Adidas’s wild new shoe is string art for your feet

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Yes, robots are involved. Every year, Adidas introduces an experimental new shoe technology dubbed “Futurecraft.” These aren’t just bouncier foams or sneakers loaded with fitness tracking inside. They fundamentally reimagine how performance footwear is made—from creating shoes from ocean plastic , to 3D-printing midsoles , to building “Loop” shoes that can be ground up, melted, and made into brand-new shoes when you’re done wearing them. Read Full Story

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Hear the new experience designed to bring people who are blind into the excitement of a tennis match

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Tennis is just a starting point. This technology could soon allow visually impaired people around the world to better experience the joy of live sports. The highs and lows of this year’s Australian Open have been delighting fans around the world, especially during global lockdowns. But not everyone is able to enjoy the thrill of live sports in the same way. For the tennis fans among the 600,000 blind and visually impaired people in Australia—and millions more around the world— experiencing sports broadcasts can be underwhelming. Kala Petronijevic, a young girl who has low vision, says her dad has to commentate every move to her. Maurice Gleeson, a blind tennis fan and the CEO of Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria, says: “Tennis, sadly, hasn’t been anywhere near as accessible as I would like.” Read Full Story

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Why two of the world’s most innovative design firms are moving to an old shipyard

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This 115-year-old building has housed ships and Sweet’N Low. Now it’s home to Smart Design, known for its iconic work on OXO kitchen tools, and Daedalus Design & Production, set designer of ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Frozen.’ After years of sitting in the dark, its massive windows bricked over, a huge and historic building in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard is going back to its manufacturing roots. An extensive $42 million renovation of the century-old boat-building facility by S9 Architecture has turned it into a space for modern design and manufacturing. And soon it will be home to two of the most innovative design and manufacturing firms in New York. Read Full Story

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The world’s most innovative companies in design: 2020

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Nike, Starbucks, and the Weather Channel earned spots on this year’s list. The design companies that caught our eye this year showed a willingness to grapple with some of the most complex problems of our time, from waste to cryptocurrency. Others made the list for simple, but indispensable, design solutions, including ergonomic keyboards, lightning-fast running shoes, and phone booths that make noisy open offices just a little more tolerable. Read Full Story

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These 100 ethically made design objects cost less than $100 each

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Ethical design shop Goodee partners with Nordstrom on a list of 100 products that cost $100 or less. Here are our favorite pieces. If you’re unfamiliar with Goodee, you’ll want to remedy that. It’s a three-year-old design shop that sells beautiful, ethically made multicultural objects from designers from around the world. This year, Goodee has partnered with Nordstrom to curate the Goodee100, a selection of 100 home and lifestyle items that all cost $100 or less. Read Full Story

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The 14 most important books for designers to read right now

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Experts from IDEO, Adobe, SVA, HOK, Designer Fund, and more share book recommendations for designers who want to expand their horizons in 2021 and beyond. Designers in 2021 face some of the biggest challenges of their careers as they help rebuild a society torn asunder by COVID-19, economic inequality, racial injustice, and climate change. Looking for inspiration on Instagram or in a Taschen doorstopper won’t be enough. So we asked top designers and thought leaders to recommend books that designers—and really anyone who wants to be an enlightened citizen of the world—should read to expand their thinking beyond the traditional design text. Their selections include memoirs, an in-depth look at the infographics of W.E.B. Du Bois, and a 40-year-old U.S. history book that’s more relevant than ever. Read Full Story

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