Designers envision innovative affordable housing for Sydney

May 7, 2018 by  
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The Sydney Affordable Housing Challenge , organized by Bee Breeders , calls for ideas that try to solve the affordable housing shortage in Sydney. The competition attracted worldwide talent as designers attempted to create innovative solutions. Many of the successful entries offered more than just housing — they designed spaces that would build communities. Bridging Affordable Housing, the winning entry, intersperses  green-roof prefab housing units throughout the city. The project involves “a simple module : a structural bridge pier with decking that contains prefabricated housing units topped by a green roof.” Instead of stacking the units, the team designed the houses above the city’s streets like bridges. The second prize winner is “Newborn in the Crevice”, which combines housing units with public spaces in a structural grid. The simple vertical arrangement makes the design adaptable to population needs and economic conditions. Related: Tiny new flat-packed off-grid homes offer affordable housing breakthrough The third place project, TOD and Waterfront Housing, envisions “stacked prefabricated units floating within the bays of  Sydney .” It creates  waterfront  housing and commercial spaces and introduces a rail system to reduce dependence on cars. Finally, The BB Green Award winner was project Water Smart Home Sydney, which aims to sustainably harness energy from several sources, through both passive and active systems. The project authors said they hope their design helps to “…contribute ideas that could bring desirable living within reach of the majority of the population and lift the burden of housing affordability for young people and low-income families.” + Sydney Affordable Housing Challenge Via Archdaily

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Designers envision innovative affordable housing for Sydney

These new airless 3D-printed bicycle tires never go flat

May 7, 2018 by  
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Will cyclists pedal bikes with airless tires in the future? BigRep just unveiled a new set of 3D-printed bike tires and took them out for a whirl in Berlin, Germany. The airless tires are made from PRO FLEX Filament – a new thermoplastic elastomer that introduces flexibility to 3D-printing . Designer and test cyclist Marco Mattia Cristofori described the ride as “very smooth”. PRO FLEX Filament can be used with the BigRep One industrial 3D-printer and it boasts “high temperature resistance, low temperature impact resistance” and durability “with excellent damping behavior and dynamic properties.” Related: NASA’s new airless titanium tires are almost indestructible Possible applications for the material include skateboard wheels, sporting shoe shells — and bicycle tires. The flexibility of PRO FLEX is what enables it to work for the airless tires. Maik Dobberack of BigRep told CNET the idea behind the tires is that users could print and customize the treads and internal patterns for varying needs: mountain biking, cycling on roads or handling various weather conditions. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy the airless bicycle tires in a store at this point. Dobberack told CNET the tires were an “in-house industrial application design” not intended for large-scale production right now. “The main goal of the design was to inspire and explore the endless possibilities of large-scale 3D-printing,” Dobberack said. We printed the world's first 3D printed airless bicycle tire using our new PRO FLEX material – a TPU-based filament – and took it for a spin in Berlin. Stay tuned for some exciting news! #3dprinter#prototype #bigrep #design #3dprinting#additivemanufacturing #italiandesign #tpufilament A post shared by BigRep 3D Printers (@bigrep3dprinters) on May 3, 2018 at 7:52am PDT The company has also played around with 3D-printed wheel rims , also designed by Cristofori, in “a meeting of advanced design and industry.” Cristofori said, “With 3D printing you can prototype organic forms… It allows you to envision more complex shapes, because you don’t really have any limits.” Last year, Michelin unveiled concept tires that were also 3D-printed and airless; their Vision tire was printed with organic, recyclable materials and was completely biodegradable . + BigRep Via CNET Images and video courtesy of BigRep.com

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These new airless 3D-printed bicycle tires never go flat

INTERVIEW: 8 Questions with Architect Tom Kundig

May 7, 2018 by  
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Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects is one of our favorite architectural firms, championing the fight for sustainable design. Founded in the late 1960s, the firm has created a collection of structures that rise from the ground as natural extensions of their sites, acting as bridges between nature, culture, and people. We sat down with principal architect Tom Kundig who shares his thoughts on his design process, what it’s like to be a Seattle-based firm, where he finds his inspiration and more. Read on for our exclusive interview with Tom, as well as a look at some featured projects that are as green as they are gorgeous! Inhabitat: Many well-known architects make it a point to establish offices in large cities, but even with your success Olson + Kundig  operations remains in the (arguably) more remote Pacific Northwest. What impact do you think being a Seattle-based firm has had on your work? Tom Kundig: Not entirely sure. I’m sure there are impacts that we are not aware of – are we ‘mysterious’ because we are remote, or are we ‘removed from the action’? My guess is that it might be both, but the most important consideration is how we do our work.  In a large landscape like the Pacific Northwest – and in a relatively large city like Seattle that is connected internationally – we might have the best of both worlds. Irregardless, our work is context based – cultural, environmental, craft, tectonics, and so forth – and we are in an ideal location where all these elements converge. Inhabitat: Are you concerned about environmental and social sustainability in your buildings? If so, what role does green building play into your work? Tom Kundig: I am absolutely concerned about it. And I’m not speaking strictly of the environmental, because the process of building and what’s required to maintain a building consumes not only a significant amount of natural resources but also has a huge influence on cultural and social sustainability. Ultimately architecture is cultural and social – it is shelter at its most basic human level, and within the spirit of that notion, it is a deeply humanistic endeavor. Inhabitat: What do you feel is the greatest challenge when it comes to designing for environmental sustainability? Tom Kundig: The greatest challenge is designing to an authenticity that recognizes the true issues of sustainability, not just treating it as a checklist of items or simplifying it to accommodate to scorekeeping. Sustainability takes on a true, holistic understanding of all the implications of a design. Inhabitat: You were the sole N. American representative in Toto Gallery MA’s “Global Ends – Towards the Beginning” an exhibit that hopes to inspire architects to break away from the architectural uniformity resulting from past movements. Modernism has clearly been the most dominant and continues to permeate design – what are your thoughts on its value today? Tom Kundig: Modernism at its core is a humanistic value. It is about shelter , about culture, and about equality, safety, and nurturing for a better future for EVERYBODY. Unfortunately today, many of these values have been lost in stylistic fashion.  I am hopeful that the next movement will be about a meaningful search for a humanistic architecture . This is an idea that will never go out of style. Inhabitat: Why do you think sustainability remains largely outside of theoretical discussions of architecture?  Sustainability can be clever, innovative, it can justify designs, but by in large it is not a realm of theoretical review.  Themes such as space, aesthetics, and cities are constant avenues for debate, speculation, and experiment, but sustainability still seems thin. Thoughts? Tom Kundig: Sustainability has been relegated to the ‘science’ side of the practice, both by the practitioners and in academia. Architecture at its core is the  intersection of the rational and the poetic. If architecture , academics and practitioners can embrace that idea and respect the two realms of the practice, this question would not have to be asked. Unfortunately, the question is a good one.   Inhabitat: Can you tell us about the house you grew up in? Tom Kundig : It was a 1918 classic two-story bungalow with a porch facing the street. However, it was its location near a large city port that had more effect on my childhood than the house itself. Spending my formative years in and around the lake cabins of the areas probably had the most impact on my career. Inhabitat: Who inspires you? Tom Kundig: So many architects , both living and dead, inspire me. It’s difficult to list. But certainly, individuals within the architectural, art and music realm are the most inspirational. And when I speak of artists, what I’m focusing in on are those willing to truly put their souls on the line for their art.  They are working ‘out there’, many times without a net, vulnerable to the second-guessing of polite society, bureaucrats, academics, and mainstream media – it’s a lonely place to be. Inhabitat: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work? What do you want to be remembered for? Tom Kundig: I hope that my work is meaningful and it that it resonates in people’s lives – architecture at its core. + Olson Kundig Architects

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INTERVIEW: 8 Questions with Architect Tom Kundig

VW promises world’s first mass market electric car

February 9, 2016 by  
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In the wake of its emissions cheating scandal last year, Volkswagen has been working hard to distance itself from the diesel market. To further that mission, the carmaker has promised to launch the world’s first high-volume electric car – one that will rival other affordable EVs on the market. Can the company repair its fractured reputation by offering up a mass-market electric car that just about anyone can afford? Read the rest of VW promises world’s first mass market electric car

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VW promises world’s first mass market electric car

OBBA built this affordable 538-square-feet daylit house in Seoul for a newlywed couple and their cats

November 20, 2015 by  
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World’s first smart microhabitat can grow just about anything in your home

October 12, 2015 by  
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Meet Biopod , an app-controlled smart terrarium that lets you grow just about anything you want, from an herb garden to a rainforest-style home for frogs, right on your kitchen counter. Described as the “world’s first smart micro-habitat,” the affordable and low-maintenance Biopod was developed by biologist Jared Wolfe who sought to make growing as easy as a few taps on a smartphone screen. The internet-connected Biopod uses sensors to automatically regulate its microclimate and adjust settings, such as humidity levels, light intensity, temperature, and even artificial rainfall, to replicate the ideal environment for your plants and/or pets. Wolfe and his partner Tom Lam recently launched Biopod on Kickstarter , where it’s already surpassed its financial goal by four-fold, and has an estimated delivery date of December 2015. + Biopod

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World’s first smart microhabitat can grow just about anything in your home

Cara de Planta is a DIY kit that lets you build your own vertical garden

October 12, 2015 by  
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Vertical gardens are very appealing and offer plenty of benefits, but making them is a lot of work. Cara de Planta is a DIY vertical gardening system that persons of all ages and sizes can use to make a personalized, professional-looking vertical garden in no time. Cara de Planta means plant face, which comes from its face-like design. You don’t need to prepare the surface, since Cara de Planta has a waterproof barrier to keep the walls dry, so you can use it anywhere. There are two models available, one that lets water through with an irrigation line at the top of a garden which, with the aid of gravity, waters the whole thing. The other contains the water, so it won’t drip or stain floors or walls. The water is then recirculated to the substrate by capillarity with a special flap. Each kit comes with everything you need to get going. You can either use a soil-free or soil based system and each one is made out of recycled PET. + Cara de Planta The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Cara de Planta is a DIY kit that lets you build your own vertical garden

3 Ways to Improve Your Beauty Routine With Affordable DIY Baking Soda Recipes

November 9, 2014 by  
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Baking soda is a kitchen pantry necessity, but did you know that this common household product could do wonders for your beauty regime as well? From restoring the luster of your hair to skin exfoliation, baking soda provides an all-natural and affordable option to taking care of your body. Click through to see how you can use ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda to create easy DIY beauty hacks for just pennies a day. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arm & hammer , arm & hammer baking soda , baking soda , baking soda beauty hack , baking soda beauty recipe , baking soda exfoliation , baking soda shampoo , baking soda toothpaste , beauty hack , DIY baking soda beauty recipe

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3 Ways to Improve Your Beauty Routine With Affordable DIY Baking Soda Recipes

The World’s Smallest, Cheapest 3D Printer Can be Yours for $299

October 31, 2014 by  
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Getting a start in 3D printing can be a pretty costly and intimidating endeavor, with most printers in the affordable range coming in at around $1,000. But for $299, the makers of the iBox Nano aim to provide an alternative that is not only cheaper, but also easier for novice makers to operate—so long as your 3D printing ambitions fall somewhat on the micro side of design. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of The World’s Smallest, Cheapest 3D Printer Can be Yours for $299 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , 3D printing , cheap printer , home 3d printer , ibox nano , kickstarter , resin 3d , resin printer , uv led , worlds smallest 3d printer

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This Incredible Living Building Hosts More Greenery on Its Facade Than the Original, Undeveloped Plot of Land

October 31, 2014 by  
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Next year will mark thirty years since the construction of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s iconic Hundertwasserhaus in the Kegelgasse district of Vienna, Austria. Hundertwasser’s fantastical artistic vision was inspired by his dream to align architecture with nature in every sense. At its conception, the artist vowed to replace every piece of vegetation lost in the construction of the residential complex. For every square foot of structure built, an equal area of trees and shrubs was added, resulting in the abundant majestic greenery that cloaks its facade today. Read the rest of This Incredible Living Building Hosts More Greenery on Its Facade Than the Original, Undeveloped Plot of Land Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Austria , Austrian architecture , biomimicry , custom bespoken windows , energy efficient windows , Friedensreich Hundertwasser , Green Walls , Hundertwasserhaus , Joseph Krawina architect , Landscape Architecture , Living Walls , Neuffer , Neuffer windows , rooftop garden , vertical garden , vienna , window rights

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This Incredible Living Building Hosts More Greenery on Its Facade Than the Original, Undeveloped Plot of Land

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