Bionic City on Flipboard

By Melissa Sterry | Biomimetics, Biotechnology & Biology for the Built Environment

building a geodesic dome just got a whole lot easier thanks to hubs

building a geodesic dome just got a whole lot easier thanks to hubs

building a geodesic dome just got a whole lot easier thanks to hubs
all images …

DIY

Student Develops An Ingenious Building Material That Shapeshifts In Response To Rain

Chao Chen, a product design student at RCA, created a water-reacting laminate that can open when it's sunny and close when it rains.

When Chao Chen had to conduct a materials study during his second term at the Royal College of Art, he found inspiration while walking through London's Hyde Park on a …

Plants

NYC’s Lowline to Turn Forgotten Trolley Tunnel into World’s First Underground Park

How do we add green space to our ever-growing cities? That’s one of the questions that the New York City Lowline is trying to answer, as the world's first underground park. Using solar technology, they want to transform a historic trolley terminal - untouched since 1948 - into a beautiful public …

New York City

Architect's future 'Vegetal Cities' merge nature with the man-made

With its broad strokes of thinking and long-term implementation, urban planning isn't the most exciting thing. But planning our cities in a more …

Sustainable Design

Material Matters: Materials inspired by nature | Design Resource Blog | Material Lab

10 June 2015

Material Matters: Materials inspired by nature

Here at Material Lab, we’re all about discovery and material innovation. And we love …

Nature

Machines Sniff Out Illegal Specimens Of Wood

How many bucks could a woodchuck pluck for that illegal wood?

Illegally traded specimens of endangered species present a huge problem to investigators and customs officials all over the world. But in some cases, the illegal trade isn’t ivory or endangered animals: it’s bits of wood.

Wildlife trade is …

Animals

Whimsical Preschool's Courtyard Designed to Turn Rainfall into Giant Puddles for Kids to Play In

When it rains, children usually aren’t allowed to go outside and gleefully jump in the puddles. At the new Dai-ichi Yochien preschool in Kumamoto City, Japan, however, rain is an integral part of the building’s design. The courtyard of the school collects water so that after a downpour, there is a …

Courtyards

Honey Factory is "micro architecture" for bees

This wooden beehive by Italian designer Francesco Faccin has a 4.5-metre chimney to keep its inhabitants away from children and vandals (+ …

Architecture

Life by 1,000 cuts: Natasha Bowdoin's work on view at the SCAD Museum of Art, Georgia | Art | Wallpaper* Magazine

Art realised on paper – from Whistler's delicate etchings, to Degas' sublime pastels and the distinctive drawing of Picasso – is common enough, but the Houston-based artist Natasha Bowdoin’s work takes the artistry of paper to an entirely new level. Now, her singular work – melding found text, …

Art

The Walking Cube Robot That Wants to Be an Animal

The Walking Cube from 1024 on Vimeo.

Pneumatic pistons filled with compressed air bring to life the jerking and convulsing structure titled The Walking Cube, designed by Pier Schnieder, Jason Cooke, and Francois Wunschel of 1024 Architecture. It looks like a species held in captivity that learns to …

Architecture

Wonders of nature: Michael Hoppen Gallery debuts an online collection of works by Karl Blossfeldt | Art | Wallpaper* Magazine

As evidence that the visual arts are flourishing in the digital age, esteemed London gallery Michael Hoppen is launching its third online-only exhibition – a virtual showcase comprising 30 first edition photogravures by 1920s German photographer, sculptor and design teacher Karl Blossfeldt.

Regarded …

Art

Our on-street mini meadows on RedX Way looking blooming wonderful @BetterBankside http://t.co/t61ImuiqMd

Who runs public parks and are they in danger of privatisation?

London’s local authorities have issued a stark warning: if government cuts continue on the same trajectory, the capital’s boroughs will not be able to prevent a “slide towards privately-run parks” by the end of the decade.

But how big is the risk? Who owns the nation’s parks? Are they underfunded …

Privatisation

BanksideUrbanForest on Twitter

Even the metro stations in #Brussels pays homage to the city's #urban #forest - Gare du Nord @EFUrbanForestry pic.twitter.com/iWkbxIQIST

Brussels

Plant Wall Art by Art We Heart

You’ve seen vertical gardens, wall planters before but this is next level stuff. Art We Heart makes unique wall art using plants and moss. From …

Art

Towering New Pigeon Murals by ‘Super A’

Ah yes, the majestic pigeon. An unlikely source of inspiration for such dominating murals, but at the hands of Dutch street artist Stefan Thelen aka …

Murals

"They would be unrecognisable from the real thing..." David Greene #networks #architecture #cities http://t.co/VFMlSpr8yk

Here Is the World's First Engine Driven by Nothing But Evaporation

Bioengineers invent a way to harvest energy from water evaporating at room temperature. It's an engine with living parts.

It might not look like much, but this plastic box is a fully functioning engine—and one that does something no other engine has ever done before. Pulling energy seemingly out of …

Room Temperature

This Clever Park Is A Piece Of Art That Also Cuts Airport Noise Pollution In Half

At Amsterdam's busy Schiphol Airport, a bit of genius landscaping is giving neighbors relief from the constant roar of jets.

If you live near a major airport, the roar of passing jets isn't just annoying—the noise is also linked to heart disease and might even eventually kill you. The more that …

Flying

Rearranging jellyfish limbs may lead to self-healing robots

Normally when a jellyfish loses a limb, say to the jaws of a hungry sea turtle, it simply regenerates the lost appendage, no big deal. However, a Caltech research team has been studying a certain jellyfish species that doesn't regrow its limbs but rather rearranges the remaining ones to maintain …

Robots

Saharan ants control electromagnetic waves to survive heat

Saharan silver ants use a uniquely shaped coat of hair to control electromagnetic waves, it has been discovered, allowing them to keep cool in their scorching habitat.

An international team of entomologists and physicists, based in the US and Switzerland, studied the North African ants -- known to …

Ants

In China, a firefly-themed park just opened in Wuhan, Hubei

Firefly lovers now have a destination to go to for their illuminating fix: the world’s first firefly-themed park in Wuhan, the capital of China’s …

Asia

Soft organic electronics on the horizon with 3D printed wood compound - Factor

These snap-together wall parts may help to change the construction industry, as “3D printing will become the new normal for architecture”.

That’s the …

Robots

Watch An Engine Powered By Evaporation Drive A Car

Using bacteria to create power

Evaporation is one of the givens here on Earth, right up there with death and taxes. At any given moment, water is evaporating from the ground or oceans and entering the air in massive quantities.

Now, some researchers think they may have figured out a way to harness …

Scientific Research

Want To Be More Productive? Listen To The Sounds Of Nature

Redesigning your office soundtrack with the great outdoors in mind could make you happier and more productive.

Everyone should probably spend more time appreciating nature during the workday. Mounting evidence suggests that walking in the park during lunch or even just having a plant on your desk …

Nature

These two early experiments, one to be a desk, one a table. #GrownFurniture #CowParsley #Apiaceae http://t.co/Vn33Ooh9kC

This Photosynthetic Furniture Can Grow You Dinner

The ultra-local protein of the future will be grown right in your living room.

In the living room of the not-so-distant-future, you might have a glowing green blob of microorganisms next to your sofa instead of a lamp. A new line of photosynthetic furniture is filled with spirulina—a tiny, edible …

Sustainable Design

Starry Night: Outdoor Wall Light Installation

A celestial light installation illuminates the garage door of a recently renovated Toronto house.

Project: Don River HouseArchitect: LGA Architectural Partners

For one Toronto family, when the sun goes down, the stars come out twice: in the sky and also on their garage door. A perforated pattern …

Toronto

Gorgeously Illuminated Cracked Log Lamps

Using only salvaged wood that otherwise would have been burnt, artist Duncan Meerding illuminates the forest with his Cracked Log Lamp. "By turning them into a vessel for light, we can bring the outside in, and be reminded of our intrinsic connection with nature," he says.

The Tasmania-based artist …

Rechargeable Batteries