If you go down to the woods today watch out for a big surprise! We love this office for, and by, Selgas Cano Arquitectos in Madrid parkland.
Most schools in rural India lack basic facilities like desks. Students have to sit on the floor with their backs hunched for hours. Aarambh, an NGO that works with children, worked with agency DDB Mudra Group Ahmedabad to create a desk that doubles as a school bag made from discarded cartons. Help Desk plays an important role in improving the quality of education in rural India, and has just been awarded a D&AD White Pencil 2014.
Pictures courtesy of D&AD/DDB Mudra Group
Madrid studio Ábaton has rebuilt a crumbling stone stable in the countryside of western Spain and converted the building into a self-sufficient family home.
Copenhagenize, evangelists for bicycle culture, have created Flow, which is a pre-fabricated tile made from recycled products that clicks together to form an inexpensive, easy to implement and effective temporary cycle path system.
Up to a kilometre can be laid in a day at a tenth of the cost of a permanent structure, lowering the entry level for cities reluctant to invest in facilities for cyclists.
Picture courtesy of copenhagenize.eu
Seattle’s Bullitt Center is a carbon-neutral building and, by generating its own electricity and water, it will be zero-net energy too thus allowing its creators to claim it as the greenest commercial building in the world.
The Bullitt Center is located at 1501 East Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98122, USA.
Images courtesy and copyright of Brad Kahn and Nic Lehoux
DETROIT: Urban forestry and revitalization
Tree planting brings a sense of community to once desolate area In a city famous for ‘allowing’ nature to take back what was once her’s in many abandoned neighborhoods, man made efforts help speed the greening of Detroit:John Hantz wanted to make the urban desert bloom. Today, a thousand-plus volunteers showed up to plant 15,000 trees on 20 acres of east-side land, transforming blight into landscape.Hantz, who expects to spend $6 million on his trees, acknowledges that it takes 20 years for the trees to mature. “This isn’t completely altruistic,” he said. “If I don’t see it become something, I think my daughter will.”Ray Anderson, a retired city worker who lives across the street, said he was thrilled by the planting. Later, he posted on his Facebook page: “What a great day. And a wonderful sight to see change is here.”If it is truly not realistic for the suburbs and Detroit proper to ever converge - it is most likely not - then I am enthralled with the idea of seeing those boundaries fill in with dense forest and parkland. Just as today, Detroit would remain a city uniquely its own it the world.
The city of Melbourne, Australia, has elaborated plans for an Urban Forest that aims to increase the city’s green canopy coverage from 20% to 40% by 2040. It is hoped that this increase will lower summertime temperatures by 4 degrees Centigrade.
The city has created an interactive map of all the trees in the city, and is holding Urban Forest workshops to encourage citizens to get involved in the greening of the city.
Bike Fixation designs and manufactures public bike work stands, pumps and vending machines that serve spare bicycle parts, and snacks, for public infrastructure projects.
First taken up by the bike-friendly and enlightened Minneapolis/St.Paul metropolitan area in the USA, their products have since been adopted on a small-scale in Texas, California, Oregon, Wisconsin and Washington - and with a leap of the Atlantic in Sheffield, in the UK.
The Public Work Stand is a great idea, and it would be wonderful to see other major metropolitan areas adopt the principles and products.
Pictures courtesy of Bike Fixation.
The University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, Peru has partnered with advertising agency MAYO-DRAFT FCB to create an advertising billboard that grabs moisture from the desert air and converts it into filtered drinking water.
Mother advertising agency FCB has a history of creating projects that move beyond conventional advertising to create innovative design projects that have the potential for real social impact.
See how FCB forged a link between young Brazilians who wanted to learn how to speak English fluently with Americans living in retirement homes, who needed someone to talk to, with their ‘Speaking Exchange' concept.
Telly-Tubby? Hobbit? It just looks like a fun place to live a quiet and good life.