Sustainability Science
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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
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The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile

The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Think your city doesn’t like you? You’re right.

Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 6, 2016 11:51 AM

Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there.  Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision.  Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.'  These articles from the Society Pages, Atlas Obscura, the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering, skate boarding, and homelessness, which are all undesirable to local businesses.  This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.'  Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless (and here is an ingenious plan to curb public urination).  

    

Tags: urbanplanning, architecture, landscape, place, poverty.

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How to remake the L.A. freeway for a new era? A daring proposal from architect Michael Maltzan

How to remake the L.A. freeway for a new era? A daring proposal from architect Michael Maltzan | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Architect Michael Maltzan has a proposal to wrap the 134 Freeway as it crosses the Arroyo Seco with a tunnel-like form that produces power, captures stormwater and reduces noise and pollution.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Neat idea!
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Solar-Powered Plug Transforms Windows Into Outlets

Solar-Powered Plug Transforms Windows Into Outlets | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A pair of designers have developed a new portable outlet that absorbs solar energy and converts it to electricity for everyday use. This nifty device can be attached to a window or wall that gets a lot of sunlight and, after eight hours of charging, holds up to 10 hours of electricity. This can then be used to charge your phone or any number of electricity-hungry gadgets.
It is even possible to leave the solar plug on the wall and use it as an outlet to keep your laptop or anything else.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Cool!  I had something like this about 20 years ago, but it was much less sophisticated...and I can't remember the name of the thing.

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Forest suburbia is inhabited by self-sufficient tree-like homes

Forest suburbia is inhabited by self-sufficient tree-like homes | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
This proposal for a new kind of suburbia is inspired by the tree, featuring self-sufficient "symbiotic" homes that generate their own power and are integrated with the land.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Provocative idea...that will never happen.  You mean to tell me that we will have this sparsely occupied forest replace a modern suburb?

 

Designed by a true urbanite!

 

While this would be cool, it would also require something like halving our global population...which would be great.

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Urinal sculptor's No. 1 inspiration may surprise you

Urinal sculptor's No. 1 inspiration may surprise you | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Biggest projectAt any rate, all those other commissions threw him behind schedule for his biggest project to date - he promised to have eight urinals ready for the annual Pacific Orchid Exposition, which opens Thursday at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The other afternoon, Sorensen grabbed a handful of wet porcelain clay and began enlarging one of the orchid petals on a half-finished urinal that, when completed, will resemble a giant pink cattleya orchid. Every so often, a urinal cracks in the process and Sorensen must toss several months' work into the trash bin and start over. The hate mail he got after word of that project leaked suggested that not everyone shares his vision of free expression. Sorensen spent his early years designing costumes and video games, and admits to being personally responsible for giving the world a video game depicting a Barbie doll doing gymnastics. [...] I thought I would try something new. High-end European nurseries seem to be his No. 1 customers although millionaires with senses of humor are a close second. The Chronicle selected the orchid that looked like a high school prom corsage. The silver handle on the fixture responded instantly to the touch, like the steering wheel on a European touring sedan. No splashAn unexpected bonus, Sorensen said, is that the natural design of the orchid prevents any splashing. A prospective customer or a newsman may have a reason to test a urinal but the room is foremost an artist's studio, not a lavatory.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Cool designs...but it would be great if they all could be WATERLESS urinals.  Then that would be something'!

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Above Manhattan's bustle, a reshaped public space

Above Manhattan's bustle, a reshaped public space | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
In the mid-20th century, it was a railroad; now it’s a public park. Built in the 1930s, 30 feet above the streets of Manhattan, the High Line was crucial for transporting cargo. But with the decline of rail transportation, it closed in 1980 and was abandoned. Almost three decades later, it opened again -- this time, as a shared space for greenery, art and leisure. Jeffrey Brown reports.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
I've posted about the High Line urban park in New York City before.  But this is perhaps the best video I've seen on it.  You get a really nice sense of how the public is seeing/using this park here.
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The WWI Battleships That Saved (And Doomed) the British Empire

The WWI Battleships That Saved (And Doomed) the British Empire | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
World War I was shaped by the new vehicles developed during the four years of conflict. A century after the start of the war, we’re looking back at the most remarkable vehicles—the planes, cars, tanks, ships, and zeppelins—it helped bring about. Aviation and the automobile were in their infancy when World War I started in…
PIRatE Lab's insight:

An interesting take on design here.  We all know the adage "generals fight the last war."  Here this is a literal description.  But there are also clear implications for sustainable design (or design more generally).  Bad design fails to put the object in the real world hands of its users and properly envision how both humans and the environment directly and indirectly engage with the item.  

 

Be it guns that are too big to quickly reload or packaging that is not compostable that slices open you knuckles as you try to unseal the contents, good design often requires thinking unpopular thoughts.

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25 Exceptional Ways To Use Old Stuff You Were Going To Throw Away. #10 Is Brilliant.

25 Exceptional Ways To Use Old Stuff You Were Going To Throw Away.  #10 Is Brilliant. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Planning to throw away some old things? Not so fast! Upcycling is the process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. Take an old tire for example. Tie a rope to it and hang it from a tree and now you have a swing! Upcycling is often seen in art […]
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Some cool ideas here about how to keep things out of the trash bin.

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Startups, This Is How Design Works

Startups, This Is How Design Works | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A guide to understanding digital & physical product design for startups
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Good design should be central to any good technological innovation.

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Spruce Stove that burns a whole tree trunk

Spruce Stove that burns a whole tree trunk | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Via Deloste
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Awesome...as long as you have the right diameter logs.

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Deloste's curator insight, November 14, 2013 5:38 AM

by Michiel Martens and Roel de Boer

Samuel's curator insight, December 13, 2016 12:19 PM
That would be good for night in the house.