Snøhetta channels a modern Middle Earth in ‘The 7th Room,’ a contemporary cabin located in northern Sweden. The cabin keeps treetops company ten meters above the ground, complementing its serene, natural setting. Up to five people can stay in the cabin, which must be reached by staircase and features two bedrooms, a lounge, a bathroom, and an outdoor terrace. The design channels traditional Nordic techniques while maintaining a distinctly modern form.
A smoker might expect to be shamed into quitting by his doctor but not by a billboard. A new advertisement, located in Odengatan Plaza in Stockholm, provides real-time feedback to nearby smokers. The billboard, which is outfitted with smoke sensors, starts coughing when it detects smoke. Afterward, the billboard advertises a series of smoking-cessation products. A pharmacy chain commissioned creative agency Akestam Holst to create the advertisement in hopes that it would bolster sales and—in the process—improve public health.
One of artist Walead Beshty’s projects consists of shipping FedEx boxes containing glass boxes across the country. Upon arriving at their destination, the FedEx boxes are opened to reveal the glass boxes with shatter patterns that serve as documentation of the trip. The two boxes—cardboard and glass—are displayed in a gallery in the receiving city. These pieces are compelling in that they beg the age-old question: what happens when the artist has very little hand in creating the art itself?
Source: This is Colossal
Roxy Radulescu, creator of the Movies in Color blog, discusses her project with Visual News by explaining, “[T]he blog has not only been an aesthetic pursuit but also an educational pursuit.” Movies in Color presents select stills from famous films with adjacent color swatches in order to enlighten viewers about the tones included in the composition. This approach helps us understand the role that color plays in evoking emotion, a sensibility that is necessary for those in highly-visual disciplines.
Source: Visual News
Designers have implemented a “ghost roundabout” in Cambridge, United Kingdom to intentionally confuse speedy drivers. The new road feature consists of a circular pattern of cobbled bricks that resembles a traffic roundabout. The bricks are merely decorative; however, behavioral science dictates that the familiar circular shape will cause drivers to take notice and slow down. The formation has been criticized by those who believe it looks too much like a crosswalk or that the confusion it will cause drivers will be dangerous. By replacing vertical speed bumps, the “ghost roundabouts” could provide a slowing mechanism that no longer relies on giving the driver a physical jolt.
Source: 99 Percent Invisible
Dallas will soon be one of the greenest cities in America thanks to the Trinity River Park, a new project that aims to transform a floodplain into a thriving urban green space. The park will feature playgrounds, trails, and lawns that enhance the quality of life of Dallas residents and help minimize flooding damage in the city. The designers of the park—Michael Van Valkenburg Associates—worked with city engineers to convert the floodplain. In a city known for its concrete landscape, this 10,000 acre park will be a welcome retreat.
Inhabitat reports that a group of teenagers from Seattle have partnered with various organizations to design, build, and distribute tiny houses for the city’s homeless. These houses will serve as inexpensive, transitional solutions for those in need until affordable housing is secured for them. Sawhorse Revolution, the organization in charge of this effort, claims that this process has helped these teens develop the empathy required to work with any client, which promises to serve them well in their futures.
Design firm Carlo Ratti Associati has designed a floating gym that is propelled by the human power generated through exercise. This vessel could serve as a way to help people experience Paris while working out in a conditioned space. It also brings about an awareness of how much power is generated through human movement. The boat’s energy is also supplemented by solar panels that sit atop the roof.
Source: Design Boom
Fans of sleep are easy to find—but fans of a pillow? American company Hullo has generated a surprising amount of buzz around their buckwheat-filled pillow. Buckwheat shells, which are ethically sourced from farmers in North Dakota, provide circulation and support that Hullo claims traditional foam or down filling doesn’t provide. Despite the pillow’s beanbag-like texture, users report increased comfort and support after a few nights. See Hullo’s pillows here.
The James Dyson Award has been granted to the EcoHelmet, a collapsible bicycle helmet made of recycled paper. The product is not only easy to store and composed of seductive contours, but it has also been crash-tested and approved by European safety standards. It is anticipated that these helmets could be sold at bike share stations.
Brutalist sandcastles created by Calvin Seibert have been spotted on Coney Island. Inspired by Marcel Breuer’s work, Seibert uses sand as his medium to engage in the architectural conversation. Through the use of large paint buckets and many trowels, he sculpts rectilinear forms and aggregates them into miniature buildings.
Google has released a new Android and iOS application called PhotoScan that works as an extension to Google Photos’ capabilities. PhotoScan allows you to digitize old printed photographs without the glare or shadows that were so difficult to avoid when attempting to photograph a photo. The app combines four exposures of the photograph into a single, clean image. Then, you can bring the image into Google Photos and store and edit it to your liking.