HUMAN BY WONDERLAND #3
A newsletter about design and creativity, and how they contribute to a better world.
Hi, we’re WONDERLAND, an experience design agency based in Amsterdam, and LA. Welcome to the 3rd edition of HUMAN, a newsletter about how design & creativity can contribute to a better world. We’ll try to make this one of the best emails you get every few weeks or so. Enjoy!
A Colourful Workplace
Written by our talented designer & developer My Kim Bui, our latest thought leadership article - A Colourful Workplace - explores the importance of diversity and inclusivity from a first-person perspective. My Kim draws on her own experiences, as well as those of our front-end developer Jose Morel, to show the importance of having people from different cultures and backgrounds in the working environment, and why all businesses should strive to cultivate a ‘colourful workplace.’
From the teams
Things that made us double take:
LEGO’s new ‘Everyone is Awesome’ set celebrates love and inclusivity, showing the company’s support of the LGBTQ+ community. The set’s designer, Matthew Ashton stated that he ‘wanted to create a model that symbolises inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love.”
Project Milestone drew attention from across Europe, and the world, as a Dutch couple moved into Europe’s first legally habitable 3D-printed home.
Pandora, the world’s largest jeweller, is ditching natural diamonds completely in favour of their lab-grown counterparts. The shift was inspired by the need to more closely align with Millennial spending habits, as well as environmental and ethical concerns around the natural diamond trade.
With design not dissimilar to a cheese grater, the new half-a-million-square-foot Science and Engineering building at Harvard University uses 14,000 precisely shaped steel grates to reduce its carbon emissions by an estimated 42%.
Swedish electric motorbike manufacturer CAKE and the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) have partnered to produce an electric motorbike specifically for anti-poaching operations. The Kalk Anti Poaching Bike has been developed and modified to support rangers working in the back country of Africa, where petrol is limited, and the noise from gas-powered bikes can alert poachers to their presence.
A new study out of Australia has found that if 21 surveyed airports were to install solar panels on their buildings and open land, they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 152 kilotons a year. That’s the equivalent of removing 71,000 cars from the road.
Stylophora pistillata is the scientific name given to the evolutionary fluke that might be the key to saving coral reefs around the world. Found in the Gulf of Aqaba, this coral can withstand temperature changes of up to 5 degrees, making it unusually resistant to rising sea temperatures.
Is buying a piece of virtual art better for the environment? Can we approach the buying and selling of virtual products in the same way we approach physical objects? J.B. Mackinnon explores these questions, our approach to consumerism, and our evolving digital habits in his latest article for The Walrus.
Caught our attention: Cities of the Future
It’s no secret that the ways our cities have developed or been built over the past decades have had large and varied impacts on the world around us. Now, as we move into a new era of environmental awareness and focus, and the threats of climate change loom ever closer, we’re seeing innovative approaches to city and urban planning become increasingly prevalent.
One of the more creative examples we’ve seen recently is Toyota’s Woven City prototype, which has been designed - in part - as a response to the evolution of the the automotive industry. Toyota designed their prototype Woven City in preparation for a driverless future, one that we’re inching ever closer to as autonomous technology continues to develop.
Situated to the South of Tokyo, at the base of Mount Fuji, Toyota has broken ground on their Woven City this past February. To bring their vision to life, Toyota has partnered with Japanese petroleum firm ENEOS to develop and build a hydrogen fuel cell system that will provide power to their city of the future.
Toyota plans to launch the city with a population of 2,000 and then grow it over time, however they have already had over 3,000 applications from people looking to make the Woven City their new home.
As important as changes to city planning are, so too is our approach to suburban living. As our cities grow so to do our suburbs, and as we look towards a greener future for our cities, we need to also explore one that can replace suburban sprawl.
Copenhagen-based EFFEKT has partnered with a municipality in Denmark to design and build a residential area that will join “human and natural habitats in a symbiotic system”. EFFEKT aims to create a case study that can be shared globally and inspire a new generation of sustainable and symbiotic housing the world over.
In the not to distant future, a bare field in Middelfart will become the location of Naturbyen (Nature Village), a new forest-neighbourhood district that will house clusters of small communities that fit into their environment, rather than replacing it, and hero biodiversity, sustainability, and the sharing of resources.
Once completed, Naturbyen will be home to 220 homes, offering an alternative to the traditional vision of suburban living. The 220 homes will be arranged into small clusters of 15 and 20, each built around a shared courtyard that will inspire socialisation and interactivity between residents. Each home will have smaller, private terraces out the back that will be surrounded by trees and greenery, keeping the residents in touch with nature, rather than apart from it.
As with all elements of our lives, we need to emphasise innovation and creativity in how we solve problems, and use clever design to bring it together into something that is both functional, and desirable. Both Toyota’s Woven City and EFFEKT’s Naturbyen do just this, creating a vision of the future that builds on the old to inspire the new.
If you've enjoyed HUMAN so far, feel free to share it along with a friend or colleague! We’re always happy to welcome new readers, and they can sign up for themselves here. If we’ve left you wanting more WONDERLAND, you can check out our latest work here. We do our best to update it regularly!
Thanks for reading,