All posts by orangemenace

Greening The New Republic

So I realize that most of you probably know more about the ‘green’ movement, ‘sustainability’, global warming, etc, than the average reader of The New Republic – but I still thought these videos were worth checking out. Especially when Majora Carter is involved – as she is a ninja extraordinaire.

::videos via The New Republic‘s Environment + Energy section::

2008 Dwell Wacom Live Ecodesign Challenge


On Friday, June 6th [yeah, we slept - my fault] Dwell held the 2008 Dwell Wacom Live Ecodesign Challenge – challenging 8 rendering artists to create renderings of sustainable + modular room designs. Yes, LIVE – the artists competed in two 45 minute rounds as spectators watched their progress on large displays positioned throughout the event space. The designs were required to adhere to the Dwell design principals: relying on green technologies for energy efficiencies, featuring plenty of natural light and color, restricting building costs to under $300K and limiting total square footage to 3,000 sq ft.

The judges selected the winner who ranked the highest for both rounds based on aesthetics, light, flow, eco-friend efficiency, layout and cost parameters: Olek Novak-Zemplinski.


Olek’s entry was, for starters, siiick [look at these images, done in two 45 minute session? My ninjas, please], and met the Dwell area + budget requirements – but also utelized the following sustainable features:

Passive Lo-Tech Energy Saving Solutions:
* a wind catcher for ventilation and cooling
* greenery on walls for better insulation

* living spaces on 2nd floor (more light)
* bedrooms on the 1st floor
* home office (2nd floor)
* greenhouse integrated into the roof and attic
* a goat (lives here)


Here’s some more info on the competition, and the contestants + judges.

[sustainable] Music to my ears…

Yes yes, folks…
While sitting back in the cut meditating, I’m always listening to some brain stimulus. Now I can be environmentally friendly while I’m doing so.


Audioengine makes a new version of their A5 speaker system with the sustainable wonder wood – bamboo [though technically a grass?]. The A5N‘s casing comes from all sustainable sources and lacks and stains or paints that would otherwise negate its environmentally friendliness. Also, all Energy Star audiophiles need not worry, cause these little ditties meet standard requirements with an automatic standby mode.

Like the predecessor A5, the A5N has onboard an integrated USB port and AC jack specifically for charging your iPod or connecting an AirPort Express to it for your Mac.

::Post by Dubs – info from Macworld Magazine contributor Dan Frakes::

GreenPix Zero Energy Media Wall


Installed on the Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing [near the site of the 2008 Olympic Games], GreenPix is a sustainable LED media display applied to the glass curtain wall. with integrated photovoltaic cells. The largest color LED display in the world, GreenPix will also incorporate the photovoltaic system integrated into a glass curtain wall system in China. The intention is for the building to ‘mirror a day’s climatic cycle’, harvesting energy from the sun to power the LED display after dark.


Designed by Simone Giostra & Partners Architects along with the ninja masters over at Arup, the LED media wall will “provide the city of Beijing with its first venue dedicated to digital media art, while offering the most radical example of sustainable technology applied to an entire building’s envelope to date” says Giostra. The building opens to the public in June of 2008, marked by special video installations and performances by a number of different artists. Here’s some additional info:

GreenPix is a large-scale display comprising of 2,292 color (RGB) LED’s light points comparable to a 24,000 sq. ft. (2.200 m2) monitor screen for dynamic content display. The very large scale and the characteristic low resolution of the screen enhances the abstract visual qualities of the medium, providing an art-specific communication form in contrast to commercial applications of high resolution screens in conventional media façades.


All this information + seriousness aside – is this thing actually green / sustainable? I mean, it’s siiick, sure – you’ve got to love beautiful displays of modern technology, and the integration of digital media in architecture. But, does using all that PV to power a giant LED display really make the project green or is it just a wash? Just a thought…

Greening 360 Winnett Ave.


Reminiscent of A PreFab Project, 360 Winnett Ave. is a new site that will chronicle the design + construction of Jeremy Bell’s new home for him, his wife, and their future family. They currently own a small bungalow, and have decided to tear down the existing property to build a larger, contemporary ‘green’ home in it’s place. Working with Altius Architecture Inc., the Bell’s hope that by documenting their experiences building a ‘green’ home they can educate and encourage others to do the same.


[Image: Front Elevation]

Our story is actually pretty simple — We’re an average couple who is planning on starting a family soon, but we’d like a little more room before we get started. So we’ve decided to tear down our existing bungalow and in its place build a larger, more modern home.

However, at some point along the way our priorities changed. While we still need the extra space, we’ve come to realize we should be building a smarter home and not just a bigger home. We’ve also come to appreciate our eco responsibilities and we felt it was important to document the realities that came with this decision [text from Jeremy Bell].


[Image: Ground Floor Plan]

While things seem to just be under way, you can head on over to the 360 Winnett Ave. site to see the working drawings and some model shots. There should be more to come in the future as things progress – in particular Jeremy has mentioned some time-lapse photography of the construction process and more high-res images as time goes on.


[Image: Second Floor Plan]

Should be interesting to see how things develop – we’ll be sure to track this project and feature it again on GreenMNP.

::GMNP thanks to Jeremy Bell for contacting us about his ongoing project – we look forward to seeing the house under construction::

Seeds, Genetic Engineering, and Our Future


Last week, in the frozen north of Norway, the seeds began to pour into the Global Seed Vault — the “doomsday vault,” some have called it. Five hundred feet of a super-secure cave in an Arctic mountainside is filling now with millions of seeds from all over the world.

As climate change and genetic engineering put new pressures on the traditional spectrum of natural seed, scientists want to preserve an archive, a bank, that could pull us out of a pinch.

Check out this episode – Seed, Genetic Engineering, and Our Future – of ‘On Point with Tom Ashbrook‘ on NPR from March 6th – where Claire Hope Cummings is his guest, discussing her new book Uncertain Peril – along with the new seed vault, sustainable farming and more.

Related: check out The Land Institute, and our post on Janine Benyus + Biomimicry.

God is Going Green


…And on the 8th day, the lord said: ‘my ninjas, I worked REAL HARD making you a paradise from scratch – try not to f*$k it up’…

[Frankly, I don't think she's going to make us another one.]

Now this happens to be an argument that makes a lot of sense: if you believe that God [and by God I mean whichever you believe in, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc] created the world, why wouldn’t you work towards preserving her creation? Well, the lord’s local reps are starting to agree that the world needs saving – from people – and that some kind of environmental action should become a part of their practice [note: props to all the religions/philosophies that have been down with loving the earth since jump].

Beyond ‘going green’ with the installation of photovoltaics, etc, at the Vatican, the Pope has listedThou shall not pollute the Earth‘ among the new deadly sins. Now, we’re not sure what the punishment is exactly [each of the original 7 deadly sins had its own punishment] – but dropping you off here might work.

And the Catholic Church isn’t alone on this – a number of US Southern Baptist leaders have shifted their position recently, stating that Baptists have a moral responsibility to combat climate change:

Forty-six influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention, including three of its last four presidents, criticized their denomination in a statement Monday for being “too timid” in confronting global warming.

“Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed,” the statement says. “We can do better.” [via CNN].

Does this mean that the Hummer I was thinking of buying would be like a one-way ticket to eternal damnation?

Articles via Reuters + CNN.