NYC’sHigh Line is a project that exemplifies effective adaptive urban re-use in a city that is littered with structures and spaces that have since reached the end of their useful life. By turning an abandoned, elevated freight train track into a public park, this project has redefined the New York experience, affording never-before seen views of the city’s surrounding natural landscape as well as an expansive and intimate look into one of the world’s most dynamic urban environments. With the completion of the rest of the High Line currently in the works, we couldn’t think of a better time to catch up with one of the brilliant minds behind the design of this beautiful public space. I recently sat down with landscape architect James Corner, the lead designer behind the High Line, to get his personal perspective on the what it was like to take an abandoned train track and turn it into one of NYC’s best loved spots of greenery. Read on for my exclusive interview with James Corner below…
The Metropol Parasol was arguably the most important structure to open last year, and it has without doubt come to be one of the most photographed new architectural works of the decade. Designed by German architect Juergen Mayer, the beautiful and monumental work is the world's largest wooden structure, and has quickly become a new focal point for the city of Seville, Spain. Throwing back to the city's marketplace tradition, and paving the way for a new era of design innovation, the Metropol Parasol is a signal moment in architectural culture. Recently, our very own Editor-in-Chief, Jill Fehrenbacher, sat down with Mayer in New York City to talk about his inspiration for the design. Mayer also talks about the impact of digital technology on the architectural world, and what sustainability means for design. Hit jump to see a VIDEO of the interview, or click through our gallery above for all of Mayer's insight!
As the author of over 2,000 articles on the subject, you might say that Bridgette Meinhold knows a thing or two about green architecture. In her new book entitled Urgent Architecture, Ms. Meinhold, who is also the architecture editor here at Inhabitat, puts her accumulated knowledge to paper, profiling "40 sustainable housing solutions for a changing world." In the pages of the book, you'll find a collection of some of the most innovative, adaptable and affordable shelters on the planet - ranging from modern yurts to homes that float on water to pop-up tents for the homeless. The book is on sale here, and we had a chance to check it out; read on to see our review as well as select images of some of the featured projects!
The Andrea Air Purifier is a brilliant partnership between man and plant that accelerates nature’s natural ability to clean air in order to detoxify the atmosphere inside your home. We had a chance to sit down with Tom Hadfield from Andrea to talk about how this amazing gadget is able to clean the air in your home 1000% better than a normal houseplant. Check out our video interview above!
Sea levels are rising, floods are prevalent, and cities are at greater risk than ever due to climate change. Now that we’ve accepted these facts, it’s time to design and build more resilient structures. Koen Olthuis, one of the most forward-thinking and innovative architects out there, has a solution for rising sea levels. His solution: Embrace the water by incorporating it into our cities; creating resilient buildings and infrastructure that can handle extreme flooding, heavy rains, and higher water. Olthuis and his team at Waterstudio.nl have been showing coastal communities the benefits of building on the water. With countries like the Maldives and Kiribati having to build oceanside or move in order to escape rising sea levels, New York learning to battle storm surges, and Jakarta dealing with massive flooding, embracing water may be our only option for survival. We chatted with Olthuis about how coastal cities can become more resilient in the face of change—read on for our interview!
Every year, roughly 14 billion tons of waste are swept out to our oceans via rivers and canals - an environmental catastrophe, since much of this pollution is made up of petroleum-based plastics. Such accumulations also present a great opportunity, however, to not only restore the health of our waterways, but also to unlock some of the latent energy that lies within all that waste! James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer of the renowned vacuum cleaner company of the same name, has sketched a design for a river barge that can harvest some of the waste that our rivers carry. The M.V. Recyclone would be equipped with a massive net that would collect the debris, and then it would sort the waste into different grades using the same cyclone technology found in the company's vacuum cleaners. Once harvested, the materials could be transported to recycling facilities and repurposed in any number of ways. Inhabitat interviewed Dyson about the genesis of his fascinating barge concept—read on to learn more.
Danny Hess has spent the last decade turning surfboard design on its head by designing from the outside-in, rather than inside-out. Most shapers start with a non-recyclable foam blank, and work outwards; Danny instead uses sustainably harvested wood, and builds a frame of poplar and amapolato wood to create an outer shell by sealing the frame with a deck and a bottom. He is one of the world's premiere wooden surfboard shapers. Even with global recognition and distribution partnerships with Mollusk Surf Shop and Patagonia, this innovative designer is far from declaring victory, and still strives to make the ultimate sustainable surfboard, as he shared in this exclusive Inhabitat interview.
You may have heard the riddle about mushrooms being the only rooms with no walls, but David Benjamin is flipping the script on the old joke with some incredible mycotecture built from mushroom bricks! The architect and his firm, The Living, are pushing the boundaries of design by experimenting with biotecture, blurring the lines between biology and built environments. Their latest efforts have culminated in the world’s first tower made from fungus, which debuted at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York last week. We recently had the chance to pick Benjamin’s brain about the future of mycotecture (mushroom architecture), the benefits of biological buildings and what inspired this innovative new Hy-Fi tower in Queens. Read on to see what the biotect, innovator and director of the “Living Architecture Lab” at GSAPP has to say.
Green homes are on the rise, but a world dominated by green real estate is far from reality. In this interview with ECOBroker John Beldock, we thought we’d take a look at ways to locate green homes that have already been built. We’ve covered lots of strategies that go into sustainable home design and construction, but how can you find a green home in your area? And how can we raise the demand for these properties?
Could you live in just 320 sq. ft. of space? How about with 3 other people? The Tiny House Family does it, and the DIY, money-saving way they went about it is attracting them a lot of attention. Hari, Karl and their son and daughter's small living adventure began when the sour economy caused their award-winning restaurant in Florida to close. Knowing they needed to save money, but still wanting to live mortgage-free, they bought a parcel of land in the Blue Ridge Mountains and built a salvaged (mostly from Craigslist) new home for just $12,000. Now this smart family of four enjoys their abode without owing any money on it whatsoever, allowing them to live completely off of Karl's salary and save all of Hari's salary for their future dreams. Read on to see Hari's insightful small-space living tips and see photos of the Tiny House's wonderful living spaces, which include a loft sleeping space, a lovely porch and a sunny kitchen.
The term ‘building science’ is used quite often now in sustainable building circles, but much of what we understand of it can be traced back to the work of Dr. Joe Lstiburek, founder of Building Science Corporation. He is anything but your typical engineer or scientist who spends time crunching numbers or hiding away in a lab. Lstiburek has spent most of his career out in the field, testing and examining what works and what doesn’t. Many of the building standards today — from building codes to ASHRE to testing methodology — have his finger prints all over them, and his tough love criticism of building design is undercut with his wry humor and, of course, an encyclopedic knowledge of building construction. Read on to learn where buildings go wrong and what we can do about it.
We’ve featured many a tiny house on Inhabitat, but did you know that one trailblazing lady was the inspiration behind many of those miniature homes? Meet Dee Williams: an early pioneer and sustainability advocate of the tiny house movement, she downsized from a three bedroom home into an 84 square foot house she built herself for $10,000 after she was diagnosed with a heart muscle disease. Ten years later, she’s inspired countless others to pursue big dreams in tiny spaces and has just recently published her first book and memoir, “The Big Tiny: A Built-it-Myself Memoir.” Unlike the typical how-to construction manual–Williams has already published a DIY tiny house e-book called “Go House Go”–“The Big Tiny” delves into Williams’ motivations and life lessons learned from building and living in a tiny house the size of an area rug. Click through to read our interview with Dee Williams.
We recently reported on the Lumio lamp, an innovative LED lighting fixture that folds out of a portable and stylish wood hard-bound book. The Lumio was designed by Max Gunawan, a San Francisco-based designer with a penchant for multi-faceted, multi-functional products. To jumpstart the production of his Lumio lamp, Gunawan recently launched a Kickstarter campaign. In just two weeks, Gunawan has already been met with success, pulling in over $330,000 — nearly six times his target goal. Just last week, we visited the designer at his studio where he spoke to us about the inspiration for his design, his efforts to bring his idea to market, and his future plans.