1. Olafur Eliasson Invades Versailles with Spatial Installations
Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has taken over France’s palace of Versailles with a series of large-scale installations that challenge visitors to exercise their senses. Organized into outdoor and indoor parts, the works consist of a waterfall in the grand canal, fog-filled gardens, a prismatic LED fixture inside the chateau and more. The exhibition is currently open and will remain on display until 30 October.
2. How a Man Lived 17 Months Without a Heart
In December 2014, Michigan native Stan Larkin had his heart removed due to its deteriorating condition. During that time he was outfitted with the very first SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver—a machine that allowed him to live completely heart-free as he waited for a transplant. Some 17 months later, Larkin finally received that transplant—a surgery made possible by the groundbreaking technology of the SynCardia.
3. Ikea Taps HAY and Tom Dixon for New Products
For its latest line of collaborative products, Ikea has tapped Danish design company HAY and British designer Tom Dixon. While Dixon’s contributions are currently under wraps until August 2017 (he could only confirm an aluminum-framed couch), HAY has already begun crafting tables, lamps, benches and other furniture and lighting ideas, as well as a reinterpreted version of Ikea’s distinct blue and yellow Frakta shopping bag. Look for HAY’s offerings to release sometime in 2017.
4. Skateboarding Might Become an Official Olympic Sport
Skateboarding could finally gain the Olympic stamp of approval and join the games as an official contest—along with karate, sports climbing, surfing and baseball/softball. The Olympic Committee recently announced that it would support skateboarding’s bid to become a new Olympic sport, which could debut as soon as the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. The committee also announced its push for gender equality, with “each of the five sports having equal numbers of teams for men and women.”
5. adidas’ Eco-Friendly Sneakers Close to Production
Initially revealed last year, adidas’ eco-friendly sneakers (made from recycled fish nets) are now inching closer to a production model. The seafoam green sneakers feature an uncommon, stitched paneling that showcases the use of the recycled nets while lending a bright, yet incredibly wearable, hue. Created in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, the sneakers will make their debut in an extremely limited edition of just 50 to start.
6. Inside the Lives of NYC’s Subway Dancers
“We Live This,” a documentary short by filmmaker James Burns, follows the daily hustle of young NYC subway performers whose group goes by the same name. The crew, which consists of young men (including Forty and brothers Tyty and Kahlil) opens up about their lives at home and how dancing on the subway doubles as a way to survive and an outlet for expression. “I’m begging without words. I’m begging with a smile,” says Forty. Watch the full 10-minute video at The Atlantic.
7. A Small Spanish Town that Relies on Twitter
In the Spanish town of Jun, located just outside of Granada, Twitter reigns supreme as the preferred form of communication. Even the town’s Twitter handle, @AyuntamientoJUN, is prominently plastered onto the front of town hall. Mayor Rodríguez Salas implemented the social network into everything from public maintenance requests to school lunch menu announcements, allowing for swift communication between the government and Jun’s 3,500 citizens. “Everyone can speak to everyone else, whenever they want,” he explains. Read more at The New York Times.
8. Amazon’s Echo Could Be Conditioning Kids to be Rude
Two years after the birth of Echo, Amazon’s voice-controlled speaker and smart home device, owners—especially parents—are starting to see its negative side effects. Children have quickly adopted the “Alexa” command, querying the device about anything and everything. More troubling, the kids abandon manners when speaking to Alexa and demand it to fulfill their wishes, and parents are becoming worried their children are learning that it’s OK to be rude.