fevereiro 4, 2023

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CUSTOM BUGATTI RV AND OTHER CONCEPTS SHOW WHAT THE SUPERCAR’S DNA WOULD LOOK LIKE ACROSS CATEGORIES

Personally, Bugatti has the most distinctly beautiful product DNA. I remember seeing the Veyron for the first time and falling instantly in love… a feeling that’s somehow sustained across a whole variety of models even up to the Mistral which debuted just last year. There’s something absolutely captivating about its design, its proportions, and its eclectic use of curves and edgy lines. However, Bugatti’s never really gone beyond the hypercar realm… which makes me wonder, what if the French automotive company made more than just hypercars? Would that DNA work well across different automotive categories? An account that goes by the name FLYBYARTIST shared these stellar AI-generated images of what Bugatti automobiles would look like in different avatars, and to be absolutely honest, it absolutely confirms my hunch. There’s something truly spectacular about the car’s visual language, and even translating it to an ATV, RV, or van doesn’t diminish its appeal. If anything, I’ll say I like it even more!

Designer: FLYBYARTIST

The Bugatti ATV just feels like something that a custom automobile maker absolutely needs to create. The image above (and the one further above it) show what a Bugatti all-terrain vehicle would look like, and it feels as if Mad Max were just a tad bit posh. Sure, you make some sacrifices with AI-generated images (symmetry is often the first of those), but these renders look absolutely bonkers. You’ve got a car that’s unapologetically Bugatti, featuring all the classics like the horseshoe grill and even the C-shaped pillar, but with larger tires, a reinforced chassis, and what look like monstrous air intakes right below the headlights. The first image is bordering into monster truck territory, but its ground clearance puts it firmly in the ATV camp.

The next explorations we have are a little larger. Looking like RVs but made for an apocalyptic desert-city, these ones aren’t to be messed with. The image above is perhaps the most well-rendered, with a fair bit of symmetry. The AI also grasps design concepts like the C-shaped cutout near the red panel at the back, and those Chiron headlights definitely look like they belong. The RV below feels like a signature AI image. It lacks symmetry around the headlights, but the vehicle itself is rather remarkable. It’s more spacious, feeling almost like a semi-truck, although that door looks a little too high-placed for my liking.

Next we’ve got a Bugatti van. What would it even be used for? Cops or paramilitary, perhaps. Although my gut instinct is to think of it as a luxury UPS-style delivery van, there’s no way I’d expect the rear of that vehicle to store something as benign as carton boxes. Bugattis are domination machines, and there’s nothing dominating about a cardboard box. I’d rather see a crew of law enforcers with riot gear sitting inside.

Not all vehicles need to be trucks and RVs, some of them can be good old hypercars too! This one feels like a modern classic that combines the Bolide, Divo, and Chiron together. The one below amps things up a little more by playing with form and aerodynamics, but it makes tradeoffs in the symmetry department.


Our last two explorations look at edge-cases. On the top, you’ve got a logistical truck, designed for carrying cargo, while the lower image feels like some sort of tourism vehicle with exposed sides that allow passengers to look at the city around them. The cargo truck is a heavy-set vehicle with dual rear wheels for carrying maximum load, and an armor-like design that feels like it could cut through obstacles like a knife through butter. The lower exploration, on the flipside, creates a more luxurious ambiance. Glossy black paint job, golden trims, a liberal use of red for the interiors, giving the passengers a literal red carpet treatment… this is just the kind of vehicle you’d find in a Saudi prince’s home, escorting guests from one wing of the palace to the other!

Check out more of FLYBYARTIST’s work on his Instagram.




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CUSTOM BUGATTI RV AND OTHER CONCEPTS SHOW WHAT THE SUPERCAR’S DNA WOULD LOOK LIKE ACROSS CATEGORIES

Personally, Bugatti has the most distinctly beautiful product DNA. I remember seeing the Veyron for the first time and falling instantly in love… a feeling that’s somehow sustained across a whole variety of models even up to the Mistral which debuted just last year. There’s something absolutely captivating about its design, its proportions, and its eclectic use of curves and edgy lines. However, Bugatti’s never really gone beyond the hypercar realm… which makes me wonder, what if the French automotive company made more than just hypercars? Would that DNA work well across different automotive categories? An account that goes by the name FLYBYARTIST shared these stellar AI-generated images of what Bugatti automobiles would look like in different avatars, and to be absolutely honest, it absolutely confirms my hunch. There’s something truly spectacular about the car’s visual language, and even translating it to an ATV, RV, or van doesn’t diminish its appeal. If anything, I’ll say I like it even more!

Designer: FLYBYARTIST

The Bugatti ATV just feels like something that a custom automobile maker absolutely needs to create. The image above (and the one further above it) show what a Bugatti all-terrain vehicle would look like, and it feels as if Mad Max were just a tad bit posh. Sure, you make some sacrifices with AI-generated images (symmetry is often the first of those), but these renders look absolutely bonkers. You’ve got a car that’s unapologetically Bugatti, featuring all the classics like the horseshoe grill and even the C-shaped pillar, but with larger tires, a reinforced chassis, and what look like monstrous air intakes right below the headlights. The first image is bordering into monster truck territory, but its ground clearance puts it firmly in the ATV camp.

The next explorations we have are a little larger. Looking like RVs but made for an apocalyptic desert-city, these ones aren’t to be messed with. The image above is perhaps the most well-rendered, with a fair bit of symmetry. The AI also grasps design concepts like the C-shaped cutout near the red panel at the back, and those Chiron headlights definitely look like they belong. The RV below feels like a signature AI image. It lacks symmetry around the headlights, but the vehicle itself is rather remarkable. It’s more spacious, feeling almost like a semi-truck, although that door looks a little too high-placed for my liking.

Next we’ve got a Bugatti van. What would it even be used for? Cops or paramilitary, perhaps. Although my gut instinct is to think of it as a luxury UPS-style delivery van, there’s no way I’d expect the rear of that vehicle to store something as benign as carton boxes. Bugattis are domination machines, and there’s nothing dominating about a cardboard box. I’d rather see a crew of law enforcers with riot gear sitting inside.

Not all vehicles need to be trucks and RVs, some of them can be good old hypercars too! This one feels like a modern classic that combines the Bolide, Divo, and Chiron together. The one below amps things up a little more by playing with form and aerodynamics, but it makes tradeoffs in the symmetry department.


Our last two explorations look at edge-cases. On the top, you’ve got a logistical truck, designed for carrying cargo, while the lower image feels like some sort of tourism vehicle with exposed sides that allow passengers to look at the city around them. The cargo truck is a heavy-set vehicle with dual rear wheels for carrying maximum load, and an armor-like design that feels like it could cut through obstacles like a knife through butter. The lower exploration, on the flipside, creates a more luxurious ambiance. Glossy black paint job, golden trims, a liberal use of red for the interiors, giving the passengers a literal red carpet treatment… this is just the kind of vehicle you’d find in a Saudi prince’s home, escorting guests from one wing of the palace to the other!

Check out more of FLYBYARTIST’s work on his Instagram.




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THE TOKYO TOILET’S NEWEST INSTALLATION BRINGS A PIXELATED LIGHT SHOW

The Tokyo Toilet is an interesting project that launched back in Shibuya, aiming to create 17 different functional installations all over the city. They wanted to turn public toilets into unique facilities and experiences and they involved some of the most renowned architects and designers to take part. There have been some pretty remarkable things launched already including the all-glass see-through ones at the Yoyogi Fukamachi Minipark and Haru no Ogawa Community Park and the octopus or squid-looking one at the Ebisu East Park.

Designer: Tomohito Ushiro

The latest one to be launched for The Tokyo Toilet is located in Hiroo Higashi Park, a space in a residential area in Shibuya. What makes this public restroom interesting is that at night, you get to see a light show on its exterior. In fact, he programmed 7.9 billion different lighting patterns, representing the current estimated population. So this means each person can see different “shows” and they will not see the same pattern at all, representing the fact that we are the same and yet different.


The design of the structure itself looks like the restrooms in public swimming pools with its clean interior fixtures and a combination of white and steel colors for its exteriors. At the back, you see a glass exterior that houses the light panel. The real show begins once it’s dark enough and we start seeing the lighting patterns through its pixelated glow. He was inspired by the nature and greenery that surrounds the park, like the light that filters through the trees or the moon’s reflection at night.

During the day, the public toilet looks like a simple, minimalist restroom. It has two universal toilets inside that have an ostomate-friendly system and a diaper-changing station. Aside from actually using the restroom, the art installation feel at dusk or evening will be the thing that you’d want to see if ever you’re in the area. It will probably look weird for you to stand outside a public toilet but there will probably be other weirdos there with you looking at the light show.



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TWS EARBUD CASES WITH BUILT-IN DISPLAYS ARE THE NEW IPODS OF THE FUTURE…

After JBL debuted the Tour Pro 2 at IFA 2022, it seems like TWS earbuds with displays on their case are the next tech trend. The newly announced Voyager Free 60+ from Poly bucks the trend, with a touchscreen display built into it that lets you configure and control your listening experience, including being able to mute your mic. In true iPod fashion, the screen also lets you navigate podcasts and playlists while displaying the album art and info of currently-playing content.

Designer: Poly (HP)

The inclusion of a display seems like the natural course of progression for the TWS earbud. The iPod Shuffle was never really the more popular in the iPod series, but the Nano and Touch definitely held their own. The same would hold true for the TWS earbud moving forward. A screen helps you navigate content without taking your phone out. You can access features like playback controls, ANC, and mute features with the touchscreen display, while it constantly gives you information like song name, album art, and more actionable data like battery level. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes… although nothing’s really official till Apple does it.!

Even though both the JBL Tour Pro 2 and Poly Voyager Free 60+ have displays built into their cases, they differ primarily in their target audience. While the former is made for music, the latter focuses on connectivity and work. Given that Poly is now a subsidiary of HP, the TWS earbuds are targeted at the WFH crowd, offering productivity and connectivity, while still being a pretty darned good pair of TWS earbuds for music, podcast-listening, etc.

Dubbed as TWS Earbuds for Work and Life, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ comes equipped with ANC and a three-mic array to help cut noise on both the outgoing and receiving end. Touch-sensitive surfaces on the earbuds themselves, along with the touch display on the case let you mute calls, adjust volume, connect to external sources, and switch devices without dropping a call or what you’re doing. The touchscreen on the case presents you with information and lets you intuitively control your playback experience, and the earbuds are certified to work with all the latest meeting platforms, keeping even your IT department happy.

The Voyager Free 60+ lets you connect to two devices simultaneously, and alternate between them at will. The touchscreen charge case also includes a 3.5mm audio port, letting connect an external source to your buds, like an inflight entertainment system, and enjoy the movie without wires. The case doubles up as a Bluetooth transmitter, eliminating the need for a dongle or any other external device.

Each Poly Voyager Free 60+ ships with the touchscreen case, charging and aux cables, a USB transmitter (for your desktop), and swappable eartips for ergonomic comfort. The earbuds aren’t available yet, although the expected price is $299.


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NATIVE UNION’S IPHONE 14 CASE COMES WITH A LEATHER BUILD AND A COMPANION MAGSAFE WALLET

Costing roughly as much as Apple’s own cases, these bad boys from Native Union and Maison Kitsuné come crafted from premium Italian leather. They’re perfectly made for your iPhone 14, are designed with drop-protection and lips around your screen and camera bump, and the case has its own set of magnets to reinforce the attachment of its companion MagSafe wallet, which holds two cards. Apple made the MagSafe Wallet, Native Union just brought better craftsmanship to it.

Designer: Maison Kitsuné x Native Union

The Native Union Profile Fox cases feature a premium leather construction, and both the case and the wallet are emblazoned with Maison Kitsuné’s signature fox logo. The cases and wallets are available in ‘Wine Lees’ brown and ‘Medium Blue’, and are designed to age and patina beautifully with time, creating a product that’s more unique to look at as time goes by.

The case guards your phone, protecting it from drops of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters), while the inside features a recycled microfiber lining that keeps the glass back of your phone free of scratches. Magnets within the case let you easily snap on the wallet, which holds two of your most-used cards. The interaction is reliable and strong, making it a perfect alternative to Apple’s own accessories.

Without the wallet, the Native Union Profile Fox case is still MagSafe compatible, letting you snap on your charger or even use a regular wireless charging pad with your phone. Snap the wallet on and you’ve now got yourself the ideal EDC that fits right in your pocket, giving you access to your tech and cards all in one cohesive unit.

While Apple doesn’t offer warranties on its iPhone accessories, Native Union does. The Profile Fox case and wallet come with a 2-year warranty on construction and manufacturing defects. There’s even a 14-day trial period just in case you’re a little particular about what gear you want to attach to your $1,000 smartphone (you’ve every right to be). The Native Union Profile Fox case and wallet retail for $119.99, and you can even head to the website to get a matching cover for your AirPods case or strap for your watch.


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THIS UNIQUE MOLECULAR CITY IS COMPRISED OF DIFFERENT SPHERE-SHAPED NEIGHBORHOODS WITH THEIR OWN CLIMATES

Designed as a proposed skyscraper city for Tiankeng in the Yunnan province, this molecule-inspired habitat helps boost the region’s ability to grow a variety of herbs as a way to accelerate its economy. The ‘Skyscraper City of Tiankeng’ was an entrant at last year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition.

“The unique geographical conditions of Tiankeng have formed a microclimate suitable for the growth of different herbs”, say the designers. By turning the city into a cluster of interconnected biodomes, Tiankeng presents a new agricultural model of the “herbal industry” that integrates research, production, processing, and marketing, all within each individual dome.

The molecular city has a distinct visual appeal, with multiple domes connected to each other through truss supports. This unique arrangement isn’t just for the visual aesthetic, but rather also helps create individual microclimates required for each separate herb to grow and flourish. The separate domes run their own climates, relying on the sun and oxygen as external elements, while other parameters like humidity, temperature, soil-composition are all controlled within the dome itself. The dome-city also has its own infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, recreational and cultural spaces, etc.

This architectural approach also plays well with Tiankeng’s cultural background. Located in a sinkhole within the ground, the village was developed to be inaccessible so as to avoid war and conflict from neighboring tribes/clans. This, however, had its own literal and metaphorical pitfalls. The new architectural approach considers developing the village in three dimensions instead of just on the two-dimensional land it sits on. The different spheres exist on different levels, allowing the village (now city) to rise above the ground and exist in multiple planes. This helps the city occupy more area within the same plot of land the same way adding more floors to a building increases its liveable area. The distinct advantage here, however, is that it’s also a visual and architectural marvel, with the presence of multiple spherical habitats connected to one another!

Designers: Shuzhan Liu, Siang Duan, Yimin Gao, Jingyi Li, Shiliang Wang, Daxu Wei


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ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT RAZER VIPER MINI SIGNATURE EDITION GAMING MOUSE IMPRESSES WITH A SEE-THROUGH EXOSKELETON SHELL

Razer kick-started 2023 with a slew of announcements at CES 2023 that got us excited. Yet, again they are amping up the buzz with a gaming mouse as a follow-up to the Viper V2 Pro wireless mouse which is the lightest mouse ever by the gaming brand.

Now a skeletonized gaming mouse beats it fair and square for pure looks and functionality. The innards of the mouse are clearly visible and they are also made out of premium material, keeping inline with the USP.

Designer: Razer

Razer Viper Mini Signature Edition wireless mouse made out of magnesium alloy using injection molding technology, claims to be the lightest performance gaming mouse weighting in at just 49 grams. The industry-leading features of the peripheral come at a steep price of $279.99 which will keep gamers on a budget longing for more.

The excellent strength-to-weight ratio courtesy of the unique honeycomb design, makes sure this gaming accessory doesn’t crumble or crack during intense in-game action. The fact is reassured by Razer who claim that each one of the limited-edition mouse is perfect when it comes out of the factory. Viper Mini Signature Edition employs the company’s Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor (max DPI of 30,000), HyperSpeed Wireless tech, and the Gen-3 mouse switches for satisfactory performance even for digital content editors.

Gamers will like the 70 G acceleration, 99.8% resolution accuracy, and 750 inches per second IPS for in-game advantage while in the middle of video game chaos. It comes with a HyperPolling Wireless dongle tweaked at 4000Hz polling rates and 2C charge rating for juicing up the wireless peripheral in just 90 minutes. One single charge is good enough for 60 hours of work promising an enhanced user experience sans any wire clutter.

Given the mouse is on the premium end of the spectrum, Razer provides an extra set of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 mouse feet for use on a soft mat. There are a couple of sets of adhesive mouse grips, an alternate set of PTFE feet and two alcohol prep pads whenever you need to make the swap for those adhesive feet and grips. To top it all Razer Viper Mini Signature Edition gets a 3-year warranty to cover all the shenanigans while gameplay or carefree usage.





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DANGBEI MARS PRO 4K LASER PROJECTOR REVIEW: PREMIUM EXPERIENCE IN AN AFFORDABLE PACKAGE

PROS:

  • Stylish metal chassis with black piano surfaces
  • Effective auto keystone correction, focus, and obstacle detection
  • Impressive image quality and brightness
  • Wallet-friendly price tag compared to equivalent 4K projectors

CONS:

  • Tall box design requires more vertical space allowance
  • No USB-C port
  • No Google Play Support

RATINGS:

SUSTAINABILITY / REPAIRABILITY

EDITOR’S QUOTE:

Packing high-end features in an attractive box with an alluring price tag, the Dangbei Mars Pro easily outshines its rivals in the 4K laser projector space.

While many people had cut the cord when it came to TV subscriptions, some have even completely cut out TVs from their living rooms. Of course, that doesn’t mean they no longer watch things on screens larger than their phones and laptops, just that they have chosen to embrace the more flexible and liberating setup of having a home projector instead. There are some compromises to be made, particularly when it comes to the projected image’s brightness and price. As you might expect, the better the performance, the higher the price tag. There are, however, exceptions to that rule, but it isn’t easy to spot them at a glance. The Dangbei Mars Pro easily catches your attention, though, so we took it for a test drive to check if it’s really worth more than what its price tag would seem to suggest.

Designer: Dangbei

Aesthetics

Right off the bat, you could already tell that the Dangbei Mars Pro isn’t your run-of-the-mill laser projector. Where even the most stylish of its kind come in short rectangular boxes, the Mars Pro arrives in a more cubical shape. This does mean you will have to take into account its height when setting it up, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue since it isn’t a short-throw projector. You will most likely set it up somewhere in the middle of the room, whether on a table or hanging from the ceiling.

Despite its budget price tag, the Mars Pro immediately impresses with its design and build quality. The box is mostly made from metal, with a serving of black piano glass on the top and on the front. Dangbei covers these surfaces with a plastic sheet for protection, but there are holes for the laser light and front sensors to have an unobscured path. The sides and back of the projector are littered with holes, both for ventilation and speaker output. The ports are all lined up neatly on the back for easy access, leaving no unnecessary visual breaks on other sides.

All-in-all, the Dangbei Mars Pro definitely stands up there with more expensive projectors when it comes to visual charm. The glossy surfaces and small ventilation holes give it a more refined flair compared to the typical slats and obviously plastic chassis of more expensive options. The Mars Pro already wins in this department, but, fortunately, it isn’t just a pretty face either.

Ergonomics

Unlike a mobile device or laptop, you won’t be handling projectors directly that often. In fact, you might not want to do that with the Mars Pro anyway, at least not regularly. Coming at around 10 lbs, it isn’t exactly the lightest in its group, so you’ll seldom want to carry it around the room. Its weight is also something critical to consider if you plan to hang it from the ceiling or place it on top of a tripod mount.

As mentioned, you won’t be interacting directly with the projector anyway. Aside from the ports on the back, the only other interactive element is the touch-sensitive power button on the top. This isn’t a typical push button, so there’s no need to press hard on it. The area is clearly indicated by a light halo that gives it a futuristic vibe. The center of this circle also has a sensor that detects the amount of ambient light in the room to automatically adjust the projector’s brightness.

All other controls for the projector will be done through the included remote control, which is a bit of a mixed bag. It is simple enough to use with very few buttons, though there are additional buttons for mouse mode and a quick menu on the side. The build quality, however, is so-so. While the projector is mostly made of metal and glass, its remote is a completely plastic affair. That might be for the best, considering how often you’re likely to drop it, but it does sharply contrast with the premium quality of the Mars Pro.

Performance

Where this Dangbei projector really shines, almost literally, is in its projected image. Using ALPD or Advanced Laser Phosphor Display technology, the projector boasts a brightness of 3200 ANSI lumens, which is a maximum brightness that only more expensive projectors can even promise. It also supports native 4K UHD resolution and HDR10+ as well as HLG, putting it on par with many TVs. The question is whether it can rival a 4K TV in practice. The answer is a resounding yes and then some.

The Mars Pro’s output is bright, crisp, and vibrant, especially in dark settings. Admittedly, it will struggle when there’s direct sunlight, but that’s also on par with pricier projectors. The projector supports a plethora of technologies and features that can be used for different types of content, like MEMC smoothing or even 3D, though the latter is a hit-or-miss kind of thing. It also has a Game Mode that reduces latency down to 20ms, but more discerning gamers might not be too satisfied with actual performance. Bottom line, the projector performs admirably, especially under controlled lighting, which might come as a shock if you consider how much more affordable it is compared to equivalent 4K projectors.

The premium experience doesn’t stop at image quality, though. The Dangbei Mars Pro has a couple of intelligent features that almost make it work like magic, automatically adjusting its settings depending on the situation. Autofocus is pretty much a given these days, but automatic keystone correction definitely upgrades the experience so that you don’t have to worry about the angle of the projector against a wall or screen. There’s also obstacle avoidance, where it shrinks the projected display to avoid lamps, vases, or other furniture. If it detects that there’s something directly in front of or near the lens, it will reduce the brightness to avoid hurting your eyes. All of these work automatically like magic, though you might have to do some fine-tuning if the focus or keystone is still a bit off for your tastes.

Like any projector, the Mars Pro generates heat, so it has both vents and fans to keep things cool. Cool air is sucked into the right side of the box while the hot air is pushed out from the left, something you might want to keep in mind when considering where to place the projector. Fortunately, the Mars Pro’s fans never get loud during its operation, and it definitely doesn’t overpower the built-in speakers. The only time the fans become very audible is when you turn on Auto Dust Cleaning mode, where it runs at full blast to get those particles out.

The Mars Pro boasts two 10W speakers with Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Studio Surround. That’s enough power to fill a small room, and the audio quality doesn’t get distorted even at higher volumes. While the speakers are good enough for most cases, it does lack a bit of substance that audiophiles will be looking for. Fortunately, you can remedy that by connecting your favorite sound system, but the built-in speakers will do well in a pinch.

Things get a bit less ideal when it comes to the system running on the projector, which is a very old, customized Android 9 version. The Mars Pro definitely has the hardware to run more sophisticated software with its quad-core MT9669 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage, but Dangbei opted to favor a more simplified user experience. It does have the basic apps and streaming services pre-installed, but you’ll have to scour the Internet for anything that’s not available on Dangbei’s app store. There’s no Google Play, of course, though it might be possible to install it manually. Of course, you can plug in any other content source, including a Google TV dongle, if you so wish. The only limitation in its selection of ports is USB-C, which is a little bit disappointing in this time and age.

Sustainability

The Dangbei Mars Pro projector is your typical consumer electronics product, which basically means it has your typical components that hurt the environment in the long run. It does score a little better thanks to its use of a metal chassis rather instead of plastic. There are glass parts as well, but the plastic covering on these nullifies that advantage.

In terms of longevity, Dangbei only gives a one-year warranty off the bat, but you might have options to buy additional years depending on where you’re buying it from. Laser projectors are admittedly short-lived products, even with the advertised 25,000 hours of lamp life. Sadly, they aren’t trivial to repair either, especially if the product is coming from another region of the world. Parts and services will be a big consideration for those who are a bit more conscious of how much use they want to squeeze out of a projector.

Value

If it hasn’t been that clear yet, the Dangbei Mars Pro 4K projector is right up there with other 4K projectors. The 3200 lumens brightness, intelligent correction and configuration options, and overall performance all mark it as a premium product. The kicker is that it isn’t priced like one, selling for only $1,699 (or $1,799 from Amazon).

Admittedly, that’s a large figure, but only if you take it in isolation. A “regular” 4K laser projector with the same feature set or performance easily costs almost double that amount. Conversely, projectors with that price tag often have too many compromises, especially in terms of picture quality. You’ll also have to consider that 4K UHD TVs cost just as much, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that will be able to cover the same 100-inch maximum space as this projector can.

Verdict

Choosing consumer electronics is often a case of choosing compromises, whether it’s in performance, quality, or price. Rarely will you find a gem that hits all three with very little compromise. When one does pop up, it’s not hard to understand why the Internet would be abuzz about something so rare and almost unbelievable. The Dangbei Mars Pro 4 Laser Projector is definitely one such rare creature. Not only does it deliver on its promises, it actually looks good doing so, making that price tag so much sweeter for anyone planning a TV-free entertainment setup at home.


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THIS PORTABLE POWER STATION CAN RUN YOUR HOME OR CAMPSITE ON SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY, AND IT’S THE SIZE OF A MAC PRO

Cleaner energy, lower bills, and power even during outages and emergencies. What’s not to love?!

The past few months have been rough, no matter which coast you’re located in. The east saw the polar vortex hit its shores, while California recorded the heaviest rains in decades, triggering as many as 700 landslides as a result. This has opened people up to one harsh reality. You can stock up on food, on medicines, and on other supplies. The one thing people can’t stock up on is power. Your fuel generator runs on expensive gas, emits fumes, and isn’t reliable when it comes to powering an entire home.

Designer: Gendome Design

Click Here to Buy Now: $1799 $2999 (40% off). Hurry, only 8/45 left. Raised over $200,000!

That’s when power stations come in. With their compact size, EV-grade batteries, and a multitude of ports, power stations can pretty much run anything, from your smartphone to your entire campsite. Newer models are built to run directly off solar and wind energy, and even come with smartphone apps that let you measure and manage your energy, giving you energy independence like never before.

Power 99% of Devices – The 3,072Wh Large Battery Capacity can effortlessly power up almost all heavy-duty appliances for off-grid home and RV usage as a reliable power backup source.

3000W Power Hub – Equipped with a pure sine wave inverter, the output power surges to 6000W, meaning all your devices can be charged simultaneously without any power outages.

We’ve covered our fair share of power stations over the past two years, focusing on their own unique benefits. Some have a high capacity, others are ultra-portable, and a few even support solar panels. The Gendome Home 3000 offers a combination of all of those features. With a remarkable 3,000W of power output (hence the name), the Gendome Home 3000 is built with a 3,072Wh battery capacity, powered by EV-grade LiFePO4 cells. It’s roughly the same size as a Mac Pro, and comes with wheels on its underside that let you transport it from room to room, or even to the boot of your car, so you can carry your power station on a camping trip.

The Fastest Charging Power Station – Thanks to its Fast-Gen Technology, as a home battery has the fastest charging speed on the market.

Gone are the days of power stations and generators looking like overly engineered ultra-industrial gadgets. The Gendome Home 3000 has a slick design that Steve Jobs would approve of. It ticks all the right boxes with its internals too. The power station can handle surges of up to 6,000W, can charge in 1.2 hours, and has a smartphone app to track and manage your power consumption. An LCD screen on the side of the power station also gives you a comprehensive overview of its performance, from its battery level to its input and outputs, connectivity, charging status, and the amount of time remaining before the battery drains out.

17 output ports meet broad charging needs.

As far as outlets go, the Gendome Home 3000 doesn’t cut corners. Seventeen output ports let you power practically every conceivable appliance you own, from laptops to lawnmowers. The power station has 5 AC ports on the US version (the EU and UK versions have a different layout) and 2 DC ports, 4 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports, a cigarette lighter port, an RV port, and 2 wireless charging zones that can be used simultaneously. Although having 17 ports on a power station this size is a world’s first, the Gendome Home 3000 raises the stakes by making all the USB and wireless charging ports capable of fast-charge. The USB-A ports are rated for an 18W output, while the USB-C (PD3.1) have a staggering output of 140W, allowing you to fast-charge your laptops too. Even the wireless pads have a 15W output, and that RV port is yet another world-first too, with a 360W output to power up your RV DC appliances such as fans, lights, etc.

Its 3,072Wh battery holds enough juice to power appliances as large as a refrigerator for over 13 hours, and as small as an iPhone for more than 11 days. Connect the Gendome Home 3000 directly to your mains and its uninterruptible power supply (UPS) activates in under 12 milliseconds, so you’re never left without power for even a moment.

Hook it to solar panels and/or a wind generator and the Gendome Home 3000’s built-in MPPT converter helps generate 1500W of clean energy to keep your home or campsite running.

The Gendome Home 3000 nails the basics. It’s powerful, versatile, portable, and user-friendly. Its design looks modern enough that you’d be happy keeping it out in the open instead of hiding it in your shed, and the wheels at the bottom make the Gendome Home 3000 easy to move around (it’s also relatively light at just 38 kilograms). The LiFePO4 batteries inside the power station can last for decades (offering 6,500 charge/discharge cycles at 50% capacity) with an advanced battery management system that protects it against damage, and perhaps the Gendome Home 3000’s most nifty feature – its smart app and Wi-Fi connectivity that can tap into local weather forecasts and notify you of unforeseen situations and alerts so you can be prepared in advance. The Gendome Home 3000 is currently launching on Indiegogo with a $1,799 launch special price, and comes with a 3-year warranty (with 2 years extended warranty for Indiegogo backers) and the free smartphone app along with OTA updates for both the app and power station.

Click Here to Buy Now: $1799 $2999 (40% off). Hurry, only 8/45 left. Raised over $200,000!


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JACKNIFE GAMER IS A GAMEPAD FOR YOUR PHONE THAT EASILY SLIPS INTO YOUR POCKET

Handheld gaming is hip again, even after the demise of popular devices like the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS. Of course, modern portable gaming handhelds like the Nintendo Switch and the Valve Steam Deck PC have made gamers dream once more of the ideal portable gaming system they can take with them anywhere. To some extent, that device does already exist, and it’s called a “smartphone.” While the mobile games industry has become a lucrative business in its own right, there are games that just don’t feel to be a good fit with touchscreen controls only. Game controllers for smartphones exist for that very purpose, but this gamepad takes portability very seriously by taking on a form so small that it’s only a little bit larger than your car’s keyfob.

Designer: Duncan Mao


It’s almost amusing how dedicated Android gaming devices are starting to pop up again after disappearing nearly a decade ago. After all, carrying yet another device in your pocket or bag might not appeal to those who already have a powerful Android phone or an iPhone that could run those same games without breaking a sweat. The problem, however, is that you’ll have to carry with you some form of a portable Bluetooth controller to snap onto your phone, something that is really not as convenient to bring along if you don’t carry a bag all the time.


The Jacknife Gamer is a rather innovative and cute accessory that solves that problem by shrinking the gamepad down to a 64mm x 29mm x 27mm block of plastic, something that you can easily slip into any of your pockets. It is actually made of two parts that swivel in and out of each other, with a phone holder that clamps onto your phone the same way many selfie sticks do. What makes it different from other Bluetooth gamepads, aside from its size, is that the controls sit below the phone in landscape rather than being split into left and right sides.

This design might seem odd, but it more easily supports the natural way you would hold a phone. The buttons are admittedly on the small side due to size constraints, but it’s actually impressive that it supports almost all the standard ones. There are even two bumpers on the back, though you’ll be missing out on left and right triggers, presuming you play games that require those extra controls. In most cases, that won’t be a problem for the majority of mobile games that have controller support unless you start wading into game streaming territory.


The Jacknife Gamer’s compact design makes it ideal for a brief interlude while waiting for someone or for your next schedule. It will probably feel a bit cramped for long periods of gaming, so it’s probably best for those short, unexpected moments of free time. The bigger problem is the number of mobile games that have full controller support since most presume the use of a touchscreen and only a touchscreen. A companion app that maps button presses to screen areas could help alleviate that problem, but the JKG, as it is nicknamed, just covers the basics for now.



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META WATCH V2 SURFACES ONLINE IN LEAKED PHOTOS, CONFIRMING THE SUSPECTED DUAL-CAMERA DESIGN

Although it was suspected that Meta had axed all plans to make their wearable around 8 months ago, new photos show that the watch’s design has now entered a more advanced stage, suggesting a fleshed-out V2 that’s probably inching closer to a finished product. Revealed by Twitter user Kuba Wojciechowski, this new iteration confirms all our previous suggestions, including a detachable module featuring a watch face on the front with a notch and a front-facing camera, and a secondary, larger camera at the back that lets people record POV videos and BeReal-style picture-in-picture content.

Image Credits: Kuba Wojciechowski

The images show a rounded-square-shaped device running a watch face, with a pretty sizeable bezel containing a notch and a front-facing camera. The watch shape feels rather odd because it’s neither square nor circular, sitting somewhere in between. I imagine designing the UI for such a device would be weird, given that you can’t really watch videos in such a rounded-square display anymore, making it hard to consume content from Meta’s social media sites at Facebook, Instagram, and its chatting app WhatsApp. There are, however, two buttons on the side of the device, although it’s tough to say what their function is at this point.

The one set of details that still remains, however, is the presence of dual cameras. The front-facing camera eats into the display, while the rear camera (slightly larger) hovers right above a bulge that contains what I assume are the heart-rate sensors. You’ve even got contact pins on the other side that I assume are for charging purposes.

There aren’t too many details about the device’s build and specs, although Kuba mentions that it isn’t running Google’s WearOS, but rather a fork of its open-source Android OS. Facebook has for long played with the idea of building their own ecosystem and app network to escape the monopolies of Apple and Google, and this could just be it. There’s also a Qualcomm chipset on the inside, although it isn’t mentioned which one, and the outer case and band are still to be revealed to the public, although we did put together our own concept just about a year ago, right before it was suspected that work on the wearable had halted indefinitely.

Earlier last year, we covered the Meta Watch too, bringing life to its speculative patent-file images through renderings. If you want to read our coverage on the band from last year, click here.




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CUSTOM BUGATTI RV AND OTHER CONCEPTS SHOW WHAT THE SUPERCAR’S DNA WOULD LOOK LIKE ACROSS CATEGORIES

Personally, Bugatti has the most distinctly beautiful product DNA. I remember seeing the Veyron for the first time and falling instantly in love… a feeling that’s somehow sustained across a whole variety of models even up to the Mistral which debuted just last year. There’s something absolutely captivating about its design, its proportions, and its eclectic use of curves and edgy lines. However, Bugatti’s never really gone beyond the hypercar realm… which makes me wonder, what if the French automotive company made more than just hypercars? Would that DNA work well across different automotive categories? An account that goes by the name FLYBYARTIST shared these stellar AI-generated images of what Bugatti automobiles would look like in different avatars, and to be absolutely honest, it absolutely confirms my hunch. There’s something truly spectacular about the car’s visual language, and even translating it to an ATV, RV, or van doesn’t diminish its appeal. If anything, I’ll say I like it even more!

Designer: FLYBYARTIST

The Bugatti ATV just feels like something that a custom automobile maker absolutely needs to create. The image above (and the one further above it) show what a Bugatti all-terrain vehicle would look like, and it feels as if Mad Max were just a tad bit posh. Sure, you make some sacrifices with AI-generated images (symmetry is often the first of those), but these renders look absolutely bonkers. You’ve got a car that’s unapologetically Bugatti, featuring all the classics like the horseshoe grill and even the C-shaped pillar, but with larger tires, a reinforced chassis, and what look like monstrous air intakes right below the headlights. The first image is bordering into monster truck territory, but its ground clearance puts it firmly in the ATV camp.

The next explorations we have are a little larger. Looking like RVs but made for an apocalyptic desert-city, these ones aren’t to be messed with. The image above is perhaps the most well-rendered, with a fair bit of symmetry. The AI also grasps design concepts like the C-shaped cutout near the red panel at the back, and those Chiron headlights definitely look like they belong. The RV below feels like a signature AI image. It lacks symmetry around the headlights, but the vehicle itself is rather remarkable. It’s more spacious, feeling almost like a semi-truck, although that door looks a little too high-placed for my liking.

Next we’ve got a Bugatti van. What would it even be used for? Cops or paramilitary, perhaps. Although my gut instinct is to think of it as a luxury UPS-style delivery van, there’s no way I’d expect the rear of that vehicle to store something as benign as carton boxes. Bugattis are domination machines, and there’s nothing dominating about a cardboard box. I’d rather see a crew of law enforcers with riot gear sitting inside.

Not all vehicles need to be trucks and RVs, some of them can be good old hypercars too! This one feels like a modern classic that combines the Bolide, Divo, and Chiron together. The one below amps things up a little more by playing with form and aerodynamics, but it makes tradeoffs in the symmetry department.


Our last two explorations look at edge-cases. On the top, you’ve got a logistical truck, designed for carrying cargo, while the lower image feels like some sort of tourism vehicle with exposed sides that allow passengers to look at the city around them. The cargo truck is a heavy-set vehicle with dual rear wheels for carrying maximum load, and an armor-like design that feels like it could cut through obstacles like a knife through butter. The lower exploration, on the flipside, creates a more luxurious ambiance. Glossy black paint job, golden trims, a liberal use of red for the interiors, giving the passengers a literal red carpet treatment… this is just the kind of vehicle you’d find in a Saudi prince’s home, escorting guests from one wing of the palace to the other!

Check out more of FLYBYARTIST’s work on his Instagram.




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CUSTOM BUGATTI RV AND OTHER CONCEPTS SHOW WHAT THE SUPERCAR’S DNA WOULD LOOK LIKE ACROSS CATEGORIES

Personally, Bugatti has the most distinctly beautiful product DNA. I remember seeing the Veyron for the first time and falling instantly in love… a feeling that’s somehow sustained across a whole variety of models even up to the Mistral which debuted just last year. There’s something absolutely captivating about its design, its proportions, and its eclectic use of curves and edgy lines. However, Bugatti’s never really gone beyond the hypercar realm… which makes me wonder, what if the French automotive company made more than just hypercars? Would that DNA work well across different automotive categories? An account that goes by the name FLYBYARTIST shared these stellar AI-generated images of what Bugatti automobiles would look like in different avatars, and to be absolutely honest, it absolutely confirms my hunch. There’s something truly spectacular about the car’s visual language, and even translating it to an ATV, RV, or van doesn’t diminish its appeal. If anything, I’ll say I like it even more!

Designer: FLYBYARTIST

The Bugatti ATV just feels like something that a custom automobile maker absolutely needs to create. The image above (and the one further above it) show what a Bugatti all-terrain vehicle would look like, and it feels as if Mad Max were just a tad bit posh. Sure, you make some sacrifices with AI-generated images (symmetry is often the first of those), but these renders look absolutely bonkers. You’ve got a car that’s unapologetically Bugatti, featuring all the classics like the horseshoe grill and even the C-shaped pillar, but with larger tires, a reinforced chassis, and what look like monstrous air intakes right below the headlights. The first image is bordering into monster truck territory, but its ground clearance puts it firmly in the ATV camp.

The next explorations we have are a little larger. Looking like RVs but made for an apocalyptic desert-city, these ones aren’t to be messed with. The image above is perhaps the most well-rendered, with a fair bit of symmetry. The AI also grasps design concepts like the C-shaped cutout near the red panel at the back, and those Chiron headlights definitely look like they belong. The RV below feels like a signature AI image. It lacks symmetry around the headlights, but the vehicle itself is rather remarkable. It’s more spacious, feeling almost like a semi-truck, although that door looks a little too high-placed for my liking.

Next we’ve got a Bugatti van. What would it even be used for? Cops or paramilitary, perhaps. Although my gut instinct is to think of it as a luxury UPS-style delivery van, there’s no way I’d expect the rear of that vehicle to store something as benign as carton boxes. Bugattis are domination machines, and there’s nothing dominating about a cardboard box. I’d rather see a crew of law enforcers with riot gear sitting inside.

Not all vehicles need to be trucks and RVs, some of them can be good old hypercars too! This one feels like a modern classic that combines the Bolide, Divo, and Chiron together. The one below amps things up a little more by playing with form and aerodynamics, but it makes tradeoffs in the symmetry department.


Our last two explorations look at edge-cases. On the top, you’ve got a logistical truck, designed for carrying cargo, while the lower image feels like some sort of tourism vehicle with exposed sides that allow passengers to look at the city around them. The cargo truck is a heavy-set vehicle with dual rear wheels for carrying maximum load, and an armor-like design that feels like it could cut through obstacles like a knife through butter. The lower exploration, on the flipside, creates a more luxurious ambiance. Glossy black paint job, golden trims, a liberal use of red for the interiors, giving the passengers a literal red carpet treatment… this is just the kind of vehicle you’d find in a Saudi prince’s home, escorting guests from one wing of the palace to the other!

Check out more of FLYBYARTIST’s work on his Instagram.




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THE TOKYO TOILET’S NEWEST INSTALLATION BRINGS A PIXELATED LIGHT SHOW

The Tokyo Toilet is an interesting project that launched back in Shibuya, aiming to create 17 different functional installations all over the city. They wanted to turn public toilets into unique facilities and experiences and they involved some of the most renowned architects and designers to take part. There have been some pretty remarkable things launched already including the all-glass see-through ones at the Yoyogi Fukamachi Minipark and Haru no Ogawa Community Park and the octopus or squid-looking one at the Ebisu East Park.

Designer: Tomohito Ushiro

The latest one to be launched for The Tokyo Toilet is located in Hiroo Higashi Park, a space in a residential area in Shibuya. What makes this public restroom interesting is that at night, you get to see a light show on its exterior. In fact, he programmed 7.9 billion different lighting patterns, representing the current estimated population. So this means each person can see different “shows” and they will not see the same pattern at all, representing the fact that we are the same and yet different.


The design of the structure itself looks like the restrooms in public swimming pools with its clean interior fixtures and a combination of white and steel colors for its exteriors. At the back, you see a glass exterior that houses the light panel. The real show begins once it’s dark enough and we start seeing the lighting patterns through its pixelated glow. He was inspired by the nature and greenery that surrounds the park, like the light that filters through the trees or the moon’s reflection at night.

During the day, the public toilet looks like a simple, minimalist restroom. It has two universal toilets inside that have an ostomate-friendly system and a diaper-changing station. Aside from actually using the restroom, the art installation feel at dusk or evening will be the thing that you’d want to see if ever you’re in the area. It will probably look weird for you to stand outside a public toilet but there will probably be other weirdos there with you looking at the light show.



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TWS EARBUD CASES WITH BUILT-IN DISPLAYS ARE THE NEW IPODS OF THE FUTURE…

After JBL debuted the Tour Pro 2 at IFA 2022, it seems like TWS earbuds with displays on their case are the next tech trend. The newly announced Voyager Free 60+ from Poly bucks the trend, with a touchscreen display built into it that lets you configure and control your listening experience, including being able to mute your mic. In true iPod fashion, the screen also lets you navigate podcasts and playlists while displaying the album art and info of currently-playing content.

Designer: Poly (HP)

The inclusion of a display seems like the natural course of progression for the TWS earbud. The iPod Shuffle was never really the more popular in the iPod series, but the Nano and Touch definitely held their own. The same would hold true for the TWS earbud moving forward. A screen helps you navigate content without taking your phone out. You can access features like playback controls, ANC, and mute features with the touchscreen display, while it constantly gives you information like song name, album art, and more actionable data like battery level. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes… although nothing’s really official till Apple does it.!

Even though both the JBL Tour Pro 2 and Poly Voyager Free 60+ have displays built into their cases, they differ primarily in their target audience. While the former is made for music, the latter focuses on connectivity and work. Given that Poly is now a subsidiary of HP, the TWS earbuds are targeted at the WFH crowd, offering productivity and connectivity, while still being a pretty darned good pair of TWS earbuds for music, podcast-listening, etc.

Dubbed as TWS Earbuds for Work and Life, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ comes equipped with ANC and a three-mic array to help cut noise on both the outgoing and receiving end. Touch-sensitive surfaces on the earbuds themselves, along with the touch display on the case let you mute calls, adjust volume, connect to external sources, and switch devices without dropping a call or what you’re doing. The touchscreen on the case presents you with information and lets you intuitively control your playback experience, and the earbuds are certified to work with all the latest meeting platforms, keeping even your IT department happy.

The Voyager Free 60+ lets you connect to two devices simultaneously, and alternate between them at will. The touchscreen charge case also includes a 3.5mm audio port, letting connect an external source to your buds, like an inflight entertainment system, and enjoy the movie without wires. The case doubles up as a Bluetooth transmitter, eliminating the need for a dongle or any other external device.

Each Poly Voyager Free 60+ ships with the touchscreen case, charging and aux cables, a USB transmitter (for your desktop), and swappable eartips for ergonomic comfort. The earbuds aren’t available yet, although the expected price is $299.


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NATIVE UNION’S IPHONE 14 CASE COMES WITH A LEATHER BUILD AND A COMPANION MAGSAFE WALLET

Costing roughly as much as Apple’s own cases, these bad boys from Native Union and Maison Kitsuné come crafted from premium Italian leather. They’re perfectly made for your iPhone 14, are designed with drop-protection and lips around your screen and camera bump, and the case has its own set of magnets to reinforce the attachment of its companion MagSafe wallet, which holds two cards. Apple made the MagSafe Wallet, Native Union just brought better craftsmanship to it.

Designer: Maison Kitsuné x Native Union

The Native Union Profile Fox cases feature a premium leather construction, and both the case and the wallet are emblazoned with Maison Kitsuné’s signature fox logo. The cases and wallets are available in ‘Wine Lees’ brown and ‘Medium Blue’, and are designed to age and patina beautifully with time, creating a product that’s more unique to look at as time goes by.

The case guards your phone, protecting it from drops of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters), while the inside features a recycled microfiber lining that keeps the glass back of your phone free of scratches. Magnets within the case let you easily snap on the wallet, which holds two of your most-used cards. The interaction is reliable and strong, making it a perfect alternative to Apple’s own accessories.

Without the wallet, the Native Union Profile Fox case is still MagSafe compatible, letting you snap on your charger or even use a regular wireless charging pad with your phone. Snap the wallet on and you’ve now got yourself the ideal EDC that fits right in your pocket, giving you access to your tech and cards all in one cohesive unit.

While Apple doesn’t offer warranties on its iPhone accessories, Native Union does. The Profile Fox case and wallet come with a 2-year warranty on construction and manufacturing defects. There’s even a 14-day trial period just in case you’re a little particular about what gear you want to attach to your $1,000 smartphone (you’ve every right to be). The Native Union Profile Fox case and wallet retail for $119.99, and you can even head to the website to get a matching cover for your AirPods case or strap for your watch.


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THIS UNIQUE MOLECULAR CITY IS COMPRISED OF DIFFERENT SPHERE-SHAPED NEIGHBORHOODS WITH THEIR OWN CLIMATES

Designed as a proposed skyscraper city for Tiankeng in the Yunnan province, this molecule-inspired habitat helps boost the region’s ability to grow a variety of herbs as a way to accelerate its economy. The ‘Skyscraper City of Tiankeng’ was an entrant at last year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition.

“The unique geographical conditions of Tiankeng have formed a microclimate suitable for the growth of different herbs”, say the designers. By turning the city into a cluster of interconnected biodomes, Tiankeng presents a new agricultural model of the “herbal industry” that integrates research, production, processing, and marketing, all within each individual dome.

The molecular city has a distinct visual appeal, with multiple domes connected to each other through truss supports. This unique arrangement isn’t just for the visual aesthetic, but rather also helps create individual microclimates required for each separate herb to grow and flourish. The separate domes run their own climates, relying on the sun and oxygen as external elements, while other parameters like humidity, temperature, soil-composition are all controlled within the dome itself. The dome-city also has its own infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, recreational and cultural spaces, etc.

This architectural approach also plays well with Tiankeng’s cultural background. Located in a sinkhole within the ground, the village was developed to be inaccessible so as to avoid war and conflict from neighboring tribes/clans. This, however, had its own literal and metaphorical pitfalls. The new architectural approach considers developing the village in three dimensions instead of just on the two-dimensional land it sits on. The different spheres exist on different levels, allowing the village (now city) to rise above the ground and exist in multiple planes. This helps the city occupy more area within the same plot of land the same way adding more floors to a building increases its liveable area. The distinct advantage here, however, is that it’s also a visual and architectural marvel, with the presence of multiple spherical habitats connected to one another!

Designers: Shuzhan Liu, Siang Duan, Yimin Gao, Jingyi Li, Shiliang Wang, Daxu Wei


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