Posts Tagged ‘Design’

How to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Photo by Tod Seelie

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the East Coast. Residents of New Jersey and New York City are still feeling the intense effects of Hurricane Sandy. The devastating storm has destroyed entire homes in its wake. The hardest hit areas, including Rockaway, Queens, are still struggling to get heat and hot water. The freezing nor’easter last week just added salt to the wound. No matter where you are, there’s lots you can do to help. Recovery efforts have already revealed how strong we are as a nation to pull together after a disaster.

If you’re on the ground, consider volunteering time to help clear basements or distribute donations. You can find the most up-t0-date information at Occupy Sandy.

The easiest way to help out if you already have an Amazon account is to contribute something to the Occupy Sandy wedding Registry. Instead of cleaning out your closet to come up with donations consider fulfilling a specific request. People on the ground are constantly updating what is needed most. You can buy cleaning supplies, hardware, or baby items that will be delivered straight to relief efforts.

Architecture for Humanity is a global community that helps to rebuild spaces, often in green ways, in post-conflict areas.Their recent report just how much is needed to rebuild the coastline. Text REBUILD to 85944 to make a $10 donation.

The American Red Cross is on the ground feeding hot meals to people and distributing blankets. You can contribute directly on the website.

Is This the World’s Best Water Bottle?

It started as a Kickstarter campaign. Designer David Mayer set out to create the perfect water bottle. The result is a square bottle that never rolls. Although the stainless steel bottle looks simple enough, it’s made from 16 different parts, in a process of 65 steps. Best of all, the bottle has a top and bottom lid that can be removed for easy cleaning. That comes in handy especially if you’re the type to tote around juice or smoothies and know the annoyance of washing a regular bottle.

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Turn that Pop Bottle into a Party

There’s no shortage of portable speakers on the market. But it’s hard to find ones that aren’t bulky or battery-draining. Designers Lin Nien-An and Cheng Ya-Fang have found the answer, creating the funnel-inspired Green’s Voice Speaker System, that turns any empty plastic bottle into a party. It’s the perfect picnic accessory this fall.

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Stunning Eco-Designed Keyboard

If you find yourself sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day or more, longing to be out in nature, perhaps a desk makeover might help lift your spirits. The new Orée Board is an eco-designed keyboard fashioned from a single piece of wood, offering a warmer desktop experience for the user. The name has a double meaning: “the outer edge of the forest” and “the brink of something new.” Orée chooses wood varieties from sustainably managed forests, offering natural and renewable material sources with each product. Each board is cut into three sheets to preserve the wood grain and minimize waste.

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Take a Ride and Visit a National Park

 

Did you have time to get a vacation in this summer? If not, that’ll give you all the more reason to visit one of our National Parks this fall. The amazing Sierra Club has put together a fun subway map depicting all of our country’s great treasures. How many stops have you made along the way? Unfortunately, getting around our parks isn’t nearly as easy as this map would have you believe. However the clever design reminds us just how rich our country is in natural wonders.

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A Guide to Ecodesign

Back in the day, being eco-friendly often meant automatically having a flagrant disregard for good design in favor of a more hippie aesthetic. Today all that has changed. Indeed, to earn the title of eco-design today, a product has to not only be good for the environment, but also look great in the home, in your wardrobe, in the school or office. A new trilingual handbook, Ecodesign: Ecofriendly Objects for Everyday Use, written in English, French and German by Silvia Barbero, Brunella Cozzo, Paola Tamborrini serves as a guide for designing with an eco-conscious today.

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Picnica Tote Doubles as a Bunny

If you’re like us, you’ve had your fill of reusable totes. At one point our closet was so over-flowing with canvas tote-bags, we felt guilty of over-consumption. And then came this $290 Jill Stuart “designer” paper bag that made us roll our eyes. But then we came across this adorable creation straight from Japan, and realized our bag collection is not yet finished. Enter the bunny bag.This adorable bag from Eding:Post is a fold-up tote that folds up into a plush bunny rabbit.

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The Blender/Water Bottle Has Arrived

We’ve seen a bamboo water-bottle, BPA-free bottles, bottles built for tiny hands, and now when you’re craving a healthy fruity mix, the Aqua Zinger! The device is simple. Add some berries, mint, or fruit of your choice to the small capacity in the bottom. Twist it on, shake it up and let it sit. The mesh screen allows flavors to seep through without adding any pulp to your drink. You have an instant fruit-infused water that sure beats artificial sodas.

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Would you drive a fold-up car?

 

Move over fold-up bike. Researchers from MIT and DENOKINN have developed a new electric car, the HIRIKO Fold, that literally folds in half to fit into tight parking spaces. The new car is expected to go on sale in 2013 for around $16,000. It could be just the solution for congested urban traffic. This 100% electric car passes all the tests for sustainable mobility.

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Little Sun: Rethinking Light

Artist Olafur Eliasson, known for bringing among other things, waterfalls to New York City, has just released a new project that is aiming to bring light to the world, literally. With his studio team in Berlin, he created Little Sun, a solar-powered light that can be placed anywhere, bringing a sustainable light source to the developed world where electricity is not always reliable.

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