Sead Pod offers grassroots solution to air pollution and global warming

November 5, 2019 by  
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Gardening should be good for the environment, adding oxygen to the air, nutrients to the soil and filtering water for consumption. But plastic and toxins have become ubiquitous, leaving the home gardener to make intentional choices about which products to use. That’s where Sead Pod comes in, a vertical garden made using sustainable practices and recycled materials . Sead (Sustainable Ecology, Adaptive Design) Pod offers a simple plastic planter for bringing gardens into the smallest spaces while reusing plastic, which is problematic for the environment. The pod simply clips on to any chain link fencing, providing water efficiency from the vertical garden design while diverting plastic from the landfill. Related: This self-sustaining planter doesn’t require sunlight for plants to thrive “The Sead Pod represents a new way of thinking about green design in an urban context,” said Bryan Meador, Plant Seads’ Founder and Chief Design Officer. “By reimagining existing architectural elements like chain link fencing as a tool in the fight against climate change, we’re able to leap into the green movement immediately, fighting climate change at the grassroots level and making our cities cleaner, healthier, and more livable—right now.”  Based in Kingston, New York, Meador is familiar with the limitations of urban gardens so he designed the Sead Pod to jump start the urgency of climate change. What he described as “the sluggish response of government and multinational companies” lead him to take action, experimenting with 3d printing and rapid prototype development to finalize the design . Proving his self-labeled impatience, Meador had the Sead Pod designed, manufactured and released in less than nine months. “Our generation is the first to be born into Climate Change. This crisis is not hypothetical to us, and we’re tired of waiting around for others to address this issue in a meaningful way,” Meador said in a press release.  With lofty goals of tackling CO2 emissions at a grassroots level, the Sead Pod gives everyone the ability to contribute to the solution. Imagine every chain link fence in your community covered in greenery and you begin to see the potential. The pods also connect to chain link material the size of a picture frame and Sead Pod offers five sizes of sead frames to suit the needs of every home and office. They are designed to be durable for long-term use even when exposed to harsh elements, not to mention, they are recyclable at the end of their life cycle. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thursday, October 31, 2019 8:59 PM PDT. + Plant Seads Images via Plant Seads

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Sead Pod offers grassroots solution to air pollution and global warming

Reclaimed materials star in this surf villa with ocean views in Bali

November 5, 2019 by  
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The blissful charms of the Uluwatu Surf Villas have been elevated with a recent expansion that includes new villas designed by German architect Alexis Dornier in collaboration with Tim Russo. One of the additions is Puri Bukit, an ocean-facing, four-bedroom villa with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean in Bali. Built with reclaimed timber and locally sourced materials, the building blends traditional Balinese architecture with contemporary design. Located atop cliffs overlooking the ocean in southwest Bali , the Uluwatu Surf Villas were created as a luxury surfer’s paradise with premium villas, bungalows and loft accommodations. The 50-room retreat includes a mix of private and for-rent accommodations, the latter of which are categorized as Cliff Front villas, Ocean Front villas and Jungle View villas that range from one to four bedrooms in size. Related: This contemporary light-filled home feels like an extension of Bali’s tropics Dornier’s recently completed Ocean View 3 (Puri Bukit) villa measures 295 square meters and includes four master bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, making it one of the larger spaces on the property. Punctuated with a skylight, the tropical, modern villa is flooded with natural light and emphasizes indoor-outdoor living with large sliding glass doors that open up to views of the Indian Ocean. Guests can also enjoy access to a private, 40-square-meter saltwater pool. The open-plan living area includes a dining table that seats eight as well as custom-built sofas and a custom art piece by surf artist Andy Davis. As with the other properties, the villa was built with 100-year-old reclaimed teak from Java, reclaimed ironwood from Kalimantan, andesite, terrazzo and local limestone. “The center of the roof is crowned with a generous skylight that illuminates the expansive, centrally located living room,” reads the project statement. “While the main living area flows toward the outdoor pool side terrace and garden, the central core of the house corresponds to the prevailing linear axis running from the ascending entrance stairway, through the main living hall and all the way toward the sea.” + Alexis Dornier Photography by kiearch via Alexis Dornier

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Reclaimed materials star in this surf villa with ocean views in Bali

This durable luggage is made with replaceable and recycled materials

October 30, 2019 by  
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Travel has a huge impact on the environment. From jet fuel to the broken luggage in landfills, exploring our world leaves a footprint . With this in mind, conscientious companies are designing products that encourage travel sans the burden on the planet. Introducing PHOENX, a modular luggage brand with a focus on sustainability through its use of recycled and regenerative materials. Sustainability begins with the materials sourced for the product. In the case of PHOENX, 95 percent of the materials are recycled or regenerative. For example, the shell of this hard-sided carry-on suitcase is 100 percent recycled polycarbonate. Related: Designers aim to reduce the waste and impact of airlines The suitcase is accompanied by an ultra-thin, removable backpack made from materials sourced from fishing nets and used carpet . This allows for day-tripping in an eco-friendly way. The set also includes a laundry bag to keep dirty clothes separate from the clean ones. The laundry bag offers a vacuum-sealed design for space efficiency. The products incorporate fishing nets, carpets, recycled plastics, rubber and aluminium to help divert these materials from landfills and create durable products that are built to last. This notion is further evidenced in the modular design. Several components of the suitcase are removable and replaceable in the case of breakage. This means that one tool allows you to remove components and replace them individually rather than trashing the suitcase when a wheel or handle malfunctions. Of course, PHOENX works to keep this from happening with a 5-year warranty, durable and quiet HINOMOTO wheels, a waterproof, zipper design and a strong, aluminum handle. “PHOENX is not just about the present but is made to accompany you in your future adventures,” said Francesco Salom, co-founder and CEO of PHOENX. “When you feel it is time to renew it, you can send it back to us and choose between having it restyled by our creative design team or getting a new model.” While responsible material sourcing and product longevity are both crucial components of its eco-friendly products, PHOENX is dedicated to both people and the planet. It participates in fair-trade practices for employees and has partnered with earth-friendly organizations like Oceanic Global, Whale Wise and Aquafil Global for a well-rounded theme of conscientious business practices. The goals for PHOENX are simple and lofty at the same time: to provide a sustainable business model while inspiring travelers to tread lightly. You can find the company’s Kickstarter campaign here . + PHOENX Images via PHOENX

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This durable luggage is made with replaceable and recycled materials

New biofabricated clothing made from algae goes through photosynthesis just like plants

October 25, 2019 by  
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There are a products that completely revolutionize the fashion industry for their eco-friendly approach and innovative vision. Although the fashion industry has made strides over the past few years in terms of sustainable clothing production, there is still a long ways to go. Thankfully, a handful of designers are coming up with incredibly innovative solutions to really change the concept of eco-fashion . One such visionary is Canadian-Iranian designer Roya Aghighi , whose new line of clothing, Biogarmentry, is made from algae that turns carbon dioxide into oxygen via photosynthesis. Made in collaboration with University of British Colombia (UBC) and Emily Carr Univeristy, the Biogarmentry line is a revolutionary design within the world of eco-fashion . While most sustainable designers are searching for fabrics that don’t harm the environment, Aghighi went straight to the environment for her unique fabric, using living, photosynthetic cells in its design. Related: SAOLA offers sustainable sneakers sourced from algae and recycled plastic The biofabricated textiles are made with a type of single-cell green algae called clothichlamydomonas reinhardtii. To create a solid textile, the algae is spun together with nano polymers. The result is a light, woven eco-textile akin to linen that photosynthesizes like plants. Currently a designer in residence at Material Experience Lab in the Netherlands, Aghighi explains that her inspiration for the design was to cut out the search for high-quality fabrics that don’t harm the planet, instead opting to create what could be the fabric of the future. “Biogarmentry suggests a complete overhaul rather than tinkering at the edges,” she said. “The living aspect of the textile will transform users’ relationship to their clothing, shifting collective behaviors around our consumption-oriented habits towards forming a sustainable future.” In addition to its sustainable design , the textile is also easy-to-maintain. To keep it clean, the garments just need to be watered once in a while, just like real live plants. When the garment has reached the end of its life cycle, which, for the moment, is just a month, it can be used for composting. + Roya Aghighi Via Dezeen Images via Roya Aghighi

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New biofabricated clothing made from algae goes through photosynthesis just like plants

Research finds heart attacks and strokes surge on high pollution days in England

October 25, 2019 by  
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A new study published by King’s College London (KCL) reports that elevated levels of air pollution contribute to increased spikes in cardiac arrests, stroke admissions and asthma hospitalizations. The sobering news has been described as a health emergency, prompting calls for the British government to commit to more enforceable sustainability targets and improved air quality standards. The research team surveyed data across nine cities: London, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton. London had the largest uptick of health incidents because it experienced more high pollution days. For the English capital city, an additional 124 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 231 stroke admissions and 193 asthma hospitalizations occurred on days registering higher pollution levels. The collated data clearly revealed a cause-and-effect correlation. Thus, increased air pollution from wind direction and wind strength conclusively affected people’s health in just a short period of time while similarly having implications on life expectancy. Related: For 2019, the 10 worst cities for air quality are in California and Arizona Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said, “London’s lethal air is a public health crisis — it leads to thousands of premature deaths in the capital every year, as well as stunting the development of young lungs and increasing cases of respiratory illness.” The research results were published ahead of the British National Clean Air Summit , which was hosted by UK100 , a British network of local government leaders. In response to the study findings, the British National Health Service (NHS) tweeted that almost a third of preventable deaths in England “are due to non-communicable diseases specifically attributed to air pollution .” Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS, further explained, “Since these avoidable deaths are happening now — not in 2025 or 2050 — together we need to act now. For the NHS, that is going to mean further comprehensive action building on the reduction of our carbon footprint of one-fifth in the past decade. So our NHS energy use, supply chain, building adaptations and our transport will all need to change substantially.” + King’s College London Via EcoWatch Image via Matt Buck

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Research finds heart attacks and strokes surge on high pollution days in England

Two beautiful, self-sustaining tiny cabins rest on a remote island off the coast of Finland

October 22, 2019 by  
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Finnish designers Aleksi Hautamäki and Milla Selkimaki have done what many only dream of — they have bought an entire island to construct a gorgeous off-grid retreat. Located on 5 acres of rugged landscape, at the edge of the Archipelago National Park in Southwest Finland, Project Ö includes two self-sustaining, solar-powered cabins that include chic living spaces as well as a sauna and a workshop. The ambitious designers purchased the remote island two years ago with plans to built a set of off-grid cabins . According to Hautamäki, their vision was “to build all things necessary in as little space as possible.” The result is two compact structures that offer optimal functionality and comfort without harming the existing landscape. Related: These tiny steel cabins in Joshua Tree epitomize off-grid design Since the designers bought the island, they have constructed two narrow gabled cabins , which house the living spaces, a sauna and a workshop. The cabins sit elevated off of the rocky landscape by an expansive wooden deck. The cabins are long and narrow, with ultra-large windows that, in addition to flooding the interior with natural light , provide stunning views of the island’s coast. Additionally, there are a number of outdoor lounge areas that let the designers and visitors enjoy spending time in the outdoors. The main cabin is comprised of an open-plan living room with a kitchen and dining area. A sleeping loft on the second floor is accessible by a ladder. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located in the second cabin, which is accessible through a central, covered outdoor area. All in all, the cabins can sleep up to 10 people. Due to the remote location, the cabins were also built to be completely self-sufficient. Rooftop solar panels generate energy, and there is an integrated water system that filters seawater. Two wood-burning stoves provide hot water for the cabins and create the ultimate cozy atmosphere. + Project Archipelago + Project Ö Via Dezeen Photography by Archmosphere via Project Ö

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Two beautiful, self-sustaining tiny cabins rest on a remote island off the coast of Finland

Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

October 22, 2019 by  
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Dutch Design Week , the largest design event in Northern Europe, is back once again this October to show how pioneering designers around the globe are changing the world for the better. Spread out across nine days with over a hundred locations in Eindhoven, the annual event will host a wide array of exhibitions, lectures, festivities and more — including the first-ever public presentation of a Biomaterials Archive , where attendees can see, touch, smell and even taste innovative materials made by students from organic and recycled materials. Held this year from October 19 to 27, Dutch Design Week is an annual showcase of futuristic design that covers a wide breadth of topics from sustainable farming to artificial intelligence and robotics. Every year, more than 2,600 designers are invited to present their pioneering work — with a focus given to young and upcoming talent — and more than 350,000 visitors from the area and abroad flock to Eindhoven to see how design has the potential to improve the world. Creative proposals for reducing waste and addressing other timely environmental topics, such as climate and biodiversity crises, have also been increasingly highlighted in recent years.  One such example of forward-thinking design by young designers can be found at the Biomaterials Archive, a multi-sensory exhibit open to the public all week at Molenveld 42 | Downtown. Hosted by Ana Lisa, the tutor for Design Academy Eindhoven’s Make Material Sense class, the exhibition will feature #ZeroWaste and #ZeroBudget material samples created by second-year BA students. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with proposed alternatives to materials such as leather, plastic, marble, cotton and MDF. Related: Colorful People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven is made from 100% borrowed materials “It unveils how these young designers are taking matter into their own hands by farming organisms on the Academy’s shelves or recycling what’s being trashed at home, school’s canteen, city or farms,” reads a statement on the DDW website, which references biomaterials made from old bread, lichen, acorn-MDF, coffee grounds, kombucha , cow manure and even vacuum dust. “While they close some loops and make new, shorter life-span materials that forge new paths into design and architecture.” + Biomaterials Archive Images via DDW

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Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

Self-sustainable childrens center in Tanzania harvests water like a baobab tree

October 16, 2019 by  
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In northern Tanzania, a Swedish team of architects, engineers and a non-profit collaborated with local workers to complete the Econef Children’s Center, a self-sustaining facility for orphans in the King’ori village. Asante Architecture & Design , Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects , Architects Without Borders Sweden, Engineers Without Borders Sweden and Swedish-Tanzanian NGO ECONOF created the center to provide sleeping quarters and classrooms to orphaned children, as well as to also increase ECONEF’s independence by reducing building maintenance and operation costs. The off-grid buildings are powered with solar energy and harvest rainwater in a system inspired by the African baobab tree. Built to follow the local building vernacular, the Econef Children’s Center uses locally found materials and building techniques to keep costs low and to minimize the need for external construction expertise. The new center provides sleeping quarters and classrooms for 25 children. “The aim of the Children’s Center Project is to increase ECONEF’S independence and reduce its reliance on private donations,” explains the team in a project statement. “To help achieve this goal the new buildings are planned to be ecologically and economically sustainable and largely maintenance free. The center produces its own electricity through the installation of solar panels. Systems for rainwater harvesting and natural ventilation are integrated into the architectural design.” Related: Timber-clad waterfront house in Norway epitomizes modern Scandinavian design Inspired by the African baobab tree that can retain up to 120,000 liters of water in its trunk to survive in the desert, the building’s rainwater harvesting system draws rainwater from the roof’s spine through a central gutter that funnels the water into two water tanks tucked beneath the two of the inner courtyards. The collected rainwater is used for showers and laundry. + ECONEF Images by Robin Hayes

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Self-sustainable childrens center in Tanzania harvests water like a baobab tree

Artist unveils furniture collection for insects

October 16, 2019 by  
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As the world’s insect population plummets , it is becoming more and more important to create insect-friendly habitats. Now, you can have one right in your own backyard! French designer Marlène Huissoud has just unveiled “Please Stand By” — a series of sculptures designed to be safe shelters for insects living in urban areas. The collection comprises a series of “hotels” designed specifically for pollinators such as bees , wasps and butterflies. Made out of unfired clay in neutral tones to keep them as primitive as possible, the furnishings are covered in a natural binder to make them resistant to extreme weather. The insect accommodations are punctuated with multiple holes to let the insects move around freely. Related: MaliArts designs city-chic beehives to save solitary bees According to Huissoud, her inspiration for creating the insect homes comes from a recent scientific study that shows that more than 40 percent of insects are in decline, and the situation is getting worse every year. In order to bring attention to the plight of the world’s insect population , the artist created the insect-friendly habitats to offer a safe refuge for the critters to nest and hibernate within urban areas. “We have been selfish,” Huissoud said. “We all have used resources of our dear planet. But it is not a time to cry, it is a time to act. As a designer, it is important to design a chair at some point in your career, and I liked the idea of dedicating my first chair to insects and not humans, asking humans to ‘Please Stand By’ and look at nature and wildlife in general with a new eye.” The unique collection was first unveiled during London’s Design Week , but it can now be found in Huissoud’s studio in Paris. She hopes to install the pieces in various gardens in order to help support the insect population. + Marlène Huissoud Via Dezeen Photography by Valentin Russo and Chloe Bell via Marlène Huissoud

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Artist unveils furniture collection for insects

Old power station in Berlin is converted into off-grid arts center that runs on energy generated by woodchips

October 9, 2019 by  
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The former industrial town of Luckenwalde now has a beautiful new arts center that not only aims to bring a little vibrancy back to the German region, but a whole lot of sustainability. Artist Pablo Wendel just unveiled E-Werk , a defunct power station that he has turned into an innovative arts center that is projected to run on recycled wood chips rather than coal. Although an artist at heart, Wendel obviously has an admirable talent and passion for creating machinery that generates clean energy. Over the last five years, he has created numerous wind sculptures and mobile battery packs that can usurp energy from supply points. His patented Kunststrom (art electricity) system is what will be used to bring power to the local grid as the old building used to. This time, however, it will be powered by recycled wood chips. Related: Uber transforms 19th-century industrial buildings into hub for futuristic tech To create a system of clean energy for E-Werk, he developed a series of woodchip-burning machines that are compatible with the power station’s pre-existing mechanics. This means that the massive 107,000 square-foot interior has the potential to not only generate its own power, but could possibly become a functional power station that generates clean energy for the surrounding area. “At first, people were skeptical, but Kunststrom has moved far beyond an idea. We forget to talk about how much energy is needed to make art, how much energy museums use through lighting , cleaning, conservation and transport . They spend much more of their budget on this than they do on young artists. I’m offering art as a power supply,” the artists explains. Currently, the building’s eight studios have been already rented to local artists, who can make use of the welding kits, milling machines, lathes and drills. Wendel says that he hopes E-Werk is the first of many similar projects to help Luckenwalde regenerate its urban landscape through sustainable practices, “One day we hope E-Werk will power the whole of Luckenwalde as it used to.” + E-Werk Via Wall Paper Images via Kunststrom

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Old power station in Berlin is converted into off-grid arts center that runs on energy generated by woodchips

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