Design for discomfort: new products could force people to stop being so lazy

Design for Discomfort

Imagine an elevator that stops one floor before the one you selected, and then tells you to get out and take the stairs the rest of the way. Can you envision a lamp that only turns on when you slide your smartphone into it, thus preventing you from texting obsessively? Both are very real examples of items created by modern designers who are trying to counteract the modern culture of convenience. In an era where most people choose driving over biking, or watching TV instead of walking, designers such as Matthias Laschke are designing subtle interventions against laziness and comfort-seeking.

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Britain names Pitcairn Island as center of world's largest marine reserve

by , 03/25/15
filed under: Animals, Conservation, News

britain, marine reserve, marine life, ocean, whales, fish, seabirds, world's largest marine reserve, pitcairn islands, mutiny on the bounty,

When it comes to protecting marine life, Britain is going big. After announcing in February it was considering several locations for preservation, the government revealed plans earlier this week to create what will be the world’s largest fully-protected marine reserve, covering an area of the Pacific Ocean nearly the size of France and Germany combined.

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INFOGRAPHIC: The dangers of indoor pollution and how to deal with it

Indoor air pollution, air pollution, home air pollution, home pollution deaths, home pollution health risks, air pollution health risks, health and air pollution, residential air pollution, air quality, residential air quality, air quality and health, infographics, air quality infographic, air pollution infographic, reader submission,

In 2012, household air pollution made up 7.7% of all global mortalities and indoor pollution causes all kinds of health issues, from headaches and trouble concentrating to allergies and lung problems. Given that we spend 90% of our lives indoors, it’s important that the air we breathe indoors be safe and clean, but that can be a challenge since indoor air is 2 – 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. This infographic gives you all the details on the dangers of indoor air pollution and a few tips for making the air in your home the best it can be.

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Spring's baby animals are easy prey for outdoor pets—help keep them safe!

Robin Fledgling

All around the world, songbirds are disappearing at an alarming rate. Although many of them perish due to habitat loss and poisoning by agricultural pesticides, a startling number of them are killed by domestic cats. In the USA alone, it’s estimated that somewhere around 3 billion birds and close to 7 billion small mammals are killed by cats, including house pets that are allowed to venture outdoors, and feral animals. Spring is the most vulnerable time for baby birds, rabbits, and other wee ones, and we can all do our part to help them survive. Read on to learn how.

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The Parkolation Project helps special-education kids and brings green spaces to Boston

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Pavegen's kinetic walkway in South African mall will power rural villages

Samsung, Pavegen, What If I Can, kinetic energy, energy tiles, kinetic energy tiles, walkway, rural energy, south africa

Last month, we reported how clean tech company Pavegen had installed six people-powered kinetic energy tiles in the middle of a corridor in SNCF’s Innovation & Research office in Paris in order to illuminate the corridor’s LED strip lighting. Now, they are going slightly bigger by placing a 68-tile walkway in Sandton City shopping mall in Johannesburg, as part of Samsung’s ‘What If I Can’ campaign. The kinetic energy system not only powers an interactive data screen, displaying real-time footfall data and providing an immediate visual payback, but the energy collected will be used to provide deprived communities in South Africa with lighting, heating and basic everyday amenities.

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Artist to install blooming Living Pyramid in Socrates Sculpture Park

by , 03/25/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

Agnes Denes Living Pyramid

Queens’s Socrates Sculpture Park is going to be blooming with one very large flower tower this summer and you can join in on the fun! Artist Agnes Denes will be installing her gorgeous, 30-foot-tall Living Pyramid design at the Long Island City sculpture garden in April. The colorful pyramid will be seeded by local volunteers and will hopefully flourish with various plants and wildflowers come summertime.

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Cutest little lamb in Brooklyn spotted at hipster eateries around NYC

by , 03/25/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

smokey the lamb

Brooklyn has a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…and the adorable little fella’s name is Smokey! After being abandoned by his mother and almost freezing to death, Smokey was recently adopted by a local couple and has been spotted dining at some of NYC’s most popular eateries. Although some New Yorkers might not even look twice at a farm animal wandering the streets, Smokey just seems to have a je ne sais baaaaaa about him that has been melting the cold hearts of those who encounter him.

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ART

Kiyoshi Mino's startlingly realistic felt sculptures blow taxidermy away

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Hager Partner and nps tchoban voss collaborate to design a green-roofed rec center near Berlin

nps tchoban voss, hager partner,  new berlin architecture, swimming pool architecture, public swimming pool germany, german architecture, german green building, green roof germany

The city swimming baths at Nauen, a town just west of Berlin, will be transformed by a new green-roofed entrance building and recreation park designed by nps tchoban voss in collaboration with Landscape Architects Hager Partner. The prize-winning design comprised of two flowing structures joined by an insulated living roof will update the old baths and allow year-round use of the site. Keep reading after the jump to check out the plans.

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Naked filter is an affordable and easy solution to clean healthy water

Naked Filter, Liquidity Nanotech, clean water, access to clean water, Naked Filter bottle, Kickstarter, reader submitted content

The lack of access to clean water is a major humanitarian problem around the world. Silicon Valley startup Liquidity Nanotech wants to help solve that issue by bringing clean, healthy drinking water to everyone, one filter at a time. The startup’s Kickstarter, Naked Filter, starts on the consumer-level with a portable bottle that uses affordable, effective, and easy-to-use technology to purify water. The current nano-filter unfortunately cannot be recycled (it needs to be replaced every month); however, the company hopes that commercial success and increased production will allow them to affordably distribute their product to communities in the developing world.

+ Naked Filter Kickstarter


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Contemporary Bedford Park House modestly hides its many green features

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Costa Rica powered by 100 percent renewable energy for over 75 days

costa rica, renewable energy, clean energy, geothermal, hydropower, hydroelectric, dam, volcano, fossil fuels, carbon neutral

Costa Rica has achieved an extraordinary clean energy milestone by running solely on renewable energy for more than 75 days. Heavy rainfall in the region has enabled the country to completely forgo fossil fuels, and run almost entirely on electricity generated from four hydropower plants—with a little extra help from geothermal, solar and wind projects. With more renewable energy infrastructure in the works, it looks as though this trend might just continue long into the future.

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Tiny Mogo Freedom trailer transforms into a camper for two

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France now requires all new buildings to have green roofs or solar panels

by , 03/24/15

france, green building, green roof, solar panels, government, commercial building, urban heat island

France just passed a trailblazing new law that requires that all new buildings constructed in commercial areas to be partially-covered by either solar panels or green roofs. Not only will this bring dramatic changes to the nation’s skylines and bolster the efficiency of all new commercial construction, but the law will help France pick up the pace the solar adoption—which has lagged behind other European nations in recent years.

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Adjaye Associates to transform a Johannesburg industrial building into a verdant residence

Adjaye Associates to transform a Johannesburg industrial building into…

A disused 1970s industrial building in Johannesburg may be getting a plant-covered overhaul by London-based designers, Adjaye Associates. Headed up by David Adjaye, the design would…

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Beijing to shut down all major coal plants by 2016

Beijing to shut down all major coal plants by 2016

Beijing is finally going to kick what’s left of its coal power habit. China’s capital city recently announced plans to shut down the last of its remaining coal plants by 2016 - in…

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Heimplanet’s inflatable 6-person Nias tent pitches in a snap

Heimplanet’s inflatable 6-person Nias tent pitches in a snap

The large and breathable Nias tent comprises an inner tent, fly sheet, and the inflatable diamond grid frame. These parts work together in unison for extremely fast pitching so that all…

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Green-roofed concrete outbuilding is an extension of the rural Spanish landscape

Green-roofed concrete outbuilding is an extension of the rural Spanish…

The multipurpose outbuilding serves as a warehouse and workshop with space for changing rooms, a new biomass boiler, and farm machinery. Located between the farmhouse and farmland, the…

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Researchers transform pesky packing peanuts into fast-charging batteries

Researchers transform pesky packing peanuts into fast-charging…

Opening a package only to have your apartment flooded with packing peanuts is an annoying, if not archaic, waste of plastic. But researchers Vilas Pol and Vinodkumar Etacheri at the…

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