85 posts tagged design
This is what your home on Mars could look like
NASA JPL and Makerbot have announced the winners of their Thingiverse Mars Base challenge to design and 3D print a human habitat for the Red Planet.
Humans living on Mars is a fascinating concept. We already have Mars One looking to establish a Mars colony, and NASA planning manned missions to the Red Planet, with one objective being to assess the feasibility of living there; whether Mars has the resources necessary for human survival, and whether we have the technology to create what we need. While, however, it’s still a distant dream, that hasn’t stopped people from thinking about how we might live if we get there. Recently, NASA and Makerbot held the Mars Base challenge: to design human habitation, using materials either found on Mars or brought from Earth, that could be 3D printed. With 228 submissions on Thingiverse, the competition was fierce — but the three top designs are in, with the first place winner receiving a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D printer and spools of MakerBot PLA filament going to second and third. (via This is what your home on Mars could look like - CNET)
Zootopia seeks to break down barriers between humans and animals
Zoos traditionally hold animals in distinct enclosures into which visitors can peer. Newly unveiled designs for Givskud Zoo in Denmark, however, look to shake up this model. Zootopia will feature open landscapes for the animals into which visitor viewing points and routes will be built in a way that minimizes conspicuous barriers. The Zootopia concept was conceived about five years ago in a workshop amongst Givskud Zoo staff, with help from design and conceptual agencies. Architectural work begun about two years ago and has been carried out by Big Architects. The zoo has three areas representing Asia, Africa and America set within 120 ha (1.2 sq km) of land. Its design seeks to minimize the number of conspicuous barriers between animals and visitors. Visitors to Zootopia will be able to move between the three different zones using a network of walking and cycling trails. (via Zootopia seeks to break down barriers between humans and animals)
Chinese company wants to build this spectacular floating city
With so many of China’s 1.4 billion people clustered around its coastline, things can get pretty crowded. So instead of using more precious land space to build the cities of the future, a Chinese company has proposed using some of the 71 percent of the Earth’s surface that’s covered by water for expansion. Floating City will be a four square mile structure that floats like an iceberg, with some of the surface structure visible above the surface, but most of the action happening down below the waterline. Built on land in large hexagonal sections, the pieces will be slotted together like a giant jigsaw puzzle in the ocean. Designed to be totally self-sufficient, Floating City will have its own farms and waste disposal systems, and will offer everything from housing to entertainment, sports complexes and shopping. Transportation will be provided using a series of underwater tunnels and submarines. (via Chinese company wants to build this spectacular floating city | DVICE)
Boeing reveals future CST-100 commercial spacecraft Interior
Captain Picard’s ride seemed to have landed in Las Vegas today, as Boeing unveiled a mock-up of the new commercial interior of its Crew Space Transportation (CST-100). Under development as part of a NASA program to put a privately-owned and operated manned spacecraft to ferry American crews and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), the new interior reflects Boeing’s design strategy and it ambitions beyond NASA. (via Boeing reveals future CST-100 commercial spacecraft Interior)
The Utopian Origins of Restroom Symbols
A new book spotlights the creation and many applications of Isotype, the modernist visual language that lives on in signage all around us.
Navigating through sprawling airports and massive sports stadiums is frustrating enough with them, and traversing through such a labyrinthine world is unimaginable without them. I refer to those minimal pictographs of man, woman, child, car, sink, toilet, etc., that—like the five famous musical notes used to communicate with aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind—are intelligible to all. (via The Utopian Origins of Restroom Symbols - Steven Heller - The Atlantic)
The winners of the 2014 eVolo skyscraper competition were announced in March. Now in its ninth year, the contest aims to recognize outstanding ideas for vertical living. This year’s entries included wooden structures, sky cities and buildings that grow. (via eVolo 2014 Skyscraper Competition winners)
With a projected settlement date of 2025, the Mars One project has received over 200,000 applications for the one way trip to the Red Planet. But creating a living, sustainable community on the distant planet for the select inhabitants will require not only unique technological and engineering solutions, but also novel architectural systems. Bryan Versteeg is a conceptual designer who’s been working with the Mars One team in anticipation of the planet’s eventual colonization. (via SpaceHabs: One man’s architectural vision for colonizing Mars)
Sand Babel is a twisting, solar-powered, 3D-printed skyscraper built from desert sand. Inspired by tornadoes and mushroom rocks found in deserts, the tower was designed with an underground tube network system that combines residential spaces, scientific research facilities and sightseeing platforms. The futuristic, forward-thinking project by Chinese designers earned an honorable mention in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition. (via Sand Babel: Solar-Powered Twisting Skyscrapers 3D-Printed with Desert Sands Sand Babel Solar Powered 3D Printed Tower - Gallery Page 1 – Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building)
A Giant Basket That Uses Condensation to Gather Drinking Water
Around the world, 768 million people don’t have access to safe water, and every day 1,400 children under the age of five die from water-based diseases. Designer Arturo Vittori believes the solution to this catastrophe lies not in high technology, but in sculptures that look like giant-sized objects from the pages of a Pier 1 catalog. His stunning water towers stand nearly 30 feet tall and can collect over 25 gallons of potable water per day by harvesting atmospheric water vapor. Called WarkaWater towers, each pillar is comprised of two sections: a semi-rigid exoskeleton built by tying stalks of juncus or bamboo together and an internal plastic mesh, reminiscent of the bags oranges come in. The nylon and polypropylene fibers act as a scaffold for condensation, and as the droplets of dew form, they follow the mesh into a basin at the base of the structure.
“Once locals have the necessary know how, they will be able to teach others villages and communities to build the WarkaWater towers.” Each tower costs approximately $550 and can be built in under a week with a four-person team and locally available materials. (via A Giant Basket That Uses Condensation to Gather Drinking Water | Wired Design | Wired.com)
Virtual Worlds: Walter Pichler’s Futuristic Visions
Around forty-five years ago a man wore a submarine-like white helmet that extended from front to back. His entire head disappeared into the futurist capsule; only the title betraying what was happening. TV Helmet created in 1967 is a technical device that isolates the user while imbedding him or her in an endless web of information: closed off against the outside world, the wearer was completely focused on the screen before his eyes. TV Helmet is the work of Walter Pichler and it doesn’t merely formally anticipate the cyber glasses developed decades later; Pichler also articulated questions of content in relation to the media experience long before the “virtual world” was even discovered. Even back then, Walter Pichler was probably already a media critic as he’s remained one to this day. But he is also a conceptually thinking artist who explored space early on—beyond the four walls and the structures of cities. Pichler called his invention a Portable Living Room. His pioneering designs, The Prototypes, are pneumatic plastic living bubbles from the sixties that sought answers to the questions of tomorrow’s individualized life somewhere between the areas of design, architecture, and art. With their reference to space travel and modernist materials, Pichler’s futurist sculptures inspire a desire for the future— even if his messages are said to possess a sceptical or sarcastic undertone. (via Virtual Worlds: Walter Pichler’s Futuristic Visions | artselectronic)