Posts tagged Design
Sustainable Architecture : Straw Bale Homes
Photographs Courtesy of Kees Hageman

Photographs Courtesy of Kees Hageman

In recent years, more straw homes have been showing up over the globe - this sustainable building strategy builds more than just a hut. A straw home uses straw bales as the structural component or building blocks, and is then treated with plaster to prevent moulding and water damage - these homes are built to meet the requirements of any simple or luxurious home with a reduced environmental impact, as straw offers a natural, readily available alternative to lumber and can save up to 75% of the heating costs. The straws fine composition provides natural protection against the elements as well as providing both thermal and acoustic insulation for a home. Loose straw is highly flammable, but the construction bales are so tightly packed that they actually increase resistance to fire. You can huff and puff, but you won't blow this house down.

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PKS Copper Garden Tools
Photo Courtesy Of Garden & Gun

Photo Courtesy Of Garden & Gun

These handsome garden tools aren't just for looks - they are handcrafted from hardworking bronze, naturally rust-free and built to last. With a longer lifespan than versions from iron or steel, as well as being considerably lighter, copper has a serious edge. Not to mention these tools penetrate the soil easily with low friction and thus less tendency for clay to cling to the tool while in turn enriching the soil with copper trace elements that provide your plants with essential nutrients. Maintenance is minimal; they will stay free of rust and age to a graceful bronze patina and can be kept sharp with a whetstone, file or by peening.  

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Prohibition Kit

Distilling alcohol is illegal in most countries around the world. Home brewing has often been used in poorer countries as an alternative to buying expensive commercial alcohol - not to mention it is stronger. However this 'Prohibition Kit', designed by Francesco Morackini, was constructed to further push the limits of innocent products being labelled as 'illegal'. This fully functional home-distillery has been redesigned from copper, a metal that has been used for making stills for centuries. Though reminiscent of something you would find in Al Capone's kitchen, each of the components are items that can be found in almost any household and are fully functional on their own: A watering can, a fondue stove, a cooking pot and a fruit bowl. Once placed together this 'camouflage kit' forms your very own alcohol distiller. 


Hammerhead Industry

Hammerhead Industry has been on the block (and the trails) for a while now. There is something remarkably awkward yet remarkably awesome about their bikes. Built to be just as comfortable on the cobblestone as the back roads; the vintage looks and modern updates will make this the perfect companion for those weekend jaunts on or off-road. If your in the Portland area you can go give them a visit at The One Motorcycle Show; See you there!

DESIGN, GEAREditorGear, DesignComment
Wind-Pressed Walnut Oil

Food should be made the right way, with good ingredients. A simple oil press can be made; using only wind powered energy. The wind power is transformed into a worm drive that provides slow, but powerful movements. The machine is intended for nuts and seeds, and using no heat in the process produces fresh, pure cold-pressed oil and a nutritious pulp that is great for cooking, or using as animal feed.  

From Dave Hakkens 

Sustainable Building : Rammed Earth
Photo: Aidan Taylor 2011

Photo: Aidan Taylor 2011

The use of rammed earth is an ancient building concept that is slowly being rediscovered. This building technique consists of creating solid walls from a balanced mix of raw materials - including earth, chalk and gravel. This technique is outstanding for its ability to produce strong, durable, insulated and noncombustible walls from sustainable materials that can be achieved via natural building methods. The building process itself consists of compressing damp earth into framed moulds. This process allows you to create a solid wall, or alternately individual blocks to be used as would cement or lumber. The benefits of using this alternate construction method include providing an eco-friendly lumber substitute, high sound resistance and minimal maintenance. The sheer thickness of the walls reduces need for heating as well as serving as a shield from harmful electromagnetic radiation. Portions of the Great Wall of China were built using rammed earth design, proving it can withstand the test of time; not to mention these structures are also bulletproof, fireproof, earthquake proof, wind and weatherproof. That should be all the proof you need.

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The HemLoft : Hiding In The Woods

Designer and self-funded architect, Joel Allen, has given new meaning to off-the-grid living. Backed by naiveté and determination, the HemLoft was built on crown land in Whistler, Canada and sits undiscovered just 5 minutes from the nearest road. The experimental orb hangs in a stand of hemlocks, with no electrical power, hidden and inconspicuous giving you insight to what 'wildlife' truly does when it thinks no one is watching. The fate of the HemLoft remains uncertain - Read more on The HemLoft, and it's possible future.

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