There seems to be a tremendous struggle happening in the Middle East – a fight between the good guys, like this 10-year-old Emirati wunderkid, and psychotic fundamentalists (along with a host of other corrupt elements.) The good maybe overwhelmed by the very worst bad guys there could be. And then there is the boy who[.....]
Talk about being self-sufficient, but totally weird! Israeli student designer Naomi Kizhner has designed a collection of jewelry that harvests energy from veins in the human body. The project highlights in a beautiful and artful way how humanity is addicted to energy consumption. It may be a thought experiment more than anything, but these jewels provoke[.....]
Are you allowed to ride a bicycle? For Afghan girls and women, that’s a no. If they dare, people may throw rocks at them or call them unspeakable names. The Global Ride for Solidarity coming up this weekend is designed to catalyze a new cultural paradigm in the country, one that finds riding a bicycle[.....]
While many Muslims don’t drink alcohol, the people of Batroun, Lebanon love their beer. At least according to Jamil al-Haddad, the visionary behind Colonel beer and a new microbrewery built out of recycled materials.
Are you tired of seeing the same old giant wind turbines in a field or offshore? And do you worry about their impact on migrating birds? Hooman Tahvildar Akbary from Iran has a solution that is both super efficient and beautiful.
Sometimes, design really does change lives. Dr. Amit Goffer previously designed ReWalk, a device that gives paraplegics paralyzed from the waste down mobility again. But 90 percent of handicapped people are unable to use it. In order to give quadriplegics a similar new lease on life, the Israeli designer made a few modifications with UPnRIDE.
Most Gulf countries import up to 90 percent of their food, which neither bodes well for food security no climate change – since the food that is brought in from Europe and elsewhere has a lot of what are called “food miles.” True to their name, Forward Thinking Architecture proposes a solar-powered hydroponic food belt as[.....]
A farmer in Al Ain, the very green, flowery emirate bordering Dubai, claims that after three years of impregnating legions of nannies on his farm, his billy goat suddenly sprouted udders. And then produced milk.
Not everyone who visits Antalya wants to go scuba diving to see the extraordinary Mediterranean marine life, but now they can still catch a glimpse of what lives under the sea’s surface thanks to a beautiful new aquarium on the Turkish Riviera.
Turbo.roo is a sweet little chihuahua who was born with just two front legs. The breeder gave up the puppy after realizing that he would need a great deal of special care, so a vet in Indianapolis adopted him.
An Istanbul-based design firm has teamed up with one of the fathers of vertical gardens to liven up a bespoke restaurant in the city. Autoban and Patrick Blanc from France lined an wall with lush greenery, giving the space something of a jungle aesthetic that stands in direct contrast with some of the cold hard materials inside.
Australian filmmaker Daniel Agdag is also a talented sculptor who preferences a decidedly minimalist material palette. Based in Melbourne, the artist builds whimsical flying machines with nothing but cardboard and glue — and they “only” take a month or two to make.
Here’s something you don’t see every day – a double-headed dolphin! This week the two-headed immature dolphin washed ashore in Turkey, where a sports coach alerted authorities.
Bernard Khoury is one of Lebanon’s most sought after architects, and now he has built his own home – a rooftop penthouse bam smack in the middle of Beirut.
More than 100 graffiti artists were invited to Tunisia as part of the Djerbahood project – an inventive rehabilitation initiative that uses street art to turn a dusty village into an inspiring open air gallery.
In 2011, scientists warned that giant plumes of methane gas could fast-track planetary warming. And now – a version of this prediction has come to pass in Siberia. Despite being at the “ends of the Earth,” Yamal Peninsula’s three methane craters contain a cautionary tale for us all.
Is there anything worse than being in a hot city with cars idling, kicking up heat and pollution? We don’t think so, and apparently Erick van Egeraat agrees. The city of Unaizah has approved Egeraat’s plans to build a massive ring road around the city, as well as an underground street.
Forward Thinking Architecture has designed floating farms for Singapore, a country that shares many of the problems we have in the Middle East – food insecurity, lack of land, and a rapidly growing population. We think this design might be appropriate for our region as well.
The United Arab Emirates has passed resolution 500 in an effort to curb shark finning and protect endangered species. Currently a hub for the shark trade, the UAE will implement the new laws on September 1, 2014.
After going several months without, I’ve fallen back into the habit of ‘needing’ at least one cup of joe to wake up, and I know I’m not the only one. Cue Barisieur from Britain’s Joshua Renouf.
The most spectacular Islamic religious architecture and interior design is something few westerners have experienced. Mohammed Reza Domiri changes that, at least a bit, with extraordinary photography. Using an extreme wide-angle lens, the young Iranian unveils a world of color, geometry, and beauty we can only dream of.
With so much conflict erupting around us, it’s hard to imagine a peaceful future, but Erdem Architects does a good job of it. The Turkish firm recently won an international design competition with their proposal to turn an area of the Italian city La Spezia, historically used to host the city’s war arsenal, into a series of serene peace islands.
When we first presented the solar-powered woven refugee shelters that have now been seen all across the world, many people suggested they’d also make great festival tents. Well, now we’re wondering the opposite. Could these B-and-Bee shelters designed for Belgium festivals provide temporary housing for refugees in the Middle East?
Iranian architecture has evolved over the years – like everywhere – and the new generation of designers are producing truly impressive work. Take the extraordinary Sharifi House by next office. In order to maximize space, flexibility and daylight, the design team inserted semi-mobile rooms that rotate with the push of a button.
There are roughly 150,000 stray cats and dogs in Istanbul alone, and with so many other problems to deal with, city officials aren’t likely to make them priority. One Turksih company came up with a brilliant solution to feed some animals and recycle plastic at the same time.
If you live in the Middle East, surely you are accustomed to seeing plastic bottles lining city streets and even far-flung desert areas. While a tiny fraction of these might be recycled in some countries, most of them will languish for years in informal and formal landfills.
A new “eco-mosque” that seeks LEED silver certification has recently opened in Dubai. Designed to set an example for other mosques and local residents, the Port Saeed mosque can accommodate 3,500 worshippers.
Apart from a couple of monkeys from Iran, the Middle East has yet to send a serious mission to space. But Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, recently confirmed that this is about to change with news that the United Arab Emirates is planning to send a[.....]
The London Design Museum bestowed upon Zaha Hadid the prestigious Design of the Year award for this incredible Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan, and there’s nothing green about it. But it does reinterpret fluid Islamic design in some interesting ways, and it really is a work of pure genius.
Nearly half a decade after his famous Habitat ’67, architect Moshe Safdie is still going strong. Born in Israel, Safdie strives to incorporate sustainability in his firm’s designs, but Project Jewel may be his most flamboyant effort yet. Hit the jump to learn more about this interesting airport development in Singapore.
Here is a kind of happiness comes in the form of a treehouse you can take anywhere! Originally invented in 2010 by Alex Shirley-Smith, the first tentsile treehouse tent exploded on the internet to such an extent that Shirley-Smith hired a new designer to work on several prototypes in 2012. Kirk Kirchev came up with the current design, which can[.....]
Saudi Arabia is a desert country with no freshwater resources. Every day the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) produces more than three million cubic meters a day of potable water, which requires a great deal of precious energy, so every drop must be conserved. Cue NOMADD.
Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai will soon play host to the world’s largest shopping mall – the gargantuan Mall of the World. Comprised of 48 million square feet of over-the-top retail, residential, and even medical services, the covered pedestrian city is expected to attract some 180 million visitors a year. I shudder at the thought.
I get that a lot of people don’t have any experience growing food and that city people might not have garden space, but so called high tech gardening has gone one step too far with Click & Grow’s exorbitantly expensive “smart herb garden.”
The people of Siwa Oasis have been growing dates for 3,000 years. And while they cultivate many varieties, three that are native to the desert community are close to extinction. Don’t worry too much, though, because the Siwa Community Development Environmental Conservation (SCDEC) group is working to save them.
The team behind Living Green just won $20,000 to further develop LivingBox, an off-grid, modular system of growing food in urban spaces – without soil!
So much disturbing news from Israel and Palestine in the last two weeks has left me completely exasperated, and I’m sure our readers can relate. Thankfully NPR gives us a brief respite with this great story of a Nader Khalili-styled dome home that a young Palestinian firm recently completed in Jericho.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a story pops up about donkeys in Turkey that carry solar panels so that shepherds, who are often out in the field alone for days at a time, have enough energy to power their laptops.
Green walls and rooftop gardens are great, but keeping them healthy in the Middle East and North Africa can be challenging. Green Studios, whose work in Lebanon we’ve featured once before, has an answer with their patented technology that ensures plants can flourish despite the extraordinary heat in our region.
At least 124,000 people were killed in the bloody eight month Gallipoli Campaign. Also called the Dardanelles Campaign, it was considered to be the Ottomans’ final push against the Allied forces. ONZ Architects and friends commemorate this collective wound with a breathtaking series of sunken trails on the Gallipoli peninsula.
Until the girls were abducted, I didn’t know much about Burkina Faso. And I didn’t think I wanted to know more until I stumbled upon Tiébélé, a village full of the most elaborately-painted earthen homes and mausoleums. Rita Willaert has a treasure trove of images on her flickr page. Hit the jump to see just a[.....]
Mashjar Juthour is a living museum of what little wild fauna and flora still exist in Area C, a portion of Palestinian territory controlled by Israel, but it’s struggling to get by. Aiming to create a sacred green space for the Palestinian people and supporters, a place to heal and regenerate, its founders humbly ask for our help.
Magnetic levitation technology enthusiasts around the world are waiting to see what will happen in Israel, where skyTran has teamed up with Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI) to prove the viability of their Hover Car personal rapid transit (PRT) system. The levitating sky cars will be tested in Lod, a run-down industrial city south of Tel Aviv.
Imagine you’re at an old taxidermy museum and you go out back and find one of their broken ducks in the trash. You see it and you say “hey, that would make a great lamp!” People might think you’re weird. But Sebastian Errazuriz doesn’t really care. He found such a thing and now it makes light where it once made sound.
Despite the turbulence tearing through the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have solidified their commitment to clean energy with the newly formed Framework Agreement on Strategic Cooperation between Masdar and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE.) It’s leadership we desperately need.
Some projects that cross my desk are blatantly not as “green” as their investors want us to believe, yet have many redeeming qualities. Take Al Hamra Real Estate’s breakout mega-development, Falcon Island. It’s slated for construction in Ras-al-Khaimah, the emirate north of Dubai, and it’s going gangbusters with solar energy.
Tesla’s Elon Musk has made serious inroads to implement widespread use of electric vehicles, but he’s also got a hand in one of the most important solar energy deals of the century. Last week SolarCity purchased Silevo in New York in order to significantly scale up production of super efficient, high quality solar panels.
Researchers from Duke University in the United States warned that planet Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction event comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
What’s the best way to get a nation of increasingly obese residents to embrace a healthier life? Host a World Cup and build a bunch of awesome sports clubs. Having secured 2022, the Qatar Olympic Committee has now commissioned Grimshaw Architects to install green recreational facilities throughout the emirate.
In the middle of the summer with no shade, the Sahelian region of Mali is hot. Blistering hot. So how did F8 Architecture build an A/C-free orphanage 50km south of Bamako without endangering the children? It’s all in the design.
Starbucks recently announced a plan to rollout access to wireless charging technology developed by Israel’s Powermat — in all stores across the United States.
As part of an effort to rescue certain Israeli cities from urban decay, the Ayalim Association has built a series of ‘student villages’ throughout the country. The latest in the hard-scrabble city of Lod, not far from Israel’s interntional airport, has been constructed out of recycled shipping containers, and will be inaugurated on 8 July, 2014.