Giant glowing bottle walls light up Singapore for plastic binge awareness

April 24, 2018 by  
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Design collective Luzinterruptus worked their artistic plastic magic last month with an illuminated plastic bottle installation at Singapore’s I Light Marina Bay , dubbed “Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival.” The massive glowing artwork, called Transitable Plastic, comprised seven movable walls hung beneath the Esplanade Bridge, one of the busiest transit areas in the bay. Designed to raise awareness about the “plastic binge,” the interactive artwork required visitors to physically move the plastic walls out of the way in order to get to the other side. Installed for approximately four weeks, Transitable Plastic was created with over 20,000 recycled plastic units collected from the community and local businesses including hotels, restaurants and shopping malls over the span of a month. Luzinterruptus vacuum packed the plastic bottles to create larger panels that were then strung together to form seven large walls. These makeshift walls were hung from metal scaffolding. The installation took 10 days to complete. Related: Historic French building stuffed with plastic bags looks ready to explode “We [lit] the piece with a cold, neutral light which enhanced the glint of the plastic material and brought out the color of the labels allowing to easily guess which are the city’s most popular beverage brands,” wrote the designers. “As visitors entered the piece, landmarks disappeared so they had to get the plastic out of the way in order to avoid getting stuck in the corridors and to get to the other side, a healthier, more open place where they could breathe fresh air. A more-than-a-minute-long walk among plastics which could bring about a bit of asphyxia and inevitably the thought of plastic and its related problems.” Transitable Plastic was fully disassembled at the end of the event and the materials were sorted and recycled. + Luzinterruptus Images by Colossal Pro

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Giant glowing bottle walls light up Singapore for plastic binge awareness

MIT just discovered a way to mass produce graphene in large sheets

April 18, 2018 by  
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Scientists used to make graphene -based membranes in small batches in a laboratory. But a new breakthrough at MIT enables researchers to roll out large sheets of high-quality graphene. The continuous manufacturing process can produce five centimeters of high-quality graphene per minute. The longest run was nearly four hours, and it generated around 10 meters of continuous graphene. MIT is calling the development “the first demonstration of an industrial, scalable method for manufacturing high-quality graphene that is tailored for use in membranes that filter a variety of molecules.” These membranes could be utilized in biological separation or desalination , for example. The researchers drew from the common industrial roll-to-roll approach blended with chemical vapor deposition, a common graphene-fabrication technique. Related: Newly discovered property of graphene could lead to infinite clean energy Their system is comprised of two spools linked by a conveyor belt, which runs through a furnace. According to MIT, here’s how it works: “The first spool unfurls a long strip of copper foil, less than one centimeter wide. When it enters the furnace, the foil is fed through first one tube and then another, in a ‘split-zone’ design. While the foil rolls through the first tube, it heats up to a certain ideal temperature, at which point it is ready to roll through the second tube, where the scientists pump in a specified ratio of methane and hydrogen gas, which are deposited onto the heated foil to produce graphene.” MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering John Hart said, “In the end-to-end process, we would need to integrate more operations into the manufacturing line. For now, we’ve demonstrated that this process can be scaled up, and we hope this increases confidence and interest in graphene-based membrane technologies, and provides a pathway to commercialization.” The journal Applied Materials and Interfaces recently published the work; scientists from Vanderbilt University , the California Institute of Technology and the National University of Singapore contributed. + MIT News + Applied Materials and Interfaces Images via Christine Daniloff, MIT and courtesy of the researchers

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MIT just discovered a way to mass produce graphene in large sheets

A giant, air-purifying "cloud" just popped up in the middle of Milan

April 18, 2018 by  
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If you’re tired of breathing less-than-clean city air , Milan has a temporary respite for you. “Transitions,” a giant, cloud-like pod, has landed in the heart of the Brera Design District for Milan Design Week 2018 . As envisioned by Takehiro Ikeda, the enormous “water-drop pavilion” uses Panasonic ‘s cutting edge air-purifying technology to provide all those who enter with clean, cool air. Most cloud-like design installations create mist using gases, which aren’t exactly good for the visitors’ health. The Panasonic pavilion, however, employs only natural water to build an intangible and immersive experience: a walk through atmospheric, ultra-fine mist created with the company’s groundbreaking technology. Panasonic’s “Nanoe x” technology collects moisture from the air and uses high voltage to create nano-sized particles of water. Highly reactive components called OH radicals — which are generated in huge numbers and inhibit viruses and bacteria — remove odors and allergens and prevent mold. The pavilion utilizes compressed air to turn water into a “silky fine mist.” Unlike a conventional two-fluid nozzle model, this technology creates a fine mist using low-pressure air and eliminates the need for large compressors, making it an attractive option for city cooling technology. Takehiro Ikeda said the “Transition” installation is a preview of the latest air purification research, which will be used during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo to guarantee a pleasant, cool atmosphere during the hot Japanese summer. Related: Kengo Kuma wins bid for Tokyo’s Olympic stadium, Zaha Hadid speaks out The project is also energy-efficient. Instead of using large amounts of natural resources to power the air conditioning system, the pavilion – which measures about 20 meters in diameter – needs only a few liters of water for each functioning cycle. With this installation, Panasonic is celebrating its 100-year anniversary and transitioning towards a new creative philosophy: designing products, services and experiences that go beyond physical products to address emotional and environmental well-being. + Milan Design Week 2018 Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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A giant, air-purifying "cloud" just popped up in the middle of Milan

The world’s largest beer brewer invents low-carbon beer bubbles

April 18, 2018 by  
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Belgium -based AB Inbev, the world’s largest beer brewing company, has created a new low-carbon method for adding bubbles to beer . The technique, which is expected to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions by 5 percent, involves heating the brew to just below boiling point, then pumping in CO2 or nitrogen to create gas bubbles. Typically, bubbles are created during the boiling process, which requires a great deal of heat and water. AB Inbev claims that using lower temperatures in the early brewing process cuts emissions and results in a beer that stays fresh for longer. AB Inbev fine-tuned and tested this method for four years at an experimental brewery in Leuven near Brussels, then later at large facilities in the United Kingdom. These bubbles are not to be confused with the bubbles that emerge when cracking open a cold one. The oh-so-satisfying suds are a product of fermentation — in which yeast consumes sugars within the brew to create CO2 and alcohol — and pressure formed through kegging or bottling. Related: Beer with biodegradable six-pack rings finally hits the market The company’s 5 percent annual emissions reduction is roughly equivalent of the energy consumption of 120,000 Western families. The method will also lead to a 0.5 percent reduction in water consumption which is the equivalent of 1,200 Olympic swimming pools. “Our innovation is to heat everything up to just below boiling point, which provides 80 percent energy savings at this point in time,” AB Inbev Europe research director David De Schutter told The Guardian . “There is a lot less steam released, which allows you to spend less on water. In our case, we managed to go from 5 percent evaporated water to less than 1 percent.” Cheers to that! Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos (1)

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The world’s largest beer brewer invents low-carbon beer bubbles

Scientists reveal new technique to make biofuel from mushroom waste

April 10, 2018 by  
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Researchers at the National University of Singapore have discovered a revolutionary way to transform mushroom waste into biofuel. Despite claims to the contrary, biofuel — typically derived from food crops — is often more environmentally-destructive than it is helpful. This new technique could change that by harvesting energy from waste produced in the process of mushroom cultivation. In a study published in Science Advances , researchers explain how Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum (TG57), a common bacterial byproduct of mushroom cultivation, can be isolated and used to convert plant-based cellulose into biobutanol. Biobutanol is a biofuel that can be used by vehicles designed to run on gasoline. First identified in 2015, the TG57 bacterium strain has been cultivated in various forms to analyze its ability to produce biofuel in a more sustainable manner. “The production of biofuels using non-food feedstocks can improve sustainability and reduce costs greatly,” researcher He Jianzhong told Silicon Republic . “In our study, we demonstrated a novel method of directly converting cellulose to biobutanol using the novel TG57 strain. This is a major breakthrough in metabolic engineering and exhibits a foundational milestone in sustainable and cost-effective production of renewable biofuels and chemicals.” Related: Paris has a new underground – a massive farm for mushrooms and veggies Creating biofuel from waste products is a potential boon for the industry and the environment. Biobutanol holds the most promise because of its energy density, and it can be used directly, without modification, in vehicles designed to run on gasoline. Prior to the study, the high environmental and financial costs of producing biobutanol blocked it from mainstream use. However, the researchers have revealed a widely applicable, straightforward technique that does not require any significant genetic alterations of the bacterium. Someday soon, you may munch on mushrooms with the satisfaction of contributing to greener transportation and a healthier planet. Via Silicon Republic Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Lacy Flying Mosque installation changes shape depending on the viewing angle

March 9, 2018 by  
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Following their gorgeous sea urchin-inspired installation at Singapore’s iLight Marina Bay Festival, Choi+Shine Architects unveiled a new lacy design crocheted in geometric shapes that mix cultural influences of the east and the west. The Flying Mosque is comprised of architecture elements that come together to form a mosque when viewed at one angle, or an elegant collection of lacy shapes from other angles. The project reinterprets an Islamic mosque by deconstructing it into elements that form a harmonious whole or a seemingly illegible composition, depending on the viewing angle. Each element is a shape familiar in both Eastern and Western architecture. The varying views of the composition emphasize individual elements that are independent, complete and can stand alone, but can also form a harmonious single entity. Related: Dark highway underpass transformed into a brilliant tunnel of light The elements of the project sway and rotate in the wind, creating a series of kinetic patterned shadows in which viewers can immerse themselves. The geometric patterns reference the traditional Islamic arabesque. The abstract expression embodied in its repetitive, orderly and cohesive pattern signifies infinity and its quiet impact produces a meditative feeling. + Choi+Shine Architects

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Lacy Flying Mosque installation changes shape depending on the viewing angle

‘World’s first floating kitchen’ is a food truck for the seas

January 22, 2018 by  
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Hungry jet skiers or boaters could soon be able to cruise up to a floating kitchen in Dubai and order food. Aquatic Architects Design Studio (AADS) came up with Aqua Pod , dubbed the world’s first floating kitchen – and Gulf News said it will be coming to the city later this month. Aqua Pod takes the idea of a food truck to the water. The floating structure will make it easy for those in marine crafts to grab a snack. AADS founder Ahmad Yousuf told Gulf News there are two potential ordering systems: in one, a delivery jet ski from the Aqua Pod passes out flags to boats or yachts , and boaters raise their flag to make an order. The delivery jet ski will take orders and deliver food. In the second scheme, people can jet right up to Aqua Pod to place an order – although that system would only work for smaller crafts. Related: Floating Solar Orchid Pods Could Bring Pop-Up Restaurants to Singapore’s Waterfront What food will Aqua Pod offer? Burgers, to start. Yousuf said their client went with burgers because it’s an easy meal to eat, although they might expand the menu to include pizza or desserts depending on how successful the concept is. Electricity will power the floating kitchen. But won’t it leave a lot of litter in its wake? Yousuf told Gulf News the pod “has a built-in system that allows it to collect any trash in the sea. So even if someone makes an order from us and then throws that trash into the sea – which is out of our control – the Aqua Pod can take in all that waste into one of its tanks, which is then discharged afterwards.” The Aqua Pod can easily move around, floating to where the demand is. Yousuf told Gulf News it will start operating in Jumeirah, and reach areas like “Al Sufouh Beach, Kite Beach, and the Palm Lagoon one and two.” + Aquatic Architects Design Studio Via Gulf News Images via Aquatic Architects Design Studio and Christoph Schulz on Unsplash

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This house for sale in New York has two waterfalls and a luscious forest

September 22, 2017 by  
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If you’re on the market for a beautiful home that allows you to get up close with nature, then you might want to check out this piece of property  on the market in upstate New York. Delphi Falls, located near Cazenovia, NY, features more than 60 acres of land that include two waterfalls, a creek and luscious woodlands. It’s basically your own slice of paradise in New York. The rustic wooden home was built in 1945 and is 3,500 square feet with four bedrooms and three baths. The master bedroom suite on the first floor holds a jacuzzi and fireplace, to keep warm during those lake effect winters upstate New York is known for, and two additional bedrooms share another full bath. Because one master bedroom just isn’t enough for a property of this magnitude, there’s another one on the second floor. The living room also has a fireplace as well as a wall of glass and outdoor decking both facing the onsite waterfalls. The open layout kitchen also faces the waterfalls so you can get in touch with the great outdoors while preparing your meals. The spectacular waterfalls are 65-feet and 52-feet high. A 2,500-square-foot barn and cottage in the woods are included in the 66.27 acres along with a mile of creek. To take advantage of all that water running through the property, a hydro power system that can generate 35 to 75 KW has been installed. Related: Singapore’s jaw-dropping new airport has the world’s largest indoor waterfall So what’s the asking price for this slice of heaven? Oh, just a mere $925k for the entire property. It’s a nice chunk of change, but as the listing states, it’s “like owning your own state park.” To view the entire listing as well as photos of the exterior, interior, aerial shots and historical images, visit waterfallsforsale.com . Via Apartment Therapy Images by Michael DeRosa Exchange, LLC

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Sea turtles appearto be bouncing back from the brink of extinction

September 22, 2017 by  
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Good news! Despite man-made catastrophes and the unwelcome effects of climate change , populations of sea turtles appear to be making a comeback. Comprehensive analys published in the journal Science Advances  reveals that even small populations (which normally have a tough time reviving their numbers) are “bouncing back.” However, most sea turtle species are still listed as “vulnerable” or “endangered,” which is why conservation efforts must continue. The analysis was led by Antonios Mazaris , an ecologist at Aristotle University in Greece , and a team of international researchers. He and his colleagues analyzed data on sea turtle nesting sites around the world over periods ranging from six to 47 years. They evaluated each site separately and then combined those findings with standardized individual sets to look for changes. It was discovered that most populations of sea turtles are reviving after historic declines. One species that is not thriving is the leatherback sea turtle which can be found in the Eastern and Western Pacific. This finding supports previous assessments made by the International Union for Conservation of Nature , which lists six out of seven sea turtle species as vulnerable , endangered or critically endangered. Related: Sea turtle is rescued after being dragged onto a beach and beaten for selfies The researchers think the sea turtle populations are rebounding because the threats to the species are more tangible. For instance, sea turtles are most likely to be poached on accident by fisherman or intentionally by those who seek to sell their parts as “aphrodisiacs” and/or “delicacies.” By addressing these concerns and enforcing conservation measures which have been in place for decades, the public is more likely to advocate for their protection. While this recent analysis is positive news , research is still lacking. More information needs to be gathered on male to female ratios, for instance. In the paper, Mazaris advises “cautionary optimism.” He also says commends conservation efforts which have persisted for the past 70 years, and says the “long term efforts need to be supported.” + Science Advances Via New York Times Images via Pixabay

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Singapore Night Festival dazzles crowds with 13 stunning light installations

August 21, 2017 by  
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The Singapore Night Festival is back and it’s pulling out all the stops for its 10th anniversary. Attracting crowds of over 500,000, the annual light festival bonanza transforms the city into a carnival of arts and culture with family-friendly activities, interactive installations, and pop-up eateries across two weekends from August 18 to August 26. Created to follow this year’s theme of “Ten Magical Years,” the iconic Night Lights exhibition brings to life 13 Instagrammable light installations. The Singapore Night Festival comprises five zones sprawled out from Cathay Green and Chijimes to Armenian Street and Waterloo Street. The festival has grown to become Singapore’s largest outdoor performing arts festival and includes artists from a variety of backgrounds, from acrobats to musicians. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, many performing artists that participated in previous years were invited back for the weeklong festival. Related: Amsterdam’s annual Light Festival brightens the city’s winter nights This year’s Night Lights exhibition includes 13 installations , including the signature highlights—interactive light installations that transform the facades of the Singapore Art Museum and the National Museum of Singapore into art. Artists from around the world were invited to create installations, which include EZ3kiel’s Convolutions, Karel Bata’s The Tree That Blinked, and LiteWerkz x 3M’s Tessellations of Time. This year, festivalgoers can also explore the event with free-to-rent bicycles provided by Hello, Bicycle! The festival concludes on August 26. + Singapore Night Festival Images by Singapore Night Festival 2017

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