314 results for “Designed-by-Evolution”

On the Origin of the Smartphone

Huub Ehlhardt
February 6th 2019

The first patent for the electric telephone was granted in 1876 to Alexander Graham Bell. However, there is disagreement about who should be given credit for the invention of the telephone as several pioneering inventors worked on devices to transmit spoken word.

In the following decades the network systems of landlines were built and use of telephones spread. The first telephones used were simple wooden boxes to which a speaker and mouthpiece were connected. From the initial box designs, the

On the origin of the LED lamp

Huub Ehlhardt
January 12th 2019

For thousands of years people used oil lamps and candles to illuminate their homes during the hours of darkness. Neither produced much light and both were inconvenient in use as their fuel needed to be regularly replenished. Besides that, open fire is notoriously dangerous. Then, at the start of the 19th century, gas lamps fueled by coal-gas distributed by a network of pipes turned out to be an innovative solution for the problem of illuminating the streets of European cities. …

On the origin of the e-bike

Huub Ehlhardt
October 25th 2018

The oldest known serious candidate forerunner for the bicycle is the ‘running machine’ built by the German Baron Karl von Drais. His two-wheeled machine became known as the Draisienne and was first shown to the public in 1817. Two decades later a Scottish blacksmith by the name of Kirkpatrick MacMillan allegedly made a first mechanically propelled bicycle. In 1842 a Glasgow newspaper reported “a gentleman from Dumfries-shire bestride a velocipede of ingenious design” knocked over a little girl and was …

On the origin of the word processor

Huub Ehlhardt
October 3rd 2018

Writing is recognised as one of mankind’s foremost inventions and the mechanization of writing is one of these developments that typify what is commonly regarded as the work of genius inventors. However, the typewriter was not ‘suddenly invented’, but emerged from the work of many inventors who all contributed inventive steps. …

Interview: Huub Ehlhardt on the evolution of products

Kelly Streekstra
September 14th 2018

"To understand why a product is the way it is today, you need to learn about its evolutionary background." Meet Huub Ehlhardt, an engineer with a PhD in product design. Huub believes that innovation is best not described as a sequence of disruptive inventions, but as a gradual evolution of products. Together with Arthur Eger, he wrote On the Origin of Products; The Evolution of Product Innovation and Design. Over the next few weeks, Huub takes us on an intellectual joyride …

Future AI may hallucinate and get depressed — just like the rest of us

Tristan Greene
April 23rd 2018

Scientists believe the introduction of a hormone-like system, such as the one found in the human brain, could give AI the ability to reason and make decisions like people do. Recent research indicates human emotion, to a certain extent, is the byproduct of learning. And that means machines may have to risk depression or worse if they ever want to think or feel.…

Interview: Designer Shahar Livne is geomimicing the future of plastics

Kelly Streekstra
April 18th 2018

What if plastics one day become a rare commodity that we desire and mine from the depths of the earth’s crust? By that time, plastic would be a rather different material. Shahar Livne offers a fast-forward to this next nature, by artificially geomimicing metamorphisms. She shares with us her speculative material: the “lithoplast”.

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

Damian Carrington
April 17th 2018

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.…

The Great Pacific garbage “patch” is now three times the size of France

Ruben Baart
March 26th 2018

Mon dieu! The swirling pile of trash in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an exponential rate. A recent study has estimated that the mass of the garbage island is four to sixteen times bigger than previously thought, and is now three times the size of France. …

Cruising Critters Travel the Ocean on Plastic

Charlotte Kuijpers
December 19th 2017
Tons of living animals have floated from Japan to the United States traveling across the ocean on plastic junk and debris.
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