Friday Fives, Vol. 174

This week we’re getting super psyched about a supersonic jet, getting our hands on some good books, and making sure those hands look amazing with a robot manicurist.

In addition to this week’s fives, check out a great writeup about MassMutual on Toptal, see Klarna killin’ it in Adweek, and catch our very own Jolene Delisle talking to Crunchbase about building inclusive teams. We’re also kicking off summer Fridays this week, so kick back and relax.

Book design you can really feel

In the digital age, Fuman sees the chance to make real tactile objects more memorable. Their design book, appropriately named Touchy Feely, showcases a range of papers that elevate handheld, analog items into touchable sensory experiences. We’d love to get our hands on it, because touching a screen just isn’t the same. We know — ironic, as you read this on your screen.

AI creates cityscape poetry in motion

You’ve heard of fake news. But what about fake views? Strolling Cities is a project from the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab in which poetry is fed into a machine, then the machine takes that language and generates an imaginary scene of what it would look like in real life. It’s all based on real images, but the amalgamation is totally new. The result is a not-quite otherworldly display of what AI is capable of.

Leaving on a jet plane, but arriving way faster

With the pandemic in full swing, most of us didn’t really think about air travel, or if we did, it was a double-mask triple hand sanitizer quadruple COVID-19 test experience. But United Airlines thinks that we’re all going to be flying a lot more soon, and they want to make it a much faster experience with supersonic jets.They’re still weighing the environmental and cost impact of supersonic flights from NY to London, but soon you may need to download one or two fewer episodes of your favorite podcast for the plane.

Robotic manicurists that nail it everytime

If you’ve ever gotten your nails done and thought “This would be better if I didn’t have to awkwardly sit across from this person” then we have some good news. Three different companies are all vying to disrupt the salon industry with robo manicures. The machines range in size from tabletop units set up in offices or stores, to microwave size devices intended for home use. No pedicures as of now, but once their foot is in the door of the salon business, we think those aren’t far off.

Designers ditching traditional publishers

Crowdfunding books for niche audiences is going mainstream. Where big publishers demand marketability and metrics, crowdfunding allows publishers like Volume to create cult content more easily and beautifully, with the authors in direct control. As design nerds, we love the idea of more visually stunning books. Excuse us while we fund every project and buy every book.

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Established in 2017, we collaborate with emerging and evolving companies for end-to-end brand building, including strategy and visual identity, print and digital design, content, and creative campaigns.

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The Working Assembly

NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.