Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Japan's pizza vending machines, Detroit Design Month, "sextech" patents and more

Detroit Design Festival Grows to Month-Long Extravaganza In 2015, Detroit was anointed as the first-ever UNESCO City of Design in the United States. This honor pertains to their astounding past and the continued revitalization coursing through the Motor City as we speak. In celebration of the award and the abundant creative energy, Detroit Design Core has expanded the Detroit Design Festival from one week’s worth of activities …

A Pizza-Making Vending Machine Popped Up in Japan

Italy, the mecca of slow-cooking and pizza perfectionism, drove the first iteration of the pizza vending machine out of town—Claudio Torghele’s Let’s Pizza. Now, the Japanese version, Pizza Self, has appeared outside of a video rental store in Hiroshima. A pizza will set you back around ¥980 (around $9 USD) and, in five minutes, it makes a Neapolitan-style margherita or quattro formaggio pizza, then boxes and …

Japan’s Shupatto Bags Easily Collapse for Simple Stowing

From totes to backpacks, foldable ripstop polyester products that roll up to save space

In many ways, the Shupatto bags, produced by Marna, act as an easy-to-decipher optical illusion. The Japanese company designs and manufactures a range of ripstop nylon products—totes of varying sizes, a backpack and more—that collapse and roll into surprisingly small bundles for stowing. This concept isn’t new, but the way Marna has engineered all of them is—thanks to an intuitive structure drawn from the world …

Japan’s Trash-Collecting Samurai Performance Team

To draw attention to littering in Japanese cities, the Jidaigumi Basara walk through streets armed with fire tongs and dressed in kimonos as they collect trash. Self-dubbed as the “Picking-Up Trash Samurai Performance Team,” the individuals move in choreographed action. Every piece of trash collected provides an opportunity for performance. The act certainly succeeds in gathering the eyes and ears of passersby. Read more at …

University of Tokyo’s Dragon Drone Transforms While Midair

Calling the University of Tokyo’s new drone the Dragon doesn’t just reference its form, the name is also an acronym short for “Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON.” Composed of several small drones, powered by a pair of ducted fans that can thrust in almost any direction, the high-flyer can autonomously change shape to navigate certain spaces. Watch a video …