Check out the vibrant outdoor art gallery coming to NYC’s High Line park

February 24, 2017 by  
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High Line Art , the arm of Friends of the High Line that manages its public art projects, reviewed more than 50 proposals before shortlisting 12 for the inaugural Plinth commissions. The artists, who hail from all corners of the globe, include veterans such as Haim Steinbach and Charles Gaines, mid-careerists like Matthew Day Jackson and Cosima von Bonin, and emerging talents such as Minerva Cuevas, Lena Henke, and Jonathan Berger. “The High Line Plinth will provide artists with an opportunity to work on a larger scale than ever before possible on the High Line, and to engage with the breathtaking vistas that open up around this new site,” said Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art. “As a new landmark to this space, the High Line Plinth will create a new symbol of this incredible nexus of horticulture, art, and public space in the ever-evolving metropolis that is New York City.” For the 2.3 million visitors the High Line receives annually, the Plinth provides an opportunity unlike any other: “free, world-class artwork 365 days a year,” according to Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line. “The High Line Plinth will expand the program’s impact by creating a one-of-a-kind destination for public art on the Spur, a new section of the park with even more space for public programming and dynamic horticulture,” he said. The Fourth Plinth has served as a stage for subversive, politically charged, or otherwise controversial pieces that have fueled debate. The High Line Plinth is expected to be no different, Alemani said. Ascent of a Woman , an entry from New York’s Lena Henke, is a “singular, gigantic, upturned” breast that will slowly erode in the face of the elements. The breast’s outer layer of soil, sand, and clay will eventually give way to new forms cast into the inner mold. Unapologetically sensual, the work pits the city and the body in a “surreal entanglement … challenging New York City’s rational and modernist approach to public space.” Los Angeles–based Sam Durant proposes an abstract representation of an unmanned Predator drone, rotating like a wind vane atop a 20-foot column. In the shadow of the aircraft, visitors may imagine the specter of surveillance casting a creeping, growing influence across the world. Paola Pivi, who was born in Italy but lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska, suggests a 20-foot-high reproduction of the Statue of Liberty wearing an inflatable cartoon-style mask in the guise of someone who has gained his or her freedom in the United States, or seeks to do so. The stories of the individuals featured would be made available to visitors online. Less polarizing, perhaps, is Londoner Jeremy Deller’s slide, which takes the form of a giant chameleon. “There is something magical about chameleons; they can do things that we can only dream of,” he explained. To start with, High Line Art wants to whittle the proposals down to two—you can vote for your favorites , or, if you prefer, recommend something else altogether. “I am excited to work with artists who think critically about the meaning of public space and public life, and create artworks that not only respond to the site, but also spark conversations among a wide audience,” Alemani added. + The High Line Plinth + The High Line Via Curbed

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Check out the vibrant outdoor art gallery coming to NYC’s High Line park

Award-winning Boulder Cabin minimizes energy use and material waste

February 24, 2017 by  
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Boulder’s reputation as an environmental leader is upheld in this eco-friendly home overlooking views of the metropolitan Denver valley. Jackson-based firm Dynia Architects completed Boulder Cabin, a contemporary home with an emphasis on sustainability. Clad in weathering steel and lined with timber, the modern cabin sits lightly on the land to minimize site impact. Winner of a 2011 AIA Wyoming Merit Award, the 2,500-square-foot Boulder Cabin is modern and minimalist to match the “disciplined lifestyle of the owners.” The site-specific design is optimized for solar and panoramic views. To the east, clerestory windows let in early morning light, while the west facade is punctuated with nearly full-height windows to frame the best views of the iconic Flatiron peaks. The roof extends over the west wall to protect against solar heat gain and glare. The home opens up on the south side to a shaded outdoor terrace. Related: Affordable Boulder is a tiny mobile home that’s big on contemporary style To minimize site impact , the Boulder cabin was built with a size well below the allowable area. Any landscape that was disturbed during excavation and construction was quickly revegetated. The limited materials palette of timber, concrete, and weathered steel cladding minimize material waste and help the home blend in with its surroundings. + Dynia Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Ron Johnson

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Award-winning Boulder Cabin minimizes energy use and material waste

Inside the Climate Justice Movement

February 23, 2017 by  
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Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune addresses the importance of climate action at every scale in the public and private sector, from global agreements to city pilot programs, from startups to multinational corporations.

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Inside the Climate Justice Movement

Reinventing Corporate Sustainability

February 23, 2017 by  
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The past year has seen a number of ambitious targets set, from Paris to Kigali – the next step is translating these objectives into reality. BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer explores what it will take from the public and private sectors to follow through on these goals, tackle new questions, and build fairer societies.

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Reinventing Corporate Sustainability

The Hague has been colorfully converted into the ‘World’s Largest Mondrian’

February 20, 2017 by  
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Richard Meier ‘s architecture is widely recognized for its bold geometric shapes and stark white exteriors . However, a new initiative in Holland has just added a world of color to the Meier-designed City Hall of the Hague, converting it into the “world’s largest Modrian painting”. The act, which would normally be considered an act of architectural travesty, is actually part of the Mondrian to Dutch Design campaign, a year-long centennial celebration to honor the Dutch art movement, De Stijl. https://vimeo.com/202903231 The year-long celebration of the De Stijl movement, which originated in Leiden in 1917, will be held throughout Holland this year. The art style involved the use of abstract geometric forms and primary colors, and Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian quickly became the face of the movement and group. Related: The Hague’s elegant new light rail station masters curved glass and steel As the Hague is home to the world’s largest Modrian collection, it seems only fitting that the building would be colorfully converted to kick off the celebration. The “Mondrianization” adaptation was carried out by Madje Vollaers and Pascal Zwart, from the Rotterdam-based design studio, Studio Vollaerszwart , who will be giving the same colorful treatment to other buildings throughout the city. Art lovers will also be able to enjoy a year-long calendar of events that will continue to shine the light on the impact of the De Stijl movement. + Modrian to Dutch Via Archdaily Images via The Hague  

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The Hague has been colorfully converted into the ‘World’s Largest Mondrian’

Data busts the myth of cheap fossil fuels

February 7, 2017 by  
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A new Carbon Tracker Initiative study finds that renewable energy is more cost-effective than fossil fuels. Why isn’t the public catching on?

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Data busts the myth of cheap fossil fuels

Saharan oases struggle as climate change takes a toll

February 7, 2017 by  
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Local residents of North Africa’s Maghreb region employ traditional water conservation techniques as desert oases disappear.

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Saharan oases struggle as climate change takes a toll

Global subway map shows the potential of a hyperloop-connected world

January 19, 2017 by  
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Imagine being transported across the country in a tube, at speeds of over 700 miles per hour, and you have stepped into the minds of Hyperloop One ’s Global Challenge finalists. The LA-based company has selected 35 teams to present plans for local hyperloop train systems, which could one day become connected to a massive, global transportation system . Over the next five years, three regional routes will be planned for construction as the first steps. In 2003, Mark Ovenden designed the World Metro Map, which showed what the globe might look like if major cities were connected through underground railways. Hyperloop One ’s vision could end up looking a lot like this design, except people and cargo would be transported through the high-speed, vacuum-sealed hyperloop system. The company made waves last fall when its partner Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) announced its plans to connect Abu Dhabi with Dubai via capsule transport. Related: BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai “It’s more than just a train, or a pod in a tube,” Josh Giegel, the president of engineering at Hyperloop One, told Inverse . “We’re taking it to a level of connectivity and really being the high-speed backbone of the future transportation network.” The vision of a worldwide hyperloop network is closer to becoming reality, thanks to the company’s Global Challenge . Successful regional systems will pave the way for future projects and possibly, one day, an interconnected network that could completely revolutionize travel and cargo transport. + Hyperloop One Via  Inverse Images via  Flickr , Wikimedia

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Global subway map shows the potential of a hyperloop-connected world

Judge orders Exxon-Mobil to disclose 40 years of climate change documents

January 13, 2017 by  
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Last fall, the public learned that Exxon-Mobil may have spent millions of dollars researching the effects of climate change in the 1970s . Upon learning the disastrous impact of their own business practices, the company hid the results and continued as if no risks existed. This revelation prompted the Attorneys General of Massachusetts and New York, Maura Healey and Eric Schneidermann respectively, to pursue investigations that are already bearing fruit. On Wednesday, a Massachusetts judge ordered the fossil fuel behemoth to turn over 40 years worth of documents that will shed light into what Exxon-Mobil knew, when it knew it, and how it obscured this knowledge from the public. The decision by the Massachusetts court arrives at an inopportune time for Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon-Mobil and President-elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State. Tillerson, already under the microscope as the Senate moves through the confirmation process, has thus far refused to answer questions about Exxon-Mobil’s alleged obfuscation and endangerment of public safety, which occurred decades before his tenure as CEO. Tillerson has also been more forthcoming about the threats posed by climate change than other prospective members of the incoming Trump administration, but if these latest legal actions produce smoking-gun evidence of Exxon-Mobil’s deception, Tillerson may find himself in hot water. Related: US Slaps New Sanctions on Russia, Stops Exxon from Drilling in the Arctic While an investigation, however productive, won’t change the past, clear evidence that the fossil fuel industry acted as Big Tobacco did in the 20th century by willfully ignoring its own dangerous practices and deceiving the public would provide additional leverage and pressure on policymakers and businesses to take action against climate change. While scientists assert that we can burn only 565 gigatons more carbon dioxide before the Earth is doomed to a global temperature rise over two degrees celsius, the fossil fuel industry currently sits on 2,765 gigatons of carbon in its reserves, making evident their need to comply in the move towards a carbon-free economy . Even with evidence, the fight will not be easy. Since the revelations in the fall, Exxon-Mobil and its allies have fiercely fought against any investigation. The fossil fuel giant has filed two lawsuits against Attorney General Healey, alleging that her actions were politically motivated. Similarly, a federal judge in Texas had ordered a deposition of Healey, which would have required her to show up in a Texas court. This order was cancelled at the last minute. However, these actions demonstrate that those who fight on behalf of the public against Big Oil will face obstacle after obstacle in the dawning Trump era. Via  Engadget Images via Mike Mozart  and ARLIS Reference

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Judge orders Exxon-Mobil to disclose 40 years of climate change documents

Green-roofed music center built of natural materials harmonizes with the landscape

January 13, 2017 by  
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Tranquility is at the heart of the handsome Sunbeams Music Center , where music is used as therapy to soothe the souls of the disadvantaged. Designed by Newcastle-based studio Mawson Kerr for the Sunbeams Music Trust charity, the music therapy center visually harmonizes with its bucolic lake landscape in Cumbria, England. The building is sensitively placed on the landscape and incorporates environmentally friendly design including photovoltaics , locally sourced natural materials, and passive design principles. The 600-square-meter Sunbeams Music Center caters to disabled children and adults with a variety of music therapy rooms. The building includes four such rooms as well as recording studios, an exhibition space, concert hall, and administrative offices. To minimize site impact , the architects shaped the building along the landscape’s natural contours, which resulted in a building’s horn-like shape. “The building is designed as a home and advert for the amazing work Sunbeams do working with disadvantaged members of society,” writes Mawson Kerr. “Bringing music into the building was on of the key drivers alongside harmonising the building with the natural surroundings and wider environment.” Related: Green Covered Taipei Music Center by Mario Bellini Architects The building was largely constructed from locally sourced timber and features a glue-laminated timber structure, cedar shingles, and exterior oak slats. Skylights punctuate the building’s green roof . The music center was also built with ground-source heat pumps and sheep wool insulation. + Mawson Kerr Via Dezeen

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Green-roofed music center built of natural materials harmonizes with the landscape

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