In what has been considered a water saving move, Xeros has developed patented technology which only needs a cup of water in each wash cycle. Hailed as the world’s first ‘virtually waterless’ washing system, the revolutionary technology discovered by researchers at the University of Leeds is set to become a commercial reality. The system works by tumbling plastic granules or chips with the clothes to remove practically all types of everyday stains. Clothes feel as fresh as if they had just been put through an ordinary washing machine with the advantage of being almost dry. Only time will tell if tumble-dryers and clothing lines are a thing of the past.
Picture from: www.xerosltd.com
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With his car always dirty from driving along his dusty driveway, American Scott Wade turned this potentially annoying fact into a creative tool. Using the windows of his car as a blank canvas, Scott transformed it into a unique work of art. His work drew the attention of others, and now Scott has lent his artistic touch to numerous other windshields. His drawings are very detailed, ranging from animals playing poker to representations of fine art such as Van Gogh, Roy Lichtenstein and DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. Check out Scott’s amazing ability.
Picture from: www.dirtycarart.com
What happens when you fuse a down to earth, environmentally-conscious celebrity, with a renowned hairstylist to the stars? Quality hair care dedicated to sustaining the environment! Actress Kate Hudson is the face of David Babaii for WildAid, a modern line of styling products with natural, renewable ingredients from exotic parts of the world. Not only are the products free of sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals and animal products, but they are 100% free from all animal testing. To add the cherry to this already planet-friendly cake, WildAid an organisation dedicated to saving endangered animals, receives a ten percent donation from all profits. So take pride in your appearance!
Picture from: www.db4wildaid.com
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Unwinding in the bathtub is a must-do after a long, stressful day. For years Sega Toys has been manufacturing the Homestar ‘Home Planetarium’, and now there is a Homestar Spa planetarium device specifically designed to make your time in the bathroom even more relaxing. This device brings stars, planets, flowers and even sea animals to your bathroom, making your experience more enjoyable as you leave the worries of the day behind. It is completely waterproof, and is both a decorative and entertaining addition to the bathroom.
Picture from: www.environmentalgraffiti.com
The digital number ‘8’ has been the focus of an award-winning design, with Dutch designer Sander Tielen being awarded the European Design Award for Calendar design in Stockholm. Different coloured cards slide behind the front of the Tielen Perpetual Calendar to display the date, with the number in the lower right hand corner indicating the month, whilst the bright fading colours tell the day. All this makes it extremely easy to read. The European Design Awards honour people who have invested their passion in design, which makes Sander a worthy recipient for this particularly useful creation.
Picture from: www.ed-awards.com
In a world where unique and edgy accessories are hard to find, Claire Suzy Stannard is intent on making sure her work stands out. Utilizing her most inspiring memory of channeling her inner child, Claire’s jewellery appeals to an audience wanting to do the same. All about distinctiveness, Claire’s pieces aesthetically utilise a variety of mediums including white bronze, brass, gold, feathers, leather and sterling silver. In particular, her unisex wristwraps are striking, and are able to be customized with lyrics or quotes. Check out this collection if you desire to exude individuality.
Picture from: www.clairesuzystannard.com
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Nick Bampton, a graduate product designer from Middlesex University, is the green caped crusader out to rid the world of blatant ‘Greenwashing’ tactics. Greenwashing is the process of misleading consumers about the ecological benefits of a product. Nick aims to debunk the myths by comparing and contrasting current products on the market with that of his own.
According to his exhibition ‘successful green aesthetics relate to the environmental experiences of the consumers’. Nick is currently preparing his exhibition, ‘Subverting the Green Aesthetic’ which has attracted interest from print and television media at ‘New Designers’, Business Design Centre in London.
Picture from: www.nickbampton.co.uk
COOLit Design has taken an innovative step in the cosmetics world, launching the CoCon LIPSTICK-COOLER. The company has been dedicated to creating the best product for protecting your lipstick from melting in hot weather. Filled with a cooling gel, the cooler is put in the freezer for a few hours, with the lipstick placed inside later, ensuring that it remains unaffected by outside temperatures. The cooler can be fastened
Picture from: http://coolit-design.de
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Care to rid the world of its food, water and energy crises? A Columbia University professor might just have the answer. Dickson Despommier is the brains behind the Vertical Farm Project, a venture that has been described as ‘Agriculture on the 34th floor of a big city skyscraper’.
The concept of indoor farming will offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply and the eventual repair of ecosystems. The advantages are aplenty as cities can buy products locally, no pesticides or harmful chemicals are used and less water is distributed for irrigation, giving ecosystems the chance to bounce back.
Picture from: www.verticalfarm.com
For a unique, unisex approach to jewellery try Bilingual Collections. Founder Marta Niegowska has designed contemporary, sculptural rings since 2005, and recently expanded her collection to include neckpieces. The focus of the accessories is the perspective of how a design can communicate, with interlocking rings available, so that you can share your special piece with another. Other rings are inspired by experimenting basic rectangular, circular and triangle shapes. Neckpieces are also guaranteed to be original, fastening themselves to your clothing. All pieces are handmade of sterling silver, with several sizes available.
Picture from: www.bilingual.com.au
It takes a little self belief and a lot of determination to make eco-building work. Fortunately for Welsh family members Simon, Jasmine, Cosmo and Elfie, this self belief resulted in a self-built eco-home, both close to nature and cost efficient. Features of The Low Impact Woodland Home include a skylight to allow natural light in, solar panels to fuel lights and electronics, a refrigerator cooled from underground air, water supplied from a nearby spring, and a roof water collection for use in the garden.
Picture from: www.simondale.net/house
Student Erik Nordenankar’s graduation project was so successful that many believed it to be a true experiment – the biggest drawing in the world. Erik pretended to draw a self portrait, with the earth as his canvas. His pen was a briefcase, containing a GPS device, and the paths the briefcase took, with the DHL international courier company, became the strokes of the drawing. In reality, DHL did not transport the GPS at any time. Erik believes his idea could one day be realized, and that eventually there will be someone’s self portrait amongst the background of our world.
Picture from: http://biggestdrawingintheworld.com/drawing.aspx
The world of digital cameras keeps on progressing, with innovative advertising ideas keeping companies competitive. Philipp und Keuntje have formulated one such campaign for Leica’s D-Lux 3 camera. They have created and placed a ‘pixilated’ dog in various real world scenes, along with the tag ‘See it in more detail’. The dog is built from blocks to create the blurred effect of pixilation, aiming to effectively demonstrate how advanced Leica’s new digital camera is.
Picture from: www.gizmodo.com
Eco-geeks everywhere can rejoice in Apple’s recent move to develop a patent for solar-powered iPods. It consists of an iPod with a solar panel under the LCD screen, providing additional power. The geniuses behind the innovation, MacRumors have revealed that the move will extend battery life significantly if implemented correctly.
Installing the solar panels behind the LCD screen allows for light to be absorbed through the screen, eliminating the need for additional footprints often required with solar panels. In addition to saving energy, the portable iPhones, iPods and laptops will be able to maintain their aesthetic appearance.
Picture from: www.ecogeek.com
As technology just keeps on becoming more advanced, items from yesteryear are left behind gathering dust. Designer Chris Dimino has succeeded in creating a new role for many of these appliances, adapting them to become useful modern things. An old typewriter becomes a waffle maker, cooking keyboard shaped waffles, or the base of a functioning vacuum cleaner. It’s not just typewriters that have been given a face lift, with a gas mask shower head and brake drum light sconce, also products of Chris Dimino’s imagination. Check them all out in their fascinating glory.
Picture from: www.designhead.net/cdimino/
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With the advent of the blog, these days it seems almost anyone can get published. Overheard in New York is a site that collects tidbits of overheard conversations and publishes them in a witty blog format online. The site was included in the top 50 Coolest Websites of 2005 and has been running since 2000. It has since pioneered the way for online eavesdropping everywhere, inspiring countless other sites of a similar nature like Overheard in Melbourne.The site was so popular from all the media attention, it soon developed into a book, which is now available from Ariel Bookstore on Oxford Street in Paddington.
Picture from: www.overheardinny.com
The 2008 Olympic Games might just be overshadowed by the introduction of GreenPix, the largest colour LED display in the world. One might be forgiven for thinking that the huge media wall is an energy-eating giant.
Remarkably, the colossal screen doesn’t require any energy to function. It is the first photovoltaic system of its kind that is entirely self-sufficient, instead saving up energy during the day to make the screen shine at night. This one-of-a-kind innovation will brighten up the city and the world with its progressive, energy-saving ways.
Picture from: www.greenpix.org
Nature lovers beware: high quality, sophisticated and elegant fashion just got eco-friendly and socially aware with FIN. Hailing from Oslo, Norway, the fashion label has already attracted celebrities like Keira Knightley and Kate Bosworth into its ever increasing list of FIN fans. FIN is much more than just a luxury brand – it personifies the ever increasing social and environmentally aware world we live in.
Picture from: www.finoslo.com
Unique and recycled bags made from beautiful blankets are the latest must-have vintage items from Something New, Something Old. The range was launched by a two young designers, Ontwerp Duo, from Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Eager to start up their own design studio, the pair drew inspiration from the timeless beauty found in the security of a warm blanket. You will be surprised to learn that the only new part of the bag is the handle – and every item is unique!
Picture from: www.ontwerpduo.nl
Teknion’s New York showroom came alive with the 2nd annual Project Earth Day. It is an opportunity for leaders and future leaders in the design industry to get together and exchange their ideas and visions about sustainable, environmentally friendly and innovative fashion. Expected was an extravaganza on the catwalk, with all bags, dresses and jewellery on display. And that was what the audience received as well. The event was a tad exclusive (invite only!) but you can check out the website for more information on the featured designers.
Picture from: www.projectearthday.com
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Even the cityscapes you encounter while travelling can flash a little green, depending on your choice of accommodation. With more and more chain or boutique hotels focusing on sustainability and eco-friendliness, travelers can opt for the alternative to the old two minute showers and no heating. Now replete with anything from grey water recycling to solar showers, urban landscapes are coming alive with green fever.
Picture from: www.travel.nytimes.com
Set the table with some help from the ocean with Tamra Philbrooks’ Artful Wares. Her collection is replete with tableware made out of 100% natural materials. Recycled shells make up these invaluable pieces which are not only unique and eco-friendly but also aesthetically pleasing – an absolute must for the avid seashell collectors out there. Another bonus is that each item is dishwasher-safe, giving it the thumbs up from the practical folk.
Picture from: www.artfulwares.com
Bionade has the sleek look of a drink plucked from the chic bars of Germany. Our innovative German friends have come up with a healthy and refreshing drink that is now akin to a cult item in its native country. The preferred choice among the creative folk, Bionade is set to take over the world with the sultry and colourful flavours of Elderberry, Lychee, Herbs and Ginger & Orange. We dare you to try and resist taking that first, addictive sip!
Picture from: www.bionade.com
The Happening Live 2008 festival is just as the title suggests: Happening! With a combination of music, film and art, the festival promises to be a captivating combination with renowned artists on display. More importantly the festival is all in the name of a good cause, with proceeds supporting the Sea Shepherd, a non-profit organisation that works to protect whales. If you missed the festival in Sydney or Tokyo, fear not, the London, Cornwall, Paris, New York City and San Francisco leg of the tour is yet to be announced.
Picture from: www.thehappeninglive.com
The latest in the charts from Billboard is a list of the top 10 musicians dedicated to saving the environment. It should come as no surprise that Jack Johnson has topped the list. With his trademark acoustic tunes and environmentally themed outdoor concerts, Jack succeeds in bringing environmental issues to the forefront of our attention in a cool and funky way. In addition to releasing his music in an eco-friendly studio in LA running on 100% renewable energy, Jack has also managed to create the Kokua Hawaii Foundation which seeks to support environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii.
Picture from: www.jackjohnsonmusic.com
Check out the rest of the musicians who made the cut for being progressive and environmentally aware.
1. Jack Johnson
2. Willie Nelson
4. Dave Matthews Band
5. KT Tunstall
6. Pearl Jam
7. Serj Tankian
9. Missy Higgins
10. The Roots
Pitango, with its exotic sounding name and quality to boot, has made the search for healthy food a little easier with an incredible range of organic food to rival food manufacturers everywhere. Hailing from New Zealand, Pitango has reached the shores of Australia (as well as Canada and Hong Kong) and will continue to spread its organic wings throughout the world until every last organic appetite is satiated. Enjoy a wide selection of soup, risotto, curry and more from the world’s first fresh meal manufacturer to go carbon neutral.
Picture from: www.pitango.co.nz
It is not the conventional way to have a wedding and yet Natural Weddings is completely dedicated to planning a wedding of natural goodness. Make your evening a memorable and planet-friendly one with Australia’s only wedding directory dedicated to eco-friendly wedding ideas. Take advice from weddings planners with a conscience and expect to find organic catering, special recycled invitations and even an eco honeymoon - all without compromising on style.
Picture from: www.naturalweddings.com.au
Passivhaus (or passive house) is taking our minds off the housing crisis by developing a new and exciting way to live. Imagine a system that saves up to 90% of most household energy by simply recycling natural resources in and around the house! To achieve this, the Passivhaus simply takes the warm air inside the house and uses it to heat up the cold, fresh air from outside.
Window shades help keep the house cool whereas lighting a candle or two can warm things up, creating a nice ambiance in the process. The energy efficient housing people do expect things to fluctuate so an additional heating system for those chillier nights is included.
Picture from: www.passivhausprojekte.de
Touch360, an American firm, is bringing the business card into the future. The handheld e-Case stores information usually found on a material business card. It can connect with other e-Cases, wirelessly exchanging contact information. With simplicity the key to its design, the e-Case offers an eco-friendly alternative to the age-old business card.
Picture from: www.touch360.com
San Franciscan team Transparent House are putting the limelight on concrete with their innovative new designs. Not often seen as a material for floors in homes, the remodeled concrete is now finding ground as the preferred choice. Stunning patterns can be applied while the concrete is being poured or once it’s solid bringing warmth to the characteristically cool concrete.
Picture from: www.transparenthouse.com
Putting to rest the mystery of St Louis’ abandoned furniture is a book by Bill Keaggy. 50 Sad Chairs tells the tales of once loved but now neglected items that had to make it on their own in the mean streets of Missouri. With a stunning selection of photographs, Keaggy’s book explores the life behind the mistreated chair and other forgotten relics of existence.
Picture from: www.50sadchairs.com
Inspired by the world around them &Larry have built decorative pieces using materials native to Singapore. Thoughtful in their design, each of the handcrafted furnishings communicates a deeper meaning. The pieces offer a glimpse into the lives of the Singapore community, as they are interlaced with cultural and societal themes.
Picture from: www.andlarry.com
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In the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, London’s V&A Museum of Childhood presents a captivating exhibition of Olympic posters. With posters in the collection over 100 years, each work focuses on sporting achievements of athletes around the world. This inspiring showcase of human ability celebrates the “greatest sporting show on earth”.
Picture from: www.vam.ac.uk
Whether you live in a house or apartment this could solve your domestic pet duties. The Pet Loo is the newest entrant in the Australian International Design Awards for 2008. It is a specially designed patch of grass helping to tackle the messy part of owning a pet. Developed by two Australians, the concept is a clean, environmentally friendly approach that offers convenience for you and your beloved furry friend. Pooping up in your local pet shop soon!
Picture from: www.thepetloo.com
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Experience a side to Sydney’s creative scene that you never knew existed with the Sydney Design Guide. Featuring some of Sydney’s most unique galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, not to mention all you need to know about the most talented designers living in Sydney. Cast your eye over the latest attractions and chic destinations, presented in this easy-to-use guide.
Picture from: www.sydneydesignguide.de
Hoping to snap up another award for their innovative designs, W2 in collaboration with Pantone are celebrating their exquisite mugs. The Pantone collection of ten sleek and vibrant mugs is ideal for pepping up the home or office. The two London based designers are still relishing the success of the Pantone mug, after picking up the GA Gift of the Year award in 2007.
Picture from: www.w2products.com
It is time to put the modesty back into fonts. A graphic designer out of the UK has launched a style of font that hides all the rude bits. Craig Oldham, came up with what he calls the ‘decent’ font to cover the “delicate parts”. The skin-toned font is designed for use where explicit material exists, acting to soften the effect of its content.
Picture from: www.craigoldham.co.uk
Tapping into the sophistication of the modern man, Calvin Klein launches a new fragrance for men. Simply labeled “Man” the aroma has been described as masculine and minimalist. Presented in a sleek bottle, the aroma possesses a sexy drawing power assured to delight the senses of the modern women too.
Picture from: www.calvinklein.com
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With it’s cool and meditative effects, the color Blue iris, has fetched Pantone’s color of the year accolade. Last year’s winner Chilli Pepper inspired global trends. Now in 2008 Blue Iris is sure to make waves, and become the color of choice for fashion magazines and designers all over the world. Not only is Blue Iris a dynamic and elegant color, it is also an environmentally friendly paint from Pantone’s eco-friendly range.
Picture from: www.pantone.com
Laptops are precious machines, and it’s important to protect them from harm’s way. Too often however laptop sleeves are too bulky or unattractive. Not any more. The team at MOZI, consisting of sisters Camilla and Olivia Tipler, have created a line of pretty, decorative laptop sleeves, in the styles of Red Wren, Hummingbird and Ingrid. With soft fleece lining and impact protection, the sleeves are a handy way of keeping your laptop safe. There are three sizes to fit your laptop. What a way to brighten up your computer!
Picture from: www.mozi.com.au
The world of television is always growing, with Joost now enabling you to watch TV whilst chatting online to friends. This downloadable program allows you the option of watching shows, series and movies online for free, and the opportunity to share your viewing with others via the instant messaging tool. With 28,000+ shows and 480+ channels, Joost provides more entertainment than even cable television. Of course, there is a small catch, with only copyright free programs available for viewing – so no big Hollywood heavyweights are showcased. But, enjoying a unique viewing experience is still obtainable.
Picture from: www.joost.com
Japanese women have always had sophistication and now the fashion label Yu is bringing that level of class to Australia. Yu Konishi and Kyoko Tasaka launched their stylish designs in Sydney at the New Generation Runway show as part of the Australian Fashion Week in April. Showcasing elements of femininity and sexy allure, Yu’s designs aim to allow a woman to express her confidence and individuality. The designer duo of Yu moved to Sydney to expand and evolve their creative space; a move that allows Australian women the opportunity to jump on board this particular chic clothing ship.
Picture from: www.yu-couture.com
For those of us who like to be unique 45 iPod Cases have come up with a new range of stylish and exclusive iPod cases to aid individuality. The cases are made from 45rpm records, and each case is custom-made with your favourite record to fit your iPod. There are even cases for your 1st and 2nd generation iPod Nano, made from reclaimed cassette tapes. But, hurry or you might miss out on Billy Joel and have to settle for something a little less “you”.
Picture from: www.45ipodcases.com
At first glance the KissinCussin fashion label appears sexy, feminine and playful. But beneath the fun exterior KissinCussin is a business striving to help the less fortunate, with the proceeds directly helping the people of Tallala Bay, Sri Lanka, devastated by the Tsunami of 2004. Cousins Jess Brown and Hayley Maynard have created a range of pretty cotton dresses for sale, which are one shopping purchase that you don’t need to feel guilty about, as you’re helping contribute to a town’s sustainable future.
Picture from: www.kissincussin.com
The Sydney Film Festival opened on June 4, with acclaimed director Mike Leigh’s latest project Happy-go-lucky. Sally Hawkins’ portrayal of Poppy, a primary school teacher with a knack of always seeing the good side of everything, won her the Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival in February. If you’ve been feeling down or just need to be reminded to appreciate every day, Happy-go-lucky is the film for you.
Picture from: www.littlewhitelies.co.uk
This season is going to be all about sleek sheerness if designers have their way. Alexander McQueen, Chloé and Fendi have all designed new outfits using sheer fabrics to accentuate delicate feminine tops, blouses and dresses. This new trend is all about the subtle covering of skin, rather than exposing ourselves in a shameless attention seeking attempt. This is a style that should make both sexes happy, with women feeling sexy and men liking what they see!
Picture from: www.style.com
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For years Oliver Peoples eyewear has been tailoring for the rich and fashionable. Their 20th anniversary sees a classic pair of shades reinvented as a modern interpretation of Hollywood glamour. The Diamond Harlot is encrusted with 1.5 carats of natural white diamonds, set in 10g total weight of gold. This precious accessory comes in black 18k yellow gold, ivory 14k rose gold or storm grey 18k white gold, allowing you to best cater for your own individual style. Purchase online or at Oliver Peoples boutiques and you too could look as cool and classy as a star.
Picture from: www.oliverpeoples.com
For business men the thought of spilling lunch down your expensive silk tie is a worrying one. But now, the quirky French creators at ATYPYK have designed an affordable solution – the Bon Apétit tie. Made out of a tea towel, the tie can easily be swapped during lunch hour so that men still look and feel professional, but don’t ruin that pricey tie from Mum! It’s a win-win situation.
Picture from: www.atypyk.com
It seems you can’t hop onto a bus or train, nor walk down the street without seeing someone listening intently to their iPod. But what about when you are at home, wanting to listen to the music on your iPod without the earpieces wedged into your head? Fred has the solution, launching the 500XL earbud speakers that look exactly like your normal, small iPod earphones except that they are 500 times bigger. Just plug them into any PC or iPod, and listen to your heart’s content!
Picture from: www.worldwidefred.com
For decades Sweden has managed to produce world-wide best-selling musical acts – think ABBA and The Hives. Now there’s I’m from Barcelona, which despite its name also hails from the Scandinavian heavyweight. Counting a massive 29 members, the band specializes in explosively happy pop anthems, created using a large mix of unconventional instruments, such as banjos and accordions as well as the traditional guitars and drums. Keep your ears perked for this latest Swedish indie band, as it’s sure to leave an impression.
Picture from: www.imfrombarcelona.com
The Outré Gallery, found in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia,self-proclaimed “specialists in contemporary international pop, lowbrow, pop surrealism, street, tiki, modern folk, retro with a twist and underground art” cater for lovers of the modern. The gallery’s staff is passionately involved with art in their own right, whether as painters, collectors or admirers. For those who can’t drop by and sample the collection, an online shop and overseas shipping is available.
Picture from: www.outregallery.com
Fifty years from its conception Helvetica, the typeface, is starring in its own feature length film. The independent documentary lifts the lid on visual culture and graphic design globally. Director Gary Hustwit plucked exclusive interviews with the most renowned design experts, among them Erik Spiekmann and Matthew carter. The film has now reached a worldwide audience and is available on DVD.
Picture from: www.helveticafilm.com