When Costa Rica's brightest young architects, designers, and creatives get together, the results speak for themselves. Such a wide array of talent was exhibited at the show. The variety of installations, mediums, and expression was mind blowing. The beauty of this show was the interaction. The ability to touch, use, enjoy all of this art was amazing. This interactive experience allows one to form a greater bond and truly grasp things we see. Shows like this one need to go on, as the collaboration and the exhibition of young talent is priceless. Its a rare glimpse into the minds of the future, to see what envelopes are being pushed, what crazy ideas are popping up, and what norms are being shattered. Unless people take risks and step out onto the limb, it is hard to get good results. This show was about risks, it was about the cutting edge, and it was about creativity. The ideators, dreamers, and open minds behind this show succeed beyond their imagination, and not just because of the turn-out but rather the reaction their pieces evoked. Fore this is the true award - the look on the faces of those who have been moved and enlightened by these installations. I look forward to seeing further collaborations of this kind![gallery link="file" order="DESC" columns="2"]
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We expend a lot of energy in our every day lives, whether walking or driving, it seems only logical that we recycle that expended energy. Remember, energy can never be destroyed rather only transferred.
Any one point on a busy street can receive up to 50,000 steps a day, so imagine if you could take all that foot traffic and turn it into something useful – like energy! A new product designed by Laurence Kemball-Cook, the director of Pavegen Systems Ltd., can do just that. With a minuscule flex of 5mm, the energy generating pavement is able to absorb the kinetic energy produced by every footstep, creating 2.1 watts of electricity per hour.
This is one of a number of beautiful wind turbines I've seen hit the market recently. I like this as it plays into architecture, because one does not have to sacrifice beauty for sustainability. If people are to incorporate wind turbines into their homes and everyday lives, someone has to make them beautiful. Philippe Starck just created one as well, so this sentiment is obviously a growing one in the community. I think its awesome that people are branching out to do this. I've been interested in this since some of my earliest posts (see energy ball etc.), I think the future will see a lot of innovation in this regard, and I can't wait.
Are living green buildings just around the corner? A report recently released by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers suggests that sealed containers of algae photobioreactors could be integrated into the sides of buildings to produce biofuels and sequester carbon, adding a whole new meaning to the term ‘green building’. As the algae grows it sucks up CO2 from the surrounding air which can then be stored.
Grand! Sustainable and beautiful.
Internationally acclaimed designer Michael Jantzen continues to wow us with his architectural and renewable energy wonders. His newest brainchild, the Sun Rays Pavilion, consists of 12 massive columns that rise out of the earth like giant crystals reaching for the sun. Appropriate, because the acutely slanted building relies on the sun’s rays alone for power. Jantzen has many other designs for renewable energy pavilions, like his Wind Shaped Kinetic Pavilion or his Solar Wind Pavilion. This latest design is outfitted with photovoltaic film to generate electricity in order to power the pavilion and sell any excess to the grid. Continue reading at Inhabitat...
What I like about this, is that a version of this had been on the drawing boards for years, but this is finally in production as evidenced by the image below. Using currents to push a buoy, that then pushes a piston/lever and captures the energy created is a great idea. Something similar was created in France that floats on the waters surface to do the same.
Recently Edinburgh-based company Aquamarine Power unveiled plans to install a new type of wave power system in place in the seabed off the Orkney Islands coast. Dubbed the Oyster, the system utilizes an on-shore base that is much easier to maintain than standard wave power designs, and the system is capable of operating at shallow depths, making it more consistent than systems that operate far out at sea. Each unit is capable of producing 300-600kw of electricity, so a commercial farm of ten units could provide clean energy for a town of 3,000 homes!
Read More at Inhabitat...
Vertical Gardens Coming Strong
When Patrick Blanc was a boy, he suspended plants from his bedroom wall and ran their roots into a fish tank. The greenery received nourishment from the diluted—ahem—fertilizer and purified the water in return. Forty-five years on, the French botanist's gardens have grown massive in scale. One inside a Portuguese shopping mall is larger than four tennis courts, and there's one in Kuwait that's almost as big. But Blanc's recently completed facade for the Athenaeum hotel in London (shown) could be his most high-profile project yet. Looming over Green Park, it's an eight-story antigravity forest composed of 12,000 plants. Read More...
I've been following Waterpod for a while partly because its a barge project, which makes me very happy. Anyone bringing progress to the barge movement is in my good graces. Moreover they try to highlight community living, eco-conscious living, and art. Right on I say, right on...
The Waterpod ProjectTM has been floating around the New York area for the past few months gaining a lot of attention. Beginning in Newtown Creek, between Brooklyn and Queens, the Pod is moving down the East River and Hudson River. As reported by Melena Ryzik for The New York Times (view her articles here) this experimental project investigates the blend of community living and artistry. Showcasing artworks, performances and such, the WaterpodTM, is an eco-conscious environment that was designed “In preparation for our coming world with an increase in population, a decrease in usable land, and a greater flux in environmental conditions, people will need to rely closely on immediate communities and look for alternative living models; the Waterpod is about cooperation, collaboration, augmentation, and metamorphosis,” explained Mary Mattingly, a photographer who thought of the Waterpod idea.
The Sage Residence: Super High Scoring LEED Platinum Home
by Bridgette Meinhold
LEED, LEED Platinum, LEED Platinum Residence, Oregon, Arbor South Architecture, sage residence arbor south, arbor south architecture, pacific northwest architecture, solar panels, solar hot water, recycled paper countertops, daylighting
LEED residences are becoming a standard item these days, but this particular residence hit our radar because of the high LEED score and its stunning appearance. The Sage Residence in Eugene, Oregon was designed and built by Arbor South Architecture, and received an impressive score of 110 in the LEED rating system — higher than USGBC founder David Gottfried’s LEED Platinum home, which only received 106.5 points. Beautiful inside and out, the home is a perfect example of how green homes can be beautiful, energy efficient and create minimal impact on the environment.
Peter Nelson is the man when it comes to tree houses
Challenging convention, these designs are the manifestation of dreams. These dreamers saw their ideas to the finish line and made them a reality. In a short period of time, we'll get some tree houses going in Costa Rica, it's been a long time dream of mine. Another dream of mine is to go above the trees, so we are in the design phase for our resort above the trees at our Miramar property (images coming soon). Its eco-friendly and a killer view. Plus there aren't many resorts in the world that are above the trees! Great to see that there is a whole category of crazies like me who dream to live in and above the trees. (Nelson being president of the crazies!)
Global warming is the new religion of First World urban elites
Geologist Ian Plimer takes a contrary view, arguing that man-made climate change is a con trick perpetuated by environmentalists
By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun
Ian Plimer has outraged the ayatollahs of purist environmentalism, the Torquemadas of the doctrine of global warming, and he seems to relish the damnation they heap on him.
Plimer is a geologist, professor of mining geology at Adelaide University, and he may well be Australia's best-known and most notorious academic.
Plimer, you see, is an unremitting critic of "anthropogenic global warming" -- man-made climate change to you and me -- and the current environmental orthodoxy that if we change our polluting ways, global warming can be reversed.
\Plimer presents the proposition that anthropogenic global warming is little more than a con trick on the public perpetrated by fundamentalist environmentalists and callously adopted by politicians and government officials who love nothing more than an issue that causes public anxiety.
While environmentalists for the most part draw their conclusions based on climate information gathered in the last few hundred years, geologists, Plimer says, have a time frame stretching back many thousands of millions of years.
The dynamic and changing character of the Earth's climate has always been known by geologists. These changes are cyclical and random, he says. They are not caused or significantly affected by human behaviour.
Polar ice, for example, has been present on the Earth for less than 20 per cent of geological time, Plimer writes. Plus, animal extinctions are an entirely normal part of the Earth's evolution.
Plimer gets especially upset about carbon dioxide, its role in Earth's daily life and the supposed effects on climate of human manufacture of the gas. He says atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at the lowest levels it has been for 500 million years, and that atmospheric carbon dioxide is only 0.001 per cent of the total amount of the chemical held in the oceans, surface rocks, soils and various life forms. Indeed, Plimer says carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but a plant food. Plants eat carbon dioxide and excrete oxygen. Human activity, he says, contributes only the tiniest fraction to even the atmospheric presence of carbon dioxide.
There is no problem with global warming, Plimer says repeatedly. He points out that for humans periods of global warming have been times of abundance when civilization made leaps forward. Ice ages, in contrast, have been times when human development slowed or even declined.
So global warming, says Plimer, is something humans should welcome and embrace as a harbinger of good times to come.
Floating Urban Beach Barge in Budapest
Rare pleasure of a new barge project. We're not the only crazy one's!
Hungary-based design team Urban Landscape Group recently completed an extraordinary summer project that allows visitors to float down the Danube in a portable pool! Dubbed Barge Beach Budapest, the sandy sailing island acts as a contemporary Turkish bath and open air pool situated in the waterways between the river’s edges. The pop up beach is constructed from three recycled barges and provides residents with a brand new public space to bask in the sun.
Building Living Structures
A young group of German architects are bending trees to their will to form a new breed of living architecture. The team is calling their tree-shaping system “Botany Building,” and while it may not be the cure to climate change, it’s an incredibly interesting way to create living structures.
Full article at Inhabitat
B+N Wall Panels
B+N Industries is an innovative designer and manufacturer of products and systems for the retail, architectural, and consumer industries (available to the trade only). With the launch of their Iconic Furniture in February, 2009 and new additions to their Iconic Panels (great looking modern carved wall panels), they have a huge selection of modern architectural accents that are both good for your decor and the environment.