Space Origami: NASA’s Foldable Solar Array

When sending things into space, cargo is limited and costs are high. That’s why Brigham Young University researchers and NASA are using origami to develop ways of making solar arrays more compact. The current design allows the array to expand from 9 ft. to a whopping 80 ft. in diameter once it’s deployed in outer space. The array is expected to generate 150 kW of power, a significant increase over the 84 kW currently produced by the International Space Station. The absence of sliding parts in the solar array also decreases the likelihood of malfunction since scientists would only need to launch, deploy and monitor a single system.  


Sean Flanigan
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Self-Powered: Speculating the Future of Energy-Harvesting Wearables

Taking a cue from both our current obsession with wearables and an increasing anxiety about the future of energy, industrial designer Naomi Kizhner imagined devices that would harvest energy from our own bodies. For her final project, Energy Addicts, at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Academic College Kizhner created a theoretical line of wearables that would store the energy produced by blinks, blood flow, and synaptic pulses from the brain. A video shows how these devices might be used in a fictive, vaguely apocalyptic near future. In one scene, a woman puffs vigorously on a cigarette to raise her blood pressure as a wrist-mounted gadget containing a hydraulic turbine of gold—one of the best conductors—powers what appears to be a ubiquitous energy grid. “I wanted the project to provoke a debate,” Kizhner says. “Technically, there are developments today that can make these devices real, but theoretically speaking, I don’t know if we’re willing to sacrifice our bodies this way to make energy. It kind of dehumanizes us—it uses the body as a vessel.” On the other hand, the notion that we might all contribute—literally and viscerally—to our global energy store appears as a powerful and moving alternative to our current state, in which those who reap the benefits of energy are often not those tasked with creating it. 


Your moment of Zen, Hengki Koentjoro

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Inside Mexico City’s National Palace by Francisco Diez on Flickr.
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The Tartar Tent, the Gothic Church, Temple to the God Pan, the Ruined column and the Pyramid all reside in the abandoned French garden ‘Desert de Retz’. Source.


Your moment of Zen, Jaka Bulc

Canvas  by  andbamnan