Each week we bring you a topic that’s newsworthy for our industrial furniture customers — customers that range from Fortune 500 giants like Apple, Boeing and Toyota, to professional craftsman and do-it-yourselfers who want the highest quality technical furniture for their office or home — and everything in-between. See also our Formaspace 2016 Guide to Industry Events
As we look over the 50+ articles we’ve written over this past year, it’s hard to pick just one story that represents what happened in 2015. How can you rank advancements in aerospace and rocketry over advances in manufacturing or news about architecture and design? All these topics were important newsmakers in 2015.
So instead we present some of our favorite stories from 2015 that have an interesting update or twist since we first reported on them.
The Ebola outbreak in Africa was the major public health story of 2014, with many of our fellow Americans gripped with panic as healthcare providers and missionaries were brought to healthcare facilities in Dallas and Atlanta for treatment.
In contrast to the previous year, the tide turned in 2015 as strong public health measures in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia brought the outbreak under control. Most fortunately, the Ebola outbreak did not take hold in Africa’s most populous country Nigeria, as was widely feared.
In a closing bit of good news for 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared this week that the country of Guinea is now free of the Ebola virus that killed over 2500 people.
In the field of scientific research, the development of powerful (yet cost effective and simple to use) gene splicing technology has set the world of life sciences research on fire. We wrote several articles that touched on this new Crisper CAS9 genome editing technology pioneered by Berkeley Professor Jennifer Doudna and Feng Zhang, faculty member at MIT, an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a core member of the Broad Institute.
This breathtaking new technology is leading to new discoveries being announced practically every day. The potential for misuse and accidental unintended consequences remains high; so we rate this is one of the hot topics for 2015 that will continue in the news throughout 2016 and beyond.
Advances in computing and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the world of personal transport. Throughout 2015, we’ve addressed this topic, reporting on news like advances in Google’s self-driving car technology and rumors that Apple will get into the car business as well.
More recently, Tesla has been updating the operating system software for their Model S line of cars, bringing more advanced automation features to the driver. We really like the video above, because it gives you a true sense of how exciting and yet unnerving this new technology will feel to those of us who are used to keeping two hands on the wheel at all times. Will 2015 go down as the beginning of the end for us mere humans driving our own vehicles?
World-famous architect Frank Gehry made a strong impression on us again in 2015 — as Sydney, Australia celebrated the opening of the Dr. Chau Chak Building at the UTS Business School. This amazing new structure, nicknamed the Brown Paper Bag Building, is a new must-see tourist attraction for Sydney, second only to the world-famous Sydney Opera House.
The curving, gravity defying walls required development of all new techniques for keeping the bricks attached securely to the undulating walls. So, in 2015, all eyes are once again on Frank Gehry.
What we saw at this show was an affirmation that mid-century modern design principles are alive and well. There was a renewed focus on incorporating glass and highly polished bright metal surfaces, primarily in silver and gold tones. Muted metallic surface finishes in interesting shades of blue and gray were also on display at many of the design house stands.
At the 2015 TED Conference, the talk by Joseph DeSimone, CEO of startup company Carbon3D really caught our attention. Their innovative approach for 3-D printing uses light (shot in through a window into a pool of liquid) to turn polymerization on and off — thereby creating solid forms. Unlike other additive manufacturing processes, this approach is fast and produces much smoother surfaces.
The update on the story is that since we wrote about DeSimone’s TED Talk, he and his laboratory have been awarded a $250,000 Kabiller Prize in nano science and nano medicine. This is an inventor to watch!
For many, the biggest story of 2015 was completely out of this world, literally.
NASA’s intrepid New Horizons space probe send back to earth the most fascinating pictures imaginable of Pluto during its flyby mission to the outer reaches of the solar system.
As the data of each new image made its way to earth, NASA researchers were caught on camera mouthing the words “Wow”, “Wow” and again “Wow”.
Perhaps because it’s so small and far away — not to mention the fact that it suffered the indignity of being demoted from full planet status — Pluto had the last word– and it’s a stunning world after all.
The world of space exploration hit another high note at the end of 2015, as Elon Musk’s company SpaceX demonstrated a successful controlled landing of a rocket booster. If these rocket boosters can reliably be retrieved and quickly reused, it will further SpaceX’s ambitious goals of bringing the cost of space travel down, the reliability up — a necessary step to enabling travel to Mars. Already in 2015, thanks in great part due to SpaceX, the idea space travel to Mars has changed from some far-off time — say 50 years from now — to something perhaps in a 2030s time-frame.
What’s your favorite story of 2015?
Formaspace is Looking Ahead to 2016 and Beyond
Our philosophy is built it right once and it will last practically forever — hence our famous 12 year, 3 shift labor included furniture guarantee. Your investment in Formaspace furniture saves you today and saves you in the long run.
We invite you to join the roster of satisfied Formaspace technical, manufacturing and laboratory furniture clients — including Apple Computer, Boeing, Dell, Eli Lilly, Exxon Mobile, Ford, General Electric, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Medtronic, NASA, Novartis, Stanford University, Toyota and more. Give us a call today at 1.800.251.1505 to find out more about the Formaspace line of built-to-order computer workstations, industrial workbenches, laboratory furniture, lab benches and dry lab/wet labs — as well as our design / furniture consulting services.
We’ve just launched our fifth generation of workbenches– Formaspace 5.0. Now you can get our top-quality, made-in-America workbenches starting at $450 — we build it just for you in just 5 days here in our factory headquarters in Austin, Texas. Like all Formaspace furniture, it’s backed by our famous 12 year, three shift guarantee.