Sustainable Art

thelivinghyfi02_v2bEach summer, the MoMA PS1 outdoor exhibition space in Long Island City, N.Y.,  displays a unique work from an up-and-coming architect who is ready to break onto the scene. This year’s creation is “Hy-Fi,” three spiraling towers that use special materials to emit as little energy, waste and carbon emissions as possible.

The “bio installation” was the brainchild of David Benjamin, principal of New York-based firm The Living, which also won the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s 15th annual Young Architects Program.

Hy-Fi lords over the courtyard and is an architectural marvel. Made from corn stalks and living root structures, compostable Ecovative bricks comprise the bulk of the towers. Continue reading →

The Future Is Here, Courtesy of Retail

I’m pretty sure we just entered the future. You know, the future we’ve been seeing in movies (i.e. The Matrix, Cloud Atlas, etc.) for years. A future where we just have a small device that scans codes and then what we want magically appears.

Yes, that future.

And it’s here now.

Walmart and Mattel recently teamed up to create a 17-mile underground walkway in Toronto that is also a virtual toy store. This way, commuters can walk through while using their smartphones to scan QR codes for the toys they want to buy little Johnny or Susie for Christmas. From there, Walmart ships said toys to their residence—for free. Continue reading →

Get the Skinny On What’s Cool

I was cool once. It was 1994 and I had just scored a pair of indigo blue acid wash jeans, skinny style with little zippers at the ankle. I paired it with a white Guess T-shirt and walked into Tillamook High School feeling…well, cool.

Shortly after, my coolness completely disintegrated, but I’ll never forget my one moment of glory.

And while you might suspect that what constitutes cool is relative, the folks at InSites Consulting may like, oh my god, totally disagree with you.

Recently, they ran a global survey on the coolest brands, people and cities in the world. Not surprisingly, they received solid results. Continue reading →

Social Media is a Retail Blessing

If you aren’t spending some (or the majority) of your day on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, you may not be part of the living in 2012. Rampant social media usage continues to soar, while most of us (myself especially) bemoan its inevitable power on our day-to-day lives.

Why, oh why, must I check Facebook randomly throughout the day to see who just got their hair cut, who bought a new pet and whose baby looks adorable running through a sprinkler?

Even I don’t have the answers to these questions.

Retailers, on the other hand, have every reason to celebrate the rise of social media and can just tell me to be quiet. Continue reading →

From High Tech to Low Tech

So far this summer, I’ve ruined my favorite layout blanket (a man with a leaky lamb gyro spilled sauce all over it during Fourth of July), lost two water bottles and an umbrella (we had some June rain storms), and had my tube of lip gloss explode in my hot car.

All things considered, it could have been a lot worse.

I could have dropped my Verizon smartphone in a pool, the ocean or a river (I’m knocking on wood as I type this).

Fortunately, I’m not the only one who tends to ruin gear during the busy summer months. Consumer Reports (CR) actually created an entire report about how to protect gadgets from falling prey to damage or—god forbid—destruction. Continue reading →