This Textured Bar Promises to Change the Way You Experience Chocolate

There’s a chocolate bar out there for every taste—from white to bittersweet, almond-flecked to gold-leafed. But a new series of chocolate bars is banking on the idea that what's on the outside of a dessert counts just as much as (if not more than) what's on the inside.

Japanese design company Nendo is behind “chocolatetexturebar,” a line of chocolate bars that put the emphasis on texture. The “chocolatetexturebar” has 12 snap-off sections—with everything from dots to zigzags—that are designed to add a different flavor component.

The firm writes on its website: “... although 'eating' is generally thought of as one action, actually the taste is recognized after going through various procedures such as 'place on top of the tongue,' 'bite,' 'roll inside the mouth,' 'melt' and 'swallow.' “chocolatexturebar” is a single bar of chocolate, but the surface is divided into 12 faces each with diverse texture. By tasting each face with the tongue … one can enjoy a new taste dimension that is unlike any other conventional chocolates.”

The bars come in milk chocolate, strawberry, white chocolate, bitter chocolate, and matcha flavors. Nendo also offers a “chocolamixture” set, which allows you to mix flavors like freeze-dried mango and raspberry in a chocolate flask, complete with a white chocolate cork. As Slate notes, “While the set takes the mystery out of biting into a filled chocolate, it instead offers the chance to play Willy Wonka.”

This isn’t the first time Nendo has taken a innovative approach to chocolate. Last year, the company created a series of chocolates to celebrate one of its own, designer Oki Sato who was named Designer of the Year by the Paris design trade show Maison et Objet. That “chocolatexture” line focused on shape—with nine different chocolate sculptures, each within the size of a 26mm cube.

Unfortunately, the “chocolatetexturebar” and “chocolamixture” are only available for purchase in Japan, so you’ll need to hop on a plane if you want a taste of the cocoa creations.

[h/t Slate]

Images via Nendo.
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Courtesy Umbrellium
These LED Crosswalks Adapt to Whoever Is Crossing
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Courtesy Umbrellium

Crosswalks are an often-neglected part of urban design; they’re usually just white stripes on dark asphalt. But recently, they’re getting more exciting—and safer—makeovers. In the Netherlands, there is a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk. In western India, there is a 3D crosswalk. And now, in London, there’s an interactive LED crosswalk that changes its configuration based on the situation, as Fast Company reports.

Created by the London-based design studio Umbrellium, the Starling Crossing (short for the much more tongue-twisting STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) changes its layout, size, configuration, and other design factors based on who’s waiting to cross and where they’re going.

“The Starling Crossing is a pedestrian crossing, built on today’s technology, that puts people first, enabling them to cross safely the way they want to cross, rather than one that tells them they can only cross in one place or a fixed way,” the company writes. That means that the system—which relies on cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor both pedestrian and vehicle traffic—adapts based on road conditions and where it thinks a pedestrian is going to go.

Starling Crossing - overview from Umbrellium on Vimeo.

If a bike is coming down the street, for example, it will project a place for the cyclist to wait for the light in the crosswalk. If the person is veering left like they’re going to cross diagonally, it will move the light-up crosswalk that way. During rush hour, when there are more pedestrians trying to get across the street, it will widen to accommodate them. It can also detect wet or dark conditions, making the crosswalk path wider to give pedestrians more of a buffer zone. Though the neural network can calculate people’s trajectories and velocity, it can also trigger a pattern of warning lights to alert people that they’re about to walk right into an oncoming bike or other unexpected hazard.

All this is to say that the system adapts to the reality of the road and traffic patterns, rather than forcing pedestrians to stay within the confines of a crosswalk system that was designed for car traffic.

The prototype is currently installed on a TV studio set in London, not a real road, and it still has plenty of safety testing to go through before it will appear on a road near you. But hopefully this is the kind of road infrastructure we’ll soon be able to see out in the real world.

[h/t Fast Company]

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Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]


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