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Pop!Tech Conference

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Pop!Tech is a big-ideas conference in a small Maine town that brings together leaders and innovators from science, tech, education, and entertainment for a three-day conversation among 600 people. This year's central theme was "Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures, and Improbable Breakthroughs."

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  Pop!Tech is held at the height of fall each year at the Camden Opera House in midcoast Maine, but the conference spills out into the small streets. The town green hosted this installation from the London-based design research studio, Loop.pH. Entitled "Archilace," the structure was designed as an antidote to traditional, rigid architecture and built using traditional textile processes. The firm sees imagines adapting the process for everything from lightweight, vertical, urban farming frames to emergency relief shelters.
    Pop!Tech is held at the height of fall each year at the Camden Opera House in midcoast Maine, but the conference spills out into the small streets. The town green hosted this installation from the London-based design research studio, Loop.pH. Entitled "Archilace," the structure was designed as an antidote to traditional, rigid architecture and built using traditional textile processes. The firm sees imagines adapting the process for everything from lightweight, vertical, urban farming frames to emergency relief shelters.
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  David de Rothschild (yes, those Rothschilds) is an eco-adventurer and activist. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller and Thor Hyerdahl, de Rothschild designed The Plastiki, a boat made entirely of recycled materials; largely plastic water bottles. De Rothschild and a crew that included Treehugger founder Graham Hill sailed the boat from San Francisco to Australia to raise awareness about plastic pollution and the great floating "gyres" of refuse found in all of the world's oceans. The Pacific Gyre alone has been estimated to be as large, if not larger than, the state of Texas.
    David de Rothschild (yes, those Rothschilds) is an eco-adventurer and activist. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller and Thor Hyerdahl, de Rothschild designed The Plastiki, a boat made entirely of recycled materials; largely plastic water bottles. De Rothschild and a crew that included Treehugger founder Graham Hill sailed the boat from San Francisco to Australia to raise awareness about plastic pollution and the great floating "gyres" of refuse found in all of the world's oceans. The Pacific Gyre alone has been estimated to be as large, if not larger than, the state of Texas.
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  Graham Hill, founder of the blog Treehugger, took the stage to announce a competition to re-design a 420-foot-square apartment in the most fantastic, innovative, and green way possible. Ideally the space, with parsed-down stuff, the help of technology, and some creative corner-cutting could be host to a work-at-home city-dweller with room enough for two guests to sleep over and sit-down dinner parties for a dozen. Dubbed LifeEdited, the prize pot contains $70,000.
    Graham Hill, founder of the blog Treehugger, took the stage to announce a competition to re-design a 420-foot-square apartment in the most fantastic, innovative, and green way possible. Ideally the space, with parsed-down stuff, the help of technology, and some creative corner-cutting could be host to a work-at-home city-dweller with room enough for two guests to sleep over and sit-down dinner parties for a dozen. Dubbed LifeEdited, the prize pot contains $70,000.
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  As a graphic designer,  Orlagh O'Brien  has to know how other people feel, which led her to a more specific question: How and where do people feel emotions in their bodies? She crowd-sourced the question and her subjects laid visual answers on top of a body diagram. Here's an amalgamation of people's responses to the embodied feelings of (l-r): anger, joy, fear, sadness, and love.
    As a graphic designer, Orlagh O'Brien has to know how other people feel, which led her to a more specific question: How and where do people feel emotions in their bodies? She crowd-sourced the question and her subjects laid visual answers on top of a body diagram. Here's an amalgamation of people's responses to the embodied feelings of (l-r): anger, joy, fear, sadness, and love.
  • 
  Simply put, Ryan Smith turns poop into plastic. He is the CTO of MicroMidas, a company that uses microbes to convert raw sewage into high-quality, disposable plastic that, when discarded will biodegrade in under a year. Smith was one of this year's Social Innovation Fellows, people chosen to attend for their world-changing potential.
    Simply put, Ryan Smith turns poop into plastic. He is the CTO of MicroMidas, a company that uses microbes to convert raw sewage into high-quality, disposable plastic that, when discarded will biodegrade in under a year. Smith was one of this year's Social Innovation Fellows, people chosen to attend for their world-changing potential.
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  Another Social Innovation Fellow, Brook Betts Farwell is the co-founder of RecycleMatch, an online company that's making a new market for waste by connecting businesses with castoff materials to those that can use the refuse productively.
    Another Social Innovation Fellow, Brook Betts Farwell is the co-founder of RecycleMatch, an online company that's making a new market for waste by connecting businesses with castoff materials to those that can use the refuse productively.
  • 
  Tom Darden of  Make It Right  New Orleans, the non-profit founded by Brad Pitt to build new, affordable, and sustainable homes for—and with—Lower Ninth Ward residents displaced by Katrina, gave an impassioned presentation about the evolution of the foundation's modern housing projects. “The symbolism of rebuilding the Ninth Ward sends a national message,” he said. “What will it take to get green designers and builders to build these kinds of homes on a national level?”
    Tom Darden of Make It Right New Orleans, the non-profit founded by Brad Pitt to build new, affordable, and sustainable homes for—and with—Lower Ninth Ward residents displaced by Katrina, gave an impassioned presentation about the evolution of the foundation's modern housing projects. “The symbolism of rebuilding the Ninth Ward sends a national message,” he said. “What will it take to get green designers and builders to build these kinds of homes on a national level?”
  • 
  If you couldn't guess from his wooden clogs, Pieter Hoff is from Holland, a country built on green energy and democratic desire, largely below sea-level. He's now using mother nature's example to regenerate tree in areas thought to be unsalvageable—like stripmines—with his innovative  Groasis  waterboxx, the small green pot on the left.
    If you couldn't guess from his wooden clogs, Pieter Hoff is from Holland, a country built on green energy and democratic desire, largely below sea-level. He's now using mother nature's example to regenerate tree in areas thought to be unsalvageable—like stripmines—with his innovative Groasis waterboxx, the small green pot on the left.
  • 
  Among other things, sound artist  Stephen Vitiello  shared images and audio from his residency in the Twin Towers. Using contact mics on the windows, which behave like stethoscopes, he recorded the internal and external sounds of the towers; sounds which could not be heard simply standing inside. The first noises recorded through the mics were churchbells.
    Among other things, sound artist Stephen Vitiello shared images and audio from his residency in the Twin Towers. Using contact mics on the windows, which behave like stethoscopes, he recorded the internal and external sounds of the towers; sounds which could not be heard simply standing inside. The first noises recorded through the mics were churchbells.

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