Biomimicry, engineering, and design

Biomimicry, engineering, and design

Biomimicry is about mimicking nature. Humans have tried for thousands of years to conquer and control nature. But we tend to do this in a very heavy-handed way: pour concrete over it, set up miles and miles of fencing, and if we cannot fence nature in, we erect walls around ourselves to keep nature out ...
Olympic with Returned Soldiers

Dazzle camouflage: sea-going Easter eggs and face recognition

Most warships these days are gray, and for good reasons. They are generally more difficult to make out with the naked eye. Of course, these days technology often makes visual camouflage redundant, but during World War I, a different tack was used: dazzle, or disruptive, camouflage. The idea was not camouflage as in "invisible", but ...
The day Indiegogo promoted a SCAM: Triton Gills is now fully financed

The day Indiegogo promoted a SCAM: Triton Gills is now fully financed

Have you heard of the Triton Gills? A device that would allow you to breath underwater for 40 minutes! It has been fully financed. For the second time. With Indiegogo's blessing. A small detail: The product is a SCAM, and everyone except the backers are aware of it. UPDATE: At the beginning of May (and after ...
Are Smart Contact Lenses Here to Efface Privacy?

Are Smart Contact Lenses Here to Efface Privacy?

The patent is 29 pages long and all in Korean. That might the reason why Samsung's Smart Contact Lenses went unnoticed for several years. Now, it's out. The product, from the get go, is a potential privacy nightmare. The lenses are equipped with a camera, display, an antenna, and sensors (the actual processing operations happen ...
Video: How Dolls Are Made

Video: How Dolls Are Made

Source: Youtube ...
The Elite and Fire: JM Frank's Short-lived Llao-Llao Furniture

The Elite and Fire: JM Frank’s Short-lived Llao-Llao Furniture

The year is 1938. A monstrous hotel, in size and ambition, opens its doors in Bariloche, Patagonia. The Llao-Llao caters to Argentina's richest - those enjoying form the in-between wars economic boom - and their international friends. Long stays in Paris are not at all uncommon for the local aristocracy, and soon exclusive shops open up in the ...
Calamityware: disaster porcelain

Calamityware: disaster porcelain

Here at the visual squirrels, we are not in the habit of promoting stuff, but Calamityware is simply too funny. Taking the classic language of cobalt and porcelain decoration, the artist Don Moyer adds – well – calamity. Volcanoes, robots, tentacles, and all manner of funny creatures hide in the china. The only problem with ...
The New Tangram Book

The New Tangram Book

Puzzles have always fascinated me. Language puzzles, escape rooms, logic problems. When I code, I tend to see the coding problem as a puzzle that I need to solve. Especially CSS feels like that lots of the time. Recently, I dove into my parent's bookcase and fished up this old jewel: This 70s book is ...
Design and information

Design and information

Confusion and clutter are the failure of design, not the attributes of information. – Edward Tufte ...
3D printing: liver and silver

3D printing: liver and silver

I am guessing we have all heard of the exciting new technology and research were it is possible to print organs. To me this is mind-blowing on so many levels: ponder the implications. We could print entire organ systems, repair damage, replace tissue, digitally mould external and internal organs. Just thinking about what this could ...
superegg lamp

Piet Hein, danish design and the super-egg

Piet Hein was a modern danish renaissance man. He was born in 1905, died in 1996, studied mathematics, started art studies he never finished, started studies in theoretical physics and never finished that either. He wrote books, poetry ("gruks"); did illustration, designed objects and public spaces, researched mathematics and was a cosmopolitan. He is famous ...
Interfaces, their buttons and the village idiot

Interfaces, their buttons and the village idiot

I stared at my friend's washing machine. It has a million buttons, a big wheel, a digital display and a pile of little red and orange lights, with the odd green thrown in. I consider myself not a complete idiot, but have little patience with domestic appliances. They are here to make our lives simpler ...