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Top 10: Natural Materials

Jonathan Wolfe's puzzle acorns

When we say "natural materials," the mind leaps immediately to wood, stone, leather, natural fibers. But there are lots of interesting and more "exotic" materials from the natural world that we don't tend to think of, right away, and digging these up and showing them off is one of the... Read more »

Feel the Weather With Cryoscope


The Cryoscope shows the user exactly what to expect outside by haptically exhibiting exactly how cold or warm it is to be outside. The user simply touches an aluminum cube that has been heated or cooled to the appropriate temperature. The unit fetches weather data from the internet, and translates... Read more »

Play the Rings of a Tree Trunk Like a Record


What would the trunk of a tree sound like if a cross section of it were played like an LP? With his creation Years, Bartholomäus Traubeck attempts to answer that question by using a turntable, PlayStation Eye Camera, a stepper motor to control the arm, and computer running Ableton Live.... Read more »

Solar Heater From Can Lids and Woven Plants

An interesting experiment from students in a course at Humboldt State University called Appropriate Technology Engineering 305. The parabolic form is essentially a large, shallow basket woven with fibers of locally-gathered Himalaya blackberry, which the students identify as an invasive species. In good weather, their dish could boil a jar... Read more »