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Design Competition Open Source House

Open Source House (OS-House) is a non-profit organization that aims to provide better, more sustainable housing in low-income countries. 8 Design principles are utilized by OS-House to guarantee standards of sustainability, and meet the challenge of flexibility, ensuring that all designs can be locally embedded. Establish your name, and contribute your ideas and designs in their first design competition starting on the 15th of January 2010. The competition results will be shared on the OS-House platform thereby marking the beginning of this ongoing project.

OS-House is an initiative of Enviu and architect Vincent van der Meulen. Let’s generate choice for those who don’t have any.

CircleBath, opening of the first hospital designed by Foster + Partners

CircleBath is Foster + Partners’ first hospital and the first in a programme of new independent hospitals which offer a radical departure from orthodox approaches to hospital planning. After a period of commissioning, CircleBath is expected to open to patients in February.
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OfficePOD: The Prefab Home Office

Working from home can be a serious challenge. Kids, pets and housework can put a significant strain on any workflow, so some tele-commuters have opted to divide their work from their home– with a separate office elsewhere on their property. The OfficePOD is a prefab home office unit that provides nearly 7? x 7? of office space and storage in a curvy, contemporary package. Plop the OfficePod on your property — be it your back yard or even a separate lot in a woodsy setting — and you’ve got a full-service modern office without the household distractions.
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Shidonni: Website Lets Children Design Their Own Plush Toys

design toys
Featuring simple drawing and animation tools, Shidonni is a website that allows children to easily create and interact with characters of their own creation. With their parent’s permission, kids can also submit their favorite characters to the Shidonni team, who will translate the drawings – no matter how whimsical – into a custom stuffed plush toy. Watch a video at PSFK.Com

Design Virus Alert

According to Dutch Designer Pieke Bergman her distorted light bulbs are nothing more than standard bulbs infected with the ‘design virus’. The quirky young designer explains that her bulbs have “gone way out of line…taking on all kinds of forms and sizes you wouldn’t expect from such well behaving and reliable little products.”
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Tate and Design Competition

Tate and are collaborating to launch the 2010 edition of RELEASE and, this year, the hunt is on for two outstanding product designs that will be produced and sold in Tate shops, through Tate Online and at

This is your chance to get your work into Tate . The winning entry from each category will receive a cash prize of £500 plus commission on sales from 6 months in.
Product designs must fall into two price brackets – up to £10 and up to £100.
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Tesla’s Next-Generation Battery Packs

Panasonic and Tesla, have come together to create a new kind of electric vehicle battery based on Panasonic’s nickel-based lithium ion chemistry.

Business Wire reports:
Tesla, the only carmaker producing highway-capable electric vehicles, will use Panasonic’s battery cells in their newest battery packs. The cells are comprised of Nickel-based Lithium ion chemistry, the highest energy density battery cells in production today, preferred by Tesla for EV applications because of their high capacity, light weight, durability, and long life.
[Business Wire via PSFK]

Homestar Aqua: Sega Toys rolls out planetarium for your bathroom

Sega Toys’ series of planetarium projection systems for home use, the so-called Homestars, is getting another update. The company has announced the so-called Homestar Aqua for the Japanese market (everyone living outside this country can pre-order the Aqua here). This version is smaller and can, as the name suggests, be used in the bathroom (it’s water-resistant). And it’s relatively inexpensive, too.
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Magimix Vision Toaster

The result of 15 years of research and design, Magimix’s new Vision Toaster uses revolutionary long-lasting quartz heating elements to perfectly toast bread and let you get a peek at the action through a window.

Tucked away in the corners of the French appliance brand’s toaster, the hidden quartz parts replace the traditional metal components not only getting them out of the way for a clear panorama of the toast, but also heating more evenly.
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Bike Helmets That Don’t Make You Look Like a Dork

Bike helmets from Yakkay disguised as stylish hats.They come in all different colors and styles and are interchangeable, so you can always swap ‘em out instead of purchasing a whole new helmet!

Cardboard Hotel Room from Kueng Caputo

From January 21 to February 6, 2010, Kueng Caputo, a Swiss-born designer/artist duo, creates a cardboard hotel room within a gallery space which promises five-star comfort and luxury in spite of low-cost disposable materials. The accommodation will be offered free of charge during the gallery’s regular hours (Tues. – Sat. 11am-6pm).
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Solaterns: Solar Powered Reading Lamps In Kenya

Solanterns are an attempt to replace potentially dangerous kerosene lamps with more environmentally friendly solar powered lamps in Kenya. A Solantern is available locally for 2000 Ksh ($25). While the lantern requires a considerable initial investment, the long term savings are great, as families usually spend around $90 per year on kerosene.

Smart Paint: Paint away the carbon dioxide

GROWING grass on your roof and other attempts to make homes carbon neutral are mere “green bling”. So says Rachel Armstrong of University College London (UCL), who suggests that her smart paint can turn buildings into carbon sinks.

Armstrong created the paint by dissolving salts and esters in oil droplets. Repeated coatings react with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce calcium carbonate – which is the main constituent of limestone – and alcohol. The resulting “biolime” will provide extra strength and insulation, she says. How much CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere in this way has not yet been tested.
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Off the Grid;Sustainable Habitat 2020

Philips Design Probes is a dedicated ‘far-future’ research initiative to track trends and developments that may ultimately evolve into mainstream issues that have a significant impact on business.
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Daizi Zheng’s Sugar-Powered Mobile Phone

Treehugger reports on an intriguing cell phone concept design that’s powered by sugar. Daizi Zheng’s mobile phone runs on a battery that can generate power using soda, or any other kind of sugary liquid. It’s unique idea, and a potential solution to the environmental problems that come with disposing traditional batteries.
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