Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Homes that self-regulate temperature, airplanes converted into residences, two powerful art exhibits and more

Fusing Cinematic Motion-Capture and AI to Treat Movement Disorders

Researchers at the University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London are exploring how motion-capture technology and AI can work in tandem to treat disorders that impair movement. The two-pronged approach utilizes an Animazoo IGS-180 motion capture suit to gather data about patient mobility which surveys the body more quickly and efficiently than the standard method of a neurologist checking individual patients themselves. This information is then plugged into a machine-learning algorithm that can better predict the progress of the disease. “The impact of this, alongside specialized clinical knowledge, will not only improve the efficiency of clinical trials but has the potential to translate across a huge variety of conditions that impact movement,” says Thomas Voit, a professor at UCL’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Learn more about the combined technology and the medical advancements they can create at Dezeen.

Image courtesy of Josephine Dorado/Flickr

New Research Overturns the Misconception That Periods Are Necessary

When the birth control pill was first released around 80 years ago, the male-dominated medical industry believed it to be unnatural for the way it prevents menstrual bleeding. To appease men and the Catholic Church (who greatly opposed the contraceptive), placebo pills were included with birth control packets to induce bleeding. To this day, hormonal birth control is still sold with a week of placebo pills—despite the fact that this withdrawal bleeding (which is caused by a change in hormones) is not the same as menstrual bleeding (which is caused by the shedding of the uterine lining) and that researchers at the time knew it served no medical purpose. Many physicians and birth control users continue to believe bleeding is necessary, but new research is finally overturning this misconception. As more people opt to take birth control for reasons beyond pregnancy prevention (like period pain management or to help with acne) scientists have observed how the future of periods could be continuous birth control which could further help treat endometriosis. Learn more about the evidence and how it points toward the need for better education and autonomy in gynecology at INVERSE.

Image courtesy of Raw Pixel

New Material Allows Houses to Self-Regulate Temperature

The dream of a smart house that can auto-adjust its heating and cooling is one step closer to being a reality thanks to a new building material. Developed by researchers at University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, the material is an ultra-thin film (measuring .5mm thick) encompassing a fluid nestled between two layers of graphene. It functions in the same way a chameleon changes its colors to regulate its internal temperature. The material adjusts its infrared colors to emit or absorb heat, as its liquid layer retains heat when it’s in a solid copper state and sends it outward when it’s in a watery state. When applied to a house, the autonomous material keeps buildings warm in the winter by emitting a smaller percentage of its heat, and in the summer it cools the house by emitting a larger amount. Researchers believe this can be applied to thermostats so houses self-regulate more efficiently. Learn more at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of University of Chicago

Good Black Art and TRNK Present The Group Exhibition “MOLDED”

Running through 28 February at design studio TRNK’s Tribeca showroom (at 18 Jay Street), the thoughtfully curated group exhibition MOLDED celebrates the contributions of Black artists and designers, explores materiality and bridges the worlds of art and design. Curated by Phillip Collins, who founded the platform Good Black Art, in collaboration with Tariq Dixon, founder of TRNK, the exhibit includes the work of four emerging Black artists: Ambrose Rhapsody Murray, Hamzat Raheem, Maya Beverly and Yves Craft. “I’ve had many conversations with artists about the challenges of being in a gray area between art and design, from how to identify in the market to determining which medium best captures their narrative,” Collins shares in a statement. “This exhibition not only acknowledges that gray area, but celebrates it in creating a dialogue about how the legacy of craftsmanship continues to thrive in our community.” Read more about the stunning show at Surface.

Image of Ambrose Rhapsody Murray’s “I got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs,” courtesy of artist

Converting Airplanes Into Homes

Since the 1980s, people have been transforming unused airplanes into livable homes. One of the earliest influential projects came from Jo Ann Ussery, who, after losing her home to a fire in the mid-1990s, converted a Boeing 727 into a 1,500-square-foot living space with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a hot tub (where the cockpit used to be). The fully functional home spurred Bruce Campbell to renovate his own plane which he’s lived in year-round for 20 years, including during the pandemic. The renovation process is long and exacting, but people can experience a little bit of the lifestyle themselves by staying at plane hotels. The Jumbo Stay, for instance, is a hotel in Sweden built entirely within a Boeing 747. Learn more about the projects at CNN.

Image courtesy of Ian Abbott/Flickr

Photographer Claudia Andujar’s Powerful “The Yanomami Struggle” Exhibit at The Shed

For more than 50 years, photographer Claudia Andujar has documented the Yanomami people, an Indigenous group who live in an area of the Amazon that spans from northern Brazil to Venezuela. More than 200 of Andujar’s photographs, along with work by Yanomami artists, coalesce for The Yanomami Struggle, a powerful and thought provoking exhibition at The Shed. There are an estimated 30,000 Yanomami left in the world—and the exhibit calls attention to the human rights crisis stemming from illegal mining and its lethal impact on their community. Further, 91-year-old Andujar (who lost her family in the Holocaust and later moved to Brazil) uses photography as a means to communicate the lives of the Yanomami, not “other” them. Presented by Paris-based Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, in conjunction with São Paulo’s Moreira Salles Institute and the Brazilian NGOs Hutukara Associação Yanomami and Instituto Socioambiental, the exhibit runs now through 16 April. Read more at Artnet News.

Image of Collective house near the Catholic mission on the Catrimani River, Roraima state (1976). Artwork © Claudia Andujar. Collection of the artist

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 “I got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs” courtesy of Ambrose Rhapsody Murray