What is about Apple stores that make them so irresistible? Obviously, the Buddhist mantra of eliminating all desire came well before the creation of the iPhone, iPod and MacBook Air. But awesome products aside, there’s something about the user friendly yet high design of the layout that whispers: “Come on in… and bring your credit card.”
London design firm Eckersley O’Callaghan was enlisted to help Apple transition from hardware supplier to global retailer with “the creation of spaces that matched their pioneering brand values and providing a fitting showcase for their cutting edge design.”
If you’re into modern modular home furnishings with hint of retro cool, look no further Brooklyn based green designers Brave Space Design. These guys have been racking up column inches in the hippest design publications — from Dwell and cool hunting to Surface and Plenty — and it’s easy to see why. The video game-inspired Tetrad Flat Shelving is a playful design classic, while the functional landscape of the Mountain Coat range rolls whimsical and practical into one. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
The Windy City just isn’t windy enough for Frances Whitehead and James Elniski. After investing $40,000 in wind turbines, the savings to them is only about $500 a year. In case you weren’t a math major, it’s going to take them 80 years to pay it off. Fortunately for the environment, Frances and James just don’t care.
Part art project, part science project, part office, part home, Frances and James have built what they consider the house of the future. Frances and James have no doubt that, in the future, the systems they’re using for energy and water collection will be standard. They’re both artists, and they consider their home DuChamp in reverse — bringing objects away from the realm of art and creating a highly functional house. Their friends tease them, saying it’s the biggest sculpture they’ve ever done.
I’ve heard of students roughing it, but sleeping in freight containers? That’s right. Only it’s not a case of desperate living or some torturous fraternity hazing — it’s a very cool,very useful idea developed by a Dutch company called TempoHousing. Lots of images after the jump
First conceived in the 1930s, the ISO dry freight container has been the universal shipping receptacle worldwide for the past fifty years. You’ve no doubt seen thousands of them in your lifetime.
But could you live in one? Before you say “No way, it’s too small” or “it’s too boring”, check this out: with standard dimensions of 40’ x 8’ x 8’6’, the containers can be stacked (a whopping 8,000 can fit on a large ship) and transported anywhere in the world via water, rail or road.
A new house often means relying on your friends. Friends can help you pack, they can loan you their pickup and/or help you move your belongings. Sometimes they can just be there to provide moral support while you get settled.
But if you’re looking at moving into one of Calearth’s Sand Bag Homes, your friends can be helpful in an altogether different way: they can actually help you build it.
Originally conceived as emergency shelters, sand bag homes use local earth-filled Superadobe coils (comprised of sandbags and barbed wire), which are stacked into your desired shape. It can be built quickly at a low cost and using the skills of ordinary humans. No construction workers required. As a relief shelter, architect Nader Khalili claims the structure is cheaper in materials than erecting a tent. (And it’s obviously more durable.)
Wind turbines, solar power and a parking system reminiscent of those pod things in “The Matrix”.That’s what you get if you buy into Atlanta’s soon-to-be-built Aquarius Tower. Aquarius reports to be built on the four elements: sun, wind, water, and earth.
The dedication to the sun and wind are the most sustainable parts of the tower. They will provide about 50% of the building’s electricity with an array of solar panels on the roof and five one-story wind turbines that take advantage of skyscraper winds. Each living unit also has floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing in plenty of light.
Want to be a homeowner but discouraged by the rising cost of housing? If you don’t require a lot of closet space –- more specifically, if you can live in a space the size of a closet –- a Tumbleweed House might be just what you need.
I’ll admit that when I first read about Jay Shafer’s tiny 100-square foot home, I thought it was ridiculous. Like a fully-functioning playhouse in a wealthy family’s backyard. But after watching the above video in which Shafer gives a tiny tour, Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Modern? Luxury? Green? Wow. Sounds like a job for G Living! And send me, please. We’re excited to be invited to the first ever Wired LivingHome. Off to Brentwood, California, taking you (wherever you are) to a residence that promises to serve as the benchmark for how we can live NOW. The future is here. NOW. We may not be fulfilling upon my vision of the future: the Jetsons with flying cars and instant pill meals (just add water)… but iPhones and electric cars come pretty close, and if you’re a total construction/architecture slut like me, these homes (if you’ve never seen one) make me want to swear. They’re cool. And this one is open to the public. We can get in, and you can, too.
Design 21 celebrates design of the most important kind: social design. Or design for the greater good. The organization believes that design’s true beauty rests in its ability to improve lives. This Social Design Network acts as a resource that supports collaborative efforts from creatives worldwide, united in their common desire to do good.
A recent Design 21 competition entitled Shelter Me, asked participants to “design a temporary emergency shelter for deployment in a natural disaster”. First prize went to the Lightweight Emergency Shelter, which was built for easy transportation and speedy deployment. The shelter is made from recycled polyester mesh and aluminum. Best of all you’ll never have that dreaded IKEA moment of missing a vital bolt or screw, as the structure comes as a single component. The foldable framework and polyester material are sewn as one piece to ensure set up is cinch. Simply lock the joints for a sturdy shelter experience.
Dismantling is simple too, just pop the joints and it folds up like origami for dummies. Given that the most of the shelter’s fabric is recycled, there’s minimal impact on the environment. You know, I think this shelter has applications other than just emergency situations. Wouldn’t it be perfect to take on beach picnics to shelter the little ‘uns from getting a sunburn? Or what about a Boy Scout camping trips? It would sure beat banging pegs into the ground. Although in this instance, it would probably mean no more badge for tent erection, if you know what I mean.
Here are two phrases I like hearing in reference to architectural design: “Ground breaking” and “leading by example”. Both are essential components of forward thinking, as far as I’m concerned. And both are in the Frontier Project’s lexicon, along with other essential terms like green building, technology and sustainable practices.
Hoping to lead by example, the Frontier Project’s goal is to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of designing and building green projects, and with the help of a cooperative of experts in Southern California’s Inland Empire, they’re gearing up to break ground tomorrow on a 14,000-square-foot demonstration facility.
Here’s a fascinating but seemingly impractical garment for you high-powered ladies who enjoy the outdoors: the eco-chic Day-For-Night dress. Created as a “celebration of the beauty of electronics”, this sexy white frock contains 448 white circuit boards tiles that accommodate solar cells, RGB LEDs or photocells and jumper connections in the form of 0 Ohm resistors. Power is provided by a control board that communicates with the tiles and links to your computer via RF.
For all of you non-dorks out there, this means the dress is designed to soak up solar energy during the day and be used as a high-fashion battery at night. Not sure why someone would want this (though I bet it would be super cool on a dance floor), but I supposed if you could somehow plug your TV into it, it could provide some nice off-the-grid entertainment. Not to mention lots of attention while you’re sitting in the park gathering energy from the sun’s rays.
Americans are made of corn and living in a state of denial about sustainability. These are the sentiments of I.D. contributing editor Barbara Flanagan. In the article titled “Too Yellow To Be Green”, she writes: “Corn and denial. We don’t want to know the ingredients of our food, or anything else — like our houses, cars, furniture, or clothing”. What’s more, according to a survey by Insight Express, 72 percent of us don’t know what plastic is made from (petrol, in case you were wondering).
Calling America “a nation that loves freedom from information”, Flanagan continues: “The comfort, speed and sheer bigness of American life depends on a tacit pact between leaders and voters and between manufacturers and consumers. We, the voters/consumers, promise not to get too curious, if you, the leaders/suppliers, just keep the good stuff coming fast and cheap.”