1. RAMMELLZEE: It’s Not Who But What
Created as part of the current exhibition, Red Bull Arts New York joined forces with director Oscar Boyson and producer Elara Pictures for a wild ride into the world of RAMMELLZEE—an icon, artist, graffiti writer, hip-hop pioneer and so much more. Exploring the artist’s theatricality, myths and remarkable imagination, the video sums up the complex legend as best as a nine-minute film can. As artist Michael Holman says, “He was so many different things at the same time, and oftentimes in conflict with each another.” Watch now at Red Bull Music & Culture’s YouTube channel.
2. Citrus Archaeologist Paolo Galeotti Rediscovers Ancient Plants
Today, the garden of Florence’s Villa di Castello hosts the largest collection of potted citrus plants in the world—near 600 species and varieties, one of which was long thought extinct for more than a century and a half. Citrus archaeologist Paolo Galeotti saw a sprig of something he thought to be that variety—the three-fruit producing citrus bizzarria. He grafted it onto a plant and brought the species back to life. And this is only one example. Galeotti, director of the Parks and Gardens Office of the Tuscany Museum Centre, masterfully reintroduces dozen of citrus plants to the garden. He’s saving them before they’re gone forever. Read more at Atlas Obscura.
3. Everpress + Amnesty International’s Censorship Collaboration
Amnesty International has joined forces with custom, no-waste brand Everpress and 50 artists in order to create a collection of T-shirts that explore the concept of censorship. Designers, illustrators, photographers, cartoonists and more are taking part in the project—from Maria Falbo to Thierry Noir and more. Our pick might be BRICK magazine’s iteration: a screen-printed copy of the 1990 New York Times article titled “Obscenity or Art? Trial on Rap Lyrics Opens.” The T-shirts are available for purchase online tomorrow, and 50% of the profits go to the artist, while the remaining 50% go to charity. See more at R29.
4. Energy-Rich Bee-Saving Paper
We are all aware of the decline of bees—and nobody knows exactly why. One potential factor could be the urbanization causes bees to travel further for pollen leading to death by exhaustion. Bee Saving Paper might be the solution. Produced with energy-rich glucose, these “rest-stops” would provide bees passing by with a spot to nibble and rest. One pound of paper can feed several thousand bees—and it’s not sticky, as the glucose has been dissolved into the paper pulp. As for what draws the bees to the paper, it’s a series of invisible UV ink circles that mimic the way flowers appear to bee eyes. Read more at Fast Company.
5. 300 Years of Block Printing in Jaipur
Passed generally from father to son for the last 300 years, Indian block printing involves hand-carving patterns into teak wood blocks and stamping length upon length of fabric. This family craft has been approaching extinction for almost two centuries and yet many new brands are tapping the artisans inside the chippas (castes of printers) near Jaipur, India. From the Jaipur-based design firm Anokhi to LA-based Block Shop, younger organizations keep the craft alive. Read more at The New York Times, and learn where to buy block-print textiles that honor this tradition.
6. Zero-Impact ‘Agrihood’ Community of 3D-Printed Huts
The Galini Sleeping Pod, a zero-impact 3D-printed hut proposed by New York-based architecture practice DFA offers an idyllic vision of future reprieves. The 300-square-foot suspended pod features a water system (show, sink and toilet) that pulls its supply from atmospheric water (and recycles waste-water). Meanwhile, its electricity is drawn from a combination of solar and wind technology. Of course, it also offers a place to sleep. DFA also envisioned the pods’ community—known as Walden Monterey in Southern California—which they foresee as a tech-hideaway for members to refresh their brains.
7. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends for 2018
What a year ahead! Right now, 56% of the top US companies were founded by a first- or second-generation immigrants. With speech recognition at 95% accuracy, voice technology is in its stride. Today, more people start product searches on Amazon than search engines. Freelance workforces grew 23% in 2017. These stats and many more—as well as crucial takeaways—have been released in Kleiner Perkins’ iconic venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s internet trends list for 2018. It’s a 294-page PDF that’s interesting whether or not you’re planning to monetize the facts. Read more—or flip through the entire report—at Tech Crunch.
8. Self-Pushing Luggage Looms Near
Despite selling only a few hundred advanced orders and aided by another $10 million in funding, ForwardX will debut their Ovis self-pushing luggage line shortly. The pieces actually employ both cameras and object-recognition software in order to propel themselves alongside their owner. As Skift points out, smart luggage is a tricky category—often hindered by regulation (of things like batteries). That said, the Chinese company has advanced successfully since their 2016 launch.