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Soft-serve sculpture and solar cells you can wear: 5 material innovations that will shape tomorrow

for us to live sustainably on this planet, we need to change how we build. We need a better understanding of the potential (both for good and bad) of the materials we choose, and must figure out how to implement them responsibly, or else risk negative environmental, social, economic, environmental and even political consequences. The future of fashion? Stunning textiles dyed with bacteria Thankfully, designers around the world are taking note. Whether by applying a whole-systems approach, where nothing is wasted throughout manufacturing process, or finding innovative new applications for abundant natural resources, innovative thinkers are exploring concepts today that might shape how we build tomorrow. Here are five at the forefront. Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel teamed up with Swarovski on an innovative new way for us to power our homes. The Cyanometer, a striking blue pendant, integrates a crystal solar cell that collects energy whenever the wearer walks around outdoors. Then, when placed into a docking station in the home, it emits lights that reflect how the sky changes color throughout the day. Can robots transform Chinese architecture? This material has the potential to change our behavior for the better, encouraging us to think more deeply about the energy we consume as well as our physical activity levels.

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