How the world’s first floating city could restore the environment

December 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on How the world’s first floating city could restore the environment

The world got a little closer to the first floating city when the Seasteading Institute signed a memorandum of understanding with the French Polynesian government earlier this year. Not only could floating cities offer a sustainable place to live, but they could also potentially help coral reefs recover and provide a habitat for marine life, according to Joe Quirk, Blue Frontiers co-founder and Seasteading Institute seavangelist. Inhabitat spoke with Quirk and architect Simon Nummy to learn more about the vision for the world’s first floating city. Quirk told Inhabitat, “We think of cities as being a blight on the land and polluting the oceans. Floating cities are so different because they could actually be environmentally restorative.” For example, an increase in ocean temperatures has caused much of coral bleaching . Quirk said the mere presence of a floating city could help combat this issue. He said, “The corals could actually recover if we could just lower the temperature a little. Our engineers at Blue Frontiers have devised a plan to position the platforms to create some shadows to lower the temperatures. So as the sun moves about, you get enough light on the ocean floor to spark photosynthesis, but you lower the heat just enough to have a restorative effect.” Related: World’s first floating city one step closer to reality in French Polynesia Solid floating structures can also increase the amount of sea life by serving as a habitat, according to Quirk. He said platform floors, that would be below water level, could be made of glass, creating an aquarium apartment or aquarium restaurant. There are currently a few visions for what the floating cities might look like from different designers, as seen in the images. Nummy, who won the Seasteading Institute’s Architectural Design Contest, told Inhabitat, “The intent is for an architecture derived from nautical technology and sensibility, combined with a deep respect and willingness to learn from the culture and knowledge of the original seasteaders, the Polynesians.” The goal is for the floating city, which will be placed around one kilometer, or a little over half a mile, from shore inside a protected lagoon, to be 100 percent renewable and 100 percent self-sufficient. Floating solar panels could help power the city, and Quirk said as water cools panels, they could generate 20 percent more energy than their landlocked cousins. 20 percent of the floating city could be comprised of solar panels. Another goal is to not discharge any water into the lagoon – waste water is to be treated and recycled. Food could be cultivated in sea farming systems. “Each building strives for energy independence and the architecture results from this; energy efficiency and passive strategies are vital,” Nummy told Inhabitat. “Polynesian architecture is primarily about the roof and we have tried to interpret this in a contemporary, sensitive way that both reflects local precedents while harvesting rainwater and discretely maximizing the opportunities for photovoltaics and vertical axis wind turbines .” The floating city could be designed to look like a natural island, featuring green roofs and buildings constructed with locally-sourced materials – potentially bamboo, coconut fiber, or local wood like teak. Nummy told Inhabitat, “The buildings are designed to connect to nature and embrace the magnificent Tahitian views. Walls are to be louvred or openable whenever possible.” 2020 is the goal for construction of the floating village, which would include around 15 islands 82 by 82 feet. Quirk said the first floating city could be kind of like the first iPhone – rather bulky and expensive – but they aim to drive down the price with later iterations. Two to three years after 2020, they hope to double the amount of platforms – from around 15 to around 30 – and then triple the amount two to three years after that. Quirk said, “Island nations and coastal nations are already suffering from sea level rise , and this is a realistic way for them to adapt.” + Seasteading Institute + Blue Frontiers + Blue21 Images courtesy of Blue Frontiers, Blue21, and Simon Nummy

Go here to see the original: 
How the world’s first floating city could restore the environment

Artist turns golden leaves of Sacramento Gingko tree into inspiring works of art

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Artist turns golden leaves of Sacramento Gingko tree into inspiring works of art

Gingko trees are renowned for their majestic beauty, but come autumn and a certain artist at Sacramento State University is busy raking those beautiful golden leaves into intricate designs. Joanna Hedrick , a counselor at the university and self-proclaimed “falling ginkgo artist,” spends hours creating her nature-based artwork , turning her design work into an annual campus tradition. Hornet Hive #exploresacstate #fallengforsacstate #sacstate #csus #ginkgo #ginkgobiloba #fallenginkgoart Una publicación compartida de Joanna Hedrick (@joanna_hedrick) el Nov 24, 2017 at 4:58 PST Joanna, who has a background in art and landscape design, began her artistic work years ago in an attempt to create a nice backdrop for family photos. What began as a simple clean up process, however, has turned into an annual tradition, beloved by all on campus. Her leaf art has become quite famous around town, but especially for those students who need a bit of distraction during finals. Related: Artist recycles leaf waste into biodegradable Beleaf chair Sunday Sunburst Labyrinth photo by @golconda1 #fallenginkgoart #sacstateginkgoart #labyrinth #ginkotree #ginkgobiloba #ginkgo #sunburst #fallingforsacstate #csus #sacstate #sacramento #rakingleaves #ginkgoleaves Una publicación compartida de Joanna Hedrick (@joanna_hedrick) el Dic 10, 2017 at 12:41 PST Hendrick uses a rake to comb the leaves into a variety of detailed shapes , from spiraling circles and honeycombs, to a complex golden labyrinth. She estimates that each design takes her about two to three hours, and is usually able to makes about six unique displays during the fall season. Having become something of a local legend, Hendrick is proud of her nature-based artwork . She told Sactown Mag , “[My art] is about taking something that’s already beautiful and making something unique—something you don’t just pass by.” + Joanna Hendrick Instagram Via Boooooom Photography by Joanna Hendrick Instagram

See the original post here:
Artist turns golden leaves of Sacramento Gingko tree into inspiring works of art

France completely bans fracking and oil extraction

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on France completely bans fracking and oil extraction

The French Parliament recently passed into law a complete ban on the extraction of oil and gas within any of France’s territories. Beginning in 2040, fracking, oil drilling, and other extraction methods will be banned across France . Meanwhile, no new permits to extract fossil fuel in France will be given. Although this law highlights France’s commitment to take action against climate change, it is primarily a symbolic gesture. France imports 99 percent of the oil and gas that it consumes, extracting only a negligible amount from its territory. To put this in perspective, France extracts about 815,000 tons of oil per year, the same amount extracted every few hours in Saudi Arabia . While France’s recent law may not have a large direct impact on greenhouse gas emissions , French lawmakers hope that the move will inspire other European nations to make similar commitments, with Socialist lawmaker Delphine Batho telling the Guardian that she hoped the ban would be “contagious.” Left-wing members of parliament abstained from the vote to ban, while the right-wing Republicans party voted no. The law’s impact will be most felt in French Guyana, France’s South American territory where oil companies had sought to drill. Related: France is the world’s most sustainable food country French President Emmanuel Macron has sought to position France as a global leader on climate change. As the United States has retreated on the world stage, France has stepped forward. Macron has gone so far as to offer grants to climate scientists from American institutions to do research under a government that recognizes the reality of climate change. Internally, France is taking action. Gas and petrol vehicles are to be banned in France by 2040, and the government is working to shift the energy economy away from fossil fuels and nuclear power, and towards clean renewable energy. Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos (1)

More: 
France completely bans fracking and oil extraction

Oiio Oto transportation pods that climb buildings – the solution to LA traffic?

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Oiio Oto transportation pods that climb buildings – the solution to LA traffic?

Oiio’s ingenous Oto pods are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The bubble-like cabins sit on a swappable wheelbase that can follow roads or climb up buildings to help people get around Los Angeles . The see-through autonomous pods could someday be part of the solution to addressing the city’s notorious congestion and air pollution.   The idea behind the pod is that traditional cars take up too many resources for transporting one or two people. Unless your car is packed full, you are driving around with a trunk, excess engine capacity and rear seats that you don’t need. The Oto pod is bare bones transportation that eliminates the waste. The concept was conceived for the Automobility Designer/Developer Challenge at the LA Auto Show this year. The challenge asks designers to create concepts for the future of transportation. Each Oto pod is broken down into three components: a cabin, wheel base and shuttle. An individual could own the cabin, but the wheel base and shuttle would be shared and are interchangeable. The pods could affix to a track system that runs along roads or up walls. Related: Petal-shaped stations and rapid transport pods are an elegant green mobility solution for Dubai “It is possible that, in the future, LA people would be able to own only the cabin and, through AI centrally controlled circulation, they could create a temporary assembly-unit, an ephemeral design, which would serve their ‘exact’ needs on demand,” said Oiio. + Oiio Via Dezeen

More here: 
Oiio Oto transportation pods that climb buildings – the solution to LA traffic?

Gorgeous green-roofed studio features a rainwater reflecting pool

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Gorgeous green-roofed studio features a rainwater reflecting pool

There are some designs that just make your jaw drop – and the Sun Rain Room is definitely one of those. Designed by London-based Tonkin Liu Architects , the spectacular curved studio is clad in glass panels and topped with a green roof . It’s is also equipped with one awesome feature – a grey water system that showers collected rainwater over the patio at the push of a button, transforming it into a beautiful reflecting pool. The studio, which is just over 800 square feet, is a two-story home addition used as a studio and guest cottage. According to the architects, the design was created to provide a calming, nature-infused space would be “a good place to be on a bad day.” Related: Rural Italian home clad in lush greenery blends into its idyllic surroundings The elongated curved shape mimics the curvature of the sun and allows optimal light to pass through into the interior. Covered in stunning greenery , the roof acts as an extension of the surrounding landscape, which culminates in a vibrant, multi-layered urban garden . On the interior, the ceiling is spotted with round coffered skylights that “echo” a pattern of raindrops on water. Clad in floor-to-ceiling windows, natural light floods the interior spaces, which include a studio, a bedroom, and two bathrooms, as well as a garden room that opens up to the outdoor patio. The beautiful design implements a unique rainwater system which includes filtering rainwater into a large storage tank. At the touch of a button, this water is used to “rain” over the sunken patio, converting it into a reflecting pool. + Tonkin Liu Architects Via Archdaily Images via Tonkin Liu Architects

See more here:
Gorgeous green-roofed studio features a rainwater reflecting pool

Clever switches use your OCD tendencies to save electricity

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Clever switches use your OCD tendencies to save electricity

Do you have a habit of forgetting to turn off the lights? Thai designer Pakaporn Teadtulkitikul has a smart solution for those of us with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Meet the OCD Switch, a clever light switch that takes advantage of our preference for pattern and symmetry to encourage users to turn the lights off and save electricity . When turned on, the switch is visually misaligned with its background, only to be set back in its proper place once turned off. Winner of a 2017 Red Dot Design concept Award , the OCD Switch is a simple and beautiful solution to a common problem. Pakaporn looked to basic human psychology to develop her concept and explored basic shapes and patterns familiar to the human brain for the design. Her final concept shows a white circular light switch with a ribbed pattern that is disrupted when turned on. Related: Obsession with material possessions makes you anxious and depressed The Red Dot design statement explains: “Observations about human behaviour and the subconscious tells us that human beings are naturally attracted to order, pattern and symmetry ; they feel uncomfortable when those are interrupted or when things seem off-balance. That is how we can trick the brain and manipulate the user’s routine behaviour to trigger a response.” + OCD Switch Via Yanko Design

Read more: 
Clever switches use your OCD tendencies to save electricity

Old stables morph into a curvy eco-conscious home

December 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Old stables morph into a curvy eco-conscious home

Minimal environmental impact was a guiding design principle behind True North, a home built from the bones of 19th century horse stables and a decaying midcentury cottage. Designed by Melbourne-based TANDEM Design Studio , the quirky two-story home takes its sinuous shape from a challenging triangular site. A seamless curving steel skin wraps around the home in a continuous pleated loop. Named after its sunny corner site, True North was built for an architect and his family with a $750,000 project budget. The two-story, 182-square-meter building comprises two connected dwellings: old stables renovated into a one-bedroom townhouse, and a three-bedroom home built to replace a 1950s cottage. The bedrooms are located upstairs, while the communal areas, including the dining, sunken lounge, kitchen, and floor play space, are placed on the ground floor. A double-height atrium and a bridge occupy the center of the home. In contrast to its steel exterior, warm-toned timber lines the majority of the interior. The architects liken the curved shape of the home to a standalone coral structure. “The deeply folded facade was designed to create diagonal bracing, stabilising the curving, assymetric form,” wrote the architects. “The deeply folded triangles retain a layer of still air adding to the performance of the envelope.” The dips and curves of the facade were also informed by passive solar principles and help delineate garden space and event the front door. Related: Historic Horse Stables Converted into a Contemporary Home in the UK To minimize environmental impact, the foundation is built of insulated slab and insulated double brick construction for thermal mass . Highly insulated steel wraps around a timber frame to lock in temperatures. Bricks from the demolished cottage were salvaged and repurposed in new construction. + TANDEM Design Studio Images by John Gollings

More:
Old stables morph into a curvy eco-conscious home

Simba Snoozeliner night bus will let passengers sleep on their way home

December 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Simba Snoozeliner night bus will let passengers sleep on their way home

We doze off on public transportation 27 times a year, according to James Cox, CEO of the UK -based sleep brand Simba . So they came up with a more comfortable alternative: the Simba Snoozeliner, a bus with 14 sleep pods outfitted with Simba mattresses, noise-canceling headphones, and liver-cleansing milk thistle. A steward would even be on hand to wake people up at their stop. Shift workers or late night partiers could hitch a ride and take a nap on the double decker Simba Snoozeliner, designed in collaboration with Andersson-Wood Architects . Each sleeping pod on the night bus would be equipped with a Simba Hybrid Mattress, a duvet and pillow, and eye mask. Travelers could really get cozy after taking off shoes and coats – there’s storage aboard for those, as well as valuables. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel Other amenities seem to be targeted at those who may have had a tad too much alcohol, including free mineral water and revitalizer kits with milk thistle and vitamin C. Scent infusions aimed at inducing sleep or busting hangovers are also available in each booth, and travelers can buy smoothies or coffee. Living walls with peace lilies, Boston ferns, and snake plants inside the bus will also lend to a tranquil atmosphere. All this might sound like a dream come true, but Timeout London pointed out a few downsides: for one, there might not really be enough time between embarking and disembarking for travelers to really get a good sleep. They also wonder what would stop the Snoozeliner from becoming a big party bus. Simba pointed out in their press release many people are nervous about riding on public transportation at night: three in five worry about encountering antisocial or drunken behavior, and two in five are afraid they’ll be the victim of a crime. There’s the question of if the buses will ever really hit the roads at all. Cox said in the statement, “We know that there will be lots of red tape to wade through, but are looking forward to firming up meetings with local authorities in the New Year.” Simba aims to launch their service in fall of next year, offering trips starting at £8.50, or around $11, and want the buses to run on eight routes in four cities across the UK. + Simba + Andersson-Wood Architects Images courtesy of Simba

View original post here:
Simba Snoozeliner night bus will let passengers sleep on their way home

San Jose city council approves tiny home village for homeless

December 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on San Jose city council approves tiny home village for homeless

San Jose has been struggling with homelessness , and think they have an answer: tiny homes . The City Council recently voted nine to two approving a pilot program to construct a 40-unit tiny house village . Architecture firm Gensler unveiled two design concepts created pro-bono for the city earlier this month, with houses designed to be both aesthetically attractive and efficient. San Jose’s city council just approved a year-long tiny home village program. Elected officials must now determine three potential sites for the pilot. The idea was suggested around a year ago, and would offer 80- to 140-square foot shelters in what are called Bridge Housing Communities. San Jose seems to view the housing as an interim solution, referring to the shelters as emergency sleeping cabins . Around 25 people could dwell in each community, and The Mercury News said the city aims to have a village in each of the 10 city council districts. Related: Dutch studio unveils colorful solar-powered village for area homeless Gensler offered two designs, one called Folding Home and the other Better Together. A small bed, locking door, and windows could be features of the tiny homes. The city also said each site could have community bathrooms and showers, a cooking facility, common areas, and case management onsite to help residents. Some elected leaders have criticized the city’s plan for its cost: $73,125 per tiny house for 40 units. Some people have suggested sanctioned encampments as an alternative, but others argued against legal tent cities in Silicon Valley. Nonprofit Destination: Home executive director Jennifer Loving told The Mercury News, “Sleeping in a tent outside is not the best we can do. We have to start somewhere and a home, even temporary, is better than a tent on the ground.” + Gensler Via The Mercury News ( 1 , 2 ) and the City of San Jose ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Gensler/City of San Jose

View post: 
San Jose city council approves tiny home village for homeless

Santa and the ‘Shrooms: The real story behind the "design" of Christmas

December 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Santa and the ‘Shrooms: The real story behind the "design" of Christmas

When we think of Christmas in the United States, we invariably think of Santa Claus — a man in a red suit and pointy hat with white furry trim and tall black boots, and his accessories, a bag of goodies in a sleigh pulled through the sky by a team of eight flying reindeer. And it’s a clear case of the clothes making the man, for a Santa in any other outfit would most definitely not still be Santa. (Does a fat, bearded, white-haired guy in cargo shorts and a Metallica t-shirt make you think of Christmas?) But when you think about it, it’s a pretty special outfit, no? Santa’s pretty much the only one who wears anything like it — a baggy suit with fur trim isn’t exactly stylish these days, and it wasn’t when Santa made his first appearance, either. His last known precursor, Father Christmas, wore a long red robe, sometimes with trim and sometimes without, like a cardinal — reflecting the link drawn between him and the historic Saint Nicholas, a Turkish cardinal in the 14th century who was known for his kindness to children. But the pants? And the hat? And the boots? They’re nowhere to be found on him. Popular legend has it that Santa himself, not to mention his outfit, was designed by Coca Cola, making his first appearance in their early-20th century ads and defining him for the ages by sheer force of commercial might. There’s a grain of truth in this: His generous shape and rosy cheeks came at the whimsy of Haddon Sundblom, the illustrator of so many of Coke’s well-loved ads from that period. Before Sundblom’s illustrations, Santa was commonly depicted as more of a gnome-like little man (editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast drew some of the best-known early dedications of him), often skinny and a little scary — but even then, wearing the same clothes he wears now. So the question is, where did that outfit come from? Where did Santa get such a unique sense of sartorial élan? The answer, according to anthropological research from recent decades, lies way further back than even Coke can be found. The roots of Santa’s style, and his bag of goodies, sleigh, reindeer, bizarre midnight flight, distinctive chimney-based means of entry into the home, and even the way we decorate our houses at Christmas, seem to lead all the way back to the ancestral traditions of a number of indigenous arctic circle dwellers — the Kamchadales and the Koryaks of Siberia, specifically. (So it’s true — Santa really does come from the North Pole!) And like so many other fantastical tales, it all originated with some really intense ‘shrooms. On the night of the winter solstice, a Koryak shaman would gather several hallucinogenic mushrooms called amanita muscaria, or fly agaric in English, and them to launch himself into a spiritual journey to the tree of life (a large pine), which lived by the North Star and held the answer to all the village’s problems from the previous year. Fly agaric is the red mushroom with white spots that we see in fairy tale illustrations, old Disney movies, and (if you’re old enough to remember) Super Mario Brothers video games and all the Smurfs cartoons. They are seriously toxic, but they become less lethal when dried out. Conveniently, they grow most commonly under pine trees (because their spores travel exclusively on pine seeds), so the shaman would often hang them on lower branches of the pine they were growing under to dry out before taking them back to the village. As an alternative, he would put them in a sock and hang them over his fire to dry. Is this starting to sound familiar? Another way to remove the fatal toxins from the ‘shrooms was to feed them to reindeer, who would only get high from them — and then pee, with their digestive systems having filtered out most of the toxins, making their urine safe for humans to drink and get a safer high that way. Reindeer happen to love fly agarics and eat them whenever they can, so a good supply of magic pee was usually ready and waiting all winter. In fact, the reindeer like fly agarics so much that they would eat any snow where a human who had drank ‘shroom-laced urine had relieved himself, and thus the circle would continue. When the shaman went out to gather the mushrooms, he would wear an red outfit with either white trim or white dots, in honor of the mushroom’s colors. And because at that time of year the whole region was usually covered in deep snow, he, like everyone, wore tall boots of reindeer skin that would by then be blackened from exposure. He’d gather the tree-dried fly agarics and some reindeer urine in a large sack, then return home to his yurt (the traditional form of housing for people of this region at that time), where some of the higher-ups of the village would have gathered to join in the solstice ceremony. But how would he get into a yurt whose door was blocked by several feet of snow? He’d climb up to the roof with his bag of goodies, go to the hole in the center of the roof that acted as a chimney, and slide down the central pole that held the yurt up over the fireplace. Then he’d pass out a few ‘shrooms to each guest, and some might even partake of some of the ones that had been hung over the fire. Clearly, this idea of using the chimney to get in and pass out the magic mushrooms (and other goodies) had sticking power. Interestingly, even as late as Victorian times in England, the traditional symbol of chimney sweeps was a fly agaric mushroom — and many early Christmas cards featured chimney sweeps with fly agarics, though no explanation of why was offered. Interestingly, in addition to inducing hallucinations, the mushrooms stimulate the muscular system so strongly that those who eat them take on temporarily superhuman strength, in the same way we might be affected by a surge of adrenaline in a life-or-death situation. And the effect is the same for animals. So any reindeer who’d had a tasty mushroom snack or a little yellow snow would become literally high and mighty, prancing around and often jumping so high they looked like they were flying. And at the same time, the high would make humans feel like they were flying, too, and the reindeer were flying through space. So by now you can see where this is going: The legend had it that the shaman and the reindeer would fly to the north star (which sits directly over the north pole) to retrieve the gifts of knowledge, which they would then distribute to the rest of the village. It seems that these traditions were carried down into Great Britain by way of the ancient druids, whose spiritual practices had taken on elements that had originated much farther north. Then, in the inevitable way that different cultures influence one another due to migration and intermarriage, these stories got mixed with certain Germanic and Nordic myths involving Wotan (the most powerful Germanic god), Odin (his Nordic counterpart) or another great god going on a midnight winter solstice ride, chased by devils, on an eight-legged horse. The exertion of the chase would make flecks of red and white blood and foam fall from the horse’s mouth to the ground, where the next year amanita mushrooms would appear. Apparently over time, this European story of a horse with eight legs, united with the ancient Arctic circle story of reindeer prancing and flying around on the same night, melted together into eight prancing, flying reindeer. That story then crossed the pond to the New World with the early English settlers, and got an injection of Dutch traditions involving the Turkish St. Nicholas (who came to be called Sinterklaas by small Dutch children) from the Dutch colonialists — and found immortality in its current form in early 20th-century America, with Clement Clark Moore’s famous poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Before this poem hit the press, different immigrant groups around the U.S. each had their own different versions of the Santa Claus legend. Then in the 1930s, Coca Cola’s ad campaign gave Santa his sizable girth and sent him back around the world. And so in that spirit, a merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! + Fly Agaric

Read more from the original source:
Santa and the ‘Shrooms: The real story behind the "design" of Christmas

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 879 access attempts in the last 7 days.