"Terraforming depicts a crystal planet that has been discovered in the galaxy. It follows a young cartographer's journey to the planet, where he engineers the environment to be habitable for humans using various tools of exploration. The Dune Clock tells the time with 3 million precision cut crystals; the minutes pass with falling crystals and the hour with the digital numbers. The Dune Table creates an array of miniature landscapes using sound frequencies ranging from 100Hz-10,000Hz demonstrating the planet's ever shifting surface.
"The first ever object to be designed by man 1.7 million years ago was a flint hand axe. Flint has the same molecular structure as a crystal and they both consist of silica. The project juxtaposes the flint hand axe with the latest crystal technology; Xero chaton the world's smallest precision cut crystal measuring 0.6mm in diameter, smaller than a grain of sand.
"Terraforming is a project commissioned for Designer of the Future 2015 by Swarovski at Design Miami/ Basel."
"The Byzantines described the effect of the mingling of angelic and human voices," Gerstel told us. "So I kept joking, 'are we really recording what the angels sound like?' and I'm not kidding when I say it's almost exactly what it sounded like."
"A small rocky island off the coast of Ireland hit the headlines earlier this year when news broke that Star Wars: Episode VII was being filmed there. I couldn't resist the temptation to visit Skellig Michael - a place that felt strangely out of this world."
"In Austin Osman Spare I see a near-perfect magician, at least according to my own lights, and by the same standard at the same time see an almost perfect artist. Similarly, as with Blake, I can’t help but note and admire the fiery individual moral core that both men situated at the centre of their practice and their lives.
The view begins high above the London rooftops, the kind of eye-view usually seen only by crane operators working in cramped cabins. You descend at a gentle rate, dropping down until you’re at the level of the treetops and office buildings. And then further and further, towards the giant hole that has been dug yards from the busy street.
"Ahead of Defining Beauty, a new exhibition of Greek sculpture at the British Museum, Alastair Sooke explains how the Ancient Greeks changed the course of art history."
Summer, 1972: a holidaymaker from Rome is snorkelling off the coast of southern Italy. Idly scanning the seabed, he suddenly spots a hand sticking out of the sand. Convinced that it belongs to a corpse, he swims down to take a closer look. Touching it, he realises that it is made of metal.
Between You and I the English Language is Going to the Dogs
"Filmed at the Royal Geographical Society on 5th March 2014.
The English language is going to the dogs. "Between you and I" is just one of the howlers those of us with linguistic sensibilities have to endure. The distinctions between words such as 'infer' and 'imply', and 'uninterested' and 'disinterested' are disappearing. Americanisms such as 'gotten', 'different than' and 'can I get..?' abound. Every office resounds with horrible new jargon such as 'going forward', 'deliverables', 'touch base' and 'heads up'. Infinitives are split, participles dangle. Language is based on established practice and rules. When the rules are continually (and that isn't continuously) broken, the language suffers and those who care suffer too.
"Could you erectify a luxurimole flackoblots? Have you hidden your chocolate cake from Penelope? Or maybe you’re just going to vada the bona omi? If you understand any of these sentences, you speak an English 'anti-language'."
"Matching modern genetic profiles against genes known to have been inherited from Neanderthals has shown links to a wide range of current disorders."
One of these, the researchers think, was a Neanderthal gene variant that increases blood-clotting. This would have sealed wounds more quickly, and prevented infection more easily. But in a modern western society, hyper-coagulation brings other problems, including greater risk for stroke, pulmonary embolism and pregnancy complications.
Max Brooks Nonresident Senior, Atlantic Council Fellow - Art of Future Warfare
“We’ve become so hyper specialized,” Brooks said. “Everybody sees everything through their specific lens.”
Which is a problem. For instance, an Army that specializes in state-on-state warfare performs terribly against an insurgency. So how does Brooks think we should prepare for the conflicts of the future? “It is really important to have conversations that make us all feel like 7th graders.”
From buildings to urban planning to furniture, there may not be a more influential figure in modern architecture and design than Le Corbusier. Yet the man born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in Switzerland in 1887 never attended university and had no formal architectural training. What he did have, however, was a voracious mind, and mentors who encouraged him during his teens and early 20s to travel around Europe and Turkey and draw draw draw.
"One of the most highly revered figures in the history of cinema, Stanley Kubrick was as enigmatic and fascinating as his movies. His obsessive working methods and general reclusiveness from press or public scrutiny only worked to deepen his legend. It also left him vulnerable to wild speculation, tall tales and rumor. In the aftermath of his passing in 1999, filmmaker Jon Ronson received an invitation to the Kubrick Estate in England where he was given the freedom to explore the private side of this genius. The results of his journey are on display in the documentary short titled Stanley Kubrick's Boxes."
"Deep in the Amazon Forest, the skilled locals of the Brazilian Reserva Extrativista Riozinho do Anfrísio expertly harvest copaiba resin. They extract the woody, green and spicy oil without harming the plants’ growth, using a process known as ‘drilling’. Firmenich maintains long-term partnerships with these communities to positively impact their lives. Buying from them directly, Firmenich ensures that they receive a fair income while protecting the rainforest."
"The Courtauld Gallery’s new exhibition of Bruegel is certainly lenten fare. It has no cakes or ale. Instead it revels – literally – in the dark side of this well-loved artist, bringing together three 'grisaille' paintings by Bruegel, small pictures in black and white whose restricted palette suits their sombre themes."
Sci-fi short, Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind, 2015
"In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain resides in the cross-section between sci-fi, archaeology and politics. Combining live motion and CGI, the film explores the role of myth for history, fact and national identity. A narrative resistance group makes underground deposits of elaborate porcelain – suggested to belong to an entirely fictional civilisation. Their aim is to influence history and support future claims to their vanishing lands. Once unearthed, this tableware will prove the existence of this counterfeit people. By implementing a myth of their own and planting the evidence to substantiate it, the group completes a historical intervention – de facto creating a nation."