Tag: Suburban Utopia

Robotic furniture for the young professional
Suburban Utopia

Shapeshifting Robotic Furniture

Moveable walls and multifunctional components, the in-house architectural robotics from Ori combines functionality with design. Ori, deriving from origami, is a line of connected smart products, developed by MIT Media Lab in partnership with designer Yves Béhar. Designed for micro-studios with less than 28 square meters of space, Ori transforms the space with a single push on the button. Aiming at young professionals paying high rents in urban centers, Ori houses a media center, storage space, a bench, a fold out desk, and a bed. It’s morphing time!

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ehighway fossil free
Suburban Utopia

eHighway: a Fossil-Free Alternative

A (small) revolution just happened in Sweden. The inhabitants of the coastal town of Gävle woke up to the world’s first electric-powered highway, a 1.2 mile road meant for trucks called eHighway. The electric cables feed the trucks with electricity, allowing them to travel at speeds up to 55 mph. The trucks, which carry a natural gas hybrid engine, have an antenna that collects the power and that is lowered when it’s time to disconnect.

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Tree and streetlight
Suburban Utopia

Streetlight Disrupts Seasonal Cycle of Trees

Prolonged exposure to artificial light prevents urban trees from adjusting to seasonal variations. Notice how the leaves of this tree have fallen, except for those directly under the streetlight. Recent research demonstrated how high-intensity light sources have the greatest impact on delaying leaf senescence, throwing off a plant response to the change of seasons. Peculiar image of the week via Physics FAU.

Walking on the grass, while there is a road, and feeling rebellious
Manufactured Landscapes

What Is Next Nature? #5

Can you relate to this? You’re walking on the pavement in a park or garden and you want to take a shortcut by crossing a grass field. You step off the road and on the grass, the soft soil underfoot feels comfortable, but it also feels like you’re doing something illegal. You look around expecting signs that say “do not walk on the grass”, but there are none. Indirectly we are taught that nature is something to behold, not to touch.

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.

Begging gettoblasters that hack the system
Suburban Utopia

Begging Ghetto Blasters Hack the System

In the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, something strange is going on. Since a couple of years begging is prohibited there. The beggars were seen as a nuisance, disrupting the picturesque atmosphere of the old city center. Today, however, begging voices are echoing through the streets again. But this time it’s not homeless people, but ghetto blasters that do the begging.

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TREEWifi Amsterdam startup
Suburban Utopia

Good Air Quality? You Get Free WiFi

TreeWiFi is an innovative project by an Amsterdam-based startup. They are building birdhouses equipped with a sensor to measure the quality of the air. The sensors used are much cheaper than regular sensors, allowing them to keep the installation of such birdhouses quite low-cost, with the only addiction of a WiFi router.

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world's first 3d printed office in dubai
Office Garden

World’s First 3D Printed Building

The various advantages of 3D printing technology are widely known. According to some, it will radically change how we look at the world in the near future. From healthcare to design, it is already breaking rules and opening many possibilities. Traditional methods of building and food production will probably become obsolete in the next 50 to 100 years. The latest 3D printed breakthrough come from Dubai. They’re calling it the ‘office of the future’ and it is the first completely 3D printed office building.

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car chased from bees for 2 days
Suburban Utopia

Bees to the Rescue of Their Queen

Our peculiar image of the week shows a bee stuck in a woman’s car, but this is no regular insect, we’re talking about the queen. As a consequence, a swarm of bees chased the trunk for two entire days looking for her. Another fascinating example of bee’s dedication to their queen. These worker bees could detect her exact location thanks to a specific pheromone she emits. Tom Moses, national park ranger and bee enthusiast, spotted the 20.000 bees and made sure they were treated with care, because ultimately every bee is precious lately. This honey-making insect is alarmingly disappearing, while being incredibly essential to our environment.

Image via Tom Moses

Vacation in the Era of Sea Pollution
Plastic Planet

Vacation in the Era of Marine Pollution

Have you ever been to the beach and been attacked by a seagull for a potato chip? These birds choose this food over their natural selection because people-food is in more abundance and relatively easy to get. Think about it. Seagulls and other shore animals can rely (not that they should) with a steady supply of food from June – August. And every year we flock to beaches in ever-growing numbers. To meet the demands of so many consumers, towns have developed their fragile coastal and marine ecosystems into housing and recreational facilities.

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