Sustainable White Flower Hall designed for school in India

March 25, 2021 by  
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Thanks to New Delhi -based interior decor and architecture firm Envisage, the Mann School in Alipur has a new girl’s hostel featuring sustainable elements like all-natural thermal insulation and solar panels. The White Flower Hall girls dormitory boasts all the creature comforts to build a haven for the school’s female students, helping to make them feel at home during their studies. The firm, started by partners Meena Murthy Kakkar and Vishal Kakkar, specializes in projects from the design process to the building process. The hostel overlooks a central  courtyard  and features dormitory doors that are positioned to face inward toward central corridors to promote socialization and interaction between students. Related: The Akshar Foundation is creating sustainable schools to teach children important life skills Envisage chose to incorporate the main campus color scheme of red and gray for the design of the dormitory, which is located between the executive block and the senior academic wing of the school. Common activity zones, such as the computer lab and game rooms, are located nearby in the basement surrounding the courtyard and the  school  amphitheater. The ground floor houses grades one to four with shared bunk beds for smaller children, while bedroom windows are positioned to provide outdoor views, ensuring an abundance of natural light and ventilation. The building’s facade features  brick  made using local kilns to reduce the project’s carbon footprint, and the terrace houses solar panels to keep electricity costs low. Built in a location known for its severe monsoon season, the central courtyard aligns to the northwest and southeast to catch winds during substantial rain downpours and create proper ventilation. In addition to using locally sourced brick in the building’s construction, the design also features the mud phuska method for  natural insulation . This method combines compacted soil with hay to reduce the ingress of heat by nearly 70%. The property also includes various green spaces via gardens and outdoor terraces to highlight the importance of nature among students. + Envisage Images via Envisage

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Sustainable White Flower Hall designed for school in India

News From the Future imagines iconic landmarks after a climate apocalypse

March 5, 2021 by  
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Have you ever wondered what the world might look after an environmental apocalypse? Thanks to Paris-based digital artist and photographer Fabien Barrau, you can get a clear picture. A professional advertising artist by day, he uses his personal time to create thought-provoking visuals out of his drone images and stock photography for a series known as “News From the Future.” “My motivation for this series was how to influence awareness of climate change and the urgency to act every day according to one’s means and power,” Barrau told Inhabitat. “In my case, my little power is to create images and imagine myself as an explorer who will return from the future with photos of a changed world.” He hopes that the striking images will serve as a reminder to global citizens, especially young people, to the potential future of our world’s most treasured landmarks should climate change continue to worsen. Related: Artist creates mesmerizing paintings using coal pollution from local streams With the effects of climate change threatening to raise ocean levels and heighten the Earth’s temperatures , News From the Future might not be far off from our future reality. The project depicts images of an underwater Arc de Triomphe, a sinking Statue of Liberty and a sand-covered Colosseum, among others. Barrau said he wanted to create a feeling similar to what archaeologists of the 19th century would have felt discovering Pompeii or the great Aztec cities, only with modern architectural achievements as the main subjects. The artist is a self-proclaimed fan of the post-apocalyptic theme in art , novels, films and documentaries. He is especially inspired by Planet of the Apes, Mad Max and the French painter Roland Cat, whom he pays tribute to with one of his pieces. “I love using my photos taken with my drone to use them in post-apocalyptic photo montages,” Barrau said. “I try to imagine what would happen in the event of desertification, the rise of the oceans or the tropicalization of a region.” + Fabien Barrau Via Dezeen Images via Fabien Barrau

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Eso Studio creates modern wallpaper using all-natural dyes

February 12, 2021 by  
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Wallpaper has a history that spans thousands of years . For centuries, paper wall coverings have evolved in design, prints and technology. Taking the craft on a sustainable ride, a studio based in Grand Rapids, Michigan has created a collection of wallpaper using natural dyes and biophilic design principles. Eso Studio, made up of a trio of co-workers, friends and business partners with a common goal, started out as 9-5 textile designers. They then began experimenting in natural dyeing on the side by extracting pigments from plants and botanicals. The team launched Eso Studio in 2017 to focus their efforts on natural textile colorings, including full-time development of a new wallpaper line, called Biophilia. Related: Artist revamps dingy interior of a 1962 Airstream with vibrant florals Starting out, the company focused on materials sourced from the owners’ own yards and kitchens. Onion skins (deep rust), avocado stones (pale pink), walnuts and flowers were turned into dye materials. The next step took the team into the community, where they realized co-owner Hannah Amodeo’s family restaurant was a great resource for natural materials, plus they could help reduce waste for the restaurant. Similarly, they reached out to local florists to source spent flowers and give them a second life at Eso Studio. The trio’s background in textile work originally had them making and selling naturally dyed silk scarves and home textiles , so it was an organic transition into wallpaper. The company emphasizes “slow and timeless design. Following the principles of biophilic design, the intent of the collection is to bring the ethereal and restorative power of nature into interior environments.” With this goal in mind, the Biophilia collection includes a range of styles from bold or subtle to large or small in scale. There are a variety of colors, textures and characteristics stemming from natural dyes . “Playful designs like ‘Tiger Eye’ and ‘Blueberry Crumble’ are excellent patterns for an accent wall or an eclectic vibe,” the company said of the varying options. “Textural and subtle, ‘Birch’ and ‘Dawn’ evoke a more atmospheric feel.” The functional design of the wallpaper also breaks from interior design tradition, with 5-, 8-, 9-, 10- and 12-foot panels that contrast the standard 30-foot continuous rolls. This allows for easy material calculations and installation while reducing consumer waste. Eso Studio’s Biophilia Collection is found in showrooms across the U.S. and internationally and is also available online. + Eso Studio Images via Eso Studio 

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Trash Camo raises awareness and money to combat pollution

February 11, 2021 by  
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Awareness comes in many forms, including news, advertising and person-to-person discussions. In Russia, one awareness campaign focused on forest  pollution  caused by human activities implemented a unique spin to facilitate conversation.  MayoFree, an independent creative team, led the drive to spread the word about  waste  accumulation in Russian forests. Worsened by pandemic lockdowns compelling families to spend more time outside, pollution in natural areas has become a major concern.  Related: Bushwick bartender makes gorgeous necklaces from NYC’s trash MayoFree, based out of Moscow since its 2019 launch, specializes in creative advertising, social projects and video-content production. Using these strengths, the team collaborated with non-profit eco-movement RosEco and Chiveskella, an ec?-activist fashion brand by upcycle-designer Nikolay Voznesensky, to produce Trash Camo . The project is an “ironic fashion collection” meant to highlight damage to the ecology of Russian forests. The collection includes jackets, shirts and pants in traditional camo patterns, overlaid with pieces of trash woven into the design. The team modeled the clothing in a fun video “inspired by Russian action films of the 2000s and kitsch content from YouTube hunters.” In the video, a group of young hunters don their Trash Camo and head out on a hunt, savagely spearing and netting litter from a forested area. The mighty hunters then display the results of their hunt (piles of cans, bottles and other debris) in various poses similar to those used by  animal  hunters. No words are spoken, except for three at the closing, but the faux intensity draws attention to the matter at hand — environmental pollution caused by humans. The idea behind the campaign is to make the topic relevant by relying on a popular pattern in both the hunting and fashion world — camo. With that relevancy in the forefront, the campaign seeks to spread its media content in a humorous, yet informative way. In the end, the project’s goal is to raise money for forest clean-ups, so profits from the sales will be donated to environmental non-profit organizations. + MayoFree Images via MayoFree

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Trash Camo raises awareness and money to combat pollution

Chevron spills 600 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay

February 11, 2021 by  
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An oil spill at Chevron’s oil refinery in Richmond, California has dumped approximately 600 gallons of petroleum into the San Francisco Bay. The spill is believed to have started at 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday, only to be noticed at 3 p.m. The leak was eventually contained at about 4:30 p.m., and cleanup is ongoing. “It smelled like somebody spilled gasoline in front of my house. It smelled very very badly for [the] whole day,” local resident Margaret Berczynski told ABC7-KGO. “I’m really devastated. I cannot take my kids to the water… I’m really scared.” Related: Mysterious dolphin deaths linked to oil spill in Mauritius Meanwhile, officials at Chevron are still determining the cause of the leak. Investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard, California Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Contra Costa County are also involved. Chevron says that other agencies interested in joining the investigations are welcomed. “We understand that the source is no longer pouring out into the bay, but there is product in the bay,” Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Specialist Maria Dulazo told  KCBS Radio . “They do have a containment boom and they are working to contain that to minimize the spread of the sheen and the petroleum product.” Officials are warning locals that the fumes could cause throat, ear and nose irritation. “It is unacceptable to have this happen in our community,” said John Gioia, Contra Costa County Supervisor. “It causes harm to people’s health. It causes harm to birdlife, wildlife, and marine life.” Although Chevron officials are still working on an estimate of how much oil leaked, Gioia has estimated that the leak released at a rate of 5 gallons per minute. Previous oil spills have led to massive deaths of fish and aquatic plants. At this time, there are no reports of fish deaths following Tuesday’s incident. Via EcoWatch and SFGate Image via ArtBrom

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Nonprofit Washed Ashore crafts art and jewelry from ocean plastic

January 12, 2021 by  
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Washed Ashore is an environmental nonprofit that spreads the message about ocean pollution using the visual appeal of art. The giant animals created from marine debris have appeared at various events, both locally and as a traveling exhibit, since the organization’s inception in 2010. Now, the company is pivoting to also make jewelry from ocean plastic. Living in a coastal town provides a front-row view of the powerful ocean and the crippling consequences of plastics that get washed out to the waters, where they are ingested by marine animals or washed back up on the beach. While some people scour the beach for shells, Angela Haseltine Pozzi, founder and artistic director of Washed Ashore, instead searched for trash , starting in her small town of Bandon, Oregon. A long time artist and educator, she launched Washed Ashore in alignment with her lofty goals to clean the ocean and educate the local and global community about ocean pollution. Related: The Ocean Cleanup launches sunglasses made from ocean plastic The resulting 75+ art pieces each take shape as a large animal and incorporate plastic found during cleanup efforts. To date, more than 10,000 volunteers have collected and processed over 20 tons of debris. The team is growing alongside the mission to eradicate plastics from the ocean; as Pozzi summarized, “Until we run out of plastic on the beach, we will keep doing our work.” Now, for Washed Ashore’s 10-year anniversary, the nonprofit is offering specially crafted avant-garde jewelry pieces for sale to the community. Each creation is one-of-a-kind, from the marine debris necklaces to a recycled plastic anglerfish lamp. In addition to offering a new way to continue the conversation about ocean plastic, the proceeds will help cover operational costs for the organization, including beach cleanups. These pieces are currently for sale through Etsy . In maintaining its primary mission of educating about plastic pollution , each piece of artwork comes with literature about Washed Ashore and pointers on how to continue the conversation about the effects of our actions on marine life and ocean pollution. + Washed Ashore Design Images via Washed Ashore Design

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Nonprofit Washed Ashore crafts art and jewelry from ocean plastic

AirBird alerts users to open windows when CO2 is too high

January 12, 2021 by  
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Air pollution is a widely reported contributor to poor health conditions worldwide. While outdoor air quality is regularly monitored for dangerous levels of toxins, indoor air is often overlooked. But most of the developed world spends up to 90% of their time indoors. With this in mind, AirBird has taken flight as a product that measures and reports on the air quality indoors. Designed in Denmark and made in the EU, AirBird is a canary-yellow unit that measures true CO2, along with temperature and relative humidity. Syncing with the air every few minutes, the device then monitors air quality over time, culminating information on current and long-term conditions.  Related: Sead Pod offers grassroots solution to air pollution and global warming It takes just a few minutes to set up and is easy to use. Once in place, AirBird will provide an alert when CO2 levels become too high, a common result of insufficient ventilation, especially when people are gathered into the same space. With a chirp or a flashing light (or both), the device reminds users to open a window to improve circulation or move to another space. Although the AirBird doesn’t directly fix air quality , it provides information and encouragement to direct attention to air quality concerns. For example, the AirBird was tested in a Danish public school for more than a year in order to provide useful information when planning an upcoming renovation. Representative Vinay Venkatraman said, “The AirBird enables healthy living spaces by bringing good design, high technology and behaviour change in a simple to use product.” Study after study shows that air quality can affect concentration levels and sleep. It’s also a contributing factor toward asthma and allergies. As such, the AirBird technology is inspired by the canary. Many decades ago, miners used bright yellow canaries in the coal mines to warn workers of carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. The birds would react to the poor air elements , which alerted workers to leave the mine before becoming sick. This clever indoor climate sensor can be used in children’s bedrooms, schools and childcare facilities to provide peace of mind to parents and caregivers who often have windows closed off due to safety concerns. It’s equally effective in boardrooms or basement offices. At home, it can be relied on during social gatherings when the carbon dioxide level may rise. Used in conjunction with practices such as proper cleaning and handwashing, AirBird can contribute to a healthier overall space. “The AirBird helps families to develop clean air habits — which is as important as other healthy habits like regular exercise and eating healthy,” Venkatraman said. The premium model provides the ability to monitor air in several different spaces within the home, such as the baby’s room, the living room and the basement using a smartphone app. + AirBird Via Dezeen   Images via AirBird 

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Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

November 17, 2020 by  
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The Gare Maritime railway station in Brussels has seen a huge transformation. The building, formerly one of Europe’s largest railway stations for goods, has been renovated into a new city district shopping and event development made of cross-laminated timber. Reimagined as a multi-purpose public space for companies and events, the building is covered entirely in  wood  and highlights sustainable architectural practices such as solar energy and rainwater collection systems. According to the architects at Neutelings Riedijk, the structure is the largest  cross-laminated timber  project in Europe. Architects added a series of 12 new building volumes to accommodate a new program of 45,000 square meters. Along with the existing halls, roofs and side aisles, the new design creates a structure that mimics a small city with streets and parks. Related: Sweden’s tallest timber building could save 550 tons of CO2 The choice of wood came down to sustainability and weight, as a concrete construction would have been five times heavier. Cross-laminated timber with a facade finishing in oak offered the perfect solution to create a prefabricated and dry construction method with shorter building time. As a result, the design features demountable connections and modular wooden building elements to promote sustainability. The central space is reserved for public events and contains a green walking boulevard on both sides. Routes measure 16 meters wide, giving pedestrians plenty of room to enjoy the spacious inner garden complete with a hundred trees. Overall, the space includes a total of 10 gardens based on four themes: woodland, flowers, grass and fragrance. As Brussels enjoys a Mediterranean climate, designers chose plants that adapt to the specific growing conditions. The Gare Maritime also remains completely energy neutral and fossil-free thanks to glass facades and solar cells, with a total area of 17,000 square meters of roof space dedicated to  solar panels . The building uses geothermal energy and a rainwater collection system to water the massive gardens. + Neutelings Riedijk Architects Via ArchDaily Photo: Filip Dujardin/Sarah Blee/Tim Fisher | © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

November 17, 2020 by  
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The Gare Maritime railway station in Brussels has seen a huge transformation. The building, formerly one of Europe’s largest railway stations for goods, has been renovated into a new city district shopping and event development made of cross-laminated timber. Reimagined as a multi-purpose public space for companies and events, the building is covered entirely in  wood  and highlights sustainable architectural practices such as solar energy and rainwater collection systems. According to the architects at Neutelings Riedijk, the structure is the largest  cross-laminated timber  project in Europe. Architects added a series of 12 new building volumes to accommodate a new program of 45,000 square meters. Along with the existing halls, roofs and side aisles, the new design creates a structure that mimics a small city with streets and parks. Related: Sweden’s tallest timber building could save 550 tons of CO2 The choice of wood came down to sustainability and weight, as a concrete construction would have been five times heavier. Cross-laminated timber with a facade finishing in oak offered the perfect solution to create a prefabricated and dry construction method with shorter building time. As a result, the design features demountable connections and modular wooden building elements to promote sustainability. The central space is reserved for public events and contains a green walking boulevard on both sides. Routes measure 16 meters wide, giving pedestrians plenty of room to enjoy the spacious inner garden complete with a hundred trees. Overall, the space includes a total of 10 gardens based on four themes: woodland, flowers, grass and fragrance. As Brussels enjoys a Mediterranean climate, designers chose plants that adapt to the specific growing conditions. The Gare Maritime also remains completely energy neutral and fossil-free thanks to glass facades and solar cells, with a total area of 17,000 square meters of roof space dedicated to  solar panels . The building uses geothermal energy and a rainwater collection system to water the massive gardens. + Neutelings Riedijk Architects Via ArchDaily Photo: Filip Dujardin/Sarah Blee/Tim Fisher | © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

Gaia & Dubos debuts a sustainable fall clothing collection

September 14, 2020 by  
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Do you know where your clothes come from? How they’re made? What impact they have on the environment? When it comes to many clothing manufacturers, the answers are probably all no. But companies like Gaia & Dubos want you to know exactly how their clothing is made and everything they do to provide sustainable fashion for all. This brand’s new collection creates as little impact on the environment as possible without compromising style or comfort. The fashions provided by Gaia & Dubos are so well made that every single seam comes with a lifetime guarantee. The name of the company is inspired by the ancient Greek goddess Gaia, an Earth goddess. Dubos stems from René Dubos, a French environmentalist and the person who coined the phrase “think global, act local.” This sentiment so perfectly sums up the philosophy behind Gaia & Dubos, his name is now part of the brand itself. The company name embodies the mission, which is to “change the fashion industry, one person at a time, one garment at a time.” Related: Cariuma welcomes a new Pantone collection of natural, vegan shoes Begin your change with the gorgeous creations in the Gaia & Dubos fall line, which includes matching hair accessories to complete your outfits. Bold colors, classic silhouettes and comfortable materials make each piece in the collection stand out while also withstanding the test of time. All clothing from Gaia & Dubos is made with eco-friendly materials. The clothing is also handcrafted in Canada under fair and ethical working conditions. You can learn about the origin and the environmental impact of every single clothing item you buy through Gaia & Dubos. These items are made with certified organic cotton jersey for a naturally soft feeling and beautiful draping. This company is setting a standard that hopefully other clothing brands will soon start to follow. Incredibly, the Gaia & Dubos brand began with a young girl named Leonie. She’s the designer and founder of the brand. Leonie started creating made-to-measure clothing at age 12 and went on to get college degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising and Fashion. She chose to specialize in sustainable fashion . Gaia & Dubos is the result of all that hard work. + Gaia & Dubos Images via Gaia & Dubos

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