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!