Yep, we’ve all got places to go. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the impact of those trips to a minimum with your choices in transportation and what you take with you.
Leather’s a challenge for a good greenie. It comes from dead animals, and involves really toxic processing. On the flip side, though, it just looks really cool; no existing alternative can match it on that front. A non-toxic, cruelty-free alternative that really looked like leather would probably fly off of the shelves.
Can you literally breathe new life (or, at least, new power) into your cell phone? How about fill your tank with rotten food? A qualified “yes” to both – your green tech finds for the week.
When the Dekalb Market opened in Brooklyn last Summer, the use of recycled shipping containers gave potential tenants a sense of stability: developers didn’t have long-term access to the land, so businesses could open shop in a structure that could be easily moved if that access dried up. Apparently, such flexibility has universal appeal (especially in a down economy): London’s new Boxpark development is also constructed from shipping containers, and designed to make relatively short-term use of land that might find buyers or other developers once the economy picks back up.
Man-made beehives haven’t really changed much for centuries, mostly because beekeeping was always something that happened in rural areas. But beekeeping, like produce farming and even livestock keeping, is moving into cities – and urban apiculturists are struggling with the best ways to adapt beekeeping to the city…
Fashion week in NY may be a thing of the past, and the designers who showed at London and Milan are now breathing a sigh of post-show relief, but the runways of Paris are just starting to heat up. Paris Fashion Week may just be the most exciting of all, and a daily check-in at Full Frontal Fashion will ensure that you don’t miss a thing….
I can’t say for certain if Olympic fever has hit yet in Great Britain (I haven’t been there recently), but I’m pretty sure that many Londoners were glad to see Fridge Mountain make way for the site of the 2012 games. Fridge Mountain (in Hackney) was exactly what you’re picturing: a 20-ft. pile of discarded refrigerators that supposedly “towered” over the surrounding neighborhood. I’d expect most don’t miss it much, but American student Lindsey Scannapieco, who never saw the “mountain” itself, found the idea of it inspirational.
Back before tabloid photography played such a major role in shaping the reputations of the Hollywood set, actors relied on real photography (i.e. the posed, carefully lit, artfully angled, softly focused studio portrait) to promote themselves. Far more than just a headshot, these portraits had a major impact on an actor’s career. Take Jean Harlow. She went from being an uncredited bit plater to a stunning leading lady opposite James Cagney in THE PUBLIC ENEMY – virtually overnight – as the result of a particularly good portrait. Harlow was just 20-years-old and fresh off the bus from Kansas City, but under the lens of master photographers like George Hurrell and Clarence Sinclair Bull, she was transformed into the blonde bombshell we know her as today.
Inspired by the previous New York version (mentioned here), here’s the London edition of random pedestrians being asked what they are listening to on their headphones.
Walking to school seems like a quaint notion from decades past: whether for reasons of safety or convenience, the bus, the carpool, or the drop-off on the way to work have become the ways kids get to their schools. While the first two methods are definitely greener than the last, all deprive kids of an opportunity to get some physical activity on a regular basis… and walking definitely has a much lower carbon footprint than any motorized means.
In the UK, government agency Transport for London and company Intelligent Health have paired up to make walking more attractive for school kids… by offering rewards for getting to school on foot. The Step2Get program makes use of electronic cards that students swipe at various readers along designated routes, and a website were the kids can track their walks and rewards. Five walks to school earn a student a movie ticket; for eight walks, s/he receives a £5 shopping voucher.
There’s been a lot of buzz around the design blogs lately about the Wim Crouwel exhibition that just opened at the Design Museum in London. “A Graphic Odyssey” spans over sixty years of the venerable designer’s career and includes his sketches, iconic posters and magazine covers. Known for his grid-based layouts, nowhere is his nickname “Gridnik” more obvious than in his innovative “New Alphabet.” Designed in 1967, the font is based on Cathode Ray Tube technology and contains only vertical and horizontal strokes. As such, it’s almost unreadable. Crouwel said as much himself, describing “New Alphabet” as “over-the-top and never meant to be used.”
How does a 150-year-old museum with 145 galleries housing collections that span 5,000 years update its staid, Victorian facade with contemporary renovations? For the answer we look to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Founded in 1852, the V&A has managed to remain relevant by incorporating late night, contemporary art events into their calendar, as well as fashion shows featuring Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix, Gareth Pugh, Erdem, Missoni and a host of others.
More critical to its longevity, however, is the the “Future Plan,” a renovation program that began in 2001 with an eye on incorporating contemporary architecture and design into the traditional Victorian museum space.
When William McDonough and Michael Braungart popularized the term “upcycling” in their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle, they were referring to industrial-scale recycling and production. The term, however, has really captured the imagination of the crafty community: you don’t need to browse Etsy for long before coming across handmade products crafted out of used materials of some kind. And St. Louis’ own Upcycle Exchange is just one example of an organization that’s popped up to serve this niche though collecting and distributing materials that the more creative among us see as the basis of something new, useful, and likely even beautiful.
When in London last week I ventured into a gay shop, you know one of those places that sells awful jewelry, tight bathing suits, lube, chains, and porn. One stop shopping. Like a gay 7-11. I was tagging along with other friends who ventured in. Seriously. No, really. What? You don’t believe me? Anyway, I…
I am mesmerized by This Is It‘s film BAD THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN. The film details different scenarios in which, um, bad things could happen. The sets and costumes are all constructed by cardboard and acted out by actors playing flies, mice, teeth, and hammers among other things.
For environmentalists, scientists, and even celebrities, the Amazon rainforest has served as a vivid symbol of ecological and social degradation created by rapid global development. Artists Lucy and Jorge Orta traveled Peru in 2009 to see this environment for themselves in 2009, as well as to assist scientists in data collection. Their experience with the region’s biodiversity inspired them (of course); the Natural History Museum in London commissioned them to work with this inspiration, and is now has the resulting work on display.
Can fish ‘n’ chips help with London’s drought? How much power can you get from a potato? These questions and more answered in this week’s green tech finds.
Keeping your gadgets charged in the great outdoors: Heather Clancy at GreenTech Pastures provides a run-down of her favorite solar-powered chargers.
Cheaper, greener biofuel: That’s the ultimate goal of Professor Scott Banta’s new project to genetically engineer a bacteria that will turn CO2 and ammonia from wastewater into butanol. (via Cleantechnica)
There’s a lot of to love about the London bus of the days of yore – the charming, iconic red double-decker has provided commuters and tourists alike with an upper deck view of the city since 1956. Design, however, has never been one of its stronger points. The Routemaster, as it’s officially called, really does look as if someone had simply taken the wheels off of one bus and placed it atop another.
I am obsessed and eggstatic about Studio TooGood’s and Arabeschi di Latte’s new collaboration. The Hatch is a conceptual art space created for London Design Festival that scrambles together pop art and eggs. Yes, an art installation that serves egg dishes to designeratti? Brilliant.
Absolut has never been a stranger to courting gay dollars. The Swedish vodka maker featured Keith Haring in ads in 1981 long before marketing teams saw dollar signs at Gay Pride rallies. I don’t care for the stuff (strictly a Ketle One drinker here), but I have always admired their ad campaigns and attitude. Very,…
It’s raining in London when the Panty Raiders set up a voting booth in London’s Hoxton Square, but the Londoners brave the weather to cast their votes and share their views on American politics. Director: Leba Haber Rubinoff Producer: Megan Hill Editor: James Ellsworth Director of Photography: Vivian Wenli Lin