Low-energy Glowing Home

Low-energy Glowing Home

Using transparent or translucent materials in architecture is a clever way to get natural light and warmth inside a building, brightening up spaces and helping reducing energy bills. Taking this concept on board, studio AL1 created a brilliant translucent family home located right in the middle of the woodsy area of Weissenbach, in Vienna. This simple sparkling house is wrapped in a polycarbonate skin and when the sun shines on it, it glows in a whimsical manner. Called Gemini House, it was built using local and natural materials, while taking advantage of industrial building solutions and dedicated craftsmanship from professionals… read more

Reusing Milk Glass

Reusing Milk Glass

Many antique glasses are usually not recycled and are sometimes kept as collectibles. Milk glass is one type that is valued for its aesthetics and historical worth. Milk glass popped up around the 16th century in Venice, Italy and was popularly made into vases, cups, dishes and other items. During the mid 1800’s, arsenic was added to the manufacturing regimen to give the glass a thick, white cloudy appearance. Many types around this time and after were made with flint glass which contained lead. Tin oxide was also sometimes used in the process, which turned the glass white due to a… read more

The Psychology of Design

The Psychology of Design

The field of design psychology is an interesting facet of the industry. Engaging function along with aesthetics are central, but going beyond what can only be seen and channeling what can be felt is also significant. Paying attention to how spaces are capable of reflecting moods, thus affecting attitudes, is a prerequisite that design tactics smartly employ. Basically, to have a space that either outright visually represents or even subtly notes at how we want to feel, design psychology helps to accomplish that. Combining interests, comforts, likes and things that have meaning associated with them, and that allow a personal… read more

Bin Designs that Make Recycling More Fun

Bin Designs that Make Recycling More Fun

Recycling bins, though necessary items, aren’t always that aesthetically pleasing. Some designers are offering samples that are trying to break this mold, and are creating functional, efficient receptacles. In the last year, some recycling bins in Portugal have been receiving makeovers. Designed by AND-RÉ, the bins are commercial models of a new way to make a needed object. The system’s colorful look makes recycling more inviting. They also have a neat name and shape that are no doubt inspired by an old favorite. More than just pretty on the outside, the designers made the inside just as appealing. Durably made of… read more

Upcycled Maritime Projects

Upcycled Maritime Projects

Whether you live by the ocean or just want to bring the world of water indoors, a piece of nautical inspired décor will liven up a land based space. SerpentSea features recycled designs from Sophie Aschauer. Inspired after a sailing trip, her heavy duty, colorful mats are made from recovered marine ropes. Hand woven from the sturdy sailing rope, 4 different knot types are available, which are named after notorious 17th century pirates. She also crafts key rings from the recovered ropes. These functional pieces are named after mythological Greek sea nymphs who were said to have provided protection to… read more

The Sloping, Bioclimatic House

Sloping Bioclimatic House in Tenerife

Spanish architect José Luis Rodríguez Gil built a peculiar shaped house with the aim to make it self-sufficient. Standing within the rocky arid landscape of Tenerife this piece of unique architecture integrates into the landscape thanks to its sloping façade. An innovative shelter located within the Bioclimatic Experimental Urbanization of ITER Park (Technological Institute for Renewable Energies), this house takes into account the cli­mate and environmental con­di­tions of the area while keeping a sustainable equilibrium. Made from a local basalt stonewall, which was the start of the project, this sloping house is topped by a light structure of plywood with galvanized steel walls and glass. Designed… read more

Dual Duty Designs

Dual Duty Designs

Furniture pieces can be expensive. When committing to a purchase or beginning a do it yourself project, consider double duty items for their utilitarian aspects. You will get more use for your dollars, plus, since pieces are typically held on to longer or passed along to others for use, they won’t lend to surplus waste. Multi-functional designs are also ideal if space is an issue. Though some signature pieces may be out of an attainable price range, you can get ideas for a homemade design, or sketch up a proposal and pass it along to someone crafty who is willing to… read more

Inner-City Nomads

Inner City Nomads

Urban mobility, and transient living take on a new life with the introduction of Tricycle-Houses in Beijing.  They can be likened to a caravan or mobile home, though also a human-powered chariot, as citizens, it seems, are able to take official residence within their tricycle-house, while moving freely about the city. This comes as a necessity, in a country where owning a home is becoming nearly impossible as the cost of land ownership continues to rise and space is increasingly becoming a rare luxury. Appearances aside, tricycle-houses are equipped with enough ‘tricks’ and stow-able amenities to make living off the… read more

Nature Inspired Whimsical Jellyfish Lamps

Paula Artzen’s Jellyfish Lamps

Dutch designer Paula Artzen takes inspiration from ants, birds and sea creatures for creating whimsical designs. Nature’s most wonderful creatures are expressed as hanging luminaries that when lightened, create a magical atmosphere in any room. Artzen specializes in interior design and loves creating detailed luminaries. She started with the most humble materials, experimenting with paper and Tyvek, and adding new dimensions to her designs by cutting and folding materials into 3D shapes. Artzen’s latest work is luminaries inspired by marine sea creatures like the wonderful jellyfish. These magical lamps take inspiration from German biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel’s book of… read more

LEGOs: Combining Play and Learning

LEGOs: Combining Play and Learning

LEGO sets may be a first introduction to design and architecture for many during their childhood years. Planning, building, demolishing and rebuilding can be considered rites of passage in the world of imaginary play. Toys like LEGOs can help build motor skills and develop strategy building abilities. They are even on an upcoming agenda to be used in a school curriculum in Denmark for children ages 3 through 7, with plans for eventually providing instruction for those up to age 16. The International School of Billund, located in Jutland near the LEGO birthplace, is working to become the first of its… read more