Saturday, December 19, 2015

Modern Cave Art-itexture

Ra Paulette: Cave Art In New Mexico
A man isolated himself in the desert for 25 years. What he reveals inside this cave is incredible!...
Posted by Omeleto on sábado, 12 de diciembre de 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sustainable Futures - Design Build Education in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Incredible team of teachers, staff, and mentors, wonderful host families, excellent projects, new friends...sustainable futures for everyone involved.  This is an amazing program and I suggest looking into it or asking about it if you're considering architecture, landscape design, or urban planning and want a unique and fulfilling experience with real-world projects abroad in Costa Rica.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Coca Cola: More Lives for Plastic Bottles

While the idea of eliminating plastic altogether may be far off, there are things that we can do right now to reuse the plastic that already exists in the world, to stall the production of additional plastic and give existing plastic more life before it becomes waste where it will take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.  Let's make a change.  Change the way we look at plastic.  Change the way we look at waste.
Coca-Cola What a great ideas!
Posted by Marvin Coronel on Tuesday, July 8, 2014


This all case you have any of the symptoms mentioned in this video, you should ask your doctor about nature.  If your doctor disagrees and tries to give you should consider finding another doctor.

The Best Drug Ever: Nature
CAUTION: Nature may cause you to slow down, quit your job, or seriously consider what the f*ck you’re doing with your life./\/\(cc: Nature Rx)
Posted by The Inertia Mountain on Friday, August 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Floating City of Mériens

Designed by French architect, Jacques Rougerie, the floating city, shaped like a manta ray, will travel the oceans filled with 7,000 marine researchers, be sustained by wind and water power, and produce zero waste.  Awesome!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Space-Saving Furniture Designs

Muebles para ahorrar espacio

Posted by Raul Brindis on Miércoles, 8 de julio de 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Egg. Science. Life.

If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends.

If an egg is broken by an inside force, then life begins.

Great things happen from the inside.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

DIY Favor Bags

So you need some cute favor bags for a party, wedding, or other event and you want to "do it yourself"?  Fast, easy, inexpensive and painless?  Cool!  Here's what you do:

Head to your nearest craft store and get these items:

-Plastic bags (I found that at Michael's or Jo-Ann's I could get plastic treat bags in the baking section at around 2-4 dollars for a bag of 50 or 100 that included twist ties.

-A stamp that you like (to match your theme or event) - make sure your stamp will fit on the goody bags you bought

-Stamp Ink: choose your color and make sure the stamp will fit on the ink pad for full coverage

-If you, like me, don't know much about stamps or can either ask an employee about the "permanent ink" options at their store OR you can do what I did (ex-post-facto because I didn't realize that most inks will not dry on plastic bags); you can buy Workable Fixatif.  This stuff is brilliant and should cost you less than $10 for a can.

That's all you need!

For those of you using the Workable Fixatif to make your stamps stick to plastic:

Once you know where you're going to set up your workspace find some backing like cardboard or newspaper (I suggest cardboard just because newspaper has a tendency to rub off and you don't want the print on your plastic goody-bags).  Lay out your plastic bags at a reachable distance (and a few inches away from the edges of the backing).

The process:

If you aren't covering the entire bag in stamps, you can just fan the bags out for a speedier process.

Stamp each bag:  Start at the bags furthest from where you are sitting/standing and pay attention to where you usually place your hands when you stamp.  Example: I'm right-handed so I tend to start stamping from right to left because I stamp with my right hand and stabilize the bags with my left.  By starting on the right, my left hand and arm won't be in a position to smudge previous stamps.

Let ink dry:  If you bought the permanent ink, it still needs a little time to dry.  Most products tout a 2-5 minute drying time.  If you DON'T have permanent ink OR you just want to bang these favor bags out even're going to want the Workable Fixatif.

Workable Fixatif for the win:  Leave your inked bags in place and grab the Fixatif.  If your ink isn't made for plastic it will never dry or stick so don't bother touching the stamp to see if it dried...just grab the fixatif.  Give it a good shake and hold it about 8-10 inches from your bags but be careful around the edges of your backing as you don't want this stuff all over your furniture or counters.  Be aware that this is intense stuff so have some good ventilation/open window while you spray.  Also note that it creates air movement so try to stabilize your bags.  The more direct from above you spray, the less likely your bags are to move around.  The ink doesn't need too much coverage.  You can see that a light coat will create a little shimmer on the surface over the stamp (see picture to the right).  It's transparent so it's only noticeable if you're looking for it!  Fixatif dries within a minute and your bags are good to go!  It's got a little stickiness to it but it won't peel off  so if you stack your bags you don't have to worry about separating them.  If you leave the fixatif to dry for an extra minute or two, it will lose a little bit of that stickiness.

That's it! DIY favor bags, complete!  Way to go!
Fill 'em up!

I did over 200 bags and spent less than $30 
(Bags: $6, Stamp: $4, Ink $10, Fixatif $8.50)
and now I already have a stamp, ink and Fixatif for the next project!

Once I had the materials, the bags were complete within a 1/2 hour.

Buying treat bags online was going to cost me more than what I spent to do it myself for only a quarter of the number that I needed and would have taken days to arrive by mail.  Stamped favor bags allowed me to personalize the bags to be what I wanted and could be done quickly and easily.

Best of luck with your project!  
Feel free to share your DIY bags in the comments!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Costa Rica: 100% Renewable Energy-Sourced Electricity in 2015!

Costa Rica has been run entirely on renewable energy so far this calendar year.  A combination of hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass have all contributed to the electrical power supplied to the small nation and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) also attibutes this year's great start to some large storms that dropped lots of rain to power their hydrolic plants.

100% renewable energy and still going strong...the rest of the world should take note!

Take a look at the full article here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Infill House near Barcelona

When design is useful, graceful, and promotes healthy living with light, air, and a good material palette...this is the result.  What a beautiful home.

It looks huge in the pictures despite being narrow, probably because of the huge courtyards that draw your eye upward to open space.  The light is excellent and I absolutely LOVE the wood and white paint.  I like that the underside of the stair is left with the corrugated metal and simply painted to match the surrounding scheme.  Very cool project and gorgeous drawings that depict it beautifully!  Kudos, Catalonia!

Check out the original article for all of the pictures and drawings of this home by H Arquitectes!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Story of a Tiny House...and its People

Do yourself a favor and check out the documentary movie "Tiny: A Story About Living Small."  

It may reinforce things you already know, think, or feel.  It may open your mind up to a whole new realm of ideas and possibilities or ways of thinking.  I personal was struck by how many people seem to be taking the leap of faith into living "small."  I'm not sure if I could do least not long-term...but I can definitely commiserate with those tiny housers that were sick of being slaves to their work to be nickel and diming for rent, those who do it for sustainable reasons, and those who do it for their own mobility and the ability to save money and travel.  What cool stories!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Easton LaChappelle and His Design Are MindBlowing

When people take something they are passionate about and they seek out ways to make it work, beautiful and amazing things happen.

This is true of a young man named Eason LaChappelle.  He met a young girl who had a prosthetic arm that had limited function and cost $60,000.  Not only did Easton believe that prosthetics could be built for LESS, but he also believed that the prosthetics could do MORE.  Easton started with legos and now has a prosthetic arm that can operate off of a person's brain waves to move all five digits using a headpiece.  His invention costs $350 to produce.  He could have chosen to make millions of dollars from his mind-blowing invention, but he chose to release his design and software for free to anyone who wants it.  His reason?  He wants the world to be able to progress beyond his invention by taking it and making it better, much like the way that he did when he met the young girl years ago.

Easton: You have not only created something once only imagined in science fiction movies, you have given it to the world so it can be a better place.  You are not only passionate and brilliant, you are humane and kind.  Those are qualities that cannot be taught.  Bravo, man!

Tattoos that mean something

We are all touched when a child makes something for us, right?  We run out of room on our refrigerators quickly with the pictures and drawings and certificates that create and accumulate.  Each one is precious and memorable in its own way but we can't really keep them forever...or can we?  One dad found a way to do just keep his son's ever-improving art skills by having one turned into a tattoo each year.  What a cool idea!

Check out the article and some of his cool tat pics here.  

Dad of the year?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Temple of a Million Bottles, Thailand

I've read about ways to up-cycle "waste" for years, but this is perhaps the most beautiful and also the most obvious reuse of glass bottles that I've seen to date.  The "Temple of a Million Bottles" in Thailand gets it name with good reason.  Nearly every surface is covered with glass bottles as a way to reuse them and not put them to waste!

Check out the site to see more pictures of this cool construction!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Solar Hemicycle new discovery

The Architectural Registration Exams are good for one thing, at least; they teach you some architectural history that is obscure and beautiful that you may never have heard of before by famous architects you thought you knew!

An example of this?  Frank Lloyd know his style, right?  It's easy to point it out and to recognize it.  Words like "rectilinear," "human-scale," and "horizontality" come to mind.  Have you ever heard of the Solar Hemicycle House, though?  Because I hadn't and maybe it's because it's in Madison, Wisconsin, but I think that in our age of climate change and the realm of design this would have been a brilliant example to have shown us!

It is human-scaled to be sure, with low ceilings.  It is horizontal in nature, keeping a clean roof line along the south facade, but that south facade is (wait for it...) curved.  I know, surprise!  Additionally, the north facade of the building is bermed for insulation from harsh winter cold and winds and that glazed south?  You guessed it; it's used for solar radiation gain which is trapped in the floors during the day and released throughout the evening.  Overhangs give shade in the summer and my goodness, I now realize how very far FLW was ahead of his time...even though I didn't know about this gem until studying for the AREs.  So, thank you, NCARB and Kaplan, for this nugget of information that allowed me to Google what is, perhaps, my new favorite FLW creation.  It may be the only thing I'm thankful to you for (jk...kind of), but it's a pretty "Thank You."

Check out some images here (be careful in your Google searches), apparently this design has been re-created many a time over throughout the world (I'm glad SOMEONE was teaching about it).

You can get the story at this architecture website, but their pictures are missing :(

Friday, January 23, 2015

Where your ancestors are from...

...based on your toes!

You learn something new every day...I had no idea that our toes can be the clue to where our ancestors are from!  So cool... "Grand Design" !