Nearing the two-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, developers, architects, and building owners are still wrestling with how to keep their waterfront properties safe from any future storms that may wash up on New York’s shores. Some have moved mechanical systems above ground, white others have installed heavy duty generators and emergency lighting and elevator systems. But a popular preventative mechanism among the posh residences of the West Village and Lower Manhattan is AquaFence, a portable, temporary flood barrier system that can defend structures from flood heights of up to eight feet.
You may have heard last year that scientists began exploring the idea of spray-paintable solar cells, and now researchers at Sheffield University in England have made a breakthrough that could bring this green energy dream one step closer to reality.
The advance comes from the use of organometal halide perkovskite, a mineral/crystal, organic/metal hydra, which offers the potential to combine high-performing, mature solar cell technologies with organic photovoltaics that have a low embedded energy cost.
As New Yorkers we’re constantly on the go and our movements are very much the pulse of the city. A new smartphone app developed by Human is tracking these movements and turning them into an incredible map that beautifully visualizes how we navigate our streets. Are you part of the pack?
In a day and age when printers give us the ability to create 3D models, we’re surprised that it’s taken so long for a machine like the DIWire to hit the market. Developed by the creative tinkerers of PENSA, this sleek gadget’s seemingly simple job — to bend wires with a click of a button — is an absolute game-changer for DIY enthusiasts.
A lighting artist who typically helps spruce up the homes we live in is looking to Mother Nature for inspiration. From his studio in rural Pennsylvania, award-winning designer David D’Imperio creates one-of-a-kind fixtures that pull from natural structures. Among the wild objects you may spot in his works? Moth wings, orchids and bluebirds.
The inventors of the viral Ostrich Pillow are at it again, promoting another cool new product on Kickstarter. Only this time, instead of an item that’s meant to block out light, the team at kawamura-ganjavian are making it easier to see. Dubbed the Kangaroo Light, this flexible, glowing pad is meant to be a playful and practical solution to flashlights, which all too often get lost in the deep abyss of purses, bookbags and cabinets.
After an impossibly long and cold winter, it’s fitting that one of the pieces on display at the upcoming Reclaim 3 exhibit is an ode to spring and renewal. But the Maypole created by whimsical furniture designer UM Project is no ordinary ribbon around a stick.
Inspired by the charitable spirit that drives Reclaim NYC — which started out in 2012 as a way for the design community to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims — UM Project founder Francois Chambard teamed up with the High School of Art & Design to create an interactive installation that combines folk custom with modern-day technology.
The design of this compact solar charging lantern, called Electree Mini, was influenced by bonsai trees and fractal patterns found in nature. Created by French designer Vivien Muller, it “provides solar-derived power to environments typically void of renewable energy.”
On the movable branches are small solar panels which capture sunlight — a play on photosynthesis. The solar energy is then stored in small batteries that can directly power up your gadgets. Electree Mini has the capability to charge AA and AAA batteries and comes with a USB port that will charge smartphones. At dusk, the tree automatically lights up, and when rotated the LED light sensors change colors.