"How did progress take priority over human mankind? …" I’m the proud owner of season one of e² design, a six-part series that aired on PBS last fall. I can’t wait for the next season and it’s coming soon. Go check out www.e2-series.com. Brad Pitt’s back with “e² design." This grouping of shows will feature Thom Mayne, architect of the San Francisco Federal Building; Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia; and Adriaan Geuze, lead architect of the Borneo Sporenburg development in Amsterdam. PBS also brought on rookie, Morgan Freemen, for “e² energy." This segment will feature Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Grameen Bank; Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute; and Dr. José Goldemberg, Brazil’s former secretary for the environment. This is excellent video content. Incredible content. Unbeatable content.
UPDATE: 5/1/08 – you can buy the original Inhabit now at Dwell.
Imagine stacking 50 to 100 prefabricated, modular units to create a high-tech, green, multifamily apartment building. That’s what Unico is all about. Over the last 18 months, Unico has been perfecting the development of a 15′ x 45′ foot box referred to as "Inhabit." The company started with idea of using shipping containers, but they later decided to build the box from scratch (and may revisit the use of containers later on). They partnered with Mithun and Hybrid Architecture, both major innovators in the modern and green space.
[Run time: 2:05 min] I hope you enjoy this short video of Shawn Frayne, a young inventor that has created this device to generate, on the micro-scale, energy for LED lights and radios in developing countries. This is the first approach that uses aeroelastic flutter to create super cheap electricity. We’re talking about changing the way wind energy is harvested and captured. Frayne won a 2007 Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics, and he deserves it. This incredible technology is 10-30 times more efficient than the best micro-turbines. So, Frayne hopes to fund third-world distribution of the Windbelt through sales in first-world applications. So inspiring …
UPDATE: EcoGeek reports that Shawn Frayne has launched the website for Humdinger Wind Energy. Soon, according to the website, developer kits are going to be available for schools, researchers, and independents.
The Working Artists Ventura (WAV) Project by PLACE is a $57 million, state-of-the-art community designed by Adele Santos, Dean of Architecture at M.I.T. In total, the project will include 69 affordable artist spaces with monthly rent from $388-963; 13 market-rate, for sale lofts from $686,000-1,050,000; and 6,000 sf of arts-friendly businesses. The 130,000 sf, 4-floor building will be LEED certified and two blocks from local transit. The community will also have the area’s first car sharing program. Also check the video below.
Stroh Haus is a home in Switzerland made of compressed straw bale and designed by Felix Jerusalem. As you can see from the images below, the staw bale is used not only for the external walls, but also as a sound barrier insulation on the inside. What’s incredible, though, is that green tint, translucent sheeting on the exterior. Quite compelling, isn’t it? I wish I had more to say on the home, but there’s not much information, other than what I’ve seen at Architechnophilia.
There’s a lot of talk about eco-cities and we’ve mentioned at least two of them (Dongtan + Masdar). But an unassuming Swedish suburb, known as Hammarby Sjöstad, has received high praises as a legitimate sustainable community. In Hammarby Sjöstad, houses use half the energy and water than normal Swedish properties. Plus, all the homes are built to sustainable standards and will house roughly 25,000 people by 2015 (11,000 units).