Design:

This elegant home was made using waste cork from the wine industry

The wine industry produces more wasted corks than you could possibly imagine. Interestingly enough, cork can actually be an effective material to build with. Just look at this beautiful building in Berlin, which has a facade and roof clad with waste cork. The rectangular-shaped panels of cork provide a thermally efficient skin for the house, while also creating a bold aesthetic and great acoustics. What’s more, the process for turning waste cork into facade panels is a sustainable one that only requires heating and pressuring. Whether more homes will start being built with waste cork will have to be seen,…

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  • Dezeen
  • Date:02/15/2019

Smart fabric can change temperature according to the world around it

Imagine having an item of clothing that cools you in summer and warms you in winter. A sweater that, based on its surrounding environment, regulates its own temperature in response to your personal comfort. Soon that could become reality as scientists at the University of Maryland have created a new kind of fabric that does exactly that. The innovative textile allows more heat to pass through it in warm, moist conditions (like those of a sweaty body) and reduces heat escape in cooler, dryer conditions. The inventors say it shouldn’t take long before you can add such smart clothing to…

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  • Futurism
  • Date:02/14/2019

A stylish French shoe brand now offers sneakers that are entirely vegan

Veja, a chic French sneaker brand, has a reputation for its newfangled use of sustainable and organic materials in the production of its shoes. Wanting to take it a step further,  the company has been working on developing a truly eco-friendly vegan shoe for the last five years, one that is fully biodegradable. After experimenting with numerous alternative materials, the company found that they could use corn waste to craft a pair of shoes that’s not only made entirely out of vegan product but also looks remarkably like leather. The company’s achievement proves that, with some effort, it’s possible for…

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  • TreeHugger
  • Date:02/13/2019

This teenager built himself a fully functional robotic arm using Legos

To be resourceful is to be able to use the tools and resources at hand to overcome difficult problems. David Aguilar, a 19 year-old bioengineering of Barcelona, is the embodiment of a resourceful person. Born without a right forearm due to a rare genetic condition, Aguilar built himself a fully functional robotic arm using his favorite toys: Legos. Aguilar has come a long way since building his first rudimentary robotic arm when he was 9, with his latest self-made prosthetic powered by a small electric motor inside it that allows him to bend the arm and pick up objects. After…

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  • Reuters
  • Date:02/08/2019

Norwegian studio designs chair using old fish nets from local fisheries

At the Optimist Daily, we’re all about repurposing waste into something entirely new. However, while it’s awesome to make a product out of materials that would otherwise end up in the trash, that isn’t a guarantee that the product will be entirely useful or aesthetically pleasing. That’s why we love to see when designers think outside the box and use waste materials to create something beautiful. A shining example of this comes from a Norwegian Architecture studio that has designed a chair from recycled plastic, steel, and fishnets taken from Norwegian fish farming industries. Despite using only repurposed plastic and…

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  • Dezeen
  • Date:02/07/2019

Bacteria is helping create unconventional, yet sustainable building materials

If we want to start building more sustainably, we have to think beyond traditional building materials such as brick, wood, glass, and concrete. At least, that's the way two European designers are thinking after creating a self-supporting column out of knitted fibers. While a knitted structure would typically droop to the floor, this column uses a type of bacteria that helps form a rigid layer. Such a structure can't necessarily compete with other high tech fibers such as carbon or glass fibers, but it does allow for much more complex shapes which can be used for "spatial dividers, shading features,…

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  • TreeHugger
  • Date:02/06/2019

This nonprofit is tackling homelessness by turning school busses into homes

Oregon has one of the highest rates of homelessness amongst children, with more than 22,000 students lacking a proper home. That shocking statistic inspired a nonprofit to start converting retired school busses into fully functioning, attractive tiny houses on wheels for homeless children and their parents. The school busses-turned-homes, which are called “skoolies”, are a solution to homelessness as they are much faster to construct than affordable housing and less expensive than other options. They require no permit, zoning change, land acquisition or other forms of bureaucracy that might stop families from owning a proper home. On top of that,…

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  • Yes Magazine
  • Date:02/05/2019

The case for constructing more buildings using 'living' elements

Integrating the combination of biology and technology into our living spaces could help us develop a more sustainable relationship with our natural environment. With more biomaterials emerging at the horizon, integrating them with smart gadgetry could reshape our living spaces into healthier and more sustainable architectural ecosystems. Dr. Rachel Armstrong, professor of experimental architecture, makes a solid case for constructing more buildings using living elements. Have a listen here.

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  • Singularity Hub
  • Date:02/01/2019

The urban planning of global cities is looking more futuristic than ever

Integrating state-of-the art technology into urban development, countries like Qatar, India, and Malaysia are building futuristic cities which look like they’re out of a science fiction movie. Technologies that once seemed impossible, like driverless cars and drone taxis, are now popping up in the blueprints of mega-developments around the world. Take a look at some of the city-building projects that are blurring the lines between reality and science fiction.

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  • Business Insider
  • Date:01/29/2019

The Dutch engineer who wants to build cities that heal us, not hurt us

Why do the cities we build damage our health? This is the question posed by Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch designer who is on a mission to intertwine our cities with human values such as clean air, clean water, and clean energy. Have a look here to see Roosegaarde is pushing to make humanity “future proof.”

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  • Fortune
  • Date:01/23/2019
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