Bio-glass by Coverings Etc

The glass panels are clean, contemplative, luminous… and evocative of spring?

Well, yes, all that.  There are a many sustainable glass products out there, but this creation by Coverings Etc. is impressive in a quiet, well-grounded, Zen kind of way.

Seen close up, Bio-glass evokes carpets of emerald moss, the dark, bare beauty of trees after an autumn rain, the shimmer of ice and snow.  As part of a project, it’s sumptuous, striking, and restful all at the same time.  Take a look here. Read the rest of this entry »

Dead Batteries? Get an Eco-Clock

Since I know that throwing batteries in the landfill just means you’ll eventually be drinking the toxins in them later when they have seeped into the groundwater (lovely thought), I’ve always been a good girl and taken them for safe disposal at a place I found on Earth911.  However, I don’t want to drive to my local battery recycling center every time my son uses up another set of AA batteries in his flashlight (which he uses under the covers to read books at night when he doesn’t think I’m looking – kids never change).  So I let a small stack of them pile up on a back bookshelf until I realize that I no longer have a small pile of batteries, but rather a very large, messy pile of corroding acids and metals.

Not that it’s ever actually gotten that bad.

Not exactly (ahem).

That (not so big and messy) pile of batteries is why I want one of these!  See, those “dead” batteries still have just a little life in them yet, and by combining the power of twelve of them at once, I could not only point out to my son that it is actually past his bedtime (and that I know he has a flashlight and a book under his covers), I would also have a place to store up to twelve batteries before making that trip to the hazardous waste center.  I love stuff that multi-tasks!

The clock will even tell you when a battery is REALLY dead.  As opposed to mostly dead.

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Pietre Preziose by Okite

luminous  adj.  1. radiating or emitting light.  2. reflecting or  diffusing light.  3. intellectually brilliant

Sometimes an object is so stunning it can’t be properly caught on camera, and that is surely the case with Pietre Preziose, the latest surfacing material produced by the family-owned Italian firm, OKITE.  Pictures just don’t it justice.  As it is composed of natural quartz and resin, the translucent Pietre Preziose fills with ambient light from its environment and becomes truly luminous.  How brilliant is that?

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Tetrabox Lighting by Ed Chew

Single use drink containers have become a global habit.  A habit that will be so difficult to break, it could more accurately be described as an addiction.  Like mothers everywhere, I plead guilty to perpetuating the problem by occasionally buying “juice boxes”, aka Tetra Paks, for my son.  Although touted as being made entirely of recyclable materials, only 20% of U.S. residents have recycling programs available to them for the cartons at this point, and the numbers are probably pretty similar in other countries.  So what to do with all those Tetra Paks unlucky enough to exist in a non-carton recycling community?

Why not turn them into lighting?  That is what Malaysian designer Ed Chew has done.   Of his motivation for doing so, Chew says -

Packet drinks are one of the most favored soft drinks among Malaysians. We just love sipping packet drinks wherever we go and never actually bother about the thousands of boxes we discarded off after each quench, despite knowing the fact that landfills across our country are bursting at the seams.

Perhaps, it’s about time we adopt a paradigm shift in our attitudes towards making this world a better place. As for me, here’s a little GREEN step I am taking to help reducing the amount of waste going to landfills.

In the spirit of global responsibility for finding solutions to the problem, he shares his method for creating the lamps so the anyone anywhere in the world can make them too.  Now THAT is truly sustainable design.  Sharing solutions to create a better world for all.  Kudos Mr. Chew!

Seen on Yanko Design

A Cube for You = Yube

Although I am an increasing proponent for spending money on quality rather than quantity when it comes to furniture, I also well remember the days when I had both an empty apartment AND an almost empty wallet.  If you, or someone you know, is in the same predicament, then the Yube might just be their saving grace.

Inexpensive, modular, and best of all, made primarily of recyclable and biodegradable materials, the Yube is the perfect sort of system for those just starting out, (or maybe starting over).

Yube is designed to be endlessly reconfigurable, and capable of being turned into a plethora of furniture pieces with the addition of accessories such as feet, drawers, doors, and shelves. Read the rest of this entry »

“Free Flowing” Forms – Tord Boontje for Botanist

Don’t you think these would create the perfect holiday atmosphere?

Designed by Tord Boontje for Botanist, these lanterns from his Free Flowing series cast such amazing shadows.  The perfect backdrop for a winter time party and a champagne toast.

Even without the soft glowing light, their form remains evocative of tree branches in winter, or a golden field of wild grasses just after the first frost.

Of course, such lovely organic shapes are nothing new to Boontje, who has created many award winning, nature influenced designs from his studio in London.  This is no accidental marriage of naturalism and modernism, mind you.  To quote from his bio,…

“The Studio’s work draws from a belief that modernism does not mean minimalism, that contemporary does not forsake tradition, and that technology does not abandon people and senses. The Studio’s designs often temper edges with softness, take inspiration from nature, and employ a décor of forms and layers to engage and entice an observer’s imagination and emotions.”

I’m not sure I’m going to get emotional about this next piece, but it definitely engages my imagination…

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“Painting” With Light

A month or so ago, I wrote a post about the amazing lighting fixtures of Tanya Clarke.  Using old faucets, LEDs, and blown glass drops, she creates fixtures with the appearance of liquid light.  I marveled at the beauty of her idea.

Now two other designers have added some fresh coats of “paint” to the concept.

Meet the CANdle, by the design team at twenty5ive

And Pouring Light by product designer Yeongwoo Kim.

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Where’s a Witch When You Need One? – Steeltree Fireplace

If Martha Stewart was a modernist, this fireplace would be front and center in her annual Halloween issue.

Although I have to wonder a bit at the idea of styling a fireplace to look like a woodland conflagration, I gotta admit, Steeltree, by talented Italian designer Paolo Grasselli, is very cool.  Or maybe I should say “hot”?  Either way, it does appeal in a wicked witch sort of way, don’t you think? Read the rest of this entry »

Metal Origami

I’m in the process of trying to catch up on all I’ve missed while I was “enjoying’ my annual Summer cold and laryngitis fest.  As i’ve been plowing through an amazing backlog of design websites, I thought I would share with you one of the trends that really seems to be taking hold – metal origami.

image via Yanko Design

Combining the green design communities love for the efficient use of materials with the energy savings of flatpack design, these three dimensional pieces made of a single sheet of recyclable metal are all the rage.

Here we see the Qbik steel lamp, designed by Enrico Zanolla and Andrea Di FIlippo for Miniforms Spa.  With its boxy form and heat releasing perforated top, this lamp has a very modern industrial feel.  But folded metal can also look a bit softer… Read the rest of this entry »

6 Beautiful Reasons to Use Recycled Glass TIle

Remodeling your kitchen?  Designing a fancy new restaurant?  Just looking for something amazing and sustainable?  Here are 6 reasons you should consider recycled glass tile…

Mosaic “wallpaper” by Trend USA

1.  Recycled glass takes only 50% of the energy to produce that virgin glass does.

Oceanside Glasstile

2.  Recycled glass  can be made into any form, color, or shape you can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »