Before I Die What matters most to you Interactive public art project that invites people to share their personal aspirations in public. After losing someone she loved and falling into depression, Chang created this experiment on an abandoned house in her neighborhood to create an anonymous place to help restore perspective and share intimately with her neighbors. 2011, New Orleans, LA. Cordoba, Argentina. Najaf, Iraq. Brooklyn, NY. Almaty, Kazakhstan Savannah, GA. Pohang City, South-Korea. San Francisco, CA. Johannesburg, South Africa. Cordoba, Argentina. Hydrogen produced by earth friendly WINDHUNTER Maritime Hydrogen Generation System - Alternative Energy That Works
Super Cheap Solar Cells Just Got Cheaper, Switch Gold For Nickel One of the major drawbacks of most renewable energy sources is high cost. In order to see a huge rise in the use of renewable energy sources, prices must come down. In the world of solar there have recently been some major breakthroughs in cost advantages and efficiency increases. Scientists at the University of Toronto in Canada have come up with a way to reduce colloidal quantum dot solar cell prices by up to 80%, by swapping out costly conductive gold for cheap nickel. Quantum dot solar cells consist of a silicon substrate that has a thin film coating of nanocrystals — or quantum dots. The team at University of Toronto published their findings in a paper in the July 12, 2010 issue of Applied Physics Letters and noted that with further research they believe that they will be able to increase the efficiency of their extremely inexpensive quantum dot solar panels and make them look attractive to consumers when they eventually hit the market. Via Science Daily
Plywood Designs from '60s Have Lessons For Today BoingBoing points to a 1960 publication from the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, Second Homes for Leisure Living, calling it " a rather glorious bit of propaganda for super-modernist plywood living." But it is a lot more than that. It is another world. Fifty years ago they could write: With everyone enjoying longer vacations....more free time...better highways making remote retreat areas more accessible.... the mass exodus to the mountains, desert or seashore is easy to understand and-even better- fun to participate in. But the extraordinary thing is the modesty of the plans, the small, multiple use spaces. click to enlarge They even foresaw the Grow Home, where you start small and add on as you go. Michelle Kaufmann had a good laugh when I sent her this: rchitect Philip Thiel has put two completely conventional buildings together here in a way that departs from the conventional in an unusually charming and practical way. That's pretty much exactly what she did with her iconic Breezehouse.
Wind Turbines a Tourist Attraction in Atlantic City (Visitors Want Rooms with a Wind Farm View) – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views Clean Power Published on June 14th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan There’s a lot of fuss made of wind turbines being an eyesore for people. This is something I have never understood, as I think they are quite nice looking and, furthermore, they are certainly tons more attractive and pleasant than a coal-fired power plant. Apparently, I’m not the only one who likes the look of wind turbines (and loves seeing them when I visit other places). “The 32-story turbines of the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm have so dramatically changed Atlantic City’s skyline – perhaps more than any casino could – that tourists haven’t stopped asking questions about them since they went up five years ago along a back-bay salt marsh,” Jacqueline L. “Some casino hotel guests are so fascinated that they ask for rooms with a view of the five delicate fans, resort operators say.” Tours of Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm Tours by appointment were started last summer to gauge interest. Sounds cool. Photos via TruffShuff & PMillera4
Manga farming 12 Apr 2010 Tokyo-based artist Koshi Kawachi recently demonstrated his "Manga Farming" technique -- which uses old manga as a growing medium for vegetables -- by cultivating a crop of radish sprouts in an installation at the Matsuzakaya department store in Nagoya. [Link: Koshi Kawachi] MIT researchers create super efficient 'origami' solar panels MIT researchers have created an origami-like solar structure that is much more efficient than current flat panels. The three-dimensional solar structure could, at least in principle, absorb a lot more light and generate more power than a flat panel containing the same area footprint. The hope is that all unused light which has been reflected off one panel would be captured by other panels. Panels of this type would be most ideal in circumstances with limited space. "This was a fully 'bio-inspired' idea," said researcher Jeffrey Grossman, a theoretical physicist at MIT. "I was hiking up at Lake Tahoe in California and noticing the shapes of trees, and wondering, 'Why do they have a given shape over another?'" Research into photovoltaic panels has largely kept them flat to prevent any sort of shadow effect. Scientists used a "genetic algorithm" to evolve solar panels in a computer simulation thus determining the optimal 3-D shape for harvesting the largest amount of light.
Think Big! Arizona Solar Tower 2X Taller Than the Empire State Building Will Produce 200 Megawatts Image: Enviromission 2625 Feet Tall! Solar towers, which are kind of big funnels that generate electricity by using the fact that hot air rises, are too often forgotten when we discuss solar energy. Solar PV and CSP get all the press, but solar towers have attractive power-generating characteristics and I wish more companies were working on perfecting them. EnviroMission is an Australian company working on that very thing, and they've announced that they want to build a gigantic 2625 feet/800 meters solar tower in the Arizona desert that would produce about 200 MW, enough to power 150,000 US homes. How a Solar Tower Works There are 3 main components. -The Tower The Tower is the thermal engine of the Solar Tower technology. -The Canopy The canopy converts a large percentage of the insulation into heat, which in turn, heats the air trapped under the canopy roof or is stored in the ground soil thermal storage system. -The Turbines
Arcosanti Coordinates: Arcosanti is an experimental town and molten bronze bell casting community that has been developed by the Italian-American architect, Paolo Soleri, who began construction in 1970 in central Arizona, 70 mi (110 km) north of Phoenix, at an elevation of 3,732 feet (1,130 meters). Using a concept he called arcology, he started the town to demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact on the earth. He taught and influenced generations of architects and urban designers who studied and worked with him there to build the town. Overview The goal of Arcosanti is to explore the concept of arcology, which combines architecture and ecology. An Arcosanti apse Construction broke ground at the site in 1970, and has continued at a varying pace through the present. Many features are particular to the design and construction of Arcosanti. Visitors' center and residence The Arcosanti site has a camp area built for the original construction crew.
Tata Steel to Turn Steel Sheets into Solar Cells Using Spray-on PV Coating A group of organisations including Tata Steel-led Corus and Swansea University (Wales, UK) are developing a new technology that would convert steel sheets into power generating solar cells. The technology involves coating steel sheets with photo-sensitive dyes. The technology has significant applications since it is highly efficient even in diffused sunlight. Therefore, countries at higher latitudes or those with limited solar energy resource can generate significant amounts of solar-powered electricity with going for large-scale power plants. If extended, the technology can find its way to the automobile industry where photo-sensitive dyes can be applied to cars to generate electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen for fuel cells. The United Kingdom has an estimated four billion square meters of roofs and facades which, if covered with these steel sheets, will meet as much as a third of the country's renewable energy demand by 2020.
Sky Garden House I think one of the reasons that many are skeptical about environmental design is because they think its terribly complex and costly. It does take a bit more effort on the front end, but it's definitely not rocket science. This architecture by Guz Architects is a wonderfully developed minimalistic design with a curvilinear flare that really brings out the organic coverings. I'm most impressed with how design facilitates the needs of the plants and shrubs located throughout the house. See more at Guz Architects Magenn Power Inc.