The Design blog

The Design blog


Floating Eco House offers a serene retreat with minimal ecological impact

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:26 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

The concept:

Modular homes are the talk of the town due to their affordable cost and easy construction. So this new modular house by Monika Wierzba, which is mobile and also floats, is by all means crowd pleasing. Its dimensions are similar to a transport container and measure about 2500mm, 5000 mm and 2800 mm along the sides. Due to its optimal size, the house can be easily transported via land or sea at a moderate cost. Hence, there will be no need to make special arrangements when the abode is in transit. Everyone needs change after a while and the smart abode takes this into account. The design and appearance of the structure can be easily changed without hiring professional help. Such changes in the layout can be made at any point of time and within a short span. The outline of windows, cladding on panels, arrangement of rooms and even size of the structure can be transformed very easily.

Floating eco house
Floating eco house

The Inspiration

The real estate sector is riddled with issues like soaring market prices and deficient space, especially in crowded cities. In addition, environmental pollution is rampant, thus creating a pressing need to build eco friendly homes. This prompted the designer to create an eco-chic house that will also complement the lifestyle of its inhabitants. The floating pad thus created is out and out green.

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Floating eco house
Floating eco house by Monika Wierzba

Eco Credentials

The materials used to construct the house have been chosen vigilantly. They are non toxic and will have minimal environmental impact. Additionally, the designer has opted to use locally sourced all natural materials that have undergone least possible processing. Second hand materials from demolition sites have also been utilized. Furthermore, all materials contain recyclable substratum and thus can be easily recycled.

The construction process focused on generating bare minimum waste and utilizing resources efficiently. To make this happen, the building was constructed from prefabricated materials. All units used in construction can be separated effortlessly, which in turn will help to recycle, reuse or dispose off the house. The house has an efficient water management system that helps in conservation of the precious resource. Moreover, it is built to be self sufficient for its energy needs and you will not have to depend on grid infrastructure to power up the abode.

Running on solar energy, photovoltaic panels plastered on the roof of the abode generate electricity as well as heat. The orientation of the house is in accordance with the direction in which sunlight will pour down. Apart from use of renewable power sources, provisions have been made to utilize energy sparingly. Warm air is circulated inside via mechanical ventilation and underfloor heating. The walls of the house do not have thermal bridges and also boast of a low heat transmission coefficient, which helps tremendously to retain heat inside. Moreover, all the light fitting are energy efficient. Fiber optics, LEDs and energy saving light bulbs illuminate the house. Even appliances provided are energy efficient. All this aids greatly in reducing the carbon footprint of the house.

Feasibility

Razing down the house will become very easy as sheets in the building are not glued tight to each other but fastened with bolts and screws. The floating foundation of the house is made from hydroconcrete and a steel frame has been propped on it. Thus, the house is quite lightweight. Sections from the original construction can be used easily when you plan to expand.

Although the house is built with a water management system, some external source of water supply will be required for its functioning. Rainwater can be recovered and used. Also, other water sources in the vicinity are utilized by the inbuilt biological filter system. The lowest level of the abode houses a waste water collection tank that treats sewage. This treated water is then passed onto the biological filter for further filtration. Gray water is produced from about 80% of the waste water.

Related trends:

1. Tafoni Floating Home

Tafoni Floating Home
Tafoni Floating Home

The sleek and minimal houseboat that is also energy efficient has been designed by Joanna Borek Clement. The brightly lit sunroom in the centre houses the kitchen, dining area and main entrance while the rest of the house accommodates the bedroom and living room.

2. The Last Resort a floating home

The Last Resort
The Last Resort

This cutting edge solar energy powered home made to buoy on water is constructed by RAFAA Architecture & Design. The upper level accommodates the living area, bathroom, kitchen and two bedrooms. Sleeping units along with propelling device are located on lower level.

3. Floating House by Gabriel Wartofsky

Floating House
Floating House

This cylindrical structure drifting in water has been designed by Gabriel Wartofsky. In this house powered by solar energy, provisions have been made to filter air and water. Potable water is circulated, temperature is monitored and even plants are grown inside this.


See the Music, Musical Surrealism Artwork is brilliant in more ways than one

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:23 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

"Seeing the music" is a phenomenon that weed smokers, LSD/coke users and anyone visiting a club with laser lighting knows all too well. But what if you could recreate the same effect in a much more artful way without using hallucinogenic substances? To ensure that every piece of your favorite classical musical score is also a treat for you eyes Malaysian designer Eugene Au from design house EAZY Atelier has come up with See The Music Musical Surrealism Artwork.

See The Music
See The Music

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See The Music
See The Music by EAZY Atelier

The 3D display comprises of a limited edition Giclée art print series collection tha is paired with a unique algorithm that is "activated" by the tempo, key, mood and the name of a musical piece's composer to give a visual form to classical music. Eighteen unique music pieces from sixteen of the world's greatest composers from the baroque period to the impressionism period are used in the project which presents surrealistic visuals using actual musical notes.

The unique contemporary rendition results in a surrealistic art piece which looks like a burst of color underwater. For authentication purposes, the limited edition art prints are numbered and hand-signed by the designer and can last for 200 years since they are printed on museum-grade paper using archival inks.

Source: Eazy Atelier


The Scooba 390 is an intelligent robot for wet cleaning

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:21 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

Vacuum cleaners made cleaning dirt easier but washing floors remained a pain until iRobot announced the Scooba 230, a washing floor robot that was revealed in January 2011. The design was a modification of its previously designed vacuuming bots of Roomba series but in a smaller form. The Scooba 230 has been designed to work on floors already been swept of large debris. But the model we are talking about here is an upgraded version of the Scooba 230, termed as Scooba 390 with more intelligent and upgraded features.

iRobot's Scooba 390
iRobot's Scooba 390

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iRobot's Scooba 390
iRobot's Scooba 390 floor washing robot

The Scooba 390 works by spreading clean liquid on the floor and scrub back and forth to make the surface spotless and then sucks up the dirty liquid leaving you with an untouched surface. It comes with two reservoirs in order to make sure that soiled liquid is never used again. Presence of extraordinary features like beater and rotating brush made this model completely replace the 230. It also offers enhanced user friendliness along with 30 percent longer battery backup. Its water resistant battery is quite durable for obvious reasons.

Unlike Scooba 230 that could wash room of 150 square feet only, this advanced model could wash up to 425 square feet. The device is directed by iAdapt that guides it to avoid carpets and rugs and could even be preset to sweep dirt before doing wet cleaning. Priced at $499.99, the Scooba 390 can also work with vinegar and water unlike iRobot's earlier cleaners.

Via: Geek


To save the eagles, he thought like one

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:20 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

A team of volunteers for The National Institute of the Animals of the Amazon, a division of the Brazilian Government, recently carried out an observational monitoring of the habitat of the endangered Harpy Eagles. The chief obstacle that was encountered in the process was the setting up of a well placed and reliably strong platform. With consistent efforts however, this goal was achieved successfully.

Portable Research Platform for Endangered Harpy Eagles
Portable Research Platform for Endangered Harpy Eagles

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Portable Research Platform for Endangered Harpy Eagles
Portable Research Platform for Endangered Harpy Eagles by Tais Mauk

At first, heavy wooden platforms were employed which were supported by metal cables. The setup took three days to take final shape. Sadly enough, the small metal components couldn't be kept from plummeting to the jungle floor. The researcher then came up with an ingenious idea of setting up a collapsible, umbrella like structure which would be lighter and sturdier.

This movable observation platform was to be made of spare scrap carbon fiber tubes from a windsurfing mast industrial unit. It would prove to be very versatile as well since one could fold it into half and store it in a backpack. Even the support poles were made to be foldable for complete mobility. The semi column in the middle attaches to the tree trunk by taut green fabric straps and locks in place for enhanced support and safety.

It's true, a way shall be found where there's enough will. The researcher was successful in setting up this mobile platform and thereon began feeding his desire of serving nature.


Recreational Island, a foldable makeup that doubles as an emergency shelter

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:18 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

Human creativity and imagination to improvise without fear of being getting failed has made every strange thing possible. The "recreational island" is a similar bizarre concept created by transportation designer Henry Ward in partnership with BMT Nigel Gee. The design has explicitly been made for luxury yachting by making use of technology employed in event management and military etc.

Recreational island
Recreational island

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Recreational island
Recreational island developed by henry ward

The structure is run by a pressurized hydraulic system that opens the island and could be stored in the garage of ships when closed. The island is put into place with the help of standard cranes. The island measures 10m x 8m with additional space provided by the platform that could be stabilized with anchors in open water.

Now talking about its uses, you name it and "recreational island" is ready to serve you as swimming dock, diving dock, small boat dock, dining area, etc. The island could also be rented out to people as a personal beach and could also be used by judges or reporters at water-based gaming and sports for observing events closely. The development team is also thinking of using a modified version of this island as a moveable helicopter landing platform. The design tactics of recreational island would make it disaster and military efficient along with its luxurious and lavish usage.

Via: Designboom


SUN-D uses natural sunlight to display images like LED screens

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:16 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

For long, engineers and scientists have been trying to come up with ways to make LED screens more immune to the effects of sunlight. From trying to make LED screens that are super bright to making displays with glass that reflect less natural light, LED displays have been trying to compete against the sun to make its existence felt more powerfully. The SUN-D display is an eco-friendly alternative to the LED screen that can utilize sunlight, ambient light or even the light from candles and spotlights to turn large-scale screens into displays that look like LED displays.

SUN-D
SUN-D

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SUN-D
SUN-D daylight operated, highly modular and naturally adaptive screen

The naturally operated modular screens are a great alternative to electricity powered LED screens that are used for commercial and advertisement purposes. Since the Sun D enhances natural light, it allows the displays to change their color and intensity depending on the intensity of the sunlight outside.

The displays are also geared to utilize ambient light which means that the light within a room during the night or in low light conditions can be used to illuminate the displays instead of using electricity to power the displays. On a matrix, light spots produce the effect of the display using an LED display and can serve as a great alternative to large, electricity-powered screens.

Source: Sun D


Pul(l)Po-Port, an open structure providing public spaces on water

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:14 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Living on land is passe, snap into the present century and there are many who are making good use of water bodies as living grounds as well. What was till date considered as a difficult environment, in terms of housing, is being explored to the fullest as the earth is getting packed with people. Pul(l)Po-Port is one such creation, which will float on the surface of water and will unfurl a totally new living environment that is both flexible and dynamic.

pul(l)po-port
pul(l)po-port

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pul(l)po-port
pul(l)po-port a floating city

Designed by Melanie Kotz, the awe inspiring structure will be situated at the north of Bay of Bengal that borders Bangladesh. It will act as a floating city that will rev up the quality of life in the country. Assembling of the city will be done with the help of rafts that will be further interconnected with the mega structure complete with a circulation system in the top of the design. Boats will be used to move from one place to the other, as major part of the city will remain in water. The rafts are placed in a way that together their geometry looks strongly like a fractal.

Pul(l)Po-Port has been designed keeping in mind the tradition of farming and fishing in the country. It will have a fishing port, which will unfurl spaces that will serve as a communicative platform where people can meet. It will come complete with equipments that are used for receiving fish and further harvesting and transporting products. The inside will let people savor a spatial experience on different levels, thanks to the presence of a 3D staircase platform. The construction on water will put forward various opportunities for people of Bangladesh, especially fishermen, to connect with the world and form a global network.

Via: Sucker Punch Daily


Discarded wooden pallets given a new life as student residences

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:04 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

How many times have you seen wooden pallets in front of commercial buildings and slipped into a state of deep thinking that what happens when they have served their life? The ways to use these pallets is endless and all one needs is a little bit of imagination. Giving them a new lease of life is Stephane Malka, who has come up with a brilliant idea to reuse wooden pallets to give a student resident situated in a Paris an all new appeal in an eco friendly way.

Student residence
Student residence

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Student residence
Student residence reusing wooden pallets in Paris

Every year hundreds and thousands of wooden pallets are thrown in landfills, never to be looked back at again. Some of them are in perfect shape and most of them are strong enough to solve a variety of purposes. The architect from France saw immense potential in these discarded objects and decided to smother the exterior of the student residence with these wooden skids. These pallets are held together with the help of horizontal hinges, which makes sure none gets displaced from its position.

As the wooden pallets moves towards the top, they can contract in turn unfurling large openings and giving the much needed privacy. These skids can be placed in a variety of forms, which will create interesting shapes. The geometries can be changed just like any other modular structure, generating an impressive appeal. The idea is a great way to recycle materials, which not only save energy and materials, but also saves the environment from pollution.

Via: Domusweb


MA, liquid hand sanitizer dispenser to win hearts with its eccentric shape

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:02 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Children don't like plain looking things and get attracted to unusual shapes and colorful designs. So when it came to designing a dispenser of liquid sanitizer, Studio Dorogaya kept these factors in mind and came up with Ma, which is pretty attention grabbing because of its eccentric shape.

MA, liquid hand sanitizer dispenser
MA, liquid hand sanitizer dispenser

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MA, liquid hand sanitizer dispenser
MA, liquid hand sanitizer dispenser by Dorogaya

The dispenser has been specially designed to be placed in kindergartens, where it is necessary to teach children the importance of washing hands properly. Many diseases are spread if hygiene is not maintained, so it becomes very important to make sure children develop the habit of washing hands at an early age. The design not only draws attention, but is very economical as well. It uses very low amounts of liquids, which will prove to be pretty beneficial in areas where clean water is not available in abundance. The shape of the dispenser will trigger kids to run towards Ma and wash their hands. Ma comes sans any electrical components and is easy to use.

Ma has been given a spherical shape, which means no sharp edges and all fears of children getting injured while cleaning their hands takes a backseat. The wear resistant dispenser has a strong structural form, which makes it quite strong. The outer skin of the spherical structure can be replaced from time to time, which will kill monotony and will lend it a colorful yet striking appeal. The most captivating part of the design is the presence of non toxic tactile material that hangs from the bottom. This will create a bond between the child and the dispenser through the sense of touch. Liquid passes through just a single touch, thanks to the presence of latex that has been treated specially for this purpose.

Ma won't pose much difficulty when it comes to assembling and dissembling it. The vivid liquid hand sanitizer dispenser will be best suited for spaces visited by children and public areas in general.

Via: Dorogaya


LC-1 Amphora to collect floating debris in flood affected areas

Posted: 16 Mar 2012 06:00 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Floods are a natural disaster that leave the affected area in a bad shape. Tropical Storm Ketsana flooded Manila in the year 2009 and learning from the whole incident Francis Santos-Viols designed the LC-1 Amphora. It has been seen that when floods withdraw, debris in huge amounts are left back on the roads that pose a lot of difficulty when it comes to cleaning up the area.

LC-1 Amphora
LC-1 Amphora

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LC-1 Amphora
LC-1 Amphora: Aquatic debris removal craft by Francis Santos-Viola

The name Amphora has been inspired from storage vessels, which were used on ancient Greek ships. LC-1 Amphora is supposed to be a debris retrieval craft, which can be deployed immediately. It will prove to be of utmost help when it comes to clearing floating debris that too before the flood water recedes. This will not only reduce time required to clean debris, but will also be helpful in case of cleaning aquatic environments. The seaworthiness of the design was further made strong by designing the product together with Raymund Puso, who is a naval architect by profession.

The design was made in a way which had five essential traits, which are capacity, durability, efficiency, utility and velocity. The holding area in the design can be split into four compartments when it comes to sorting debris. It is lined industrial strength nets, which give it the much required strength and can be removed with the help of a crane fitted towards the aft. The collected debris can be transported and removed at a disposal site. LC-1 Amphora is a practical design and will prove to be exceptionally useful in areas that are affected by floods.

Via: Svfranck.daportfolio


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