The Design blog

The Design blog


Celebrate a green Christmas by installing Cardboard Christmas Tree

Posted: 09 Dec 2011 04:00 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

It is December and Christmas fever is picking up with each passing day. If you are blessed with an Eco-conscious soul and care a lot for the environment, then the Cardboard Christmas Tree will force people to shower unending compliments. It is contemplated to be the world's largest cardboard Christmas tree and has been intricately crafted by designer Giles Miller.

Cardboard Christmas Tree
Cardboard Christmas Tree

Picture Gallery
Cardboard Christmas Tree
Cardboard Christmas Tree by Giles Miller

The tree stands with utmost panache at the public atrium of the Design Museum London. The displayed creation is 20 feet high and has been created using 3600 pieces of handmade cardboard that were all cut separately. The details of this tree, displayed at the museum, have been sent to the Guinness Book of World Records in order to officially make it the tallest cardboard tree. The cardboard tree vows to take care of the environment and is available in two sizes. The larger option is 31.5 inches tall and comes stashed with a price tag of £40, while the smaller tree costs £25 and is 16.5 inches tall.

The individually cut pieces are arranged around central shaft which gives the branches a twirling effect and makes it look like a real tree. The Cardboard Christmas tree is easy to erect and just requires wedging the wooden base. It is accompanied by a wooden bird that has been crafted by designer Daniel Heath. So, make this Christmas special and eco-friendly with the exclusive cardboard creation by Giles Miller and see visitors drop their jaws in surprise every time they look at it.

Via: Inhabitat


Sustainable ‘Scotts Tower’ incorporates open, airy sky gardens

Posted: 09 Dec 2011 03:19 AM PST

Apara Bhattacharya:

If you have any plans of visiting Singapore lately, then never miss the opportunity to have a look at the new landmark at the 38, Scotts Road. This eco intelligent landmark is known as 'Scott Towers'. Stretching throughout a landmass of 18500 square meters, this is a 31 story building which is the perfect example of self sustainable vertical structure. Thus, while on one hand you will find all the pleasures of urban living, ranging from bedroom penthouses, bedroom apartments and amusement centers, on the other hand you will have an opportunity to experience nature at its best by virtue of the sky terraces, roof top gardens and balconies overlooking the park in front of this architectural wonder.

Scotts Tower
Scotts Tower

It is the brain child of a Netherlands based architectural firm, UN Studio and the effort of the Singapore based company, Far East Organization. It is a live epitome of wise utilization of available space, providing food and shelter for the growing population of Singapore and at the same time conserving enough of open space. The most amusing part of this building is that the whole structure has four distinct subdivisions that features distinguished different atmospheric zones.

The Inspiration:

The picturesque beauty of Singapore yet the most urbanized social order is what inspired the designers to think of a vertical architecture as Scott Towers. The three basic elements that were taken into consideration by the designers before coming up with this design were 'home', 'neighbourhood' and 'city'. These are the fundamental things found in Singapore. Hence, the designers thought of a vertical structure that will support there basic elements altogether and promote urban living as well as options for open, natural landscapes.

So, Scott Towers has four divisions that comprise of four prominent residential clusters. They aim to promote versatile and customized living. The different types of outdoor spaces offer a different view of the nature; the corner terraces open to exhibit the cityscape view while the central terraces overlook the natural landscape at the other side of the building. The need for customization of living space has been understood well by the designers. So, the interior layout can be adjusted according to personal preference and need.

Eco credentials:

This 32 story vertical architecture comprises of 231 unit towers. The specialty of these units is that each of them has up to three bedroom apartments and four bedroom penthouses. The eco green part of this vertical structure has been justified with by means of the landscaped garden, sky terraces and the penthouse roof gardens on top along with recreational facilities under the expanse of natural ambiance. The hint of green is distantly visible from outside too. The residents can have the opportunity to enjoy the luxury of urban living in the backdrop of natural surroundings.

The architects have been extremely creative in letting the residents enjoy the characteristic features of different climatic zones and subsequent vegetation type within this singular structure. Together with the diversified view from each of the terraces, balconies and elevated locations that present different natural sites like view of the natural landscape outside, the city view or the sky rise, the recreational facilities are also eco friendly. They comprise of lap pools, amusement and wellness pools for kids and stunning decks for sunbathing and meeting pavilions in the backdrop of panoramic natural view.

Feasibility:

Scott Towers has made an honest attempt to redefine the concept of urban dwelling in Singapore. Effort towards the maximization of open space and composite living area that will be self sustaining is what the Scott Towers are aiming to achieve. But the question is how feasible the effort of this self sustainable green architecture will be? In this regard, the lead architect in the project, Ben Van Berkel states that instead of a conventional way to expanding the city to provide shelter to the growing population of Singapore, the Scott Towers has thought of an unconventional and scientific way of vertical utilization of space.

This way, luxury living will be provided to the residents in the urban areas without jeopardizing the natural surroundings. Thus, it can be concluded that the materialization of this all inclusive vertical architecture is definitely a great approach to bring about an amicable solution to the rapidly growing population of the world.

Related trends:

1. Bosco verticale

BOSCO VERTICALE
BOSCO VERTICALE

Bosco Verticale literally means vertical forest. This is a green project undertaken to bring about a hint of forestation and increasing awareness towards desertification in the urban areas. The first specimen of Bosco Verticale will be seen in Milan, at the borders of the neighborhood of Isola. There will be two such vertical structures erected in Milan, one having height of 110 meters and the other of 76 meters. It is supposed to host as much as 10,000 square meters of forest area, sustaining 900 trees of different lengths within this vertical structure. Another feature of this structure is that it optimizes, recuperates and produces energy within this composite structure. The plants in it filter dust, carbon dioxide and humidity in urban areas and produce more fresh oxygen.

2. Tour vegetale de nantes by edouard francois

Tour Vegetale de Nantes by Edouard Francois
Tour Vegetale de Nantes by Edouard Francois

Nantes, a vertical gardening concept for urban areas, is the creation of the French architect, Edouard Francois. The selection of plants in this vertical structure is in such a way that those suitable to thrive in rocky medium and drought conditions have only been chosen. There are stainless tubes inside this vertical structure that are used as containers for supporting vegetation. At the cost of small space utilization, the building will look naturally green from outside. Besides this green credentials, the urban credentials of this building will include offices, elliptical balconies, retail shops and parking spaces. The uniqueness of this building lies in its height of 60 meters.

3. Mixed use aggregation skyscraper in brooklyn

Mixed Use Aggregation Skyscraper in Brooklyn
Mixed Use Aggregation Skyscraper in Brooklyn

This is a structure found at Brooklyn in England. It is an amalgamated structure of natural neighborhood along with residential, industrial and retail outlets. The use of different geometries provides different types of space. This structure has also made an eco conscious use of air conditioning by cooling air naturally so that the utilization of electricity is kept within bounds.

Picture Gallery
The Scotts Tower by UNStudio
The Scotts Tower by UNStudio


Best of 2011: Top 10 portable music players

Posted: 09 Dec 2011 02:47 AM PST

Mayank Anand:

Portable music players are the ultimate gadget that allows the user to listen to music while mobile. Sometimes a distinction is made between a portable player, battery powered and with one or more small loudspeakers, and a personal player, listened to with earphones. There is a variety available in the market hence, to help you choose better we offer you a range of products that can suit your requirements in the best possible manner.

Portable music player
Portable music player

Before rushing out to buy one, read up on what to consider first.

1. MP3 player innovative concept

MP3 Player Innovative Concept
MP3 Player Innovative Concept

The designer of this device has developed a wearable gadget that becomes a fashion accessory to complement the style of modern generation. This portable music player features a flexible OLED screen that other than displaying the playlist also lets the user select the song or control volume with just a touch of a finger. It is worn around the wrist like a bracelet, the MP3 concept gives easy access of the functions to the user. In addition, this sleek music player includes wireless headphones to offer clutter free music on the go.

2. Pioneer portable music players

Pioneer portable music players
Pioneer portable music players

Pioneer’s new Steez range of dance troupe friendly portable music players appears to be a tango using its DJ and audio player skills, relieves dancers, solo or other forms of the tyranny that is static music sources. With this you can get busy yourself on the subway, the drive in car park like places. You can make choice of three models to express yourself in front of: the STZ-D10S-L “Solo, STZ-D10T-G “Duo” and STZ-D10Z-R “Crew”. Each model comes with the company’s own special software which keeps your beats in time, lets you set cue points, change tempo along with many more booty shaking functions. Best of all is the special Battle Mode which plays your chosen sequence of tracks and lets you know when the next dancer, or robot, is there.

3. Cowon C2 portable media player

Cowon C2 portable media player
Cowon C2 portable media player

The Cowon C2 portable media player is simply designed and is capable of supporting both music and video on its 2.6 inch resistive touch panel. It is equipped with purported 55 hours of battery life, including micro SD card for expansion and the company’s world class audio quality. The 16GB C2 is built with a rock solid chrome rear and a plastic front casing. It is also absurdly small and light. There is a power/sleep button, inbuilt mic, Menu or Home button and volume up / down switches on the top. There is an indention on the bottom lip, while the right is home to a covered USB / AV port and a micro SD slot. The left side is where the 3.5mm headphone jack resides.

4. Bantam zen xfi3

bantam ZEN X-Fi3
bantam ZEN X-Fi3

The ZEN X Fi3 comes equipped with a 2 inch LCD and 8/16GB of internal storage. It also contains bluetooth 2.1, a built in microphone/FM radio/speaker. The battery of this item has a capacity to continue up to 20 hours when playing back audio alone. This one also supports a multitude of file formats (FLAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, Audible, etc.)

5. Colorfly portable music player

Colorfly portable music player
Colorfly portable music player

The Colorfly Pocket Hi Fi C4 is a powerful portable computer, a high resolution camera, and a mobile communications center. It is covered with a gorgeous walnut outer shell with hand carved motif. It is controlled by physical buttons and sliding volume pot, the black circuit board contains some top notch technology for a Hi Fi quality audio. In this device the audio files tend to max out at the 16 bit/44.1kHz range greatly reduce high frequency distortion by up sampling to 24 bit/192kHZ output. This device support simultaneous connection of 3.5 mm and 6.5 mm earphones, and with a drive power of 13.3 mW/200mA can run a set of 300 ohm cans. There’s also 32 GB of onboard flash memory to store your collection of high quality WAV, MP3, FLAC and APE music files.

6. MP4 player concept

MP4 Player Concept
MP4 Player Concept

This portable music player is a creation of a Tanzanian designer Walter Robert . It is featuring a simple and slick design. The Ice Card features a crystal clear transparent AMOLED screen that gives the MP4 player a futuristic and clean design. Its jaw dropping design and figure, the Ice Card will be able to comfortably fit in your pocket or wallet. The Ice Card will also come equipped with the latest features that you could ask for in a portable media player along with solar charging capabilities to keep the battery running as long as possible.

7. Hifiman hm 601

HiFiMAN HM-601
HiFiMAN HM-601

The HiFiMAN HM 601 is made of gunmetal grey glossy plastic and is adorned with some industrial style physical controls. There’s a 4 way navigational D pad and three sliders, which act as the power switch, hold toggle and mute mode selector. All of them are made up of plastic rather than metal. The plastic construction helps to keep the weight down too. It has 8GB of internal storage, which is flash memory. HM 601 offers a full size SD card slot, that gaping hole on its left side. This will let you expand that 8GB by up to 32GB, giving a maximum storage potential of 40GB.

8. Music tube

Music Tube
Music Tube

The Music Tube is a conceptual MP3 player designed to be as portable as possible with its compact battery inspired designed. The Music Tube can display track information on its scrolling LED screen. The volume level and battery status of the device can also be viewed from the scrolling screen. It works exactly like the iPod Shuffle in that you can't select your song, but you can move back and forward in the shuffled song library.

9. Digital neck pillow

Digital Neck Pillow
Digital Neck Pillow

The Digital Neck Pillow, created by Jung Hwan Song & Joo Young You, will make long airplane rides a lot more bearable and comfortable. It's soft to the touch and has temperature adjusters so you won't be too hot or cold. Besides providing a bit more comfort, it also has temperature controls and a wicked pair of sunglasses with integrated technology to complement it. The eyewear that come with the Digital Neck Pillow has ear buds for listening to music, a built in display and a deep sleep cover to block out light.

10. Sony nwz a 866

Sony NWZ-A866
Sony NWZ-A866

The Sony NWZ A866 looks and feels great and offers an interface slicker. An extremely likeable device, the NWZ A866 is a comparatively simple music player. It doesn’t offer Wi Fi connectivity or scores of apps. It is strong and solid. The back is made of tough, slightly metallic finish plastic, but the screen surround and side is plastic coated metal, finished in sultry glossy black. At 75g and just 9.3mm thick, the NWZ A866 is immensely portable, and light enough to hold in hand while out on a run. Its body also offers functionality pluses some touchscreen music players lack like physical controls. Its right edge are a trio of playback buttons, volume controls and a hold switch.


Future streetlights to harness sun and wind energy

Posted: 09 Dec 2011 12:00 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The concept

The High Pressure Sodium bulbs or HPS bulbs that make sure that city streets get illuminated when dusk sets in, may soon be a history as they getting swapped with energy efficient options. LED lights have suddenly started gaining immense popularity and will soon be seen decorating the streetlamps as well. The world is becoming eco conscious and people are realizing the importance of keeping their surroundings clean and green. Keeping in mind the environmentally friendly factor, the SavWatt Eco-Pole was created that is a perfect outdoor lighting solution. It is a 100 percent green, eco friendly and self contained LED light, which will not use electricity at all.

Sun and wind powered street light
Sun and wind powered street light

The design makes good use of natural resources and can harness energy from the sun as well as the wind. SavWatt Eco-Pole comes fitted with Savonius solar panels and wind turbines that will not burn a hole in your pocket like long electricity bills. The energy produced by these wind turbines and solar panels doesn't require any maintenance and is long lasting as well. The controller used in the design is self-powered and can easily store energy. This perfect outdoor lighting option is easy to install and is quite durable as well as versatile in nature. SavWatt Eco-Pole is a great option to brighten up the outdoors that too without deteriorating the surroundings in any sense.

The inspiration

The overall design of SavWatt Eco-Pole has absolutely no connection with the power-grid. This is wind and solar powered and has all qualities of an electric pole except the usage of electricity. The streetlight has been created by a company named SavWatt that is based in Baltimore, MD, USA. It will help save precious resources and make good use of the natural elements around.

Eco credentials

SavWatt Eco-Pole will make good use of a 60W LED light that will help brighten up the streets in an eco friendly manner. This freestanding lamp post won't fetch power from the public grid and can be used for a good 50,000 hours, which is quite impressive. It will get all the juice to shine at night from an arrangement of 300W micro-wind turbine and 90W solar cells. The pole is 100 percent self sufficient and won't consume much power as compared to the conventional lighting options. It will just require 250W of energy and the best part being that Eco-Pole will make sure that no harmful gases are emitted, which will cut down on the pollution level. The light produced by SavWatt Eco-Pole will be clearer and uniform in nature. The LEDs produce a white colored light, which is a much better option at night than the orange tint emitted by the HPS bulbs.

Feasibility

SavWatt Eco-Pole is a practical solution to lighten up surroundings at night. The usage of wind and solar energy makes it a self-sufficient source that kills all dependency on the local power grid for its operation. The pole can be wedged anywhere and can withstand all kinds of weather conditions. The alternate source of light will put an end to all additional costs that crop up when any source of outdoor lighting is exploited. It is not only long lasting but is resourceful and reliable as well.

Picture Gallery
Sun and wind powered street light
Street Lights of the Future Will Be Powered by the Sun and Wind

Related trends

1. The Application of Solar and Wind Turbine LED Lamps in Poland

Solar and Wind Turbine LED Lamps in Poland
Solar and Wind Turbine LED Lamps in Poland

The solar and wind turbine LED lamps have been made by the Poland municipality as a step forward towards saving precious energy and protecting the environment from further damage. These lamps are no less than elements of the nature and will spread all across the country, proving to be an excellent source of lighting. EuroLED lighting is the official distributor of BBE LED and is no doubt the leader in taking ahead this much needed energy revolution. Green energy, in the form of solar and wind turbine LED lamps, will be seen almost everywhere in Poland, be it towns, countryside or cities.

2. Solar and Wind Turbine LED Street Light, LU2 in China

LED Street Light, LU2 in China
LED Street Light, LU2 in China

BBE LU2, 56W is a practical solution for street lights to go green. It is the highest sold as well as installed models of BBE LED street lights. Thousands of pieces have been created, which decorate both the solar energy as well as electric power grids. Solar and wind turbine energy powered LU2 is being run as a test project in China. More than 20 projects of LU2 have already been set up in various cities across China in a hope that this green option will soon replace conventional high pressure sodium streetlamps. These will save a lot of energy and the usage of natural sources like the sun rays and wind power make it a winner all the way. The solar and wind hybrid will pull the environment back from the clutches of deterioration and also keep a check on wastage of energy.

3. The concept solar and wind energy Embryo

Solar and wind energy Embryo
Solar and wind energy Embryo

The Embryo Streetlight concept is a brainchild of Harsha Vardhan, which is definitely a practical and cost effective solution to make streets twinkle at night. The designer has been inspired by a living sprout, which led to the birth of the Embryo Streetlight concept. The highlight of the design is its capability to not only produce energy for its own use but the energy generated can also be used by others. The design consists of a single structure that will harness both the energy from the sun and wind. The upper portion of the hood-like roof has been wedged with photovoltaic cells that also include the wind turbine. Carbon fiber enforced plastic has been used to craft the blades of the wind turbine that is used in the design. These will harness renewable energy that will power the lamp. The bottom features a battery that will store excess energy, which can be used later or can also be exploited for various purposes.


iDesign docking station for your iPad

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 10:51 PM PST

Animesh Kumar:

With a number of dock stations out in the market for the iPad, it might be rather difficult for you to pick one. The new Brookstone portable speaker for the iPad allows you to have a multipurpose user experience dominated by superior sound quality. This speaker dock can hold your iPad tablet in the upright position so that you can work, surf and watch videos comfortably. It comes with two built in powered speakers that can tun your iPad tablet into a true room filling stereo system! The secret to its great sound is its acoustically tuned speaker enclosure that brings out rich base and mid range tones.

iDesign iPad Portable Speaker Dock
iDesign iPad Portable Speaker Dock

Features:

  1. Two built in stands allow you to use your iPad tablet in the portrait (upright) mode or flip it to watch wide screen movies or videos in the landscape (the horizontal mode).
  2. The dock also empowers and charges your iPad tablet while docking so that you can never really run out of the battery.
  3. The portable speaker stand is pretty slim and fold able and makes it a great portable workstation for you and your iPad tablet where ever you go.
  4. While at a place where you cannot power you dock, you may use 3 AAA batteries to power up your dock station and continue with your workstation experience.
  5. You are also free to adjust the viewing angle as per your comfort enhancing your portability even more. Here’s a gallery that gives you a more detailed view:
Picture Gallery
Luxury multi level steel plant pot
iDesign iPad Portable Speaker Dock for Brookstone

Pricing:

This dockstation is available at a very reasonable price of $79.99 on the Brookstone website with a 1 year or 2 year replacement plan on feasible costs added. This excellent speaker system can not only enhance your surfing, reading and video viewing experience but also redefine your gaming experience. With a price so attractive, features so sharp and brand so reliable, this dock is a must buy if you own an iPad tablet.

Via: Brookstone


Make your trips comfortable with Poler Napsack

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 03:45 PM PST

Pragya Bhargavi:

Poler is an OR-based company in Portland that specializes in making useful items which can be used while having outdoor fun. Be it bags, tents, clothes or any other accessories required for your adventure, Poler supplies it all. Moreover, the products of Poler look good, are durable and you will get a good value for your money. Out of all the products, one interesting product is the Napsack. As the name suggests, Napsack is for the purpose of sleeping during outdoor camps or even at home.

Poler Stuff Napsack
Poler Stuff Napsack

The unique design of Napsack helps people to use it both as a sleeping bag as well as a jacket. Napsack is rapidly gaining popularity because of its great usefulness and comfortable design. The main features of this unique Napsack include zips around the shoulders which can be opened to let your hands out and also a strap at the bottom that can hold the sack firmly when you want to keep your legs out. The sack can even be pulled really up so that you can tie it around your waist to wear it like a cozy jacket. So, basically the idea behind this design is to keep you warm always, no matter whether you are sleeping or are out of your tent for some fun.

Picture Gallery
Poler Stuff Napsack
The Sleeping Bag You Can Wear

The easy design of the Napsack allows you to use it anytime and anywhere, especially at places which are slightly cold and you need to be warm like on trips, campfires, surfing, etc. Moreover, this sleeping bag is so light in weight that you can actually wear it even inside the house. It will never make you too hot and sweaty. It can even make your getting up in the morning easier. You can sleep in the bag and get up to welcome the next morning without having to leave the warmth of Napsack.

Napsack comes with pockets to keep your small things like mobile and keys. The pocket has holes through which you can pass the wire of your headphone. This product can also help you to save electricity, as its warmth will make you to forget your heaters.

In short, the practical uses of Napsack are innumerable. It is so handy that you can actually carry it anywhere you go. Just part with $130 and then the whole winter, you will never ever want to part with your favorite sleeping bag, Napsack. Another great news is that this fun is not alone for adults. Poler makes Napsack even for kids. So, now your whole family can enjoy the winter together.

Via: Core77


Accordion Tent: People's best friend during a disaster

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 03:38 PM PST

Pragya Bhargavi:

Disasters can arrive any time and we need to be prepared for it. The main after effect of the disasters like flood, earthquake, etc. is that they leave the people homeless. Building a new shelter immediately is impossible. The only temporary solution available are the tents. However, construction of even a tent is tedious and complex. Therefore, designers Ye Haoyu, Zhang Hao and Shen Yiqing have created a very simple tent called the Accordion Tent. The concept of the tent is truly impressive and it is also the winner of red dot award.

Accordion Tent_01
Accordion Tent_01

According to the designers, the design of their tent has been inspired by a musical instrument. When compressed, Accordion Tent folds and takes a very small amount of space. This feature makes it very handy and portable. Whenever needed, the tent can be spread out into a large structure. As the tent opens up, it encloses lots of space inside, which is suitable for the accommodation of large number of people. Unlike conventional tents, the installation of Accordion tent is very simple. You just have to pull the side rails and fix it to make room for several people, and all this can be done almost instantly. The transportation of these tents is also easy. During a disaster, these can be brought to the site by helicopter, rail or even road, whichever is easier at the moment.

Accordion Tent
Accordion Tent

So, basically the tent provides immediate accommodation solutions to people, and the best thing is that it is also portable. These features make it a favorite product even for other uses like in schools, during some long trips, rescue areas or hospitals. This bright idea and superb product will definitely prove to be very useful. It will almost solve the problem of providing immediate shelter to the needy.

Via: Red-dot.sg


Kaunas ready to celebrate Christmas with its huge eco-friendly Christmas tree

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 03:36 PM PST

Pragya Bhargavi:

Christmas is round the corner and the whole world is excited about celebrating it in several different ways. Here, we are looking at the pictures of the celebrations that are going to begin in Kaunas, Lithuania. This year, the budget of the city was a little less, but the excitement of the festival was no less than anyone else around the world. Therefore, designer Jolanta Smidtiene was approached to create something beautiful and unique that would not cost much.

Christmas Tree by Jolanta Šmidtienė
Christmas Tree by Jolanta Šmidtienė

The outcome was this mesmerizing Christmas tree which stands tall at the town square. The giant Christmas tree is 13-meter tall and is made out of around 40, 000 recycled green bottles attached together with zip ties. The tree is made by arranging different shapes of spheres made out of these bottles. The biggest spheres are at the bottom, while the smaller ones are arranged at the top in such a way so as to create a conical Christmas tree-like structure. The biggest spheres down on the ground cover a diameter of five feet. The beauty of this Christmas tree increases all the more at night when it is illuminated by lights that have been provided inside. It glows to illuminate the whole town square and fills the place with festive light and fun.

Picture Gallery
Christmas Tree Made from 40,000 Recycled Plastic Bottles
Šmidtienė created the tree by arranging giant orbs that decrease in size as the tree grows taller.

The whole city as well as the people around the world are impressed by the delightful creation of Jolanta Smidtiene. Apart from saving the funds of the city, the creation has also saved our environment from being polluted by so much of plastic waste. So, this time with the huge Christmas tree, the city of Kaunas is ready to celebrate a fun-filled Eco-friendly Christmas.

Via: Thisiscolossal/ Trendhunter/ Inhabitat


Trilet Public Restroom Project lets you convert your waste to fertilizer

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 03:23 PM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The idea of using human waste as fertilizer is certainly not novel or new by any stretch of the imagination, but with modern plumbing and sewage systems in place, what was a common process before has been removed from our consciousness. With freshwater supplies dwindling across the globe and fast, the need to save as much water as possible has driven users to procuring specialized plumbing and toilet systems with variable flushing system for various needs. However, the more primitive cultures of the world still endorse a more natural approach to water saving and the Trilet Public Restroom Project uses the same approach to help eliminate the wastage of water via flushing of toilets.

Trilet project
Trilet project

This concept for a public restroom basically asks users to give up flushing to conserve water. Instead, the toilets in these restrooms cover up users', er, organic waste with sawdust or other suitable material to prevent odor and allow the waste to begin composting naturally. Each of these toilets will be lined with a reusable and removable organic insert that would allow the composted human waste to be transported to a municipal facility to finish the composting process, and the resulting fertilizer would then be sold in wholesale agricultural markets as well as retail outlets.

Picture Gallery
Trilet project
Trilet project is a public restroom

This pathogen-free, organic fertilizer would be sold at a lower cost while freeing up valuable freshwater resources for other types of human consumption. Since freshwater would no longer be used to flush toilets, it would allow municipalities to reduce their spending on sewage treatment. The fertilizer obtained from the project would also allow farmers and horticulturists to reduce their dependence on chemical fertilizers allowing the soil to replenish itself more naturally.

The project is inspired by Grahame Caine's 1972 ecological house concept which envisioned a more sustainable and natural way of living. The Trilet Public Restroom Project thus allows users to get themselves off the grid and live as sustainably as possible at least in the public realm. The project promotes sustainable living in a way that requires only the installation of basic infrastructure which makes it economically viable for municipalities and other public agencies since they get revenue from the sale of the fertilizer produced by the units as a by-product. Though the project in its current form is suitable only for public restrooms, it can just as easily be customized for individual homes with the composting facility being offered as a backyard installation.


Bike Remora lets cyclists hitch rides for free

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 03:11 PM PST

Asmita Prasad:

In the developing world, a common sight on the road is bicyclists hitchhiking. How do they do that, you ask? Well, they simply grab hold of a protruded bar at the back of another vehicle and cruise along without pushing the pedal! Though it's not the safest method of commuting, it does save the cyclists a whole lot of physical effort, which in those hot and humid conditions, is quite a lot. We're not sure if designer Jeff Bare ripped the idea off from the streets of South Asian countries, but he has come up with a product that allows bicyclists in the western world to do the same. Introducing the Bike Remora, a device that allows cyclists to grab onto the back of another vehicle and move on their green ride without having to push the pedal.

Bike remora
Bike remora

The designer explains that the inspiration for the device comes from the Remora fish which latches itself onto a bigger fish to save itself the effort of swimming to further destinations. The Bike Remora too serves the same function. Designed like a wall peg, the device provides the biker with a secure hold while it attaches itself to the surface of a vehicle in front via a silicone coated magnet. A safety leash that wraps around the wrist of the biker allows the device to be removed from the automobile's surface by a simple tug so that when the biker is ready to let go of the vehicle it is hitching a ride from, they can do so in a simple, single gesture.

Picture Gallery
Bike remora
The Remora fish latches onto larger fish to gain a free ride.


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