Ingenious Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion helps city dwellers breathe clean, unpolluted air using algae

October 31, 2016 by  
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Air quality is a serious issue that needs to be addressed as more and more people move to large cities . At the same time, we are losing the forests that help us combat air pollution, which means that pollution promises to be a major health threat in coming decades. The Chlorella Pavilion  addresses that need, taking inspiration from the air purifying process that occurs in nature. The design emphasizes the  symbiotic relationship between animal and plants. Miklosi conceived a system of tubes that run throughout the interior and exterior of the structure, filled with algae soaking up energy from the sun and “exhaling” oxygen into the space by way of a central fountain. The fountain is surrounded by seating so that people can relax enjoy the fresh air. Visitors coming to this futuristic oxygen bar will feed the algae by converting oxygen into CO2 with their breath, creating a continuous cycle. The entire system is run by solar panels, which provide power for artificial lighting that supports photosynthesis. Photobioreactors create a network of transparent plastic tubes, each of which is filled with 5 cubic meters of algae. The algae sucks in dirty air, cleans it, and sends out purified air. Surrounding this central algae “fountain” are a series of chairs in a circle, facing the center. Related: Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage Called a “temple of relaxation,” the Chlorella Pavilion could be placed just about anywhere, including metropolitan areas where bustling city dwellers could use a natural boost of oxygen-driven energy – or just some fresh air. The innovative structure is built with molded beech wood and an isolating teflon film on the exterior to help create a space for relaxation and recovery. The project was inspired by Russia’s Controlled ecological life support system , in which a self-supporting life system was created using algae to provide oxygen.  Miklosi’s design recently won Inhabitat’s  Biodesign Competition . +Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion

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Ingenious Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion helps city dwellers breathe clean, unpolluted air using algae

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters raise over $1 million on GoFundMe

October 31, 2016 by  
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Back in April, North Dakota Access Pipeline protesters started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for basic camp needs like blankets and food. Now the crowdfunding campaign has raised over $1 million. As the camp prepares for the cold North Dakota winter , when temperatures often hover below freezing, they’re asking for supplies like winter clothes and sleeping bags. Protester Howaste Wakiya started the official Sacred Stone Camp GoFundMe page on April 19 on behalf of one of the camp founders, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard. He wrote, “This is a prayer camp movement to save our sacred land and water and has been entirely supported by the people and the campers.” Related: Armed police arrest 141 protesters over Dakota Access Pipeline Donations began to roll in as the camp grew. Wakiya reported in an update on the GoFundMe page two months ago that the camp swelled from 50 people to 2,000 people in just a week. As law enforcement arrested protesters, funds gathered on the page also began to go towards bail and court costs. About a month ago, Wakiya wrote an update saying that as the camp readies itself for winter, they needed supplies like wood stoves and teepee liners. The camp has been able to use some wind and solar power , but according to the Sacred Stone Camp website have only limited means of generating such clean energies. Just this week Wakiya requested 40 additional solar panels. The camp is asking for firewood as one of their ” biggest winter needs .” Sacred Stone Camp has an Amazon wishlist which includes items like a snow thrower, log splitter, and wind turbine generator kit. There’s also a FundRazr page to raise money for legal defense. Over 15,000 people have contributed over $800,000 out of a goal of $1 million. + Sacred Stone Camp GoFundMe + Sacred Stone Camp Images via Tony Webster on Flickr and Sacred Stone Camp Facebook

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Dakota Access Pipeline protesters raise over $1 million on GoFundMe

Tunnel Through Time celebrates Canada’s open-minded attitude towards immigrants

October 31, 2016 by  
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The structure was designed to honor victims of the Hungarian revolution, but also recalls the turning point in Canadian immigration policy that shaped the country’s open-minded attitude towards immigrants in general. After the 1956 revolution, Canada welcomed 37,565 Hungarian immigrants, including 200 young engineers from the Faculty of Wood Sciences at the University of Sopron, who made a significant contribution to the famous Canadian wood industry. Related: Hello Wood Unveils Epic Butterfly House Pavilion for the Budapest Spring Festival The Consulate General of Hungary in Toronto commissioned Hello Wood to design the installation. The studio sent eight people to Toronto and, with the consulate’s help, locals and Canadian Hungarians built the structure to include an entrance symbolizing events of 1956 and referencing the hole protesters cut in the middle of the Hungarian flag during demonstrations. The exit, on the other hand, symbolizes new hope and takes the shape of Canada’s national symbol, the maple leaf. The installation was planned to stay in Budapest Park for a month before being moved near to a spot near Niagara Falls , where it will remain in the custody of a Canadian Hungarian scout group. + Hello Wood Photos by Gergely Szinnay

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Tunnel Through Time celebrates Canada’s open-minded attitude towards immigrants

Crazy gun shoots frozen tears at things that make you cry

October 31, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/188858189 Tear Gun is a strange-looking pistol that collects tears in a silicon pocket under the eye, freezes them in a brass bottle and shoots them like bullets. The design is Chen’s final Master’s project at the Design Academy of Eindhoven , and a way to visualize her personal struggle in a poetic way. She designed the gun after her then tutor Jan Boelen ( Z33 ) pushed her to take a critical approach and confront his opinions, forcing her to confront her obedience to authority that stems from her Taiwanese cultural conditioning. But all she could do was cry. Related: Cheese Made from Olafur Eliasson’s Tears on Display in Dublin Tear Gun was Chen’s way to express her previously repressed emotions using design as a vehicle to stand up for herself. She told Inhabitat after that episode she decided to embrace her emotions, and to “just accept the tears, but also take advantage of them.” We spotted Yi-Fei Chen’s Tear Gun at the Design Academy of Eindhoven’s Graduation Show during Dutch Design Week 2016. + Yi-Fei Chen + Design Academy of Eindhoven + Dutch Design Week Photos by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat and Yi-Fei Chen

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Brazil unleashes millions of genetically modified mosquitoes to combat Zika

October 31, 2016 by  
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Mosquitoes are an annoyance to nearly everyone who encounters them, and the little buzzers are responsible for spreading diseases like malaria, yellow fever and, of more recent note, Zika virus . Now scientists in Brazil are fighting back by releasing millions of genetically modified mosquitoes that, ideally, will mate with their wild counterparts and produce offspring with very short lifespans, thus causing disease-carrying family lines to die out within a few generations. Since mosquitoes only live a short time, this could greatly reduce the population of mosquitoes spreading infectious diseases in just a few weeks. British biotech firm Oxitec is the company leading the charge on the development of genetically modified male mosquitoes belonging to the Aedes aegypti species, which are responsible for the spread of a slew of diseases. The company launched the Friendly Aedes aegypti project in April 2015 in the town of Piracicaba, where some 60,000 people live under daily threat of diseases like dengue fever and Zika virus . Oxitec has been releasing its “self-limiting” mosquitoes across the city, and reporting huge reductions in cases of diseases those mosquitoes spread. After being released into the wild, the male mosquitoes breed with disease-carrying females and produce offspring that die quickly. The company reports that this technique can bring mosquito populations down by 90 percent, according to the results of five field tests conducted between 2011 and 2014. Related: Zika virus found in US mosquitoes for the first time Despite that good news, there were early concerns that releasing genetically modified mosquitoes may somehow contribute to the spread of viruses like Zika, rather than combat it. Many people blamed Oxitec for the recent Zika epidemic in Brazil, claiming that the aforementioned field tests actually caused the problem. However, experts at the World Health Organization have dismissed that notion in part because the field tests were not conducted in the same region as the Zika hotspot and, while the strategy is controversial, many epidemiologists believe this is the fastest and most effective way to reduce the spread of mosquito-born diseases. Oxitec is still waiting for approval from the Brazilian government to release their next batch of genetically modified mosquitoes, which would number in the millions. The company contracted with the town of Piracicaba in a $1.1 million deal, and erected what it claims is the “first and biggest factory” for genetically modified mosquitoes there, producing 60 million GM mosquitoes per week. (That’s three times the output of China’s largest mosquito factory, which is working on a similar project.) While Piracicaba is Oxitec’s only customer in Brazil, the company has worked in other parts of the world, doing exactly the same thing in an effort to stamp out mosquito-born diseases that are difficult to treat and, sometimes, deadly. Earlier this year, millions of the company’s little buzzers were released in the Cayman Islands and in Florida as well, two other places where Zika has spread. Via Gizmodo Images via Shutterstock and Oxitec

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Single cypress tree grows through a Los Angeles hillside home

October 31, 2016 by  
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Elevated off the ground and into foliage like a treehouse, The House in the Trees is cantilevered over a steep hillside and overlooks views of the valley. The 2,400-square-foot single-story building is wrapped in fire-treated Western red cedar siding and topped with an angled steel roof. The use of timber on the facade—and in the interior in the form of walnut cabinetry and reclaimed chestnut floors—helps the building blend into its wooded environment. Related: Contemporary ski chalet boasts gorgeous panoramic views and a low-energy footprint Large windows pour natural light into the interior, which is split into two portions: a two-bedroom main unit and a secondary unit with a kitchen, living room, office, extra bedroom, and bathroom. A wooden deck wraps around the living area to extend the building footprint to the outdoors. The mature cypress tree that grows through the home is exposed in the bedroom. “Waterproofing a tree in this situation proved to be very challenging but the system works to keep water out of the house,” write the architects. + Anonymous Architects Via Dezeen Images via Anonymous Architects

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Worlds largest thermal solar plant could be coming to Nevada

October 31, 2016 by  
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While thermal solar power plants have had a bit of trouble catching on in the US, solar energy company SolarReserve is hoping to change that. The company recently announced it’s hoping to build a 2,000 megawatt facility in Nevada called Sandstone. With a planned 10 towers and more than 100,000 concentrating mirrors, the plant would be the largest of its type anywhere in the world. It would overshadow SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes plant , currently the largest in the US with 110 megawatts of capacity. The new report comes via the Las Vegas Review-Journal , which reports the plant would cost about $5 billion to build and would deliver enough power for 1 million homes–the same amount of energy generated by Hoover Dam. Its energy capacity would also put it solidly in line with many nuclear power plants which, in the US, generate anywhere from 479 to 3,973 megawatts. If this project is successful, it could prove once and for all that solar energy is competitive with more conventional power sources. Its size isn’t the only thing that makes the proposed Sandstone plant unique. It would also be only one of two in the US to store excess solar energy in a molten salt battery, allowing it to continue generating power overnight. Related: Revolutionary new solar power plant generates energy all day and all night At the moment, SolarReserve is looking at two potential sites to house the Sandstone plant, both on federal land in Nye County. The facility itself could range in size from 15,000 to 20,000 acres, and a decision is expected sometime in the next six months. After various criticisms faced by the Ivanpah solar plant in California, SolarReserve appears to be carefully considering the environmental and wildlife conservation impact of both potential sites. Via CleanTechnica Images via SolarReserve

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Gigantic blood-red web takes over Gucci in Tokyo

October 31, 2016 by  
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Born in Osaka and currently based in Berlin, Chiharu Shiota is well-known for her passion of wrapping objects and spaces with red or black thread. In the case of Gucci, her artistic gesture intends to reinterpret an emblematic pattern designed by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele . The room is fully immersed in a bicolored motif of branches, leaves and flowers. The red yarn spreads in every direction, transforming the brand’s flat print into a three-dimensional universe. Related: Thousands of keys strung from blood-red yarn evoke Japan’s Great Tohoku Earthquake Symbolically, Shiota’s red tangle expands over tapestries embracing everything from fashion accessories to furnishing and décor. In a way, this room is a statement of Gucci’s global image applied in an entire all-embracing scale. Chiharu Shiota ’s Herbarium installation is a part of the Gucci 4 Rooms exhibition on the 7th floor of Gucci’s Ginza building. The program includes four visionary rooms curated by four different artists called to express the inventive spirit of the house. It will run through November 27, 2016. + Chiharu Shiota Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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Mediterranean to become desert unless global warming limited to 1.5C, study warns

October 31, 2016 by  
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Southern Spain could look like the Sahara unless global warming is held to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, the global average temperature target governments agreed to in Paris. That is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Science titled “Climate change: The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds and Mediterranean basin ecosystems.” According to the analysis, if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global warming reaches 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), desertification could overtake many areas around the Mediterranean by the end of the century, altering ecosystems in ways not seen in 10,000 years. The researchers examined pollen cores from sediments during the Holocene, the geological epoch that began more than 10,000 years ago. They than compared the information from past conditions to predictions of future climate and vegetation under different climate change scenarios. Warming beyond 2 degrees Celsius could cause an expansion of deserts in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East with decidious forests replaced by shrubs and bushes. Related: 6 Brilliant designs to fight desertification The Mediterranean region is already warming at a more rapid pace than the rest of the world. Since 1880 when modern record-keeping began, average land and ocean surface temperature has increased by .85 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the Mediterranean basin has seen 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming. “The main message is really to maintain at less than 1.5C,” Joel Guiot, palaeoclimatologist at the European Centre for Geoscience Research and Education in Aix-en-Provence, France, and the study’s lead author, told The Guardian. “For that, we need to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases very quickly, and start the decreasing now, and not by 2020, and to arrive at zero emissions by 2050 and not by the end of the century.” + Climate change: The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds and Mediterranean basin ecosystems Via Inside Climate News Images via Good Free Photos  and Wikimedia

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Mexican designers envision Trumps border wall in "all of its gorgeous perversity"

October 31, 2016 by  
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“Based on Trump’s statements, the economic, ecological and financial aspects have been called into question,” Estudio 3.14 explained in an article by Designboom . “However, he continues with his verbal plan. As architects and designers, we have the capacity to imagine and interpret what trump is saying, and we are convinced that if we can make people see it, they can assess his words and the perversity in his proposal.” In the images, the wall is rendered in hot pink – a reference to Mexican architect Luis Barragán, and a tongue-in-cheek jab at Trump’s insistence that the wall will be “beautiful.” The wall crosses through bodies of water, mountains , and buildings, showing just how insane such a structure would really be. Related: Someone built a tiny wall around Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star Much of the border runs through public lands held by national parks , so the wall as depicted could have a devastating impact on the environment. The seasonal ebb and flow of the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers would also be a challenge to plan around. The studio hopes that by making these logistical barriers more obvious, more people will begin to truly understand the issues with Trump’s campaign promise. + Estudio 3.14 Via Design Indaba

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