IKEA teams up with NASA to design out-of-this-world space saving furniture

June 9, 2017 by  
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IKEA is teaming up with NASA for the coolest collaboration this side of the moon. The Swedish furniture giant wants to figure out how to make a Mars habitat feel like a real home, so they spent a few days at the MDRS Habitat in Utah. Their goal is to look for ways to tackle the problems of urban living (cramped spaces – check, toxic air – check) to find solutions to make life better here on Earth… or Mars. Real astronauts train at the MDRS Habitat in Mars-like desert conditions to prepare for space. This summer, a team of IKEA designers took up the residence in the space for a few days in a mini-training session. The scientists were isolated for 3 days in a confined space isolated in the alkali desert in order to do a little design brainstorming. The design team described it as camping – but better. IKEA wants to figure out how to make small living quarters with tainted air and water more livable. If they can make it work in a small Mars simulation, what is to stop them from making it work across the world? Related: IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty “I think that the essence of this collection will be about appreciating what we have on Earth: human beings, plants clean water and air. But also diversity and a sense of belonging – things that we take for granted on a daily basis. After this journey, it’ll probably feel pretty awesome to come home to my own bed,” said IKEA Creative Leader, Michael Nikolic. + IKEA

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IKEA teams up with NASA to design out-of-this-world space saving furniture

Zaha Hadid Architects completes first phase of Italys solar-powered high-speed rail hub

June 9, 2017 by  
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Italy is moving full steam ahead on the expansion of high-speed rail. The country recently celebrated inauguration for the first phase of the Napoli Afragola station, a solar-powered high-speed rail hub and major gateway to the south of Italy. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the eye-catching station, which doubles as a pedestrian bridge, and integrated energy-efficient systems such as solar panels and ground source heating and cooling. Located 12 kilometers north of Naples , the Napoli Afragola station will serve four high-speed intercity lines, three inter-regional lines, and a local commuter line. Once complete, the station will connect the 15 million residents of the surrounding southern communities with the national rail network to the north and Europe beyond. An estimated 32,700 passengers are expected to use the station daily once all lines are operational. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the Napoli Afragola station to double as a public bridge connecting communities on either side of the railway. “The design enlarges the public walkway over the eight railway tracks to such a degree that this walkway becomes the station’s main passenger concourse – a bridge housing all the services and facilities for departing, arriving and connecting passengers, with direct access to all platforms below,” write the architects. The elevated station also offers much-needed new public space for the area in addition to shops and other amenities. Related: Wind power now runs all electric passenger trains in the Netherlands Designed as “an extrusion of a trapezoid along a 450-meter curved path,” the sculptural station is constructed with a reinforced concrete base with 200 differently shaped steel ribs clad in Corian and a glazed roof. Natural light pours into the station through the glazed roof to minimize demands on artificial lighting. Integrated solar panels on the roof, natural ventilation, and ground source cooling and heating systems also reduce energy consumption. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images by Jacopo Spilimbergo

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Zaha Hadid Architects completes first phase of Italys solar-powered high-speed rail hub

Ancient Japanese tombs inspire nendos first public space design

June 9, 2017 by  
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Prolific Japanese studio nendo completed their first public space design that puts a playful and futuristic spin on its unlikely source or inspiration: ancient Japanese tombs. Located at Tenri Station in Japan’s Nara prefecture, the multipurpose public space is a 6,000-square-meter station plaza that includes amenities such as bicycle rentals, cafes, and a play area. The goal of the project, called CoFuFun, aims to encourage revitalization of the area through strengthening community bonds. The whimsical name CoFuFun combines the term ‘cofun’—the name of sacred tomb mounds that the Tenri region is known for—with the colloquial Japanese expression ‘fufun,’ which means happy, unconscious humming. Inspired by cofun’s grass-covered mounds, nendo designed the plaza with a series of circular white structures made from precast white concrete . The modern cofun also reference Nara’s mountainous geography with some structures depressed and others domed. Related: Bangkok’s Siam Discovery retail center gets a major redesign from Japanese firm nendo Steps cover the prefabricated structures, which are used for a variety of uses including seating, shade, play, and even skating. A cafe and other shops are built inside the domed cofuns. “The cofun are beautifuland unmistakeable, but blend into the spaces of everyday life in the city,” says nendo. “The alphabet spelling, “CoFuFun”, also brings in the “co-“ of “cooperation” and “community”, as well as – of course –“fun” itself. The result is a name whose Japanese and alphabet spellings mean similar things, so that foreign visitorsto the plaza will understand it in the same way, too.” + nendo Images by Takumi Ota

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Ancient Japanese tombs inspire nendos first public space design

Inside the big business of investing in supply chains

March 13, 2017 by  
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Kellogg, IKEA and others are seizing financial opportunities from improving lives and reducing the environmental impacts of millions of smallholders in supply chains.

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Inside the big business of investing in supply chains

SPACE10 creates an open-source Growroom you can build at home

February 17, 2017 by  
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SPACE10, a future-living lab and exhibition space in Copenhagen, wants to change the modern food industry. In September, we shared news of the group’s Growroom – a spherical farm pod that lets you grow food just about anywhere. Now SPACE10 wants people to build their own Growroom right at home with open-source plans for the ingenious design. Grab some plywood and a rubber hammer and get ready to grow. The Growroom spherical garden helps to “empower people to grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way,” according to SPACE10. Last year, people across the globe, from Taipei to Helsinki, expressed interest in getting their own Growroom, but the group didn’t want to create a new way to grow local food just to manufacture and ship the pod across entire oceans. So they decided to make the concept completely free for people to build on their own. Related: The Growroom is a spherical farm pod that brings agriculture to city streets Although the Growroom has a tiny footprint, it is capable of growing substantial quantities of food in a small space. It is open in the center, so you can step inside and immerse yourself in nature even in the middle of the city. Not to mention food is more nutritious and tasty when picked and eaten fresh . The design was created by architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm. It requires 17 steps, 17 pieces of plywood, a rubber hammer, and some screws; you will also need access to a CNC milling machine or laser cutter – your local fab lab or maker space should be able to get you up and running. If you decide to make one of your own, be sure to let us know , and give a shoutout to @space10_journal on Instagram – we can’t wait to see what you come up with. + Growroom plans + Space10 Images via Alona Vibe , Rasmus Hjortshøj , Niklas Vindelev and Space10

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SPACE10 creates an open-source Growroom you can build at home

IKEA introduces Sladda, a chainless bike built for urban mobility

January 13, 2017 by  
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The next time you walk into an IKEA store , you might just be able to leave with a new bicycle. While it may seem to be a strange direction for a furniture company to take, the expansion into transportation connects with the company’s larger vision of sustainability . With more and more people moving to dense urban areas, car ownership is becoming increasingly impractical for many. As part of its push toward sustainability and elegant, everyday solutions, IKEA has designed an innovative new chainless bike that can be adapted for just about any need.

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IKEA introduces Sladda, a chainless bike built for urban mobility

The best indoor gardens to gift this year

December 6, 2016 by  
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It may be difficult to imagine gardening in the dead of winter, but thanks to modern technology it’s more possible than ever before. With holiday shopping in full swing, our eyes have been peeled for the brightest innovations in home agriculture. From full-on self-watering vegetable gardens , to mushrooms that grow from a log and a bonsai version of the redwoods , we were thoroughly impressed. Here are some of the finest indoor gardens to give your green-thumbed (and even black-thumbed) loved ones this year. Veritable Smart Garden – $142 Even those with the blackest of thumbs can grow a full vegetable garden from the comfort of their own home. The Veritable garden runs on a fully functioning autonomous system that provides water, light and nutrients to itself. It’s the perfect gift for wannabe gardeners with no outdoor space. Plantini Mini Plant House – $38 This stunning metal structure contains everything you need to grow magnificent violas housed in a luxurious sanctuary. The Plantini is a timeless and easily-assembled flat-packed plant house. Artisan Moss Preserved Green Wall – $45 to $650 These gorgeously preserved moss “plant paintings” require no light or watering at all. Handcrafted with 100 percent sustainably harvested moss, green plants and branches, these pieces are carefully preserved with non-toxic food-grade methods and pigments. As long as they aren’t exposed to too much sunlight, they will serve as beautifully verdant wall art for decades. IKEA Greenhouse – $30 Good design and affordability are baked into  IKEA’s PS 2014 Greenhouse . The lightweight hot house can be attached to a wall or rested on a tabletop. Fill it with herbs or flowers and it will instantly brighten any room. Its compact, one-door design allows for greens to flourish on a wall or next to a window, even in winter. Swiss designer Nicolas Cortolezzis conceptualized the piece for IKEA as a take on the “traditional Swiss chalet” and a “symbol of simplicity and harmony with nature, values that seem more important than ever.” Oyster Mushroom Log – $30 No need to forage for mushrooms when you have this. Anyone can enjoy freshly picked oyster mushrooms all-year-round with this clever kit. Watch these mushrooms sprout right out a beautiful, rustic log every two months. Bonsai Redwood Forest – $75 Invite one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders indoors. The Bonsai Dawn Redwood Forest kit comes with everything the real place contains — redwood tree and moss seeds, soil, river stones, as well as bonsai scissors, a mini rake, a growing box, and step-by-step directions. Succulent Wall Planter – $110 Succulents are a divine gift, since they are bright, sculptural and also quite easy to maintain. This fantastic DIY kit beautifully showcases living succulents nested within a rustic wooden frame. It can be displayed as verdant wall art or as a chic centerpiece. Edible Flowers Seed Kit – $45 This flowering garden doubles as decor and cooking ingredients. The kit includes four varieties of edible flower seeds that, once planted, sprout from stunning glass vials nested in wooden blocks. + Inhabitat’s 2016 Green Holiday Gift Guide + Inspiring Gifts for the Green Thumb

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The best indoor gardens to gift this year

Non-profit creates open-source drinking water filter for 1/10th of the cost

December 6, 2016 by  
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The high-tech vision of open-source software meets low-tech design at non-profit organization OHorizons,  an international coalition of  innovators working to solve persistent global challenges. The team’s most recent invention is the open-source Wood Mold, designed to allow even the least experienced person to create a BioSand Filter that can deliver clean water at 1/10th of the cost of the traditional method. The Wood Mold is designed to be accessible by anyone who has  the DIY , open-source construction manual that OHorizons offers for free online. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dwX9oXcrvc The team of technical, social, and commercial professionals  at OHorizons creates simple, easily implemented, low-tech applications that empower communities without the need for external capital or expertise.When designing new products, they follow certain principles to ensure wide adoption. The design must be simple, low-cost, locally sourced, flexible to meet the needs of different communities, and open-source (available to the public, non-proprietary). As such, the Wood Mold is accessible by anyone via the open-source, online construction manual. Literacy, technical skills, or electricity is not required, though the user needs some way to acquire the blueprint. OHorizons collaborates with local organizations that are already active in local community development, including LEDARS Bangladesh , which supports the construction and distribution of the Wood Mold manual in that country. OHorizons also supports projects in Ecuador, Kenya , and Mali. Related: Researchers design cheap mercury-free LED foil to purify water Over the past year and a half, over 400 people or organizations have downloaded the Wood Mold Construction Manual to create their own locally sourced BioSand filters. As a result of these distributed Wood Molds and the collaborative work to utilize them, 5,500 people have gained access to  sustainable safe drinking water access in their homes in 2016. Based on their success so far, OHorizons has set the ambitious goal of providing 1 million people in Bangladesh with safe drinking water access, via the Wood Mold BioSand filters, by 2021. + OHorizons

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Non-profit creates open-source drinking water filter for 1/10th of the cost

Barn-inspired contemporary home ages beautifully over time

November 23, 2016 by  
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Topped with a steep gabled roof, House for Beth is a conspicuous landmark in the flat agricultural fields of Door County, a picturesque Wisconsin county located on a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. The house is mostly wrapped in natural cedar siding with a portion near the bottom of the home clad in dark-colored Richlite, a paper-based fiber-composite material that will protect the wood facade. Square windows of varying sizes punctuate the facade on three sides and are framed in white to complement the timber facade and to match the white picket fence and the light-colored standing-seam metal roof. Related: Amazing Passive Home in Freezing Wisconsin Uses Less Energy Than a Hair Dryer to Stay Warm! The interior is filled with natural light and views of the agricultural landscape and forest beyond. White-painted walls complemented by timber floors and window trim feature prominently throughout the contemporary home. A black wood-burning stove and a long black strip located above the large windows provide a visually grounding effect. The home is divided into two parts: the open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen on one side that’s surrounded by large windows and, separated by a centrally located bathroom, the bedrooms on the other with smaller windows for privacy. All furnishings in the home are from IKEA. + Salmela Architect Via Dezeen Images via Salmela Architect , by Paul Crosby

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Barn-inspired contemporary home ages beautifully over time

Why Trump will spark business to save sustainability

November 22, 2016 by  
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The lack of leadership from Washington may be a blessing in disguise. Apple, Consumers Energy, General Motors and IKEA offer signs of hope.

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Why Trump will spark business to save sustainability

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