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Leaf-like Solar Shade Both Functional, Educational

Veil Solar Shade

Buro North, a design firm located in Melbourne, Australia, has partnered with Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) to develop this interesting solar-collecting sun shade called the "Solar Shade" for Australian elementary schools.  The Solar Shade concept is part educational and part functional.  Of course, when used in clusters, Solar Shades provide a shaded gathering place that generates energy for the school.  But in addition, the device demonstrates and educates students on the dynamics of harvesting solar energy.  The foundation of the Solar Shade includes LED lights that provide feedback as to whether the orientation is/is not optimal.  When the LEDs turn red, students can grab the handle and rotate the device to absorb more of the sun’s rays.   Although still a concept, it’s kind of a cool idea — maybe enthusiasm for the project will push it into production?

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miniLOO, Saving Water With Small Style

MiniLOO White

I know it’s just a toilet, but this miniLOO is quite the attractive alternative when it comes to taking care of your primary and secondary business.  MiniLOO utilizes a water-efficient, dual flush, in-wall tank with either a .8 or 1.6 gallon flush.  The compact off-floor mounting allows easy cleaning and accessibility in either the residential or commercial setting.  It’s perfect for a smaller space and available in a variety of finishes, including recycled stainless steel and white powdercoat. 

++miniLOO

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Harmony Art, Organic Fabrics for Interior Home Design

Graceland Whispering

Harmony Art, based in California, is an organic fabric company which was started a few years ago by a woman named Harmony.  She designs all the prints, most of which are inspired by nature.  The colors are wide-ranging and the prints are modern and fun.  They offer jersey, interlock, twill, denim, sateen and flannel.

I am using her solid white sateen, which has a slight sheen, for our living room curtains.  The fabrics are of wonderful quality and start at around $15/yard.  You can visit her site to find online retailers, which is how I ordered my fabric.

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Botanist Fuses Style and Sustainability

Margo Chase

I received an email about Orange22′s launch of the Botanist Blank Canvas Project at ICFF and it looks pretty interesting.  Orange22 enlisted the help of eight iconic designers to place their fingerprint on the popular Botanist line of indoor/outdoor furniture.  The designers include Yves Behar, Margo Chase, Milton Glaser, Kahi Lee, Karim Rashid, Joe Ricchio, Massimo + Lella Vignelli, and Claude Zellweger.  Pieces come in a variety of designs and can be used as end tables, benches, cocktail tables, or anything else you can think of.

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[Videos] Some Green Prefabs by MKD

I’ve got 3 super-fresh, green prefab videos for your viewing leisure.  Two videos are of MKD’s Glidehouse, which is factory-built in roughly 10-14 months at a cost similar or less than traditional site-built homes.  The other is of the Sunset Breezehouse, which has the butterfly roof and central breezeway that blurs the interior with the exterior.  Pretty cool videos — it’s nice to have Michelle Kaufmann herself blogging these prefab experiences. 

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Wow! Container Home in New Zealand

Wellington

Sure, this New Zealand home is heavy on the industrial, nuclear reactor look, but it has a certain draw to it, don't you think?  I was pointed to these images in a flickr photoset owned by petraalsbach and was struck by the interesting use of containers — as you can tell, the home was built right up to, and possibly into, the hill.  Containers are strong and stackable,and it seems like lots of people are using them right now in home design.  Container homes may just become more popular than modern prefab …

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