The JF-Kit House by the Spanish design firm Elii is an experiment in “domestic fitness,” rendering “the image of a possible future where citizens produce part of their domestic energy requirements with their own physical activities.” Each room features a fancifully named exercise station that would, theoretically, help create energy to power the home, including an “arm workout bureau,” a “spinning kitchen,” and a “triceps greenhouse.” A video shows the home’s imagined inhabitant lifting weights, cycling, and doing calisthenics as part of his house’s everyday upkeep and daily chores like cooking.
“One of the easiest ways to go green is to go small,” Hill says. “I want to show people that there’s an amazing modern green future, and make it easy for them to step into it.”
Hill transforms his couch into a bed, makes a desk appear from the wall, and then moves that entire wall to reveal a guest bedroom. Just as quickly, he disappears the guest room, pops a Murphy bed back into place, and reveals a dining room table with seating for 10. Even Hill’s bathroom is multifunctional: He soundproofed the toilet stall and added a handsome wooden bench that folds over the seat, which turns it either into a private phone booth or, no joke, a very tiny meditation studio. That’s why he and nine others who are trying to change how we live made our list of The 100 Most Creative People of 2013.
Cities across the country are making plans to cater to bikers and pedestrians (along with cars) as they design and manage their transportation infrastructure. These are 10 that are doing it really well:
No discussion of the life and work of Oscar Niemeyer is complete without Brasília, the dazzling capital that sprung up in the Brazilian savanna in 1961. The Brazilian starchitect who passed away on Wednesday, was responsible for the project’s crowning achievement: the monumental government buildings that stood proudly as emblems of the power of Modernist architecture’s promise—and, later, unfortunate failure—to shape a utopian society.
What gets less attention is that, a decade earlier, another urban vision was taking form more than 8,000 miles away, in India, under the supervision of Le Corbusier. Chandigarh, like Brasília, was intended to be a sparkling new city, created from scratch as a way of shaking off the albatross of colonialism and instating a native, democratic government. And modern notions of urban planning and architecture were central to both new capitals, as the premier architectural photographer Iwan Baan documents in a recent book, “Brasília-Chandigarh”. Fifty years into existence, the two cities have evolved into examples of how grand utopian projects can both inspire and disappoint.
Living to the age of 104 is what most of us only hope for. Working to the age of 104? It’s not a fate most of us would wish on our worst enemy, but Oscar Niemeyer, who passed away on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, claimed that continuing to work was what sustained him. Niemeyer outlived his wife, one of his own children, and countless friends (like Le Corbusier). He was designing new buildings up until a few weeks ago.
“Animal blood is one of the most prolific waste materials in the world,” says Munro, a 2012 graduate of University of Westminster in London. “The blood drained from animal carcasses is generally thrown away or incinerated despite being a potentially useful product.”
A prefab, vertical gym in the slums of Caracas has the dimensions of a basketball court, and it has already proven its worthiness: after it opened in 2004, crime in the surrounding neighborhood dropped 30%. The gym is programmed 24/7, with everything from dance therapy classes to chess tournaments.