Concerns around climate change aren’t going away anytime soon, and some designers—like Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)—are looking for ways to lessen the impact. Considering 90% of the world’s largest cities will be exposed to rising seas by 2050, BIG—alongside partners like the MIT Center for Ocean Engineering and many others—has proposed the world’s first sustainable “floating community.” It’s all part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. This city on the sea, called Oceanix City, could house up to 10,000 residents and is designed to grow organically over time.
When Swedish design company Offecct set out to design a commercial acoustics product, they wanted it to be a sustainable product like nothing the industry had seen before. They reached out to Italian/Hungarian industrial designer Andrea Ruggiero to find a way to transform waste material into a high performing commercial product. The result? Soundsticks. The colorful tubular room dividers are made entirely from leftover materials and can be arranged to create a fashionable, functional look while reducing ambient noise in public spaces or open offices. Soundsticks use fabric leftovers from Offecct and Flokk’s furniture production, contain a sound-absorbing material made of recycled textile and PET, and include recycled aluminum plates. They’re made completely without glue.
Green Buildings & Healthy Places
Research from a recent USGBC report shows people want to live in healthy places, but they don’t typically associate green buildings as part of the solution. “When asked which terms most strongly relate to the environment and being green, only 11% said green buildings,” according to a USGBC press release. The research suggests a gap between the size of the problem and how people address it on a regular basis. “When people think about emissions, they think about cars, power plants, and industries,” says USGBC CEO Mahesh Ramanujam. “They rarely think about buildings, leaving the green building community with a messaging mountain to climb. We are not reaching the broader population effectively enough to change their behavior or decisions on the scale necessary to combat climate-related risks.” The survey is one in a series of public research reports to be released through the Living Standard campaign, which was launched at the 2018 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago.
Coolest White Paint
Dutch architecture firm UNStudio and Monopol Colors, a Swiss paint manufacturer, have teamed up to create a white paint that protects buildings by reflecting sunlight. The “coolest white paint” is said to have a high total solar reflectance, uses ultra-durable fluoropolymer technology, and has a higher abrasion resistance than polyester. Thanks to its easy-to-clean properties, it also repels dirt, so you can count on low maintenance costs and even remove most marks, including graffiti, quickly and easily. UNStudio estimates the coating has a lifespan of up to 30 years.
Anis in Nice Méridia
French architects Dimitri Roussel and Nicolas Laisné set new standards for eco-centric design with their recent office building at the heart of Nice Méridia—an ambitious urban neighborhood that centers around sustainable development by providing plenty of greenery, public spaces, and exemplary aesthetics. With a combination of outdoor staircases and large common areas, Anis provides ample opportunity for social interaction. The architects’ innovative strategy to move the circulation space to the facade opens the building’s interior, increases mobility by encouraging occupants to use stairs, and acts as a shading alternative to costly sun control systems. Sporadic greenery along the dynamic white terraces are a playful—and environmental— reinterpretation of the strict functionalism in modern office buildings.