Leslie Smith

Food Chains: Revealing The True Cost Of A Purchase

Food Chains: Revealing The True Cost Of A Purchase

Transparency in the food supply is more important than ever. It is great to know more about where our food is grown, raised and what it contains. However, for those of us who wonder where our food actually comes from, we also need to be aware of who is behind the production. Farmers, laborers and families represent the force behind our food supply. A new must-see documentary has just been released called Food Chains that exposes this largely unnoticed operation and the real people who are behind stocking our shelves. The spotlight is placed on the U.S. agricultural industry, government… read more

Carpet Gets Off The Floor

Carpet Gets Off The Floor

Old carpeting and remnants can account for a surprising amount of waste. Though most carpet does end up in the landfill, it can be recycled. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency statistics, in 2011 the amount of carpet that was recycled averaged 9%. The following designs are surprisingly made from old carpet, and are also examples of just what can be done with creative recycling endeavors. You would never think that this children’s bike was made entirely from residential nylon carpet. Called the Wishbone Bike Recycled Edition 3 In 1 from Wishbone Design Studio, it is constructed from 100% post-consumer… read more

Zero Cottage Reconceives The Townhouse

Zero Cottage Reconceives The Townhouse

From David Baker Architects, the Zero Cottage in San Francisco, California is an interesting space. The vertical construction was an addition to its neighboring building. Reinventing what the inner workings of a residence can offer, a multifunctional aspect was applied to the structure. The cottage portion consists of  712 square feet of residential living area, which is situated over a workshop. The addition also includes apartment space, 2 bedrooms and a studio, as well as a storefront at street level. In addition to achieving other green certifications, the Zero Cottage is a NET PLUS building, and the sustainable features create more energy… read more

Like To Bike?

Like To Bike?

If a 2-wheeled ride is your thing, these practical pathways may be of interest. The following trails with a kick are giving an update to the old school bike path. First, from Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, this lustrously presented lane is located in Nuenen, Netherlands. Called the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path, it offers a lane of entertaining space just begging to be trekked on. The illuminated track is a nod to the world famous painting, The Starry Night from artist Vincent van Gogh, who reportedly resided in the area during the years of 1883 to 1885. The pattern looks neat during the daytime, but… read more

Neuroarchitecture And The Emotional Response

Neuroarchitecture And The Emotional Response

Human emotions are not something we may stop and reflect on throughout the day; however we are certainly aware of when we are in a bad mood, and how that is drastically different from being in a good one. It is nothing new that design can influence mood. The idea that emotions can be effected by design choices like color, light and exposure to nature has long been studied. However, the field of neuroarchitecture tries to go further to understand why and how the human brain’s response to its environment has such an effect. According to the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture,… read more

Building A Zero Energy House In Auckland

Building A Zero Energy House In Auckland

The Zero Energy House in Auckland, New Zealand was a project intended to provide an educational focus on the construction of a highly efficient and environmentally minded residence. The homeowners, Shay Brazier and Jo Woods, freely shared the design and development as a resource for others. The structural design was planned by A Studio Architects. The owners contributed to all elements of the production process, from research to the calculated analyzation of what materials and building strategies would work best within the budget. This included a thermal analysis of resources used and careful attention to the site during construction, such as recycling in the… read more

Mining Towns And Their Forgotten Disasters

Mining Towns And Their Forgotten Disasters

Learning about manmade and natural disasters can give perspective on environmental concerns and historical facts. Uncovering past experiences about places can be interesting, but even more intriguing is digging up information about entire populations and towns that have been affected by unforeseen circumstances. For instance, the town of Wittenoom, Australia has a unique slogan that can be found on a circulating flier: “Visiting Wittenoom is not worth risking your life.” More than scary signage, it actually serves as an ominous warning. The town was built up as a productive mining community. However, it was not until after the mine workers and… read more

Art And Resources From Project Vortex

Art And Resources From Project Vortex

Project Vortex is a unique resource offering a cooperative network of global artists, architects and creative types that use plastics as a medium for their work. Utilizing ocean plastic offers a way to reduce the amount of pollution in the gyres, where an incredible amount of it circles around the world’s waterways. They provide a list of collaborating artists, display gallery pieces and sponsor exhibits made mostly from plastic ocean debris. They also offer educational resources, like Project Vortex University, thier online library which provides a connection for individuals who are trying to find a way to work with plastic ocean… read more

Family Ranches With Sustainable Style

Family Ranches With Sustainable Style

Updating old buildings and redeeming them into livable, inviting spaces takes skill and planning. Reusing original materials and salvaged finds also takes a clever eye. The following brought-back-to-life farmhouses are examples of how a clean, fresh home can be established while still holding onto the characteristic elements from the past. From Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, this home has distinguished details and a gorgeous design inside and out. Upscale but not stuffy, the Hupomone Ranch is set on a sprawling 160 acres of Californian farmland that is settled in the Chileno Valley. It remained unused for more than 3 decades when purchased for… read more

The Courage And Influence Of Children

The Courage And Influence Of Children

Art therapy, or utilizing art and materials to express one’s thoughts, feelings and emotions through creative processes, can be especially beneficial for children and adolescents. Anyone can use art therapy to explore and manage emotional states, and it is helpful to children who may not yet be able to, or might not prefer to, communicate about issues that may be more readily expressed through various mediums. There is no right or wrong answer in art therapy, and it can be used in conjunction with or without other therapies to address a range of conditions, emotions and everyday concerns. One great example of how… read more