Author Archives: Navin Maharaj

Curious Displays Populates Your Home With Hundreds of Tiny, Autonomous Displays

Curious Displays functions simultaneously as a form of design research and as a proposal for a new product, a future display technology.

The project explores our relationship with devices and technology by examining the multi-dimensionality of communication and the complexity of social behavior and interaction. In its essence, the project functions as a piece of design fiction, considering the fluctuating nature of our present engagement with media technology and providing futurist imaginings of other ways of being.

Curious Displays is a product proposal for a new platform for display technology. Instead of a fixed form factor screen, the display surface is instead broken up into hundreds of ½ inch display blocks. Each block operates independently as a self-contained unit, and has full mobility, allowing movement across any physical surface. The blocks operate independently of one another, but are aware of the position and role relative to the rest of the system. With this awareness, the blocks are able to coordinate with the other blocks to reconfigure their positioning to form larger display surfaces and forms depending on purpose and function. In this way, the blocks become a physical embodiment of digital media, and act as a vehicle for the physical manifestation of what typically exists only in the virtual space of the screen.
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Industrial-Strength Fungus

At an organic farm just outside Monterey, Calif., a super-eco building material is growing in dozens of darkened shipping containers. The farm is named Far West Fungi, and its rusting containers are full of all sorts of mushrooms–shiitake, reishi and pom-pom, to name a few. But Philip Ross, an artist, an inventor and a seriously obsessed amateur mycologist, isn’t interested in the fancy caps we like to eat. What he’s after are the fungi’s thin, white rootlike fibers. Underground, they form a vast network called a mycelium. Far West Fungi’s dirt-free hothouses pack in each mycelium so densely that it forms a mass of bright white spongy matter.

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Egg Shower

The proteins in an egg can do wonders for your skin, but how about taking a shower in one? I’m talking about the egg-shaped shaped Cocoon Shower Stall that literally cocoons you once you shut all the glass slides. The usual spa features seen in such kinda stalls are included, but to spell them out: shower, bathtub, hydro massage (Jacuzzi) & mood lighting are there. The rain-showerhead is plum in the center of the ceiling, but I’d much rather use this for the hydra therapies!

Designer: Arina Komarova

Roca Cocoon Shower Stall by Arina Komarova

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House Within a Greenhouse: Your Own Private Bio-Dome

The Naturhus is a design concept that creates an energy efficient micro environment by placing a smaller house inside of a greenhouse. For colder climates this creates a way to extend the benefits of warm weather into the cold months. The green house keeps the interior temperature comfortable and also lets residents grow a variety of plants that couldn’t usually survive the Swedish seasons. This plus a combination of wood burning ovens and a hot water masonry heater keep the electric bill about 50% less than a traditional home.

Swedish architect Bengt Warne originally built his Naturhus in 1976 to work with the cooler Scandinavian climate. Since then, two other Swedish families have made their own versions of this enclosed micro-environment.