Since the dawn of e-commerce, many businesses have been liberated from the steep costs of renting retail space and paying salespeople to walk the floor. With the advent of Web 2.0, entrepreneurs have been able to go even further, unleashing themselves from the expenses and limitations of a creative team and instead tapping into the collective mind of Web users for their next great idea.
MUJI, the Japanese brand famous for being tastefully brandless, will soon open a retail shop in JetBlue's new Terminal 5 at New York's JFK airport. The terminal, which was originally designed by Eero Saarinen for TWA, has been lying fallow for many years, but an $800 million renovation has reinvigorated it into JetBlue's shining new New York hub.
There are all sorts of devices emerging these days that are meant to monitor and increase awareness of our energy consumption habits. From high-concept products like Die Electric, which we highlighted in Dwell's March 08 issue, and the Wattson by DIY Kyoto, to more utilitarian gadgets like the PowerCost by Blue Line Innovations, there's a specially designed conservation reminder for just about everybody.
There's a vast field of opportunity right now for designing every day objects using new materials that make them safer and more sustainable. Food containers—which we throw away in astonishing volumes each day—are a prime target. Though the best solution to the packaging waste problem is to use non-disposable dishware (which also promotes cooking at home and eating healthier food), we all inevitably get food on the run sometimes.