Visitors try lake-flavoured water and insect tacos at Wrocław exhibition

Lake-flavoured water, tacos made from insects and "century-old eggs" were all on the menu at an experimental restaurant located in a Wrocław gallery (+ slideshow). (more…)

 

HAO design highlights industrial charm in recall house


this spacious loft in taiwan has been stripped down and redecorated to give a contemporary and industrial character.

The post HAO design highlights industrial charm in recall house appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

Energy Storage Expert Jim Kelly Brings Renewables to Railroads

Jim Kelly renewable energy.

“The physics are well known: You move mass against the force of gravity and with the force of gravity to either store or release energy.”—Jim Kelly

How and why did you start thinking about mass-scale energy storage?

At Southern California Edison, I had to match supply and demand 24/7, in almost real time, and the reason that’s so hard is you’re doing it with a product that can’t be effectively inventoried. If you think about it conceptually, there are two ways to address it, one good and one bad. The bad way is to back it up with fossil fuels. That to me is counterproductive to the whole idea of getting green. The second way is to have cost-effective, large-scale energy storage, where, when I have excess generation—say those windmills are cranking in the middle of the night—I can store it and then discharge it when people need it most.

What are some of the storage options that are out there?

You can do fast-response, relatively small-scale energy storage with things like flywheels. Moving up into a slightly bigger scale, how do I power my vehicle? With batteries! There are a number of competing battery technologies, whether it’s lead-acid, lithium-ion, nickel-zinc. They all have promise, but at this point, when you look at the notion of storing energy from a big wind or solar farm, battery scale isn’t even close. 

What technology is up to the task?

The proven historical answer is pumped-storage hydroelectricity. It’s wonderful technology, but it requires massive construction. You typically take canyons and dam them off and flood them, and you have to build tunnels and pipelines and put in a big powerhouse. Permitting and licensing can take a decade or longer. And then you have to worry about water management in areas that are typically arid, and you have competing demands for fish,
recreation, and irrigation. It becomes a resource that serves many social goals.

How did you and your team at ARES come up with the idea for rail energy storage?

The proven historical answer is pumped-storage hydroelectricity. It’s wonderful technology, but it requires massive construction. You typically take canyons and dam them off and flood them, and you have to build tunnels and pipelines and put in a big powerhouse. Permitting and licensing can take a decade or longer. And then you have to worry about water management in areas that are typically arid, and you have competing demands for fish, recreation, and irrigation. It becomes a resource that serves many social goals.

How does it work?

We recognized that if we used electric locomotives with cars full of mass—essentially concrete blocks—and moved them up a slope, we could store energy effectively, and when we brought them down the slope, we could use that motor as a generator to produce electricity. We built a 1,000-foot-long track and a six-ton car in Tehachapi, California. We like to run on a 6 to 9 percent grade, which is very gentle, and we run less than 20 mph in most instances. We silently chug up and down, with no water, no fuel, no emissions, no hazardous substances. In Tehachapi, we used what we call a trackside conductor rail. An arm comes out of the side of the car and into that enclosed rail, and it acts like an extension cord that goes back to the grid. 

Why do you see storage as being critical to the success of renewables?

The quickest way to kill renewable energy is to have it not work—to have poor reliability, to have people’s lives and businesses adversely affected. So it’s incumbent on us in the industry to do good by doing well—to make this work the way it should so people will see little disruption in their lives. We always say that ARES is not the solution; it’s part of the solution. We think batteries have a great role. Flywheels, pumped-storage hydro—all of these things are complementary, and we have a shared goal of enabling a cleaner future. 

 

Editor's Picks: 7 Inspiring Examples of American Design

modern Los Angeles renovation by Don Dimster with Western Window Systems doors and sun shades on the deck

A renovation of a 1960s Buff, Straub and Hensman house in Los Angeles presents a case study of the unique pressure on architects and homeowners, as stewards of American architectural history, to guess the choices a noted midcentury architect might have made if presented with the home today.

This issue’s theme, celebrating modern design and architecture across the United States, is a favorite for the creative team because it gives us a chance to take a Janus-like editorial approach—at once we survey the past and look to the future. 

Beyond taking our readers inside newly constructed houses in the Midwest, Northeast, South, and the West Coast, we take a moment to explore how the super-efficient Passive House standard, long a staple of European single-family home design, is appearing in apartment buildings in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, helping low- and moderate-income residents save on living expenses. We share the story of the creative adaptive reuse of an unsung modernist gem in Los Angeles—Welton Becket’s New York Life Building—resurrected as a campus for a charter high school. 

A renovation of a 1960s Buff, Straub and Hensman house in Los Angeles presents a case study of the unique pressure on architects and homeowners, as stewards of American architectural history, to guess the choices a noted midcentury architect might have made if presented with the home today.

Frank Lloyd Wright put Wisconsin on the American architectural map; we appreciate the chance to return to the state by featuring the Topo House by Johnsen Schmaling Architects. Its thoughtful architecture serves its residents for the long term, and we especially respond to the green roof that extends the landscape and the facade’s anodized aluminum fins that change color with the movement of the sun. We also feature a family that worked with Gray Organschi Architecture to build a vacation home on a site in Guilford, Connecticut, originally scouted by Louis Kahn that offers sweeping views of Long Sound. This relationship to place is also resonate in the Holston River House in Mascot, Tennessee, a singular residence by Sanders Pace Architecture that gives the appearance of hugging its sloping, rocky site, with cedar cladding that helps it to blend in among the cedar trees that surround it.

Another important ingredient to this issue is our Made in America package. So much of our national history is tied to manufacturing, and while great changes have shifted how, why, and what we make, we are energized by delving into how designers and fabricators are negotiating this uncertain, but promising, future. 

We end the issue with a story about reinvention, represented in a map of the United States and southern Canada produced by an 80-year-old company rooted in the sand and gravel industry. Starting in the 1990s, the Western Group, prompted by the need to diversify, began delving into architectural applications. This highlights a particular kind of customization that only a domestic manufacturer can deliver. 

Dynamic work is happening in our 50 states. Championing the dedication of designers, makers, home builders, and urban manufacturers that strive to preserve our national heritage of innovation and resilience is the most rewarding part about putting this issue together. Through it all, the focus remains on building relationships, maintaining flexibility, and, of course, securing consumer support. Here’s to the people who are forging new paths through progressive American design.

Amanda Dameron, Editor-in-Chief

amanda@dwell.com

Follow me on Twitter: @AmandaDameron

 

Emanuele Kabu creates colourful animated music video with paint and marker pens

Music: illustrator Emanuele Kabu used a variety of different paints and inks to create the hand-drawn sequences in this animated music video for alternative rock duo The Helio Sequence. (more…)

 

paolo cappello re-imagines ancient japanese art for tangles wallpapers


seven total subjects were explored in the collection, including: a horseman, archer, and two fighters, koi carps, butterflies, birds, and peach flowers.

The post paolo cappello re-imagines ancient japanese art for tangles wallpapers appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

Coachella festival pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio built using over a tonne of paper pulp

Ball-Nogues Studio created a sinuous orange and purple pavilion that towered over music fans at this year's Coachella music festival by blasting pigmented paper pulp over a string structure (+ slideshow). (more…)

 

cuarto orden designs low-cost/zero-waste displays for libros mutantes


with sustainability and repurposing in mind, the display system for the independent book fair utilizes scaffolding structures and tensile canvas surfaces.

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FREAKS freearchitects masks ornate decor inside the Palais du Louvre for design exhibition

Parisian studio FREAKS freearchitects has covered a series of elaborately decorated galleries inside the Palais du Louvre with shiny plastic for an exhibition that brings together historic and contemporary design (+ slideshow). (more…)

 

floating seahorse contemporary boat submerges rooms into marine life


launched at the dubai international boat show, kleindienst group's 'floating seahorse' is a contemporary marine yacht that boasts underwater rooms with breathtaking views.

The post floating seahorse contemporary boat submerges rooms into marine life appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 



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