Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

May 24, 2017 by  
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In Sweden, citizens aren’t only encouraged to explore the outdoors , they guaranteed the right to. The principle Allemansrätten, which is protected by Swedish law and literally translates to “freedom to roam” allows anyone to camp anywhere in the country – even on other people’s property. Because the government wants people to feel at home wherever they are in Sweden, the entire country was recently listed on Airbnb. The AirBnB listing reads , “Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs – it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely. To make this home available for everyone, Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb .” Visit Sweden , the country’s global marketing department) worked with agency Forsman & Bodenfors to advertise nine astonishing locations on Airbnb. Listings include “ Rocky Island in the Stockholm Archipelago ,” Rustic Forest Retreat in Vintage Style ,” and “ Cozy Glade in Beech Forest .” Every location boasts 365-day availability and the reviews are just as inviting as the pictures. One can look forward to an “open roof bedroom” in any location they choose and is guaranteed “natural heating” through the months of May and August. Wild pets are also welcome – which is a plus for nature lovers. Related: Sweden opens an entire mall full of reclaimed goods According to Jenny Kaiser, president of Visit Sweden’s US office, the arrangement with Airbnb wasn’t a paid placement. Kaiser said, “As the initiative is a pure branding campaign for Sweden as a destination, the partnership is strategic for both parties and no payment has been done from/to either side.” Additionally, this is the first collaboration between the country of Sweden and Airbnb. Some suspect other countries will follow suit to drive tourism and encourage more citizens to explore the outdoors. + Sweden on Airbnb Via Fast Company Images via Sweden on Airbnb

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Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k

May 10, 2017 by  
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Meet ÖÖD , a gorgeous prefab abode that doesn’t compromise privacy for stellar views. Clad in mirrored glass, this sleek tiny home blends into its surroundings and offers all the living essentials built into a compact 18-square-meter footprint. Designed primarily for use as pop-up hotel rooms, the moveable and modular ÖÖD has far-reaching applications and is even under development for off-grid solutions. Designed and manufactured in Estonia, the ÖÖD houses were specifically developed for hotel usage and holiday housing. Its small footprint allows for easy installation anywhere in Estonia without the need for a building permit. Each unit accommodates two to three people and can be slotted seamlessly into urban and rural landscapes. Built primarily from steel, insulated glass , and thermally treated wood, the ÖÖD home features a studio layout with a large custom-made bed, kitchenette, living area, and bathroom. Home automation is built in as is adjustable floor heating and LED lighting. Homeowners would only need to hook the unit up to an Internet cable, water, sewage, and an electricity supply though off-grid solutions are currently being developed. An LG heat pump with moisture separator provides heating and cooling. Related: Prefab and low-budget CabinCube Hotels can pop up almost anywhere Installation of the ÖÖD only takes eight hours to complete. According to Nordica Flight Magazine, each unit costs 33,000 euros (VAT excluded) and includes custom-built Estonian furniture. ÖÖD homes have only been installed in Estonia thus far—the first unit debuted last fall—but the company plans to expand to international markets. + ÖÖD Images by Maris Tomba and Anton Toomere

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These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k

Cameron Sinclair joins Airbnb to provide housing for 100,000 displaced people

April 25, 2017 by  
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Airbnb wants to provide temporary housing for 100,000 displaced people, and to help reach that goal, the home-sharing service has put together a team lead by designer and Architecture for Humanity co-founder  Cameron Sinclair . Sinclair heads architecture firm Small Works , which focuses on building for communities in need, making him the perfect fit for Airbnb’s temporary housing project. Sinclair has been working with Airbnb over the past year on various pilot projects, with the official project launching this summer. The ultimate goal is for one million Airbnb users to register as “hosts for good,” signaling that they will provide housing for people impacted by natural disasters or otherwise displaced. Related: INTERVIEW: We Talk with Architecture for Humanity Founder Cameron Sinclair Airbnb announced its ambition to host displaced people during this year’s Super Bowl with a commercial tagged #weaccept. In addition to working on the commercial, Sinclair also worked on Airbnb’s Yoshino Cedar House . via Dezeen images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Cameron Sinclair joins Airbnb to provide housing for 100,000 displaced people

Mercedes takes on the Tesla Powerwall with a new battery for buildings

April 25, 2017 by  
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Tesla’s Powerwall has reigned supreme in home energy storage , but now they’ve got some competition from Mercedes-Benz . Last year, Daimler , parent company of Mercedes-Benz, announced that they had started developing their own brand of home energy storage units. Now the company confirmed they are beginning to deliver the units to businesses and homes in Germany . Mercedes incorporated the same lithium-ion battery technology from their hybrid cars in the new home energy storage units. Each unit has an energy content of 2.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and a system can be scaled up to include eight modules for a total of 20 kWh. The units come with a 10-year warranty , the same as the Tesla Powerwall , though Powerwalls come with the option to store more energy with a capacity of 13.5 kWh. Related: BMW, Daimler, Ford, and VW are planning an electric vehicle superhighway in Europe Similar to a Powerwall, Mercedes’ battery storage units store excess energy gathered by solar panels for use during peak hours or at night. According to Daimler , homeowners using their system can increase renewable energy use by as much as 65 percent. Daimler aims to expand throughout Europe and start selling the units in the United States this year. Mercedes is already developing three industrial-scale projects to provide reliability to the grid in Germany; one project includes 29 megawatt-hours of storage capacity. Mercedes is also offering a package for homeowners that comes with the battery storage unit, solar panels, an inverter, and an energy management system. The whole package, including installation, costs around $10,000. One 14 kWh Tesla Powerwall costs $5,500 ; with supporting hardware the total estimate is $6,200. Installation costs between $800 and $2,000. That doesn’t include a solar power system. Head of Development Electrics/Electronics and E-Drive for Mercedes-Benz Harald Kröger said in a statement, “We are convinced we can offer our customers an attractive product at a competitive price.” Via Treehugger Images via Mercedes-Benz and Daimler

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Mercedes takes on the Tesla Powerwall with a new battery for buildings

This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree

April 18, 2017 by  
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This amazing treehouse near San Francisco is built around a 150-year-old live oak tree. Linda and Doug Studebaker built the Bay area’s only Airbnb treehouse as a cozy overnight rental in the backyard of their hillside property in Burlingame, California , and furnished it with furniture that gives it an old-fashioned feel. Offering scenic views of the San Francisco Bay, Doug and Linda’s Treehouse is a private refuge nestled among the treetops of a quiet forested canyon, about a twenty-minute drive away from the city. Located 30ft in the air, with a wooden staircase leading up to the main space, the treehouse is not for the faint of heart. Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature Visitors can enjoy the sunset or sunrise with a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay from the wrap-around deck. The interior features a comfy queen size bed, table, and a lower level chaise/reading nook. A private kitchenette and bathroom are located in the lower level of the owners’ log home, just 30 feet from the base of the treehouse. You can rent the house, ideal for two people, for $275 per night. + Doug and Linda’s Treehouse on Airbnb Photos via Airbnb

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This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree

Chinas rival to AirBnB opens new Beijing office with cutting-edge interior design

February 15, 2017 by  
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Airbnb’s biggest rival in China, Xiaozhu , just opened their latest office in Beijing, a diverse and flexible work environment that bears similarities to an Ikea showroom. The office space, called Sliced House, is the work of People’s Architecture Office (PAO) and People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO), and is largely inspired by the diversity of the home-sharing startup’s online listings. The office’s collection of domestic spaces creates a casual and playful setting that fosters spontaneous interactions. PAO credits Xiaozhu’s need for a flexible work environment to the startup’s rapid growth—the five-year-old startup is valued at over $300 million and could possibly be bought out by AirBnB in the near future. The office is mostly open plan but also includes private meeting rooms, a conference room, and lounge. Most of the workspaces can be rearranged into different configurations, from the jigsaw-like worktables that can break away into individual desks to the conference room that uses room dividers to transform one long conference table to three smaller tables in separate rooms. The fixed meeting rooms are built to look like cozy living rooms and kitchens. Related: Airbnb launches nature-filled Tokyo office that feels like a beautiful cozy home “Sliced House is conceived as a house that has been divided and its parts dispersed throughout an otherwise banal office interior,” write the architects. “Shared interior finishes between split spaces make apparent that adjacent portions refer to a single room. These sliced samples of domesticity include kitchen, living room, and bedroom and double as ad hoc meeting areas. Such spaces reflect Xiaozhu’s rental offerings, providing users with a wide spectrum of settings to choose from.” PIDO custom built the transforming furniture , which include workspaces and a mobile trishaw-like meeting area made from converted tricycles . This wheeled workspaces were inspired by Xiaozhu’s Tricycle House listing and the tricycle’s long history in China. + People’s Architecture Office Via ArchDaily

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Chinas rival to AirBnB opens new Beijing office with cutting-edge interior design

WOHA revamps Singapore office with lush ‘pocket parks’

February 15, 2017 by  
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Singapore’s 48 North Canal Road is a dynamic office space designed by the renowned architecture firm, WOHA . Working within local Urban Redevelopment Authority’s guidelines to guard the heritage-protected storefront on one side, the green-loving architects tacked on a vibrant addition to the rear of the building using a contemporary mix of glass, brick and aluminum, and infused the entire program with lush pocket parks . Although the architects had to work within a number of spatial restrictions, they were able to strategically maneuver new open space out of the existing layout. The plan focused on vertically “lifting up” the existing office space in order to maximize flexibility and provide optimal natural light and city views. A curtain wall made of perforated aluminum panels runs the height of the building, serving as an integrated sunscreen to shade the interior atrium space. Related: WOHA’s solar-powered SkyVille in Singapore boasts a deep-green public skypark The building’s design consists of an eye-catching “fractal, triangulated geometry”. Interestingly, this feature was inspired by local city code that requires splayed corners on certain buildings located on corner intersections. Using the requirement to their advantage, the architects carried this theme throughout the design, “chiseling” various disjointed geometric forms and creating little nooks and seating areas along the way. The flat spaces created by this method were converted into green pocket parks throughout the building, including the more spacious rooftop, which was transformed into an outdoor recreational lounge. Visitors and tenants can also enjoy a cafe, break-out areas, and meeting rooms that are all organized around the building’s central green space. + WOHA Via Architonic Photography by Patrick Bingham-Hall

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WOHA revamps Singapore office with lush ‘pocket parks’

Airbnb and Pantone create a hidden nature-filled home in London

February 1, 2017 by  
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Airbnb teamed up with Pantone to create a magical nature-filled wonderland in the heart of the London. Inspired by the Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year called 15-0343 Greenery, the “Outside In” House is a secret indoor garden listed on Airbnb’s home-sharing site for overnight stays. The transformation of a brick Clerkenwell building into a lush greenhouse-like oasis is stunning—keep reading to see how the creative companies let lucky renters spend the night in color. Pantone’s pick for the Color of the Year 2017, called Greenery, is a bright yellow-green shade symbolic of new beginnings that evokes images of budding plants in springtime. The ‘Outside In’ House was created to let people “live the color” starting with its eye-catching door, designed to look like a Pantone Greenery swatch card. The door swings open to reveal a slice of a woodland forest for the reception area, with live ferns, moss , grass, and trees planted beside stepping stones made of tree stumps. “As guests cross the earthy threshold, they will be fully immersed in the outside, in,” says the Airbnb press release. “They will be greeted by the house ‘groundskeeper’ with a fresh and healthy green juice, made locally and color-matched to PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery. As they leave they can rest assured that the house is environmentally green too; all materials will be recycled where possible and spare plants will be donated to community gardens .” In addition to the woodland reception, the two-bedroom Greenery flat included an indoor greenhouse that doubled as a dining room, garden-like bedrooms with real turf as carpets, topiaries, soporific plants, a teepee for children, a hydroponics installation, a rainforest-themed bathroom, and a kitchen with walls filled with live vegetables and herbs available for guests to pick. A soothing soundtrack with nature sounds accompanies the lush, nature-filled environment. The flat accommodated families of up to four people a night. Related: Airbnb invites visitors to experience Finnish cabin life in Paris The temporary Outside-In house welcomed guests for £200 a night from January 27 to January 30, and was also open for free visits during those three days. All proceeds were donated to the American Institute of Graphic Arts . The unique Airbnb home, hosted by Pantone, was located at 4 Dingley Place, Clerkenwell. + Outside-In House

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Airbnb and Pantone create a hidden nature-filled home in London

New research shows the universe may be one giant hologram

February 1, 2017 by  
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It turns out we may all be living in an infinitely large Holo-deck. That’s basically the conclusion a group of researchers reached after analyzing what is thought to be the first-ever observed evidence that the universe could in fact be a gigantic holographic projection . Phys.org reports that a team of theoretical physicists and astrophysicists from the U.K., Canada and Italy made the discovery while researching irregularities in the “cosmic microwave background,” or the “afterglow” of the Big Bang. In the course of that research, which involved using the theory of cosmic inflation, they found substantial evidence to support a holographic explanation of the universe, which actually holds as much weight as the traditional explanations for these irregularities. As Phys.org notes, the idea of a holographic universe first emerged in the 1990s, and involves the theory in which all the information that makes up our 3D reality (including time) is contained in a two-dimensional surface, on its boundaries. Scientists from Canada’s Perimeter Institute and University of Waterloo , the U.K’s University of Southampton and Italy’s University of Salento jointly made this most-recent discovery using advanced telescopes and sensing equipment that can detect data hidden in the microwaves left over from the Big Bang. As Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton, Kostas Skenderis explains: “Imagine that everything you see, feel and hear in three dimensions (and your perception of time) in fact emanates from a flat two-dimensional field. The idea is similar to that of ordinary holograms where a three-dimensional image is encoded in a two-dimensional surface, such as in the hologram on a credit card. However, this time, the entire universe is encoded.” It’s essentially like watching a 3D movie in a theater, when the images appear to have depth, along with width and height, but they are ultimately still coming from a two-dimensional screen. Related: “Largest-ever” new map of universe shows 1.2 million galaxies “Holography is a huge leap forward in the way we think about the structure and creation of the universe.,” adds Skenderis. “Einstein’s theory of general relativity explains almost everything large scale in the universe very well, but starts to unravel when examining its origins and mechanisms at quantum level. Scientists have been working for decades to combine Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum theory. Some believe the concept of a holographic universe has the potential to reconcile the two. I hope our research takes us another step towards this.” Via Phys.org Images via NASA and University of Southampton

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New research shows the universe may be one giant hologram

Produce your own water from thin air with SunGlacier’s solar-powered DC03

February 1, 2017 by  
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If you’re alarmed by reports of dwindling water supplies across the globe, there has never been a better time to take matters into your own hands. SunGlacier founder Ap Verheggen, who has spent the better part of the last decade designing devices that harness the sun’s potential to extract water from thin air, has made his latest design available online – for free. The solar-powered DC03 relies on a Peltier element, explained in greater detail below the jump, to produce a small amount of clean water each day without a battery, without fans or an inverter, and without any moving parts that could easily degrade. The solar-powered DC03 device generates power for an 18W Peltier element. Asked to explain that in layman’s terms, Ap Verheggen told Inhabitat: “A Peltier element is a very small and thin square piece of electronics. If you connect it to electricity, it becomes hot at one side, and cold at the other side. The cold side we use to cool a cone. As the air comes at the cool cone, moisture in the air starts to condensate and produces water drops.” Water drawn from the air then drips, through gravity, into a glass (or whatever vessel each person chooses to use). Because the Peltier element has a temperature difference of 67C maximum between the upper “hot” side and the under “cool” side, according to SunGlacier, the hotter the air, the more water the device produces, bringing the group one step closer to their original ambition of improving water security for people living in desert conditions . Related: A solar-powered leaf that makes ice in the desert At the moment, the device makes about half-a-glass of water every six hours, according to SunGlacier. It is designed to operate during daylight hours only, mitigating the need for a battery. Verheggen says while the DC03 design has been thoroughly tested, it has not been optimized, which is where you come in. In the same spirit as Elon Musk’s approach to the Hyperloop , whereby he encourages anyone to improve upon the original idea, SunGlacier invites the public to take a stab at making their own solar-powered water maker using their design, which is available online . Universities and research institutes from as far afield as Iran, Romania, South-Africa and The Netherlands have already expressed an interest in getting involved, Verheggen says. This collaborative approach is expected to make SunGlacier’s groundbreaking, low-maintenance design accessible to the greatest number of people possible – and that is something we can really get behind. + SunGlacier Photos by Hessel Waalewijn

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Produce your own water from thin air with SunGlacier’s solar-powered DC03

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