Jeroen Verhoeven’s biomimetic chandelier of 500 photovoltaic butterflies

May 31st, 2011 - 
We have seen a lot of chandeliers made out of different things ( recycled bicycle parts and cultured crystal ) but this time, it’s a solar-powered chandelier. Fantastic piece of design made out of 500 butterflies photovoltaic cells. I like the fact that this piece of art interpretates the idea of insects around the light source.

The crowdness makes the chandelier look precious and baroque. The chandelier explores the economy of light because it has innovative materials. The piece is self-sustained due tot the fact that it absorbes the light during the day to fuel
its own illumination at night. Designed by a Dutch artist-designer Jeroen Verhoeven, the chandelier combines ecological design with functionality and art. Currently, the butterfly chandelier is being exhibited as part of “The Curious Image” show at Blain Southern Gallery in London. Via Treehugger.

Photos: Bas Helbers, Giulietta Verdon-Roe

Sustainable jewelry by Andy Lifschutz

May 31st, 2011 - 

Andy Lifschutz explore the universe of jewel design using recycled materials such as  bronze, silver, and gold bases. (Recycled metals are made of scrap gold and silver that are refined for reuse.) The artist began his metalwork in Brooklyn where he gained a lot of experience in mettalurgy. As his work progresses, Andy continues to discover new ways to combine his artisan style with raw elements such as reclaimed metals, wood, bone and stone.
Comprised of these materials, his jewelry creates an appeal not solely focused on aesthetic value, but based heavily upon the indelible spirit of powerful organic forms.  Andy tries to explore the natural form of the stones and to capture
the spirit of the organical shape that is so powerful. He creates pieces that contain in themselves the natural world. Lifschutz tailors each base to reflect the stone sitting on it. The chriteria to choose stones that are naturally formes are: first of all, aesthetics, durability and beauty. When he extracts the stones he is trying to harm the environment as little as possible. Via
Haute nature.
photography by Nialls Fallon and Rudolf Bekker

Save Water_part 3

May 27th, 2011 - 

Saving devices 

For part one see here.
For part two see here.

 – A rainwater tank prevents precious rainwater coming off your roof and ending up as storm water run-off. Tanks supply water for outdoor use, flushing toilets and washing clothes and reduce flash flooding in our creeks.  
– A grey water system using water from your bathroom and/or laundry (not toilet or kitchen) is a good alternative source of water for your garden. Water can be piped through a flexible hose or bucketed to any part of your garden and does not require Council approval. If you plan to install a grey water diversion system, that requires connection to household plumbing you will need to apply for Council approval.
– A pool blanket reduces pool and spa water loss to evaporation, minimises chemical use, prevents debris entering your pool and increases the water temperature by up to 8°C. It can save up to 100 liters of water per day. As it simply floats on your pool surface, it’s easy to install. 
A water sense lifestyle can achieve water savings in your home. Look for products with a high Water Efficiency Labeling Standard (WELS) star rating. Install water-saving devices such as flow restrictors, dual flush toilets, water-efficient washing machines, dishwashers, shower heads and taps. 
Reuse water from your house on your garden by placing a basin in your kitchen sink to catch water when rinsing fruits and vegetables and by using a bucket in the shower to catch the water while you’re waiting for it to warm up.

Tips for Conserving Energy_ part 3

May 27th, 2011 - 
8. Invest in a programmable thermostat. According to the EnergyStar website, you can save as much as $180 per year on your energy bills, so these things pay for themselves pretty fast. By setting your heat at a lower temperature while you’re away or sleeping, you’ll see big energy savings without sacrificing comfort.  
9. Cover your floors. If you have tile or hardwood floors, you can keep things cozy by laying out an area rug, especially if you have a basement or crawlspace.

10. Don’t turn off those ceiling fans – reverse them! I know, it sounds crazy. Why would you run your ceiling fan when it’s cold outside? Your fan is actually a great way to keep warm air circulating in your home. Most come equipped
with a switch to reverse the direction that the blades turn. By flipping the switch and setting it on low, you can use your fan to push warm air that’s trapped up at the ceiling down to the living area. If you want to go a step further, try contacting your local utility company for an energy audit. The EnergyStar website also has some great tools for assessing your home’s energy efficiency!

Tips for Conserving Energy_ part 2

May 27th, 2011 - 
4. Seal around your windows and doors. Check around window and door frames for cracks or leaks where cold air could be seeping in. You can seal these up with caulk. For larger gaps, check out your local hardware store for sealing solutions. 

5. Be a draft dodger. Warm air can escape under exterior doors. Seal up these areas by keeping a rolled up towel pressed against the bottom of the door, dorm-room style. If you want to get fancy, WikiHow has a great tutorial on making your own!

6. Turn down your hot water heater. Make sure it’s set to “normal” or 120 degrees. Any hotter is just a waste of energy.

7. Practice a little feng shui. Set up your rooms so that places where you sit and sleep are not near big windows or
exterior walls, wherever possible. If your sofa, bed, or desk has to be near exterior walls or a big window, you might add a little warmth and flair with some heavy curtains over that window or a cheery wall-hanging.