Art Lebedev’s see-thru truck concept

from DVICE by Addy Dugdale

Art Lebedev, he of the wallet-busting concepts that sometimes make it to the real world has come up with a surreal — nay, crazy — idea for road safety. The Transparentius is not a Harry Potter spell to be used on girls’ tee-shirts in a club, but rather for truck drivers. The idea consists of a camera stuck on the front of a truck which transmits the image of the road ahead onto the back of the load, showing drivers in the car behind just what is up ahead of them.

It’s not the first time the Russian design agency has gone all Jack Kerouac on us all, but this sure is alaaaaaarge concept. Just one question. Is it better than seeing the dirty white backside of a truck with “I’m a dirty girl who needs cleaning up” written in the grime? Possibly.

Via Engadget

BMW’s Electric Mini Cooper Goes Half The Range In The Cold

from Gizmodo Australia by Dan Nosowitz

Unlike the electric Chevy Volt, BMW’s Mini E doesn’t have a heater to keep the battery at optimum temperature when it gets cold outside – sounds like a minor problem, but it halves the Mini E’s range. Eep. (more…)

german pavilion at shanghai expo 2010

from Designboom – Weblog

the german pavilion at shangahi 2010

the german pavilion, ‘balancity’, will be completed around april 2010 for the shanghai expo,
said its chief architect lennart wiechell.

the 6,000-square-meter structure will be germany’s largest at any expo. it will showcase
german urban life and how the country’s design and products can help solve urbanization

rather than being conceived as a building, the pavilion is meant to be a three-dimensional
walk-through sculpture with no defined interior or exterior. for visitors the journey
will start at the harbour and lead through gardens and parks, via a town planning office
and a factory and past the opera to end at the ‘energy source’, the city’s power plant.

the german pavilion at shangahi 2010

isometric drawing of the exhibition structures

the ‘energy source’

the factory

the park

the opera

german art and cultural scene

an underwater escalator

the planning office

the planning office

Uranium Is So Last Century — Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke

from Wired News

The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title — Fluid Fuel Reactors — jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night …


$100 Billion Opportunity for Waste-To-Energy Companies in Developing World

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer

Here’s an opportunity to wisely spend some of the $100 billion that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised at Copenhagen to cut the greenhouse gases of developing nations by aiding in the development of renewable energy infrastructure to by-pass fossil fuel dependence. (Previous story.)

Apparently one in four Chinese cities and seven out of 10 counties are without sewage-treatment plants, according to the People’s Daily. While there are many ways to treat sewage or municipal waste; one of the newest is the use of municipal solid waste to make renewable energy.

Read more of this story »

yves behar/ fuse project: one laptop per child generation 3

from Designboom – Weblog

one laptop per child generation 3 by yves behar/ fuse project

back in 2007 yves behar of fuse project together with nicholas negroponte
released the ‘one laptop per child XO laptop’. now more than one million
laptops have been distributed to children around the world to help further
the mission of providing education and access to information for all… like in
uruguay where every public school child between 6 and 12 years old has one.

while the distribution of OLPC XO continues, they have released a new
version the XO-3. their new design features an all plastic tablet screen which
is semi-flexible and extremely durable (compared to current glass screens which
crack upon impact), and just like the original XO, the display can be optimized
in both transmissive and reflective modes for indoor and outdoor lighting
conditions. the XO-3 supports many use scenarios to fulfill kids’ learning
needs: from horizontal book mode to portrait reading mode, to multi touch,
so many hands can play and learn together on the same screen, to a full-touch
keyboard and a back facing camera.

matteo thun: edel weiss residence

from Designboom – Weblog

edel:weiss residence
all images courtesy of matteo thun

located at the top of the katschberg alpine pass in austria, is matteo thun‘s edel:weiss residence,
a new landmark in the middle of a transition space. the construction is two twin buildings,
almost identical in form – one inverted and the other upright – each with a wooden lattice structure
wrapping around their exteriors. both circular residential towers measure 20 meters in diameter
each and house 66 units with open views of the natural and unaltered landscape.

aerial view of the edel:weiss residence within the landscape of the katschberg alpine pass

aerial view of the edel:weiss residence within the landscape of the katschberg alpine pass

the wooden lattice facade


view by night

concept sketches

client: michaeler & partner
building use: residence of 66 units
services provided: architecture, interior design, styling, light design, landscaping
total building area: 4.000 m2

marcel wanders: casa son vida

from Designboom – Weblog

interior living space with curved profiled walls
all image courtesy of marcel wanders

marcel wanders has designed the interior for the casa son vida, a luxury villa on the
island of mallorca. the building is composed of both old and new parts, with a new
extension by tec architecture. their addition influenced wanders’ design choices for the interior,
in which he wanted to complement the building by continuing to bring together historical
and contemporary elements. round and square shapes, futuristic blobs combined with antiques
result in a mix of traditional and modern references throughout the villa, with the play of
reliefs and contrasting surfaces creating an unusual atmosphere.

living space

vanity / bathing area which mixes modern and classical details


H3AR: instant house

from Designboom – Weblog

‘instant house’ by hugon kowalski of H3AR architecture and design
all images courtesy H3AR architecture and design

hugon kowalski of polish firm H3AR architecture and design recently created
‘instant house’ for an international student competition in milan. the theme was that
of a temporary residential mini unit, linked to the presence of young people with high
levels of territorial mobility connected to particular metropolitan events.

the concept includes concrete cylinders, made from styrofoam concrete (which increases
the acoustics and insulation and is twelve times lighter than normal concrete). this concrete
contains TI02, which will reduce air pollution. in 2014 it will be possible to produce
concrete from rice husks which reduce carbon dioxide emissions during the making process.

inspiration board of ‘instant houses’

location of the instant houses

location of the instant houses

how the instant house is built

levels of the house

section view

the interior will be covered with felt increasing the acoustics and insulation

Fake Greenwashing: The New “Green” Trend?

from Green Options by John Ivanko

Most of us have heard on NPR’s Marketplace that the GMO-giant, Monsanto — a sponsor of the program — is “committed to sustainable agriculture…Produce more. Conserve more.” Obvious greenwashing, if you ask any farmer at a local farmers’ market or people committed to growing with nature, not synthetic chemicals. For more examples of greenwashing, see the Greenwashing Index from EnviroMedia and the University of Oregon.

Read more of this story »

fort york visitor centre

from Designboom – Weblog

fort york, the historic military base located in downtown toronto, will soon be graced with a new visitor
centre designed by patkau architects with kearns mancini architects. a jury of artists and designers
selected the team’s design over a number of other entries in a recent architectural competition. the site
is next to toronto’s elevated highway, the gardiner expressway, which was part of the design concept by
quadrangle architects previously featured on designboom
. the new visitor centre will feature exhibition
space, a gift shop, restaurant, community spaces, theatre and meeting rooms. the design by patkau
architects with kearns mancini features a prominent ‘steel-escarpment’ and a landscape of grasses
designed to restore the landscape to its original, pre-development’ condition. fort york was turned
into a museum in 1934 and the new visitor centre will increase this presence and connect the site
to the surrounding community.

Audio slideshow: The Empire State Re-building

from CTBUH Global News

Dec 21, New York

In 2009 the most iconic building on the Manhattan skyline began to undergo a £340m ($550m) refurbishment project – not only to recreate its Art Deco grandeur but also make it a skyscraper fit for the 21st Century. The programme, which includes the replacement of all the building’s windows, should lead to a 38% energy saving in future…more

Biomass Power Plant Probably Hides Future Evil World Ruler

from Gizmodo Australia by Jesus Diaz

I don’t know if I would like to have a biomass power plant next to my house, but if I have to get one, please let it be like this. Better yet, let me live in it. (more…)