Aquaponic gardens bring life to an unused balcony in an architects’ office

February 1, 2019 by  
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When a young architecture start-up in Vietnam went looking for office space, the Farming Architects  team, led by founder An Viet Dung, looked to the local vernacular for inspiration. The result is the Urban Eco Balcony, a 376-square-foot office designed to showcase how it’s possible to bring new life to the empty and unused balconies found throughout Hanoi. The interior space is comprised of a unique steel grid system, which was installed with an aquaponic system to breathe new life and green space into the office. According to Farming Architects founder An Viet Dung, when the budding design practice decided to open its first office in Hanoi, the team realized that the city’s ubiquitous balconies were largely unused, most likely because of urban pollution , noise and even security issues. Related: New library in Hanoi aims to show young children the benefits of aquaponics in an urban setting Using this urban challenge as inspiration, the firm decided to rent a downtown office that would focus on the importance of giving purpose to these “dead spaces.” By using a number of architectural solutions, Farming Architects created an open and vibrant working space , referred to as the Urban Eco Balcony, with various multi-functional features. First, the architects installed a steel girder-tree system that helps create a strong connection between the interior and the balcony areas. Large floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead to the outdoor spaces and welcome  natural light inside. The steel grid formations also provide protection from harsh sun rays and help block the rain from coming into the office. Additionally, the steel frames are modular, meaning they can be rearranged depending on necessity. This feature adds a lot of functionality to the office, as the structures can be used as storage, book cases, mounts for additional lighting and more. Perhaps the steel grid system’s best use, however, is to support the office’s aquaponic system , which fills the balcony. Filling the “dead spaces” with plants would be an obvious choice to liven up the work space, but the architects wanted to take it a bit further by creating a system of aquaculture with plants grown hydroponically. This system requires little-to-no maintenance and creates a fresh, healthy atmosphere for the working space. + Farming Architects Photography by Thai Thach and Viet Dung An via Farming Architects

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Aquaponic gardens bring life to an unused balcony in an architects’ office

Green-roofed home cantilevers over a remote mountainside in Argentina

February 1, 2019 by  
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Córdoba-based firm  Alarcia Ferrer Arquitectos has just unveiled a stunning, green-roofed vacation home in Argentina’s remote Calamuchita Valley. The rocky, sloped landscape drove the inspiration for Casa FM’s design, which is a massive concrete 3,444-square-foot structure with a rectangular shape that juts out over the mountain ledge, offering dreamy views of the valley below. The architects chose to use concrete as the primary building material mainly for its low maintenance properties. Using a simple rectangular shape, a concrete shell adds strength, flexibility and insulating properties to the structure. Its low stature and expansive green roof stretches out over the entirety of the home and also helps blend the structure into its natural surroundings. Related: A striking concrete home in Ontario targets minimal environment impact Casa FM is actually comprised of two autonomous houses, with the lower one-bedroom house embedded into the terrain and the second level housing two bedrooms. Connected via a stone staircase adjacent to the building, each of the two spaces was designed to offer guests an intimate relationship with the surrounding environment. The interior is clad in the same smooth concrete as the exterior. Rectangular skylights flood the living space with natural light , providing a sense of contrast with the concrete walls and flooring. Warm wood furnishings along with leather couches and woven rugs give the space a welcoming, cozy feel. Like most houses that were built around amazing landscape, the interior design of Casa FM was laid out strategically to make the most of its setting. All of the rooms lead toward the open-plan living room, which features one long floor-to-ceiling glass wall. From this main living area, an expansive open patio space offers spectacular, unobstructed views of the valley below and the surrounding mountain range. + Alarcia Ferrer Arquitectos Via Dwell Photography by Federico Cairoli and Federico Ferrer via Alarcia Ferrer Arquitectos

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Green-roofed home cantilevers over a remote mountainside in Argentina

This hexagonal indoor farm grows more food in less space with 90% less water

March 26, 2018 by  
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Hexagro ‘s Living Farming Tree is a groundbreaking indoor garden that uses technology to grow food faster using less space. The innovative design combines aeroponics with efficient grow lights, full automation, and a modular tiered structure to optimize space, crop yield, and water use – allowing anyone to grow crops in practically any room. Hexagro aims to bring nature indoors and nurture the urban farming movement. This goal led them to create Living Farming Tree, an automated vertical growing system controllable with an app. As seen in the video above, poles and hexagonal connectors pop together to create the tree, providing a structure to support small growing modules. The system, which can be customized and scaled up with more modules, is built entirely with recyclable materials . Related: Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks Living Farming Tree uses aeroponics , a process that enables urban growers to cultivate produce sans soil or pesticides and with around 90 to 98 percent less water. The plants flourish in an inert substrate with roots hanging underneath; well-aerated, their roots absorb nutrients via a nutrient mist and oxygen, causing the plants to grow faster and taste better. According to Hexagro, this system—which boasts low energy consumption—allows for a 150 percent increase in the plants’ nutritional value as well. The tree also lets you sit back and relax, for the most part: LED lights, sensors, and a proprietary monitoring computer keep your maintenance time to a minimum. Leafy greens, sprouts, herbs, air-filtering plants, or small fruits like strawberries will be available for budding urban farmers, and Hexagro hopes to offer spices, edible and non-edible flowers, and even vegetables like eggplants or tomatoes in the future. Sold yet? Their website does not yet say how much the Living Farming Tree will cost, but Hexagro’s first international crowdfunding campaign is in the works, and you can let the sales team know you’re interested via this Google Documents form . In the words of CEO Felipe Hernandez, “With your help, [Hexagro] will transform your house into an indoor farm . Anybody, anywhere, can access healthy food .” + Hexagro Urban Farming Images courtesy of Hexagro Urban Farming

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This hexagonal indoor farm grows more food in less space with 90% less water

Rotating indoor garden grows up to 100 herbs and vegetables every month

July 14, 2017 by  
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Growing your own home garden has never been easier or more beautiful. The innovative Ogarden is a spherical indoor garden with a rotating circular wheel that provides an optimal growing environment for leafy vegetable and herbs. The compact, clutter-free home gardening system allows virtually anyone to grow up to 100 herbs and vegetables a month, with very little maintenance. Ogarden is a soundless, odorless growing system that was designed for any home environment and it comes with its own storage space inside the unit, making it an attractive garden space with little-to-no clutter. The system comes with a small bag of organic soil , and owners can choose from a catalogue of seedlings including lettuces, basil, brocolette, onions, cabbage, chives, etc. The first step is to plant the seeds in the soil provided and place under the neon lamp in the storage shelf. When the seedlings are ready, they should be transplanted into the growing tubes and placed in the individual slots inside the wheel. Related: Chic, minimalist hydroponic garden makes growing your own veggies a snap Once the plants are in place, the wheel slowly begins to rotate around a central lamp. A programmable bulb inside the lamp turns on and off depending on the plants’ cycles, providing consistent light to each plant. The greenery should be watered once to twice a week and – voilà – a variety of organic, home-grown veggies right at your fingertips. + Ogarden Via Uncrate Images via Ogarden  

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Rotating indoor garden grows up to 100 herbs and vegetables every month

46 Republicans join Democrats to protect climate change language

July 14, 2017 by  
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Bipartisanship feels increasingly rare in the United States today, but a recent House of Representatives vote shows it isn’t dead yet. 46 Republicans aligned with Democrats on a vote over language about climate change in defense policy legislation , tipping the vote against an amendment that would have removed the language. It’s a small step, but one advocates hope points to shifting opinions on climate change among Republicans. Representative Scott Perry, a Republican of Pennsylvania, put forward an amendment that would have stripped defense policy legislation of language saying climate change is a direct threat to national security . The legislation in question also requires new analysis from the Department of Defense on climate change’s potential impact on the military . Perry’s amendment would have taken out the language calling for the analysis. Related: Cities rebel against Trump by posting climate data his EPA took down But almost 50 Republicans didn’t agree. The final vote was 185 to 234 . Of the Democrats who voted, all voted against the amendment. 14 representatives, a mixture of Republicans and Democrats, did not vote. During floor debate Perry, who is an Army veteran, said climate change shouldn’t be a priority for military commanders facing threats like North Korea or Islamist extremism, saying, “Literally litanies of other federal agencies deal with environmental issues including climate change.” He also said lawmakers shouldn’t decide the commanders’ priorities. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican of Florida, said policymakers should be “clear-eyed” about climate change. She pointed to sea level rise as a potential threat for military installations. And Elise Stefanik, a Republican of New York, said “we would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security” by not considering climate change’s impact on the military. Republicans from both red and blue states opposed Perry’s legislation, including representatives from Louisiana, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Via Axios Images via Phil Roeder on Flickr and Molly Adams on Flickr

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46 Republicans join Democrats to protect climate change language

This shipping container hotel is so cool you’ll forget its a shipping container

July 14, 2017 by  
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Although building with shipping containers isn’t as avant-garde as it used to be, there are still some stunning designs that make us weep with joy. Built by Australian firm, Contained , this 20-foot shipping container has been converted into an ultra-sophisticated hotel room that can be easily folded up and shipped virtually anywhere in the world. Contained specializes in repurposing old shipping containers into sophisticated lodgings that, on top of being breathtakingly gorgeous, are also portable. Designed with transportation in mind, the structures are strategically outfitted to easily set up and unfold. The individual structures can be shipped virtually anywhere in the world. Related: This amazing shipping container hotel can pop up anywhere in the world Each unit is equipped with a queen-sized bed, a living room with a sink and bar area, and a bathroom. For outdoor space, guests can enjoy a spacious deck shaded by a fold-out awning. Large glass doors and an abundance of windows soak up daylight and the surrounding scenery. Although portability is a key concept in the renovation of the containers, the design of each individual unit is simply astonishing. The sophisticated and modern interiors give no clue to each building’s former utilitarian background. According to Contained directors Anatoly Mezhov and Irene Polo, their business goal is to create an option for people who’d like to travel in a more sustainable way , but without sacrificing comfort. “There are so many beautiful places to go visit. That’s how this idea was born. Let’s create a portable hotel room that’s beautiful, sustainable, and comfortable for short-term accommodation and activate some of these spaces.” Mezhov says. The company has installed their structures in numerous locations including a Victoria winery, Sydney Harbor, and a wilderness retreat in Queensland. + Contained Via Dwell Photography by Daniel John Bilsborough

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This shipping container hotel is so cool you’ll forget its a shipping container

Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks

April 26, 2017 by  
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Humans are spending more of their lives inside, missing out on the health benefits and beauty of plants . Winmart Design from Singapore decided to bring nature indoors with LeGrow, a creative indoor garden users can design themselves with LEGO -like pieces. The gardens can be equipped with LED lights , allowing plants to thrive year-round, or with a humidifier to improve the atmosphere of interior spaces. Chinese designer Haobin Lin decided to create LeGrow after he realized his daughter, growing up in a city, might not have the nature-filled childhood he’d loved. Inspired by her favorite toys, building blocks, he came up with the sleek, clean indoor garden system. Related: 7 indoor plants that purify the air around you naturally A LeGrow system can include planter pots, Power Pots, a humidifier, and an LED grow lamp. The stackable planter pots incorporate internal water reservoirs to reduce mess. A two-bulb LED grow lamp can provide light in six-hour increments for multiple plants, with a maximum output of 50,000 lumens. A diffusing mist humidifier helps create an atmosphere conducive for growing plants indoors, an area that tends to be dry due to heating and air conditioning; but the humidity can also improve human health by reducing eye strain and softening skin. LeGrow’s Power Pots are specifically targeted towards home office use; they can power the system’s humidifier and lights but can also charge a smartphone or tablet via four USB ports. Winmart Design is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter ; with over 20 days to go they’ve already raised around $45,000 of their $30,138 goal. They offer several options, starting with one LeGrow Power Pot with an early bird price of $34 all the way up to a limited edition package with 36 standard pots, four dual-LED lamps, one humidifier, and two Power Pots for $392. You can find out more here . + Winmart Design Images courtesy of Winmart Design

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Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks

DIY recycling machines will let anyone turn plastic waste into functional objects

April 8, 2016 by  
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Last year the world produced nearly 311 million tons of plastic, but less than 10% of that was recycled. The truth of the matter is that most plastic ends up in the wrong places; landfills, oceans, and inside animals. Precious Plastic has envisioned a new solution for our plastic problem, and it could make all the difference. The company, started by Dave Hakkens, a 27 year old Dutch designer, is developing resources for DIY machines that recycle plastic waste into functional objects. Released as a shared online open source, the machines can be made with basic tools and universally available materials. The company plans to provide a series of detailed instructional videos and a download-kit, allowing people to become craftsmen of plastic right at home, from anywhere in the world. Check out the video below to see how this revolutionary machine could clean up our planet. + Precious Plastic The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Live succulent art explores the relationship between natural and man-made environments

April 7, 2016 by  
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In his ongoing “Urban Wild” collection, artist Ivan Stojakovic creates a new and unique merging of painting, sculpture and the live wall. The artworks, comprising small and large formats, installations, and free-standing sculptures, are made out of deconstructed composite panels and live succulent plants . Stojakovic’s art has been an exploration of the evolving relationship between the natural and the fabricated world. In a statement on his website , Stojakovic said, “I aspire to give viewers a sense of flight, an inner high with overview of land, and raise their inner (environmental) awareness. I also wish to impact viewers with real plants inhabiting the traditional wall art format. The plants clash with fabricated forms, and resonate with rich textures and colors, in dynamically balanced compositions. In this way, I want the take the audience on a journey through changing landscapes in which wild natural and man made environments strive to reclaim one another.” + Ivan Stojakovic + Ivan Stojakovic Instagram The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Live succulent art explores the relationship between natural and man-made environments

ONS Incek’s apartment showroom in Turkey is wrapped in colorful glass panels

October 29, 2015 by  
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