Hi, Matthias Brendler here, transdisciplinary designer blogging what's interesting or significant relating to: Design, Education, Culture, Technology and Business (as well as anything that's really cool).

GreenWave 3D Ocean Farm

GreenWave 3D Ocean Farm

The future of farming is growing oysters, mussels, clams and seaweed on ropes anchored to the ocean floor. So says Bren Smith, a commercial fisherman turned director of GreenWave, a Connecticut nonprofit doing just that. The concept isn’t as wild as it may seem. As land farming becomes increasingly problematic—it accounts for a growing portion of the planet’s greenhouse­-gas emissions—and oceans get overfished, humans will need to develop alternative food sources. GreenWave’s crops offer compelling advantages: they’re protein-­rich, self­-sufficient (no fertilizer needed) and they even help combat climate change (by sequestering carbon as they grow). Of course, getting Westerners to center their diet on mollusks and seaweed is a stretch. Still, GreenWave sees potential: the group has helped fishermen establish 14 farms along the coast of New England since 2013, and now has plans to expand in California, the Pacific Northwest and Europe. —Julia Zorthian

Elevators That Move Beyond Up and Down


Thyssenkrupp MULTI

What if elevators could move sideways, instead of just up and down? It’s a question straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Germany-based Thyssenkrupp has a real-life answer: MULTI, a system of elevators that ditches old-school pulleys for the same magnetic levitation tech that enables high-speed trains. The elevator cars can travel in multiple directions and even pass each other within a shaft—features that could not only reduce wait times, but also fundamentally“change how buildings are constructed,”says Andreas Schierenbeck,CEO of Thyssenkrupp Elevator. (Think horizontal offshoots of straight, vertical towers.) Following a successful test this year, the first MULTI is set to debut in Berlin by 2021. —Julia Zorthian

FORWARD: CUSTOMIZING + RedefinING Preventive Care



In the U.S., patients tend to visit doctors only after they get sick. But what if both parties worked together to pre-empt medical issues as well? That’s the idea behind Forward, a new type of wellness clinic that works much like a high-end gym. For $149 a month, users get unlimited access to genetic screenings, blood testing, weight-loss planning, routine doctors’ visits and more all of which help Forward“look toward your future and look out for things that are longer term,”says Adrian Aoun, the founder and CEO, and a former Google executive. (Forward does offer reactive medicine too, including unlimited generic medications without co-pays.) Critics argue most Americans can’t afford the clinics, especially since they do not accept health insurance. But as a niche experiment, Forward appears to be working: the company, which is based in San Francisco, has reportedly raised $100 million in funding and recently opened a location in L.A.; it plans to expand to other cities in the future. —Alexandra Sifferlin


frog in the News: Founder Hartmut Esslinger Wins Multiple 2017 Design Awards

“From influential work with Steve Jobs and Apple to his continuing influence on the global design community, Hartmut Esslinger has made a lasting impact. Here’s a look at why there are so many reasons to celebrate frog's founder right now.

Often credited as the first designer to bring human-centered design to the world of complex hardware and software technology, Esslinger was the recipient of the 2017 Cooper Hewitt Lifetime Achievement Award presented this month. As part of National Design Week on October 19, we had the honor of celebrating Hartmut’s achievements alongside him and to once again be inspired and invigorated by his unfailing dedication and vision to advancing the human experience through design.

In a true honor for a truly global designer, Esslinger won the 2017 WDO World Design Medal from the World Design Organization. The honor showcases industrial designers who drive positive change in the world through design. The unanimous decision from the selection committee was based on his decades of experience in the field (which includes founding frog with his wife Patricia Roller in the Black Forest of Germany back in 1969), as well as his legacy of work teaching the design leaders of today and tomorrow.

As part of the Teen Design Fair, Esslinger and frog were on-hand with other winners of the National Design Awards to answer questions from aspiring young designers about possible career paths, the challenges designers face within teams and in the workplace, and what is most inspiring about design today. Throughout his career, Esslinger has taught design students in Germany, Austria, China and the US.”

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“Rather than looking for markets to disrupt, we need to look for human endeavors that we can empower.”

The End of Moore's Law Will Change How We Need To Think About Innovation

A shift from disrupting markets to tackling grand challeneges


In 1965, Intel cofounder Gordon Moore published a remarkably prescient paperwhich predicted that computing power would double about every two years. For a half century, this process of doubling has proved to be so remarkably consistent that today it is commonly known as Moore's Law and has driven the digital revolution.

In fact, we've become so used to the idea that our technology gets more powerful and cheaper that we scarcely stop and think about how unprecedented it is. Certainly, we did not expect horses or plows -- or even steam engines, automobiles or airplanes -- to double their efficiency at a continuous rate.

Nevertheless, modern organizations have come to rely on continuous improvement to such an extent that people rarely think about what it means and, with Moore's law about to end, that's going to be a problem. In the decades to come, we're going to have to learn to live without the certainty of Moore's law and operate in a new era of innovation that will be profoundly different.


Because of the power and consistency of Moore's Law, we've come to associate technological advancement with processor speeds. Yet that is only one dimension of performance and there are many things we can do to get our machines to do more at lower cost than just speeding them up.

A primary example of this is called the von Neumann bottleneck, named after the mathematical genius who is responsible for the way our computers store programs and data in one place and make calculations in another. In the 1940s, when this idea emerged, it was a major breakthrough, but today it's becoming somewhat of a problem.

The issue is that, because of Moore's Law, our chips run so fast that in the time it takes information to travel back and forth between chips -- at the speed of light no less -- we lose a lot of valuable computing time. Ironically, as chip speeds continue to improve, the problem will only get worse.

The solution is simple in concept but elusive in practice. Just as we integrated transistors onto a single silicon wafer to create modern day chips, we can integrate different chips with a method called 3D stacking. If we can make this work, we can increase performance for a few more generations.

Optimized Computing

Today we use our computers for a variety of tasks. We write documents, watch videos, prepare analysis, play games and do many other things all on the same device using the same chip architecture. We are able to do this because the chips our computers use are designed as a general purpose technology.

That makes computers convenient and useful, but is terribly inefficient for computationally intensive tasks. There have long been technologies, such as ASICand FPGA, that are designed for more specific tasks and, more recently, GPU's have become popular for graphics and artificial intelligence functions.

As artificial intelligence has risen to the fore, some firms, such as Google and Microsoft have begun designing chips that are specifically engineered to run their own deep learning tools. This greatly improves performance, but you need to make a lot of chips to make the economics work, so this is out of reach for most companies.

The truth is that all of these strategies are merely stopgaps. They will help us continue to advance over the next decade or so, but with Moore's Law ending, the real challenge is to come up with some fundamentally new ideas for computing.

Profoundly New Architectures

Over the last half century, Moore's Law has become synonymous with computing, but we made calculating machines long before the first microchip was invented. In the early 20th century, IBM first pioneered electromechanical tabulators, then came vacuum tubes and transistors before integrated circuits were invented in the late 1950s.

Today, there are two new architectures emerging that will be commercialized within the next five years. The first is quantum computers, which have the potential to be thousands, if not millions, of times more powerful than current technology. Both IBM and Google have built working prototypes and Intel, Microsoft and others have active development programs.

The second major approach is neuromorphic computing, or chips based on the design of the human brain. These excel at pattern recognition tasks that conventional chips have trouble with. They also are thousands of times more efficient than current technology and are scalable down to a single tiny core with just a few hundred "neurons" and up to enormous arrays with millions.

Yet both of these architectures have their drawbacks. Quantum computers need to be cooled down to close to absolute zero, which limits their use. Both require profoundly different logic than conventional computers and need new programming languages. The transition will not be seamless.

A New Era Of Innovation

For the past 20 or 30 years, innovation, especially in the digital space, has been fairly straightforward. We could rely on technology to improve at a foreseeable pace and that allowed us to predict, with a high degree of certainty, what would be possible in the years to come.

That led most innovation efforts to be focused on applications, with a heavy emphasis on the end user. Startups that were able to design an experience, test it, adapt and iterate quickly could outperform big firms that had far more resources and technological sophistication. That made agility a defining competitive attribute.

In the years to come the pendulum is likely to swing from applications back to the fundamental technologies that make them possible. Rather than being able to rely on trusty old paradigms, we'll largely be operating in the realm of the unknown. In many ways, we'll be starting over again and innovation will look more like it did in the 1950's and 1960's

Computing is just one area reaching its theoretical limits. We also need next generation batteries to power our devices, electric cars and the grid. At the same time, new technologies, such as genomics, nanotechnology and robotics are becoming ascendant and even the scientific method is being called into question.

So we're now entering a new era of innovation and the organizations who will most effectively compete will not be the ones with a capacity to disrupt, but those that are willing to tackle grand challenges and probe new horizons.


Look elsewhere – Signal v. Noise

Look elsewhere

Don’t stare at your industry. Look in the opposite direction.

When I’m designing software, I try to draw from a variety of influences, including:


Want to find colors and patterns and shapes that go well together? Stop looking at catalogs of print designs or stock photos — look at trees and flowers and insects and animals. Their designs have been perfected over millions of years. They have beauty and utility figured out by now.


At their most basic, they all do the same thing — tell time with just three components: a minute hand, an hour hand, and markers on the dial. It turns out there are thousands of variations to accomplish this simple task, so don’t tell me there are only a few ways to display photos in your app.


I love looking at well-designed dashboards, instrument clusters, door handles, switches, and buttons. There’s so much to learn about what feels right and what falls flat. Sounds are telling as well — the engine, the snick of a manual shift, the click of the turn signal, the confident thud of a door that closes snug and tight. Those are all design features.


A chair is such a basic device, but it can take thousands of forms. What does it feel like to sit in a chair that is nailed together, versus one that is glued or joined? What does a cotton-webbing seat feel like compared with wicker? Arms at different heights — or no arms at all?

The details may be different in software, but the feelings are the same. Other companies may prefer a serious museum look, and there are plenty of products that resemble museum pieces. But if you want something that’s comfortable and welcoming, Basecamp’s going to be more your speed. It has a “come on in and get cozy,” living room feel, not a cold, modern, “don’t touch it or you’ll mess stuff up” vibe.

So figure out what objects and places inspire you and immerse yourself in them. Pay attention to those details. Then, instead of imitating competitors, you just might find your voice.


How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott

How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott

  1. Protecting rights through immutable records
  2. Creating a true sharing economy
  3. Ending the remittance report off
  4. Enabling citizens to own and monetize their data and protect privacy
  5. Ensuring compensation for the creators of value
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Loving the 16 yr old “Sneaker Don”

Loving the 16 yr old “Sneaker Don”…  and apparently so are DJ Khaled and Chris Brown. His 1+ Million in sales track  with 2018  projected sports global shoe sales of 84.4 Billion.  source: Transparency Market Research #entrepreneurship #disrupt #kids #growth #shoes #2018 #sportshoe #Sneakers #Kicks #Consumption


Flat UI leads reduces usability by 22%

“In experiment used to target findability tasks, more time and effort spent looking around the page are not good. These findings don't mean that users were more 'engaged' with the pages. Instead, they suggest that participants struggled to locate the element they wanted, or weren't confident when they first saw it."


The beauty of the modern design challenge by Seth Godin


  “If you run everything through a spreadsheet, you might end up with a rational plan, but the rational plan isn't what creates energy or magic or memories…It might not be about being cheaper. It's tricky to define better. But without a doubt, the heart and soul of a thriving enterprise is the irrational pursuit of becoming irresistible.”

Step outside your comfort zone to gain empathy.

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Whether small or big, embracing and effecting change in our life can make us healthier and more effective. I found that living and working outside of my comfort zone in Brazil for over 10 years has made me more empathic, transforming my design approach and creative process. Strengthening the ability to sense and adapt to change has increased my resourcefulness and tested my creativity.

What do you think?

DESIGN: Bauhaus books COURTESY OF Bibliothèque Kandinsky

Just found that these Bauhaus books as downloadable PDFs on this website:

“The following nine PDFs are linked from the Bibliothèque Kandinsky which published them online on an unknown date (follow this link to explore the respective entries on its website). This is an important milestone in the digitisation of essential but hard-to-get art publications for the public use and we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation. <3 ! The whole set of these high-quality digital facsimiles is about 1 GB large, if anyone feels like starting a torrent to relieve bandwidth of the library let us know and we'll include your link here. (17 Aug 2014). Update: you can now download the whole set in a single ZIP file from here. Thanks to Gabriel Benderski. (29 Aug 2014)”


CHILDHOOD: Walking The Beat In Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Where A New Day Began Together : NPR

Thank you Officer Clemens, family friend Francois. I remember your visits and voice.

This StoryCorps is invaluable contribution to the Library Congress. Touching and inspiring.

Officer Clemmons and Mister Rogers, reprising their 1969 foot bath more than two decades later, during their final scene together in 1993.  (c) The Fred Rogers Company

His is not just a gentle voice; for many people, it's a very familiar one, too. For 25 years, Francois Clemmons played a role on the beloved children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Clemmons joined the cast of the show in 1968, becoming the first African-American to have a recurring on a kids' TV series.

And, as it happens, it was Clemmons' voice that Fred Rogers noticed, too, when he heard Clemmons singing in church.

"Fred came to me and said, 'I have this idea: You could be a police officer,' " recalls Clemmons, speaking with his friend Karl Lindholm during a visit with StoryCorps.

Clemmons says he didn't like the idea much at first.

"I grew up in the ghetto. I did not have a positive opinion of police officers. Policeman were siccing police dogs and water hoses on people," he says. "And I really had a hard time putting myself in that role. So I was not excited about being Officer Clemmons at all."

Still, Clemmons came around to it eventually and agreed to take on the role.

And, in the decades he spent as part of the show, there's one scene in particular that Clemmons remembers with great emotion. It was from an episode that aired in 1969, in which Rogers had been resting his feet in a plastic pool on a hot day.

"He invited me to come over and to rest my feet in the water with him," Clemmons recalls. "The icon Fred Rogers not only was showing my brown skin in the tub with his white skin as two friends, but as I was getting out of that tub, he was helping me dry my feet."

Clemmons says the scene — which the two also revisited in their last episode together, in 1993 — touched him in a way he hadn't expected.

"I think he was making a very strong statement. That was his way. I still was not convinced that Officer Clemmons could have a positive influence in the neighborhood and in the real-world neighborhood, but I think I was proven wrong," he says.

During Clemmons' time on the show, he wasn't simply the friendly neighborhood police officer. Off the set, he was also a Grammy-winning singer, who performed in over 70 musical and opera roles and founded the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble.

Rogers, for his part, wasn't simply Clemmons' iconic costar. He was also Clemmons' "friend for life."

He says he'll never forget the day Rogers wrapped up the program, as he always did, by taking by hanging up his sweater and saying, "You make every day a special day just by being you, and I like you just the way you are." This time in particular, Rogers had been looking right at Clemmons, and after they wrapped he walked over.

Clemmons asked him, "Fred, were you talking to me?"

"Yes, I have been talking to you for years," Rogers said, as Clemmons recalls. "But you heard me today."

"It was like telling me I'm OK as a human being," Clemmons says. "That was one of the most meaningful experiences I'd ever had."

Produced for Morning Edition by Jasmyn Belcher Morris.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life,


PLAY: Minecraft x Classroom: “engage students and drive new ways of thinking”

MineCraft x Social Studies

Making allows students to learn by doing and solve problems by tinkering, trial and error. Minecraft is a 3D sandbox game, which has made its way into classrooms because it engages students across a range of subjects. Imagine the learning that happens when these two popular education movements are combined.

The outcome is a powerhouse of student engagement, says Mike Washburn, head of computer science at Richmond Hill Montessori & Elementary Private School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  In his mind, games shouldn’t be relegated to the fringes in classrooms. Educators should leverage them to engage students and drive new ways of thinking.