Foster + Partners-designed Apple Store glows like a paper lantern in Macau

July 10, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners has unveiled a new Apple Store in Macau  — and it’s very different from the all-glass buildings we’ve come to expect from the company. In response to the hustle and bustle of the port city known as the “Las Vegas of Asia,” the British international architecture studio crafted Apple Cotai Central as an oasis of calm housed in a glowing cube surrounded by bamboo. Instead of the Apple brand’s iconic full-height glazing, the architects applied a “first-of-its-kind” glass-stone composite facade that appears to glow from within. Located in the Sands Cotai Central resort, the Apple Cotai Central store opened late last month and is the second Apple store in Macau. Foster + Partners created the design in collaboration with the Apple design team led by chief design officer Sir Jonathan Ive as well as with senior vice presidency of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts. The new store continues Apple’s embrace of POPS (privately owned public spaces) in that the grounds also include a large new event plaza nestled within a bamboo forest. “We wanted to create something very simple and pure — a beautiful and elegant building that complements the sounds, sights and colors of Macau, while embodying a sense of clarity and quietude,” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners. “The design creates two distinct spaces, one inside and one outside, imbued with a sense of authentic beauty arising from the innovative use of natural materials .” Related: Foster + Partners’ Apple Park Visitor Center opens to the public The Apple Cotai Centra gets its “paper lantern” effect from the glass-stone composite facade made up of extremely thin layers of stone attached to five layers of glass, which creates the effect of translucent stone walls evocative of stained glass. To achieve a sense of lightness, the structural frame is only supported on three corner columns clad in mirrored stainless steel. The airy interior features a glazed facade with a skylit central atrium surrounded by bamboo. A pair of grand stone staircases leads to the upper level that is also flooded with natural light. + Foster + Partners Images by Nigel Young/Foster+Partners

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Foster + Partners-designed Apple Store glows like a paper lantern in Macau

Krill fishers partner with Greenpeace to protect Antarctic wildlife

July 10, 2018 by  
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An unlikely alliance has formed between krill fishing companies and environmental protection groups over a common cause: protecting the Antarctic Ocean and its marine life. Greenpeace is teaming with members of the Association for Responsible Krill Harvesting (ARK) to ensure wildlife sustainability of the southern ice cap. The agreement was announced during the Greenpeace Antarctic 360° event in Cambridge. The individual fishing companies honoring the agreement are all ARK members, representing 85 percent of the Antarctic krill harvesting industry. Related: The world’s largest wildlife sanctuary proposed for Antarctica Under the pact, the fisherman will honor “buffer zones” in known penguin breeding grounds in order to protect the wildlife. In addition, major portions of the Antarctic Peninsula will be out-of-bounds for the ARK membership. The partnership will also see ARK support scientific endeavors to study the area’s natural inhabitants. Working with scientists and environmental organizations, the groups will end fishing operations in environmentally sensitive areas, permanently closing these locations to fishing in 2020. The prohibition is part of a plan to create permanent protection zones throughout the Antarctic and reduce the potential for wildlife damage . The movement to protect Antarctic wildlife has grown in popularity in the last decade. According to Greenpeace, more than 1.7 million people worldwide have signed the organization’s petition to create stricter protections and maintain wildlife conservation in the southernmost waters. Krill is an important part of the Antarctic ecosystem . The shrimp-like crustacean is a food source for many of the South Pole’s animals, including whales, penguins and seals. By creating the wide protection zones, both Greenpeace and ARK hope to ensure long-term sustainability for animals. “Through our commitment we are showing that it is possible for no-fish zones and sustainable fisheries to co-exist,” Kristine Hartmann, executive vice president at krill fishing company Aker BioMarine, said in a statement. “We are positive that ARK’S commitment will help ensure krill as a sustainable and stable source of healthy omega-3s for the future.” The ARK-Greenpeace partnership is one part of a global plan to help preserve marine life. The multi-nation Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources will meet in October to decide on sanctuary status for parts of the ocean. + Greenpeace Via  The Guardian Image of krill via Uwe Kils

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Krill fishers partner with Greenpeace to protect Antarctic wildlife

Detroit debuts brand new 20,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza

June 14, 2017 by  
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Detroit , Michigan is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States for pedestrians . But the city is taking one step to overcome that with the recent opening of a new plaza by the iconic Spirit of Detroit statue. The 20,000 square foot civic square offers space for live performances and art displays, and will host food trucks . The Spirit of Detroit Plaza takes over one block of Woodward Avenue between Jefferson Avenue and Larned Street in front of the statue, which has adorned the area since 1958. The space boasts tables and chairs, colorful paintings on the sidewalk, lights, and planters. It will go through a 90-day trial this summer to see how pedestrians and traffic respond to the newly-created area. Related: America’s first urban ‘agrihood’ feeds 2,000 households for free Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement, “Every world-class city has a central plaza where people can gather and celebrate its civic history, and in front of the Spirit of Detroit is the perfect place for all Detroiters to have the opportunity. We are committed to a Detroit that’s open and accessible to all and this new plaza has been envisioned to celebrate all of the diversities that come together to make us a great city.” Detroit said the new plaza offers “a more direct pedestrian link between Downtown and the Detroit Waterfront.” Vehicles will be redirected onto other nearby streets. The city also said the plaza’s presence could help slash the potential for crashes. The plaza helps simplify an intersection and that fact along with adjusted area traffic signals could even reduce delays on Jefferson Avenue. If the trial goes well, city agencies and the mayor aim to make the plaza permanent. City Planning Director Maurice Cox described the Spirit of Detroit Plaza as a “key piece in making a more vibrant, walkable, diverse downtown.” He appears to have high hopes for the plaza, saying in a statement, “By simplifying the downtown grid and consolidating traffic flow, we are creating a more inviting street and safer pedestrian crossings. And of course, if something changes or the design doesn’t work as well as we expect, we can adjust it or even restore its original design. We expect this will reset expectations for what is possible on neighborhood streets across the city.” Via Curbed Detroit and the City of Detroit Images via Janette Sadik-Khan on Twitter , City of Detroit , and City of Detroit on Twitter

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Detroit debuts brand new 20,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza

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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Film release about the Rana Plaza collapse delayed by India court

August 29, 2015 by  
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In 2013, over 1000 people were killed in the Raza Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Now, a movie about the disaster is being banned in India for at least six months for being unfit for theaters. The film follows one of the victims of the disaster, who was trapped for 17 days under the rubble, and filmmaker Nazrul Islam Khan is arguing against the ban, saying that the film brings hope and knowledge to the public. READ MORE >

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Film release about the Rana Plaza collapse delayed by India court

Kengo Kuma’s new community center hides a hilly indoor landscape under its zigzag-roof

May 5, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Kengo Kuma’s new community center hides a hilly indoor landscape under its zigzag-roof Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: community centre , japanese architecture , Japanese cedar wood , Kengo Kuma , kid-friendly design , playful design , Towada City Plaza , wooden indoor landscape , zigzag roof

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Kengo Kuma’s new community center hides a hilly indoor landscape under its zigzag-roof

Have supply chains changed since the Rana Plaza calamity?

April 24, 2014 by  
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A forthcoming Ceres report examines how little manufacturing has improved in the year since Bangladesh's deadly apparel factory collapse.

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Have supply chains changed since the Rana Plaza calamity?

Activists Put Rana Plaza Victims On Display at New York Fashion Week

February 16, 2014 by  
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The glitz and glamour of New York Fashion week was interrupted by grim images depicting the reality of the fast fashion industry this week. Labor activists forced designers and fans to acknowledge their contribution to the suffering of those who were killed or injured by the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. Labor activists were able to beam the faces of  Rana Plaza’s  victims onto the exterior of Lincoln Center during  New York Fashion Week . Protestors also marched upon The Children’s Place, one of several retailers that have failed to compensate victims of the disaster. Learn more about the protest and get and update on Rana Plaza by following the link below. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cost of fashion , fair-trade fashion , fashion victims , fast fashion , labor activists , new york fashion week , Rana Plaza disaster , Rana Plaza victims        

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Activists Put Rana Plaza Victims On Display at New York Fashion Week

Dollhouse Mom Built Inside A Guitar Is Music To Daughter’s Ears

February 16, 2014 by  
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Lots of little girl’s have dollhouses, but few have miniature creations as unique and wonderful as the one Lorraine Robinson built for her daughter. The crafty mom and owner of Fairy Meadow Miniatures wanted to give her daughter a special gift upon her departure for university. Rather than buy something at the store, she spent long hours transforming a used guitar into a magical home for a miniature musician. You won’t believe all the detail she was able to include–from a tiny family portrait on the wall and an armchair upholstered in music sheets. See more amazing pictures by following the link below. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: DIY dollhouse , guitar art , guitar dollhouse , how to build a dollhouse , Inhabitots , musical dollhouse , unusual dollhouses        

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Rana Plaza Activists Remind New York Fashion Week Attendees About the Cost of Fashion

February 8, 2014 by  
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Last year’s horrifying Rana Plaza factory building collapse claimed over a thousand lives and left hundreds injured. Despite global outrage, only a third of the companies that used the Dhaka manufacturing facility have offered compensation to the Bangladeshi victims and families. To drum up attention to these unresolved problems and inspire reform, labor activists, including 99 Pickets and photojournalist Ismail Ferdous, set up a demonstration right outside of New York Fashion Week. Their moving installation projects the faces of the Rana Plaza victims onto the exterior of the Lincoln Center. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 99 pickets , bangladesh garment factory , cost of fashion , garment factory , ismail ferdous , lincoln center , nathan fitch , new york fashion week , Rana Plaza , the illuminator        

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Rana Plaza Activists Remind New York Fashion Week Attendees About the Cost of Fashion

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