Posts filed under ‘Industrial Design’
These designs are just extraordinary. I kind of want some for my living room now. Boris Bally is an award winning American industrial designer that creates a series of products from recycled street signs and other products. His work is very funky and eclectic. It’s the type of work I love to see. I certainly recommend viewing his site.
Images via Boris Bally
Irish Designer David Barry developed The Eden Project which is a very creative green solution to urban gardening. The concept involves the use of portable gardening pods which allow the user to grow their own food. The pods can then be stored away after the growing season has passed.
I love this concept. It is an absolutely brilliant idea. Dennis and I live in a very small place, and we have been looking into ways of our own food. At the moment, it has been incredibly difficult. We managed to grow a tomato plant, and we are working on a cucumber plant. While we did have success, it was incredibly difficult to find space for them. Moving them around after they grew to be a certain size proved to be a problem as well. These portable garden pods would eliminate this issue.
Images via David Barry
I’m certain you’ve heard or at least seen a picture of these fabulous, sustainable homes in the middle of the forest. I saw one of these some time ago, and I still dream of living in one. They resemble those cottage looking Hobbit homes from Lord of the Rings, and they’re just as posh on the inside. The first Hobbit home design I discovered was Simon Dale’s woodland home, but since then Dennis and I have discovered a group of people that are actually making a community of them. These folks belong to a group called the Lammas Low Impact Living Project, and they are based in Wales.
The Lammas group aim to create a thriving example of low impact development and living. They plan on becoming an example of a successful sustainable rural development. Unfortunately, the village isn’t built quite yet, but the Lammas group are currently applying for permission to build their eco-village on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland next to the village of Glandwr, Pembrokeshire in Wales. It is a bit difficult to get permission from the local councils for such a development, but the Lammas group will not give up. They plan on starting construction this summer.
One of the issues the Lammas group is having has to do with their low-impact living initiative. This concept involves the intense management of ones natural surroundings in order to maximize return and minimize waste. The group’s plans were a bit out of the ordinary, and the council found it a bit difficult to approve without further investigating their proposal. However, according to their website, the Penbrokeshire council has been very understanding, and are willing to work with the Lammas group on this project.
The actual homes will be built from materials found in and around the development area. They are specifically designed to blend into the landscape. Each building will use a combination of natural and recycled materials and building styles. All homes will be built with the latest environmental technologies and design techniques.
I really do hope Lammas and the Penbrokeshire council come to an understanding. Dennis and I have signed up as volunteers to help build low-impact homes in Penbrokeshire, but I hear they are delaying their plans at the moment. Dennis and I are very willing to take on a task like this. We figured there wasn’t a better way to learn about this lifestyle than to be working with low-impact community pioneers. I hope we can make this happen. Our dream is to build our own off-grid, sustainable home in a few years time, and the Lammas group are truly inspirational people for pioneering such a project.
These are similar low-impact living homes.
To find more information about the Lammas project visit lammas.org.uk
I really hate it when this happens, but I suppose it’s a learning process for all of us. I’ve fallen victim to this myself in my work, but I always admit I was wrong and start over. It’s a journey, but we can’t make progress if no one admits they were wrong or happened to miscalculate.
The reason I’m a bit upset about non-functioning green design right now is because I have to live with someone’s very bad eco-decision. Let me give you a little background. Dennis and I moved into this very overpriced flat before we knew better. Now, we know we can get close to the same for less than half of what we pay now, but that is beside the point. The flat is very luxurious and the building is very posh. The rental company boasted about its excellent flats, and I am upset to admit that we took the bate. One of the reasons we chose this place was because it is a green building and its home appliances are energy efficient. We figured we couldn’t go wrong with a smaller utility bill, and it was honestly the best flat we viewed.
I am certain you are not surprised to learn that problems arose the day we moved into the flat. We quickly noticed the toilets didn’t flush and called the property management company immediately. They sent over a plumber and he let us know there was nothing he could do. The toilets didn’t flush anything down because they were supposed to be conserving water.
I thought this was ridiculous! He informed us that these toilets were put in all over the city. They were a major problem, because they overflowed constantly. Now, I am incredibly happy to live in a building and city that places the environmental impact of a problem’s solution in their top priorities. However, I disagree with solving these problems with green design that doesn’t work. What’s the point of something being green if it doesn’t do it’s intended job. For instance, our toilets are supposed to conserve water, but they do it by only flushing half the waste. What’s the bloody point? I’d rather have a compost toilet. At least I’d know it would do the job!
It’s been a month now since our toilet stopped working. I’m still waiting for the property management company to send a plumber over. We’ve had it looked at already, but there really isn’t anything they can do. It’s just going to keep overflowing. The owner needs to replace the toilet, but I don’t think he is willing to do that. In the end, Dennis and I are paying for a luxury flat with a broken, stinky toilet. The owner will have to replace it at some point, and this is just going to cost him more money.
There is no reason for this to have occurred, but now that it has it’s time to fix it. I get upset because everyone refuses to acknowledge that these things don’t work. Everyone is sitting on their green high horse, boasting about their eco-friendly flat when secretly they wish they had a normal, flushing toilet. Design like this just makes people angry, and distracts from the real issue. How are we going to persuade people to live greener lifestyles if we can’t provide proper, working alternatives? By the way, my dryer doesn’t dry, because it’s trying to conserve energy. To be honest, I much rather line dry my clothing, but don’t call it a clothes dryer if it doesn’t dry clothes.
Images via Alicia Jo McMahan, SandraBr, ArtFiend147, and Agrelli
Dennis and I have been in the market for several appliances since we moved to the UK. We haven’t had a toaster or a blender in about a year. We still have our American bought appliances, but we obviously can’t use them in England. We figured it would be a shame to throw them out so we asked to see if we could purchase a converter for them. We were strongly advised against using one. Everyone we asked simply suggested we give our American appliances over to the recycling yard. They just wouldn’t work, or we would end up causing a fire.
After asking just about anyone who would listen, Dennis and I decided it was time to start purchasing new appliances. We started looking into different brands and products. None of us were quite sure what to purchase since, but we did agree that we wanted to buy eco-friendlier versions of these power guzzling products. We are slowly acquiring back our appliances, and yesterday it was the Blender’s turn. I started looking into eco-friendly blenders when I came upon the hand-powered Vortex.
The Vortex blender is primarily used when camping, but I don’t see any reason it couldn’t be used at home. It has an ergonomic handle you turn to use the machine, and it uses a C-clamp to stabilize it. It is exactly what we were looking for, but Dennis and I still had our reservations. We agreed that it would probably be a better idea to sample it in person than take the company’s word at the moment. It is very different than most are used to, and we would prefer to know that it met all of our needs before we part with our money. Do any of you have experience with a blender like this? What are your thoughts about it? Does it do the job?
Images via Gaiam
Dennis and I have very seriously started looking at downsizing our lifestyle. One of our goals is to purchase or build a totally off grid mini home. We are divided between purchasing a prefabricated home or just building one of our own. I am leaning more towards a prefab, but I would love to build my own home. Dennis and I figure that if anything were to break, we would know how to fix it if we built it ourselves. He brings up a good point, but we still have to discuss the details.
I used these three videos as inspiration. The first mini home is my absolute favorite. The second is a perfect example of how good design can make fantastic use of a small space. The third is about Container City in London. I really want to visit this site. A design firm based in London created entire office buildings and living spaces out of shipping containers. Let me know what you think about tiny and/or prefab homes.
Videos via YouTube
Now, I don’t know if a few of these would be more of a hassle than a solution, but they certainly are beautiful. I really love those waterproof watches. I can use one instead of a chunky bracelet. The Eden Project Design really interests me as well. I could really do with a portable veggie garden.
Uses sensory substitution and can be used to supplement senses.
Too Late Waterproof Watches
Infinity Aquarium by BCXSY Studio
Eden Project-Portable Garden by David Barry
This invention is fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! Adam Grosser discusses sustainable refrigeration in this fascinating TED Talk. I believe his invention will revolutionize the industry. Mr. Grosser created a method of cooling down a container using thermodynamics, and by tweaking some old refrigeration technology. He plans on bringing refrigeration to everyone by making it cost effective and sustainable.
Video via TED Talks