Tag: Suburban Utopia

foraging in portland
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Hipster Hunter-Gatherers Ravage Portland

In a story that’s best taken with a grain of artisanal Himalayan sea salt, one Redditor claims that herds of sous-chefs in Portland, Oregon have been tearing up his property in their quest for wild edibles:

“It was fine when they were just harvesting pineapple weed and mallow from the alley and the parking strip, although it was admittedly a little off-putting. I’m also totally cool with them picking the crab apples because some of the branches are in the public right of way. But yesterday my neighbor called to let me know she had to help a sous chef who got stuck on top of my fence holding a baggie full of chicory leaves.”

Replace the word ‘chef’ with ‘raccoon’ or ‘deer’ and, funnily enough, the story loses no coherence. Are locavores newest urban pest? Perhaps blasting mainstream music and sprinkling the property with processed foods will keep the chefs at bay.

Via Gawker. The full Reddit thread is available here. Image via Gastronomica.

From Infoniac.com
Dynamic-architecture

3D Print a New House in One Day

3D printing technology is become more accessible, more affordable, and more useful every day. From factory tooling to movie props, 3D has countless applications – and now, you can even print your own house! In this TED talk, University of Southern California professor Behrokh Khoshnevis talks about scaling up the processes already used in rapid prototyping technology, and working with a 3D printer that can print the structure of a 250 square meter house using concrete.

A major limitation of the technology is that it only prints on a single level. Enrico Dini’s British company D-shape hopes to expand on the possibilities of large-scale 3D printing, and has managed to print a two-level structure, but not a livable home yet. It raises the question of which direction this technology is headed – in the future, will we print taller, leading to constructive new methods of city-building, or will we print wider, increasing the already-rapid pace of suburban sprawl? And if it does lead to sprawl, who will print roads and sewer lines to serve the houses?

Michigan Central Station
Manufactured Landscapes

Turning Detroit into Farms and Forests

The story of Detroit is a familiar one for anyone living in the so-called rust belt of the USA, where the once-mighty automotive manufacturing industries have left many towns and cities shadows of their former selves. Now bankrupt, Detroit’s population has halved over the last fifty years. No one actually knows just how many buildings are abandoned, but it is estimated at over 1/3 of all structures. In the midst of this urban decay, farming has started to fill the hole left by industry.

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shopping mall
manufactured-landscapes

Why Shopping Malls Are Confusing

You walk into a shopping mall, your intentions firmly focused on finding a sensible pair of shoes or a replacement t-shirt. You glance around, suddenly disorientated by the visual cacophony of stores, carts, water fountains and crowds. Hours later, you leave the mall laden with bags of stuff you didn’t plan on buying. What happened?

The Jerde transfer refers to shopping center design that is intentionally confusing and overstimulating. According to the sociologist Giandomenico Amendola, “Amplification, bombardment of the senses, entertainment, are the means by which City Walk or Fremont Street change the modern flaneur into an addicted consumer… Design principles [of the Jerde transfer] are chaos and incoherence…” Commercial structures that might seem designed for utility or convenience are actually created in order to manipulate us into opening our wallets. Welcome to the natural habitat of capitalism.

Image via The Daily Mail.

from conservationphotos.com
Feed-Back

Have We Passed “Peak Automobile”?

You’ve heard about peak oil, but what about peak automobile? There is mounting evidence that society has already passed the years of maximum car use. Fewer young consumers are getting driver’s licenses than their parents, and they are also buying fewer cars.  Numerous studies point to a significant change in consumption that is not explained away by the recent financial crisis.

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Disposable Food Bowl
Design-for-debate

From Fast Food Packaging to Flowerpot

“Enjoy your food. Then put the seeds from under the label with gravel to the bowl and let it grow. After a week, plant bowl with an herb to the ground. The bowl will degrade and you can grow up your own herb”. This is the challenge of Michal Marko, design student at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic.

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vegetable lamb of tartary
Food Technology

The Sci-Fi Prehistory of “Victimless” Meat

The idea of “disembodied” meat, whether grown from trees or in the lab, has been around for at least a century – if not way longer. The medieval notion of the “vegetable lamb of Tartary”, a live sheep that sprouts from a plant, could be thought of as the great-granddaddy of “victimless” meat. However, the idea of truly in vitro meat had to wait for the invention of cell culture. No doubt French surgeon Alexis Carrell pondered taking a nibble of an immortal drumstick when he created an “immortal” chicken heart cell line in 1912.

Perhaps the earliest explicit mentions of cultured meat comes from British statesman Frederick Edwin Smith. In 1930, Smith predicted that “it will no longer be necessary to go to the extravagant length of rearing a bullock in order to eat its steak. From one ‘parent’ steak of choice tenderness it will be possible to grow as large and as juicy a steak as can be desired.” Winston Churchill famously echoed this sentiment only two years later. According to Technovelty, in vitro meat made its first appearance in fiction in 1952. Since then, sci-fi authors have described inspiring, bizarre and uncanny speculative meat futures. Click through for some of the most evocative…

Next Nature is continuing the tradition of visionary lab-grown meat speculation: Support our crowdfunding campaign for the world’s first in vitro meat cookbook!

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600x400_1365604615_313370-facedoek 2
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Face ‘doek’

This Face ‘doek’ (Dutch for blanket) was designed by eighteen year old Noortje van Steenis and put in the corridor of her high school as a protest against the addiction of her fellow students to Facebook. She doesn’t have a Facebook account herself. The Facedoek functions like an old fashioned announcement space. Everyone is allowed to write on it. Peculiar image of the week. Picture by Marcel van den Berg.

3D birdhouse
Fake-nature

Birdhouse Sweet Birdhouse

3D printer company MakerBot recently launched a contest inviting designers to create the birdhouse of the future. The winner is The American Craftsman Bungalow by Brent J. Rosenburgh, a detailed 3D-printed birdhouse made in the likeness of a human home. For a ‘birdhouse of the future’, the design seems quite nostalgic. We would certainly love to live there, but would birds consider it the house of their dreams?

Related Posts: Google Birdhouse, Pet Dreamhouse.