Design

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Design

Upcycled Railbikes Travel through California's Ancient Redwood Groves as Pedal-Powered Designs

August 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images by Brendan McGuigan, © Mendocino Railway

Following the same route of the long-running Skunk Train that thrums through California’s Mendocino County, a new contraption from the historic rail brings cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts through the pristine redwood groves with a smaller carbon footprint. Railbikes are two-seated, four-wheeled designs that run along the centuries-old tracks through the ancient forests just outside of Fort Braggs. Made with lightweight materials, the upcycled rigs are largely pedal-powered, although they have an electric component for hills and more difficult stretches of the miles-long route.

The new offering marks a growing trend in eco-tourism and a shift toward outdoor activities that leave little impact on the environment, with similar offerings cropping up along rails in Carson City, Sacramento, and Las Vegas that have been entirely or mostly abandoned. Skunk Train has plans in the works to expand its routes in the coming months, and you can follow its developments on its site and Instagram. Until then, watch the video below to tag along on a trek through the towering redwoods. (via swissmiss)

 

 

 



Art Design

Kengo Kuma Hangs Glimmering Sheets of Metallic Chain Inside Gaudí's Casa Batlló

August 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Jordi Anguera, shared with permission

Renowned architect Kengo Kuma (previously) amplifies the already magical nature of Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló in Barcelona with layers of shimmering curtains. Lining a staircase that stretches from the coal bunkers in the basement up eight flights, the immersive installation suspends 164,000 meters of Kriskadecor’s aluminum chain, positioning the lighter shades on the upper floors and black on the lowest level to emulate the gradient in the Casa Batlló courtyard. The billowing drapes reflect light in kaleidoscopic patterns around the museum and stand in contrast to the otherwise colorfully whimsical architecture, which Kuma describes:

We have imagined this space dressed in aluminum link curtains, which with their meticulous materiality catch the light, as if they were fishing nets, and show it to us in all its forms: brightness, silhouettes, shadows… this way, by omitting the use of any other materials, and erasing the presence of this blind box and its staircase using these chains, we are able to speak of light and light only.

Because of the material, the ceiling of Casa Batlló was outfitted with special acoustic panels to muffle any noise produced by the chains clanking together. The photos shown here were taken by Jordi Anguera, and you can find more of his shots and stay up-to-date with Kuma’s designs on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

The Most Powerful Tidal Turbine To Date Produces Clean, Reliable Energy Off the Scottish Coast

August 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

Earlier this year, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine launched off the Orkney coast, where it will spend the next 15 years generating enough clean energy to power about 2,000 households in the U.K. “O2” is the novel development of the Scottish engineering company Orbital Marine Power, which manufactured the 74-meter-long design during the last decade and a half.

Anchored in the turbulent waters in the Fall of Warness off the northeastern point of Scotland, the 2MW machine is connected to the onshore electricity network of the European Marine Energy Centre. The testing facility uses the powerful currents flowing through the channel from the North Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea—these streams reach 7.8 knots at spring tides—to produce a reliable electricity source for local communities. During its stay, “O2” will also support the center’s hydrogen electrolyzer, which is the first in the world to produce the pure element through tidal velocities, and further aid in broad decarbonization efforts.

Orbital Marine Power has plans to commercialize the innovative technology behind “O2,” which you can explore in detail on the company’s YouTube. (via designboom)

 

All images © Orbital Marine Power, shared with permission

 

 



Design

In the New Video Game 'Stray,' Players Venture through a Decaying Cybercity as a Stealthy Cat

August 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Having the stealth and nimble reflexes of a cat is the only way to escape the dangerous droids and perilous environment of “Stray.” Created by BlueTwelve Studio, the highly anticipated video game immerses players in a futuristic metropolis as a lonely, injured feline in search of its family. With the help of a drone named B-12, the sprightly creature has to evade the threats of the dystopian city as it roams the neon-lit alleys, leaps through rundown, graffiti-covered buildings, and nuzzles up to human-like robots.

Watch the game’s walkthrough above for a better sense of the cat’s abilities—endlessly annoying its fellow city-dwellers is unsurprisingly one of its defenses—before it’s released early next year for PC and PS5. You can also follow its progress on Twitter. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Design

An Innovative Drill-Bit Shaped Pen Holds Ink Around a Grooved Spiral

July 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images couresty of Drillog

Inventive design and age-old craft converge in a simple writing instrument produced by the CNC-machining factory Shion. As its name suggests, Drillog is a drillbit-shaped pen that holds the ink in its thin grooves that spiral up the side of the nib. Whereas traditional quills require repeated dips and the more modern fountain pen suspends the pigmented liquid in an internal reservoir for longer use, a single dunk of the Drillog should retain enough ink to smoothly fill an A4 size paper.

Its interchangeable barrels come in dozens of style-and-color combinations, and the Japanese company even released a miniature palette with tiny wells designed to reduce spillage. There are just under 40 days to back the fully-funded project on Kickstarter, and you can find out more about the aluminum pen on the Drillog site and Twitter. (via Core77)

 

 

 



Design Food

A Compostable Lamp Made from 3D-Printed Orange Peels Proposes a Sustainable Use for Food Waste

July 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Krill Design

Part sustainable design and part ode to Sicilian food culture, a new product by a Milan-based startup transforms inedible food waste into a functional homeware. Krill Design’s “Ohmie” is a compostable lamp made from the peels of two to three oranges sourced from the Messina province that are dried, ground into a powder, and added to a biopolymeric vegetable starch base. That combined material is molded into pellets used in a 3D printing process that layers the vibrant matter into a textured shade and base. Because of its organic origins, the minimal, leather-like lamp varies slightly in color as it ages and even maintains its signature citrusy scent.

“Ohmie” isn’t Krill Design’s first product that relies on a circular economy model: previous initiatives involve recycled plastics and coffee scraps that undergo a similar process before they’re molded into office furniture and other consumer goods. The orange lamp already met its goal on Kickstarter, but you’ve got about two weeks left to back the project. You also might enjoy this juice machine that creates bioplastic cups. (via Dezeen)

 

The orange peel and vegetable starch pellets