Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Regenerative "Planet City" concepts, the future of wireless charging, 3D mapping iconic paintings and more

Architect Liam Young’s City Concept Can House The Population of The Entire Planet

In his latest experiment, speculative architect Liam Young designed a city that can house 10 billion people—the estimated population of the world in 2050. This “Planet City” constructs a regenerative future—one in which the city, occupying 0.2 percent of the earth, sustains space to restore nature, returns stolen lands, staves off climate change and fosters a new myriad of cultures. While this experiment is not an urban planning proposal, Young views Planet City as a call for collective visualization. The new global perspective, gained from this visual inquiry, acts as a lens to reflect on real cities (their structures, politics and prejudices) in order to work toward constructing a better one thoughtfully. Tour this science-fiction city in Young’s TED Talk.

Image courtesy of TED

Researchers Build A Wireless Room That Charges Phones From Anywhere Inside

Located at the University of Tokyo, a prototype room designed by a team of researchers wirelessly charges devices—including a lamp, a fan and smartphones—from anywhere inside. Despite its innovative technology, the room appears like any other 100-square-foot living space. Yet, nestled behind the floor, ceilings and walls of aluminum sheets are a series of capacitors which generate magnetic fields that reverberate around the room, charging items. Now that researchers know their wireless charging technology is successful, they hope to apply the prototype to the medical field, bringing life-changing advancements to implants, robotics and equipment. Find out more about the wireless room and it’s varied uses at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of The University of Tokyo and Nature Electronics

Designer Alexia Audrain’s Oto Chair Inflates to Comfort People with Autism

Conceived us as an article of warm, welcoming design rather than a medical device (thanks to feedback on a prototype model, that was presented at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, from people with autism as well as from psychometricians studying sensory processing disorders), graduate designer Alexia Audrain’s Oto chair inflates to “hug” a person sitting within it. This cocooning effect can help people with autism self-soothe when presented with sensory overload. Deep pressure therapy from blow-up modules is controlled by the user, granting agency. Further, sound-absorbing foam lends the plush interior and beech wood shell additional function. Read more about the way the chair works—and what Audrain hopes it will provide—at Dezeen.

Image courtesy of Alexia Audrain

Design Agency Invasione Creativa Turns Awe-Inspiring Paintings Into 3D Worlds

Transforming renowned, recognizable painted works by Michelangelo, Munch, Caravaggio and da Vinci into three-dimensional panoramas and landscapes, Italian design agency Invasione Creativa grants art lovers the opportunity to explore images they’ve long admired in a new way. The agency employed numerous 3D-mapping techniques to lend dimension to the source material—and each reveal is surprising. See more imaginative imagery, and watch an inspiring video, at designboom.

Image courtesy of Invasione Creativa

Yves Behar Designs Unagi’s Thrilling “Model Eleven” Electric Scooter

High-end electric scooter producer Unagi’s second release—humorously entitled the Model Eleven (which follows their launch product, the Model One)—debuted on Indiegogo with a thrilling new look from renowned industrial designer Yves Behar. This light (at 32 pounds), smart (with Google turn-by-turn navigation) and portable vehicle includes a suite of tech-forward upgrades, from a motion-detector alarm system to a camera-based advanced driver assistance, full front and rear suspension, and swappable batteries. It’s also composed—almost entirely—from a brand new Swiss material called “long carbon.” This carbon composite (which incorporates materials like nylon) allows “Unagi’s design team to formulate the shape of the scooter using injection molding rather than carbon wrapping,” according to The Verge. Read more about why the (already fully funded) Model Eleven will become Unagi’s flagship vehicle at The Verge.

Image courtesy of Unagi

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 Invasione Creativa