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Latest Articles in A Great Idea

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Passivhaus Institut Crosses Million-Square-Meter Threshold

The Passivhaus Institut in Darnstadt, Germany, announced today that a million square meters of interior space—or nearly 10.8 million square feet—have been certified as having met the passive house standard. The threshold was crossed with the certification of a renovated Arts and Crafts-style house in Santa Cruz, California, dating to 1922, the institute reported. Passive houses are “zero-energy” structures that have no active heating or cooling systems and maintain a comfortable interior temperature through a combination of an airtight envelope and a heat-exchange system. “The primary purpose of certification is quality assurance,” says Zeno Bastian, head of building certification for the Passivhaus Institut. “With this internationally recognized seal, building owners are safe in the knowledge that the desired savings for heating costs and added benefits of a passive house will actually be realized.” Click through the slideshow for images of structures that the Passivhaus Institut named as finalists and winners of its 2014 Passive House Awards.
December 9, 2014

Incredible Floating Barge Makes it Possible to Grow Food on Any Body of Water

The modular Jellyfish Barge could be a solar-powered solution to food shortages.
December 3, 2014
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Housing in Megacities is a Mess. What Can We Do About It?

Six teams of architects propose empowering new solutions for urban sprawl.
December 1, 2014
barajas airport madrid spain interior

Jet Set: 8 Modern Airport Designs

Flying—as 3.55 million Americans are expected to do this Thanksgiving weekend, according to projections by AAA—can be an unpleasant slog. But it doesn't have to be. Here are eight airports whose modern design can take the edge off when it comes to holiday travel.
November 28, 2014
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Transportation of the Future—Or Past? One Artist Captures Retro-Inspired "Flying" Cars

French artist Renaud Marion has created a mind-bending collection that depicts futuristic "flying" cars, based off of classic, 20th-century models. Marion shot the majority of the cars against the backdrop of Geneva, and then manipulated them so they appear to be levitating. “I looked for architecture dating from the 1970s; for me that’s retro-futuristic," Marion said. "The buildings had to be imposing, massive and graphic.” Click through the slideshow for a peek at the imaginative works, which will be displayed in an exhibition at M.A.D. Gallery Geneva.
November 25, 2014
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The Modern Desk Accessories You Need to Own

Designer Eric Pfeiffer's handsome line of accessories for Evernote will make your workspace best desked.
November 21, 2014
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SANAA's Design for Grace Farms Blends Architecture with Nature

On Grace Farms's pastoral plot of land in New Canaan, Connecticut, the River by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA takes shape.
November 19, 2014
libeskind abramovic concrete desk seat

Daniel Libeskind Designs Table for Marina Abramovic Exercise

A limited-edition table released by Moroso brings together the high art and design worlds. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the 'Counting the Rice' table is an embodiment of an exercise staged by the Marina Abramovic Institute that involves counting grains of rice for six hour or more—the type of body-demanding experiment for which the contemporary artist is known.
November 17, 2014

A 40-Story Skyscraper Built of Wood May Not Be Far from Reality

A new generation of buildings are proving that tall wood construction is a rising trend.
November 17, 2014
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