Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

May 19, 2017 by  
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When Chilean architect’s Alfredo González Briceño and Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen were contracted to build a country home in Chile’s Leyda Valley, they were inspired by the fertile nature of the well-known wine-producing region. Using the panoramic views of vineyards as a focus for the home’s layout, the architects designed a timber-clad minimalist structure tucked into the rolling hillside with optimal light to enhance the incredible views of the landscape. Using the area’s agricultural atmosphere as inspiration, the architects based the home’s simplistic design on the “ephemeral shelters” commonly found on the nearby strawberry fields, “We saw on these light constructions a very strong formal guide, with a very impressive visual value, on how this low-cost countryside house could be solved.” The team decided to forgo the typical bells and whistles found in weekend homes, instead choosing to focus on a simple, but strategic design that would showcase the home’s natural setting. Related: Chilean Folding House allows owners to control the temperature to adapt to the season Tucked into the rolling hillside of the valley, the elongated home is clad in dark timber, creating a no-fuss monolithic figure that melds easily into the landscape. The home faces the south, which allows for spectacular views of the vineyard-covered valley that leads to a coastal mountain range in the background. Large windows in different shapes and sizes are found throughout the design, including multiple openings in the roof that allows light to flood the interior – as the architects describe it – with “a gentle sunbath.” On the interior, the two bedrooms, each with its own bath, are located at either end of the home, and separated by the living and dining areas. The interior ceiling and flooring are covered in light wooden planks, further creating a strong connection to nature. + Alfredo Gonzalez Briceño + Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen Via Dwell Photography by Rodrigo Daza  

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Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

Teen creates world’s lightest satellite and NASA is sending it to space

May 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

An 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu in India has built what experts are hailing as the “world’s lightest satellite.” Bonus: NASA’s going to send it into space. Rifath Shaarook’s 1.5-inch cube weighs a mite 2.2 ounces—lighter than many smartphones. “We built it completely from scratch,” Shaarook told India’s Business Standard . “It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the Earth.” The satellite beat more than 86,000 entries from 57 countries to win Cubes in Space , a design competition organized by education nonprofit iDoodle with the support of NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium . Shaarook named his design KalamSat after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s former president and a famous aerospace scientist in his own right. Related: Egyptian teenager creates next-generation quantum space propulsion system Come June 22, NASA will send the cube on a four-hour suborbital spaceflight, where it’ll operate for 12 minutes under microgravity conditions. Shaarook currently works as lead scientist at Space Kidz India , an organization in Chennai that promotes science and education for the country’s youth. Via BBC News

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Teen creates world’s lightest satellite and NASA is sending it to space

Sleek Swiss-designed electric supercar takes on Tesla

May 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Tesla’s got some new competition from Switzerland. Inspired in design by classic Italian supercars , the Elextra will be hand-built in Germany, though its maker plans to limit production to 100 pieces to ensure exclusivity. The all- electric vehicle can reach 62 miles per hour from zero in a snappy 2.3 seconds, and travels nearly 400 miles on a single charge. The Elextra is meant to redefine supercars, while drawing on modern technology to offer a clean ride. It is constructed with carbon fiber and boasts a dual motor electric drivetrain. The output power of the twin motors is 680 horsepower. The Elextra can reach 155 miles per hour, and has a total range of 373 miles. That rapid speed of zero to 62 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds is just faster than the Tesla Model S P100D. Related: Singapore’s Vanda Electric just unveiled a 1,500 horsepower electric supercar On the Elextra website, CEO Robert Palm of Classic Factory , which is behind the Elextra, said, “The idea behind Elextra is to combine pure lines reminding of the most exciting Italian supercars of the past, whilst being resolutely forward-thinking thanks to its low, sleek, and beautiful design , paired with today’s most advanced technology.” New Atlas pointed out hints of Ferrari-Lamborghini in the car’s wedge nose. A large greenhouse and signature V on the vehicle’s roof add flair. Yet the Elextra isn’t all style over function – it still has four seats and four doors so a whole family could go for a spin. New Atlas compared the amount of seating to the old Lamborghini Espada, which offered the sports car feel but had four seats inside. While designed in Switzerland, the cars will be built near Stuttgart, Germany. The company has not yet said how much the car will cost, but that they will be releasing more details this year. + Elextra Via New Atlas and Elextra Images via Elextra

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Sleek Swiss-designed electric supercar takes on Tesla

Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

May 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Usually, architects avoid creating a building full of cracks. But the beautiful concrete facade of this mixed-use building in Aarhus, Denmark was built with intentional imperfections. Copenhagen-based architecture studio Sleth designed the building with a facade of cracked concrete that provides a glimpse of the illuminated interior and references the industrial history of the city’s Sonnesgade district. The Sonnesgade building, realized by the architects as a design-build project, revitalizes an existing industrial construction and consists of three stacked layers of long office floors. It was designed to reflect its surroundings and the transformation of the old freight terminal area into a lively cultural district. It facilitates interaction between the floors, with open-plan areas and flexible office spaces . Related: Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade Storage and parking areas are tucked away underneath the landscaping. A sloped asphalt terrain surrounding the building forms outdoor areas for terraces, bikes and gardens, which grounds the project in the existing urban context. Thanks to its role in the rejuvenation of the area and the building’s expressive design, the project was nominated for the Architecture Award Mies Van der Rohe 2017. + Sleth architects Via Fubiz Photos by Rasmus Hjortshøj / C O A S T

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Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

Anyone can be a designer using this amazing modular system made from cardboard stools

May 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

This amazing “spaceship” playhouse can be assembled in an endless variety of combinations – and it’s made entirely from kid’s folded cardboard stools. Noa Haim of Collective Paper Aesthetics conceived the innovative project that allows everyone to become a designer – and he’s taken the concept on tour around the world. It’s coming the Design Pavilion at Times Square from May 18th and 22nd, so swing on by for a chance to experience the interactive installation and create your own designs. The design team, led by Noa Haim, conceived Spaceship Heart system as a blank canvas like for people to create their own architectural/urban models . They originally designed the project for the Shenzhen and Hong Kong bi-city biennale of urbanism architecture 2011 and then reconstructed for IX Semana de la Arquitectura in Madrid and he Victoria & Albert museum in London. Related: Tiny Helix Shelter made of laster-cut recycled cardboard is a temporary habitat for one During the five-day event in New York , visitors will have the opportunity to create their own structures. The project will be among several interactive projects that will bring design and innovation directly to Times Square’s newly renovated plazas. + Collective Paper Aesthetics

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Anyone can be a designer using this amazing modular system made from cardboard stools

Daan Roosegaarde introduces smog-sucking, air-cleaning bikes

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Daan Roosegaarde has been touring China with his Smog Free Project , showcasing the Smog Free Tower and encouraging people to find innovative solutions to address air pollution . He’s not out of ideas yet though; he’ll add to his tour with new smog-sucking bicycles . These bikes could work much like his Smog Free Tower does, absorbing dirty air , cleaning it, and pouring it back out as fresh air. Biking in a city polluted by smog isn’t healthy, so people are less inclined to ditch their cars and opt for a bicycle. Roosegaarde envisions an answer to that problem in a bike that can inhale dirty air, clean it, and pump it out around a cyclist. Related: China’s crazy smog-sucking vacuum tower might actually be working In a statement, Roosegaarde said, “ Beijing used to be an iconic bicycle city. We want to bring back the bicycle as a cultural icon of China and as the next step towards smog free cities.” The studio says the concept aligns with growing interest in bike sharing programs in China – like Mobike , which has over a million shareable bicycles in the Beijing area. There’s still a long way to go to slash pollution and traffic in the country’s capital, but the smog-sucking bicycle could offer a creative approach to the problem. The Smog Free Bicycle found its beginnings in a Studio Roosegaarde-hosted workshop at contemporary art museum M Woods in Beijing, featuring Professor Yang of Tsinghua University and artist Matt Hope, who worked on an idea for an air-filtering bike around four years ago . According to Studio Roosegaarde, the new smog-sucking bicycle is “currently in the first stage and is intended to become a medium for smog free cities, generating clean air by pedaling, and creating impact on the larger urban scale.” + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Studio Roosegaarde and Wikimedia Commons

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Daan Roosegaarde introduces smog-sucking, air-cleaning bikes

Japan’s House of 33 Years was once two separate buildings in two different towns

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The past and the future coexist in this daylit house in Nara, Japan . Tokyo-based architecture studio ASSISTANT designed the house as a cluster of small buildings for an elderly couple who places great value on preserving memories. The result is a steel-framed structure that was built in several different locations and then assembled on-site to create several overlapping spaces. Local carpenters in Aomori built the main quarters of the house using locally available materials . The project was initially installed as part of the “Kime to Kehai” exhibition at the Aomori Contemporary Art Centre. After the exhibition, the team disassembled the structure and loaded it on a truck to transport it to Nara, where it was reassembled as the House of 33 Years. Related: Renovated Vietnamese home ‘sewn’ together with intricate steel threads Students at the Sendai School of Design built the rooftop pavilion as an homage to Philip Johnson’s Ghost House. Before becoming a permanent part of the house, the pavilion was installed in the courtyard of a university campus and used by the students as a space for growing vegetables. + ASSISTANT Via Archdaily Lead photo by Shinkenchiku-sha

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Japan’s House of 33 Years was once two separate buildings in two different towns

Japanese food artist carves fruits into incredible masterpieces using just an X-Acto knife

May 15, 2017 by  
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Playing with your food is generally frowned upon, but Japanese artist Gaku elevates humble fruits and veggies into art with his skilled and gorgeous carvings . With a simple X-Acto knife, he expertly embellishes radishes, papaya, apples, taro root and more. Honoring and exploring the Japanese and Thai traditions of food carving, Gaku makes precise cuts into his chosen fruit or vegetable. His designs often take on traditional Japanese floral and wave patterns and are amazingly detailed and intricate, especially considering the ephemeral nature of his creations . Some of his elaborate works incorporate real and fantastical animals , such as a crab design carved into an apple or dragons carved into eggplant or a banana. As bananas are cheap and readily available, Gaku says they are an good option for practicing food carving. Gaku’s attention to detail and careful cuts are truly impressive. This self-taught food artist began food carving as a hobby, and he is also a chef. Related| Extraordinary banana art etchings are inspiring and edible One of the most amazing elements of these designs is how quickly Gaku must work. As any foodie knows, bananas, apples, and avocados are fickle, turning brown and less visually attractive within mere minutes. Gaku’s pristine photos, which he chronicles on Instagram , barely show any sign of the dreaded oxidation . Almost 60,000 followers anxiously await his next mukimono-style food carving. In addition to apples and lemons, Gaku has carved pumpkins, carrots, zucchini, and some type of leaf or stalk, which he transformed into grasshoppers. One of the ideas behind these food carvings is to appreciate the beauty of simple fruits and vegetables, and we love how the stunning images instantly expand viewer’s artistic imaginations. We also love Gaku’s not-so-precious approach to his creations when they are done: he eats them. You can watch some of Gaku’s process here in this mesmerizing Instavideo. + Gaku on Instagram Via Booooooom and This is Colossal

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Japanese food artist carves fruits into incredible masterpieces using just an X-Acto knife

Scientists discover enough new forests to cover 60% of Australia

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A new survey of the world’s dryland habitats has found a massive amount of previously unreported forests — 467 million hectares (over 1.1 billion acres), which is 45 percent more forest than found in past surveys. The newly discovered dryland forests cover an area equivalent to 60 percent of the size of Australia, putting dryland forest extent on par with tropical rainforests and boreal forests. The discovery could be good news for reversing global warming as it increases the estimates of total global forest carbon stocks by 15 gigatons to 158 gigatons — an increase of 2 percent to 20 percent. Although dryland biomes occupy more than 40 percent of the Earth’s land surface, these forests were previously difficult to spot because of the relatively low density of the trees . Technological advances have made it easier to accurately measure dryland forests as demonstrated in this survey. The scientists used Google Earth Engine to analyze high-resolution satellite images of more than 210,000 dryland sites in order to determine tree number and density. The researchers then compared samples of their findings with field information for accuracy. Related: Meet the teen planting 150 trees for every person on Earth The study’s authors point out the importance of understanding dryland forests and dryland ecosystems because climate modeling suggests these biomes could expand by 11 percent to 23 percent by the end of the century, covering more than half of the Earth’s land surface. “Considering the potential of dryland forests to stave off desertification and to fight climate change by storing carbon, it will be crucial to keep monitoring the health of these forests, now that we know they are there,” said University of Adelaide School of Biological Sciences professors Andrew Lowe and Ben Sparrow, co-authors of the study. + The extent of forest in dryland biomes Via Phys.org Images via TERN AusPlots

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Scientists discover enough new forests to cover 60% of Australia

This incredible urban oasis cafe is filled with living trees and vintage cars

May 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Vintage cars may be popular collector’s items, but rarely do you see them used as restaurant decor. That, didn’t stop New York and Guatemala-based architecture firm Taller Ken from parking a couple of repurposed vehicles inside the incredible Madero Cafe. The ambitious team also filled the 4,844-square-foot space with an array of vibrant colors and soaring 15-foot-high trees to create a playful culinary greenhouse. Related: Upcycled urban cafe in India modeled after communal “chawls” Located on one of the busiest streets in Guatemala City, the Madero Cafe holds court from the exterior as an odd monolithic red block with four cars protruding out of its exterior walls. We’ll never know if the design is a sarcastic nod to the speedy drivers that whiz by or the city’s chaotic urban design , but we do know that the interior design is just as irreverent. The quirky interior is a light-filled oasis of color with a forest of soaring palm trees that create a playful greenhouse ambiance. The massive amount of greenery is irrigated thanks to an integrated rainwater collection system installed on the roof. The plants are also kept healthy thanks to the natural light that floods the interior through multiple sawtooth skylights. The rest of the interior is a hodgepodge of colors and textures, supported by a dizzying multi-colored floor. Although at first glance, the vibrant concrete mosaics on the floor may seem random, they actually follow a pattern that leads to the kitchen and bathrooms, and a few other unique areas in the restaurant. Taller KEN refers to the project’s eclectic appearance as locally-inspired: “this project mines local patterns, materials and textures and collects them to make a fresh tropical atmosphere”. + Taller Ken Photography by Leonardo Izaguirre via Taller Ken

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This incredible urban oasis cafe is filled with living trees and vintage cars

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