Minimalist Functional Design

by Justin Thomas •

designing-design-white-kenya-hara

Kenya Hara wrote the book “Designing Design“, which is 472 page tribute to “white” not just as color but as a design concept. It contains chapters by like-minded designers such as Jasper Morrison and Naota Fukasawa. The works of German industrial designer Dieter Rams (Braun), and Apple’s “Snow White” design language are other examples of the “less is more” approach …

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Chinese Design Winner: High-Rise With Vertical Hydroponics

by Justin Thomas •

This apartment high-rise concept won a sustainable housing award recently in China. It integrates a vertical greenhouse into the high-rise. Designed by Knafo Klimor Architects, the “agro-housing” concept allows the residents to produce their own food, reducing commuting needs and providing a green neighbourhood. The greenhouse is a multi-floor structure for cultivation of crops such as vegetables, fruits, flowers and …

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Volvo Unveils A Plug-In Hybrid

by Justin Thomas •

Volvo is unveiling an innovative plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The ReCharge Concept is a specially designed Volvo C30 with individual electric wheel motors and batteries that can be charged via a regular electrical outlet. When fully charged the Volvo ReCharge Concept can be driven approximately 62 miles on battery power alone before the car’s four-cylinder 1.6 Flexifuel …

Mad Experiment: Meta-Optimal Investigations

by Justin Thomas •

Mad Experiment has appeared metaoptimally and is covering experimental activities. For example this concept product: each key has embedded OLED screen, allowing the keys to be remapped. Via Mad Experiment

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Using Natural Systems To Cool Down

by Justin Thomas •

The latest issue of Home Power has an article on how to cool your house down using natural systems (also known as passive cooling). This is a concept that is neglected in most modern house design — forcing home owners to use air conditioning throughout the summer. The article illustrates the basics of passive cooling quite well: how to choose …

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Very Compact Ofuros (Japanese Baths)

by Justin Thomas •

Japanese soaking baths are built small but deep. These compact “ofuro” will fit in just about anywhere — even the smallest apartment. Diamond Spa makes the baths pictured here. We’ve no idea on the price, but the concept is good. If anyone knows where to get this style of tub at a reasonable price please let us know.

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Mobile.Seed: Biodegradeable Mobile Phone

by Justin Thomas •

Interesting concept. It’s called the Mobile.Seed. The idea is to have a fully biodegradable mobile phone that contains a visible seed inside. When you done with the phone, you put it in the ground, and flowers grow from the seed within. The phone’s brand could be tailored around the seed and plant that grows.

SilenceAir: Noise Blocking Bricks

by Justin Thomas •

SilenceAir looks like a transparent brick, and uses “passive resonators” to allow fresh air into buildings while leaving 85% of the noise behind. “Cities are noisy. When we block the noise from our offices and homes, we usually reduce the ventilation…the result is sick buildings and people,” says the inventor Chris Field. Chris developed the concept during his doctoral research …

Plyfold Containers: Trans-Meta-Effective

by Justin Thomas •

These folding containers, can be made flat for travel or storage, and then refolded into three-dimensional containers. Made with recycled leather and Climatex® Lifecycle™ Felt, the containers are completely biodegradable. Climatex® Lifecycle™ Felt is made of discarded scraps from weaving factories. It can be used as upholstery interlining, felt coasters or felt slippers and as mulch in gardening, eliminating the …