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Volta Trucks reveals new fully electric truck, designed to navigate hectic city streets

Swedish startup Volta Trucks has finally unveiled its first vehicle. The ”Volta Zero” is a 16-tonne fully electric truck designed specifically for inner city parcel and freight deliveries. In order to maneuver busy and narrow city streets, the vehicle is sized like a large motor home; larger than a van but still smaller than a classic full-sized truck. The truck has a range of 150 to 200 kilometers which according to the Volta Trucks is ”more than sufficient for the daily use of a ‘last-mile’ delivery vehicle”.

Co-founder Kjell Walöen is a former Volvo executive, so it comes as no surprise that Volta Zero prioritizes road safety. It was designed without an internal combustion engine, which puts the driver in a central driving position with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. The glass house-style cockpit also gives the driver 220-degree visibility, which helps the driver to spot surrounding bikers and pedestrians.

European delivery service DPD has already climbed aboard the project and will launch a pilot test using the new truck in London for the first quarter of 2021. Mass production of the Volta Zero is anticipated to take place in the UK in 2022, and the company aims to have built around 500 customer-specifications vehicles at the end of that year.

— From the outset of the development of the Volta Zero, we understood the positive benefits that vehicle electrification would bring to society, and specifically the inhabitants of city centers where air quality is frequently at its worst. For Volta Trucks, electrification is the means to the end. The end of the internal combustion engine. The end of CO 2 being emitted into our atmosphere and the end of harmful pollutants affecting the health of today’s, and the future, generations, says founder Carl-Magnus Norden in a statement.

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Apple to build the world’s largest onshore wind turbines in Denmark

At 200 meters tall, the never seen before turbines are expected to produce 62-gigawatt hours each year — energy enough to power almost 20,000 homes. The sky-high turbines will be put near the town of Esbjerg, and will support Apple’s 45,000 square meter data center in Viborg. All the surplus energy created from the turbines will go to the Danish electrical grid.

— Combatting climate change demands urgent action and global partnership and the Viborg data center is powerful proof that we can rise to this generational challenge, explains Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

This is one step in the right direction for Apple’s plans to become carbon neutral across its entire business by 2030, announced last month. Transitioning all of its European-based suppliers to renewable power is a good start, as Apple wants every Apple device sold to have net zero climate impact.

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Initiative Bridge wants to reduce entrepreneurial segregation

In the midst of a fragile economy and a labor market rocked to its core, Stockholm based non-profit organization BLING starts initiative Bridge. The project, launching on October first, is taking place in Kista just north of Stockholm and will be a junction of local entrepreneurs and established businesses. Kista is sometimes called ”Sweden’s Silicon Valley” but is at the same time located in proximity to many economically and socially deprived areas of Stockholm. As the name suggests, the purpose of Bridge is to build a bridge way between the suburbs and the inner city businesses through trade, industry, meetings, and inspiration.

— Even though Kista is called Sweden’s Silicon Valley there is not one single hub for the local and engaged individuals. This gives a feeling that entrepreneurship is not for the people who live here, says Deqa Abukar, founder of BLING.

Deqa Abukar founded BLING in 2014 as a reaction to entrepreneurial segregation in Sweden and has since then pushed for entrepreneurship to be a catalyst for positive societal change, and a weapon against social exclusion. To launch The Bridge, BLING takes help from sub-organization Womenisia, started by Amal Said, as well as head partner Atelier Saman Amel.

Do you think Bridge could expand outside Kista?

— Definitely, I think the concept is brilliant, Bridge gathers trade, meetings, development, and inspiration under one roof. It is literally futuristic in the sense that trading within businesses with a conscious and inclusive mind will be more important than just buying and selling. As in-store visits are decreasing we need to think of creative ways for businesses to meet their customers and customers to feel genuine in their purchase. Retail isn’t dead, it’s changing. And we are doing it with the universal language that is entrepreneurship, explains co-founder Amal Said.

How do you get women to apply for Bridge, or will that not be an issue?

— The Bridge was also initiated by Womenisa, it is a network for personal and entrepreneurial development for women. We focus on inspiration and enhancing role models so that we can not only offer resources and the correct tools but also create an environment where women can open doors for one another.  I believe by having these female entrepreneurs from our network in The Bridge it sends out the message that — when women see themselves represented, they’re more likely to apply, concludes Said.

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Elon Musk’s brain chip implant gets new simplified design

Neuralink is arguably the most futuristic and exciting project out of all the progressive tech ideas from Elon Musk, and the perplexing brain chip implant just took a leap forward in design and comprehensibility during an online presentation last week. The old bean-shaped design made to sit behind your ear is scrapped for a chip that resembles a really small macaron.

— It [the old design] was complex, and you still wouldn’t look totally normal; you would have a thing behind your ear. So we’ve simplified this to something that is about the size of a large coin, and it goes in your skull, Musk said in the online presentation.

The small chip is implanted at the top of your head by removing a coin size piece of skull, the chip then takes up all the missing skull space when implanted. The fine wires sticking out of the chip connects to your brain neurons, creating a plantable neural link. The chip will then be connected to an app and hopes to warn the user for heart attacks or stroke. Musk also shared that the chip could help you write full sentences and words just by thinking, and in the future also telepathically summon a Tesla.

During the presentation, Musk was asked if the Neuralink chip could save and replay memories in the future.

— Yes, I think that we can save and replay memories in the future. This is obviously sounding increasingly much like a Black Mirror episode… But over time we could actually give someone super vision. Like ultraviolet or infrared and actually have super human vision.

As if the project couldn’t be more exciting (or scary), Neuralink has also made a robot that surgically implants the chip into your skull, so there’s no reason to fear the human error.

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Byredo debuts spontaneous and gender-free makeup line

It’s been two years in the making, but the fragrance associated brand Byredo is now ready to launch a makeup collection. Swedish founder Ben Gorham turned to British makeup artist Issamaya Ffrench to make the collection happen, and the two opted for an unconventional and spontaneous approach. The collection never took gender into consideration, for instance.

— I started to feel that there could be a very visual manifestation of beauty for Byredo; I thought our visual ideas could be as different as our approach to scent. As I started to really look at the beauty world I found much of it conservative and conventional. I thought we can do this, and we can do it differently. Ultimately, beauty is subjective — Byredo Makeup had to reflect that, explains Gorham.

Gorham and Ffrench’s relaxed approach shines through in their products, like the versatile ”Colour Stick” that lets the wearer decide how it should be used — whether on the eyes, lips, or cheeks. The collection lives, moves and breathes in harmony with the wearer and does not demand a sophisticated application, according to the two creators.

— I’ve always wanted to redefine the approach to creating a makeup collection. I don’t want to tell people how to wear the cosmetics, just to inspire them. I wanted to create a sense of freedom in the way we approach using makeup but also in the way we communicate the products, says Isamaya French.

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SynVillan lets you blend in with nature at Scandinavia’s biggest safari park

SynVillan, which roughly translates to ”optical illusion”, is located in Blekinge in the southeast of Sweden at the hotel and nature reserve Eriksberg. The room that holds up to four people is elevated three meters over the ground and overlooks an archipelago bay, and the eye-catching mirrored facade of the heightened room pays great homage to the surrounding wildlife by simply reflecting it.

Architect Thomas Sandell from the Sandellandsandberg firm designed the project and took inspiration from the region’s traditional residential architecture. The roof is made from reeds and the walls are made out of polished patterned steel for the mirrored effect. The room also features a glass panel on the floor which allows visitors to see bison, deer, sheep, boar, and other animals that roam the nature reserve.

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Changing the face of automotive retail

With their new showroom space in Stockholm, the fully digital and electrical car brand wants to offer a physical retailing space. Sweden is one of nine key markets globally for Polestar and considered the home market next to mainland China.

— It’s a massive moment for us a brand because it’s a moment where we actually open up our retail offering to our customers. We’re an entirely digital brand, if you want to do everything online and never visit anywhere you could do that. On the other hand, we wanted to have a retail environment where people could walk in and find out a little bit about Polestar, says Jonathan Goodman. •

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Acne Studios take influence from dogs in latest drop

For their AW20 collection Acne Studios turn to British artist Lydia Blakely, famous for her dog artworks, when choosing prints and patterns. Blakely’s motifs can be seen among lumberjack-inspired flannels, over-dimensioned checks, and classic denim. Suitably, Acne Studios gathered their employees for a portrait of them together with their dogs to showcase parts of the collection.

— A while ago I became a dog owner myself. Ever since then I’ve started to notice the ‘dog people’, walking, being, and dressing. I didn’t see them in the same way before and now I guess I’ve become one myself. For this collection, I wanted to highlight and credit that subculture for all the inspiration it has given me, says Jonny Johansson, Creative Director of Acne Studios.

The collection is composed of a range of fabrics, from denim to silks, in a mix of bold and neutral hues. The employees and their hairy friends were photographed wearing the new dog garments as well as oversized suiting pieces from the collection at the headquarters in Stockholm.

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Beckmans College of Design 2020 graduation collection

The annual show took place at the National History Museum in Stockholm and was presented on two occasions, with attendees limited to 50 people per show because of the Swedish Corona restrictions.

Graduates for the 2020 class were Alida Almberg Bard, Alva Lingestål, Anna-Karin Friberg, Clara Nordwall, Ebba Eriksson, Eli Solberg, Emilia Utbult, Frida Nilsson, Jade Cropper Anér, Jannica Hagberg, Lisa Jacobsson, Rita Roslin, Robin Stenberg, and Robin Söderholm.

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CDLP launches the ideal work-from-home suit

Working from home has been desired over the past couple of years, and with the global Corona related restrictions it has even turned into an obligation for many. “HOME” is CDLP’s take on dressing for the fluctuating home office occasion, that is supposed to be both comfortable and professional at the same time. 

The capsule collection includes a short suit and long suit in navy blue and burgundy, as well as a burgundy robe. All the pieces are made out of the Swedish brand’s signature lyocell fabric to help you tackle both indoor and outdoor conditions, when errands force you to leave the comfort of the home.

CDLP have turned to French artist Sébastien Tellier to model the collection, and utlizes the German photographer Jonas Unger to capture the joie de vivre essence of the collection and model.