Stacked Cardboard Recycling Boxes In A Pile
Courtesy John via Abode Stock Stacked Cardboard Recycling Boxes In A Pile

On Tuesday, Amazon announced a $10 million investment in the Closed Loop Fund to increase recycling rates across the country. According to a company press release, the money will "divert 1 million tons of recyclable material from landfill into the recycling stream and eliminate the equivalent of 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2028—equivalent to shutting down a coal-fired power plant for six months." The contribution will also go toward increasing curbside recycling for 3 million homes in the United States. The Closed Loop Fund invests in recycling infrastructure and technology to promote a circular economy. [Amazon]

Researchers from ETH Zurich and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed electric-powered ultralight gloves that allow users to "touch" and "feel" virtual objects. Weighing only 8 grams (approximately 0.28 ounces), the haptic gloves are made of cotton with elastic metal strip boning that is manipulated via electrostatic attraction, giving wearers the impression of holding or feeling a virtual object. "We wanted to develop a lightweight device that—unlike existing virtual-reality gloves—doesn't require a bulky exoskeleton, pumps, or very thick cables," said Herbert Shea, head of EPFL's Soft Transducers Laboratory, in a press release. Although the gloves currently require a thin electric cable, a small battery could also be installed due to the small amount of energy required to operate the gloves. The researchers speculate that gloves could be used in gaming, medical training, or virtual and augmented reality environments. [ETH Zurich]

According to survey released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), employees in LEED-certified green buildings are more productive, happier, and healthier. Of respondents who work in LEED-certified buildings, 81 percent believe that the air quality has improved their health and comfort. “We discovered that today’s employees are more motivated than ever to work for a company that promotes not just a higher standard of living for its employees, but also of its community,” said USGBC CEO Mahesh Ramanujam in a press release. “In today’s highly competitive job market, if companies want to attract and retain highly-skilled, talented employees, they must demonstrate a commitment to environmental, human, and economic sustainability.” [USGBC]

Thanks to a recent $350 million commitment by Stephen Schwarzman—the CEO and co-founder of the private equity Blackstone Group—and an overall planned investment of $1 billion, MIT has established the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, dedicated to the investigation of the future of computing and artificial intelligence (AI). The college is slated to open next fall and will eventually be housed in a new structure on MIT's campus. It will serve as an "indisciplinary hub for work in computer science, AI, data science, and related fields," according to a press release. The program will create 50 new faculty positions as well as numerous fellowship roles for graduate students. [MIT]

OLEDWorks' Omled One S5 was installed at the DeJoy, Knauf & Blood offices.
Courtesy OLEDWorks OLEDWorks' Omled One S5 was installed at the DeJoy, Knauf & Blood offices.

Architectural Lighting editor-at-large Elizabeth Donoff explores the evolution of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), as recent advances and successful field-testing have brought the technology closer to more mainstream use by architects in the built environment. [ARCHITECT]