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Posts Tagged ‘caroline pham’

Here’s a funny lead I got from @smallercitiesu (SmallerCitiesUnite!) on twitter today. It’s about tapping the body heat of cows in India and other poor countries to create electricity. And as you might guess, there are a couple of designing Finns behind it.

Caroline Pham writes at the magazine Good that Finnish design students Liva Kallite and Netta Korhonen created a bovine wearable that could help out some of “the approximately 1.3 billion people around the world who live without electricity. …

“Introducing the Cowolt, a two-piece ‘energy harvesting blanket’ outfitted with thermoelectric modules that essentially harness an animal’s body heat, turning it into charge for batteries. According to CityLab: ‘The difference between the creatures’ internal temperature of about 102 degrees and cooler, ambient air would then create electricity via the Seebeck effect. They estimate a vest could charge a 12-volt battery in 26 hours on the power of one robo-cow.’

“Creators Kallite and Korhonen, both students at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in Helsinki, point out the deficiencies in alternate means of electricity like kerosene (inefficient, expensive, health risks), solar energy (high maintenance and high up-front costs), diesel power generators (too large scale for personal use), and micro hydro power (negative effects on natural surroundings). Essentially, these aren’t efficient options for those without electricity, and harnessing what these people might have on-hand, like farm animals, is a more realistic mode.

“Who knows whether it will actually catch on, but the hope is that Cowolt would provide enough charge to power smaller devices such as lamps, telephones, and radios, and thus provide those without stable sources of electricity with opportunities to be a little more self-sustaining in their everyday lives.” More here.

 

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On the whole, I believe in having zoos, but I do realize most of the animals would rather not be there.

So I was interested in a zoo concept that was tweeted this week by @SmallerCitiesU. It’s an article about a plan for a zoo in Denmark.

At Good magazine, Caroline Pham asks, “Is there an ethical way to publicly display captive animals? Danish architecture firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) is on a mission to answer that question with a hefty redesign of Denmark’s Givskud Zoo. …

“Their recently revealed plans for what has been dubbed ‘Zootopia’ attempt to mesh nature with inventive design in a 1,200,000 square meter park imagined under advisement from the zoo staff. Manmade buildings would hide within the constructed natural environments and animal habitats would mimic ones found in the wild as much as possible.

“Renderings showcase a circular central plaza with an ascending ramp-like border where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the entire park, which features varying natural environments (that seem to be fairly open-air) connected by a four-kilometer hiking trail. …

“The project is currently in progress, with the first phase set for completion in 2019.” More here.

Photo:  Bjarke Ingels Group

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