A brief history of user experience design

A good primer on user experience design here by Ali Rushdan Tariq: Think about the last time you ate at a restaurant. What cuisine did it serve? What made you to choose that particular restaurant? What was your first impression as you walked in? Were you asked to wait till you were ushered to an available […]

3D-printed cities: is this the future?

The words “we print architecture’s future” adorn the wall of a showroom on the outskirts of Suzhou, a rapidly urbanising city in eastern China. Arranged around the room are samples of odd-looking concrete wall of varying thickness. Outside, across the car park of this otherwise unremarkable industrial estate, is a grand, neoclassical mansion that recently […]

First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims

I think I’d want to approve the body first. The one I’ve got was no prize draw. A surgeon says full-body transplants could become a reality in just two years. Sergio Canavero, a doctor in Turin, Italy, has drawn up plans to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body and claims the […]

Apple adds racially diverse emoji, and they come in five skin shades

Complaints about the lack of racial diversity in the emoji characters impelled the Unicode Consortium, an industry body devoted to developing software standards, to add skin tone options. The tones are modelled on the Fitzpatrick scale, a recognised standard used by dermatologists. Read the full story here

Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat

Anything that comes in a box, tin, bag, carton or bottle has to bear a label listing its contents, and many of us have become experts at reading these labels. But many of the additives and ingredients that once jumped out as fake and unfathomable have quietly disappeared. Does this mean that their contents have […]

In the line of duty: how the British followed fashion during the second world war

I’ve often wondered what “normal” life was like during the war. There was still crime, people still went to work, fell in love, died of natural causes, and worried about fashion. The women’s auxiliary services were shameless in using clothes to catch recruits. Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) officers were generally reckoned to have the […]

The future of design: texting cows and life-saving toilets

Immense pleasure might be derived from Moocall, a device that allows cows to send text messages to farmers. Not of the “Set me free” or “Stop squeezing so hard” kind, but an auto-alert along the lines of “COME QUICK, I’M HAVING BABIES!” Moocall simply slips on to a cow’s tail and, using gesture- recognition technology, […]