The Cloth Car Seat is Getting an Upgrade

relates to The Seats in Your Next Luxury Car May Be Made From Soybeans and Eucalyptus
@bloomberg

Animal-gran leather has permeated the car interior world for decades now. As cloth became a stereotypical cheaper option when buying a car, leather has become synonymous with luxury and money.

However, I’ve always had animus towards animal-grain anything for some time now. And I’ve actually been hearing quite a few people – in my design field and outside – state the same opinion. Leather is overrated.

The quality of materials, especially paired with the level of technology and application processes today, now have the ability to change the opinions of the general population too. I’m not saying leather doesn’t have its place inside of a car, but with special attention to detail, like the wool blend in the Range Rover Velar in the above photo, luxury can start to change.

Audi has started to create carbon-neutral materials for some concept interiors. And the projected price difference between the normal leather and these new innovative materials? There is none.

How cool is it that companies are starting to blend eucalyptus fibers and even mushroom compounds into their lineup?? I think it’s incredible. Check out this article if you want to read more!

Go Out and Experience the World

Even in the age of having everything at our fingertips, there are certain experiences you can’t get online. I went to an unbelievably amazing glass art gallery with a friend tonight (hi Brian!) and was blown away (lol) by the talent. There had to be hundreds of pieces throughout the several buildings we walked aimlessly through. I was continuously shocked by the textures and colors in the art. I took over 30 photos tonight, zooming into the intricate details of things I thought were extraordinary.

My CMF teacher had told us earlier in the semester that if we were to come across really interesting materials in person, to take a photo of it. She had told us how difficult it was to find these kinds of images online. And quite honestly I think I’m going to make an extra effort to start making my own archive of stuff like this. I was geeking out about it all tonight, and I hope the depth of the artwork is translated in the photos for you to see it properly. Enjoy the start to my new archive!

Underwater Hotels. The New Luxury?

I’ve traveled around several countries that are known for scuba diving and snorkeling. With abundant coral reef and marine life, the Bahamas, Hawaii islands, Caribbean countries and more are all famous for underwater beauty. A company called Planet Ocean is trying to take advantage of a new luxury: hotels submerged in the water.

Now, I’m very skeptical of concepts like this. Primarily because of the cost. The capital and engineering it would take to create something like the rendering above, is almost impossible. But, I’m sure there are several billionaires out there that have done it all, and now want to do this.

As almost everything becomes accessible to the average person, luxury experiences are going to become even more outlandish. Oh, you traveled to Africa to skydive? Basic. You hiked up an active volcano that had an Airbnb at the base? Basic.

What’s not basic? Space. And the ocean. We’ve seen several concepts for civilian space travel pop up in the last few months. But I don’t often hear people discuss underwater ventures. Seems like uncharted territory (pun intended). Maybe a new wave (lol) of luxury will spur companies like this to actually execute their elaborate plans. In the meantime, we’ll have to resort to basic, mediocre, Earthly things.

Star Fakes Going to Coachella to Prove the Internet is a Lie

@gabbie.hanna

The internet is fake. And the YouTube star Gabbie Hanna – who has over 6.5 million followers – is trying to showcase that in her recent stunt “I Faked Going to Coachella.”

If you want to watch the full length video of her antics, go here.

Anyways, this influencer wanted to show people how easy it is to create photoshopped footage on social media. Her friend who shoots photography for a living, helped her doctor all of the photos they shot at a neighborhood park and her friend’s home. They were hours away from the event, and people still believed it. They even printed out fake wristbands for her to wear in case people noticed her empty wrists.

After sharing on Instagram for several days over the last weekend of the festival, she posted her video on YouTube telling everyone about her prank.

Looks and appearances are important when it comes to branding and your social presence. But for an average viewer watching and aspiring for these things, just know that these “things” aren’t as attainable as they seem…and so much of this is just photo manipulation. Social media is just a very curated and manipulated version of reality. Don’t base your life off of the few posts you see from your favorite influencer living this amazing glamorous life because the whole time I was “at Coachella” I was really just mostly sitting in this editing chair at home.

Gabbie Hanna

IKEA is Using Packaging Made out of Mushrooms

@TrueActivist

One of the largest furniture brands in the world has made it their mission to cut down on packaging waste. I had written a post several weeks ago about IKEA – and my love for the company as a whole – and it makes me so happy to see this. Now, the article I had found was from about 6 months ago, and I haven’t been to an actual store of theirs in that time frame. So I can’t back up my findings just yet. But let me get to it: packaging made of mushrooms.

Sounds kind of freaky. But also really really cool. The process goes something like this:

agricultural byproducts such as husk, oat hulls and cotton burrs, are pressed into a desired shape that can fit around items to be packaged. Then, it is seeded with mushroom spores that sprout mycelium (a root structure) after a few days. The mycelium threads rapidly through the structure and binds it together to form a shock-resistant and durable packaging material. The last step is to heat-treat the material to kill spores in order to arrest further growth of the fungus.

Medium

I recently posted about different plastic and their processes. So as someone who knows the basics on that, I find it extremely fascinating reading the above information. I can imagine this might take a lot longer to make (who knows how rapidly mushroom spores actually grow; I’ll have to research that another time) than a typical injection molded piece. But as an alternative to styrofoam – which is ungodly terrible for the environment – it’s a huge step in the right direction.

As a small tangent, if you’re interested in learning about a young boy who recently invented a way to recycle styrofoam, then watch this short TED talk! Super cool.

So, besides the biodegradable factor, what are the benefits to mushroom packaging? Here’s a few Medium listed:

  • It uses only 12% of the energy used in plastic production.
  • It produces 90% less carbon emissions than produced during plastic manufacture.
  • The total amount of carbon dioxide component in atmosphere remains almost undisturbed by growing fungi-based packaging. Fungi uses up carbon dioxide that gets incorporated into the packaging material. On disposal, packaging material gets decomposed or composted and returns the carbon dioxide back into the soil.
  • It decomposes with 30–90 days. Even if it is ingested by organisms, it has no dangerous side effects, although it has no nutritional benefits either.
  • Alternative packaging is a lucrative economic avenue. The global market for sustainable packaging is poised to reach more than US $142 billion in coming years. Presently, bio-plastics and green materials just constitute 1% of total packaging market share, so there is immense growth potential for manufacturers in this segment.
  • Rural communities can benefit financially by supplying agricultural wastes to mycelium manufacturers.

Hopefully this becomes a lot more accessible to companies worldwide. As IKEA sets the new standard for packaging, I’m curious to see what comes next!

A Designer’s Website

I finally have a website. If you’re in the art and design field, you know how time consuming making and updating a portfolio is. I’ve probably spent over 50 hours making my current portfolio which is in a PDF file. It has 5 projects, and was obsolete the moment I saved and compressed it.

I’ve been curious about having a personal website for a long time. But I never had the content for it. Until now. Not saying I have the most or the best, but I’m finally starting to feel comfortable about putting myself and my work out there.

My projects are all over the place content wise, so everything is still a work in progress. If you’re curious about checking out my site though, feel free to find me here: sydneyhembree.com

I only have a few hours into the bones of it right now, but I’m really excited to start fine tuning everything! Art and Design is always such a fast-paced environment, so I’m hoping this keeps me on my toes.

I only have about 15 more days for this blog challenge, but I know I can transfer all of this content to my personal website if I so desire. Curious to see if I’ll be able to continue over there. We shall see!

Discover Your Creative Self: A Quiz

I’m always a sucker for quizzes that claim to “tell you who you really are.” I’m sure there’s some study I could find that goes into the innate curiosity of humans and their need to take some stupid tests online. I’m not saying I take the ones that say “Click to find out what kind of pasta you are!!!” But, I will admit, I’m a fiend for personality tests and the like.

I find myself to be a lot more different than what I’m described by my friends and family as. I would consider myself a fairly introverted person, which is typically in stark contrast to the comments of, “Wow Sydney you’re so social and outgoing!” Not trying to toot my own horn here by any means. It’s just extremely fascinating that every individual is completely unaware of themselves externally. I read a post the other day that had said something along the lines of this: “You’ve never seen your face in anything but a reflection. You’ve never seen yourself smile and get excited when you hear good news. You’ve never seen the little frown you make while you try to concentrate. You’ve never seen yourself laugh until you can’t breathe. You’ve never seen yourself in a candid way like others always do. So why do we listen to our inner dialogue more than we listen to others?”

I think that’s such a powerful way of looking at it. We’ve all had to deal with negative self esteem at some point in our lives. Each to a different extent, but we all have friends and family that surround us, telling us how amazing we are. But only a few of us actually believe them. We take quizzes online to tell us we’re this or that, because we want some force to tell us what we probably have already heard. Or better yet, know ourselves! Your friends are your friends because they love you. As much as they might berate and tease, they wouldn’t be there if they didn’t find you amazing.

I’ve seen several of my friends posting about this quiz from Adobe called Creative Types.

It’s one of the more artistic interpretations of a quiz that I’ve seen so far. The questions aren’t very groundbreaking, but the snippets of art after you answer each step (15 in all) are great. They are very vague, visual projects that could be considered impressions of each response. Who knows. But I think it’s worth a few minutes of your time.

I’m not roasting people who take quizzes (or maybe I am making a horribly self-detrimental joke in the process). I am merely pointing out that people who seek to find themselves through an algorithmic quiz should first take to heart all of the wonderful things everyone has said about you. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Virtual Retail Showrooms

I’m not a big watch person. I bought my current one on Amazon for about $35. It gets me through the day, tells the time, and looks decent. That’s all I need.

But for people who are really into watches, and are making a hefty purchase online, the last thing you want to do is buy something that doesn’t end up fitting properly or looks completely different than the photos. Insert the company Chrono24. They take 3D modeling software of each watch they have in their catalog, and can superimpose the watch (with exact dimensions) onto your wrist.

I personally think it’s a little ridiculous, but hey, if this is something that people actually use, it’s a great idea. Who knows, maybe online clothing stores will start having virtual app try-ons. It’s uncharted territory for the most part, so it could be a new big thing sooner thank we think.

Watch the video below if you want to know more:

The Loop: Recyclable Tennis Shoes

@adidas

The most recent shoe release from adidas sports a brand new cyclical business model. Their 4 step process (shown above) takes old shoes that are sent back from consumers to 1) be cleaned, 2) ground up, 3) melted down, and then 4) reformed.

Plastic is extremely hard to recycle. For those that aren’t familiar with plastic processing, there are two distinct types: thermoset and thermoplastic. The basic information you need to know is that thermoplastics can be melted and reformed, whereas thermosets (hence the name) remain set in a physical state (aka no melting, they just burn). So although most companies have a great ambition to fully recycle, it’s extremely difficult to do so.

Even within the thermoplastics range, you have multiple forms. If you’ve never looked at the bottom of a plastic part, go to your kitchen cupboard and pick a piece of tupperware up. Within the recycle symbol stamped in the bottom, there is a number. Those numbers range from one to seven. Look at this website if you want to see the distinct breakdowns for those sections.

Because each plastic is typically pretty unique in composition, remelting and reprocessing is very tedious and costly. Adidas has figured out a pure plastic process that can be optimized to reduce waste and take full advantage of the benefits of a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). According to their webpage for the launch (check it out here), they state over 91% of plastic throughout the world is not recycled. I’m not surprised. As someone who has been around plastics more than the average person (hi dad), I’m well aware of how much effort and time it takes.

So, for adidas – especially as a company as large and global as it is – to promise recyclability within its own structure, I think it’s a great initiative. Here’s a wonderful video showcasing the process of it all. Quite honestly, this completely blows my mind. A wonderful design and a monumental shift in changing the way we consume.