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Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

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Ellen MacArthur Foundation In a circular economy, economic activity builds and rebuilds overall system health. The concept recognises the importance of the economy needing to work effectively at all scales – for large and small businesses, for organisations and individuals, globally and locally. Transitioning to a circular economy does not only amount to adjustments aimed at reducing the negative impacts of the linear economy. Rather, it represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits. Technical and biological cycles

30' ESCAPE Traveler XL Tiny Home on Wheels on October 9, 2015 This is the 30′ ESCAPE Traveler XL tiny home on wheels. In July I showed you the concept drawings for it and now it’s come to reality! In the same month, I also showed you the 28′ ESCAPE Traveler. When you go inside you’ll find a spacious floor plan with a living area, dining area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and an upstairs sleeping loft. Cry, Heart, But Never Break: A Remarkable Illustrated Meditation on Loss and Life “Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead,” John Updike wrote, “so why … be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?” Half a millennium earlier, Montaigne posed the same question somewhat differently in his magnificent meditation on death and the art of living: “To lament that we shall not be alive a hundred years hence, is the same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago.” Yet mortality continues to petrify us — our own, and perhaps even more so that of our loved ones. And if the adult consciousness is so thoroughly unsettled by the notion of death, despite intellectually recognizing it as a necessary and inevitable part of life, how is the child consciousness to settle into comprehension and comfort?

April 2011 Probably the most important aspect of water -- the thing that causes most of it's unique properties -- is its electric polarity. When an Oxygen atom bonds with two Hydrogen atoms to form water, the Hydrogens always bond to the Oxygen atom at one end. This makes the hydrogen side of the molecule electro-positive, and the other side, with free electrons, electro-negative. The opposite charges of the two sides makes water molecules strongly attracted to each other -- and to many other electrically "polar" molecules, which makes water such a good solvent. This electric attraction is the reason for water's exceptionally strong surface tension.

How British architects conquered the world In 1978 the future arrived in Norwich. It came in the form of a museum designed by Norman Foster. The Sainsbury Centre (above) was built to house the supermarket dynasty’s art collection, and was like no other museum in Britain. 150m long and clad in shiny steel, its western and eastern fronts boasted huge glass windows, which were surrounded by a steel frame that looked more like the internal parts of a rocket than ornamentation for a façade. The Revolutionary Giant Ocean Cleanup Machine Is About To Set Sail On a Wednesday afternoon in a sprawling lot on a former naval air station in Alameda, California, across the bay from San Francisco, workers are welding a massive black tube together. The tube–roughly the length of a football field–is one piece of a larger system that will set sail for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this summer, where it will begin collecting some of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic trash brought there by ocean currents. Six years ago, the technology was only an idea presented at a TEDx talk. Boyan Slat, the 18-year-old presenter, had learned that cleaning up the tiny particles of plastic in the ocean could take nearly 80,000 years. Because of the volume of plastic spread through the water, and because it is constantly moving with currents, trying to chase it with nets would be a losing proposition. Slat instead proposed using that movement as an advantage: With a barrier in the water, he argued, the swirling plastic could be collected much more quickly.

How Physics Gives Structure to Nature How do bees do it? The honeycombs in which they store their amber nectar are marvels of precision engineering, an array of prism-shaped cells with a perfectly hexagonal cross-section. The wax walls are made with a very precise thickness, the cells are gently tilted from the horizontal to prevent the viscous honey from running out, and the entire comb is aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field. Yet this structure is made without any blueprint or foresight, by many bees working simultaneously and somehow coordinating their efforts to avoid mismatched cells. The ancient Greek philosopher Pappus of Alexandria thought that the bees must be endowed with “a certain geometrical forethought.” And who could have given them this wisdom, but God?

Going Green Underground: Eco-Retro Earth House Designs They may look a bit dated at first, or at least more whimsical than required for functional living. Still, these earth houses have more to offer than custom curves and a unique aesthetic – including a set of design philosophies, strategies and tactics that are far from just superficial nods to sustainable trends. The designs take everything into account from fire and earthquake protection to integral insulation-efficient arches and buffer rooms for energy-free temperature control. While not every Erdhaus is actually built under the existing ground on a site, they are all tied to their earthen surroundings by sloping sheaths of greenery.

self drive & electric vehicles will change whole world Let’s get right to the punch line: a very strong case can be made, and will be below, that within 15 years virtually all vehicular traffic in the US will be by autonomous electric vehicles (A-EVs). And that in turn will fundamentally change how our society works, largely for the better — if we don’t blow the transition, that is. Because that statement has such profound implications, let’s unpack it bit by bit. EV’s are cheaper. Rewilding and Restoring A Small Garden Gravel. Ten by twelve metres of it, fence to fence, and an ominous giant canister of glyphosate left on the windowsill. Simple, I thought: clear the gravel, lift the underlying weed control fabric, and hey presto – all that space waiting to be planted. Wrong! Most of the topsoil had been removed and, worse, the subsoil had been tamped in places, forming a blue-grey, sticky, plasticine-like substance that did not and never would support any form of life.

Earth Sheltered Earth Sheltered Homes "Another type of building is emerging: one that actually heals the scars of its own construction. It conserves rainwater and fuel and it provides a habitat for creatures other than the human one. Maybe it will catch on, maybe it won't. We'll see." - Malcolm Wells, 2002. The earth sheltered house uses the ground as insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes, wind, rain and extreme weather events. Meet the People Planting Trees After Canada's Lumber Harvest Luc Forsyth can’t decide which memories best illustrate the glorious hardship of his six seasons as a tree planter in Canada. Maybe it was his first day, when his crew leader told him to “deal with it” after hours of work in new boots had shredded his feet. Maybe it was years later, when his hands were so stiff after seemingly endless days of cold rain that he urinated on them in a desperate attempt to defrost himself.

12 Sustainable Design Ideas from Nature “In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build.”-TEDx “Learning about the natural world is one thing, learning from the natural world is another.” - Janine Benyus There are 2 things that we need to ask ourselves in order to learn from the world around us. #1 How does nature make things? When we make things we heat up materials and shape them into the products we use today.