The prefab house of the future is made from recycled, reusable, and sustainable materials

May 5, 2017 by  
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This prefab home by Arup Associates is made from recycled, reusable and sustainably sourced materials . The Circular Economy Building was designed as a prototype for this year’s London Design Festival and built in only two weeks. The project revisits the archetypal house and reinvents it with refined prefab construction techniques and sustainable materials. The prefab clearly show its Circular Economy elements by revealing them visually– visitors can observe the layers of the envelope – including the demountable SIPS panels and the structural steel frame , which creates enables extension and future adaptation. The design aims to demonstrate that flexible, sustainable architecture can be highly compatible with a comfortable modern lifestyle. Related: Arup’s timber prefab Sky Believe in Better Building wins the 2014 Wood in Architecture Award The architects worked closely with Arup’s engineers to marry pleasant spatial solutions with sustainable building techniques. This informed the choice of finishes and fittings throughout the interior. Even the carpets, supplied by Desso on a take-back scheme, can be replaced when worn out and sustainably refurbished and reused . Related: London’s new Design Museum opens this week inside a renovated post-war modernist building The building’s superior acoustic performance is ensured by using an acoustic wall system built entirely from recycled plastic bottles . A high-tech automation system uses sensors to monitor the interior environment and adjust the skylights , blinds and lights. The building’s flat-pack construction utilizes custom-made panels standardized through several computational iterations. + Arup Associates Via v2com Photos by Simon Kennedy

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The prefab house of the future is made from recycled, reusable, and sustainable materials

These kaleidoscopic vases turn a single flower into a bouquet

September 28, 2016 by  
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Saltik is a part of Form & Seek , a collective of young designers with the mission of creating new ways of looking at the world. The OP-vase collection features a unique pattern of carefully crafted cuts to magnify the beauty of the flowers placed underneath. Each piece is cut by hand in Istanbul, making each colorful vase one of a kind. Related: Hamanishi Design combines 3D modeling and traditional craftsmanship to create beautiful flower vases The glass structures fit around flowers in a traditional vase, mimicking a kaleidoscope in the way they distort the image. A single flower becomes a vibrant bouquet to the observer, including those visiting the London Design Festival last week. By intensifying the simple elegance of nature’s blossoms, OP-vases could easily make their way onto many gardeners’ and decor-lovers’ wish lists. +Form & Seek , Bilge Nur Saltik +London Design Festival Images via Form & Seek

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These kaleidoscopic vases turn a single flower into a bouquet

These maintenance-free, self-watering plants use biomimicry to flourish indoors

September 27, 2016 by  
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The Pikaplant Jar is the perfect accessory for the black-thumbed gardener, as it never needs watering. The high humidity atmosphere is contained inside the sealed jar, creating a sustainable recycling of air and water. The coffea arabica plant featured in the design is indigenous to Ethiopia’s western highlands, yet the company claims one of the original prototypes in its Amsterdam office for over 12 months. Related: Gorgeous self-watering green walls add life and fresh air to any room Also in the Pikaplant family is the Tableau tray, a successfully funded Kickstarter project. A steel base holds three ceramic pots and a water reservoir, creating an open-air and self-watering masterpiece. Pikaplant One is the company’s stunning vertical garden , equipped with a passive irrigation system. The three shelf-high installation uses biomimicry , borrowing from the wet-dry cycle of ground water and trusting the plants to know how much water they need and when. Pikaplant Jars were located at designjunction at the London Design Festival 2016 this year, in its new King’s Cross location, along with Blackbody’s fierce FIRE RING chandelier . +Pikaplant +London Design Festival Images via Inhabitat, Pikaplant

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These maintenance-free, self-watering plants use biomimicry to flourish indoors

Donald Trump gaslights the world by denying his "climate change is a Chinese hoax" tweet

September 27, 2016 by  
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In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese. In last night’s presidential debate, he gaslit the entire world by denying he ever said that. What the Republican nominee seems to repeatedly forget is that anyone with an internet connection can fact-check his nonsense and discover that, for someone who doesn’t believe in global warming , he sure has made some big investments in protecting his seaside properties from it. The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012 Last night’s first presidential debate featured an unprepared, rambling, and interrupting Donald – “vintage Trump,” as one CNN correspondent called it – bumbling his way through failing to explain his birther movement gusto, claiming Black and Hispanic Americans are “ living in hell ,” and bragging how he is “smart” for not paying federal income taxes , all the while complaining that NATO partners don’t pay their “fair share.” Yet, the most easily debunked falsehood that tumbled from his mouth could be that he “did not” claim climate change is a hoax perpetuated by China. Related: Donald Trump believes California farmers who say “there is no drought” His tweet from 2012 is, miraculously, still up on his Twitter profile for anyone to see, despite claims that his campaign was desperately trying to delete it during the debate. A writer shared an image that the original tweet “is no longer available,” yet this may have been due to a bug. It was a believable misdeed, however, seeing as he did delete the following tweet on September 11 of last year: “I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.” It is mind-boggling how anyone over the age of 5 can believe if they deny something hard enough, it will be as if it never happened. But even more revealing of Trump’s magical thinking, deceitful tactics, and disdainful opinion of the American public’s attention span is the fact that, despite being a climate change denier , he has applied for permission to construct a coastal wall to protect his Ireland golf course from “global warming and its effects.” According to Politico , the application cites an Irish government study that predicts a rising rate of erosion: “the existing erosion rate will continue and worsen, due to sea level rise, in the next coming years, posing a real and immediate risk to most of the golf course frontage and assets.” His Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago estate is also being slowly swallowed by the sea . The Washington Post reports, “He’s tweeted 101 times about global warming, according to a  new archive  of all of Trump’s tweets from 2009 to the present. The  vast majority of those  tweets claim in some way that global warming is a hoax.” While he is calling verifiable and catastrophic climate change “ bullshit ,” “a total hoax,” and “psuedoscience,” he is simultaneously investing in ways to shelter his property from its effects. It’s safe to assume, however, that if he were confronted with these inconsistencies he would reply, “No, I’m not.” Via The Washington Post , The Los Angeles Times , Politico Images via  Flickr

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Donald Trump gaslights the world by denying his "climate change is a Chinese hoax" tweet

New study finds Earth heading for catastrophic 5-degree-Celsius warming

September 27, 2016 by  
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Scientists say the Earth is warming up fast, and policy makers have been urged to keep that warming to an increase of 2 degrees Celsius . But a new study suggests that may not be possible. Environmental Protection Agency Director of the Climate Protection Partnerships Division, Carolyn Snyder mapped out Earth’s global temperature over the ” past two million years ,” and based on what she found, Earth may already be committed to warming by around 5 degrees Celsius. Snyder set out to reconstruct global temperatures for longer than the 22,000 years that had been mapped out before. She didn’t map out each of the two million years one by one, but rather averaged temperatures over 5,000-year periods. She utilized 61 unique proxies for sea surface temperatures, such as acidity or the ratio between calcium and magnesium. She made it clear these are rough estimates, but that global temperature changes in different periods of time did appear to correspond to levels of carbon dioxide . Related: Tenth of world’s wilderness destroyed in last 20 years, study finds Setting our current trends in the two million year context, Synder was able to predict levels of warming in the future, and the answer isn’t pretty. If factors are similar to what can be seen in the past, “stabilization at today’s greenhouse gas levels may already commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius (range 3 to 7 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) over the next few millennia,” as she wrote in her study. Synder said, “This is based on what happened in the past. In the past it wasn’t humans messing with the atmosphere.” Snyder’s study met with mixed reviews. One scientist said future studies should build on her two-million-year reconstruction. Others said her 5 degrees Celsius estimate seems excessive. Still another called for more research. The study, published by Nature this week, is part of Snyder’s doctoral dissertation. Snyder obtained her PhD from Stanford University. Via Phys.org Images via PublicDomainPictures.net and Trocaire on Flickr

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BUG BUG cutlery set might just make you want to eat insects

September 26, 2016 by  
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Including protein-packed insects in our diets will help us deal with a future food-nightmare scenario , as insects are widely available and take only 8-10% of the resources needed for the production of meat. BUG BUG was designed as a response to a large-scale food crisis predicted for 2050 . The set comprises all sorts of unique utensils, including a pair of claw-like cutlery that fits over the fingertips to mimic birds’ beaks. There are also chopstick with a pin-end for skewering, a multi-use spork for the little bits, and a textured spoon for crushing the hard parts. Related: The world is perilously close to global food shock Crafted from a combination of ceramic, stainless steel and cherry blossom wood, the utensils are elegant and durable. The plates are made from porcelain but resemble stone, to fit in a picnic environment. An easy-to-carry piñatex roll case with bark cloth lining completes the set designed for a future al-fresco dinning scenario. We spotted Wataru Kobayashi’s innovative BUG BUG at London Design Festival’s Designersblock . + Wataru Kobayashi + London Design Festival Photos by Wataru Kobayashi and Mike Chino for Inhabitat

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BUG BUG cutlery set might just make you want to eat insects

Blackbodys luminous LED FIRE RING turns head at London Design 2016

September 26, 2016 by  
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There is a lot to soak in at the London Design Festival , yet the sparkling FIRE RING display by Blackbody catches the eye immediately. Luminous OLED lights of varying colors hang delicately from overhead, mimicking the dance between warm and cool hues seen in a flickering flame. Blackbody has impressed us before with its dazzling installations at the Milan Furniture Fair and ICFF in 2013 , as well as at Wanted Design 2014 . They do not disappoint with their latest creation, which is similar in design to the renewed I.RAIN product series. The use of 100 percent recyclable Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) fixtures means a lightweight, glare-free, and heat-free glow that is as environmentally responsible as it is beautiful. Related: Blackbody’s stunning OLED chandeliers welcome visitors to Wanted Design 2014 Each member of the I.RAIN family can be customized in a variety of finishes: white painted brass, brass, glass, copper, chrome and black nickel. The unique design of FIRE RING , however, is like no other, producing the imagery of “a fire projecting numbers of sparks.” We spotted the stunning display at designjunction , in its newly relocated spot in King’s Cross. +Blackbody + London Design Festival Images via Inhabitat,  Maison & Objet

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Blackbodys luminous LED FIRE RING turns head at London Design 2016

Three mini forests are popping up in the middle of London

September 9, 2016 by  
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Designer Asif Khan partnered with MINI do create a three-part installation that explores urban living. The three, plant-filled rooms named Connect, Create and Relax will be installed across Shoreditch during this year’s London Design Festival. The designs, collectively called Forests, are part of a larger project MINI Living, organized by the car company as an exploration of the future of urban living. The Connect room will act as a space where visitors and passers-bys can socialize, while the Create Space will be a flexible workspace, the interior of which can be designed by visitors themselves. The Relax Space will be dedicated to relaxation. Related: Four fascinating Summer Houses accompany this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Khan used plants to explore the relationship between public and private space in the city and the potentials of informal spaces to encourage city dwellers to socialize the partake in communal activities. The installation will be open to the public between 17 and 25 September, 2016. + Asif Khan Via Dezeen

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New Swiss solar cell doubles the efficiency of residential systems

September 9, 2016 by  
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As if to prove the sheer speed at which solar cell technology is evolving, a new startup called Insolight claims to have beaten the efficiency record set just over a week ago by a joint team from MIT and Masdar Institute . The new device was invented by a team while working in the innovation incubator at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and it reportedly has a solar energy conversion rate of 36.4 percent, one percent more than the Masdar/MIT innovation. That efficiency rating is effectively double what is currently available to residential customers, which is precisely the market EPFL’s new startup is trying to help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLA7IKv7Ehg EPFL ’s Innovation Park helps technology startups with facilities and funding to help translate big ideas into a big impact on the world. The race to innovate more efficient solar cell technology is a mad dash, and there really is no finish line. With each new development building on the discoveries that came before, each new device holds a ton of promise for its potential effect on end users and, essentially, people’s pocketbooks. Insolight’s new technology is currently being tested in a lab environment, vastly different from practical applications, but the staggering energy conversion rate is a good first step. Related: Masdar/MIT solar makes a grab for world record with 35% efficiency and a lower cost Insolight’s invention is already being put through the wringer. A prototype was tested by the Fraunhofer Institute, an independent lab based in Germany, in which the 36.4 percent energy conversion rate was recorded. The device tracks the sun, optimizing its capture of solar energy, and since the team chose to build on existing technology, they were able to keep costs under control. Their aim is to produce a highly efficient, but still affordable option for solar energy, thereby competing with existing residential solar arrays . Insolight’s solar panels were also designed to be easily installed on standard mounting systems, which means homeowners would be able to choose just about any mounting system they desire, as opposed to being forced to buy a manufacturer’s proprietary design. Using a solar concentrator in the setup was the best way to boost efficiency without boosting the price. Thin, transparent plastic concentrators act as a lens to focus solar energy onto relatively tiny but super high performance solar cells , the likes of which are currently used in space applications. In doing so, the team was able to employ the best of both worlds: the high efficiency of expensive solar cells, but with just a small amount of them, due to the concentrators. “It’s like a shower: all the water goes down one small drain, there’s no need for the drain to cover the entire floor of the shower,” said Insolight CEO Laurent Coulot. Here’s hoping the technology passes further scalability tests, and doesn’t wind up going down the drain. Via Phys.org Images via EPFL/Alain Herzog

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Zoe Murphy revives unwanted furniture into gorgeous and whimsical pieces

October 5, 2015 by  
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