8 transforming, double-duty furniture designs spotted at ICFF 2015

Resource Furniture Kali Theater,

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair opened its doors this past Saturday at New York’s Javits Center, inviting design fans to delve into 165,000 net square feet of home furnishing goodness. Known for being New York Design Week‘s heaviest hitter, the show has grown even larger this year with an entire additional floor of exhibitors. Inhabitat hit the ICFF scene this weekend, and one of the design trends that stood out to us was an even more pronounced presence of multi-purpose, transforming furniture. From chairs that charge your phone to entertainment systems that slide out into beds, read on for our top double-duty furniture picks.

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George Clooney and Anderson Cooper help kick off World Trade Center Observatory

by , 05/21/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

One World Trade Center Observatory

It looks like the opening of the much-anticipated observatory at One World Trade Center is going to be a star-studded affair. Not only will Mayor de Blasio be on hand to open the new WTC attraction, he will also be sharing the spotlight with none other than George Clooney and Anderson Cooper.

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Thieves are stealing Prius batteries to sell on the black market

by , 05/21/15
filed under: Electric Cars, green car, News

toyota prius, prius battery, prius theft, battery theft, san francisco prius, sacramento prius, hybrid car

Last week an article in the New York Times highlighted an unfortunate trend which has some hybrid owners trading in their Prius for a straight-forward fuel-efficient gasoline-powered vehicle. The reasoning these drivers provided? The current low cost of gas, combined with anxiety about the cost of replacing the Prius’ 120 lb, $3000 battery. However, used, functional batteries go for under $1000 on Craigslist, which has caused some rather mechanically-savvy thieves to go around stealing the batteries from peoples’ Prii for sale on the black market.

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Zero-waste Nomad Chair challenges unsustainable “throwaway” culture

Nomad Chair, We Do Wood, Nomad Chair by Sebastian Jorgensen , zero waste chair, moso bamboo, sustainable chair, Roorkhee chair, reader submitted content

We Do Wood designer Sebastian Jorgensen developed the zero waste Nomad Chair in protest against unsustainable overproduction in the furniture industry. Designed with high-quality and sustainable parts such as certified moso bamboo, the Nomad Chair is a modern interpretation of the classic Roorkhee chair. True to its name, the sturdy and lightweight Nomad Chair is highly portable and can be assembled or disassembled in a matter of seconds. Jorgensen took to Kickstarter to crowdfund the Nomad Chair and successfully reached his US $25,000 goal – and there’s still a limited number of chairs available for purchase at early bird prices.

+ Nomad Chair Kickstarter


The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

 

Peak number of coal plants are shutting down in 2015, ushering in a greener era

coal, coal plant, coal pollution, smoke stack

In 2014, 39 percent of American electricity was generated by burning coal – down from 52.8 percent from 1997. Though the fuel source has steadily declined from its late 20th century peak due to competition with other energy sources and increased enforcement of environmental safety measures, the coal industry still maintains great economic and political power. However Big Coal may face its biggest challenge yet as the EPA implements new regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, coal plants are shutting down at an impressive rate.

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ART

Digitally fabricated wooden vases by Zaha Hadid and Gareth Neal mimic handcrafting techniques

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Quonochontaug House is a daylit vacation home in Rhode Island that uses light as sculpture

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LYCS Architecture unveils nature-filled urban high-rise in Hangzhou

by , 05/21/15

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VIDEO: How to install Voltaic solar panels on your car

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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.

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Pipeline spills up to 105,000 gallons of oil along Santa Barbara coast

oil spill, oil slick, environmental disaster, santa barbara oil, refugio state beach oil, oil pipeline crack, channel islands national marine sanctuary, sea life oil, california oil, california energy, california wildlife

Rescue crews are working to contain a four-mile wide oil slick in Santa Barbara, California after a cracked pipeline spilled up to 105,000 gallons of oil into the area’s pristine waters. The area lies within the Santa Barbara Channel and features the popular Rufugio State Beach, which is now coated with tar. While the scope of the damage is not yet fully known, eyewitness reports suggest that sea lions and other marine animals have been caught up in the crude.

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This woman is rowing 6,000 miles from Japan to San Francisco without any support

sonya baumstein ocean crossing, japan to san francisco row boat crossing, ocean row boat crossing, crossing the ocean by row boat, NASA ocean crossing

No sail, no motor, just a strong woman and her arms, for 6,000 nautical miles from Japan to San Francisco. Sonya Baumstein is a 28-year-old Florida native who is preparing to row her way from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco, California, in a rowboat. She will embark any day now, as soon as the weather gives her a clear path. Oh yeah, and she’s doing it alone, without a support vessel, because she “likes the challenge.”

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This building in Venice is covered in 1,000 used car tires

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It's raining millions of spiders in Australia

by , 05/20/15
filed under: Animals, News, Weather

raining spiders, spider rain, spider ballooning, insect migration, arachnid migration, new south wales, australia spiders, australia wildlife, animal migration, migration techniques, flying spiders, spiders fly

First they show up like shooting stars, but as they come closer, it’s clear that they’re some kind of UFO. Then, by the time they’re really close up—perhaps too close—you can see that it is, in fact, a spider with some kind of web-based parachute. The nightmarish phenomenon is known as “spider ballooning” and for the Southern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia it recently brought a rain of millions of tiny baby spiders and their silk down over farms, homes and—yes—people in the area.

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ART

You can sleep like a floating astronaut in this Slovenian hotel

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Solartab is a tablet case with built-in solar charging

Solartab, Solartab case, Solartab charger, solar ipad case, solar tablet case, solar device case, solar charging, reader submission, solar charging, device solar charging, solar chargers, portable solar charging

The Solartab is unlike any other power bank or solar charger. The Solartab’s unique built-in cover that works as a stand for the solar panel, so you can angle the panel in three different positions to find the right angle for maximum exposure to sunlight. With two USB ports and a micro USB port, the Solartab is ready to keep any your mobile devices going at all times. It’s an environmentally friendly, portable and never-ending source of energy, always ready for use.

+ Solartab

The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

 

Japan's zoos and aquariums pledge to stop buying dolphins captured in cruel Taiji dolphin hunts

Japan's zoos and aquariums pledge to stop buying dolphins captured in…

Japan’s zoos and aquariums have publicly committed to ending their relationship with the cruel practice of dolphin drive hunts in Taiji, Japan. This move comes out of a vote amongst…

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Sharon Davis's geothermal retreat brings the natural world inside

Sharon Davis's geothermal retreat brings the natural world inside

Picture Set on an idyllic patch of land adjacent to the historic Old Albany Post Road, Sharon Davis's 900 square foot country home weaves together exterior and interior to make a…

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Texas Governor bans Texan cities and towns from banning fracking

Texas Governor bans Texan cities and towns from banning fracking

Fracking has been banned in by a significant number of nations, as well as by U.S. states and cities; hydraulic fracturing is a no-go in—among-others—Tasmania, Scotland, New York…

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10 Incredible Designs by Pritzker Prize Laureate Shigeru Ban

10 Incredible Designs by Pritzker Prize Laureate Shigeru Ban

Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand Shigeru Ban designed, pro-bono, this stunning temporary Cardboard Cathedral for Christchurch following a devastating earthquake in…

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Cloud Farms' mini greenhouses let you grow fresh produce right out of your window

Cloud Farms' mini greenhouses let you grow fresh produce right out of…

Cloud Farms, the brain child of designer Bradley Ferrada, can bring an easy-to-use vegetable farm to any small apartment. The graduate of Pratt Institute’s Master of Industrial Design…

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