Construction Gets Muddy With Cob Houses

Construction Gets Muddy With Cob Houses

If wanting to learn more about organic construction and sustainable building materials, the newest applications may have a lot to offer. However, there are also primitive means of raising a home that still provide durable designs. One natural homebuilding technique involves cob structures. These types of houses have been built for centuries in many parts of the world. Cob constructions are mostly made with a combination of mud and straw, and some regions may also mix in sand, clay or lime. The mud and straw blend are compacted by removing the moisture content and then dried into bricks. The mud bricks… read more

Meaningful Art Installation Enhances City Street

Meaningful Art Installation Enhances City Street

Art exhibits often offer a message along with the visual feast. Artist Michael Thomas Hill’s display, Forgotten Songs, is one example of a meaningful interactive project set in a public space. At first, it may appear a little quirky. However, once the deeper story behind the inspiration for the design is uncovered it reveals itself as a beautiful tribute piece. The installation is located in Sydney, Australia in an area called Angel Place. Magnificently dangling between buildings, the display is actually meant to bring attention to native birds and the loss of their habitats, which is a main problem attributed to… read more

Futuristic Operating Room

Futuristic Operating Room

Interior design is not only for looks. Places where design must go beyond aesthetics but be optimally useful as well are favorable in every space, however in settings like clinics and hospitals, this is a must. Most don’t think of the layout in this type of setting, but designers and contractors know the functionality factor involved in a development of this scale. One project called the Operating room of the Future by Studio Tjeerd Veenhovend, who are known for their ecological insight into their productions, showcased a hospital design that looks much different than ones presently in operation. In collaboration with a… read more

Yin Yang House Provides A Near Net Zero Design

Yin Yang House Provides A Near Net-Zero Design

Located in Venice, California, a team of designers, architects, contractors and solar setups turned a resident remodel into a family home and office combination that is a near record breaker on the efficiency scale. Called the Yin Yang House, it has enough green features to make sustainable design lovers drool. The massive renovation was assembled from fully reused or highly recycled content and local materials. Only ethically gathered woods were used in both indoor and exterior finishes, and there was also a focus on reduced chemical usage with all surfaces. Additionally, during the building process at least 80% of the… read more

Refugee Shelters Solar-Powered by IKEA

Solar-Powered IKEA Shelter For Refugees

More than 43 million people in the world are refugees and right now approximately 3.5 million of them live in tents provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). But these fabric tents are just a temporary solution as they only last about six months, are cold in the winter and hot in the summer, offering little comfort, dignity and security. Also, they have no electricity or lighting, and that is very limiting for people and families that just want to live a normal life, again. That is why the UNCHR recently joined Nordic giant IKEA Foundation, to… read more

Recycled Newspapers Offer 3 Unique Designs

Recycled Newspapers Turned Into 3 Unique Designs

In 2010, the recycling rate of newspapers in the U.S. reached almost 72%. Newspapers can be reprocessed into many different objects, and some designers have turned to the medium as a resource for their works. Below are some creations that are definitely an upscale effort of what is possible with recycled newspapers. Ivano Vitali knows the capabilities of recycled resources. Creating sustainable art with them for decades, one development that used newspaper as fabrics produced a clothing line that looks more stylishly complicated than the papered headlines they came from. Uniquely colored and textured, the time consuming collection process and… read more

Building with Nature’s Strong Point

Vietnamese Restaurant is Entirely Built From Bamboo

Bamboo is an essential ingredient for traditional Vietnamese architecture. It grows locally, very flexible and surprisingly, as strong as steel. Bamboos are some of the fastest-growing plants in the world and are of notable economic and cultural significance particularly around Asia, and it is widely used as a as a food source, medicine and textiles, as well as architecture. One breathtaking example, built entirely from the fast-growing grass is a restaurant called Bamboo Wing. Situated in the province of Vinh Phuc, near Hanoi, Vietnam, it showcases the majestic work by Vietnamese bamboo masters Vo Trong Nghia providing a gorgeous place… read more

Rough, Rusty and Recycled

Rusty-Modern Home in Sydney

“Tinshed” is not a rugged precarious home, it is a modern studio flat/office located in the trendy area of East Redfern, one of Sydney’s most interesting and dynamic suburbs. It was designed by architect Raffaello Rossellis who reused the corrugated iron boards from an old shed standing previously on-site to create a modern space with humble exteriors that reminds the area what was left behind. Tin sheds are a part of Australia’s building vernacular, which is why the architect decided to keep the old shed’s spirit and revamped it into a new home, a new building that is rough and honest. Filled with windows… read more

There’s A Secret In Ann Arbor, Michigan

There’s A Secret In Ann Arbor, Michigan

Actually lots of them – and they are not meant for adults. These secrets are intended for kids. Sometimes children can be unintentionally left out of things; for instance, the design process revolving around constructions like buildings, parking lots or even homes. One children’s writer and artist in the city of Ann Arbor has made it his mission to include the younger crew in an unusually inviting way, and in the most unsuspecting places. If you look close enough at nearby elementary schools, inside tea shops, markets, on shelves, hidden in fireplaces or even curbside amidst a normally lackluster parking… read more

Cut Costs While Keeping Cool


With the waxing of the summer equinox, we shall soon reach a peak in temperatures. With this comes an escalation in A/C costs and a search for ways in which to dash such expenses. While standard mesh window screens can diffuse solar radiation, there remain alternative fixtures of equal effectiveness that are often neglected when not used for their novelty. This is rather a shame, for when paired with standard window treatments – curtains, shades and the lot – their energy saving properties can parallel the efforts of air cooling and heating systems. Take, for example, the following: Vines Masking… read more