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Blog

Creative Caffeine

Jul 14 2016

In this week’s Creative Caffeine, IDEO London serves up a quintuple shot of inspiration: post-production house The Mill’s transformer car; the weird soothingness of shaving ceramics; a visit to Arduino’s open-source apartment; designing with artificial intelligence; and drinks with a sumo wrestler, courtesy of Airbnb.

1. More than meets the eye

Tracking shots of winding country roads, and lingering peeks of sheet metal: car ads might seem as lifelike as it gets, but they’re often surprisingly realistic CGI, particularly for new cars that might not be public yet. To keep up that realism, post-production house The Mill’s neat solution has been to create a Transformers-like rig, with adjustable wheelbase, height, and driving style, to help its artists mimic pretty much any car, without costly shipping and availability worries. Take a closer look at the rig here.

The Mill Cgi Transformer

Image by The Mill

2. The weird satisfaction of a close shave

For the crafty and OCD-inclined people—like us—who find pleasure in perfectly cubed fruit, watching cans being crushed, or a Leica body being painstakingly filed, relax and enjoy these slightly hypnotic videos of master Japanese ceramicist Abe Haruya at work.

Ceramics By Abe Haruya

Image by Abe Haruya

3. Welcome to our open house

Kitchen of the future exhibitions stretch back half a century, but Arduino founder Massimo Banzi and acclaimed sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling have gone one further: they created Casa Jasmina, an open-source apartment in an old factory in Turin, to test what a connected home might look like in the future. Furniture and fittings are modular and hackable, and artists and companies are invited to submit ideas for connected appliances. Eventually, you’ll be able to rent the space out on Airbnb, says Banzi. Read more here.

Casa Jasmina Screenshot

Image by Casa Jasmina

4. Getting conversational with computers

When Google’s AlphaGo deep learning software beat Go champion Lee Sedol, the world saw, via the media, a firsthand view of the power of artificial intelligence. But we’re still a long way from solving real problems, in part because interacting with AI is stuck at the computer science level. But an intrepid gang of interaction designers are building clever new ways for humans to better interact with these systems, argues computer vision and machine learning expert Greg Borenstein on Medium. Read the article here.

Artificial Intelligence

Image by Greg Borenstein

5. Go local with Airbnb

Fancy dining with a sumo wrestler, feeling frisky at a burlesque show, or getting your hands dirty with an urban farmer? Airbnb is helping travelers belong anywhere with a new product they’re testing. Called Experiences, it helps adventurous guests book escapades with local hosts. Check out Airbnb Experiences here.

Airbnb Screenshot

Image by Airbnb

  • Ed White

    Senior editor, IDEO London
    Ed White is IDEO Europe's senior editor, helping shape our stories. Ed formerly edited Contagious magazine and has written for Wired, Dazed & Confused, Viewpoint, and Protein.