Studio Roosegaarde wants to turn space waste into shooting stars and 3D-printed housing

January 25, 2019 by  
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At the Space Waste Lab Symposium in Almere, Netherlands, artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde announced his creative new solutions for reducing space waste. The main project of his ambitious proposals will be Shooting Stars, a collaborative effort between Studio Roosegaarde and the European Space Agency that will pull floating space waste through the Earth’s atmosphere to create a sustainable alternative to traditional fireworks. The second solution will explore repurposing space waste as the building blocks for 3D-printed structures to house future space societies. Space waste includes natural debris generated from asteroids, comets and meteoroids as well as man-made debris generated from artificially created objects in space, particularly old satellites and spent rocket stages. In a bid to solve the space waste problem — Studio Roosegaarde estimates there are approximately 8.1 million kilograms of space waste — the team has worked together with experts from the European Space Agency and students to launch the Space Waste Lab, a multi-year program to capture and recycle space waste into sustainable products. Streamed live in Dutch , the Space Waste Lab Symposium that was held on January 19 put forth two sustainable proposals for eliminating the currently 29,000 objects larger than 10 centimeters floating in space. The first, called Shooting Stars, would pull the waste through the Earth’s atmosphere, where it would burn and create artificial shooting stars in a new spectacle of light and sustainable alternative to polluting fireworks. The second project aims to design and 3D print innovative structures made from space waste for operation in-orbit and on the moon. Related: Studio Roosegaarde’s laser light art tracks floating space waste in the sky “Although the Netherlands is small, we can make a huge impact in playing a role to clean up the space waste, with new innovations and offering opportunities,” Adriana Strating, executive director at KAF (Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland), said at the symposium. The Space Waste Lab will travel next to Luxembourg . + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Studio Roosegaarde

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Studio Roosegaarde wants to turn space waste into shooting stars and 3D-printed housing

Seeds on the moon started to sprout for the first time but quickly died

January 18, 2019 by  
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China has taken a major step toward long-term space exploration. Earlier this month, the Chinese moon probe Chang’e 4 carried a container with cotton, mustard and potato seeds , yeast and fruit fly eggs to the moon’s far side (facing away from Earth), and early this week, the China National Space Administration said that those seeds started to sprout. Unfortunately, temperatures dropped and killed the plants. According to the BBC , the project was designed by 28 Chinese universities, and the experiment was contained within a canister 7 inches tall and weighing about 6.5 pounds. It was designed to test photosynthesis and respiration, which are processes that produce energy . For the first time ever seeds 🌱 are growing on the moon 🌑! China’s moon mission success means that astronauts 👩‍🚀👨‍🚀could potentially harvest their own food in space! Learn more 👉 https://t.co/S6dOB3p2Ym via @BBCNews #ZeroHunger #FutureofFood pic.twitter.com/TNssZBLG0R — FAO (@FAO) January 15, 2019 The plants  were in a sealed container on the lunar lander, and the hope was that the crops would form a mini-biosphere. Inside the container, the organisms had a supply of air, water and nutrients to help them grow. The scientists said that keeping it at the right temperature was a challenge, because of the wild temperature swings on the moon , which ultimately killed the first sprout. If the experiment worked, astronauts could potentially begin to harvest their own food in space. That would be incredibly useful for long-term space missions, because they wouldn’t have to return to Earth to resupply. Although the sprout died, the experiment is a move toward this goal. Related: China plans to launch the world’s first ‘artificial moon’ But could these experiments contaminate the moon ? Generally, scientists don’t believe this is something we need to worry about, especially because there have been containers of human waste on the moon for 50 years thanks to the Apollo astronauts. The consensus among experts is that the sprout was “good news.” Fred Watson, astronomer-at-large at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, said that it could be a positive development for future space exploration. “It suggests that there might not be insurmountable problems for astronauts in future trying to grow their own crops on the moon in a controlled environment,” Watson said. “I think there’s certainly a great deal of interest in using the moon as a staging post, particularly for flights to Mars , because it’s relatively near the Earth.” Via BBC and The Guardian Image via Jeremy Bishop

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Seeds on the moon started to sprout for the first time but quickly died

Gorgeous cedar-clad tiny home designed to withstand Ontario’s frigid winters

January 17, 2019 by  
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Canadian tiny home builders, Minimaliste Houses , know a thing or two about creating durable tiny homes that can stand up to extreme temperatures. The  designers are back with another stunning tiny home , the cedar-clad Magnolia. Built to withstand northern Ontario’s weather, the tiny home was designed to be energy-efficient thanks to tight thermal insulation and various sustainable features such as a composting toilet and LED lighting. The exterior of the tiny home reflects most of the tiny home builders’ exteriors. The 10.5 x 34.5 feet structure on wheels is clad with two-tone cedar panels with black steel accents. The black cedar panels were burnt using the Shou Sugi Ban technique, which creates a durable exterior that won’t fade over the years. Additionally, the dark and clear cedar gives the home a modern, yet rustic aesthetic. Related: The off-grid Eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool, Californian vibes The sophisticated look of the design continues throughout the interior where a double-height ceiling painted in all white gives the space a bright, open feel. The living room is a surprisingly large spacious, furnished with a comfy sofa and entertainment center. At the clients’ request, the main bedroom is located on the first floor, but there is an additional sleeping loft installed over the bathroom that can be used as a guest room or storage space. The bathroom is also a fairly large design and was installed with a c omposting toilet . The kitchen in the Magnolia is a perfect space for the home chef. Along with a full range of appliances, there is plenty of storage space with a tall pull-out pantry, tons of cabinets and drawers, A white quartz countertop with space doubles as a kitchen prep space and dining table or work surface with three bar stools. LED backlighting was installed in order to dim the lights when watching TV in the living room or working. To create a comfortable interior temperature throughout the year, the home was installed with a LUNOS heat recovery air exchanger and two ceiling fans to provide air circulation throughout the home. An abundance of windows throughout the home flood the interior with natural light , which also reduces the home’s energy use. + Minimaliste Houses Photos via Minimalist Houses

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Gorgeous cedar-clad tiny home designed to withstand Ontario’s frigid winters

This aerodynamic tiny home embraces flexible indoor-outdoor living

January 10, 2019 by  
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As anyone in the tiny home community knows, space comes at a premium. Most tiny home inhabitants also love to look for ways to incorporate nature and the outside world into their living space. French tiny home builder Ty Rodou has made this goal easier with the release of the Ty Bombadil tiny home. This tiny house offers a breezy outdoor feel along with a very desirable feature — an additional deck to provide ample  outdoor living space. Of course, there is no reason to escape the indoor space, designed with style and functionality in mind. Starting in the kitchen, the Ty Bombadil features an expandable table that folds into the wall when not in use and built-in drawers for storage. The streamlined kitchen offers plenty of counter space, a cooktop stove, a small refrigerator, a sink with drainboard and a unique, rustic shelving area. Related: Stunning micro home features reclaimed materials and large garage door for entertaining A removable ladder mounts to the wall when it isn’t being used to lead up to the loft, which incorporates lift-top storage bays in an L-shaped design around the edge of the space. The outdoor theme is carried throughout the tiny home with branch-shaped handrails at the loft entrance and in the shelving designs. Looking down onto the multi-use living room/bedroom area, you can see the built-in bed or couch frame with pull-out storage drawers below and bed-to-ceiling shelving up the wall along with built-in cabinets above. The small bathroom continues the all-wood decor with a framed-in composting toilet and tower-shaped support for a wooden bowl sink. Related: Off-grid tiny home with beautiful undulating roof was almost entirely built with reclaimed materials The space is bright with several large windows, double doors and an airy feel. In fact, the entire curved design facilitates aerodynamic transportation. + Ty Rodou Via Tiny House Talk Images via Ty Rodou

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Endangered bluefin tuna sold for $3.1 billion to sushi tycoon

January 10, 2019 by  
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A recent predawn auction at Tokyo’s new fish market brought a record-breaking bid for the endangered bluefin tuna. Sushi tycoon Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushi Zanmai chain, paid $3.1 million for the enormous fish, more than double the price from five years ago. Kimura’s Kiyomura Corp has won the annual action in the past, but the high price of the tuna this year definitely surprised the sushi king. Nonetheless, Kiyomura says: “the quality of the tuna I bought is the best.” The 612-pound (278 kg) tuna was caught off Japan’s northern coast, and the auction prices this year are way above normal. Normally, bluefin tuna sells for about $40 a pound, but the price has recently skyrocketed to over $200 a pound, especially for the prized catches that come from Oma in northern Japan. The biggest consumers of the bluefin tuna are the Japanese, and the surging consumption of the fish has led to overfishing which could result in the species facing possible extinction . Stocks of Pacific bluefin have plummeted 96 percent from pre-industrial levels. “The celebration surrounding the annual Pacific bluefin auction hides how deeply in trouble this species really is,” said Jamie Gibbon, associate manager for global tuna conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts. However, there have been some signs of progress when it comes to protecting the bluefin . Japan and other governments have endorsed plans to rebuild the stocks of Pacific bluefin, and the goal is to reach 20 percent of historic levels by 2034. Last year’s auction was the last at the world famous Tsukiji fish market. This year, it shifted to a new facility which is located on a former gas plant site in Tokyo Bay. The move would have happened sooner, but was delayed repeatedly over concerns of soil contamination. Via The Guardian  Image via Shutterstock

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Sean Parker’s wedding violations result in new app for California coastline

January 4, 2019 by  
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What started out as a high-profile beachside wedding turned into a useful and long-term solution to beach access issues along the California coastline. When Napster founder and original president of Facebook Sean Parker started planning his 2013 beachfront wedding to then-fiance Alexandra Lenas, he had no idea that he was breaking land usage rules. With a redwood grove in mind, he simply leased the space from the hotel that fringed the area. He then spent months having the perfect set built. It included a 20-foot high fence, Roman pillars, bridges, a faux cottage and rock walls. Things were shaping up for the idyllic wedding when the California Coastal Commission (CCC) showed up and shut down progress. A little known agency, the CCC is responsible for maintaining access to over 1,200 miles of coastline. Enforcing a 1972 voter mandate, the organization aims to regulate the coast so that it is accessible to more people in a responsible way. So when the CCC heard a report of Parker’s construction, it came in with some harsh news — the hotel that Parker was leasing from did not have permission to lease him the space. Not only that, but the site of the wedding was supposed to be a public camping area that had been closed by the hotel six years earlier due to water quality issues without permission from the CCC. Related: California approves rule to require solar panels on new houses Fines for limiting beach access run high, and even though it wasn’t Sean’s fault, he sat down with the CCC to figure out a solution. According to the Coastal Act, violators can be fined $1,000 to $15,000 per day that they are in violation. That added up to a whopping $2.5 million dollars, which Parker agreed to pay on behalf of the hotel. Instead of going to the CCC, however, the funds were used to create hiking trails, fund field trips, reopen the campground, fix the water issues and otherwise promote public access to the Big Sur area. But the story doesn’t stop there. During conversations that eventually resulted in the CCC allowing the wedding to continue at the site, representatives mentioned the idea of developing an app where iOS users could find information about the 1,563 access points up and down the California coastline. Parker jumped on board and agreed to develop the app. Unveiled in December, the YourCoast app spent five years in development with teams from both sides working together. Parker’s team brought the technology to the table and received the decades of detailed information collected by members of the CCC. In the past, the constantly updated spreadsheet of information gathered about each access point was published in a book every few years and was periodically updated on the CCC website. Now, each access is shown on a map within the app, with additional information about each one when you click on it. With the financial and technological resources Parker provided, the public now has up-to-date data on closures, access points and photos of each path. The app also delineates amenities of each beach, such as whether there is wheelchair access, restrooms, off-street parking, lifeguards or fishing . Many of the access points are well disguised by natural overgrowth or less-than-helpful neighbors. Some are merely a small sign, fence or alley access, so without the YourCoast app, most people never know about them. Others are falsely marked with “No Parking” or “No Beach Access” signs to further discourage visitors, which is in direct violation of the Coastal Act. The CCC has a huge responsibility for such a small organization. The creation of the app has brought the commission from an era where it still doesn’t have Wi-Fi in the main office to an online resource available to any iOS user. Plans are in the works to also make the app accessible to Google and other Android users. Related: Southern California is losing its clouds, increasing the risk of more intense wildfires While the information is now front and center to the public, there is still the ongoing problem of policing businesses and residents along the coast who actively restrict access to the beach. In fact, the six- to 10-person violations team has a backlog of thousands of cases. The app allows users to report violations and submit pictures of their own, so that they can help with the problem. Some areas of the coastline are very remote, and with that much territory to cover, it’s difficult for the CCC to monitor it all. For those users that visit the more remote regions, YourCoast allows them to download information for use without cell service. Although it was an unusual course of events that brought Parker and the CCC together, both parties are happy to have found a creative solution that brings great value to the public and facilitates the goals of the CCC in promoting access to state coastlines. Additional sections of the settlement agreement required Parker to safely remove all the infrastructure used in the wedding, and he must produce an educational video for the public and ensure that it goes viral. + YourCoast Via LA Times Images via USFWS , James Smith and Inhabitat

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Stunning micro home features reclaimed materials and large garage door for entertaining

December 24, 2018 by  
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One of the best advantages to building a tiny home is the ability to custom design the space. When Chattanooga-based tiny home builders  Wind River Tiny Homes were approached by a couple with a strong love of outdoor hobbies, they knew that design had to reflect their active lifestyle. The result is a 650-square-foot house that includes several unique features such as a large garage door that opens up to an outdoor deck, a vertical green wall  and a battery charger for their training bikes. The exterior of the tiny home  is clad in Eastern cedar siding with light blue wood panels and corrugated metal. The aesthetic is fresh and modern, giving the tiny home just as much charm as any larger, more conventional home design. Related: Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing The interior of the home, however, is where the design really shines. According to the team from Wind River Tiny Homes, the couple wanted a home that was no more than 600 square feet. In the end, the home measures a total of 650 square feet thanks to space-efficient measures such as putting the bathroom under the stairwell. Additionally, the homeowners wanted to have a space for entertaining. Accordingly, the designers installed a custom glass garage door that leads out to a 150 square feet deck. This unique feature not only floods the interior with natural light , but allows ample space for entertaining. Using mainly locally-sourced and reclaimed materials , the tiny home team custom designed the living space for the couple’s love of all things sporty. The living space was equipped with ample storage for sporting equipment such as space for the couple’s paddle boards, a carport with a pulley system for lifting kayaks off the car and a battery charger for their training bikes. The design team also used a number of reclaimed materials in the interior accents. In one corner of the living space, a beautiful Shou Sugi Ban barn door slides open to reveal a wall of reclaimed tongue-and-groove wainscoting that was reclaimed from an old elk lodge building in Chattanooga. Further into the living space, a fully-equipped kitchen features a bar made out of of the same reclaimed wood. The kitchen’s custom concrete counter top features inlaid bike gears on the bar’s countertop, another nod to the couple’s love of biking. In addition to the unique custom attributes, the home is also equipped with a number of energy-efficient features . The deck lighting is powered by solar power  and LED lighting is used throughout the home. A smart thermostat provides the home with a comfortable temperature year round, all while saving energy in the process. + Wind River Tiny Homes Via Dwell Images via Wind River Tiny Homes

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Stunning micro home features reclaimed materials and large garage door for entertaining

A remote, off-grid cabin is elevated off the forest floor with log columns

November 15, 2018 by  
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Panama-based architect Jose Isturaín (JiA) has built a beautiful tiny cabin tucked into a remote, mountainous area in Panama. With the help of local builders as well as his own family, Isturaín constructed Cabin 192 atop pine columns to elevate the glass-enclosed structure off the landscape to reduce its environmental impact . Located in Altos del María, a mountainous region about two hours outside of Panama City, the cabin is the first structure of what will eventually be a family retreat consisting of a main house and three individual cabins. Tucked deep into a wooded forest, the idyllic area offers a serene respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Related: A cluster of wooden cabins create a serene weekend retreat in Norway Working with local builders, as well as his family and friends, Isturaín envisioned a cabin that would “transmit the peace and tranquility that simplicity offers, an elementary architecture.” Accordingly, he decided to forgo any type of ostentatious design, instead opting for an off-grid cabin  that would put preserving the natural landscape at the forefront of the project. The cabin’s frame was built from  reclaimed pine wood beams and columns felled on site. Pine trees are not native to the area, so the decision was made to use this wood for the cabins and a perimeter fence. The team reforested the surrounding area with native species that would help provide shade to the home and improve the local environment. Using the basics of tropical architecture, Isturaín designed the tiny cabin to not only be off-grid, but also resilient to the local climate . Raising the main living space off the ground certainly helped to preserve the natural landscape underneath. But by elevating the home off of the natural soil, it also helped keep the tropical humidity at bay. The roof is covered with a slanted metal mooring structure that juts out substantially over the cabin’s perimeter, a strategic feature that will help cool the interior space during the hot and humid summer months. The ground floor of the  cabin is actually an open, 226-square-foot space with no walls, just pine columns that mark the perimeter. The covered, open-air living area has a small kitchenette, dining table and ample seating, the perfect space for family gatherings. The bedroom and bathroom are located on the upper floor, which is a very compact 387 square feet. Large floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate the space with natural light . Facing out over the surrounding forest, large sliding doors open completely, further connecting the structure with its forested surroundings. + JiA Via Archdaily Photography by Alfredo Martiz and Nadine Sam via JiA

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A remote, off-grid cabin is elevated off the forest floor with log columns

Lyft’s Jody Kelman on collaborating to launch autonomous vehicle technology

November 5, 2018 by  
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Self-driving technology providers were looking for riders — and Lyft had a network of customers looking for rides. The collaboration made sense to Jody Kelman, director of self-driving platforms at Lyft, which has launched trials in cities across the U.S. Collecting research on the space, the decisions necessary and implementing them has been a collective effort, but one that’s driving a “revolution.” “We really want to be pushing people into these shared electric self-driving cars, not advancing another generation of individual car ownership,” she said.

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Lyft’s Jody Kelman on collaborating to launch autonomous vehicle technology

Former convent in Valencia is reborn as an ornate entertainment hub

October 30, 2018 by  
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In the heart of Valencia, Spain , the old convent of San José has undergone a sensitive transformation that has turned the historic site into a vibrant gathering space for civic events, a food market and a soon-to-be hotel. Barcelona-based interior design practice Francesc Rifé Studio was tapped for the adaptive reuse project and inserted modern updates while preserving the property’s architectural integrity. The renovation project was completed this year under the name of Convent Carmen. Built in the 17th century, the church has been modified into the main access point for the site and been remade into a multifunctional venue and “21st-century sculpture.” Metal framework was installed to give the space a contemporary edge and to house all new light fixtures and other elements in order to leave the original church walls untouched. New audiovisual technical elements, for instance, including an adjustable color lighting system with RGB, was fitted into the structure. The designers also took cues from the church’s layout and emphasized the dome with three metal circles, from which a sculptural light fixture hangs. “Through this element was intended to develop an obvious past-future connection, and as it happened in the Renaissance the dome takes an essential role,” the architects wrote in the project statement. “This space for the celebration of the religious rite now becomes a privileged place for musicians, lecturers and a multitude of actors, which will make this one of the main participatory focuses of the city. The simplicity of this intervention demonstrates the importance of holding back and making little noise when the context already expresses its memories with force.” Related: Architects convert old Dutch church into a gorgeous library Outside the church, the garden has been redeveloped into a “gastronomic market.”  Shipping containers were repurposed into small-scale restaurants offering different types of cuisines, from fried Andalusian to Japanese sushi, all coordinated by Michelin-star chef Miguel Ángel Mayor. The casual setting, illuminated by fairy lights, features shared and varied seating options built mainly of tubular metal and phenolic surface boards dyed black. The addition of palms and other trees give the outdoor space an oasis-like feel. + Francesc Rifé Studio Photography by David Zarzoso via Francesc Rifé Studio

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