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An Ultrasonic Clothes Dryer Vibrates Clothes Dry

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Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are trying to revolutionize the way Americans dry their clothes. They’re working on an ultrasonic dryer that vibrates moisture out, instead of evaporating it with heat, making the dryer more efficient and safer to operate. 

Working with GE, they're developing a prototype that swaps heat for ultrasound vibrations, using five to 10 times less energy than traditional dryers. See it in action in the video below. The vibrating dryer turns the moisture in wet clothes into a cold mist, and eliminates the danger of your clothes shrinking in a hot dryer. 

The first electric dryer was released in 1938 and became a popular fixture in American households after World War II. Now, some 85 percent of U.S. households have dryers and spend $9 billion a year to operate them [PDF], according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. By heating clothes in a rotating barrel, tumble dryers are exceedingly inefficient, using two to four times more energy than a new washer (and twice as much as European-style heat-pump dryers), and account for almost 6 percent of residential energy consumption [PDF]. These numbers are especially bleak considering there's a completely free, energy-efficient way to dry clothes: on a clothesline. 

For now, the ultrasonic dryer prototype is small and can only dry scraps of fabric, but the researchers estimate that a full-sized dryer could reduce drying times for a load by 15 to 20 minutes. Because of the lack of heat, the dryer also produces less lint, which can be a fire hazard when the lint trap isn't properly cleaned. 

The researchers expect to have a full working prototype by summer 2016. 

[h/t: USA Today]

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Design
This Font Changes Shape As You Type
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Writing with the Futuracha Pro font isn’t just about creating a finished product. Each letter reacts to what you type by lengthening and curling around its neighboring characters, making the act of writing itself an interactive experience.

According to The Huffington Post, Futuracha Pro is the brainchild of graphic designer Odysseas Galinos Paparounis of the Greek branding agency høly. As a design student, he was inspired for the idea of a changing typeface while observing the movements of Caribbean cockroaches for an illustration class. The insects' sweeping antennae and prickly feet inspired him to superimpose these elements onto his favorite font: Futura.

Font changes shape as you type.
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The name Futuracha, which combines the words Futura and cucaracha ("cockroach" in Spanish), is a nod to the project’s quirky origins. After sharing his concept with fellow graphic designers, Paparounis sought to make a version of the font that’s accessible to everyone on an open source basis. He launched an effort to crowdfund Futuracha Pro on Indiegogo earlier this year and closed the campaign after raising $86,431. You can download the font for your computer from the høly website with prices starting around $29.

[h/t The Huffington Post]

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Design
Watch an Artist Build a Secret Studio Beneath an Overpass
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Lebrel

Artists can be very particular about the spaces where they choose to do their work. Furniture designer Fernando Abellanas’s desk may not boast the quietest or most convenient location on Earth, but it definitely wins points for seclusion. According to Co.Design, the artist covertly constructed his studio beneath a bridge in Valencia, Spain.

To make his vision a reality, Abellanas had to build a metal and plywood apparatus and attach it to the top of an underpass. After climbing inside, he uses a crank to wheel the box to the top of the opposite wall. There, the contents of his studio, including his desk, chair, and wall art, are waiting for him.

The art nook was installed without permission from the city, so Abellanas admits that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities dismantle it or it's raided by someone else. While this space may not be permanent, he plans to build others like it around the city in secret. You can get a look at his construction process in the video below.

[h/t Co.Design]

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