Tetra is a brilliant see-through dishwasher that fits in even the tiniest apartments

January 11, 2018 by  
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Most people living in tiny apartments are resigned to the fact that their kitchens will never have space for a dishwasher – but that’s no longer the case. Heatworks just unveiled Tetra – a new compact, tankless dishwasher that’s sure to make apartment dwellers jump for joy. According to the Heatworks team, if a two-person household were to switch from handwashing to the Tetra, they could save a whopping 1500 gallons of water every year. The Tetra, which will cost under $300, is the size of a small microwave, and it not only reduces water waste , but in fact, requires no plumbing connection at all. Since there are no faucet connections, water is loaded by hand. This simple design is a big asset, because it lets users know exactly how much water is being used. A typical Tetra load lasts just a few minutes and it uses about half a gallon of water. Detergent use is also reduced with small loads – the internal detergent reservoir will last dozens of cycles. Another cool feature is the machine’s transparency, which lets you keep track of the wash cycle. Related: Hand-powered Circo dishwasher saves time, space, money and water Standard dishwashers are designed to fit up to 13 place settings, which is great for large families. By contrast, the Tetra is designed for small households of two or three people who lack space for a full-size dishwasher and are looking to conserve water . Although compact, the Tetra can fit up to 2 place settings or 10 plates or 10 pint glass. Jerry Callahan, CEO and founder of Heatworks, revealed that the Tetra was inspired by the need to provide more efficient options to smaller households: “Our research indicates that although the average household is comprised of 2.58 people, the modern dishwasher holds place settings for 13 or more. This makes people believe that they either need to handwash their few dirty dishes — which wastes 10 times more water than using a dishwasher — or wait for a fill load to run a cycle. With Tetra, we hope to change people’s mindset.” + Heatworks Images via Heatworks

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Tetra is a brilliant see-through dishwasher that fits in even the tiniest apartments

Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

January 8, 2018 by  
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Nanoleaf is known for its brilliant lighting products – and now they’re launching an innovative dodecahedron-shaped remote that makes it easy to control any smart device in your house. The new Bluetooth -enabled Nanoleaf Remote just debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and it promises to let you “fully customize your entire home with a quick turn of the wrist.” Nanoleaf ‘s new Remote allows users to easily control the company’s Light Panels and other HomeKit products. The device aims to take the frustration out of controlling multiple smart home products with numerous apps by simplifying tasks into the single controller. Users can program each one of the device’s 12 sides with commands to accomplish tasks like turning off lights, raising window blinds or your home’s temperature, or activating different pre-set scenes for events like parties or quiet nights in. Related: Nanoleaf’s new Rhythm module turns any Aurora array into a dazzling music visualizer Users rotate to the top the side they want to trigger, with the Remote glowing as it moves to offer feedback. On Nanoleaf’s website, prototype tester Pin-Yu from Singapore described the device as a “glowing ball of awesome from outer space.” Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu said in a statement, “ Smart technology should cater to how people are using their products, making life easier and more enjoyable without being intrusive. The Nanoleaf Remote is designed to make the smart home smart again. We want to give people the option of controlling their smart home without always relying on their devices. Everyone is so glued to their phones these days, the Nanoleaf Remote offers the possibility to just sit back and enjoy living smarter.” The controller is incredibly light, weighing 0.13 kilograms, or around 0.28 pounds. The Remote is slated for release in February. + Nanoleaf Images courtesy of Nanoleaf

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Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

Belize votes to indefinitely end all oil exploration in its waters

January 8, 2018 by  
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The small Central American nation of Belize has decided to indefinitely end all new oil exploration in its waters. Belize only produces 3,000 barrels of oil a day, in contrast to the 1.5 million barrels that the United States produces each day in the Gulf of Mexico. However, this small but significant action sends a message to other developing countries trying to balance economic development with conservation. Like many developing economies, Belize’s depends on the export of its natural resources. Despite the economic importance of oil exports, the government decided that the preservation of its coral reefs and pristine waters were more important in the long run than petrodollars today. Home to a bit less than 400,000 people, Belize also hosts the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. This and Belize’s other natural attractions, such as lush rain forests, attract tourists from around the world and generate $200 million annually, over 10 percent of the country’s GDP, in tourism revenue. Allowing oil exploration along the coast could seriously endanger the country’s tourism industry and ecological health. Environmental groups have been advocating for a ban on oil exploration since 2006, when Belize’s only oil company discovered new reserves. Related: Gorgeous Belize eco-resort will offer 100% carbon neutral villas The coral reef and its accompanying tourism supports the livelihoods of more than 190,000 people in Belize, so it is no surprise that the public is engaged in protecting the ecosystem . “Belize is a small country making a mighty commitment to putting the environment first,” said World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reef scientist Nadia Bood, according to Quartz . Environmentalists hope that Belize will inspire similar action in other countries. “Ending oil activities will encourage other countries to follow suit and take the urgent action that is needed to protect our planet’s oceans ,” said WWF campaigner Chris Gee, according to Quartz . “Like the Belize Barrier Reef, nearly half of natural World Heritage sites worldwide are threatened by industrial pressures.” Via Quartz Images via Depositphotos (1)

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This ultra-chic Paris micro studio is part home, part transformer

December 27, 2017 by  
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The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” is never more appropriate than when trying to design a beautiful home in an extremely tiny space . Paris-based Batiik Studio managed to create a spectacular home out of just 118 square feet by outfitting the entire space with transforming furniture. Batiik’s Marie Josephine apartment is the epitome of space-saving architecture and design. In the kitchen, most everything of use is hidden behind a minimalist façade. The fridge and oven are hidden behind a retro flexible wall, and the countertops and cabinet doors swivel open to reveal hidden storage. Seating is also covert – a cobalt blue table folds down flat when not in use. Related: Cool micro studio in Budapest makes the most out of 344 square feet The compact studio certainly befits from Batiik’s minimalist design approach . Neutral colors keep the space light and airy, and beautiful archways add character to the apartment while delineating spaces. A loveseat couch doubles as a fold-out bed, and a small table pulls double duty as nightstand and coffee table. An invisible closet is hidden behind another arch. + Batiik Studio Via Apartment Therapy Photography via Batiik Studio

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This ultra-chic Paris micro studio is part home, part transformer

Ore Streams: Studio Formafantasma creates striking furniture from salvaged e-waste

December 15, 2017 by  
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Millions of tons of e-waste clog up our landfills every year, but Studio Formafantasma is on a mission to breathe new life into the world’s discarded electronics. Designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin just unveiled “ Ore Streams ” – a new collection of geeky chic office furniture made from salvaged e-waste. According to the designers, “The collection of objects created for Ore Streams act as a trojan horse, using form and colour to initiate a deeper exploration of ‘above ground mining’ and the complex role design plays in transforming natural resources into desirable products.” Ore Streams is a collection of office furniture including a cabinet, desk, table, low chair, and a series of accessories such as a lamp, shelf and trash can. All of the products were made from e-waste – including dead-stock or recycled materials. Related: New biodegradable semiconductor could make e-waste a thing of the past While many designers who strive to mask repurposed products under a glossy new façade, Formafantasma’s furniture celebrates its techy origins. At first glance, the furniture may appear like any brand of austere, contemporary furniture, however the objects have retained much of their original features. The minimalist table incorporates an aerating grid from an old microwave, along with old mobile phone castings on the underside. The original body of the microwave can be found built into a shelf, while an entire keyboard has been inserted onto the side of the desk. + Studio Formafantasma Images via Studio Formafantasma

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Ore Streams: Studio Formafantasma creates striking furniture from salvaged e-waste

Luxurious eco-resort overlooks Sri Lankans most famous wildlife park

December 15, 2017 by  
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Sri Lanka’s most celebrated wildlife park is famous for leopards, elephants, and sloth bears—and now Yala National Park is also known for a stunning, sustainably minded safari camp next door. Designed by Nomadic Resorts and Bo Reudler Studio , the Wild Coast Tented Lodge is an eco-resort with organic architecture set between golden beaches and the national park’s jungles. Located on the country’s southern tip, the “five-star” lodge welcomed its first guests in November 2017 and promises an unprecedented intimate experience of Yala with unique and luxurious offerings. Created for Resplendent Ceylon, the Wild Coast Tented Lodge comprises a collection of grid-shell bamboo buildings clad in reclaimed teak shingles and 28 cocoon five-star suites. The arched buildings, organized in six clusters, mimic the area’s giant rocks and boulders and are placed in a shape suggestive of a leopard’s paw print. High vaulted ceilings and large openings let in natural light, ventilation, and outdoor views. Natural and local materials were mainly used in construction and help seamlessly blend the organic architecture into the surrounding dryland forests. A rich palette of copper, brass, terrazzo , and textiles complement the materials. “The five-star lodge is designed to give visitors an intimate experience of Yala, celebrating the flora, fauna and culture of the area with minimal intrusion on the landscape,” wrote Nomadic Resorts. “Local influences form an integral part of the project, from vernacular traditions and materials to community involvement. The architecture references natural formations in Yala’s landscape, namely the massive rounded boulders scattered throughout the park, at a macro scale, and termite mounds, at a micro scale. Adopting a human scale in between, the camp’s main buildings appear as outcrops of boulder-like pavilions clustered organically together at either end of the site.” Related: Breezy Bungalow Mathugama Stands on Stilts Over the Sri Lankan Jungle Solar energy will provide 40 percent of the eco-resort’s energy needs and graywater is recycled for irrigation. Organic waste is composted onsite for use in the landscape, while the hotel’s conservation station is set up to monitor and protect vulnerable wildlife such as the Sri Lankan leopard. Guests can choose between the Cocoon Pool Suite, Cocoon Suite, and the Family Cocoon Suite that sport an adjacent twin-bedded Urchin tent for kids and young adults. Sixteen of the property’s suites are placed around a watering hole designed to attract wildlife. Rates at the Wild Coast Tented Lodge start at $354 a night for one or $384 for two in the Cocoon Suite. + Wild Coast Tented Lodge Images by Nomadic Resorts and Marc Hernandez Folguera

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Luxurious eco-resort overlooks Sri Lankans most famous wildlife park

Nanoleaf’s new Rhythm module turns any Aurora array into a dazzling music visualizer

November 9, 2017 by  
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Last year Nanoleaf unveiled Aurora – a stunning lighting array made of modular, energy-efficient LED panels . They’re continuing to develop the system, and they just unveiled the Rhythm – a new module that transforms any Aurora array into a glimmering music visualizer. Simply plug the Rhythm into an Aurora panel and fire up your stereo – it’ll listen to your tunes and light up to the beat of your favorite songs. Inhabitat has followed Nanoleaf for years – and they’ve come a long way from making LED light bulbs . The Aurora is a sophisticated lighting system that can display over 16 million colors – and it’s getting smarter by the day. When they reached out to us with their latest innovation, we knew we had to try it out for ourselves. The Rhythm is a clever device that transforms music and ambient sounds into shimmering bursts of LED light. Setting it up is a snap – simply construct an Aurora array and then plug the Rhythm module into one of the triangular panels. The device uses a built-in microphone to listen to sound – so you don’t need to plug it into your stereo – and all of the processing is conducted on-board in real-time. Nanoleaf has created an impressive smartphone app that makes it easy to control your Aurora array. The app automatically senses the configuration of the panels and it provides options for different color palettes and Rhythm patterns – with the option to download many more. We generally found that the patterns respond quite well to a wide range of music – although your mileage will vary based on how many panels you own and how your array is set up. Songs with strong beats and well-isolated elements tend to produce better results than music with complex rhythms and overlapping textures. Certain patterns like “Meteor Shower” and “Streaking Notes” tend to benefit from large, densely packed arrays, while the “Sound Bar” pattern works best with more linear arrays. The obvious application for Aurora panels is adding colorful mood lighting to a room – but the Rhythm module expands their appeal to DJs and musicians, audiovisual artists, and anyone who wants to bring home a bit of ‘Blade Runner’ futurism. We’re also excited to see the applications that makers come up with – the panels support Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Amazon Alexa, so your Aurora array can interface with other smart devices in your house. Our only gripe is that an Aurora array can be a bit tricky to install – it takes some planning and a lot of adhesive strips, and the chips connecting the panels don’t lock in place. If I were to install an array in my home, I’d consider mounting it to a board, trimming the excess material, and then hanging it as a single unit. Overall, we’re very impressed by the vibrancy and brightness of Nanoleaf’s Aurora panels, and the Rhythm module brings a fun new dimension to the system. A single array is enough to wash an an entire room in color, and the panels are capable of subtle, pulsing hue changes as well as dazzling firework-style effects. The Nanoleaf Rhythm is currently available as a module for $49.99 or bundled along with an Aurora kit for $229.99. + Nanoleaf

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Nanoleaf’s new Rhythm module turns any Aurora array into a dazzling music visualizer

Nantucket to be powered by a 48 MWh Tesla Powerpack system

November 9, 2017 by  
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Over 10,000 people live on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts . To deal with electricity demand and replace old diesel generators, National Grid is turning to Tesla . They plan to install a 48 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system (BESS) provided by Elon Musk’s company. Two submarine cables currently power the small island, with two six megawatt (MW) diesel generators as backups should a cable fail. But National Grid said the diesel generators are old and have to be replaced. They’re solving the problem with the BESS and a new diesel generator. Electrek said a 48 MWh system will require more than 200 of Tesla’s Powerpacks , so it will be one of the largest energy storage projects Tesla has tackled so far. Related: New Tesla Powerpack system to offer energy savings of 40-50% With the demand for electricity, and considering the growth forecast, National Grid said Nantucket’s backup systems had to be expanded, and they had originally expected a third submarine cable would be necessary in around 12 years. But thanks to the BESS, they think they can delay the third cable for 15 to 20 years past the 12-year forecast. President of National Grid’s FERC Regulated Businesses and New Energy Solutions Rudy Wynter described the BESS as an effective and efficient solution. The town of Nantucket’s energy coordinator Lauren Sinatra said in a statement, “We are confident that the proposed project, combined with targeted energy-savings programs and other planned electric infrastructure upgrades, will play a transformational role in meeting Nantucket’s near- and long-term energy needs.” Tesla has been busy moving the clean power revolution forward. They’ve made progress on the biggest battery installation in the world : the 100 MW/129 MWh battery system in Australia. They’ve also been among the companies responding to Puerto Rico’s electricity crisis following Hurricane Maria, with Powerwalls and solar power at a children’s hospital . Via National Grid and Electrek Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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14 spectacular lamps unveiled at the London Design Festival

October 6, 2017 by  
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Lighting designers are constantly pushing the envelope with new materials, technologies and applications – and this year’s London Design Festival was awash in innovative designs. From an air-purifying algae chandelier to a lamp powered by melting ice and a series of pendant lights made from mushrooms , read on for our favorite finds from this year’s shows. Exhale Chandelier by Julian Melchiorri When is a chandelier more than just a chandelier? When it’s literally alive! Julian Melchiorri ‘s ‘Exhale’ chandelier is filled with algae that absorb CO2 and release fresh oxygen into any interior space. It’s also incredibly beautiful, with delicate green ‘leaves’ that optimize sun exposure to help the algae grow. Frost Light by EDHV Studio EDHV Studio’s Frost Light is powered by melting ice! A chunk of ice is set on a block of solid aluminum, and as it melts it generates enough electricity to power a small LED for 3 hours. Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot Flynn Talbot’s Reflection Room is mind blowing. One side of the mirrored hallway is bathed in orange light, while the other is lit in blue. Where the two sides meet, a gradient of color is born. Fuchsia Lamps by Macmaster Design Macmaster Design ‘s new Fuchsia lamps look like hanging, flowers in bloom – and they’re made from FSC-certified black walnut and white oak. Voronoi III Lamp by Tala Tala just launched their largest sculptural light yet at the London Design Festival. The Voronoi III is inspired by patterns found in treetops, and its LED filament is modeled after the Fibonacci sequence. Tree Lights by Tamasine Osher Tamasine Osher ‘s gorgeous hand-turned Tree Lights are made of salvaged wood harvested from naturally fallen trees. The delicate patterns are caused by naturally occurring fungus that develops over a span of 2-3 years. I.Rain Helene Chandelier by Blackbody and Haviland Blackbody teamed up with Haviland to unveil a spectacular chandelier made from 145 OLED lights. Each light is nested within a porcelain cup embellished with “Matignon” white with gold patterns. Morphe Lamp by Crea-Re These beautiful lamps by Crea-Re look almost like colored stone – but they’re made from paper mâché! Maria Fiter crafts each lamp using recycled newspaper, natural pigments, and ecologically certified water-based glue. Lungplant by Tim van Cromvoirt Tim van Cromvoirt ‘s luminous Lungplant slowly expands and exhales like a living creature. He designed the lamp to reduce stress and create a meditative environment that encourages you to become aware of the tempo of your own breathing. Thea Kuta Lamp by Elisa Bortolussi These Thea Kuta lamps emerged out of Elisa Bortolussi’s desire to use yarn as an alternative tool for painting. The lamps are handmade from 100% wool, and their precise geometry and depth of color is dazzling. Mycelium + Timber Lamps by Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova These lamps are made of mushrooms! Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova found a way to pair mushroom mycelium with freshly cut wood waste to create a collection of sustainable furnishings. Stacked Glassware Lamps by New Citizen Design These beautiful pendant lights from New Citizen Design appear to be sculpted from glass – until a closer look reveals that they’re made of cups, bowls and plates! Designers Mayan Pesach and Sander Wassink salvage old glassware and combine it in unexpected ways – and each piece is unique. Panam Panama lamp by Lea Baert Lea Baert’s Panam Panama project transforms old fan grills into stunning lamps. Baert worked with communities of Panamanian craftspeople to develop the design using locally-sourced fibers. Upon returning to France, she updated the project with materials sourced locally in Paris. Atlas Light by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio Ladies & Gentlemen teamed up with Seattle-based artist and glass designer John Hogan to create the Atlas Light. This handcrafted lamp consists of an iridescent glass sphere flecked with gold leaf and set on a brass base. + London Design Week

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14 spectacular lamps unveiled at the London Design Festival

Why natural stone is the best choice for your fireplace

September 26, 2017 by  
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Now that fall has started to settle in, there’s nothing better than getting cozy next to a roaring fire. And when it comes to fireplace design, natural stone is simply the most elegant, durable, and efficient material around. Natural stone retains heat better than just about anything out there, it’s practically maintenance-free, and it’s incredibly resistant to wear and tear. On top of that, it can handle extremes in temperature and doesn’t suffer from rot and mold like other materials. Whether it’s time to update your old brick fireplace or build something new, read on to find out why natural stone is the greenest choice. Zebrino marble fireplace – Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery Heat retention Natural stone absorbs, stores and radiates heat, so it can actually improve the efficiency of your home as the the warmth of a fire radiates throughout your space. Marble and limestone are particularly good at absorbing heat, while granite is particularly good at conducting heat. Basalt and soapstone are particularly good at storing heat and releasing it slowly over a long period of time. Stacked stone fireplace – Image courtesy of Eldorado Stone Low maintenance Natural stone is exceptionally easy to maintain – simply give it a wipe with a cloth every now and then to keep it looking new. That said, some stones, like marble, are porous so you may want to consider sealing them to help prevent dirt or soot from settling in. Regardless of the type of stone you use, you’ll be able to spend your time enjoying it rather than trying to maintain it. Image via Deposit Photos Longevity Natural stone is one of world’s oldest building materials – and it’s extraordinarily long-lasting. Just look at ancient buildings around the world – stone survives while other materials fade and rot away. Some stone surfaces can last many lifetimes without losing their luster, while others like limestone will weather beautifully over time. Stacked stone fire pit – Image courtesy of Marmiro Stones Durability Natural stone is known for being practically indestructible. It can handle wear and tear without falling apart, and it’s extremely resistant to water damage and mold. That’s why people use stone in areas that take the most beating – like countertops, floors, bathrooms and fireplaces. Related: How stone can help you create a more sustainable home Types of stone While you can choose just about any natural stone for your fireplace, there are a few options that are particularly well suited for the space. Limestone and soapstone are clean and simple, with a more modern feel, while slate is incredibly durable with a rustic vibe. Marble has a rich beauty that is impossible to replicate – and it can be honed or polished if you want a more formal look. Granite is a great choice for any contemporary space, and it’s one of the hardest and strongest stones available. If you prefer something dramatic, you can’t go wrong with a richly textured stone like quartzite. + Use Natural Stone Thanks in part to the Natural Stone Institute for sponsoring this post

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