The word Tagei means versatility in Japanese, and what better way to describe this fabulous line of furniture that converts from table into bench designed by Brooklyn designer Akemi Tanaka


A carrierbike is a fantastic invention for transporting the kids in. But once the kids have been delivered in day care/kindergarten and you are working the pedals, it is probably one of the most useless inventions. With the Danish designed trioBike, you can easily take of the front carrier and change the carrierbike into a bike and a pushchair. The trioBike also gives couples the possibility, of one delivering the kids and the other picking them up. With each of you having your own bike, one can put on the carrier, deliver the kids and take it off at the institution. Later on the other can ride to the institution, put on the carrier and ride home with the kids.

Happy Turkey Day

Sorry I haven't posted all week. I've been sssoooo sick. Here are a few to make up for it and to make up for the fact that we are taking a trip and will be back next week. Happy Turkey Day!


Recycled Cardboard by A4Adesign

Honeycombed-board is made of recycled paper and water-based glue, and can itself be recycled. During the production phase, all unused pieces are collected and reintroduced into the manufacturing process. The honeycomb is one of the most compression-resistant structures in nature, and can support up to 400000 N/mq pressure. That is why such extraordinarily light materials can resist such strenuous conditions.


Grow A Home

Click on photo to watch video
Architects Mitchell Joachim and Javier Arbona along with an environmental engineer Lara Greden have designed a house that will grow from a few seedlings into a fully developed double-story, water recycling and energy-efficient house. They have designed a house that will grow from a few seedlings into a fully developed double-story, water recycling and energy-efficient house in only FIVE years.
"If solar power and recycled building materials just aren’t green enough for you, the brains behind the Fab Tree Hab might have the perfect pad. Architects Mitchell Joachim and Javier Arbona, along with environmental engineer Lara Greden, have designed a house that will grow from a few seedlings into a two-story, water-recycling, energy-efficient abode. The Fab Tree Hab, a mix of ancient and ultramodern technology, isn’t merely environmentally friendly. It is the environment.

Instead of building a home out of green materials, the trio figured, why not construct a living, breathing house? “Something that’s alive and thriving,” Joachim says. They hope to plant the first house within five years, but for now, they’re working with Israeli arboriculture firm Plantware, testing techniques for growing the lattice-like weave of vines and roots that will form the walls.

Despite its odd exterior, the house will look normal on the inside. The walls, packed with clay and plastered over, will keep out the rain, and modern technology will be welcome. Yet there are still a few practical kinks to work out. Joachim wonders, for example, how a planning board will react to a house that constantly expands.

Each house will take at least five years to grow, depending on the climate, but Joachim envisions the structures being grown and tended to on a farm. Customers could pick a finished tree habitat and then have it transported to and replanted on a lot within 100 miles. Here, a look inside and out at what’s sure to be the greenest house on the block."
via Popsci


Drain-Water Heat Recovery

After space heating, water heating is the second most costly energy demand in homes, accounting for 20-30% of energy consumption. Likewise, drain-water is easily one of the largest overlooked sources of energy savings in commercial and commercial enterprises. Approximately $40 billion dollars goes down the drain in North American each year.

When warm water goes down the drain, it carries away valuable energy with it. Ninety percent of the energy used to heat water in a home can be washed out to the sewer. Drain-water heat recovery (DWHR) systems can re-capture some or most of this valuable energy and use it to preheat cold fresh water. There are many ways that DWHR units are deployed in commercial and industrial installations, while there is one primary and simple method for residential installations.



Harnessing Tidal Streams For Energy

This tidal stream concept is designed for deep water, such as the 60m deep Pentland Firth - too deep to economically mount turbines rigidly to the seabed and too rough for surface floaters to survive. Instead, the turbines are mounted on semi-submersible spar buoys tethered to the seabed gravity anchorages by swing-arms.
A key feature is that the turbines use technology and components developed from the wind industry, that already exist and that have been developed over the last 20 years. It is only the support structure that is truly new and innovative.
The turbines in operation float submerged in the middle of the tidal stream, free to swing and heave in the turbulent water flow. Loads are several times those on a wind turbine, and the sheer size of the turbine, combined with the 60m water depth, make any kind of fixed structure almost unthinkable. But provided a seabed anchorage can be made, and the problems of cable flexing and hook-up solved, then a semi-submersible concept such as this becomes entirely plausible.
Shown below is a view of a 7 x 4 array (ie 4 diameters - 160m across the stream and 7 downstream) of 4 MW SSTs in the Pentland Firth, ie 22 turbines, 88 MW per square kilometre. So tidal turbines of capacity equivalent to a 1200 MW nuclear power station would take a sea area of 14 square km. In contrast, 88 MW of wind farms would occupy roughly 4 times as much upland or sea area and generate two thirds of the energy

In operation, these turbines will be silent and unobtrusive compared to wind turbines. They will produce up to 50% more energy per installed kW and do it predictably. Because the rotors turn so slowly (10 m/s or so compared to 60 m/s for a wind turbine) they are likely to present no more danger to sea fauna than the keel of a yacht (and much less than the danger of propellor impact from ships). If anything, the bases will provide shelter for seabed creatures that would otherwise be swept away by the tidal flow (in fact marine growth on the turbines themselves is likely to be a major reason for maintenance work).
Tidal Stream


I guess I jumped the gun on my previous post, GAIAM offers windmills at a fraction of the price. Like this one for $1,795.00.
Whisper currently offers three turbine models that are designated by the square footage of blade sweep. Nothing measures outpot potential better than blade size. Big generators can't deliver when connected to a small blade. Whisper is trying to start an honest industry trend here.
All Whisper turbines are delivered with the capable and good-looking E-Z wiring center, which includes a completge monitoring package with easy-to-read LED display, circuit breaker input for wind, a brake switch for the wind plant, and a bult-in diversion controller with sufficient wattage to handle the turbine output.

Design Like You Give A Damn

The greatest humanitarian challenge we face today is that of providing shelter. Currently one in seven people lives in a slum or refugee camp, and more than three billion people-nearly half the world's population-do not have access to clean water or adequate sanitation. The physical design of our homes, neighborhoods, and communities shapes every aspect of our lives.Yet too often architects are desperately needed in the places where they can least be afforded.

Edited by Architecture for Humanity, Design Like You Give a Damn is a compendium of innovative projects from around the world that demonstrate the power of design to improve lives. The first book to bring the best of humanitarian architecture and design to the printed page, Design Like You Give A Damn offers a history of the movement toward socially conscious design and showcases more than 80 contemporary solutions to such urgent needs as basic shelter, health care, education, and access to clean water, energy, and sanitation. Featured projects include some sponsored by Architecture for Humanity as well as many others undertaken independently, often against great odds.

Design Like You Give A Damn is an indispensable resource for designers and humanitarian organizations charged with rebuilding after disaster and engaged in the search for sustainable development. It is also a call to action to anyone committed to building a better world.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will support the work of Architecture for Humanity.
Design Like You Give A Damn

Blow away your electric bills

A new small residential wind generator from Southwest Windpower will give homeowners a new weapon in the fight against rising electricity costs. Skystream 3.7™ is the first fully integrated wind generator designed specifically for the grid-connected residential market.
A combination of new technologies, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, resulted in a product that quietly produces electricity for a fraction of the cost of current technologies. Skystream’s low cost and low profile provides homeowners an affordable energy supplement that’s appropriate for installation in many residential areas around the country. With no batteries, Skystream 3.7 connects directly to the home to supply power. When the wind is not blowing, the home is powered by the electric utility. Depending on the local utility, excess electricity can be sold back to the utility or used at a later date.
Southwest Windpower

will ferrell earth to america

I bring you this not for political reasons, but simply because Will Ferrell makes me pee my pants. Enjoy.