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Posts Tagged ‘inhabitat’

Back in June, Jane Devlin tweeted a link to a story on a curious “urban algae canopy” designed for EXPO 2015 in Milan.

Ross Brooks wrote at Inhabitat, “The Urban Algae Canopy by ecoLogic Studio is a piece of bio-digital architecture that combines micro-algal cultures and real time digital cultivation protocols. To be displayed at Expo Milano 2015, the structure is able to control the flow of energy, water and carbon dioxide based on weather patterns, visitors’ movements, and other environmental variables. It’s the first of its kind in the world, and … will be able to produce the oxygen equivalent of four hectares of woodland, along with nearly 330 pounds of biomass per day.” More at Inhabitat.

DOMUSweb adds that Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto of ecoLogicStudio “proposed a new vision of future bio-digital architecture powered by microalgae organisms as part of the Future Food District project, curated by Carlo Ratti Associati at the central crossroads of the EXPO site. …

“The flows of energy, water and CO2 are … regulated to respond and adjust  to weather patterns and visitors’ movements.  As the sun shines more intensively, algae would photosynthesise and grow, thus reducing the transparency of the canopy and increasing its shading potential.” More from DOMUS.

Photo: ecoLogicStudio
Urban Algae Canopy

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Trust those Finns to come up with a crazy idea that really works.

Timon Singh writes at Inhabitat.com about a team of Finnish researchers from Aalto University and their electricity-free computer powered by water droplets.

Singh writes that the researchers “developed a new concept for computing that doesn’t require standard electric power. Instead, the team creates collisions of water droplets on a highly water-repellent (superhydrophobic) surface. The research, which was published in the journal Advanced Materials, could form the basis for tomorrow’s electricity-free computing devices.

“After a series of experiments, the team determined that the ideal conditions for rebounding water droplets on superhydrophobic surfaces required a copper surface coated with silver and chemically modified with a fluorinated compound. This allowed the surface to be so h2o repellent that water droplets rolled off when the surface was tilted slightly. Using superhydrophobic tracks, the droplets were able to be guided along designed paths.

“Using this method, the researchers demonstrated that water droplets could be used to demonstrate ‘superhydrophobic droplet logic.’ In the university’s press release, the team used the example of a memory device that was built where water droplets act as bits of digital information.”

If you aren’t deterred by the technical language, read more here.

Now I just need to know if the earth has enough water to make this green technology for computing a reality. We have an awful lot of computers.

Photo: Inhabitat.com

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Did you like last week’s entry on stained glass windows that produce solar energy? Well, there’s more.

Kristine Lofgren writes at Inhabitat about an amazing solar chandelier.

“British artist Luke Jerram is known for his stunning art installations, which are often inspired by science. His latest project, unveiled [last year] at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, is the world’s largest solar chandelier! The 16.5-foot-tall chandelier is made of 665 glass bulbs that spin when exposed to light …

“The chandelier was created using glass radiometers rather than traditional light bulbs. As the sun hits each radiometer, it begins to turn, speeding up and slowing down as the light changes. The overall effect is a shimmering, gently moving piece of artwork. At night, it is lit up using electric light.” More.

By the way, Inhabitat also features a piece on a sculptural sound chamber that sings when the wind blows, here.

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Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar makes stunning paper sculptures that Nathaniel Ross at Inhabitat (“design will save the world”) describes as “soaring through the air like flying jellyfish. …

“Peter Gentenaar’s art was born out of the limitations of what he could (or couldn’t) create with store-bought paper. So with the help of the Royal Dutch Paper Factory, he built his own paper factory and devised a custom beater that processes and mills long-fiber paper pulp into the material you see in his artwork. He saw the potential that wet paper had when reinforced with very fine bamboo ribs, and he learned to form the material into anything his imagination would allow.”

Check out the machine Gentenaar uses to create his paper. You can buy one. He describes it thus:

“A machine suitable for beating long fibers, flax, hemp or sisal, as well as for beating soft and short fibers like cotton linters. The machine is built in stainless steel and has a bronze bedplate. The bronze bedplate has the same curve as the knife roll, this gives effective grinding/beating over a surface of: ± 20 x 10 cm. The distance between the roll and the bedplate can be finely adjusted. Also the weight under which the fibers are beaten can be varied from 0 to 60 kilo’s. This means you can use the beater on very delicate fibers and on very strong and rough fibers as well. I never have to cook my fibers. There is a factory guarantee on the beater of one year. At present I’m getting a CE mark, which ensures certain safety standards. There are over 70 beaters of this type sold over the last 12 years and they are all still working.”

Art: Peter Gentenaar

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