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News update – August 1st, 2018

In our new weekly News Filter, we share our thoughts on the most interesting news articles, blogs, videos and events relating to the future of cities, buildings and interiors.

Stress can a major contributing factor to the development of chronic diseases like heart disease, and to workplace issues such as burn out. Job related stress in particular builds up to $300B in annual costs in the USA. But for scientists and psychologists, measuring stress and helping patients to overcome stress, can itself be stressful: Accurately measuring stress can be particularly hard to do. However, according to anew article from IEEE, a new wearable sensor developed by Stanford could be the Holy Grail of stress measurement.
Stanford researchers have recently developed a patch that is able to provide instant and accurate measurement of stress by checking the levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone, in sweat. The patch is still only a prototype, and work remains to be done to miniaturize the device, evaluate data, develop a user interface, and adapt it to be powered by energy harvesting rather than a battery.  But even in its early stages, this small patch has the potential to have huge ramifications in our global health, and our ability to overcome stress.

Read more about this incredible innovation in measuring stress  here.

And, read about our own stress-reducing RESET Pods here.

Take a look at this new interview from Commonedge.com with Sarah Williams Goldhagen, author of the recently published book “Welcome to your World: How the built environment shapes our lives”. Goldhagen is a longtime critic for The New Republic and a former lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design – where our founder Ben van Berkel currently lectures. In this interview, Goldhagen discusses the rapidly developing science behind cognition and its relevance to architecture and the built environment.

Read Goldhagen’s interview with Commonedge here.


In this concise article on forbes.com, members of the Forbes Technology Council discuss the future of collaborations between homebuilders and tech companies. The contributors state that the partnership between U.S. homebuilder Lennar and Amazon’s Alexa to equip all new homes with built-in smart devices indicate wide possibilities on the frontier of smart home innovation.

“As the demand for aftermarket products for smart home tech and solar power increases, we’ll see more developers adding these features as they build, offering a turnkey solution for home buying. Especially when considering LEED Certification, it offers an even greater incentive to developers to build smarter, cleaner and more efficient homes.” – Greg Cruikshank, LabRoots

Read more from Forbes here.

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