Bjarke Ingels is crowdfunding a massive reflective sphere for Burning Man 2018

July 10, 2018 by  
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A massive, mirrored sphere is gearing up to be one of the most eye-catching pieces at this year’s Burning Man festival. Designed by architects Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange of the world-renowned architecture firm BIG , The Orb is a giant reflective sphere that would serve as an art piece and way-finding device. To make the inflatable art installation a reality, the architects have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo seeking $50,000 over the next two months. Elevated into the air with a 105-foot-long inclined steel mast, The Orb would be inflated to a scale of 1/500,000 of the Earth’s surface with a diameter of nearly 84 feet. The Orb could be visible from all over Black Rock City, the temporary crescent-shaped settlement erected for the event in Nevada . The team of artists and architects behind the “temporal planet” have thus far self-funded the majority of the project’s costs, including 30 tons of steel and welding labor for the mast and foundation as well as the 1,500 hours of sewing required to piece together the sphere’s reflective fabric. This fabric measures approximately 21,500 square feet. The $50,000 crowdfunding goal is the last bit of funding required to bring The Orb to Burning Man 2018. “Because of The Orb’s curvature, it will mirror everything around it and offer a whole new perspective,” explained  Bjarke Ingels in its crowdfunding video. “The ORB finds itself at the axis of Art & Utility, capturing the entire Black Rock City in an airborne temporal monument that mirrors the Burning Man experience to the Burners as single beings in the midst of an intentional community. Visible from most of The Playa, it will help Burners navigate the desert and find way.” Related: Spiraling timber temple revealed for Burning Man 2018 At night, spotlights will illuminate the reflective sphere and create a giant “shadow of light” on the ground that can serve as a gathering spot or dance floor for the festival-goers. The Orb’s illumination at night can also help attendees navigate and find their way across the vast desert . Designed to leave no trace on the Playa, The Orb can be easily inflated and deflated. + The Orb Via Dezeen

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Bjarke Ingels is crowdfunding a massive reflective sphere for Burning Man 2018

Small Mexican town seeks social justice with innovative solar power project

January 24, 2018 by  
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Solar power prices have been plummeting in Mexico , which is good news for renewable energy advocates but potentially bad news for indigenous people . Much of the land suited for solar or wind projects is owned by rural communities that have historically been marginalized, according to Paolo Cisneros of Mexican organization Laboratorio de Investigación en Control Reconfigurable (LiCore). They’re at risk of exploitation from corporate interests. The residents of Ucareo, with around 2,000 residents , have a potential answer. Working with LiCore, they’re raising money for COOPEREN , a community-owned solar project that could offer a model for social and environmental justice . LiCore engineer Fortino Mendoza, a Ucareo native, established the relationship between the community and LiCore. They’re raising money for the community solar effort, COOPEREN, on GoFundMe . With the money they aim to build a solar plant generating power to be sold to the national electric utility. The residents of Ucareo can then use the money for different projects; a nonprofit organization is to be established for managing the solar farm and income. Related: Coming soon: NYC’s first community solar project Cisneros told Inhabitat they’d envisioned the money being used for infrastructure repairs, “but it can just as easily go toward social programming, public awareness campaigns, or anything else…that is entirely up to the people of Ucareo.” He said LiCore has hosted outreach sessions, one-on-one interviews, and other efforts with residents to make sure the nonprofit organization “is truly representative of the community and that everyone who wants to get involved has opportunities to do so. We’re doing everything we can to avoid a situation in which this group becomes hijacked by an particular sub-set of the community.” They aim to raise $15,000 on GoFundMe for a 6.4 kilowatt peak preliminary solar plant. Cisneros told Inhabitat one concern they had was how to ensure people could feel confident their money would indeed go to good use. He said, “Truth be told, GoFundMe doesn’t have a way of policing how people spend the money they raise. In response, we’ve committed to maintaining a really active dialogue with our donors. They receive monthly updates on the project and periodic opportunities to take part in live Q&A sessions with our staff. We also detail our work pretty actively on social media…We want everyone who donates to feel like active participants in the project.” And community energy projects are fairly common in America and Europe, but were only just legalized in Mexico, per the GoFundMe page, so it’s difficult for communities to secure bank loans for the projects. On the crowdfunding campaign page the team says, “We plan to prove the technical and social viability of this project in Ucareo, thereby making it easier for other Mexican communities to secure financing for community energy projects of their own.” You can find out more on the COOPEREN GoFundMe page . + COOPEREN GoFundMe + Laboratorio de Investigación en Control Reconfigurable Images via Depositphotos and courtesy of Sascha Nadja Ringlstetter

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Small Mexican town seeks social justice with innovative solar power project

Lego-like LEDs snap together to transform your walls into light art

November 24, 2016 by  
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Designed by James Vanderpant and James Glover of Dyena , Helios Touch uses moveable hexagon LED modules to create light art. The slim modules measure 4.3 inches (11 centimeter) across and are 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) thick. Each 6.3-watt unit produces 400 lumens, which generates around the same brightness as a 40-watt incandescent bulb . After a central Helios Touch panel is rigidly mounted onto the wall (with nails or sticky pads), users can easily expand upon their tessellated lighting design. The modules snap together via magnets, located on the sides, which also allow electricity pass through from one piece to another. Related: Brilliant DiscoDisco LED sculpture comes alive to the sound of music A capacitive sensor is installed behind the Helios Touch surface to allow users to turn individual modules on and off with a simple touch of a finger or swipe of the hand. Currently up to 105 tiles can be joined on the same power circuit. The modular LED panels are powered by a mains power supply; a 120 / 220 v to 24v 2A adapter can power up to 35 panels. The Helios Touch modular lighting system is currently on Kickstarter , where a pledge of £49 (US$61) includes a pack of five panels and a power unit. + Helios Touch Kickstarter Via New Atlas Images via Helios Touch

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Lego-like LEDs snap together to transform your walls into light art

Uniti Sweden unveils super high-tech tiny EV for urbanites

November 24, 2016 by  
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Companies like Tesla have done a lot to advance electric car technology to curb carbon emissions . Now Uniti Sweden is seeking to take electric car transportation to the next level with a tiny “super high-tech” electric vehicle specifically designed for urbanies . The group ahs just raised over $1.3 million on crowdfunding platform FundedByMe to make their sleek, eco-friendly car a reality. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCKHUv1hKS0 Uniti Sweden’s car, also called Uniti, is a two-seat vehicle designed for short range trips, like a city commute, although the car has a 150 kilometer, or around 93 mile, range. The small car weighs a mere 400 kilograms, or almost 882 pounds. But the company didn’t compromise on safety; they say they were able to drastically slash car weight by removing “excess plastic moulding, furnishings, and static interfaces such as plastic buttons,” according to their crowdfunding page. The sporty car is equipped with a 15kW AC motor and is comprised primarily of biomaterials. Uniti Sweden describes the city car as sustainable and socially responsible. Related: Tiny electric car smashes world record by hitting 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds Not only is the Uniti environmentally friendly, it includes several futuristic features like an augmented reality Head-Up Display that offers information like current speed while a user is on the road. Their technology tracks a driver’s head movements and hands to enhance the experience. The car is even designed to be able to drive autonomously . In a video describing their design, Uniti said, “The idea felt obvious: cars in our cities are overweight, over-sized, overpowered, pump out poisonous gases, and there are 1.2 billion of them on Earth today. And for all that environmental harm, economic strain, and health impact, cars generally carry around only one or two people for short distances.” The $1.3 million Uniti Sweden just raised on FundedByMe will go towards developing the technology, creating the first prototype, and expanding the team. They aim to finish their prototype in 2017, and ultimately plan to start distribution in Western Europe. + Uniti Sweden Images via Uniti

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Uniti Sweden unveils super high-tech tiny EV for urbanites

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

Australian father and son crowdfund $13 million for backyard Flow Hive honey harvester

September 19, 2016 by  
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Nearly 18 months ago, we reported on Flow Hive , the wildly successful crowdfunded project with two key benefits: making it easier to harvest honey in your backyard while simultaneously supporting threatened bee populations . The crowdfunding campaign broke numerous records , as it soared past $1 million in backing pledges on Day 1. The wild success of Flow Hive’s Indiegogo campaign made history—not just for bees and prospective beekeepers, but for all sorts of inventors and entrepreneurs looking for ways to fund their own innovations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z54bL6kjyOI In total, the crowdfunding effort raised a whopping $13,244,379 for the Australian father-and-son team of Stuart and Cedar Anderson. That is 17,380 percent of the campaign’s original goal. The campaign was a raging success for many reasons. To start, the duo’s invention addresses a global problem and provides a hands-on solution that individual people or small communities can actually utilize (despite criticisms about Flow Hive’s plastic honeycomb). Additionally, the Andersons thoughtfully prepared photos, descriptions, and videos demonstrate how their prototype works. Related: 6 Buzz-worthy backyard beehive designs Those essential elements contributed to what happened next: the crowdfunding campaign went viral. The Flow Hive received widespread news coverage and tons of activity on social media. Because the campaign got so much attention, it quickly broke a number of crowdfunding records. Flow Hive became the fastest campaign to reach $1 million in backing (within the first 24 hours), the fastest to reach $2 million, and ultimately the most successful crowdfunding campaign ever launched outside the United States. By the end of this month, the project’s backers will have all received their very own Flow Hives, and the duo also sells them directly (for $699). While this particular project translates into a sweet life for bees and backyard honey fans, it’s also a great example of the awesome power that comes from combining a good idea, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an internet community full of bee lovers. Via CNET Images via Honey Flow

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Australian father and son crowdfund $13 million for backyard Flow Hive honey harvester

Bruges just built a two-mile-long underground pipeline for beer

September 19, 2016 by  
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The Belgian city of Bruges is renowned for its historic architecture and cobbled streets – however the narrow winding roads also make traffic a nightmare. That was a major problem for De Halve Maan brewery, which moves a million gallons of beer each year to their bottling plant outside of town. Now, an underground pipeline will help ease traffic congestion by pumping the beer directly to the facility. The series of bundled pipes can transport up to 1,060 gallons of beer per hour. The owner of the De Halve Maan, Xavier Vanneste, had the idea when he saw construction workers installing cable networks in the city’s center. However, building the pipeline was no easy feat . It took three years to obtain the permits, raise funds, and finally construct the line. Due to the historical significance of many sites in the city, the route needed to be thoroughly researched before any pipe was laid. All in all, it costs $4.5 million to build, with about $335,000 crowdfunded from online beer lovers. Related: Beer made from harvested fog wets whistles of parched communities in Chile In order to preserve the beer’s taste and satisfy food safety requirements, the pipeline uses high-density polyethylene, a tough, food-grade plastic. Between batches, the pipes will be sterilized with jets of cleaning solution. The pipe began pumping beer beneath the streets of Bruges this summer. + De Halve Maan Via The Guardian Images via De Halve Maan and Wolfgang Staudt

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Bruges just built a two-mile-long underground pipeline for beer

Foldable bike scooter combo runs entirely on electricity

August 1, 2016 by  
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Seen On Screen TV (SONT) is crowdfunding on Indiegogo right now for their ScootMatic : a foldable scooter and bicycle combination that’s powered completely by electricity . SONT describes the ScootMatic as the lightest “bike/scooter” in the world. The ScootMatic can travel 28 miles on one charge and recharges in three to five hours. SONT’s vision was to design a “unique, innovative, and smooth” vehicle. They came up with the ScootMatic, a hybrid that blends the functionality of a scooter with a look similar to a bicycle . Another goal was to create an environmentally friendly vehicle, so SONT gave the ScootMatic a Samsung lithium battery allowing it to run on electricity. The vehicle also features an LED headlight and LED display. Related: Movpak hybrid backpack and electric skateboard is a commuter’s dream The ScootMatic can reach speeds of 16 miles per hour, and SONT says it navigates up hills with ease. They recommend the ScootMatic for those looking for a fun alternative to cars or public transportation in cities and suburbs. The scooter bike combo is light and easy to transport: it weighs about 39 pounds, and when it is folded, it has a length of 48 inches, height of 22 inches, and width of 9.5 inches. SONT says the ScootMatic folds up in just one second. The scooter bike sports other fun features like a leather seat, remote control starter, and Bluetooth speakers. It’s made of “aviation aluminum” and includes a “car-like alarm system.” According to SONT, the team has been working on the ScootMatic for more than a year, and as opposed to other tech products that can be found on Indiegogo, “…the SONT INC team has the experience of bringing many projects to life.” There’s just under one week left to go in the campaign; you can check the ScootMatic out on Indiegogo here . After the campaign, the ScootMatic will cost $1,799; an early bird special offers the scooter bike for just $799. + ScootMatic + Seen On Screen TV Images via Seen On Screen TV

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Foldable bike scooter combo runs entirely on electricity

Movpak hybrid backpack and electric skateboard is a commuter’s dream

May 25, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmsIitiymCA Movpak is the smartest backpack you’ll ever meet, because it doubles as an electric vehicle . Controlled via remote, smartphone app, or voice activation, the electric skateboard can carry its rider at speeds up to 20 mph—not that we can think of any reason someone would want to ride one that fast. The Miami-based company has been around for a while and the Movpak was initially introduced in 2014, but it didn’t take off. Now, it’s back with some improvements, and the team has its sights set on mass production. The crowdfunding campaign has tripled the original $50,000 goal with nearly three weeks left. Related: 60 mph electric skateboard smashes Guinness World Record Unlike a skateboard or motorized scooter that a commuter might simply carry in a backpack, the Movpak backpack is attached to the board. The skateboard portion slides out from the back of the pack, similar to a telescoping handle extends from a suitcase. Placed wheels down, the pack portion of the device sits on one end of the board, so it doesn’t have to be carried. Two tiny motors, located inside each wheelbase, propel the skateboard forward. The backpack also has outlets that enable the user to charge portable devices, like a cell phone, laptop, or tablet. Movpak even has its own headlights, for those late evening commutes. There’s no doubt that the concept is incredibly cool, but critics have ripped on the design execution, saying the skateboard’s wheels are too narrow and would be difficult and expensive to replace. Nevertheless, Movpak is a pretty unique solution to a problem that plagues many commuters. Indiegogo backers can reserve an early edition of the backpack-skateboard hybrid for as little as $699, which is a steal compared to the regular price of $1200. + Movpak on Indiegogo Images via Movpak

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Movpak hybrid backpack and electric skateboard is a commuter’s dream

World’s first urban cargo scooter carries up to 50 lbs on the go

April 8, 2016 by  
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There are plenty of good reasons to go without a car for short errands and trips, including exercise and a reduced carbon footprint . But there’s one big problem that holds a lot of people back: when you’re carrying a heavy load, it can be a struggle to carry it by hand. That’s why Nimble Scooters has created a line of innovative cargo push scooters, allowing everyday people to rely on cars less while doing chores, commuting to work, or shopping. The newest model, the Nimble Urban Scooter, is currently funding on IndieGoGo . Read the rest of World’s first urban cargo scooter carries up to 50 lbs on the go

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World’s first urban cargo scooter carries up to 50 lbs on the go

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