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André Farinha/Airbnb

Super Mario-Themed Airbnb Transports Guests to the Mushroom Kingdom

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André Farinha/Airbnb

Nintendo offers dozens of ways to experience the world of Mario. Video game nerds can have the pint-sized plumber race go-karts, glide through space, or challenge Bowser to a few rounds of tennis. Now there’s a new way for fans to fully immerse themselves in the franchise without purchasing a virtual reality headset. They just have to be willing to book a flight to Lisbon, Portugal, where Airbnb host André Farinha has transformed a room in his apartment into a Nintendo-lover’s paradise, Mashable reports.

The space’s interior pays homage to Super Mario’s 30-plus-year history, from a wall depicting his origins in Donkey Kong (back when he was called "Jumpman") to a hard hat that references the 2015 game Super Mario Maker. A wall decorated with coins, goombas, and toadstools looks down onto a bedspread that’s been stitched with Mario’s iconic blue overalls and red shirt. The bathroom fully commits to the plumber theme, with green piping winding along the sky-blue walls.

Guests enamored with the entire Nintendo universe will be happy to hear that the theme doesn't stop with Super Mario. The room also features a Wii U, a display of amiibo characters, and a Nintendo 3DS stand where guests can play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Farinha, a 32-year-old computer game programmer and self-described “major nerd,” spent roughly €10,000 (over $11,000 US) designing the space. Travelers passing through Lisbon can experience it themselves for just $39 a night. If the room happens to be booked for the dates you had in mind, Farinha also has two additional rooms available for rent, including some equally nerdy Star Wars-themed digs.

[h/t Mashable]

All images courtesy of André Farinha // Airbnb.

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Courtesy Umbrellium
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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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iStock
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fun
Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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iStock

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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