Posts Tagged ‘giveaways’

Coffee Waste Water in Central America Generates Clean Energy

Farmers in Central America are researching ways to generate energy from coffee wastewater. UTZ Certified‘s project, which began back in 2010, aims to address environmental and health problems caused by the wastewater produced in the coffee industry. The Energy from Coffee Wastewater project has proven that is possible to generate energy, tackle climate change and protect water resources by treating discharges from coffee mills.

Eight coffee farms in Nicaragua, ten in Honduras and one in Guatemala have had tailor-made coffee wastewater treatment systems and solid-waste treatment mechanisms installed. Latin America produces around 70% of the world’s coffee and 31% of the world’s freshwater resources are located there. Coffee production generates a great amount of wastewater, which is regularly released untreated into rivers, affecting the aquatic wildlife as well as downstream communities. Additionally, coffee wastewater comes with lots of organic waste and high toxicity, which affects the soil and generates considerable amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.


This coffee wastewater project has resulted in the treatment of all water used in coffee processing, over 50% less water being used during coffee processing, a significant amount of biogas being generated in order to power households and coffee mills, and the prevention of the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Han De Groot, executive director at UTZ Certified, says:

Coffee production is only environmentally sustainable when water is used efficiently and polluted water from the wet-mill process is treated. Local ecosystems do not have the capacity to clean the large amounts of contaminated fluids. Rural communities and coffee production depend intrinsically on a ready supply of fresh water. So if we want to talk about coffee produced in a sustainable manner then wastewater must be treated when released into the environment.

The positive environmental and economic impact of the project in Central America has inspired UTZ Certified to replicate the initiative in other countries. It is currently introducing the technology in Peru and Brazil and hopes to get further funds and support in order to replicate the initiative in Africa and Asia in the future.

UTZ Certified

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Geometric Rainbow Installation Enhances French Art Center’s Liminal Space

Défini, Fini, Infini is an exhibition by French artist Daniel Buren at the MaMo contemporary art space created by French designer Ora-Ïto.

Buren’s exhibition consists of seven previously unseen, integrated artworks spread across the rooftop of the Cité Radieuse in Marseille. It was only last year that Ora-Ïto transformed what was formerly a rooftop gymnasium for the residents of Cité Radieuse into a modern art gallery and springboard for young artists, in association with the Audi Talent Awards. MaMo has already played host to various exhibitions, including one by French artist Xavier Veilhan in 2013.

Daniel Buren’s installations were created to complement existing designs of renowned architect Le Corbusier, who designed the Cité Radieuse building as part of his Unité d’Habitation housing complex.


Buren’s project aims to amplify the viewer’s liminal space using mirrors, as well as bold, colorful, and geometric installations. The artist created various sculptural blocks covered in vibrantly-colored panes or mirrored panels, some of which are angled to catch reflections of the sky.

The large arched structure on the rooftop is defined with multi-colored translucent sheets and colorful, geometric panels that create something of a stained glass effect. On one side of the rooftop, a row of colored and mirror panels line up along the edge. The mirrored panels are angled towards the sky, while the colored panels are angled towards the floor.


On the other side, adjacent to the row of angled panels, stands another large structure with mirrored panels forming a diamond shape. Small square podiums are spread out across the rooftop. The top surface of the podiums are either mirrored or colored and the sides are defined by thick vertical stripes in black and white.


During the day, the mirrors capture and reflect the various views from the top of the building. At night, carefully-positioned lights help to emphasize the bold color blocks.

The exhibition was launched in June and is open to the public until the end of September. View more photos of the installation on the artist’s website or on the MaMo site.


Daniel Buren // MaMo

Source: Wallpaper, Dezeen

Images: Daniel Buren

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Billie Whitehouse, Wearable Experiments: Why We Need To Give Clothes Intelligence, Purpose

Wearable tech designer Billie Whitehouse, who is also co-founder of Wearable Experiments, spoke at PSFK CONFERENCE 2014 about her goal to give what we wear intelligence and more purpose. Her first major project was Fundawear, vibrating underwear that transmits touch over the Internet for couples who are apart from each other. A awkwardly fun product, it’s not what people typically think of when they talk about wearable technology. Too many designers focus on the wrist, Whitehouse says, and have missed something really important about smart clothing; designing for intimacy, entertainment and other areas usually disconnected from the wearable tech conversation.

People don’t want to look or feel like a computer, Whitehouse claims, so she works very hard to make the technology invisible. While adhering to the ‘Less, but better’ design philosophy of Dieter Rams, she spoke about adding ‘complexity and irreverence’ when she creates clothing with purpose; People are complex and are ultimately the subject of her designs, and irreverent products are fun and will always attract attention.

The Alert Shirt is an example of this ethos. Shown in the video below, it transmits the excitement and even impacts occurring on the field of play to the wearer, letting them feel a literal rumble on their chest or bump when a player gets tackled.

All her work is focused around giving purpose to what we wear. To that effect she introduced New York Navigate before the PSFK audience, a GPS jacket that nudges the wearer to direct them left or right. This city-specific jacket gives the wearer the ability to walk around a city unimpeded by a map or app.

Wearable Experiments // @BillieWhouse 

Click here to get updates on future PSFK conferences and salons.

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Hitchbot Has Arrived In Victoria, Officially Finishing Its Trek Across Canada

This just in, folks: yesterday, three weeks after setting out from Halifax, Nova Scotia; Hitchbot arrived in Victoria, BC – miraculously unscathed, though it certainly did have a few close calls along the way.

Hitchbot was developed by a coalition of scientists from several Canadian universities; designed as an experiment in robot-human interaction. Equipped with GPS and the capacity to strike up a conversation with any strangers it might encounter, the robot was sent from Halifax on July 26, with the Open Art Space Center in Victoria as its final destination – a journey of 6,200 kilometers. Hitchbox was also equipped with the ability to make posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, updating anyone who’d care to listen on its location. 

“Usually we are concerned with whether or not we can trust robots,” explained Dr. Frauke Zeller, one of the professors who designed Hitchbot. “This project asks if robots can trust human beings.”

Apparently, the answer is yes – at least in Canada. See, the thing about Hitchbot is that it’s completely helpless; it relied entirely on its charms to make its way across the country. Along the way, it crashed a wedding, attended a powwow, and even did the Harlem Shake. In the process, it seems to have captured the hearts of Canadians everywhere – it has thousands of new friends, followers, and fans on social media since completing its trek.

“We’re elated,” said co-creator David Smith. “It’s been really great fun and to me it seems like it’s brought people together in a really interesting way.” 

To thank all its fans, followers, and friend, Hitchbot will be hosting a finale event this Thursday from 7-9:30 PM PDT at the Open Space Arts Society in Victoria. There’s no word yet on what it’ll be doing after that – presumably retiring to a quiet corner to catch up with all the interesting people it met along the way. Who knows? Maybe there’s an even longer trip in the robot’s future – perhaps a cross-continental one? 

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. The results of the Hitchbot experiment seem quite clear at this point: robots and humans can get along just fine, especially when social media is involved. Hey, maybe technology really does bring people closer together. 



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Licensed images made free-to-use through embedded attribution

Back in 2012, stock and news photography agency Getty Images embarked on the Watermark Project, which redesigned the way it protected images from being used illegitimately and added a shortlink to make them more useful. Now, it’s investing in a new service called IMGembed, which provides an easy and free way for anyone to use a licensed image on their site through HTML embedding, while ensuring creators get credited.

For a while now the web has posed a difficult dilemma for content creators — how can they take advantage of the exposure of online sharing while also being able to make money from their product? In the case of photography, it’s usually as easy as a right click to own a version of an image found on the web, whether it’s copyrighted or not. This is the reason that Getty has now handed over a part of its collection to IMGembed, where users can choose between free or paid premium use.

Much like video and widget embedding, the service gives users a code to insert into their blog posts or Twitter and Tumblr updates that automatically loads the image along with an attribution bar along the bottom. Site owners don’t need to host the images, while companies such as Getty get more control over their content. The free service is good for those who will see lower than 10,000 impressions on their post, and only need image widths of 900px or less. The premium service gives users full usage control, unlimited impressions, up to 2000px image widths and takes away the attribution bar.

Below is an example of what an embedded photo from the service looks like:

Whether embedding is the right route to go down given the way that it can lead holes in blog posts when the original content gets taken down or licenses get changed will remain to be seen. However, IMGembed gives web users a legal and ethically sound way to use decent quality, watermark-free images without cost, while ensuring creators get proper attribution that can lead to revenue opportunities. Are there other ways to benefit both creators and consumers when it comes to digital content?


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