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.
“Drones are the future of conservation,” said Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri when commenting on his team’s plan to use drones to monitor flocks of flamingos at the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in United Arab Emirates.
Thousands of folding glass panels cover the southern facade of the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi (above). Reacting to sunlight, they form a protective skin to decrease interior solar gain. It’s a modern riff on the best known element of Arabic architecture, in play since the Middle Ages. Meet the modern mashrabiya.
Picture what happens when the world’s only independent, chartered organization dedicated to achieving a sustainable world teams up with one of the oldest environmental engineering companies to underwrite an environmental photo contest. The eye-popping images of this year’s Atkins CIWEM “environmental photographer of the year” shortlist tell it all.
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.
Dream of fresh organic food? Have little land in your town or city but plenty of patience? There is a new city gardening movement called aquaponics or AP. The movement is creating missionaries, new converts and maybe even some gurus, but there are also real people doing it in backyards, parks, basements or a garage near[.....]
Ocean acidification has reached record levels, so the deep-pocketed Board of XPRIZE are at it again – using “incentivization” to spark technological breakthroughs to “benefit humanity”. They’re holding out a pair of $1 million carrots to tempt everyone to conjure up a better sensor to measure ocean acidification – a malady caused by our continual[.....]
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.
How green are Israeli cities, really? This question might be asked by many; especially in light of its largest city, Tel Aviv (see photo), becoming so polluted that a tiny electric vehicle rental program is being tried out in an effort to reduce air pollution. Ground water in Tel Aviv and other parts of the[.....]
A local Iranian activist group Tavana is reporting that 40 notorious hunters from Iran have publicly given up the hunt. The stunning display of “gun bashing” Middle East style was caught on TV.
Theo Jansen transforms plastic bottles and conduit into skeletal frames – complete with movable joints, wings, and bellies – that are able to walk powered only by wind.
Israel’s dubious meat industry gets more sickening: we’ve already covered exposes of poultry fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminants. Now it’s all about beef and how it’s frozen, treated laundry style and then resold as fresh.
Qatar Solar Energy has unveiled a massive factory that will produce high quality solar panels that make the most of the desert sun, a boon not just for the emirate, but potentially for the entire Middle East.
An important business community in Bnei Brak (Ramat Gan) outside of Tel Aviv has been made toxic by an asbestos fire that broke out last Wednesday. The asbestos fire, which ended up smouldering for days, took place in a one-story building with an asbestos roof that was used to store tires, clothing and electric bicycles.
Listen up class. There’s a mind-blowing biological anomaly called bilateral gynandromorphism, a condition where an animal or insect contains both male and female characteristics, evenly split smack down the middle. The end result is a creature that is literally half male and half female. It’s rare and most frequently spotted in birds, insects and crustaceans.
BITBOX will launch the Middle East’s first bitcoin ATM tomorrow evening local time in Tel Aviv. The specialized vending machine allows even novice bitcoin users to both purchase and sell bitcoins in a very secure manner.
The Castielfabib community of Valencia put on an especially exciting show during this year’s Las Fallas festival in Spain. An annual celebration that culminates on St. Joseph’s Day – (the patron saint of carpenters, of course), “The Fires” involves an entire community working together. And fire. Check out the geodesic dome that went up in flames.
In 1895, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed to build a space elevator that could reach from Earth into space; it never got off the ground, but in 1957 another Russian – Yuri Artsutanov – came up with a more plausible idea. It wasn’t built either, but now he has a chance to judge a team of Israeli students who are tackling the concept[.....]
Is there anything that communicates more effectively than music? It transcends language, with a power unmatched among the Fine Arts to cross boundaries, express and evoke emotion, and unite disparate people.
Food insecurity is daunting, particularly in cities. And while industrial vertical farming offers a solution, the absence of chickens and may and other signs of farm life casts suspicion on this method of tech-based food production. Plantagon aims to bridge that divide with a solution that can be implemented on just about any building, anywhere.
Today Redeyef, Tunisia, is quite a scene: it’s a decrepit French colonial houses are surrounded by mountains of black phosphate sand, radioactive water lakes and its inhabitants, the vast majority unemployed, walk around with yellowish brown toothy smiles.
Holoscenes is a public art and performance installation that is a visual response to climate change. It’s centered around three people-sized aquariums that flood and drain and re-flood using powerful hydraulics that move 12 tons of water per minute.
The world’s third largest producer of aluminum has teamed up with Israel’s Phinergy to produce a new battery that would make electric vehicles as cost effective as gas- or diesel-fueled vehicles and significantly extends vehicle range.
We’re accustomed to seeing food in bulk at souqs throughout the Middle East, but shoppers always leave with a legion of plastic bags to carry their goods. There is an alternative though, and Berlin’s first waste-free supermarket, the Original Unverpackt, shows how it’s done.
We’d love to tell you that the Middle East’s most famous contemporary architect is doing great green things for the region, but we can’t. Instead, Zaha Hadid’s latest project in Dubai, the Opus Hotel and Office Tower designed in collaboration with Meliá Hotels International, may well be among her most extravagant.
Sensational food production issues in Israel are covered by Green Prophet. These issues have included exposure of cruelty in the meat industry; frozen fish from China that are pumped with water and Chemicals, and meat being fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminants.
The blue and white painted ceramic jars stretch up to the ceiling. Marked with the traditional symbol of five crosses, each jar held a medicine ranging from honey to myrrh to the famous Jerusalem balsan. The jars came from the first pharmacy in Jerusalem founded by a Franciscan month in the 17th century. “When the[.....]
Erella Dunayevsky bats a red balloon at a little girl, who chases it giggling. It could be any grandmother and grandchild playing together. But in this case, not only are Dunayevsky and the little girl not related, but one is an Israeli and one is a Palestinian.
Shipping box homes make sense where containers are available and alternate resources scarce, but it’s still cheaper and less energy consuming to build a structure using traditional framing or concrete block. Jump onto “cargotecture” if you want to make an architectural statement. But if you want to build sustainably, aim small, use local materials, and insulate.
What if asphalt roads around the world were replaced with modular panels that generate energy during the day and light up at night? Our air would be cleaner and we would spend much less money on fossil fuels. Turns out, thanks in part to a compelling Indiegogo campaign, Solar Roadways may be coming to a highway near[.....]
Israeli start-up Sensibo is convinced it can uptick your air conditioner’s IQ. They’ve created a mobile app (with associated hardware) that allows you to control your air conditioner (AC) from anywhere.
Planking’s passé, horsemaning is history, and while selfies are thriving in Tunisia, a new photo trend has emerged with the winning combination of mashing the beauty of nature and people. “The Topless Tour” invites people everywhere to shed their shirts to “feel the freedom and share their beauty with the world”.
Studio Cheha’s Nir Chehanowski has designed an extraordinary flat LED lamp that looks three dimensional. Called Bulbing, the lamp is made of high quality materials and manufactured locally in Tel Aviv. It looks like a bulging three dimensional bulb, but actually it’s only 5mm thick and 100 percent flat. Studio Cheha uses a laser cutting process to cut out[.....]
Geotectura sent us images of their recently completed Porter School of Environmental Studies. The buiding was underwrit through a generous donation by Dame Shirley Porter of the UK. Construction broke ground in December, 2011 on what is being called Israel’s greenest building, and now it’s complete.
Shlomi Mir is one of Israel’s most visionary designers whose recent tumbleweed anti-desertification project earned him a Lexus Design Award alongside giants like Toyo Ito. But its his beautiful rechargeable LED bowl lamp that we are drooling over today – an elegant combination of art, design, tradition, technology and even spirituality.
Researchers now say in a revealing Nature paper that the most significant health threat from climate change has started to happen.
Lebanon is bracing for severe summer drought. As in nearby Jordan, longstanding water management problems are stressed to the breaking point following the driest year on record and a winter exacerbated by a massive influx of Syrian refugees.
Egypt’s ongoing energy issues, compounded by its current political and economic problems, appear to be going from bad to worse. This is especially so since its natural gas revenues were dramatically curtailed following numerous sabotage attacks on its Sinai gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan.
Summer’s coming – watch as its warm weather seduces us into abandoning green principles – flipping on the air conditioner (AC) for a fast blast of freeze. Is there a greener way to beat the heat? You bet, and going retro is the smartest way to up your coolness! Look below for this DIY project[.....]
Something’s bugging Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. So obsessed is the billionaire philanthropist that he’s dedicated the first week of May to raising awareness to the world’s deadliest creature – the mosquito.