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Pittsburgh hipsters and Philly artists creating 15 hottest American cities of the future

Pittsburgh, as a hipster haven, and Philadelphia, as a dynamic arts destination, are unscientifically included on Business Insider's list of 15 American cities of the future.
The low housing prices, affordable lifestyle, and cool arts scene are attracting young people to Philadelphia. These people are getting involved in the city through organizations like Young Involved Philadelphia and bringing a new sense of dynamism to the city, with new restaurants, shops, galleries, and a cool music and arts scene.
Original source: Business Insider
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Penn State-led Energy Innovation Hub has many actors in efficiency play

CNN pays a visit to Philadelphia's Energy Innovation Hub.

The research consortium, led by Pennsylvania State University and 21 other partners, is a sort of multidisciplinary think tank whose overall mission is to reduce energy consumption in regional commercial buildings by 20 percent at the end of the next eight years.
Original source: CNN
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Allentown substitute teacher's artwork to dominate Times Square

Allentown substitute teacher Vicki DaSilva won an online contest to have an original work of art, 23 stories high, light up a Times Square billboard, reports The New York Times.
The site, ArtistsWanted.org, is not a charity but a business, one that hopes to make a profit identifying artistic talent and connecting it to an audience. Investors are pouring millions into it and similar start-ups and social networks like Behance.net and EveryArt.com, which cater to the growing cadre of people who consider themselves creative and think there’s a market for their work outside the network of galleries and dealers who dominate the commerce in art and design. Users and founders of these sites talk not only about making money but also about democratizing culture. 
Original source: The New York Times
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Philly, Pittsburgh, New Hope make top arts destinations list

American Style's annual list of Top 25 Arts Destinations for large-, mid- and small-size cities inclues Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New Hope, respectively.
New York City came in first (again) with 43.2 percent of the vote, with Washington, D.C. (No. 2, with 23.6 percent) and Chicago (No. 3, with 22.3 percent) trading places from last year’s standing to fill the remaining top two positions for the fifth year in a row. Out-of-the-blue write-in candidate Dayton, Ohio, vaulted to the No. 2 spot in the Mid-Size Cities list, and eight cities across all three categories were located in Florida.
Original source: American Style
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Philly opens "a new treasure" in Barnes Museum

The Los Angeles Times likes what it sees in the Barnes Museum's recently opened new location along the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.
Standing at the threshold of the new museum, I couldn't help but smirk when I thought about how angry its relocation would have made old man Barnes -- unfair because it fails to credit the founder's genius for finding and championing art that Philadelphia philistines once scoffed at. Soon mean-spiritedness gave way to excitement.
Original source: Los Angeles Times
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UPenn leading "open source" model of medical device design

The Economist writes about the University of Pennsylvania and the "open source" model of designing medical devices to drive innovation and improve safety.
The Generic Infusion Pump project, a joint effort between the University of Pennsylvania and the FDA, is taking these troublesome devices back to basics. The researchers began not by building a device or writing code but by imagining everything that could possibly go wrong with a drug-infusion pump. Manufacturers were asked to help, and several did so, including vTitan, a start-up based in America and India. “For a new manufacturer, it’s a great head start,” says Peri Kasthuri, vTitan’s co-founder. By working together on an open-source platform, manufacturers can build safer products for everyone, while still retaining the ability to add extra features to differentiate themselves from their rivals.
Original source: The Economist
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Would you sit in something made of recycled plastic, glass and sawdust?

Fast Company Co.Design writes about Hanover-based Emeco, the heralded innovative chair-maker that recently rolled out its Broom chair made from recycled plastic, glass and sawdust.
The Broom got its start back in 2001, when Starck conceived of a bucket chair with a curved aluminum seat and backrest embedded in a plastic frame, intended to add a more affordable version to Emeco’s existing catalog. But the costs of tooling and creating two molds--one for the plastic component, the other for the aluminum--led the company to mothball the idea. After partnering with Coke on the 111 chair, a revamp of the classic Navy made from recycled plastic bottles, the company set about finding another way to push the bounds of sustainability through the use of innovative materials. So Emeco’s director of product management, Magnus Breitling, began a quest for an eco-friendly substance made purely from waste, rather than from a food product such as corn. According to Metropolis, “It occurred to Breitling that using sawdust as a stiffening agent in combination with discarded offcuts of a suitable all-synthetic polymer would result in an almost entirely recycled product.”
Original source: Fast Company Co.Design
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City of Philadelphia innovation driver Friedman named to national civic engagement post

Code for America writes about the launch of its Engagement Commons civic engagement tool and how Jeff Friedman, the manager of civic innovation and participation for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's office, will head its advisory board.
Jeff brings almost fifteen years experience driving innovative practices within the City of Philadelphia, and extensive expertise at the intersection of technology, civic engagement, and governance.
"This is an important project -- with budget cuts and tremendous challenges facing our cities, it’s more critical than ever that we communicate and connect with our citizens in an transparent way. And to do so, cities have to embrace new approaches to engagement," commented Jeff. "Engagement Commons has the potential to help make that happen, and the feedback from this advisory board will be instrumental in realizing that potential."
Original source: Code for America
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'When art wins, everyone wins': Barnes Museum opens in Philadelphia May 19

Two New York Magazine writers go head to head on the Barnes Museum's controversial move from suburban Lower Merion to the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

Soon the dust will settle, the feuds will fade, and art will do what it does. Till then, remember this: Owners of art are temporary caretakers. Their wishes are not to be sacrosanct in perpetuity. The move of this singular jewel in the crown to a more accessible location, into a far better-equipped, much more flexible building, allows this monumental testament to art’s possibilities to shine forth more magnanimously and generously than ever before. When art wins, everyone wins. Even ­Albert Barnes.
Original source: New York Magazine
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Evive launches in Pittsburgh, raises $2M in seed funding to break water bottle habit

TechCrunch posts on Evive, which has launched with a splash thanks to its stainless steel reusable bottles meant for re-filling with water.
So, what’s cool about Evive is that they offer users double-walled stainless steel reusable bottles, which means no more plastic, and lower carbon footprints. In turn, their kiosks filter municipal water, offer unlimited re-filling and cleaning of those steel bottles by way of a patent-pending process that only takes a minute. And everything other than the bottles are free.
Original source: TechCrunch
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Penn State-Berks scores LEED-Gold status for Gaige Technology and Business Innovation building

World Interior Design Network posts about Penn State's LEED-Gold certification for the new Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building at Penn State-Berks.
The building has low flow water fixtures and two button flush system in the bathrooms, which bring about saving in water. The facility has motion sensor enabled water bottle filling stations. It has two 35,000-gallon underground tanks which bring about a saving of 92% in potable water consumption.
Original source: World Interior Design Network
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How the Cook siblings built one of America's most-trafficked websites out of New Hope

Siblings Geoff and Catherine Cook reveal how they built teen social networking site myYearbook in New Hope over the last seven years in an interview with Inc. magazine.
Last year, myYearbook, one of the nation's 25 most-trafficked websites, merged with Quepasa, a publicly traded company that runs social networking sites aimed at Latinos, in a $100 million deal. The Cooks still run the show and are focused on graduating to a global market. As told to Liz Welch.
In 2010, we had $23 million in revenue, but 85 percent of our users were in North America. Winners tend to be global brands, so we started looking for ways that myYearbook could span the world. 
Original source: Inc.
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Fast Company ponders Philly as America's next big tech town

Fast Company talks to Technically Philly's Sean Blanda and DuckDuckGo's Gabriel Weinberg, among others, about Philadelphia's bustling technology sector.
"Like many cities, Philly has seen a significant increase in all aspects of the startup lifecycle--start, growth, exit," says DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg. "I think we're riding the global trend here, but also we've had great community leaders as well." He continues: "Our community is very tight-knit, which means it is very easy to connect with the top people in the scene."
Original source: Fast Company
Read the full story here.

How the magic happens inside a Bethlehem home brewing lab

Gizmodo drinks in the HammerSmith Ale House and Brewery, a shed in Bethlehem belonging to beer enthusiast and home brewer Chris Bowen.
Bowen was fermenting and bottling in his basement before he decided to purchase an acre of land in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which contained an old 22 x 14-foot Amish-built shed. He remodeled the structure, which now houses his yeast laboratory, four refrigerators, two sinks, and a sophisticated microbrewery system he designed and built from scratch. With this setup, he can replicate water from almost anywhere in the world to churn out 10-gallon batches of specific styles of beer. That's right: Bowen can reproduce the world's water, matching the mineral content on tap in over 70 countries. 
Original source: Gizmodo
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Your iPad can act like a typewriter thanks to Philly engineer

The Toronto Star checks in with 27-year old Jack Zylkin of Philadelphia and his USB Typewriter, which replicates the sound and feel of a typewriter for computer users.
"Something was really lost when we moved away from the technology of typewriters," he said.
With that in mind, Zylkin began thinking of ways to remake the typewriter he had found. It was while working at Hive 76 – a hacker space where people share tools, parts and space – that he came up with the idea of making the typewriter’s keyboard function as a keyboard for a computer.
Original source: Toronto Star
Read the full story here.
261 Design Articles | Page: | Show All
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