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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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ODI: Soothing Sound Inspired by Nature

November 14, 2010, 7:13 PM

The sounds of nature, from bird song to waves crashing to the white noise of grass blowing in the wind, have an indisputably soothing effect on the human psyche. While home devices like alarm clocks and ambient sound players have attempted to replicate these sounds for our portable benefit, they tend to fall flat in comparison to the full, immersive richness of the real thing. ODI by Italian designer Chiara Pacifici aims to address this disconnect.

Part industrial design, part public art installation, the playful sound device resembles a pair of giant ears made entirely of terracotta and uses resonance to churn out sinusoidal waves in rhythmic, repetitive oscillation, producing soft, soothing sounds channeled directly into the listener's ears.

The project was commissioned by Ranocchia Terrecotte Studio and is designed to invite public interaction.


Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.


ODI: Soothing Sound Inspire...

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