Woven bamboo pavilion offers shelter to passion fruit farmers in China

August 18, 2017 by  
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A team of students at the University of Hong Kong is exploring the limitless potential of bamboo as a sustainable alternative to conventional building materials. After completing a glowing pavilion in their hometown, they designed another innovative bamboo structure– this time in China– using traditional weaving techniques and digital technologies. The 215-square-foot Sun Room pavilion is located in the village of Peitian, amidst a passion fruit plantation. The structure references the area’s cultural history, and it provides shelter from storms and sun while serving as a tea house where farmers can rest and relax. Related: Elegant bamboo bridge adds unexpected beauty to ancient Chinese town In an attempt to revive the ancient craft of bamboo weaving, the design team worked with the last remaining bamboo weaver in the village. They also used digital software and CNC machines to come up with an optimal wave-like form. The outer shell of the pavilion is made from woven bamboo, while the pine load-bearing structure was sourced regionally and cut by local carpenters. Related: Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms “Tools and jigs were developed and then digitally fabricated at HKU using the faculty CNC and robotic equipment,” said HKU architecture course leader Donn Holohan. “These elements along with the pattern maps allowed the villagers to achieve the complex form without a prior training in the craft of bamboo weaving ,” he added. + University of Hong Kong (HKU) Via Dezeen

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Woven bamboo pavilion offers shelter to passion fruit farmers in China

Compact OffGridBox provides clean drinking water and power where it’s needed most

August 18, 2017 by  
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An Italian company has developed a compact solution for communities that lack access to clean drinking water and electricity – the OffGridBox . Measuring 6x6x6 feet, the container cube features everything necessary to generate, convert and store solar energy , as well as collect, treat and distribute clean drinking water . But the system does have drawbacks – including a $15,000 price point that’s hard to justify in certain corners of the world. Read on to learn how the founders are trying to scale their innovative solution for maximum impact. According to Fast Company, “Founder and CEO Emiliano Cecchini has sold a few of the units, but he worries he’s not yet found the formula to take his invention to scale.” “We’re looking for the next system to scale,” Cecchini told FastCo. “The idea came three years ago and, yeah, we’re kind of struggling to make it bigger. Back in Italy, it’s not easy to find the right financing strategy, mentors, and accelerator programs.” Related: Desert Twins produce drinking water in the driest place on Earth It’s a pity, because OffGridBox has the capability to serve up to 1,500 people per unit, the company says, and that’s without any upgrades. The basic model comes equipped with 12 solar modules, an inverter and battery storage. This system provides enough power to charge 300 battery packs that can each charge three LED lights for four hours and two cell phones, according to FastCo. OffGridBox also has a built-in water filtration system that produces food-quality drinking water, and a built-in storage tank that holds up to 396 gallons. That’s potentially life-changing for communities that lack good infrastructure. The company is persevering with a new model that will charge end users a nominal fee to use the station. “The new model is pay-as-you-go micro-payments, local contractors, and local empowerment,” Cecchini told FastCo. A family of four will pay 12 US cents per day for water, and the battery packs are subsidized by the company. They’re testing this new tactic in Rwanda , where the company plans to install units in 18 villages. Eventually they hope to equip the boxes with Wi-Fi. Head over to FastCo for the full story . + OffGridBox

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Compact OffGridBox provides clean drinking water and power where it’s needed most

Huge circular windows flood Melbourne’s Cirqua Apartments with natural light

August 18, 2017 by  
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Huge circular windows flood the interior of this funky apartment block in Melbourne with natural light. BKK Architects designed the Cirqua Apartments as a series of staggered volumes that reference the region’s historical housing while reinterpreting it in a modern way. The block occupies a steeply sloping site in a residential neighborhood in Melbourne. Its exterior is dominated by huge porthole windows that span almost the full height of the six cubes. The openings bring natural light into the interior and maximize the connection of the project to the surrounding garden. Related: 6,000 Circular Windows Flood Japan’s Kanazawa Library With Light The open-plan interiors feature a lot of natural materials and warm colors, with circular light fittings echoing the circular windows. White walls, marble and wood create a delicate visual balance. Beside its remarkable design features, the project also creates a precedent in the area’s multi-residential market. It was built to appeal to owner-occupiers rather than buy-to-let investors. + BKK Architects Via Dezeen Lead photo by Peter Bennetts

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Huge circular windows flood Melbourne’s Cirqua Apartments with natural light

Jacob Haim’s RaceBRAID Bike Features a Frame Woven From Carbon Fibers

November 26, 2012 by  
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German industrial designer Jacob Haim has teamed up with Munich Composites to develop a super-light carbon fiber bike with a frame that is woven instead of welded. As a thesis project for his degree in applied technology and science from FH Joanneum- Graz , Haim worked with Munich Composites to make the raceBRAID, which can be produced with virtually no waste and weighs in at a scant 11 pounds. Braiding is normally done by hand, but in order to weave a collection of fibers tightly enough that they can be used to build a bike, Haim had to employ some sophisticated machinery. “The fibers are braided into a tube, which then feeds them into to a shaping core,” explains the Munich Composites website. “The fibers are treated with resin and cured. The braiding technique offers the advantage of fully automating the fiber deposition. This minimizes the manual work previously required and possible sources of error are eliminated.” But why go through all of this trouble? As Haim  told Bicycle Design , “no material waste, low error rate, customized to the individual needs.” He also feels that it creates “a connection between high class engineering and the spirit of design.” Although it’s unlikely that the RaceBRAID will reach mainstream consumers anytime soon, the process of building it proves that there’s no such thing as thinking too far outside the box when looking for new materials. + Jacob Haim Via Core77

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Jacob Haim’s RaceBRAID Bike Features a Frame Woven From Carbon Fibers

Ice Womb is a Geometric Warming Hut for Chilly Ice Skaters

November 26, 2012 by  
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Melnyk designed Ice Womb’s exterior to harmonize with the natural magic of the winter landscape. The glistening façade mirrors the snow and ice of the frozen lake or pond it is placed near, extending the winter wonderland created after a crisp snowfall. From afar the cold weather respite can blend seamlessly into the winterscape, appearing as an oasis when skaters get closer to the structure. After a few spins around the ice, skaters can take a breather and warm up their noses in the comfort of Ice Womb. Contrasting from the frozen scenery outsid e, the glowing womb is cozy and inviting. A red cavern like space welcomes visitors through entrances on all sides of the cubes. Inside, skaters can take a rest and lounge in different cut outs in the plush red interior. Areas for standing, sitting, lounging and reclining are created on each of the four facades, and connect in the interior. Plush red pillows line each area of the interior, creating a supported and comfy place to sit with friends before taking to the ice again. Melnyk’s Ice Womb is a pop up warming hut that could bring warmth to frozen waters in any region. + Virginia Melnyk Via Archinect

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Ice Womb is a Geometric Warming Hut for Chilly Ice Skaters

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