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Monday July 7 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design

Ghosts. They’ve been objects of fascination for centuries. We’ve got so many names for them: spectre, phantom, spook, poltergeist or ghoul.

We’ve also tried many ways to communicate with them: ouija boards, seances, scrying, mirror gazing or using electronic gadgets like infra-red/UV/thermal cameras and electromagnetic field meters.

While not as scary or exciting as the supernatural, there is another invisible presence lurking all around us: our wireless networks.

They invade our homes, offices and coffee shops but are invisible to the naked eye – until now. The Digital Ethereal project uses the same tools as ghosthunters to make wireless networks not just visible but appear almost ghost-like.

Monday June 30 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design

We’ve all probably had a eureka moment in our lifetimes. It could be a crazy invention, an original plot for a film, a new religion or a start-up idea.

But soon, we’re brought down to earth by friends, family, colleagues and bosses who can immediately see the flaws and limitations in our brilliant idea.

But what if we were given the resources to make our ideas reality and perhaps change people’s lives?

Welcome to the world of the concept car designer. They get to create the cars of their dreams, show it off to the world and maybe even see them on the roads some day.

Monday June 23 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design - A Little Levity

If music is a means of self-expression, then drums are the means of expressing ourselves to a lot of people.

Drums are a primal instrument whose beat connects us to the beginning of human civilisation much in the same way as fire does.

But somewhere along the line, the simple animal-skin drum morphed into the modern drum kit, which is actually a complicated ensemble of different instruments.

Monday June 9 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design

Real life can be boring sometimes. However, dreams, fantasies and even nightmares can add excitement without putting us (or others) in danger.

Animation can also break the boundaries of reality and make the unreal seem real to the viewer, for a few hours anyway.

Today, computer animation is used in most blockbuster movies to bring dinosaurs to life, transform actors into superheroes, and safely engineer the large-scale destruction of famous cities.

But London-based design and animation agencies DBLG and Blue Zoo have turned animation on its head by attempting to make real objects appear unreal.

Their stop motion animation called ‘Bears on Stairs’ is so seamless that it is difficult to believe it is not a digital production, but is actually made up of real objects that you can touch.

Monday June 2 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design - Horology

Science has given us great power over the natural world but at the same time also exposed our limitations when it comes to the laws of nature.

Biology dictates that we cannot live forever, chemistry says we cannot turn lead into gold and the laws of physics state that perpetual motion is impossible.

Apparently Norwegian artist Reidar Finsrud hasn’t received the memo. He claims to have created a perpetual motion sculpture that defies the laws of physics and could one day provide us with free energy.

Monday May 26 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design

Music is the inspiration behind many style subcultures like mods, hippies, punks and rockabilly. But lately, musical influences in fashion have been stripped of their original meaning and used as pure marketing devices. 

How exactly are you still able to express an alternative taste in music when mainstream pop singer Miley Cyrus is seen wearing a an Iron Maiden top, or boy band member Harry Styles is spotted sporting a Ramones t-shirts?

The answer might lie in smart fabrics such as Chromosonic.

Monday May 19 2014 / Science & Technology

Routine can make us feel comfortable. They help us avoid stress and shield us from unexpected or unwanted experiences.

Taking the same reliable route to work, grabbing a coffee from a favourite café, dining at tried-and-tested restaurants and hanging out with a trusted group of friends make most of us feel safe and happy.

But what if you suddenly have the urge to get out of your comfort zone without wanting to give up the reassuring comfort provided by routines? The answer to your dilemma could be hidden in your shoes…

Monday May 5 2014 / Science & Technology

Nothing exemplifies the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” than social insects like ants, termites, bees and wasps.

While a single ant is not an impressive creature, collectively the ant colony can perform complex building tasks that seem beyond the ability of even humans.

With this principle in mind, researchers at non-profit, independent research centre SRI International have developed a new generation of micro-robots that replicate the teamwork of social insects to build objects.

Monday April 28 2014 / Art & Design

Growing up, many of us have plastered the walls of our childhood room with posters of cars and motorbikes. We’d spend hours just gazing at them and dream of one day racing them at speed.

But what if the mean machines in those posters were not really machines at all?

Strange things can happen when you cross creative contortionists, body painting art and cool motorbike design…