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Is Your Neighborhood's Urban Design Making You Sick?

by , 08/21/14

Wesley Marshall, Daniel Piatkowski, Norman Garrick, University of Colorado Denver, Savannah State University, University of Connecticut, urban design, walkable cities, suburban sprawl, obesity, public health, commuting, cars, heart disease, diabetes, do cul-de-sacs make you fat

“What is the influence of street network design on public health?” This question prompted a recent study that has just been published in the Journal of Transport & Health. While much has been said about the impact of various aspects of the built environment on obesity levels, heart disease, cancer rates and so forth, this study particularly focused on street layouts: comparing the health of residents of car-friendly cul-de-sacs with residents of walkable, densely networked inner cities. So, which of these makes you more sick?

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How Building a Treehouse Led to a Career in Arbortecture

by , 08/21/14
filed under: Architecture, Treehouses

Feider Copper Nest

Many children spend hours playing in treehouses, but only a select few of them turn that pursuit into a career path. As a nod to days of youthful splendor, a then-23-year-old Dustin Feider created the ideal, eco-friendly version of a tree sanctuary for his final thesis project at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s infamous geodesic dome, Feider discovered that by following Bucky’s lead, he could use less material and construct a more stable structure than that of the “traditional” treehouse—most importantly, without harming the supporting tree at all. Whether by intention or kismet, Feider now runs a company called O2 Treehouse, which specializes in custom “arbor-textural creations”, and has designed dozens of structures around the globe.

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Petit Romain's Square Heineken Bottles Save Space in Your Six-Pack

by , 08/21/14

Heineken, Heineken cube, beer bottle, square beer bottle, Petit Romain, packaging design

There are those who love beer, and then there are those who obsess about it, constantly looking for ways to take both the brew and it’s delivery system to the next level. It’s probably safe to say Petit Romain is one of the latter. This French industrial designer recently conceived of a way to take beer outside the bottle. Tired of round bottles in six-packs that clink together and are difficult to stack, Romain imagined enjoying Heineken out of a square bottle instead.

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Segway-esque UPnRIDE Standing Wheelchair Allows Quadriplegics to "Walk" Again

by , 08/21/14

UPnRIDE, ReWalk, quadriplegic, standing wheelchair, Segway

Israeli innovation has once again introduced potentially life-changing technology to the world. Dr. Amit Goffer gave millions of paraplegics (paralyzed from waist down) the opportunity to stand upright and walk with his ReWalk exoskeleton invention. But the incredible device from Israel’s Argo Medical Technologies can only be used by 10 percent of handicapped individuals. So what about quadriplegics, including Dr. Goffer, who don’t have full use of their arms? The UPnRIDE is a Segway for quadriplegics — a standing wheelchair that provides stability for all terrain use.

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Promising Alabama Pilot Project Turns Algae to Biofuel - Using Sewage!

by , 08/21/14
filed under: News

algae, biofuel, diesel, systems, pacific, northwest, lab, hydrothermal, liquefaction, sewage,

Let’s face it. Algae aren’t very exciting. But the prospect of creating a viable source of biofuel from these microscopic organisms is, and a Nevada company is finally starting to make a go of it with their pilot plant off the coast of Alabama that uses sewage as fertilizer. Making biofuels out of algae is nothing new, but thus far creating a large-scale operation to extract lipids and create fuel from them has been nonviable because the process is complicated and expensive. But according to the New York Times, Nevada-based Algae Systems has a pilot plant in Alabama it says can turn a profit making diesel fuel from algae, along with several other functions including: generating clean water from municipal sewage used to fertilize the algae, using carbon-heavy residue for fertilizer, and generating credits for advanced biofuels.

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So-Called "Ugliest House in Queens" is Actually an Eco-Friendly Breath of Fresh Air

by , 08/21/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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Chic BlueSky Home Soaks Up the Sun to Make Desert Life Easy and Efficient

by , 08/21/14

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Sou Fujimoto's Spindly Bus Shelter in Austria Deemed Unsafe by Authorities

by , 08/21/14
filed under: Architecture, News

green design, eco design, sustainable design, BUS:STOP, Sou Fujimoto, Krumbach, Austira, 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, Fujimoto bus stop closed

Sou Fujimoto’s delicate-looking bus shelter in Krumbach, Austria was just shut down by authorities who deemed it unsafe for the public. Built as part of the BUS:STOP project that brought seven architects to the small Austrian Village, the bus shelter extends into the sky with levels of stilted platforms. Austrian police said the structure does not follow regulations for building safety, and it will no longer be open for passengers to climb upon it while waiting for the bus.

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BMW Unveils Beautiful Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Point in Germany

by , 08/21/14

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Amazing Aquarium Island Turns Your Kitchen Into an Underwater Ecosystem

by , 08/21/14

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Brilliant Device Could Completely Replace Crutches!

by , 08/21/14

Behzad Rashidi Sit & Stand,  Sit & Stand Walking Assistant, James Dyson Foundation, Dyson Award, design for health, crutches design, hands-free crutches, medical aid device, student design

It is astonishing that the design of crutches hasn’t changed much since they were invented about 100 years ago. Behzad Rashidi’s brilliant Sit & Stand Walking Assistant addresses this anachronism and reconfigures the crutch into a hands-free aid that uses upper body strength to support the weight of an injured leg. The design was submitted as an entry to James Dyson Foundation’s annual Dyson Award.

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Renovo Unveils All-Electric Supercar With a $529,000 Price Tag

by , 08/21/14

renovo motors, renovo coupe, electric car, shelby, electric sports car, green car, green transportation, electric motor, renovo sports car, Christopher Heiser, Jason Stinson

Silicon Valley-based startup Renovo Motors just unveiled one of the world’s most spectacular all-electric sports cars: the Renovo Coupe. The Renovo Coupe borrows its chassis from the Shelby CSX 9000 and it’s powered by a 500 horsepower electric motor and a 740 volt battery pack. But all that power doesn’t come cheap – only 100 units are planned for production and prices start at an astonishing $529,000.

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Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice for the First Time

by , 08/21/14
filed under: Animals, News

Europa life, Titan life, life in our solar system, life in space, life under the Antarctic, space exploration, looking for life in space, Antarctic exploration, University of Montana, University of Montana Antarctic exploration, University of Montana Antarctic study, Antarctic ice study, microorganisms in the Antarctic, life under ice, life without sunlight

Everyone knows that without sunlight and air, life can’t survive, right? Wrong. Scientists have long suspected that life may be humming along in some of the world’s least hospitable environments – like underneath the Antarctic ice. Now a group of researchers from Montana State University have the evidence to prove it. Half a mile below the Antarctic ice, they found living microorganisms, which begs the question: could life exist outside of our planet?

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A New Floating Library is Coming to NYC!

by , 08/21/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Floating Library, Lilac Museum Steamship, pop up library New York, repurposed boats Manhattan, Beatrice Glow, Amanda Thackray Katarina Jerinic

Get out your reading glasses because a new floating library is coming to NYC next month! From September 6th to October 3rd, the Lilac Museum Steamship at Pier 25 will be transformed into a pop-up library on the water. Conceived by artist Beatrice Glow, the Floating Library will offer a reading deck with fantastic views of the city as well as a steady schedule of special programming, roundtable talks, performances and workshops.

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Solar-Powered Desert Flower Will Be Libya's First Multifunctional Sports Center

by , 08/21/14

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See the Creative Way This Brooklyn Warehouse is Being Saved From Demolition

See the Creative Way This Brooklyn Warehouse is Being Saved From…

Looks like we can add another Brooklyn warehouse to the saved local architecture list. Cayuga Capital Management has hopped on the adaptive reuse bandwagon by deciding to "restyle" an…

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Citi Bike Unveils Slightly Less Confusing Kiosks Created by Design Students

Citi Bike Unveils Slightly Less Confusing Kiosks Created by Design…

Citi Bike has announced that its kiosks will be getting a much-needed makeover thanks to a few first-year design students. Last year, the bike company participated in Jill Nussbaum’s…

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Dramatic Bamboo Blossom Gate Mimics Chinese Calligraphy Brush Strokes in Hubei

Dramatic Bamboo Blossom Gate Mimics Chinese Calligraphy Brush Strokes…

Like many of Penda's works, Blossom Gate celebrates bamboo architecture by using the sturdy grass for both the inner framework and the facade. Located in front of the city's largest…

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Monolithic Maiden Tower Contrasts Wildly with Austria's Picturesque Alpine Environment

Monolithic Maiden Tower Contrasts Wildly with Austria's Picturesque…

The vertical structure creates a visual contrast to the surrounding landscape, not only in its geometry but also through its use of materials. The conspicuous steel envelope pops out of…

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Concerned Supermodel Cindy Crawford Pulls Kids Out of Toxic School

Concerned Supermodel Cindy Crawford Pulls Kids Out of Toxic School

We recently wrote about Malibu Unites, an inspirational coalition of concerned parents, teachers, community members, and public figures from across the U.S. who are attempting to rid…

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