Did you know that Feng Shui practitioners were some of the first environmentalists in the world? Many people are unaware that the basis of Feng Shui is synonymous with green design, as its essence is centered around mastering a connection with the natural world. So, when exactly does a green home become a sanctuary? We had the opportunity to review Feng Shui expert and LEED accredited Architect Anjie Cho‘s latest book for a true how-to on the subject: 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing Organic Homes. Read on for our review, and a glimpse inside this practical, DIY guide to creating a truly holistic space.
In 1836, Swedish mycologist Elias Fries called the chanterelle “one of the most important and best edible mushrooms.” They are also incredibly nutritious – in addition to containing vitamin C and potassium, chanterelles are among the richest known sources of vitamin D. As ubiquitous as it is delicious, the golden chanterelle occurs all over the globe – from North America to Europe, Asia and Africa. Nevertheless, the meaty, funnel-shaped mushroom has a wild spirit that resists domestication, so if you’d like to savor its distinctive flavor, you’ll probably have to find it yourself – which is part of its wonderful charm! We recently stumbled across some chanterelles while hiking in Yellowwood State Forest just outside of Bloomington, Indiana. We picked a few, sautéed them, and ate them with our camp-cooked pasta, and liked them so much, we went back a couple of days later for more. Watch our video or hit the jump to find out how you can find your own chanterelles, which false species to avoid, and how to cook them up for a special treat you won’t soon forget.
When Inhabitat design writer, Bridgette Meinhold, heard about the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the massive devastation it caused, she wanted to help, and was drawn to start investigating different options for temporary shelters and disaster relief housing. This exploration gradually broadened to a larger focus on design for disaster-preparedness; seeking out what type of shelters can best withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, rising sea levels and tornados. Now I’m thrilled to say that after years of research, Bridgette has just published an incredible new book entitled Urgent Architecture: 40 Sustainable Housing Solutions for a Changing World. Urgent Architecture showcases inspiring and innovative ideas for resilient design – design that will withstand the test of time – surviving climate change, rising sea levels, manmade and natural disasters. I recently had a chance to interview Bridgette about her new book at Inhabitat HQ in NYC, and she gave me some fascinating insight into her inspiration for the book, the impact climate change will have on future housing and what she believes is necessary to create a more sustainable and responsive built landscape. Watch the video above for the interview, and if you want to learn more, you can get your own copy of Urgent Architecturehere.
A full transcript of the interview with pics is available after the jump.
In the old days, if you wanted a solar panel, you had to buy one of those giant clunky things that were not only pricey, but also a real pain in the you-know-what to install. But times have changed, thanks to companies like Voltaic Systems who are leading the charge with a new generation of affordable, durable, and portable solar panels. When they heard that I was converting my Ford Transit Connect XL into a self-sufficient live and work eco-mobile, Voltaic generously donated a pair of 17-watt solar panels, along with accompanying V72 batteries, that I can use to charge my cell phone and laptop far from any electrical outlet. I decided to pop them on the roof of my van and turn my van into a lean, green live-work machine. And the best part? I didn’t have to drill a single hole in my van to install them.
What if you could power your iPhone from thin air? Making wires redundant was one of Nikola Tesla’s biggest dreams – a dream University of Washington researchers want to fulfill with PoWiFi. Shyam Gollakota and his team recently demonstrated technology at EmTech Digital in San Francisco that harvests ambient ‘backscatter’ radio signals to power battery-free temperature and camera sensors. The technology can also be used to charge nickel–metal hydride and lithium-ion coin-cell batteries at distances of up to 28 feet. In a recent paper describing their work, called Powering the Next Billion Devices with Wi-Fi, the researchers provide a detailed description of how they successfully powered devices over WiFi using existing Wi-Fi chipsets–without reducing the router’s performance. Details after the jump.
Jello, LEGO and booze are three things that we hold near and dear to our hearts, so when we saw a chance to combine them and create the trifecta known as the vegetarian LEGO “jello” shot, we knew we had to seize it. As you might know, jello is actually not vegetarian because it’s made from gelatin, which contains the skin, bones, and connective tissue of cows and other animals. So we decided to use agar agar–a vegan gelling agent derived from seaweed–for our recipe. That means you can guiltlessly serve these fun edible LEGO minifigs to your vegetarian friends, and you can also leave the liquor out if any of your guests are children (or teetotalers). The recipe is easy – read on for the step-by-step tutorial!
Since 1989, and the release of Back to the Future, Part II, the world has been anxiously waiting for the ability to scoot over the sidewalk on their own personal hoverboards. There’s been some previous hints that it could become a reality, but today luxury automaker Lexus unveiled their sleek hoverboard. Footage shows the hoverboard working at a purpose-built skatepark in Spain, and the initial reports are that it’s almost awesome, and absolutely not going to be available to the public any time soon.
Somewhere between a dusty Americana and West African groove lies the soulful grit and instrumentally diverse folk-rock sound evoked from The Barr Brothers. The Montreal-based quartet features mesmerizing slide guitar, evocative vocals, and intense drumming, interwoven with soft, subtle harp drifts. Their rich, avant-garde sound is at its finest amongst the trees or atop a mountain — they’ve been known to play upon the rim of the Grand Canyon, welcoming tourists to film them. This year, they are sharing their unique sound at the 2015 Pickathon Music Festival, happening this weekend in Happy Valley, Oregon. Pickathon is the world’s most sustainable large-scale outdoor concert, and we can’t get enough of the sound.
We’ll be releasing a series of exclusive live music videos with Pickathon throughout the fall, so be sure to stay tuned for more new tracks coming from the wilderness of Happy Valley.
Outdoor concerts and music festivals are notorious for producing insane amounts of waste. From single use cups and beer cans, to the stages themselves, the egregious amounts of litter that is left behind at the end of a show is appalling. Luckily, there’s one indie music festival that is taking great strides to change the concert landscape, and they have great bands too! As the only environmentally-friendly large-scale outdoor music concert, Portland’s Pickathon Music Festival combines great indie bands with eco-designs in Happy Valley, Oregon, including a reusable stage made from 520 upcycled shipping pallets, solar powered lighting, recycling and composting. But if you couldn’t make it up to Oregon this past weekend, don’t fret — starting today Inhabitat will be introducing you to a whole lineup of emerging musicians at Pickathon with an exclusive live broadcast right here. Check out the video above!
In Australia, there is a fish that has lungs, can walk on dry land, and breathe air, for up to six days. It’s not a new species, but it’s on the move. This has scientists warning that if the reaches the mainland, it could be devastating to native species, who are simply not equipped to share an environment with a super-powered creature such as this.
It’s just one of those things: you’re on vacation in Spain, checking out the beauty of the Cies Islands after a morning of running around capturing the sights on your GoPro. You put your camera down on a wall, when it attracts the attention of a seagull. No biggie, it’s not as though it can eat it, right? But what it can do —and did— is snag the GoPro with its beak and take the camera for a scenic flyover along the coast. As the video shows, the owners of the camera had a moment of panic, but the seagull safely deposited the GoPro back down on solid ground, and left the brief, dizzying, but incredibly cool footage for all to view.
With the arrival of warm weather comes the pleasure of spending time outdoors. Whether it be enjoying the fresh air, the abundance of new greens and herbs or the ability to spend entire days outside, we just can’t get enough. So what could be better than combining them all into one splendid activity which replaces the need to grocery shop or make a trip to the gym? Here at Inhabitat, foraging – finding wild edibles near our house – is one of our favorite pastimes. Foraging is available to anyone with access to nature – whether that is a nearby urban park, your backyard or nearby patch of weeds. We recently set off on a foraging adventure in the urban jungle of New York City to collect wild salad greens in Central Park with NYC’s beloved master forager, “Wildman” Steve Brill. Read on for our recipe to make a delicious, locally foraged salad using common wild greens and herbs that can be found right in your local park.
In light of all the dire news related to climate change, rising sea levels and the natural disasters which have stricken numerous coastal areas around the world, we here at Inhabitat would like to highlight an interview Inhabitat Editor-in-Chief Jill Fehrenbacher conducted with architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.nl. A studio focused on designing for a future water world, Olthuis has been at the forefront of this once unconventional, yet now timely design vernacular. Olthuis says that despite our civilization’s history of trying to drain and fight against wet landscapes for the past thousand years, our best move for the future would be to “let water in and even make friends with the water.” Read on for the fascinating interview where Olthius describes his what designing for water landscapes worldwide really means.