Book Review: “Transmaterial”

by Justin Thomas •

Transmaterial, a book edited by Blaine Brownell, covers “materials, products and processes that are redefining our physical environment.” The book is filled with surveys of metaeffective materials. The chapters include: ultraperforming materials, multidimensional, recombinant and transformational materials. The entire book is available as a PDF File (11MB). See this review from World Changing for more information.

Book Review: Portable Houses

by Justin Thomas •

When some people vacation, they take their homes with them. Those are the people Irene Rawlings and Mary Abel write about in Portable Houses, a book devoted to all sorts of movable shelters and the people who created or renovated them. The examples featured in the book range in elaborateness from a canvas miner’s tent to a Boeing 737 jet …

Aerogel Production Methods Improved

by Justin Thomas •

Aerogel is the world’s lightest solid, as listed in the Guinness Book of Records. It is 99.8% air and is made from substances such as silica, alumina, or zirconia. It has a porous and sponge-like structure; more than 99% of its volume is in open space. It has been nicknamed "blue smoke." It has many potential uses including ultra-light, cold-weather …

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Book Review: “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things”

by Justin Thomas •

The ideas in this book are refreshing and optimistic. The authors, William McDonough and Michael Braungart, propose that factories, homes and consumer products can be redesigned so that they are actually beneficial to the world. This is in contrast to the approach of attempting to regulate industries and minimize environmental damage. Instead of trying to cause "less harm" the authors …