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Building Materials

This Student-Designed Pallet House Can Survive Hurricanes

March 5, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Pallet House

Used shipping pallets represent the biggest source of waste wood. Many people have used them to make funky, distressed furniture projects. That’s great, but you wouldn’t want to use this wood for something you really need to count on, right? No one would want to live in a pallet house, right?[read more]

Architect and Developer Partner to Build Affordable Prefab Housing in Sweden

March 5, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Prefab Housing in Sweden

In this month’s issue of Monocle magazine they profile an interesting prefabricated and affordable housing project in Knivsta, Sweden. The way it was built is quite simple. The modular housing units were fabricated off-site and then inserted on-site into a prefabricated concrete frame.[read more]

How To Turn Plastic Bottles Into Twine [VIDEO]

March 4, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Plastic bottles to new rope

As a good greenie, I’d argue that plastic bottles are one of those things we should mostly “reduce” our use of rather than “recycle”. But I do use them, so I was fascinated by this video which shows you how to turn plastic bottles into twine.[read more]

Architectural Fantasy and Social Reality: Two Types of Floating City

March 3, 2015 by This Big City

Architectural fantasy all at sea?

Many architects have come up with concepts of future utopian cities, some of which are related to smart, sustainable, and bio-tech innovation. However, it is not clear at the moment whether these cities can really address the challenges of tomorrow’s world, or if they are going to end up as unrealistic utopian ideas.[read more]

Cultural Connections: Building the Placemaking Movement in Brazil

March 3, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Brazil Placemaking

Jeniffer and Paola are out to change the world, one public space at a time. After years in the advertising and marketing sectors working for multinational corporations, Jeniffer and Paola both (separately) realized that they could do more for their communities and the public spaces within them.[read more]

5 Things To Remember When Buying Home Appliances

March 1, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Home Appliance Tips

Need to replace a fridge, a washer, a hot water heater, or another appliance in your home? Sorry to hear that: that’s almost always an extra expense that we hadn’t included in the budget. Because we depend on these machines for necessary functions in our homes, it’s tempting to rush out and buy the first thing.[read more]

Mellon Square: Discovering a Modern Masterpiece

March 1, 2015 by City Parks Blog

Mellon Square

Susan Rademacher, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Curator, has written a new book on Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square, its history and its recent rehabilitation by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy which, at first glance, is a paean to great landscape design.[read more]

Marriage Therapy for Ecologists and Landscape Architects

February 28, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Integrating Ecology and Design

Ecologists’ interest start with an exploration of the natural world, its structure and function. Architects and landscape architects start with human needs and how constructed features can answer those needs. Of course you have these different backgrounds, and the training is so different.[read more]

SMART's New Shelter Designs are Even Worse Than Before

February 28, 2015 by David Edmondson

Shelter Design Problems?

SMART may be on the verge of making a serious mistake. Back in August, 2014, the rail agency released its “65%” plans for stations to decidedly mixed reviews. Stung by the criticism, particularly from San Rafael mayor Gary Phillips who called the designs “ridiculous”, SMART went into a long internal huddle.[read more]

Mario Schjetnan Dissects the Deeper Meaning of Place

February 27, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Place and meaning in Mexico

Pioneering Mexican landscape architect, architect, and urban designer Mario Schjetnan, FASLA, who recently spoke at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, is recognized for his built works that are fueled by a deep concern for the cities of his native Mexico.[read more]

There’s How Much Plastic In The Ocean? [INFOGRAPHIC]

February 27, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Ocean Plastic and Water Health

We’ve taken a look at a number of ventures aimed at making use of plastic in the ocean, and we’d love to believe they could make a sizable dent in this pollution source. But, of course, to determine that, we’ve got to know how much plastic waste we’re putting into these ecosystems.[read more]

The Great Intensification Debate: What's Better for Cities?

February 25, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Cities and Intensification

Neighborhood investment needs to be a balance between preservation and progress. This doesn’t exclusively mean high-rise intensification. It could mean removing the barriers to laneway housing.[read more]