For the love of Cartography

Today I saw an open call from OS (Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency for Great Britain) requesting designs for new map symbols. Needless to say I got excited (maps and pictograms are a love of mine) until I realized it was not aimed at professional designers. Ops, well good fun and deliberate practice. You can find the vectors here. Read more

Dolos

There is an inherent brutalist beauty in these concrete tetrapods. An interlocking army in a never ending battle with elemental erosion. Manufactured to stop the advance of water that would eat more delicate structures such as harbors and beaches. The coastal line of Japan is dotted with Dolos (or “knuckle bones”) each individually placed, numbered and able to be traced by satellites. Due to their massive weight (around 20 tons / unit) they are constructed next to the placement site to minimize transportation. With a concrete lifespan around 70 years, allegedly every single Dolos is still functional and intact. Read more

Notes on Predictions

1) Smartphone use will fuel the biggest innovation in first aid and urban emergency response. By a soon to be rolled, integration to the ambulance response system, first aiders using their smartphones will be able to respond at emergencies in their close proximity. Apart from the utilization of, usually dormant, life saving-skills there is a big potential for reducing response rate in half, a difference between life & death in cardiac arrest cases (were the service will be initially tested).

2) 30 Fab Labs are expected to spring throughout UK in 2015 while the first British makerspace inside a library is already up and running (in Devon). Libraries are a prime space to incorporate digital fabrication tools in the same spirit with open knowledge and public access. It might even be their only way of survival. I am expecting a makerspace in every neighborhood in the (very) near future.

Full articles by Nesta:

Aiming beams and burning things / or how to make a laser cutter denim swatch

After some trial and error and a few burned off-cuts the laser cutter was tamed and settings for cutting / engraving denim established. I left the swatch at the workshop so if you want to experiment with tattooing jeans your life will be much easier. We can slowly make a swatch library for every laserable material. Speed 100 / Power 30 / 500Hz seems to work pretty well for thin denim. Read more

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