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Latest Articles in Green Design

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72 Hour Urban Action

The other week I attended a gathering at REBAR in San Francisco, in honor of Israeli architects Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky's cool project, 72 Hour Urban Action. Held last September and billed as "the world's first real-time architecture competition," the 72 Hour Urban Action contest brought 120 architects, artists, students, designers and craftspeople from twenty countries around the world to the city of Bat-Yam, Israel. Teams had three days and three nights to build projects that responded to the needs of their assigned sites, or "missions." The three winning projects will remain on site permanently.
May 3, 2011
KBIS 2011 part 2

KBIS 2011: Part 2

Our second update from the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the 2011 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show includes outdoor kitchens, hybrid gas-charcoal grills, and a $6,400 toilet that will open when you enter the bathroom, warm your feet while you sit, and play your iPod through its built-in speakers.
May 2, 2011
peru t show 2011 ornaments

Peru Gift Show 2011

Greetings from Peru! I'm in Lima reporting from the showroom floors of the National Gift Show and Peru Moda, a fashion tradeshow, taking place April 27th to 30th. An estimated 5,000 people come to the Gift Show, now in its 13th year, to spy the handcrafted wares from the Andean highlands to the coastal cities and everywhere in between. The designs at the Gift Show were 100% Peruvian made down to the cotton fibers in the textiles, the alpaca wool woven into rugs, the woods carved into ornaments and trinkets, and the natural dyes that saturate everything with bright hues. In this slideshow, have a look at some of the objects that caught my eye. Most were traditional handicrafts—quite wonderful and a real treat to see—though my favorites were the contemprary upcycled designs of Nuna Lab and Geldres Design.
April 30, 2011
kbis 2011

KBIS 2011: Part 1

This week, we headed to the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (more commonly referred to as KBIS, pronouced "k-biz") in Las Vegas, Nevada, to check in with favorite manufacturers and see what's new for 2011. In Part 1 of our coverage from the show floor we highlight sinks made in America, granite quarried in Italy, hammered-copper sinks handmade in Mexico, and more.
April 29, 2011
David Neivandt, a professor of biological and chemical engineering, has developed a biodegradable golf ball made with lobster shells. Unlike other biodegradable golf balls, this one can be used with both drivers and irons. Photo courtesy of UMaine.

Golf Balls Go Green

At the end of March, the Bangor Daily News reported on a clever new development in the realm of green sporting goods: a biodegradable golf ball made of crushed lobster shells. Professor David Neivandt and group of students at the University of Maine have devised a prototype that plays and feels like a regular golf ball but is made of "ground lobster shell, a natural binding agent, and a golf ball mold purchased on eBay." You wouldn't use it to play a regular round of 18, but the Mainers do see a market on cruise ships, where duffers can get the thrill of whacking a ball out into the sunset without worrying about polluting the sea. In fact, the ball starts to break down in just a week, a process hastened by a good smash from a driver. Check out this video from WLBZ in Bangor to learn more.
April 24, 2011
Greensburg GreenTown Conversation

Daniel Wallach of GreenTown

After an EF5 tornado devestated the tiny town of Greensburg, Kansas, (then populartion 1,500) in 2007, the residents came together and did the unbelievable: Rebuilt as a sustainable town. Leading the charge were the mayor, city administrator, city council president (who assumed the role of mayor just three weeks after the storm), the governor (then Kathleen Sebelius), and two residents from nearby Stafford County: Daniel Wallach and Catherine Hart. In January, we sent photographer Alec Soth to document the town as it is today, nearly four years after the tornado struck, for our May 2011 Photo Issue. Here, we chat in further depth with Wallach about the days after the storm and the latest construction and developments.  
April 21, 2011
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HelioTrace Robotic Facade

I was intrigued by a rendering featured in the latest newsletter from SOM, which came across my desk a few weeks ago. So I wrote the firm for more information. Turns out this new invention—a kinetic, solar-responsive curtain wall system—is still in development and won't be available on the market for a few years still. But it's an intriguing concept, so I figured I'd share.
April 11, 2011
Second Chances exhibit at SFO

Second Chances at SFO

One of the nicest parts of traveling through the San Francisco International Airport is its art gallery in Terminal 3. As I made my way to Las Vegas this week for Surfaces and Las Vegas Market (check back soon for slideshows highlighting the best from both), I took a stroll through the latest installation titled Second Chances: Folk Art Made from Recycled Remnants.
April 7, 2011
Maru's Wasara collection features an array of beautifully designed biodegradable picnic plates, bowls, and cups.

The Next-Generation Paper Plate

I'm currently planning a party (ok, wedding) and have been coming across lots of interesting paper party supplies—including these awesome Gunilla Axén-designed cocktail napkins, which I am unreasonably thinking about shipping from England, and these ubiquitous but very charming paper straws, which I am most definitely ordering. Although we'll likely be serving dinner on proper china, I am tempted by these beautiful paper plates, bowls, and cups by Wasara: the loveliest disposable tableware I've seen.
April 7, 2011
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