1. PIDO’s Mobile Community Garden
Designed by Beijing architecture firm People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO), there’s a new community farm that goes further—quite literally. PIDO’s mobile garden is built atop two bicycles, so the entire community can take care of it and also benefit from it. The structure is a triangular steel frame, and the tubes have holes for plants to live inside, and “a set of solar panels are fastened onto the structure to power a pump that runs water through the entire system.” Not only a clever design, but also a pretty one, the mobile garden was created to give more people access to farms—especially in high-density cities.
2. Mapping Music Americans Like
Created by the New York Times and YouTube’s geo-coded streaming data, a series of fascinating maps tell the story of each US state’s taste in music. The popular music artists featured are everybody from Rihanna to Lil Uzi, Metallica, Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga. While some results might be easy to guess, it’s certainly interesting to trace who (and how much) people are listening to—for instance, Bruno Mars is especially popular in Southern California. Take a closer look at the NY Times.
3. Lonely Planet’s Trips App
Available now on iPhone (and soon on Android), Lonely Planet’s new Trips app is a crowd-sourced travel guide—not by editors and journalists but by regular travelers who want to share their pics and tips. With a focus on sharing photos, the app also includes text and maps—making it incredibly easy to use and just as easy to add to. But CEO Daniel Houghton says they’re not expecting to take-over from Instagram, “We built functionality in Trips so you can link back to your Instagram and show those photos… Instead of posting one photo or blowing up your Instagram feed with 10 in a row you can do a gallery or write your own magazine-style travel story.” Read more at Engadget.
4. Beers on the US/Mexico Border
Scottish beer brand BrewDog wants to make beer not walls. While it might seem like an impossibility, they want to build the Bar on the Edge—which will straddle the US/Mexico border. In a press release, co-founder James Watt says, “Beer is a universal language and has a heritage and legacy that far outdates the creation of most nation states.” The brand is no stranger to a great publicity stunt, and as Grub Street says, they most often come through with the goods. Read more there.
5. Thailand’s Bamboo Sports Hall
Panyaden International School’s new 8,417-square-foot sports hall happens to be made entirely from bamboo. The school commissioned Chiangmai Life Architects to construct the center, with a design based on the lotus flower. Inside, it can comfortably fit around 300 people. Elevated balconies allow guests a spectator vantage point. The architects foresee the sports hall to be around for roughly 50 years—and have built it so that it can handle any natural happenstance like strong winds or earthquakes.
6. Fire Island Artist Residency’s Origins
From mid-July to mid-August since 2011, artist Chris Bogia’s Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR) welcomes five LGBTQ+ artists to the island. In exchange for lending work to an exhibition, a 10-minute community talk about their processes and participation in a dinner with visiting artists, those who have been accepted have free reign to make and do as they please. It began as a dream for Bogia which he funded from his own savings. Now each year sees continued growth on a global level. As a haven for the LGBTQ+ community for decades, it only makes sense that the island houses a queer artist residency program. Learn more about the FIAR at Artsy.
7. Tampon Alternative Flex is Made for Sex
SF-based The Flex Company has created a “tampon alternative” that is disposable and leak-free—intended to be used during sex. Born from many people (of all genders) being embarrassed or grossed out or ashamed of menstruation, Flex was created to “spark positive conversations between men and women about the female body.” The product is shaped like a curved disc, so it rests against the cervix (gently) and stops menstrual blood—for up to 12 hours. The Flex is hypoallergenic, free of BPA plastic and phthalates, and cannot be felt by partners during sex—but it’s not a form of contraception. The company is even offering users their first month free.
8. Folktales Behind Iceland’s Natural Formations
Dating back to the 12th century, some of Iceland’s folktales are more than the average fairytale. In fact, many are still held in such high regard that some recent “construction projects, including a proposed road development through the ancient Gálgahraun lava field, have been halted because the area is believed to be home to elves and dwarves.” From Drangey Island to rock formations in Dimmuborgir and beyond, the country’s most beautiful natural wonders are said to be home to trolls, ghosts, elves and more—find out more at National Geographic.