Suspended treehouses provide epic views of a fjord in Norway

January 11, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Just 20 minutes from the town of Odda, through the steep Norwegian hillsides, something magical sits at the edge of the fifth-longest fjord on Earth. Two suspended treehouses are built 5 to 6 meters above the forest floor and fastened with steel collars to the individual trunks of two living pine trees. The treehouses, known collectively as Woodnest, were created by Helen & Hard Architects in response to the topography and conditions of the stunning site for a client who wanted to form a deeper connection with nature. Completed in 2020, each treehouse is connected to the ground via a small timber bridge. Each treehouse measures just 15 square meters and is carefully constructed around the central tree trunk. There are four distinct sleeping areas, a bathroom and an open kitchen and living space as well as breathtaking views across the forest, down to the Hardangerfjord water below and toward the mountains in the distance. Related: Elevated, green-roofed cabin minimizes impact on mountain in Norway According to the architects, the use of timber as a building material is inspired by the Norwegian cultural tradition of using wood in architecture along with the desire to experiment with the material’s potential. Each structure is supported by the tree trunk and a series of glue-laminated timber ribs, while untreated natural timber shingles help create a protective skin around the treehouse. As time progresses, the timber will weather, merging further with the forested surroundings. With sweeping windows that wrap around the entire building and out toward the fjord, the treehouse allows people to slow down and appreciate the true, natural beauty around them without the distractions that come from a contemporary vacation home . In this chic, minimalist treehouse, which is elevated off the just ground enough to feel as though you’ve become one with the forest, we can’t think of a better place to get away from it all. + Helen & Hard Architects Photography by Sindre Ellingsen via Helen & Hard Architects

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Suspended treehouses provide epic views of a fjord in Norway

How to talk about racial justice in sustainability

December 16, 2020 by  
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How to talk about racial justice in sustainability Victoria Gilchrist Wed, 12/16/2020 – 00:30 Editor’s note: The opinions and conclusions that appear in this piece do not necessarily represent the position of Intel. 2020 has become a reckoning for American culture through the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, the ominous storms in the east and the apocalyptic wildfires of the west. We are inherently linked through our biology, ecology, economy, the legacy of white supremacy and oppression. Now is the time to shake the foundation of how we operate as a society. Systemic racism infiltrates every aspect of who we are and how we interact with each other. Sustainability centers around leaving the world a better place for the next generation. This implicitly covers all people with no qualifiers. However, sustainability practices have notoriously catered to the wants and needs of the wealthier majority, while excluding the most vulnerable communities by lack of engagement and practice. Sustainability must become synonymous with racial equity. But how?  First, say the words. “Racial Justice.” “Racial Equity.” “Discrimination.” Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Denounce white supremacy. And if you don’t think it exists, educate yourself . Noted author Beverly Daniel Tatum reminds us, “It is important to understand that the system of advantage is perpetuated when we do not acknowledge its existence.” A recent example from the New York Times includes a biracial couple living in an affluent neighborhood who received a substantially lower home appraisal  — until they removed their family photos of the Black wife and white husband. On Oct. 7, the Chicago Times reported that a Black resident experienced a $60,000 difference in an appraisal because of her race. This discrimination extends to healthcare and environmental harm. A June medical study links air pollution and extreme heat from climate change to pregnancy risk that disproportionately affects Black women. Now is the time for us to make equity the cornerstone of this vision for a greener, livable future. Second, ask who is affected and what could go wrong? We need to dismantle the standard paradigm that designs sustainable products and services only for the top 1 percent. “Intent isn’t as important as impact,” explain diversity experts Project Inkblot . For example, designers made medical grade face masks for white men and many don’t fit women very well. The nursing profession is dominated by 91 percent women . The mask issue illustrates a clear design disconnect. Another example is a 2017 study by the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force that showed that African-American citizens are 75 percent more likely to live in a “fence-line” community that borders a toxic industrial facility. Companies must consider these types of impacts moving forward and minimize harm to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities. In fashion, which has dealt with criticism of horrible working conditions for decades , we need more brands that not only offer sustainably sourced apparel (from recycled material to fair labor), but also sell it at an affordable price point.  Third, act on the input from BIPOC communities. All aspects of sustainability including community development, building design and product engineering require user input. Urban planners need to have affected communities at the table, not simply to “approve” projects, but also to advocate for their needs. Manufacturers of green products must serve BIPOC communities and affirmatively reach out to ask how they can be better partners. It’s not enough to hear feedback; sustainability leaders need to act on the on BIPOC communities’ advice, needs and requests. And then they need to repeat steps 1 through 3 and keep learning. More voices in sustainability and more awareness on how to support racial equity will translate into better design, services and products. With this in mind, we can heed the words of Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”  Now is the time for us to make equity the cornerstone of this vision for a greener, livable future. The reason becomes crystal clear when one considers the peer reviewed literature on environmental threats. Communities where the majority of the population are Black, Indigenous and people of color suffer more environmental harm than white communities yet tend to be excluded from reforms. Yes, economics plays an important role, but race is a stronger factor . Similar to the impacts of COVID-19, pollution disproportionately affects BIPOC communities. This reality is why poll after poll shows that BIPOC communities care more about climate change and strongly support action.  Talking about racial equity in sustainability is easy, but implementing it requires more than a perspective change . Business leaders, elected officials and educators must commit to a different way of working. From selling green cosmetics in local drugstores to building energy efficient structures in BIPOC neighborhoods, we must intentionally advance racial equity. If we get it right, this new movement for equity in sustainability can snowball by not only providing a “cooling effect” for climate change but also resulting in thriving, healthy, equitable communities.  Pull Quote Now is the time for us to make equity the cornerstone of this vision for a greener, livable future. Contributors Heather White Topics Racial Issues Environmental Justice Racial Justice Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Protesters march against police shootings and racism during a rally in Washington, DC on Dec. 13, 2014. Shutterstock Rena Schild Close Authorship

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How to talk about racial justice in sustainability

How to talk about racial justice in sustainability

December 16, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on How to talk about racial justice in sustainability

How to talk about racial justice in sustainability Victoria Gilchrist Wed, 12/16/2020 – 00:30 Editor’s note: The opinions and conclusions that appear in this piece do not necessarily represent the position of Intel. 2020 has become a reckoning for American culture through the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, the ominous storms in the east and the apocalyptic wildfires of the west. We are inherently linked through our biology, ecology, economy, the legacy of white supremacy and oppression. Now is the time to shake the foundation of how we operate as a society. Systemic racism infiltrates every aspect of who we are and how we interact with each other. Sustainability centers around leaving the world a better place for the next generation. This implicitly covers all people with no qualifiers. However, sustainability practices have notoriously catered to the wants and needs of the wealthier majority, while excluding the most vulnerable communities by lack of engagement and practice. Sustainability must become synonymous with racial equity. But how?  First, say the words. “Racial Justice.” “Racial Equity.” “Discrimination.” Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Denounce white supremacy. And if you don’t think it exists, educate yourself . Noted author Beverly Daniel Tatum reminds us, “It is important to understand that the system of advantage is perpetuated when we do not acknowledge its existence.” A recent example from the New York Times includes a biracial couple living in an affluent neighborhood who received a substantially lower home appraisal  — until they removed their family photos of the Black wife and white husband. On Oct. 7, the Chicago Times reported that a Black resident experienced a $60,000 difference in an appraisal because of her race. This discrimination extends to healthcare and environmental harm. A June medical study links air pollution and extreme heat from climate change to pregnancy risk that disproportionately affects Black women. Now is the time for us to make equity the cornerstone of this vision for a greener, livable future. Second, ask who is affected and what could go wrong? We need to dismantle the standard paradigm that designs sustainable products and services only for the top 1 percent. “Intent isn’t as important as impact,” explain diversity experts Project Inkblot . For example, designers made medical grade face masks for white men and many don’t fit women very well. The nursing profession is dominated by 91 percent women . The mask issue illustrates a clear design disconnect. Another example is a 2017 study by the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force that showed that African-American citizens are 75 percent more likely to live in a “fence-line” community that borders a toxic industrial facility. Companies must consider these types of impacts moving forward and minimize harm to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities. In fashion, which has dealt with criticism of horrible working conditions for decades , we need more brands that not only offer sustainably sourced apparel (from recycled material to fair labor), but also sell it at an affordable price point.  Third, act on the input from BIPOC communities. All aspects of sustainability including community development, building design and product engineering require user input. Urban planners need to have affected communities at the table, not simply to “approve” projects, but also to advocate for their needs. Manufacturers of green products must serve BIPOC communities and affirmatively reach out to ask how they can be better partners. It’s not enough to hear feedback; sustainability leaders need to act on the on BIPOC communities’ advice, needs and requests. And then they need to repeat steps 1 through 3 and keep learning. More voices in sustainability and more awareness on how to support racial equity will translate into better design, services and products. With this in mind, we can heed the words of Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”  Now is the time for us to make equity the cornerstone of this vision for a greener, livable future. The reason becomes crystal clear when one considers the peer reviewed literature on environmental threats. Communities where the majority of the population are Black, Indigenous and people of color suffer more environmental harm than white communities yet tend to be excluded from reforms. Yes, economics plays an important role, but race is a stronger factor . Similar to the impacts of COVID-19, pollution disproportionately affects BIPOC communities. This reality is why poll after poll shows that BIPOC communities care more about climate change and strongly support action.  Talking about racial equity in sustainability is easy, but implementing it requires more than a perspective change . Business leaders, elected officials and educators must commit to a different way of working. From selling green cosmetics in local drugstores to building energy efficient structures in BIPOC neighborhoods, we must intentionally advance racial equity. If we get it right, this new movement for equity in sustainability can snowball by not only providing a “cooling effect” for climate change but also resulting in thriving, healthy, equitable communities.  Pull Quote Now is the time for us to make equity the cornerstone of this vision for a greener, livable future. Contributors Heather White Topics Racial Issues Environmental Justice Racial Justice Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Protesters march against police shootings and racism during a rally in Washington, DC on Dec. 13, 2014. Shutterstock Rena Schild Close Authorship

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How to talk about racial justice in sustainability

How Salesforce, Google, others use tech as a ‘force multiplier’ in sustainability innovation

November 20, 2019 by  
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There is no shortage of technology companies in Silicon Valley and beyond claiming to be “making the world a better place,” but too few are doing enough to address the world’s pressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges. Yet, it’s encouraging to see a growing number of firms recognizing the business opportunity for developing and delivering tools that could help realize a more sustainable economy.

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How Salesforce, Google, others use tech as a ‘force multiplier’ in sustainability innovation

Shell to support Europe’s first sustainable aviation fuel plant

November 20, 2019 by  
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The plant is set to produce fuel made from waste and residue streams, such as used cooking oil sourced from regional industries.

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Shell to support Europe’s first sustainable aviation fuel plant

Data science could help Californians battle future wildfires

November 20, 2019 by  
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Incident commanders and emergency managers can make more informed decisions in high-stress situations.

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Data science could help Californians battle future wildfires

Reimagining commerce through products with purpose

July 5, 2019 by  
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What if every act of design and production made the world a better place?

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Reimagining commerce through products with purpose

New electric bike offers so much storage, you won’t miss your car

March 20, 2018 by  
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The swanky new CERO One electric cargo bike is designed to ease the adoption of more environmentally-friendly transportation. Electric bikes, or e-bikes , are 10 to 20 times more efficient than a car , but many lack the convenience of cargo space. Not CERO One. Kitted with a novel modular cargo rack system, this bike can be reconfigured to suit the needs of any particular person or task. The CERO One was invented by environmentalist Kiyoshi Iwai, who hopes to make his hometown of Los Angeles a better place to live in part through practical e-bikes. An avid surfer , Iwai was inspired to create a storage system that makes it easy to haul significant cargo, like a surfboard. The modular system has 12 distinct configurations that include three aluminum baskets on the front and rear of the bike and space for a child’s seat in the back. Thanks to its abundant storage space and resilient design, the CERO One can carry up to 300 pounds in cargo. Related: EvoWheel converts almost any bicycle into an electric bike in just 30 seconds CERO has equipped their latest e-bike with a new-generation Shimano 504Wh battery that has a range of 93 miles on a single charge and a top speed of around 20 MPH. Even with the heaviest of loads, the CERO One is capable of traveling 44 miles before requiring a recharge. The CERO One requires five hours for a full recharge, or two and a half hours for approximately 80 percent. The e-bike is available to purchase for $3,399. Via Curbed Images via CERO

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New electric bike offers so much storage, you won’t miss your car

A look into a Turkey sweatshops use of Syrian child labor to make ISIS uniforms

June 12, 2016 by  
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Syrian refugee children are working 12-hour shifts for a little over a dollar per hour to make ISIS uniforms in a Turkey sweatshop, according to The Daily Mail . The children, reportedly sent by their parents, work in a shop that makes uniforms, backpacks, and other military gear for the Syrian market. While the factory owner Abu Zakour concedes that school would be a better place for the children, he says the parents want their children to work. Complicating the issue is the language barrier and other social barriers that dissuade Syrian children from attending Turkish public schools.

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A look into a Turkey sweatshops use of Syrian child labor to make ISIS uniforms

Inhabitat is Hiring in New York City!

April 11, 2012 by  
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Hey Inhabitat readers – Any of you interested in working for an awesome online publication with passion, a vision and a mission to make the world a better place through the power of design? How about working for an amazingly influential online publication which is read by 100,000 thought-leaders every day, and 2 million readers every month? Of course, we’re humbly talking about Inhabitat here — we’re expanding and currently looking to fill a few freelance & full time positions. If you (or someone you know) is passionate about sustainable design, and want to work for an exciting and fast-growing media start-up focused on design innovation, we want to hear from you! Read the rest of Inhabitat is Hiring in New York City! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: design blog , design blogger , design blogger job , design editor , design writer , design writer job , design writing , freelance writer , inhabitat careers , Inhabitat jobs , special projects editor

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