Design:

These ingenious shutters keep buildings cool without using energy

Air-conditioning is disastrous for the planet, accounting for 9 percent of all energy consumption in the US on its own. As a means of cutting the fossil fuel emissions that come with the heating and cooling of buildings, an architect has invented a shading system made from a smart material called thermobimetal that changes shape in response to heat. The invention looks like a regular decorative shutter, but its metal pieces curl and flip over in the sun, altering how much light and heat can enter a space. Wouldn’t it be cool to see the facade of a building altering…

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  • Dezeen
  • Date:04/22/2019

New Adidas sneaker can be recycled into a new sneaker—without any waste

When Adidas presented a new model of running shoes made out of ocean plastic last year, it felt more like a marketing gimmick rather than an actual attempt at addressing the problem of waste in the fashion industry. This time around, Adidas has introduced a new sneaker that could actually revolutionize footwear and reduce tons of waste. Named the Futurecraft. Loop, it’s a performance running shoe that can be 100 percent ground up and melted back into raw materials for a brand-new shoe—without any waste. The current issue with trying to recycle running shoes is that they are made of…

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  • Quartz
  • Date:04/19/2019

Singapore just built an airport with an indoor jungle and a wonderful waterfall

When it comes to airports, some of the first things that usually come to mind are the interminable queues, the dull hours before take-off, the boring shopping or the long walks to the departure gate. But step inside Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore and those negative connotations that come with the word ‘airport’ fizzle out. Following four years of construction and nonstop media coverage, the architectural gem is officially open. Featuring a dramatic doughnut-shaped exterior framed in steel and glass, the 135,700-square-meter building, named the Jewel, serves as a new centerpiece to what was previously called Changi Airport in Singapore,…

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  • New Atlas
  • Date:04/18/2019

This stylish cafe is made almost entirely out of cardboard

Lowering the environmental impact of the construction industry means finding new materials to build with. In India, an architecture studio turned to an unlikely material to build a beautiful cafe: cardboard. Apart from the core, shell, and appliances in the cafe, everything has been made from cardboard, which is both a biodegradable and recyclable material. Walls, chairs, tables and even lampshades have all been sculpted from pieces of the corrugated material. To make the stylish curves that define many of the pieces of furniture within the cafe, the architects had to make precise cuts of the multi-layered cardboard, which slots…

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  • Dezeen
  • Date:04/15/2019

Does prison architecture have to be cruel? This prison shows us it doesn’t

How should a prison be designed? Should it purposefully be designed to punish inmates using uninviting materials such as steel and concrete, or should it be a place that invites criminals to rehabilitate themselves? While most prisons around the world are designed in a way that aligns with the first option, Halden Prison in Norway has taken a whole different route. Instead of consolidating the prison into one single building, which is how most prisons are built, Halden has a campus design where inmate move from one building to another and are surrounded by lots of windows. It also uses…

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  • Vox
  • Date:04/15/2019

Tall wooden buildings are popping up around the world. Here’s why that’s good

The tallest wooden building the world has ever seen just completed construction in Norway, standing at a total height of 85.4 meters.  Surely some of you are wondering whether or not that’s a fire hazard, but while it would have been worrisome to build towering structures out of wood in the past, manufacturers are now able to make ultra-strong wood that is lightweight, durable, and fire-resistant. There are many benefits that come using wood to construct buildings. First and foremost, wood can be sourced sustainably—unlike conventional materials such as cement and glass  The Finnish company that produced the material for…

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  • Inhabitat
  • Date:04/12/2019

A Kenyan company is making sustainable clothes out of stinging nettles

The stinging nettle is a weedy, invasive species of plant that spreads like wildfire once it gets a foothold anywhere. The plant can be used for medicinal reasons, but in truth, there are more pesky nettles on the planet than anyone could possibly make use of. At least, so it seemed. Soon enough you could be wearing nettles after a Kenyan company figured out how to make organic fibers for sustainable clothing using nettles, which has led them to win one of the world’s top sustainable fashion prizes, which comes with a $170,000 prize. The company, Green Nettle Textile, won…

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  • Quartz
  • Date:04/10/2019

Lessons from a German neighborhood that got rid of parking spaces 20 years ago

You don’t need a car to live your daily life. Don’t believe us? Just ask the residents of Vauban, a neighborhood in the German city of Freiburg. In Vauban, cars are allowed, but only if they crawl along at the pace of a pedestrian (the speed limit is three miles an hour), give priority to people not in cars, and stop only temporarily for pickup or drop-off. The street doesn’t have parking places, and kids play on the streets unattended. Vauban was built two decades ago as a radical experiment in sustainability. In some ways, it’s still as radical as…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:04/08/2019

IKEA develops state-of the-art curtains that purify the air in your home

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is one of the biggest environmental health risks on the planet, leading to millions of deaths annually. The problem is more alarming for those us living in cities, so much so that air-purifiers are expected to become a household essential. The world's biggest provider of furniture, IKEA, has a different solution. They have come up with curtains that can block light and purify the air in your home. The air-purifying curtains that are treated with a mineral that causes air pollution to break down when light shines through it, allowing users…

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  • The Things
  • Date:04/08/2019

Singapore opens the doors to its first “net zero energy building”

Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, meaning that in order to meet the targets mandated by the Paris Agreement, we need to come up with urgent sustainable development designs and high-performance buildings. Bearing that in mind, Singapore has recently opened the doors to an inventive new building designed to consume only as much energy as it produces. The building is home to the National University’s School of Design and Environment, and features an overhanging roof to create extra shade that helps keep rooms cool. Covering the roof are more than 1,200 solar panels that should…

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  • CNN
  • Date:04/05/2019
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