In Fuji City, Japan, Tezuka Architects have built what is quite possibly one of the cutest and most wholesome nursery schools, ever. The Muku Nursery is comprised of a series of round timber structures that when viewed from above look like bubbles or parasols. Inside, the rooms are open and are drenched in natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around the structures.
These Designers Are Shaping the Future of Water
Can design help solve the global water crisis? If so, how? That was the prompt given to designers by A/D/O by Mini and Jane Wither Studio for the Water Futures Design Challenge. Over 2,000 designs from over 30 countries were submitted, and on April 4th the winning projects were debuted. Read on to learn more about the winners and cast a vote for your favorite project.
How Kari Pei Transposes Abstract Expression from Canvas to Carpet
Interface Lead Product Designer Kari Pei's latest collection, Simple Abstraction, translates Gerhardt Richter’s painterly language into a carpet collection that highlights just how thin the border between art and design really is.
Sidewalk Labs has revealed some of the concept renderings for Quayside, the Alphabet-helmed smart city development project in Toronto, and it certainly looks like a city of the future. The predominant construction material is timber and the overall design skews towards modularity. There will also be a built-in recycling and composting system that could divert 80% of the district's waste from the landfill. If all goes according to plan and approval is given, Sidewalk Labs estimates Quayside could be up and running within five to six years. Still, the project has attracted a significant amount of controversy due to high levels of secrecy surrounding the contract signed between Alphabet and Waterfront Toronto, as well as concerns over furtive data-gathering apparatuses built into the neighborhood's infrastructure.
Snøhetta Debuts New Chair Made of Recycled Fish Nets and Steel
According to Circular Ocean, some 705,000 tons of fishing gear are lost or discarded in the ocean every year. That's a lot of virgin nylon, a strong and durable material, floating uselessly in the ocean and even worse, strangling thousands of whales, sea lions, and other marine animals. Once the problem became apparent, a whole industry popped up around gathering these discarded fish nets and transforming them into viable new products. Internationally-renowned design firm Snøhetta joined the competition at the 2019 Stockholm Design Week with their S-1500 chair, which is made of recycled fishing gear and repurposed steel. Because it uses locally sourced recyclable materials, the S-1500 has one of the lowest carbon footprints on the market.
Ica & Kostika Launch Nature-Inspired, 3D-Printed Killer Heels
The humble seahorse may not be an intuitive place to find inspiration, but that's exactly where 3D-printed shoe outfit Ica & Kostika looked for their latest collection. Cast in a silvery finish, the seahorse-inspired shoe is part of a larger collection called Exobiology. The shoes are meticulously designed and constructed to fit the natural shape of the wearer's foot.
Veganism may not be the ideal diet to mitigate the effects of climate change—there's another diet for that—but its emphasis on compassionate treatment of animals could be the start of a new paradigm in interior design. Case in point, the world's first vegan hotel suite, created by Bompas & Parr for Hilton's London Bankside property, exclusively uses plant-based products and completely eliminates any use of wool, leather, or feathers. The suite makes extensive use of Piñatex, a faux-leather material made of pineapple leaves, as well as cotton in the carpeting.
LG's Roll-Up TV is the Perfect Product for Viewing "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo"
At CES 2019, LG unveiled the world's first rollable TV, which is comprised of just two parts: a super slim OLED screen and a base with built-in soundbar. When not in use, the TV descends into the base and winds around a spool, becoming a piece of unobtrusive furniture. Sure to please both techies and those who strictly adhere to the "a place for everything, and everything in its place" mantra, LG's game-changing product will go on sale later this year.
Potato Peels Find New Life as Alternative MDF Material
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and chipboard may soon find themselves replaced by a new, biodegradable product—and good riddance, too! These commonly used materials are not recyclable and are full of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde. Instead, London-based designer team Chip[s] Board proposes using waste potato peelings combined with fibers from bamboo, hops, wood or more potatoes for furniture construction. Not only will this remove MDF and chipboard from landfills, but it could also reduce food waste, another major environmental and social problem.
Sports gear company Vollebak recently unveiled the "100 year pant," a water-and-fireproof pair that promises to outlive you. Inspired by astronaut gear and military technology, the pants are much lighter and generally more comfortable than previous incarnations of armor-gear. Well suited for firefighters, stuntmen, and soldiers, most of their features are superfluous to most – but if you die testing their flame resistance, at least you'll go out with your pants on.
Dutch Government Embraces Flex Space in Trains
Flex space is a well-known component of the modern open office, but that concept has now transitioned over to the transportation sector. The Dutch National Railway Company's new series of flexible and modular trains, designed by Dutch firm Mecanoo and Gispen, offers passengers different seating configurations to use as an office, lounge, and socialization spaces. While still in conceptual stages, it's possible that this concept could change the face of transportation in the future.
You Can Feel A Little Less Guilty About Eating French Fries Now
Tomorrow's french fries may be just as fattening and delicious as they are today, but their packaging may feel very different. A trio of Italian designers devised a form of packaging, called Peel Saver, made from recycled potato skins. Aimed at reducing waste from food truck and other cheap eats places, Peel Saver is cheap to produce and fully biodegradable.
The legalization of marijuana is taking North America by storm. What started in Colorado has expanded to nine U.S. states and the entirety of Canada, meaning that a whole host of new means and methods for enjoying a legal high will start to hit the mainstream market. The Otto by banana bros., a minimalist-looking machine that literally rolls joints for the user, is one such option. What a time to be alive!
Poured Concrete Flooring Eliminates Disease in Bangladeshi Homes
An acronym for architecture for health in vulnerable environments, ARCHIVE Global believes design can help combat disease. A recent pilot project confirms the belief. In 2014, the nonprofit launched Health From the Ground Up, an initiative to improve conditions for the disadvantaged in Southeast Asia. Upon learning that thousands of Bangladeshi children die due to parasites harbored in the dirt floors often used in their homes, the team focused on a single basic element: new flooring material. They chose poured concrete, not only easy to maintain and less likely to transmit disease but also able to be installed by local masons. A month after installation in 10 homes, post-construction surveys revealed no new infections in the children living there.
Meet the First Commercially Available Passive House Prefab
Homes built to the Passive House standard have been gaining popularity in recent years, and with the UN's latest dire warning about climate change, that popularity may see a bona fide boom. For people looking to do their part for the planet, German company Lofts to Go offers a solution: the Coodo, a prefab structure that adheres to this rigorous environmental standard. The units can be used as both residential and commercial spaces, and developments are in place to take the Coodo completely off the grid.