Visionary eco-resort design for the Philippines features rotating seashell towers

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Visionary eco-architect Vincent Callebaut has just unveiled images of his latest ecological masterpiece and it’s jaw-droppingly stunning. Nautilus is a futuristic 27,000-square-meter eco-resort designed for Palawan, Philippines. The beautiful self-sustaining complex, which would include various research centers, shell-shaped hotels and rotating apartment towers, is designed to be a shining example of how resilient tourism can allow travelers to discover the world without destroying it. Callebaut designed Nautilus to be a resilient, self-sustaining community that includes a series of rotating apartments and luxury hotels, along with a elementary school and sports center. Also on site would be a scientific research and learning center for travelers who’d like to collaborate with engineers, scientists, and ecologists in actively taking part in improving the local environment. It’s a pioneering collaborative concept focused on using real-world education to foster and spread the idea of responsible ecotourism –  or as the architect describes it – “a voluntary approach to reimburse ecological debt”. Related: Vincent Callebaut’s Twisting Citytree Towers Generate More Energy Than They Consume Using the principles of biomimicry , the design is inspired by the “shapes, structures, intelligence of materials and feedback loops that exist in living beings and endemic ecosystems.” The construction and operation of the complex would work under a “zero-emission, zero-waste, zero-poverty” ethos, using 100 percent reused and/or recycled materials from the surrounding area. All of the materials used in the construction would be bio-sourced products derived from vegetable biomass. Microalgae and linseed oil would be used to manufacture organic tiles, while any wood used would be locally-sourced from eco-responsible forests. Even the luxury lodgings would be self-sustaining, playing a strong role in the design’s net-zero energy profile. The main tourist village would be built on telescopic piles that produce ocean thermal energy as well as tidal energy. This energy, along with photovoltaic cells , would produce sufficient energy for the the village, which will also be installed with vertical walls and green roofs to increase the buildings’ thermal inertia and optimize natural temperature control. To the west, twelve small spiral towers with a total of 164 units are designed to be built on rotating bases that turn on their axis according to the course of the sun, fully rotating 360 degrees in one day, providing optimal views of the surrounding environment and taking advantage of a full day of natural light. On the east side, the complex would have 12 small snail-shaped “museum-hotels” constructed with recycled concrete . The hotels will feature various exhibition spaces on the bottom floors and guests rooms on the upper floors. At the heart of the resort will be Origami Mountain, slated to house a scientific research center and nautical recreation area. The building would be constructed using a Cross Laminated Timber framework that would be layered to create a number of undulating ramps that fold out like a massive origami structure. + Vincent Callebaut + Nautilus Eco-Resort Images via Vincent Callebaut

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Visionary eco-resort design for the Philippines features rotating seashell towers

Canyon-inspired research center in Phoenix clad in gorgeous recycled copper panels

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Los Angeles-based Co Architects  just finished work on the new Biomedical Campus Health Sciences Education Building in Phoenix, Arizona. The massive building – which has already earned a LEED Silver certification – is clad in a perforated skin made up of almost 5,000 recycled copper panels that create a resilient envelope designed to withstand the city’s extreme desert climate. Located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, the massive 10-story building is 245,000 square feet and houses two 80-seat auditoriums, along with eight floors of laboratory space. The design of the building’s innovative cladding system was inspired by the need to create a resilient building that would withstand Arizona’s extreme dry heat while providing comfortable interior space for the large building. Related: Copper-clad chapel is a beacon of unity in one of Helsinki’s most multicultural districts To create the cladding, the architects used almost 300,000 pounds of molded recycled copper panels to create an airy, striated sunscreen that shields the interior from direct solar exposure while providing ventilated air on the inside. To create the airy facade, the architects used a Building information modeling (BIM) software to create 3D models of the exterior panels. The team then collaborated with Chandler-based Kovach Building Enclosures to form, bend and perforate some 4,800 panels to create the envelope, which includes 2-inch air space, rigid insulation, and a waterproofing membrane. The integrated system not only allows natural light to enter the building, but was also formed to create dual building wings that mimic the shape of a tall, narrow canyon-esque landscape. The copper cladding for the building is made up of 90 to 95 percent recycled material, which helped the design achieve a LEED Silver certification . + CO Architects Via Architizer

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Canyon-inspired research center in Phoenix clad in gorgeous recycled copper panels

IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

September 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Ever purchased a piece of furniture, only to find out later it didn’t fit the style or size of the room? Swedish furniture maker IKEA is tackling this problem with a free augmented reality (AR) application that utilizes Apple’s new ARKit technology . The app will let users experience how sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and other furnishing items will fit into their homes in augmented reality. According to the IKEA press release, all products experienced through the app are 3D and true to scale. This ensures “every choice is just the right size, design and function.” Said Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation at Inter IKEA Systems, “IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger. Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster.” Users will also have the option of capturing the setting in the app and sharing it as an image or a video with friends. Related: IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is bringing a pop-up vertical farm to London IKEA is the first home furnishing company to build on Apple’s new technology to create an AR app that ensures customers are confident with their purchases. Reportedly, the app has a 98 percent accuracy as it scales products based on room dimensions. “The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings,” says the press release. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. Beginning late-September, users with an iOs 11 may download and enjoy the app. In total, 2,000 IKEA products will be available to experiment with. The first release will focus on larger furniture products, including all sofas, armchairs, footstools, coffee tables and top-selling “storage solutions” that can be placed on the floor.  Data collected from the application will also play a role in the launch of new product lines. “Now, technology has caught up with our ambition. AR lets us redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere,” said Valdsgaard. To use the IKEA app, all one needs to do is: upgrade their device to iOS 11, download the IKEA Place app for free from the Apple store, scan the floor in your home, browse the list of available products in the app, select a chosen furniture item to experience, and move and place the product into the space. It is that simple! + IKEA  Images via IKEA

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IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash

September 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Trash never looked so good. Pentatonic has launched a new brand of modern, modular furniture made with nothing but repurposed waste materials . But – unlike similar brands – their commitment goes beyond simply recycling . Hit the jump for a closer look. Pentatonic is launching their brand with AirTool Chair and AirTool Foil Table , as well as glassware made from smartphone glass. Their website lists the trash that went in to each piece; for example, 96 plastic bottles and 28.4 aluminum cans went into an AirTool Chair with a plyfix felt seat, along with some old food containers and industrial waste. 1,436 aluminum cans and 190 CDs or DVDs were used for an AirTool Foil table. Pentatonic says they do not use additives, toxins, glues, or resins. Related: Eco-friendly DIY modular furniture can be reassembled over and over into different pieces Pentatonic, which has offices in London and Berlin, sourced 90 percent of their trash locally; the remaining 10 percent came from places like Taiwan, which is home to the world’s largest concentration of wasted smartphone glass, according to the company. Users don’t need any tools to put together the modular Pentatonic products. The company also sells the individual components online in case a consumer loses a piece or wants to design their own furniture with Pentatonic pieces. Consumers also become part of the supply chain when they return old, used pieces to the company: Pentatonic lists a buy-back value on their website which they describe as a guaranteed sum customers will receive if they want to get rid of a product. Pentatonic will transform those used goods into new pieces of furniture. Pentatonic’s products are available to buy on their website . If you’re in London , you can check out their products in person at a popup store in Shoreditch East London at 2 Chance Street from September 15 to October 12. They’ll also be present at the London Design Festival , September 18 to 24, in the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House. + Pentatonic Images courtesy of Pentatonic

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Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash

Origami-inspired clothing line that grows with kids wins Dyson award

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

The cost of keeping a growing child clothed is oftentimes staggering, which is why this expanding origami-inspired range of children’s clothing was awarded this year’s UK  James Dyson award . Ryan Yasin, frustrated by the waste in the children’s clothing industry, used scientific principles he studied for his degree in aeronautical engineering to produce incredible clothing that grows with the child who wears it. The origami-inspired line is called Petit Pli, and the London-based postgraduate describes it as “the most advanced kids’ clothing in the world.” The clothing is made from distinctive pleated lightweight fabric which is machine washable, waterproof and recyclable . One article of clothing will fit a three-month-old until he or she is three years old. According to a recent survey by Aviva , parents spend an average £2,000 on clothing before their child reaches the age of three. This is because most children grow seven sizes in their first two years of life. Not only does mass production of garments put huge pressure on the environment through waste, water consumption, and carbon emissions , it takes a toll on parents’ wallets. The Guardian reports that the trousers and tops Yasin designed mimic version of sought-after clothing by legendary Japans designer Issey Miyake . However, Yasin’s version can be worn for years and are incredibly durable. The Petit Pli clothing line employs the negative Poisson’s ratio, which Yasin studied at London’s Imperial College. Materials that have this ratio (known as auxetics) become thicker and can expand in two directions at the same time.So far, the designer has created more than 500 prototypes for Petit Pli and intends to use his £2,000 ($2,615.63 USD) prize money from the Dyson award to partner with investors and expand the business. Reportedly, he is in talks with major retailers in the UK and hopes to sell the clothing in stores within a few months. Related: James Dyson Wants to Use His Famous Vacuum Technology to Clean Rivers Said Yasin, “It’s just great to have that backing and recognition of my solution. The prize money is an added bonus, but I know how I will use it. In addition to supporting my R&D, it will help me form an interdisciplinary team of experts to take Petit Pli to the next level: putting it in the hands of parents worldwide and making a tangible difference to the way we consume resources in the fashion industry .” The designer will keep the garments at an affordable price while ensuring everyone along the supply chain is paid ethically . The Petit Pli line will now be entered into the international competition of the James Dyson Award. Winners will be announced in October, and the top invention will receive £30,000 ($39,225.00 USD) in prize money. + Petit Pli Via The Guardian Images via Petit Pli 

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Origami-inspired clothing line that grows with kids wins Dyson award

Colorful hut made of 2,500 LEGO-like bricks invites visitors to return to their childhood

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Montpellier’s summer  Festival des Architectures Vives is a fun annual event that sees various architectural installations from emerging designers tucked into various courtyards around the city. This year’s exhibitions are all unique, but one funky hut made of 2,500 plastic bricks brings some vibrant color to the event. Created by Atelier Micromega , La Madeleine is a large cube structure that invites adults and kids alike to explore its LEGO-inspired fun. The yearly event is aimed at fostering the relationship between historic urban environments and contemporary architecture . Every year, various teams of young architects and designers install their unique installations in the city’s many courtyards. The 2017 edition is showcasing ten emerging design firms whose work was designed to reflect this year’s theme of “emotion.” Related: These LEGO-like recycled plastic bricks create sturdy homes for just $5,200 Atelier Micromega, whose team includes five young architects, installed La Madeleine in hopes of bringing visitors back to their childhood. Thousands of colorful plastic bricks were used to create the hut, complete with an open-air skylight in the ceiling. Some of the bricks on the interior are interchangeable so visitors can modify the bricks to change the hut’s interior during their visit. According to the team, their design was inspired by nostalgia, “The installation rests on architecture, space and matter to play with our nostalgia. It invites the visitor to be moved by traveling through it, interacting with it, echoing his childhood memories. The smooth, perfect cube refers to adulthood. The world that it contains: evolutionary, creative and malleable appeals to the child, making the space of the cave his cabin.” After the event, all of the plastic bricks will be donated to several child-care facilities around Montpellier as well as the national charity organization, Les Restos du Coeur . + Atelier Microméga Via v2com Photography via Paul Kozlowski  

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Colorful hut made of 2,500 LEGO-like bricks invites visitors to return to their childhood

This 20-cent, hand-powered centrifuge is set to revolutionize off-grid healthcare

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Centrifuges separate blood components to make pathogens easier to detect – and they’re essential to diagnosing and treating diseases like Malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis . However centrifuges need electricity to work – therefore, in remote areas without electricity, a common centrifuge is worthless. Enter the Paperfuge – an ingenious human-powered centrifuge made from 20 cents of paper, twine and plastic. The low-cost device can separate plasma from a blood sample in 990 seconds without electricity – and it could save millions of lives around the world every year. Manu Prakash is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford who specializes in low-cost diagnostic tools for underserved regions. He was inspired to create the Paperfuge after a trip to Uganda where he saw a very expensive centrifuge being used as a doorstop because there was no electricity to power it. The moment inspired Prakash to find a way to convert human energy into spinning force using the low-tech spinning toys of yesteryear such as yo-yos, tops, and whirligigs. Related: 5 brilliant designs that will change the world in 2017 “There are more than a billion people around the world who have no infrastructure, no roads, no electricity. I realized that if we wanted to solve a critical problem like malaria diagnosis, we needed to design a human-powered centrifuge that costs less than a cup of coffee,” said Prakash. Working with a team of Stanford bioengineers and undergraduate engineering students from MIT, Prakash created the Paperfuge out of 20 cents of paper, twine, and plastic. Don’t be fooled by its simple appearance: the human-powered centrifuge can spin at 125,000 rpm, exerting centrifugal forces of 30,000 Gs, “To the best of my knowledge, it’s the fastest spinning object driven by human power,” said Prakash. The device aids in rapid, precise diagnoses, which result in more effective treatments for people living in areas where infectious diseases are common. The Paperfuge was recently honored with the world’s biggest design prize – the 2017 INDEX: Award . + Paperfuge + INDEX: AWARD 2017

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This 20-cent, hand-powered centrifuge is set to revolutionize off-grid healthcare

These vegan "Star Wars" sneakers are made with discarded pineapple leaves

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The pineapple is strong with these sneakers—literally. A collaboration between Star Wars and London-based shoemaker Po-Zu , the limited-edition “Silver Resistance” high-top combines silver woven linen and Piñatex , a leather alternative engineered from the fibers of discarded pineapple leaves. The sneaker, which is handcrafted in Portugal, also features a rubberized Rebel Alliance badge, a quilted rear panel, a removable memory foam insole, and a grippy natural-latex outsole. The result is a shoe that is as visually striking as it is environmentally friendly. “We go the extra mile to make our shoes ethically and sustainably so you can wear them with clear conscience from dawn till dusk,” Sven Segal, fouder of Po-Zu, said in a statement. “We want them to be comfortable, collectable, and wearable. This sneaker has all of that and more. I love that it is vegan, too.” Related: Aspiring Jedis can pilot the Millennium Falcon at Disney’s upcoming ‘Star Wars’ hotel Available for preorder, the “Silver Resistance” is expected to ship in October, “just in time for Christmas and the launch of Star Wars: The Last Jedi ,” according to Po-Zu. If you miss out on one of the 1,000 pairs, you can still catch a glimpse of the sneaker, along with rest of Po-Zu’s co-branded Star Wars collection, at the Museum of Brands during London Design Week . + Star Wars Silver Resistance High-Top £150 + Po-Zu

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These vegan "Star Wars" sneakers are made with discarded pineapple leaves

New North African solar farms could send 4.5 gigawatts of energy to Europe

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

The age-old plan to power Europe with solar farms in North Africa and the Middle East may finally become a reality. This past June, Tunisia-based TuNur filed a request to export 4.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy to Europe. That’s enough to power 5 million homes or 7 million electric cars! If the joint venture between UK-based solar specialist Nur Energie and Tunisian and Maltese investors proves successful, the energy landscape in Europe will be forever changed. Said Daniel Rich, the chief operating officer at TuNur: “Today you have a market in need of low carbon dispatchable power, which has the mechanisms to import power from other countries. Next door is a region with extreme solar resource and in need for investment and development. Finally, there are technologies that can satisfy the demand at very competitive pricing and have a very high local impact.” The National reports that project is making fast progress. By 2020, the TuNur solar plant in Tunisia will be linked with Malta, a feat which will cost approximately €1.6 billion. (The island is already linked to the European mainland via an undersea power line that connects to Sicily.) A second cable link will connect Tunisia to central Italy at a point north of Rome. A third cable, which would link Tunisia to the south of France, is presently under review. Related: European firms eye artificial island for North Sea wind and solar farm The project will do more than provide Europe with clean energy – it will stimulate over $5 billion of investment in Tunisia . Approximately 20,000 direct and indirect jobs — specifically in the interior regions which are least developed — will also be generated. + TuNur Via The National Images via TuNur , Pixabay

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New North African solar farms could send 4.5 gigawatts of energy to Europe

Clever GrowMore planter expands along with your garden

September 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

GrowMore is a clever planter that expands as your garden grows. Designed by Danish architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum of Husum Lindholm Architects , the modular gardening system can be bolted together in a variety of configurations to host everything from mini pocket gardens to large food-producing crops. The GrowMore modular system is comprised of just six main elements including planting boxes, shelves, and connectors. The plywood shelves and boxes can be arranged to create large circular pavilions and funky free-standing planters. The structures can also create small “urban nests” that enable people to reconnect with nature. Related: Prefabricated garden retreat snaps together in less than a week Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum wanted to create a system that would make it easy for anyone to build their own three-dimensional garden – and they plan to make GrowMore an open-source system so that anyone with a CNC machine can cut their own plywood components to arrange as they see fit. “As architects, we have to address new technologies,” said Lindholm. “We have to think about how can we build and produce designs that people can grasp, and that they can build themselves.” Lindholm and Husum recently showcased the system at the Seoul Architecture Biennale , an exhibition of designs created for the cities of the future. + Husum Lindholm Architects  

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Clever GrowMore planter expands along with your garden

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