Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The first-ever Disability Futures Fellows program, clever interior ideas, sound design in EVs and more

New Studies Find Many Genes Influence Left- or Right-Handedness

Scientists have long-posited that one single gene may determine whether a person is left- or right-handed (the latter, of course, being dominant, with 90% of people favoring their right). This theory does take into account the fact that environment factors (including geography and culture) likely play a critical role, too. Now, however, several studies involving millions of participants reveal that dozens of genetic variations may shape our preference “in small, unexpected ways,” reports the Wall Street Journal. This goes further than which hand reaches for the morning coffee, and takes into account neural signal processing and “the way we talk about morality, creativity and politics.” Read more about fascinating genetics discoveries behind it all at the WSJ.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

20 Disabled Creatives Named as the First-Ever Disability Futures Fellows

Together, the Ford Foundation and The Andrew W Mellon Foundation aim to advance the careers of 20 disabled artists and creative practitioners through the Disability Futures Fellows program, the first-ever national, multidisciplinary award of its kind. All of the recipients were named today—and each shall receive a $50,000 grant to put toward work that advances the cultural landscape. The list includes diverse talent selected from across the entire county, in fields ranging from poetry and choreography to performance art and garment-making. This 18-month initiative, overseen by United States Artists, intends to do more than amplify the voices of disabled creatives; it aims also to address institutional failures and “field-wide problems in arts and culture, journalism, and documentary film,” according to their statement. Not only did disabled practitioners prompt the initiative, they nominated and selected the fellows, too. Learn more—and see a complete list of the fellows—at the Ford Foundation’s website.

Image courtesy of Carolyn Lazard

Light Cognitive’s Oculus Artificial Skylight Mimics The Real Thing

Designed by Light Cognitive for a retail client in Barcelona, the Oculus artificial skylight reproduces the colors, contrast and clarity of the skies above—even though it doesn’t offer a true view of the outside. Throughout the course of a 24-hour cycle, Oculus conveys the rich warm hues of a sunrise, clear blue sky by midday and the dimming of the evening sun. Not only does Oculus offer customers sunlight, but it also emits stimulating light meant to impact mood. “Based on feedback, we also believe that Oculus’ visual appearance clearly has a psychological impact on people—especially in windowless spaces—as it provides a similar look and feel to a skylight,” founder Sami Salomaa tells Dezeen. Read more there.

Image courtesy of Light Cognitive 

Audi Embraces EV Sound Design With New e-tron GT Soundtrack

Audi’s new e-tron GT teaser presents insight on the importance of sound design for electric vehicles. The complex task (creating effects that replace traditional car noises like idling, acceleration, gear-shifting and more) has been handled independently by the carmaker—helmed by sound engineers Rudolf Halbmeir and Stephan Gsell. The new video, called “Some hear a car, we hear the future,” offers a little behind-the-scenes look (and listen) at the process, which incorporated everyday objects and high-tech recording gear. While just a snippet, the video certainly illustrates that it’s a category ripe with potential. See the video on YouTube.

Image courtesy of Audi

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning. Hero image courtesy of Light Cognitive