Kubikov wordmark and a square-shaped icon of a toy brick containing four studs.

 

Image via Mir Kubikov

From a distance, World of Cubes’ interiors will look almost indistinguishable from the old LEGO stores. That’s because LEGO’s colorful products will still be on stock—the Russian replacement has managed to source official offerings from parallel imports and third-party suppliers. Without the watchful eyes of the Megafig, though, World of Cubes will also sell toys from other brands.

 



Image via Mir Kubikov

 

The Russian parent company plans to open 65 new World of Cubes locations across 20 cities, and it expects business to be in full swing by end-October.

Russia has been creating an alternate commercial world of sorts after global names called it quits in the nation. McDonald’s, another brand with hallmark red and yellow colors, has been rebranded in green with the new name of Tasty & That’s It. And “Starbucks” in Russia is now simply known as Stars Coffee.

 

 

 

[via Reuters and Brick Fanatics, images via various sources]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420594/LEGO-s-Russian-Replacement-Launches-Under-World-Of-Cubes-Name/