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Mexico City Launches a Competition for Official Emoji

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Mexico City is calling upon its designers to picture the city in emoji. The city government just launched an open design competition to create 20 new emoji that symbolize the city and its residents, according to Co.Design.

The competition, organized by Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the city government’s civic innovation lab, will help government officials understand how people relate and respond to the metropolis. Not to mention widening residents’ ability to talk about where they live sans words.

The purpose, according to the project website (translated from Spanish with the help of Google):

Emoji CDMX is a playful, small-scale project, a kind of social thermometer that will generate new ways to narrate the city, to understand a city that constantly creates meanings or new references, to stimulate the imagination of the designers; it is a reflection on our symbols as a city.

Mexico City doesn’t have an Eiffel Tower or a Golden Gate Bridge or an Empire State Building to serve as an automatic, singular shorthand for the area. And as the second-largest city in the Americas, it would be hard to encapsulate it entirely in just one symbol. The 20-image sticker pack (which won’t be official emoji, as approved by the Unicode Consortium, so you’ll have to download it from the App Store or Google Play) will represent a broader experience of the places and things residents love about Mexico City.

The first-place winner, to be announced on July 30, gets approximately $1660, as well as eternal urban/technological glory.

[h/t Co.Design]

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environment
Amsterdam is Turning Plastic Trash Into 3D-Printed Furniture
PrintYourCity
PrintYourCity

The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is taking a unique approach to waste management, Inhabitat reports. Under the direction of The New Raw, a Rotterdam-based design studio, recycled plastic is being used to make public benches that capture a lot of the area’s charm while providing solutions for the 51 pounds of plastic refuse each Amsterdam resident tosses away each year.

The initiative is called Print Your City! and encourages those materials to be repurposed via 3D printing to make new, permanent fixtures. The New Raw calls it a “closed loop” of use, where the plastic is used, reused, and materialized in the same environment. The bench, dubbed XXX, seats two and rocks back and forth with the sitters' movements, offering a metaphor for the teamwork The New Raw is attempting to cultivate with the general public.

A plastic chair is surrounded by trash
Print Your City!

“Plastic has a major design failure,” says Panos Sakkas, an architect with The New Raw. “It’s designed to last forever, but it’s used only for a few seconds and then easily thrown away.”

The goal is to collect more plastic material in the city to use for projects that can be designed and implemented by citizens. In the future, 3D printing may also support bus shelters, waste bins, and playground material—all of it recyclable.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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fun
Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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