Hexagon is a new wall tile collection by Form Us with Love for Träullit, a manufacturer of wood wool cement board in Sweden. The shapely material absorbs sound, retains heat, resists fire, and resists moisture — making it easy to dress up a large blank wall or add a block of color to an otherwise minimal space. Träullit makes each tile with a combination of wood wool, cement, and water. Hexagon is on display at a church in a secret location in conjunction with Stockholm Design Week 2011.
Material ConneXion, a global materials consultancy, recently gave its material of the year award to Novacem for the company’s “carbon negative” cement. The product is being touted with increasing frequency and — it would seem from the literature — has the potential to change the world of concrete in 2014-15 when it hits the market.
Insulation is one tough nut to crack. As if you don’t already have several options and factors to consider, I thought I’d mention one more: natural wool insulation by Oregon Shepherd. The company makes batt (PermaBatt) and loose fill (PermaLoft) insulation products, and they both look pretty impressive on paper. Oregon Shepard believes they have the “only loose fill, blown-in wool insulation in the world.”
Interest in urban chickens is growing and — it would seem — the same holds true for urban beekeeping. An outfit out of West Bend, Wisconsin, Beepods.com, is selling personal use beehives for $450, including everything but bees and the know how. The kit comes IKEA-style ready for assembly with a screwdriver and Allen wrench. A single, top-bar Beepod will create about 40 pounds of high-quality honey, as well as propolis, pollen, and wax, if you harvest it.
This is a clever Penguin faucet offered by Sustainable Solutions (SSi). It was designed to conserve water with a flow rate of 1.5 GPM. At the same time, the faucet sends a message about environmental living. With an undeniable resemblance to the shape of a penguin, I can see a situation where you’re brushing your teeth and the faucet causes you to think about the tiny tuxedo birds, and then ice caps, and then other environmental issues. Maybe design in this case does a lot more than save water because it motivates you to save other natural resources, too.