In 2010, Ron Mathis, Chief of Design for Edison2 managed to bring three of his cars to the final stages of the Progressive Automotive X-Prize competition. During the calm of the race we were lucky enough to get ahold of Ron and his team, who had been working non-stop for the past year designing vehicles capable of achieving 100 MPGe. Read on for our exclusive interview and a first-hand look at three of the world's most efficient cars!
Some of us were lucky enough to have moms or dads build treehouses for us – for the rest of us, there’s Benjamin Jones. The artist recently brought his colorful TreeHouse made of sustainable materials to Governor’s Island in NYC for the annual Figment Festival and it was an instant hit with kids and adults alike! We wanted to know more about the inspiration behind the arboreal home’s recycled design so we caught up with Benjamin to ask him everything from where he sourced his supplies to what cool interactive art projects he’ll be hatching next. Read on to see what he shared with us – including the real reason he decided to go for building the treehouse (read: a girl)!
Not only does Architecture for Humanity improve people's lives through architecture and design, but they have time to write books about it. Only six years after their first book comes Design Like You Give A Damn : Building Change From the Ground Up, a second work which chronicles over 100 projects from around the world that address issues such as disaster reconstruction, shelter, education, and the basic needs of communities. Edited by the amazing team at Architecture for Humanity and published by Abrams, DLYGAD goes more into detail about how each project came about and provides an informative source from which communities can learn to accomplish their own projects just the same. Recently we caught up with Kate Stohr, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, to find out more about this second book and the things she learned while working on it. PLUS, we're giving away a copy, so read on to hear Kate's answers and learn how you can win a book of your own!
In May, we were intrigued to learn that a futuristic eco-city was being planned for Fujisawa, Japan and last week we had the opportunity to speak with one of the people at the heart of this ambitious undertaking, Panasonic's Corporate Division for Promoting Energy Solution Business Director Haruyuki Ishio. Prior to now, there had been a lot of buzz about Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, but very little available details, so we were excited to ask Mr. Ishio the questions on everyone's mind: How will the houses be powered? How much will they cost? Has anyone purchased any of the homes yet? Read on for Mr. Ishio's answers and ask any questions you might have of your own in the comments - we will pass them onto him and hopefully get responses for you!
At Inhabitat, we love shiny new green buildings just as much as the next guy, but we're also firm believers that you don't always have to start completely from scratch to achieve optimal energy efficiency. In fact, the opposite is often true - and we recently had the privilege to speak with someone who knows quite a bit about that: co-founder of CodeGreen Solutions, Stephen Rizzo. Unlike many other companies, CodeGreen specializes in retrofitting and greening existing buildings, which - if you think about the saved construction costs and energy compared to building a completely new structure - makes a lot of sense. Read on for our full interview with Stephen, where he shares his thoughts on the future of green buildings and how his company has already managed the LEED certification of over 14 million square feet nation wide - including CodeGreen's own LEED-CI headquarters in NYC!
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Leo Marmol of Marmol Radziner about prefab architecture and sustainability. I asked him about his trajectory as a designer, and what opportunities he sees for prefab to have a larger impact on a wider, more affordable market. His response was thoughtful and optimistic, and provided some great insight into the mind of a forward-thinking and increasingly green designer. Hit the jump to watch the interview or read below for the full interview transcription.
As the policy director of the ocean conservation nonprofit 5Gyres.org, I can tell you that the problem of ocean plastic pollution is massive. In case you didn’t know, an ocean gyre is a rotating current that circulates within one of the world’s oceans – and recent research has found that these massive systems are filled with plastic waste. There are no great estimates (at least scientific) on how much plastic is in the ocean, but I can say from firsthand knowledge (after sailing to four of the world’s five gyres) that it’s so pervasive it confounds the senses. Gyre cleanup has often been floated as a solution in the past, and recently Boyan Slat’s proposed ‘Ocean Cleanup Array’ went viral in a big way. The nineteen-year-old claims that the system can clean a gyre in 5 years with ‘unprecedented efficiency’ and then recycle the trash collected. The problem is that the barriers to gyre cleanup are so massive that the vast majority of the scientific and advocacy community believe it’s a fool’s errand – the ocean is big, the plastic harvested is near worthless, and sea life would be harmed. The solutions starts on land.
Author Angela Youngman has released a guidebook that will immerse you in world of green roofs through case studies, imagery, and must-know terminology related to design, build, and installation of these vegetated scapes. Green Roofs is not a self-help manual, but rather a light read that takes a broad stroke look at many of the variables and considerations surrounding what should really be called “living buildings.”
When Inhabitat’s Architecture Editor, 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.
Just over a month ago, we showcased a product with the potential to revolutionize the still-new 3D printing industry: the ProDesk3D by botObjects. Hailed as the world’s first full-color 3D printer, the ProDesk3D allows designers to pick a desired palette and quickly print the final product with a five-color, re-usable PLA cartridge system. Since the ProDesk3D is only in the pre-order phase (and we were eager to know more), Inhabitat reached out to botObjects founders Martin Warner and Mike Duma to dig deeper into the development process of this ground-breaking product. Read on to find out why the ProDesk3D pushes the boundaries of 3D printing technology, and how it was designed to make self-fabrication accessible to a larger audience.
To hear R Nelson Parrish tell his story about his evolution as an artist, is to become an admirer of his talents as well as his passion for life. His latest installation, Color/Fast, opened at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, UT at the beginning of the month, and it is an exploration into color, speed and time. Among his works on display are 8-foot tall modern totems that were inspired by his native Alaska. We recently caught up with the former athlete and ski racer in Parrish in Park City before he headed back to his home in Santa Barbara. Read our interview with the artist ahead, as he discusses his bio-resin works, and how nature is so important to his art and his life.
World-renowned architect Koen Olthuis is the leading designer of floating structures -- he has built a number of floating houses all over the world and has designed for the likes of Dubai and other metropolises. Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio and David Keuning of Mark Magazine have also authored a book, called FLOAT!, which is a compendium of his knowledge on floating architecture. He details historical projects, discusses the practical uses for floating architecture, explores scenarios for a future world with higher sea levels, and rallies behind sustainability as a necessity for future development on the water. In between his busy travel schedule, Koen was able to take some time to answer a few questions about the future of hydrocities and building on the water - read on for our exclusive interview!