Bernard Arnault Becomes the World’s Richest Person, and Other News

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Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH Group

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As LVMH stock soars, Bernard Arnault surpasses Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person. 

The world officially has a new richest person: the French fashion tycoon Bernard Arnault, whose estimated net worth reached $186.3 billion. That puts him $300 million above Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ($186 billion). Credit the pandemic-defying performance of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, which owns luxury fashion brands such as Fendi, Dior, and Givenchy, which has been recently pushed by shoppers in China. In the first quarter of 2021, LVMH recorded revenue of $17 billion—a 32 percent increase compared to the same period the year prior.  

Jack Dorsey donates $3.5 million to a program offering guaranteed income for artists.

Not long after San Francisco announced a program that would offer guaranteed income for artists, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has donated $3.46 million to the pilot program through his charity #StartSmall. The city recently announced its inaugural cohort of 130 recipients, all of whom were set to receive $1,000 a month for six months administered by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Thanks to Dorsey’s gift, however, the program will now be expanded to run for a year and a half and for an additional 50 artists. “To know that we have the confidence of #StartSmall to be able to truly pilot this, to grow from the six-month pilot the city has funded to an 18-month pilot, to be able to deepen the learnings and also to be able to add artists, is truly extraordinary,” Yerba Buena CEO Deborah Cullinan told the San Francisco Chronicle

The Miller House by José Oubrerie in Lexington, Kentucky

Two architecturally significant historic homes in Lexington, Kentucky, face demolition.

Lexington is facing the loss of two architecturally significant residences. The first, Miller House, was designed in the late 1980s by architect José Oubrerie, then-dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Kentucky and a Le Corbusier protégé. Located among McMansion in the eastern part of the city, the home takes inspiration from Corbusier’s modernist Villa Shodhan in Ahmedabad, India, and features three autonomous dwellings separated by a series of elevated catwalks and stairwells. It goes up for auction today. The second, Thomas Watkins House, is a red-brick house designed by local architect John McMurtry in the late 1880s. Over the years the surrounding area has turned into an increasingly dense commercial and residential district, which is why the restaurateur and developer Philip Greer has applied to demolish it. Neither has landmark protection, leaving preservationists lamenting what the future holds for the two historic structures.

Thanks to the American Jobs Plan, mass transit may be facing an $85 billion renaissance.

With President Biden’s American Jobs Plan hanging in the balance, Congress has the power over the country’s commute. If passed, $85 billion would be allocated to states to fix and maintain decaying systems. They could certainly use it—in a recent report, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s transportation infrastructure a D–. The country’s aging fixed-rail category, which includes subways, commuter rail, and light rail, are in chronic disrepair. For more on the state of the commute, Fast Company outlines the stakes

Injection molded structures made using the Glassomer composite technique

Researchers pioneer a new injection molding technique to cast glass objects more quickly.

Plastic objects are cheaper and more cost-effective to produce compared to glass, but that may change soon thanks to a new technique that may revolutionize glass production. A team of researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany teamed with Glassomer to utilize injection molding to cast high-quality glass objects at a lower temperature, saving time and energy in the process. 

“For decades, glass has often been the second choice when it comes to materials in manufacturing processes because its formation is too complicated, energy-intensive, and unsuitable for producing high-resolution structures,” Dr. Bastian E. Rapp, who’s leading the research efforts, said in a statement. “Polymers, on the other hand, have allowed all of this, but their physical, optical, chemical, and thermal properties are inferior to glass. As a result, we’ve combined polymer and glass processing. Our process will allow us to quickly and cost-effectively replace both mass-produced products and complex polymer structures and components with glass.” 

FloatLab by Howeler + Yoon Architecture

Today’s attractive distractions:

Undo for Tomorrow’s vegan sneakers are made using discarded party balloons.

A glowing pathway called FloatLab will pop up at Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River. 

Auction markets for pre-worn celebrity clothing have never been more promising.

Childhood bullying inspired this Lego VP to design a new rainbow-colored set.

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