The Weekend Series: five things we are vibing on in July
We are officially half way through 2017. It’s true. Before you all start hyperventilating at that thought, allow us to try and calm your mid-year panic. Although the year is progressing at a fast clip, there’s a lot of great stuff happening. We are really vibing on some killer ideas popping up around the world, including interactive wild food explorations, Wu Tang Clan booze, green cities and more.
It’s no secret that most restaurants are getting on board the paddock-to-plate movement, promoting the consumption of the freshest local ingredients instead of imported fare. A new app is looking to cut out the middle man by giving people the tools to forage from their own landscape and cook their haul with provided recipes. Vild Mad – Danish for wild food – is a resource designed to provide knowledge sourced from foragers and chefs to encourage users to get outdoors, identify what’s edible, harvest sustainably and cook their find. Vild Mad been created by noma’s head chef René Redzepi and his non-profit organisation MAD, which looks to bring together the global cooking community and infuse it with a sustainable conscience and galvanise the creative potential of food.
Image: Vild Mad
Liuzhou Forest City
The fight against pollution is only getting more intense, with drastic measures becoming necessary to prevent more permanent damage to our ecosystems. China is taking a proactive step towards sustainability and sound environmental practices with a whole new city that has been designed to actively fight air pollution. Liuzhou Forest City – designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti – is currently under construction, showcasing an innovative masterplan what will look to cover all buildings with plants and trees. The new city will look to house 30,000 residents, boasts 40,000 trees and one million plants that will absorb 10,000 tons of CO2 and 57 tons of pollutants while also producing roughly 900 tons of oxygen. The Liuzhou Forest City will be connected by a fast rail line used by electric cars, and will utilise geothermal energy for interior air conditioning and solar panels for collecting renewable energy.
Image: Stefano Boeri Architetti
The idea of a robot-operated bar is probably a double-edged sword. On one hand, die-hard futurists and tech heads will probably get a kick out the idea, while hospitality veterans and skilled mixologists might have a few choice words about the concept. Regardless of whether you are for or against robotic bars, one already exists. The droids you are looking for can be found at the Tipsy Robot, a bar in Las Vegas that boasts two robots that have been programmed to create an almost limitless number of cocktails and mocktails. Both robotic arms mimic the actions of a real bartender, capable of shaking a martini to cutting fruit and more. Patrons can order from a set list of house cocktails or can order one of their own design, then watch in fascination as the robots get to work, prepping and completing an order in 90 seconds. The future is approaching faster than we can anticipate, but we for one welcome our robotic, cocktail-making overlords.
It can be a real struggle working up motivation to get to the gym, especially in winter. One enterprising graduate from the Royal College of Art is tackling the problem in an interesting way by upping the stakes and introducing consequences for inactivity. For his graduate exhibition, budding designer Jen-Hsien Chiu created Phabit – a product that aims to foster good habits and avoid bad ones with a system of tailored suggestions supported by a physical and digital component. First is the application, where users enter information to ascertain their habits and personality type, then the application uses geofencing data (and also uses information from the iPhone’s health app) to tell if a user is spending too much time being idle. If you are being to lethargic, then the second component comes into play – a tube device containing a plant, which is only given sun and water if you keep up your good habits, otherwise it shrivels and dies. It might seem like an extreme way to get motivated, but watching a plant thrive as you do is an interesting prospect.
Nintendo Classic Mini
If you grew up in the heady days of 1992, there’s a high chance that you encountered the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Perhaps you were lucky enough to have one of your own, or maybe you gathered at your friend’s house nightly to play – for many this gaming system was a childhood staple. Nintendo announced one heck of a nostalgia trip when it announced the forthcoming release of the Nintendo Classic Mini – a compact console reminiscent of the original that will come packaged with 21 classic pre-installed games from the SNES era that can be played on high-definition TV. We’re talking iconic titles such as Star Fox, Secret of Mana, EarthBound, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby’s Dream Course and more. If you are keen to experience some quintessential 90s gaming, look for the Nintendo Classic Mini when it gets released Down Under on Saturday September 30.