Posts tagged
with sustainability


Small Shapes Slot Together to Construct Vessels That Can Be Reconfigured

January 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Kenji Abe

To combat single-use plastic waste, Tokyo-based designer Kenji Abe has conceived of a packaging material that can be arranged in various shapes and refashioned multiple times. The six-tipped CY-BO pieces can be woven together to create pouches, placemats, and other vessels that then can be deconstructed and reused. The project even reached the final rounds of the 2018 Kokuyo Design Awards.

Because of the shape’s flexibility, Abe says other materials like leather can be used in its place to create similar products. “It is a new packaging material that can be used depending on one’s ideas,” Abe told Plain Magazine. “Because in order to reduce discarded plastic, it’s necessary to make packing materials that can be reused as many times as possible.” You can follow more of Abe’s inventive designs on Instagram.




Architecture Firm NUDES Uses Corrugated Cardboard to Form the Furnishings and Walls of a Mumbai Cafe

March 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In the new Mumbai-based cafe Cardboard Bombay, corrugated cardboard composes each chair, table, and light fixture, in addition to the sinuous walls which sweep across the space. The restaurant was designed with the biodegradable material by Nuru Karim, founder of Mumbai-based architectural firm NUDES, who chose the material because of its sustainability, versatility, and ability to absorb sound.

Before starting on the cafe the design team tested the cardboard they wished to use, researching how it would react with typical hospitality factors such as water resistance and temperature changes. Next NUDES designed the undulating chairs, light fixtures, and wall partitions to have a similar free-flowing appearance, and treated cardboard tables with wax to seal the furniture and prevent damage. You can see more images from the (via designboom)

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via

Image via

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma




LEGO Launches a Rotating Wind Turbine with Trees Made From Plant-Based Plastic

September 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

LEGO recently launched a new 826-piece set that includes a three-foot tall wind turbine. The fully functioning power source features aircraft warning lights and adjustable blades, and towers above a cottage surrounded by trees and a garden. This is the first LEGO set to use a new plant-based plastic formulated from sugarcane, which comprises the kit’s spruce trees. The turbine, which is a collaboration with the Danish sustainable energy company Vestas, was previously developed in 2008 but was never released to the public. The updated set will be available through LEGO stores and online on November 23, 2018. (via Designboom)





Off the Grid: A Couple Spends 24 Years Building a Floating Island Home in Canada

August 11, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Twenty-five years ago artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams made the realization they would never have enough income to afford real estate so they made a fairly radical decision: they would build an island. Currently moored off the coast of Vancouver Island about 45 minutes by boat to the nearest town, their sprawling floating house is called called “Freedom Cove.”

The completely mobile island is made of 12 tethered sections that incorporates four greenhouses, living quarters, a kitchen, workshop, art gallery, a lighthouse and even a dance floor. Adams estimates the structure weighs in around 500 tons (a million pounds) and says everything was constructed with a handsaw and hammer without the aid of power tools. In this short clip Great Big Story takes a brief glimpse inside this supremely unusual residence.








Design Documentary

Earthships: Meet a Community in New Mexico Living in Incredible Off-The-Grid Homes Built From Trash

December 8, 2015

Christopher Jobson

Fresh out of architectural school in 1972, Michael Reynolds immediately started to question much of what he had just learned. Why build houses with trees when forests are something we want to preserve? Why pay for electricity, water, and heat when all of it can be provided off-the-grid using existing materials and renewable resources like wind, rain, and solar?

Reynolds set out to design a home built from dirt, tires, aluminum cans and other repurposed objects and so successful others began to take notice. Now, an entire community lives in these unusual homes called ‘Earthships’ in Taos, New Mexico. Filmmakers Flora Lichtman and Katherine Wells recently stopped by to learn more. (via Devour)










Animation Food

Epic “Back to the Start” Stop-Motion Ad for Chipotle (Plus Bonus Making-Of Goodness)

August 31, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The blogs are buzzing today over this new stop motion ad for Mexican food chain Chipotle by London-based Johnny Kelly, set to a Willie Nelson cover of the Coldplay song, The Scientist. The video features the story of a farmer seduced by profits into large-scale unsustainable and unhealthy farming practices who decides to go “back to the start”, ridding the farm of its factory machinery resulting in happier and healthier animals. The quality of the animation is simply incredible and I was left wondering how on Earth they had accomplished some of the shots. Luckily the production team at Clapham Road Studios was a step ahead of me and shot a making-of clip that shows the enormous table containing the farm and hundreds of components used to make it move.

Back to the Start – Making of from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.

Many more production photos can be found here. Over the past decade I have eaten at Chipotle so irrationally frequent, they should just wrap my burritos in common stock. (via laughing squid)




Need/Want Glass

April 29, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The Need/Want Glass from Alesina Design encourages you to think about wasting water every time you take a drink. By holding your finger over a hole in the glass, you consciously permit yourself to have more water than you might “need”. This is all subjective I’m sure, and if you could somehow apply the concept to watering your lawn or taking a bath it might be even more effective. Still, got me thinking. Each glass is hand finished, numbered, and signed. Available here.



A Colossal


Sailing Ship Kite