Sweden is putting stressed-out people in tiny glass ‘chillout cabins’

September 12, 2017 by  
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Can nature really be the cure for stress? Sweden wants to find out – so it’s sending five people in extremely stressful professions to spend three glorious days in beautiful glass-enclosed “ chillout cabins ” on an idyllic island. The 72 Hour Cabin program seeks to investigate the effects of nature on people’s well-being. Led by researchers Walter Osika and Cecilia Stenfors from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the case study explores how Allemansrätten (freedom to roam) affects people’s mental and physical health. The aim of the study is to spread awareness of the unique relationship the Swedish population has with nature , and encourage people around the world to spend more time bonding with Mother Nature. Related: Artist builds incredible stained-glass cabin in the middle of the woods “Year after year, Sweden takes first place in international rankings of countries with the best life quality. Swedish nature, which is clean, vast and easy to take part in, is a part of the secret.” the 72-hour website reads. “The Swedes’ unique relationship with nature is an important part of their well-being, which is why Sweden has created ‘The 72 Hour Cabin’. With the initiative, Sweden wants to acquaint visitors with the special bond that Swedes have with their natural environment, and invite the world to experience it themselves.” The lucky participants include a London broadcaster, a Parisian taxi driver, an event planner from New York, a German police officer, and a British travel journalist. Each will spend three days in their own cabin located on Henriksholm island in West Sweden, experiencing the Swedish “close to nature” lifestyle. All communication with the outside world will be forbidden. For the most part, the participants will be able to hike, fish, cook, swim, and generally enjoy their peaceful surroundings. Researchers will be on-site to measure their well-being based on stress levels, problem-solving ability, and creativity. The results of the study will be presented in October. The glass cabins were designed by Jeanna Berger and built with the help of Fridh & Hells Bygg AB Construction Company . Berger grew up on the island and used the beautiful area as inspiration for the design. The wood-framed structures – which are placed on pillars in order to leave a light footprint – were inspired by the traditional barns found in the area. + 72 Hour Cabin Via Apartment Therapy Photography by Maja Flink  

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Sweden is putting stressed-out people in tiny glass ‘chillout cabins’

9 incredible pod homes to help you win at off-grid living

August 25, 2017 by  
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If your #lifegoals include living off the grid in some stunning locale, then check this out: we’ve rounded up the best pod homes that can be installed in even the most remote locations. From a futuristic 3D-printed shelter to the nature-influenced Baobed , there’s something for every world traveler (and almost every budget). Pod Space Pod Space’s award winning pre-fab pods can be installed just about anywhere you can dream of. The modular pods are customizable, so you can use them as a backyard office, an extra room, or even a fully-equipped tiny home . The best part is the floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can let nature in while keeping the elements out. Podzook If you are the type to think outside the box – literally – you’ll dig the spherical Podzook. With its locally-sourced shingled wood exterior and its space-age interior, the Podzook is what you’d get if you combined traditional Maine craftsmanship with an alien space pod. Each one is made to order and comes with a skylight and a futuristic gull-wing door. Prices range from 28 – 32k depending on the options you choose. 3D-Printed SOM shelter Architecture firm SOM is taking off-grid living into the future with a 3D-printed shelter that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. It features rooftop solar panels for power and comes with its own vehicle that generates its own power. Best of all, the structure and the vehicle can share power wirelessly when you need an extra bit of juice. The SOM shelter can be “printed” right on site, illustrating what is possible in the future of home building. ALPOD The 65k ALPOD is a high-tech solution to skyrocketing real estate prices. The prefabricated structure is made of lightweight aluminum, so it can be moved where needed and then recycled when has reached the end of its life. The pods can even be stacked, so you could create an entire skyscraper of them. With 480-square feet of living space, it’s a great solution for both urban locations, since it can be hooked up to the grid, and off-grid with it solar power option. POD-Idlada POD-Idladla is a prefabricated home that can be shipped flat-packed for on-site assembly in a snap. The 186-square foot tiny home is powered by solar energy and is modular, so it can be expanded if necessary. Tall ceilings help make the space feel large without increasing its footprint, and costs start at just $15k. Ecocapsule The egg-shaped Ecocapsule is the stuff that off-grid dreams are made of. The ultra-portable house is powered by solar and wind, with rainwater collection and filtration built-in. The 86-square foot space manages to pack a lot of features, with a folding bed, dining area, shower and toilet, storage and a kitchenette. Each capsule fits inside a shipping container so it can go nearly anywhere. Ecocapsule homes start shipping this year, so save your pennies, because owning one will set you back $94,000. Drop Pod The DROP Eco-Hotel is different because it isn’t designed as a permanent home, but as a pod-like hotel room for modern nomads that can be installed in some truly incredible places – including elevated above the earth. The prefabricated structure is clad in slotted wood to control solar gain, features a skylight for daylighting and a rainwater recycling system. Harwyn Pod The Harwyn Pod is a tiny space for distraction-free work. Designed to be an office, art space or yoga studio , each pod can pop-up on-site in just 5 hours and comes complete with built-in furniture. With a footprint of only 2.5 by 2 meters and luxury car-inspired design, each tiny dwelling is fully insulated against the elements. Baobed Sleeping Pod The Baobed pod is a treehouse for adventure-seekers. The sleek pod can be suspended in the treetops, nestled on a beach, and plopped on a rooftop or even in the middle of a pond. The fruit-like shape was inspired by the fruit of the baobab tree and provides a tiny, safe space for travelers. Thanks to its tiny footprint and light weight (just 992 pounds), it can be transported on a trailer and can be equipped with a platform, mosquito nets and storage options.

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9 incredible pod homes to help you win at off-grid living

Timber cabin on wheels lets you hit the open road in luxurious comfort

August 25, 2017 by  
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Seek adventure on the open road without leaving the comforts of home—that’s the charm of ESCAPE , a Wisconsin-based company that designs and builds RVs that look like tiny towable cabins. We’re always impressed by ESCAPE’s line of tiny homes on wheels and their latest addition, Escape ONE XL, is no exception. Clad in charred wood siding, the ONE XL was launched this month and comfortably sleeps up to eight inside a surprisingly lavish modern interior. We’ve seen many tiny homes on Inhabitat but few pull out all the stops like the Escape ONE XL. Designed as the larger version of the Escape ONE , this tiny mobile home measures 30 feet in length (35 feet with the hitch), 8.5 feet in width, and nearly 14 feet in height. The 388-square-foot cabin is wrapped in unique Shou Sugi Ban siding and punctuated with low-e windows and a glazed door that lets in ample natural light. It includes two sleeping lofts on opposite sides, one accessible via a staircase with hidden storage and the other via ladder, that fit a queen bed, full, or twin beds. The interior is handsomely lined in timber, including Raw Lodgepodge Pine center match with pine trim, laminate flooring with an oak hardwood option, a pine solid core bathroom door, and handcrafted wood details. The first floor features a spacious living room that’s separated from the bathroom by a large kitchen. A ceiling fan hangs above the kitchen. Closed cell foam insulation made with recycled materials boasts an average of R30. Related: Escape Traveler is a tiny cabin on wheels that can be moved anywhere In addition to its beautiful timber craftsmanship, the ONE XL includes luxury amenities, particularly for a tiny mobile home. The kitchen features maple cabinetry, a deep sink, a fridge and freezer, solid butcher block tops, microwave, and full-size range with four burners. The living room is multipurpose with built-in LED lighting , storage, and large windows. The bathroom has a 60” tub and shower with a large vanity, Toto toilet, towel bars, vent fan, and option to change the tub into a soaking or jet tub. Additional options, such as a flatscreen TV with Blu-ray and inhabitat.com/tag/off-grid/ off-grid capability are available. The Escape ONE XL , which is over 100 square foot larger than its predecessor Escape ONE, starts at $69,800. + Escape ONE XL Via Dezeen Images via Escape

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Timber cabin on wheels lets you hit the open road in luxurious comfort

Self-taught designer builds a secret studio under a bridge in Valencia

August 21, 2017 by  
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Self-taught designer Fernando Abellanas built a studio bedroom in a very unusual place – the underside of a bridge in Valencia, Spain . This tiny moveable workspace has everything he needs – including shelves, a chair and a desk – bolted into the concrete wall of a bridge. The designer built the workspace entirely himself. He installed a hand crank and rails, along which the metal base can move from one side of the bridge to the other. From this hidden space, he can live and work while enjoying complete privacy. Seen from underneath the bridge , the room looks like a small box with foldable sides. Related: You can build one of these tiny backyard offices in less than a week for under $7000 Abellanas hasn’t revealed the actual location of the “cabin”. “The project is an ephemeral intervention, [it will remain] until someone finds it and decides to steal the materials, or the authorities remove it,” he said. Hidden away from passing cars and trains, the space provides the designer with a sense of peace and brings back childhood memories of hiding under a table. + Lebrel | Future Positive Via Archinect

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Self-taught designer builds a secret studio under a bridge in Valencia

This mini caravan with a telescopic roof is the stuff of off-grid dreams

August 11, 2017 by  
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The Slidavan Caravan is an ultra-compact, lightweight caravan with a handy telescopic roof that can be fully extended in less than a minute. The mini caravan , created by Wooden Widget , weighs a mere 300 kilos and comes complete with a living area that can be expanded to six-feet high, making it a dream home on wheels for any off-grid traveler. The Slidavan’s interior, although compact, provides all the basics of off grid living . The space-efficient design focused on creating a maximum interior volume, which led to the creation of an expandable roof. To provide the camper with flexible space options, a curved roof was designed to be placed on the camper’s box-shaped base. A handy lifting device installed directly underneath allows the roof to be raised in just under a minute, adding much more space to the interior. Related: Darling Tinycamper from Lithuania starts at just 7K The body of the caravan has two large windows on the side and the backdoor has a cutout to provide the interior with tons of natural light. On the interior, the built-in sofas on either side fold out to create a large double bed. A small table is mounted on the wall between the two sofas, and can be folded down when not in use. There is a small galley area on the left side, outfitted with a sink and a two-burner stove top. A hidden strip of LEDs provides the interior lighting. One of the most advantageous things about the Slidavan is its light-weight design. Constructed out of a sandwich of plywood over panels of extruded polystyrene, the caravan is a rigid, lightweight, durable, affordable, and well-insulated structure that can be towed by the smallest of cars. According to the designer, the Slidavan’s design was based on providing a practical camper van that was easily mobile, “In designing the Slidavan I confess I focused pretty much exclusively on practicality. The bottom line is, it’s all very well designing a fancy caravan with a nice flowing aerodynamic shape but it just adds complication to the build and the fitting out and at the end of the day you still have to drag this massive lump through the air at great expense and some trepidation.” + Wooden Widget  

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This mini caravan with a telescopic roof is the stuff of off-grid dreams

Scientists finally know what is causing the underwater ‘fairy circles’ and it’s not good

August 11, 2017 by  
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Have you — like many — been dumbfounded by the mysterious underwater “fairy circles” found in the Mediterranean and Baltic sea? If so, you’re not alone. Fortunately, scientists finally know what is causing the sea floor phenomena, though it’s not likely to cheer you up. It turns out the “bald patches” devoid of vegetation are actually caused by a foreign species which may put entire ecosystems at risk. In the paper “Fairy Circle Landscapes Under The Sea,” published by Science Advances , lead researcher Daniel Ruiz-Reynés wrote that the invading species are being driven into the areas by polluted waters and climate change : “The spatial organisation of vegetation landscapes is a key factor in the assessment of ecosystem health and functioning,” he wrote, adding, “Spatial configurations of vegetation landscapes act as potential indicators of climatic or human forcing affecting the ecosystem.” The scientific name for the seagrass is Posidonia oceanica, and its dwindling presence signals that the region it is located in is threatened. If large populations of the seagrass disappear, the planet’s larger ecosystem will be affected, the researchers concluded. Unfortunately, it appears the circles, which have been found around the Danish coast as well as the Balearic islands, are more prevalent than scientists realized. This is because they are located below water . “Satellite images and side-scan cartography reveals that complex seascapes are abundant in meadows of Posidonia oceanica, suggesting that self-organised submarine vegetation patterns may be prevalent but have remained thus far largely hidden under the sea,” wrote Ruiz-Reynés. Furthermore, because the seagrass has a very low growth rate, losses are “essentially irreversible.” Related: Strange “Fairy Circles” Appear in the Middle of Africa’s Namib Desert Using findings from previous studies and by creating a mathematical model based on seagrass growth rates and long-distance interaction between underwater plants, the team was able to determine the cause of the fairy circles . Long story short, the competition for resources changes the dynamics of seagrass growth and is largely propelled by both climate change and pollution . This discovery is both intriguing and frightening, considering enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the globe four times — and of that amount, 80 percent makes its way into the oceans . If humans collectively fail to curb carbon emissions and only haphazardly invest in sustainable initiatives, the effects of climate change will result in much of the planet becoming uninhabitable, as well as various species going extinct . + Science Advances Via The Daily Mail Images via University of Southern Denmark , Pixabay

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Scientists finally know what is causing the underwater ‘fairy circles’ and it’s not good

Worlds largest bike parking garage opens in the Netherlands

August 11, 2017 by  
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Good news for cyclists in the Netherlands — which, to be honest, is pretty much everyone. The country just unveiled the world’s largest bike parking garage ! By the end of 2018 the 184,000-square-foot facility beneath Utrecht’s central train station will be able to hold 12,500 parked bikes. For years, bicycle enthusiasts have been urging the government to update its parking infrastructure . Martijn van Es, the spokesman for the Dutch cycling organization Fietsersbond, says the country could do much more to accommodate the growing volume of cyclists . He said, “They have been talking about updating the city since 1989. The infrastructure hasn’t changed enough. And there are a lot more cyclists today than there were, [and much of the infrastructure] was built in the 1980s.” Van Es has a point. Bicycles outnumber people in the Netherlands , and the average citizen cycles more than 600 miles a year. Additionally, over one-fourth of the population bikes to work. It’s because of this that parking garages such as the one in development are in high demand. Related: The Netherlands is converting prisons into homes for refugees The Guardian reports that the Utrecht train station is an ideal location for the parking garage, as 40 percent of commuters who arrive there do so by riding a bike. And, according to Tatjana Stenfert, the project manager at Utrecht station’s square, even more bike parking will be added to the area in the future. She said, “We will have 12,500 places by the end of 2018. But then we will have to do some research and find more places for the bikes . It never stops. I look around and everyone is trying hard to find spaces – trying hard and fast.” + CU2030 Via The Guardian , Curbed Images via CU2030

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Worlds largest bike parking garage opens in the Netherlands

Couple buys 100% sun-powered home built for the Solar Decathlon

July 28, 2017 by  
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This 100% solar-powered home has been sitting in Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens for the past ten years – but the tiny aluminum structure will soon serve a new role as a permanent home. The net-zero MiSo House was built for the 2005 Solar Decathlon , however it will soon be home to Lisa and Matt Gunneson, who are moving the 660-square-feet green energy machine piece-by-piece to their property in north Michigan. Designed by architecture students and faculty from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan , the compact, aluminum-clad home is completely powered by solar energy . The aluminum-clad exterior and rounded shape were inspired by the monocoque designs from the aircraft and automobile industries. After debuting in the 2005 Solar Decathlon, the MiSo House was installed as an exhibition in the university’s botanical gardens, but after ten years on-site the home is being shipped to its new location. The home features a number of solar energy systems including rooftop PV panels, solar thermal panels connected to radiant flooring, and even an energy recovery ventilator system. One unique feature is the home’s “solar chimney”, which heats air in glass spaces along the home’s south facade. The heated air is then circulated through the curve of the roof to provide heat for the interior in winter time. Excess energy is stored in batteries installed underneath the structure’s flooring. The MiSo’s solar systems provide enough power for 100% of the home’s electricity needs – from appliances and lighting to heating. Many of the home’s furnishings, such as the eco-friendly sunflower-board kitchen cabinets, were constructed using low-chemical processes , which further reduced the home’s overall footprint. After purchasing the home at auction, the Gunnesons hired remodeling contractor Meadowlark Design + Build to break down the home’s modular components in order to transport it to their home in Evart, Michigan. In a fun twist of fate, two students who worked on the home’s original design now work on the Meadowlark team. + The MiSo House + Meadowlark Design + Build Via Homecrux

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Couple buys 100% sun-powered home built for the Solar Decathlon

Dutch studio unveils colorful solar-powered village for area homeless

July 20, 2017 by  
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Studio Elmo Vemijs from the Netherlands has created a beautiful tiny home village on the outskirts of Eindhoven to help those who find themselves in dire straits. The architects designed the neighborhood layout as well as the solar-powered , 355-square-feet homes to meet the specific needs of the residents. The inspiration for the village came from the Dutch phrase “Skaeve Huse” – roughly translated as “special homes for special people.” Working in collaboration with social housing organization, The Trudo Housing Corporation , the architects designed the tiny homes specifically for individuals suffering from mental illness, drug addiction, and anyone that simply has trouble living in a traditional home environment. Most Skaeve Huses are typically temporary shelters , but with this particular project, the team wanted to create a community of permanent, energy-neutral homes that could offer long-term benefits to the residents as well as the surrounding community. Related: Missouri community is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans Located on a tree-filled plot of land, the neighborhood is comprised out of a series of small, energy-efficient homes. All of the structures are made out of a corrugated steel facade with protruding window frames, but each has a unique color scheme. The interior layouts include an entrance hall, living room, kitchen, bathroom along with large windows that provide optimal natural light on the interior. Studio Elmo Vermijs designed the houses as well as the landscape architecture. Using the abundance of existing trees as a guide for the layout, walking paths were created that lead from home to home. The organization of the village gives each resident plenty of privacy and independence, but without creating an atmosphere of isolation. The surrounding greenery along with the home’s cheerful colors provide the village with a vibrant, fun atmosphere. + Studio Elmo Vermijs Via Curbed Images via Studio Elmo Vemijs  

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Cecil the lion’s son shot and killed by trophy hunter

July 20, 2017 by  
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In 2015, Cecil the lion was reportedly lured out of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to be slaughtered by American dentist Walter Palmer. But lion hunting in the area hasn’t stopped. A group that calls themselves Lions of Hwange National Park recently said Cecil’s son, Xanda, was shot on a trophy hunt . Xanda was just over six years old and was the father of multiple cubs. Lions of Hwange National Park said Xanda was shot a few days ago. Professional hunter Richard Cooke of RC Safaris was part of the shoot, and Lions of Hwange National Park said Cooke killed Xanda’s brother around two years ago, when the brother around four years old. Related: U.S. dentist will not be prosecuted in Zimbabwe for killing Cecil the lion Cooke’s hunt was legal, according to researcher Andrew Loveridge of Oxford University , who is part of a team that monitored the national park’s lions with electronic collars. Cooke apparently returned the collar, cluing researchers in to Xanda’s demise. Loveridge told The Telegraph, “I fitted it last October. It was monitored almost daily and we were aware that Xanda and his pride was spending a lot of time out of the park in the last six months, but there is not much we can do about that. Richard Cooke is one of the ‘good’ guys. He is ethical and he returned the collar and communicated what had happened. His hunt was legal and Xanda was over six years old so it is all within the stipulated regulations.” He said he hopes for a five kilometer, or 3.1 mile, exclusion zone around the park so collared lions that wander out won’t be shot by hunters anymore. The Telegraph reported Cooke did not answer his phones the day they published their article. It’s unclear who his client was, although the publication said most lion shooters hail from the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, or Germany. The client could have forked over around £40,000, or close to $52,000 for the hunt and the lion’s head for mounting where they live. Via Lions of Hwange National Park and The Telegraph Images via Bert Duplessis/Lions of Hwange National Park on Facebook

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Cecil the lion’s son shot and killed by trophy hunter

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