Colorful tent cathedral in French village billows peacefully in the wind

August 3, 2017 by  
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British studio Neon has created a beautiful cathedral out of multi-colored windsocks that gently sway with the wind. The Tilted Wind Cathedral was built for an open-air art event in the French town of Massif du Sancy. The vibrant, billowy structure is located on a grassy hilltop overlooking the town, and it was built around the village’s beloved Perdue Cross, which marks the death of a local woman who passed away around 200 years ago. Neon installed the cathedral for Horizons – an open-air event that brings large art installations to the town during the summer months. The design studio created the structure with reverence for the site’s origins as well as its serene green-covered mountainous landscape. Related: 700 colorful mirrors bathe a 19th-century cathedral in gorgeous rainbow light Thirty colorful inflatable windsocks mimic the stained glass windows typically found in most cathedrals. The site’s blustery weather also served as an inspiration, prompting the designers to use inflatable panels that are constantly in motion, giving the impression that the cathedral is breathing. + Neon Via Dezeen

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Colorful tent cathedral in French village billows peacefully in the wind

This little light-reflecting robot fills your home with sunlight all day long

August 2, 2017 by  
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Do you wish your home had more natural light ? You’re in luck – Solenica just unveiled a little robot named Caia that bounces sunlight into your home all day long. Caia is extremely easy to use – simply place it in a sunny spot and switch it on. The solar reflector will automatically find the sun and begin flooding your home with daylight. Solenica unveiled their first solar reflector, Lucy, several years ago – and they just unveiled a new and improved version that offers way more options. Caia provides the ultimate in natural illumination , with more accurate sensors and an updated algorithm that redirects sunlight at a wider range of angles. Additionally, the newer model is less expensive to ship. Related: Lucy is a robotic sunlight reflector that brings light into every dark corner of your house According to Solenica CEO and inventor of Caia, the robot is not only a cool solar gadget , but it’s a beneficial tool designed to improve our health, “We’re hardwired to thrive in sunlight. It’s good for us, it makes us feel good. So why wouldn’t we want to spend more time in it? Caia was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo last year and will be hitting the market his fall. + Solenica

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This little light-reflecting robot fills your home with sunlight all day long

Book Giveaway – Win a copy of TEEMING: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World

July 26, 2017 by  
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There is so much that we can learn from the natural world.  ‘TEEMING: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World,’   by Dr. Woolley-Barker reveals all the ways in which animals societies can helps us thrive in a modern world where resources are finite. We talked to Dr. Woolley-Barker about her book and you can read the fascinating interview here, but if you want to get your hands on your very own copy, we are giving away 25 of them to a few lucky readers. Enter to win below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Giveaway – Win a copy of TEEMING: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World

BatBnB unveils line of stylish (scientifically designed) homes for our flying friends

July 26, 2017 by  
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Airbnb disrupted the human housing world, now BatBnB is doing the same for bat housing. We all pretty much know that boxes are a stellar way to attract bats, but let’s be honest, they aren’t exactly good looking. That’s why we’re loving the elegantly designed BatBnB homes, which are attractive enough to display front and center at your home. They’re also designed based on decades of research, so they’re the perfect space for our flying friends. It’s basically like a piece of art for your yard that also boosts conservation efforts. Created by Harrison Broadhurst, architectural designer at Nomi Design and director of customer success at MakeTime   Christoper Rännefors , BatBnB provides a safe place for bats to nest, sleep and stay. Unlike other bat houses, BatBnB is incredibly stylish, so instead of tucking it in some remote corner, you’ll want to display it proudly. There are three style options available in the standard size, plus a mammoth size, so you can find the right one to suit your home. It’s finally the perfect bat house for design lovers. Of course, BatBnB isn’t just snazzy on the outside. It is also thoughtfully designed to be the ultimate space for bats, with grip chambers, proper ventilation and the ideal sizing. It’s so well-designed that it is endorsed by bat experts like executive director of the Organization for Bat Conservation  Rob Mies , who is basically the Beyonce of the bat world. Researchers will also team up with BatBnB owners to collect vital information that will help bats recover from devastating white nose syndrome. Related: 7 Million Bats Killed by White Nose Syndrome: How You Can Help “I’ve studied bats for more than 50 years, led worldwide conservation efforts for bats, and in fact founded the North American Bat House Research Project. With today’s improvements, properly constructed and located bat houses are achieving close to 90% success. I personally helped develop the Bat BnB product line and am delighted to endorse it for its ideal construction and attractive design,” said noted bat expert Merlin Tuttle. Bats are struggling across the US because of habitat loss and  white nose syndrome . It doesn’t help that many people fear bats for being dangerous or diseased, a reputation that is decidedly undeserved. BatBnb is hoping to change that. “We want to help people value bats rather than fear them — those ugly poorly designed models on the market just don’t spark that conversation,” said Rännefors. With climate change making winters shorter, we are seeing more mosquitos all year long, and one of the best ways to naturally control pesky bugs is with predators like bats. Bats are also instrumental in maintaining a healthy environment by helping to fertilize and pollinate plants – in addition to the thousand mosquitoes a single bat can eat every hour . Help BatBnB become a reality, and help change the conversation around bats, by funding the project on Indiegogo . + BatBnB + BatBnB on Indiegogo

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BatBnB unveils line of stylish (scientifically designed) homes for our flying friends

Celebrate the magic of silence in this enchanting sound-proof treehouse

July 25, 2017 by  
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Visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew can now celebrate the sound of silence in the park’s amazing new Quiet Treehouse. Also referred to as the Woodland House, the eco-friendly, sound-insulated treehouse was designed by Quiet Mark to highlight the many health benefits of noise reduction in our daily lives. Developed in partnership with UK retail chain John Lewis, Quiet Mark created the cool, sound-proof structure as part of their company campaign, which promotes the reduction of noise levels in urban and rural settings. Recently unveiled in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as part of its annual summer festival, the treehouse is located in front of the park’s new Woodland Walk, a path that leads through the “natural area” of the park’s woodlands. Related: Wolfgang Buttress’ Hive is brought back to life in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew Co-founder of Quiet Mark, Poppy Szkiler, explained that the unique treehouse is more than just a fun structure in the park, “The Quiet Treehouse is a stunning combination of the latest acoustic and architectural design, not only beautiful to the eye, but a peaceful place that represents the value of quiet. After touring some of the UK’s most prestigious events, we wanted the structure to continue its Quiet legacy with the perfect partner that would fully utilise its potential. We couldn’t have hoped for a better permanent home than the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where it can be enjoyed by the next generation in harmony with nature.” + Quiet Mark Photography via Tom Luddington

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Celebrate the magic of silence in this enchanting sound-proof treehouse

Perk Up Your Workout with a Recycled Coffee Grounds Sports Bra

July 24, 2017 by  
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The earth is home to a colossal 5.5 billion tons of plastic waste infiltrating our land and seas, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances. If the image of a polluted plastic planet perturbs you, pay attention. The study…

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Perk Up Your Workout with a Recycled Coffee Grounds Sports Bra

Why the new Nissan Leaf won’t need a brake pedal

July 20, 2017 by  
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Your next car may not have a brake pedal. But don’t worry – you’ll still be able to drive safely. Nissan’s new Leaf will feature what they call an e-Pedal, which allows users to speed up, slow down, and stop using just one pedal. This seemingly small change could alter car design of the future in a large way. The e-Pedal could forever change the way we drive. Drivers simply push down on the pedal to accelerate, as normal, but when they ease up on the pedal the car slows down, and when they take their foot off completely the car stops. The technology works even on hills, allowing a car to stay in place without a person needing the hold the brake pedal down. Nissan describes the e-Pedal as the world’s first one-pedal operation. Related: The 2018 Nissan Leaf will feature semi-autonomous driving technology According to Nissan, “drivers can cover 90 percent of their driving needs with the e-Pedal.” They think users in heavy traffic or on city commutes could benefit from the new design, since they wouldn’t have to constantly move their foot back and forth to decelerate and accelerate. They say the e-Pedal will simplify driving and make the journey more engaging. The idea may not be quite as crazy as it seems. HuffPost explains when you ease your foot off the accelerator in a gasoline -fueled car today, the engine in the car prompts it to slow down. This feature is lacking in electric vehicles , though, so manufacturers typically put a regenerative braking feature in the design so the car will brake when you release the pedal. In electric cars this motion also generates electricity from the wheels’ movement. Will other car manufacturers follow suit? And will drivers love or loathe the new feature? The e-Pedal will premier on September 6, so we may get more answers then. Via Nissan and HuffPost United Kingdom Images via Nissan ( 1 , 2 )

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Why the new Nissan Leaf won’t need a brake pedal

Taipei transforms subway cars into ultra-realistic swimming pools and sports fields

July 19, 2017 by  
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No diving, please! Taipei is getting into the sporting spirit by transforming the interiors of its subway trains into mini sports arenas to celebrate the 29th Summer Universiade Games . The fun artwork, which is shockingly realistic, was inspired by the major sporting events that will take place during the event such as swimming, track and field, soccer, baseball and basketball. Photo by huei_0804 The 29th Summer Universiade Games will be held in Taipei from August 19th to August 30th. To celebrate the event, the city has transformed the interior of the city’s MRT trains to resemble sporting arenas . The city really went all-out to create lifelike settings – the swimming train, covered in what looks like inches of flowing water, is shockingly realistic. Related: Beijing’s futuristic new subway stations are straight out of Blade Runner Each of the subway trains has also been equipped with a FAQ box that will provide information about the scheduled events as well as rules and interesting facts related to the sport portrayed in each carriage. The fun campaign, which is sponsored by The Department of Information and Tourism and EasyCard Corporation, encourages subway riders to take selfies to post on Instagram to generate awareness of the sporting event. + Taipei Tourism Via This is Colossal Images via Taipei Tourism and Instagram

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Taipei transforms subway cars into ultra-realistic swimming pools and sports fields

Vertical Line Garden engulfs visitors in a flurry of colorful kinetic tapes

July 19, 2017 by  
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Canadian design studio BACKOFFICE found a surprising and fun new use for commercial barrier tape for the Vertical Line Garden, a kinetic installation bursting with color that changes dramatically with the light and wind. Developed for the 2017 International Garden Festival in Quebec , the Vertical Line Garden offers a twist on the formal traditional garden, using “contemporary ready-made means and hyper un-natural materials.” The multi-sensory and interactive pavilion comes to life as the pavilion’s hanging barricade tapes move about in the wind and generate a flurry of sound and color. Now in its fourth iteration, the Vertical Line Garden began in 2014 as an exercise in horizontal elements. Today’s version is the most spatial of the four iterations and is entirely vertical with added color and pattern. The installation is built of mass-produced safety and construction materials including commercial barrier tape, a timber frame , and a net. These man-made elements create great contrast with the cultivated Les Jardins de Métis and also communicate the theme of environmental protection and safeguarding. Related: Intriguing ION2 installation in Seattle responds to the movement of passersby BACKOFFICE writes: “The main material forming the installation , barricade tape (barrier tape), is typically used to delineate a perimeter and keep people out of a particular area or zone. Here however it is used precisely to bring visitors into the space and entice them to inhabit it.” To encourage people to stay and use the space, custom-fabricated bent-metal and canvas lounge chairs are provided. The billowing canopy that engulfs the interior is a dazzling display of color, light, and pattern. + BACKOFFICE Images by Martin Bond

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Vertical Line Garden engulfs visitors in a flurry of colorful kinetic tapes

LAGI announces location for 2018 renewable energy design competition

July 18, 2017 by  
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Energy infrastructure of the past, like oil refineries and rigs, aren’t typically considered beautiful. But as the world transitions to more renewable sources of power, what if utility-scale energy installations could double as art ? That’s the dream pursued by the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), which holds a design competition every two years to present visions for energy-generating art able to power hundreds of homes. 2016’s winners included ethereal sailboats that harvested wind for power and fog for water, and a whale-inspired design generating wind, solar , and wave energy . LAGI just announced the location for their 2018 competition: Melbourne , Australia. LAGI is being sponsored by the State of Victoria to bring their 2018 contest to Melbourne, a city which hopes to be net zero by 2020. Artists, scientists, engineers, designers, and other creatives from around the world will be invited to submit designs tailored to the area for large-scale installations that add to the beauty of the area while generating clean energy . Related: Land Art Generator Initiative Santa Monica winners address California’s energy needs and drought One goal for these designs is to show how renewable energy installations, like solar and wind, can be integrated into the nature and culture of a region. LAGI2018 is part of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Action Plan under Action 13, which calls for “supporting important artistic and cultural sustainability events.” 2016’s top three winners included teams from Japan, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. The last four competitions – Dubai/Abu Dhabi in 2010, New York City in 2012, Copenhagen in 2014, and Santa Monica in 2016 – garnered over 800 submissions from more than 60 countries. The competition will launch in around six months, in January 2018, with submissions due in May. Public exhibitions will introduce some of the ideas to the people of Melbourne and nearby cities. According to LAGI, “2018 will be a year to celebrate the beauty of our sustainable future!” + Land Art Generator Initiative Images via Wikimedia Commons and courtesy of the Land Art Generator Initiative

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LAGI announces location for 2018 renewable energy design competition

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