Frederike Top’s geometric LED lamps cast colorful rays of ever-changing light

July 21, 2017 by  
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Amsterdam-based designer Frederike Top just unveiled her latest work – and it’s literally brilliant. Reflected Sequence is a series of reflective mobiles that use geometric panels and LED lights to cast colorful, ever-changing reflections. Top creates her striking pieces by stringing together panels of semi-transparent acrylate covered in iridescent foil. The series consists of hanging mobiles, table lamps, and window danglings illuminated by LED bulbs . Related: Stickbulb’s new Boom LED lamp is made of reclaimed wood from NYC water tanks Whether hanging from the ceiling or placed on a table, the lamps create a kaleidoscopic light show that varies depending on the angle of view. The result is a dynamic, ever-changing light source that never casts the same light twice. + Frederike Top

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Frederike Top’s geometric LED lamps cast colorful rays of ever-changing light

Greenbuild: The world’s biggest green building expo is coming to Boston

July 18, 2017 by  
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The world’s biggest conference dedicated to green building is coming to Boston this November – and you won’t want to miss it. The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will convene sustainable building experts, professionals and leaders for mind-blowing exhibits, learning activities, a Net Zero zone, and pavilions packed with the latest in green building technology. If you are passionate about green living, then clear your calendar for November 8 – 10 and get ready for an amazing experience. This year, Greenbuild will feature education, workshops, tours, awards, and an expo hall that is not to be missed. Inhabitat regularly attends the conference, so we know first-hand how great it can be. Check out our coverage from past years to get a glimpse into what you can expect – we’ve rounded up some of our favorite innovations here , here and here . Greenbuild has a reputation for stellar education sessions, where you can learn about a huge range of topics – from passive and net zero building to tips from developers who are changing the face of the industry. Workshops qualify for continuing education credits and toward LEED certification hours. Summit topics will include Communities and Affordable Homes, The Water Summit and the International Summit. Greenbuild’s tours are always highly anticipated, and this year’s lineup promises to be exceptional. Attendees will be able to visit four net positive and passive house buildings that are breaking the mold, MIT to learn about its green building innovations, and some of Boston’s groundbreaking green spaces. Early registration ends September 7, so head over to Greenbuild to nab your spot now. + Greenbuild Expo Save

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Greenbuild: The world’s biggest green building expo is coming to Boston

IKEA is launching its virtual reality app this fall

June 20, 2017 by  
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Ikea’s been playing with augmented reality (AR) for a few years now – in 2014 they released an AR catalog so shoppers could see what furniture would look like in their homes without ever leaving their couch. Now they’re teaming up with technology giant Apple to create an AR app . Leader of Digital Transformation at Inter Ikea Michael Valdsgaard claims this will be the “first augmented reality app that will enable you to make buying decisions.” Using the app, customers could check out how Ikea furniture looks in their home before they buy a thing. If users do want to buy the pieces, it remains unclear whether they will be able to purchase pieces directly through the app – Valdsgaard said that’s the ambition but can’t “promise [the payment facility] will work in the first version.” That first version should be rolling out as soon as fall of this year. Related: IKEA teams up with NASA to design out-of-this-world space saving furniture That first AR app will feature around 500 to 600 products so customers can see how they fit in their homes. And Valdsgaard said in the future when Ikea launches new products, they will show up in the app before stores. Ikea will draw on Apple’s AR expertise to roll out the app. Valdsgaard said it’s not enough to understand sofas to venture into AR – and he said the Ikea app will become the world’s largest AR platform overnight. Although Valdsgaard indicated technology will be an important element of Ikea moving forward, the AR app doesn’t seem to be a move to phase out stores. He told Di Digital, “The stores are our greatest assets. We have almost 400 of them and we want to complement them in as many ways as possible, through mobile, social media , AR, and third-party e-commerce players. One thing will not replace the other, but we’ll try as many things as possible.” Via Business Insider Images via Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay

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IKEA is launching its virtual reality app this fall

This mind-blowing home’s undulating courtyard lifts up to form sheltered spaces

June 13, 2017 by  
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Beijing-based Arch Studio has revamped a traditional hutong into a beautiful complex wrapped in a winding grey and white walkway that seamlessly connects the interior with the exterior. The fittingly-named Twisting Courtyard house features a variety of multi-use spaces centered around a serene open-air environment. Located in Beijing’s Dashilanr district, the hutong featured a traditional Siheyun layout with various historic buildings arranged around a central courtyard. Although many of these centuries-old areas have been demolished to make way for new construction, Arch Studio’s design sought to use the existing layout to create the ultra-modern living space as an homage to the site’s long history. Related: Abandoned alleyway in Beijing reinvented as a stunning private courtyard A traditional gate leads visitors into the central courtyard, where an undulating walkway made of white pebbles and grey-brick paving winds its way around the buildings. The striking pavement even curves upwards over the walls and roofs, creating a seamless connection between the timber-clad buildings . “The design aims at getting rid of the solemn and stereotyped impression given by Siheyuan, and creating an open and active living atmosphere,” explained the studio. “Based on the existing layout of the courtyard, the undulating floor is used to connect indoor and outdoor spaces of different height.” The new complex is designed to be used as a private residence or multi-use space for work or entertainment. The private buildings house a kitchen, office, and bathroom, which are located under the large curved roof. The communal areas all have large floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the serene courtyard while providing the interior with natural light . On one side of the courtyard, built-in furniture is integrated into the timber walls to create flexible spaces that can be hidden when not in use. + Arch Studio Via Dezeen Photography by Wang Ning & Jin Weiqi

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This mind-blowing home’s undulating courtyard lifts up to form sheltered spaces

Portland debuts newly designed thief-proof bike racks

June 13, 2017 by  
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Portland , Oregon is home to more bike parking spaces on city streets than any other city in North America. But that also means there are more opportunities for bike thieves . So the city is rolling out a new bike rack design to deter would-be crooks. Bike burglars in Portland have recently attacked not a bike’s lock, but the rack to which it’s connected. Bike owners lose their ride, and the city has to replace the racks. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), which wants city residents to feel their bikes are safe, turned to a new design to thwart thieves. Related: Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit From the outside the new racks don’t look like anything special – CityLab described them as tubular arches. But inside there is a “free-floating, steel-wire cable routed through the hollow steel piping of the rack,” according to PBOT communications specialist Hannah Schafer. “This makes it difficult to cut through, because the wire moves when the blade attempts to get purchase.” Then, 10 inches above the ground is a bar spanning the bottom of the rack for extra security. The bar prevents a thief from unscrewing bolts to slip a U-lock around the bottom of the rack, according to Schafer. She told CityLab, “In addition, if a potential thief were to cut through the bike rack and wire rope, the bar makes it difficult to pry the rack apart and slip a U-lock off.” Radius Pipe Bending manufactures the new bike racks for the city. PBOT said they’re not able to replace all 7,000 racks currently in the city with the new design – the new racks cost around $5 more than the old ones – but new installations and maintenance will feature the new robber repellent design. Check out the city’s schematic here . Via CityLab and the Portland Bureau of Transportation Images via BikePortland.org Facebook and Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Portland debuts newly designed thief-proof bike racks

13 groundbreaking lighting innovations from NY Design Week

June 6, 2017 by  
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Of all the fields of industrial design, lighting seems to evolve the quickest as designers harness innovations in materials, manufacturing, and technology. We recently hit the shows of NYCxDesign to bring you a first look at some of the world’s freshest lighting designs – including lamps that sustain life, wild experiments with new materials, and interactive lamps that respond to touch, movement, and music. Check out 13 of our favorite lighting innovations from Sight Unseen Offsite , Wanted Design , and ICFF after the break. Reflected Sequence LED Lamp by Frederike Top Dutch designer Frederike Top has developed an amazing collection of lights and mobiles made from a new material that combines acrylate with iridescent foil. Her Reflected Sequence Table Lamp consists of a single LED bar slatted with sheets of acrylate that reflect the light and make it appear to branch off into complex geometric forms. The material’s foil backing makes the lamp appear to change color and shape depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Globe Terrarium Lights by Richard Clarkson We love terrariums , and we love LED lighting – put them together, and we’re in heaven. Richard Clarkson Studio ‘s hanging Globe lamps are self-sufficient worlds complete with LED lights that sustain the plants within. They’re great for adding a touch of green to any room, and they’re made to last – Clarkson says that some of their terrariums have been thriving for several years now. Janus Lamp by Trueing Studio Trueing Studio ’s elegant Janus Lamp is named after the two-faced Roman god and Saturn’s outermost ring. A band of LED light reflects off a slice of dichroic glass, casting colorful reflections reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis. A post shared by Inhabitat (@inhabitatdesign) on May 19, 2017 at 3:01pm PDT Holon Spheres by Martens-Visser Martens & Visser ‘s amazing Holon orbs look like gigantic spinning soap bubbles! Each Holon is made from long strips of transparent foil connected to a spinning electric motor that causes the bubble-like forms to bounce and shimmer. Double Boom Chandelier by Stickbulb Stickbulb recently debuted a gorgeous new line of LED lighting made of wood salvaged from New York water towers. Their Double Boom fixture is made of reclaimed redwood that has been carbon dated to be three centuries old. Mobius Bench by Louis Lim X 3form At first glance, the Mobius Bench appears to be a simple seat – but when you touch it, a wave of color and light washes over the bench’s serpentine form. Louis Lim teamed up with 3form to create the interactive installation, which stole the show at Wanted Design . Voronoi LED Edison Bulb by Tala These might look like classic Edison bulbs – but they’re actually low-energy LEDs! Tala ‘s Voronoi Bulbs are modeled after forms found in nature – and the company plants ten trees for every 200 products sold. A post shared by Inhabitat (@inhabitatdesign) on May 21, 2017 at 11:45am PDT Aurora Rhythm LED Visualizer by Nanoleaf We’ve featured Nanoleaf ‘s beautiful Aurora LED panels in the past – but we’ve never seen them light up quite like this! The company has developed a new Aurora Rhythm module that listens to nearby sounds to transform your wall into a giant music visualizer. Nanoleaf plans to launch the new device this coming September. Module Lamps by Dear Human Dear Human ‘s stackable Module Lamps consist of individual pieces that can be combined in an endless number of ways. The modules are made from an innovative material called “Paper Rock” that consists of 100% recycled paper and cement. Bottle Cap Lamp by Mutan Argentina-based Mutan collects thousands of discarded plastic bottle tops and transforms them into captivating lamps! Each light is made from 600 bottle caps saved from the landfill. Aural Planes by The Principals X Calico Wallpaper The Principals teamed up with Calico Wallpaper to create a mesmerizing chandelier that reacts to human touch. The lamp’s long tendrils are fitted with capacitive sensors that read your body’s electric charge and then interpret it with flashing lights and sounds from nature. Urchin Softlight by Molo Molo has redesigned their Urchin Softlight to incorporate an LED lighting element within its flexible honeycomb form. The lamps can be opened, closed, flattened, and expanded to suit a wide variety of lighting needs. Echo Felt Lighting by LightArt LightArt ‘s Echo lamps provide both illumination and sound absorption – and they’re made from 50% recycled PET felt. The lights can be hung alone or installed in sets to create multifunctional ceiling landscapes. + NYCxDesign

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13 groundbreaking lighting innovations from NY Design Week

These amazing terrarium lamps grow plants in even the darkest rooms

June 2, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever longed to have a lush garden inside your home, your wish is granted – thanks to these beautiful LED-lit Globe Terrariums . The hanging glass orbs, created by designer Richard Clarkson , are hand blown and come with an integrated LED light that lets the plants survive even in darker rooms. An integrated dimmer lets you create a green garden or a dark mystical rainforest inside your home. The suspended globes come in two sizes: 12″ and 8″ diameters, and look great as individual pieces or grouped together. The globe’s power cord is hidden inside a slim stainless steel cable that lets the globe “float” in the air from any height. Of course, for those with no interest in gardening, the globes can be also used as a stand-alone light source or a unique LED art display . Related: How to Make an Edible Terrarium Snow Globe Various greenery can be planted in the globes, including ferns, cacti, moss, succulents, and even aquatic fauna. Like most terrariums, creating a layered system is recommended for optimal planting. A few handfuls of small stones or gravel at the bottom of the globe will help with drainage and adding charcoal will assist with water filtration. Top that bottom filtration layer with soil suited to your plants of choice and you’re ready to go. The dimmable LED bulbs provide optimal control for the plant life inside the globe. As an adaptable light source, it can be adjusted at any time to meet the specific requirements of the greenery. + Richard Clarkson

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These amazing terrarium lamps grow plants in even the darkest rooms

How Copenhagen handles bike jams

June 2, 2017 by  
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Bikes outnumbered cars in Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen for the first time in 2016 – a huge win for the environment . But all those bikes have led to two-wheel traffic jams that needed fixing. So the city has come up with an innovative solution: electronic information panels that help cyclists chose a clearer route. 265,700 bicycles enter Copenhagen daily, as opposed to 252,600 cars. So the city is planning to set up five electronic panels at strategic points, according to state broadcaster Danmarks Radio. Copenhagen has a 240-mile bike lane network. The five screens could help cyclists reroute to reduce bike congestion . The capital’s city hall is calling this move the first of its kind in the world. Related: Copenhagen now has more bikes than cars Head of Copenhagen’s technology and environment department Morten Kabell said, “There’s a need for improved accessibility for the growing number of cyclists who unfortunately in many places are now having to fight for space on the bike lane. We’re hoping with these new information boards to give cyclists the opportunity to choose the least congested route through the city.” The electronic panels will cost around $633,494. They’ll offer information on special events, roadwork, slow-moving traffic, and the distance to destinations. They’ll also highlight alternative routes. The screens aren’t the only way Copenhagen is looking to slash bike congestion. They’ll improve infrastructure by widening lanes already in place, improving intersection signaling, and constructing more bike-only bridges (the city currently has 17). They already have a route-planning app, ibikecph , which recently saw an update from the city on quieter, greener routes. 41 percent of people in Copenhagen bike to and from school or work. They racked up nearly 870,000 miles a day by bike in 2016. Over the past 20 years, bike traffic has increased by 68 percent in the capital. And if forecasts are correct, daily bike traffic across the city could increase by 25 percent by 2025. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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How Copenhagen handles bike jams

This stunning vintage Airstream is a Scandinavian design dream come true

June 1, 2017 by  
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We always love a great Airstream conversion , and this Scandinavian-inspired renovation is making us green with design envy. Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw renovated the vintage 1971 Airstream Sovereign by implementing simple, but gorgeous design principles inspired by Scandinavian functionality. Using white walls and semi-minimalistic decor, the tiny 200-square-feet space is now a beautiful home the couple affectionately calls their “ Tin Can Homestead .” The adventurous couple are no strangers to breathing life into vintage vehicles. Before buying the old airstream, they converted a 1978 Volkswagen van into a livable camper to travel around the country. Once that trip was over, they had been permanently bitten by the tiny home living bug and decided to buy the 1971 Airstream, which gave them more living space. After one year of renovations and restorations, they now have a beautiful 200-square-foot home with an amazing interior. Related: 7 retro-chic Airstream renovations The Tin Can Homestead is a stunning example of Airstream conversion done right. The renovation process as well as the interior design was inspired by Scandinavian design, meaning that the process focused on custom-made furniture and a clean, clutter-free design. The result is a living space that is light and airy, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. All-white walls and ceilings open up the interior, which is enhanced with fun hints of colors, warm wood tones, and personal knick-knacks from the couple’s travels. The couple’s most prized possession – besides their two little dogs – is a patterned daybed mattress that adds a hint of “bohemian eclectic glam” to the interior design . The kitchen design is an enviable space thanks to its clutter-free layout and simple black-and-white tiled backsplash. The bedroom is also a warm space, with a king-size bed that is big enough for 6-foot tall Bashaw. The camper is equipped with plenty of storage and various hanging plants around the home also enhance the healthy, airy atmosphere. Although the transformation resulted in a beautifully mellow space, the conversion process was anything but uncomplicated. When asked about the hardest part of the process, Lawyer said that building furniture to fit around the airstream’s curves presented quite the challenge, “Never again will I build furniture to fit inside what is basically a Twinkie.” Such a dreamy day in Seattle today so I threw open all the windows and did a little planting. A post shared by tin can homestead (@tincanhomestead) on May 3, 2017 at 4:30pm PDT The couple recently sold the home to a new family, but you can check out tons of dreamy photos of the Tin Can Homestead on their Instagram page. + Tin Can Homestead Via Apartment Therapy

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This stunning vintage Airstream is a Scandinavian design dream come true

Dwell on Design 2017: The West Coast’s largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

May 24, 2017 by  
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Dwell on Design , the West Coast’s largest design event, is back and better than ever for 2017. The highly-anticipated three-day design event to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 23 – 25 will feature 300 exhibitors, continuing education opportunities and onstage programming from design’s foremost leaders. Visitors will be able to tour homes curated by the talented editors at Dwell and attend conversations hosted by notable architect Sir David Adjaye , designer-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard and founder of DwellStudio, Christiane Lemieux. If you don’t want to miss this treasure trove of design-goodness, register here to reserve your spot and you can use the code INHABITAT to get a $5 discount. For it’s 12th year, Dwell on Design will welcome 300 new and returning exhibitors in 100,000 square feet of space. In order to foster a shared experience, all sessions and featured panels will be hosted on the main stage, with more intimate fire-side chats and panels taking place throughout the fair. These conversations will focus on five themes: Technology/Smart Home, Health & Wellness/Aging, Urban Space/Densification, Resiliency, and Business of Design. Every year, the home tours are a real highlight of the show. This year, attendees will be treated to yet another inspiring series of Dwell-worthy home designs, including the minimalist Drexel home, cleverly remodeled Kuehl House and the mnmMOD-constructed Sherbourne Residence. Returning pavilions will include the ever-popular prefabricated Cocoon9 and Method Homes . Other exhibitors will include Benjamin Moore, Ergotron, Build.com, Hansgrohe, Humboldt Redwoods, Koble & Koble, Marvin Windows, Smith & Fong, and Stokke. The fair will also feature the AIA LA Photography awards, book signings by Sir David Adjaye, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and more, Meet the Architects Night, and a silent auction. Architect Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates will be the keynote speaker on Friday, June 23. He’s known for his ground-breaking use of materials and has created such noteworthy designs as the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, the Moscow School of Management, and the stunning, recently-opened Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture . Then there’s Martyn Lawrence Bullard, star of Million Dollar Decorators and designer to Hollywood’s A-list, who has received international acclaim for his impressive mastery of style, and Christiane Lemieux, an acclaimed designer who founded DwellStudio  and Cloth & Company, as well as acting as creative director of Wayfair. Ongoing education partners include such respected names as the American Society of Interior Designers , U.S. Green Building Council , Sustainable Furnishings Council , and the National Kitchen and Bath Association . Attendees will be able to expand their knowledge on emergent topics, including the latest color trends, NetZero building practices, Passive Design principles, psychological effects of color use, sustainable landscapes, modern prefabricated design, living in small spaces, and sustainable housing. Year after year, Dwell on Design showcases groundbreaking and life-changing designs that end up transforming the industry. We can’t wait to see what is turning heads this year, but until then, you can check out all of the best Dwell on Design coverage from past years here . And don’t forget to nab your tickets for this year’s fair before they’re all gone,

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