Underground world

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What it is
New areas in the city to make you feel close to yourself, nature and out of the overwhelming sounds and impressions of the city. Deep below the Delancy street in Manhattan, which is very noisy and a perfect example of the overwhelming city, lies a building abandoned in 1948. There is a big and, for a lot of us, unknown world down below where rats and albino alligators live. Two designers, Dan Barasch and James Ramsey, want to turn this world into a vibrant, immaculately area which will look like a park. There is only one stumbling block; plant also need light to grow. So they made up a new system to bring the light where it can’t go. With all kind of equipment like mirrors and lenses they made it possible. ‘For all us vampires, night-owls, and Poe-reading goths, let’s hope Manhattan soon gets its next great public space, far beneath the madding crowds.’
Another example that takes working places to the nature is this serene working pace which belongs to the bureau GLUCK+. It acts like a refuge for employees. This also shows that working in normal boring offices makes people unaware and bored.

Why I think it is cool
It is off course very expensive and also hard to get the light down below, but when this is possible, people can escape from the overwhelming city to clear their head and take a pause while they are still a part of the city. Wouldn’t that be awesome?? I am a huge fan of this initiative because the city overwhelms me every day. There are so much sounds, people, movements and odors that your vision can’t be clear the whole day. These impressions make you tired. So working in this environment is  obvious also tiresome. So when this area becomes reality, people can go down here to work or to relax. I think that Urban Nomads bring the nature to the city and this is a perfect example to make it clear. Urban Nomads will keep this band with nature so everybody else will also be aware of this.
The house of  GLUCK+ in the woods (or you can also put it in a park in the city), clears the mind of the employees and inspires them because they have another working space which they are not used to. This stimulates creativity!

Source 1:http://www.nextnature.net/2012/09/the-lowline-aims-to-build-an-underground-park/
Source 2: http://roomed.nl/werken-middenin-de-natuur/


Wearable green

What it is
This designer, Hafsteinn, Juliusson, was inspired by the fact that green areas and nature in the cities is very wanted but not everywhere to each his disposal. His small solution for this big problem is very innovative, beautiful and even cute. He made gardens wearable by designing rings etc. with small gardens in it. His line is actually called ‘Growing jewelry’ so it even lives while you are carrying it around the city. It only needs watering every five weeks for growing so you don’t even really have to take care of it because it largely takes care of its own. 

Why I think it is cool
Who wouldn’t wear this?? Every urban nomad looks for the perfect balance between green, sustainable and the city. With this around your finger, hand or neck, your own green spot is always with you. It doesn’t need a lot of attention so you can be busy like every urban nomad is. Maybe this is a precursor for carrying your own garden with you in a small bag or something. You can always feel connected with nature and also do your own thing in the city.

Source: http://www.nextnature.net/2013/02/wearable-urban-farms/

The reply chair


What it is
‘Out of the box gets a whole new meaning’. This chair is made out of carton. We all throw carton away, every day, without thinking about doing something else with it. Luckily this material can be used for recycling. But why not doing it by yourself? This chair is very simple but can easily be made unique. Also the other materials that are necessary to make this chair are simple and minimal. This principle is very easy and simple but the hard thing with this concept is to make it of a good quality. But there is in this case not much that has to be done. Four layers re-cycled cardboard, or actually fiberboard, are overlaid, laminated, cut and folded so it all fits and is made ‘chairable’. There are only the essential materials.

Why I think it is cool
This chair is cool because it meets the principles urban nomads have; it has to be simple (in this case almost like, ‘why didn’t I think of that’), sustainable and unique. You can make your own thing of it but it also helps the environment. The weight of the chair is minimal and because you can make your own design it will fit everywhere; in a chic restaurant, a small café or your own home.
I also think this example makes clear that it is easy to re-use materials that everybody has at home.

source: http://roomed.nl/out-of-the-box-krijgt-een-nieuwe-betekenis-dankzij-de-re-ply-stoel/

Energy from the sky!

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What it is
We use a lot energy, everyday again. We can’t life without it and in the future we will also need energy, probably even more. So how are we going to deal with this, the fossil fuels aren’t going to remain at our disposal forever. In this coolhunt I will talk about a few options to make our energy consumption more sustainable.
The first think we can do is to work with offshore wind farms. This sounds weird, a farm? It works like this: these wind farms which are offshore, so nobody (like nature) suffers from these kind of windmills, and create their own clouds by mixing warm sea water weather with cooler air above. And another awesome thing is that they could even alter weather and storm patterns.
Another solution had also to do with gathering energy from the atmosphere. This atmospheric energy could be revolutionary! One company called SEFE is doing research how to take this electricity out of the air in a way we can accomplish. Also a lot of research is being done by several universities. Dennis Siegel made an electromagnetic harvester to capture the energy.

Why I think it is cool
It is well known that there is electricity stored in the air all around us. So what we only need to do is  ‘literally plucking this electricity from the air’. This invention has a big future growth potential because it can literally safe our world! We don’t have to harm the nature anymore but can use it in one way that isn’t harmful but very good for us! Like these wind farms: ‘not only they fight climate change but they also create micro-climates. Studies have shown that wind farms are even capable of changing weather patterns!’

1. http://www.nextnature.net/2013/02/offshore-winds-farms-generate-their-own-microclimates/
2. http://www.nextnature.net/2013/03/atmospheric-energy/

From: nextnature.net

Finally, REALLY safe drinking water

What it is
‘De hoeveelheden antibiotica in ons drinkwater vormen een toenemend probleem voor de volksgezondheid.’ A lot studies concluded that this is going on and not only in the Netherlands. Although we use antibiotics for medical treatment, the antibiotics we consume by drinking water is very harmful to us and also to our environment. The way we filter our drinking water now is by using activated carbon. This works but does not retrieve all the antibiotics. The university of Cincinnati made a new filter possible which contains two bacterial proteins which remove almost twice as much antibiotics!

Why I think it is cool
This is very cool because it offers us several improvement which are very sustainable. This filter will selectively absorb anitbiotics. This means that a selective ‘garbage disposal’ cannot get clogged with organic matter. Another cool thing is that the sunlight powers the bacterial protein system like some kind of photosynthesis! But is this case a light-driven bacterial protein called Delta-rhodopsin supplies the power. Also this bacteria can even be used to extract antibiotics for recycling and may also, in the future, be used to filter other substances out of our drinking water like heavy metals and maybe even hormones. 

Take a look at these sites:

  1. http://www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl/ruimte-en-milieu/nieuws/waterschappen-rijk-moet-antibiotica-in-water.4557757.lynkx
  2. http://phys.org/news/2013-04-team-solar-powered-proteins-filter-antibiotics.html
  3. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl400691d
  4. http://www.nextnature.net/2013/05/toss-the-brita-bacteria-can-filter-antibiotics-from-water/
  5. http://phys.org/news/2013-01-nanosponge-filters-herbicide-poisons.html#inlRlv

From: nextnature.net

Dont worry, we can all stop eating now…

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What it is

A man called Rob Rhinehart has found a way to stop eating. Yes it’s possible, and should we be glad with it? But with this solution we can survive without eating actual food. He named his unique mix ‘Soylent’. This mixture contains all the elements the body needs and nothing else. So nothing in this milkshake lookalike drink can be identified as coming from any recognizable object, called food. He also followed his diet of this self-made milkshake for a few weeks and the results were very positive. (His whole story can be read in the site below, also the recipe to make your own Soylent shake is on this page available).

Why I think it is cool
So why is this cool and why could this be a solution the make our world more sustainable? We all need food, no exception. And we all know that food is unevenly distributed; some people are starving, others lead to obesity. With this shake people will only consume the elements our body needs. And because no food is necessary to create these shakes many commodities become unnecessary which will lead to less production of food. The ground that is used to create commodities can be used again for nature or other more sustainable practices.
But there is also a negative side of course. A lot of people enjoy eating food in different ways, also it is part of our culture. Also, it doesnt look as tasty as an apple pie right…
Maybe it will become possible to create a more sustainable diet of the Soylent shake AND ‘normal’ food. This will save money, energy and time.

For more information and to make your own Soylent ‘smoothie’: http://www.soylent.me/

From: nextnature.net

The smart house of the future

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What it is
This is a house which has the ability of adapting itself to  seasonal, meteorological and astronomical conditions by changing its shape. Henry Ernest Dudeney found a way to turn a perfect square into an equilateral triangle which means that the house can easily change its own shape to the conditions of the wetter etc. During the winter the house curls up by contracting the internal walls to thick external walls. This means that the energy needed for heating the house is very much minimized. And when it is hot in de summertime, it can extend itself. This mechanism is based on how our bodies work; human arteries can expand or contract to preserve the core temperature of our body. Also the house has the option to rotate itself toward the sun in which way it can collect solar energy.

Why I think it is cool
I think this is a very cool system because it saves a lot of energy by using the mechanism of rotation. Also the fact that this house is based on our body is in my opinion very special. It shows us that we can learn a lot from nature to set up our environment. Although solar energy isn’t very new, this house creates the most perfect conditions to collect the maximum of solar energy.
Because of the great advances in technology I think we will see more and more of these innovations that make our own direct environment more sustainable.
Another nice touch is that the concept, on a larger scale, might make complete neighborhoods more dynamic. So maybe it is possible that you get new neighbors depending on weather conditions J

For more information: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2244662/The-house-EIGHT-homes-The-incredible-origami-building-change-shape-depending-weather.html

From: nextnature.net