A belt made of tin. A hat made of cardboard. A dress made of newspaper with DVD and CD accents. These were some of many designs showcased during Qatar’s “long” celebration of World Environment Day starting in May continuing until after World Environment Day on June 5.
A US developer recently approached Barcelona City Hall with plans to build a soaring Dubai-style “Space Hotel” complete with a zero gravity spa, but the city mayor rejected the concept on the grounds that it would create too much of a “spectacle.”
It was only a matter of time: the 3D printing revolution has officially arrived in Lebanon, where artists, architects, and designers are eager to keep pace with Europe and the United States. French Architect Guillaume Crédoz has founded the region’s first 3D printing shop in the Mar Mikhayel neighborhood of Beirut, a bustling hive of [...]
Ever wonder what an Arabian lighthouse looks like? Mariners approaching the Red Sea harbor at Thuwal, about one hour north of sprawling Mecca, Saudi Arabia are now guided to shore by a soaring new honeycomb lighthouse designed by the Australian firm Urban Art Projects. Commissioned by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), [...]
We have to admit that this isn’t anything particularly “green” about this see-saw, but it does harvest the movement of people to make music. And that’s just downright cool. A temporary installation designed for last year’s Marrakech Biennale, The Rise and Fall blends architecture and art to question how people occupy spaces and how those spaces [...]
Build a Better Rubber, They will Come? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will grant $100k to the inventor of the next generation condom. Condoms have been around for 400 years, with very little improvements over the last 50 years, according to Grand Challenges in Global Health, a research foundation established by the Bill and [...]
We are accustomed to writing about art and architecture that addresses environmental and social problems in the Middle East, but nothing as interesting as Larissa Sansour’s Nation Estate has crossed our desk before. Conceived in 2011 when Palestinian authorities appealed to the United Nations for nationhood status, the sci-fi short film and photographic series takes [...]
The Sea of Marmara is swamped with plastic pollution and other byproducts of our rampant consumerism, but according to ONZ Architects, the issue is “swept under the carpet” and most residents of Istanbul faced with continued development look the other way. The designers’ strategy to encourage a new awareness involves sweeping that carpet right back out [...]
While some designers spend time figuring out how to deal with today’s rampant problems: urban density, water shortages, lack of public transportation in many cities and other pressing concerns, the team behind MAKH Architects have concerned themselves with zombies. More specifically, they have devised a conceptual home for future residents who will roam the globe [...]
Three thousand years ago four stone lions guarded a temple in Iraq, but their work was short lived. The Assyrians invaded the city Nuzi and annihilated everything in sight, including the lions and other artifacts. One lion that remained almost intact now lives at University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, while fragments of [...]
Concerned to reconnect hands and minds and make a worthwhile environmental impact, a few women from Saudi Arabia are crocheting recycled plastic bags into colorful bean bags and other quality crafts. The founder of Ateeq, which is Arabic for vintage, Diane Rayyan teamed up with crochet master Ishrat Khawja to hold a two day “trocheting” [...]
Just when we thought that urban cycling had reached its zenith, Israeli designer Udi Rimon essentially rendered Tel Aviv’s cars redundant with his design of Tel-O-Porter – a genius bike trailer that connects to the city’s shared Tel-O-Fun bicycles. Made of aluminum tubes and stainless steel mesh, the trailer doubles as a hand held cart and [...]
This is the fourth time that the Biomimicry 3.8 institute is staging their international design competition and this year they are inviting students to submit water management solutions that take inspiration from nature. Biomimicry is not a well known design strategy in the Middle East, though it is possible to learn what camels and scorpions [...]
Farshid Moussavi’s inaugural project in the United States, the sharp Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification if it performs as designed. Born in Iran but currently based in London, Moussavi recently split up with her former work and life partner and beat out a lot of competition to win the [...]
An engineering student used LEGO to help restore an ancient Egyptian mummy case at Cambridge University. The 10th Century BC Hor Mummy case excavated in 1896 from a Luxor temple had been languishing in a museum basement for the last fifty years. Its face had been torn to pull out the mummy it previously encased, [...]
Sarine Zaken is the world’s first designer to incorporate living bacteria into clothing and jewelry that people can actually wear! A third year student at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, the young Israeli fantasized about incorporating something alive into her final project. While that may seem a bit creepy at first, a chance encounter led her to [...]
We used to think of Beirut as a brown, concrete city lacking color and green space, but the Dihzahyners are challenging such dreary labels by painting the city white, pink, purple, green, orange and every other color of the rainbow. A collective of artists and designers armed with buckets of paint (non-toxic, we hope?) and [...]
Kuwait is making its debut at the 13th Venice Biennale this year, and they’re doing so with some serious style. The pavilion features a cavernous industrial space interrupted with dangling speakers, orange cushions and abandoned master plans, and it was commissioned by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCAA). Unlike many of the [...]
A giant revolving crystal ball provides a glimpse of Qatar’s 2022 world cup ambitions, which aren’t looking so sustainable after all. Apriori Communications commissioned Vedran Pedišić (SANGRAD) and Erick Velasco Farerra (AVP-arhitekti) to design a technologically-advanced spherical structure that will play host to a new FIFA soccer museum.
Icelandic artist Elín Hansdóttir has combined mud and mirrors in this unusual interactive eco-art exhibit for Morocco. Designed as part of the Marrakech Biennale earlier this year, the earthy installation features pillars of mud and straw organized into a spiral design that is then fronted with mirrors that reflect the exhibit itself and the surroundings.
Developing a new ecosystem for multi-disciplinary design? Will this need high-end design hub earmark space for sustainable design? If you think Ikea has got the top modern décor, you should check out some of Dror Benshetrit’s designs for products, interiors, architecture, art installations. The studio named after the innovator will be relocated to SoHo this [...]
German/Iranian designer Siba Sahabi has handcrafted Istanbul Twilight – a series of sophisticated felt candlesticks that mimic the city’s skyline at dusk and dawn. A self-described poetic designer, Sahabi coils long strips of moody-colored felt that resemble the facades of Istanbul’s historic buildings during moments of low light, and tops them with different sized candles.
It gets so hot in Israel that safari animals are fed funky popsicles, so we were surprised to learn that the country’s most successful soccer team wears uniforms made out of 13 recycled plastic bottles! But it’s true. And even though the majority of Israelis are probably more passionate about soccer than they are about [...]
If you ever wondered how the coffee machine works or how your iPhone responds to touch, then littleBits are for you. Lebanese designer Ayah Bdeir has recently received an additional $3.5 USD million in venture capital to scale up a hugely popular new line of toys that makes building electronic circuits as easy as fixing [...]
Nothing escapes the watchful eye of Manar Moursi, the brains and the heart behind Studio Meem. You’ll recall that she recently displayed her sassy Off the Gireed furniture line at the Design is a Verb exhibition at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Arts Center and continues to work with local artisans to produce unique, sustainable products that also celebrate Egypt’s cultural [...]
My nephews are fortunate. They live on a verdant property called Hungrytown Hollow among enormous trees and bucolic rolling hills outside Charlottesville, Virginia. In the summertime the two boys splash around in a lake near their property and go on long hikes with their father. They chase chickens and plant seeds and are called upon to help [...]
After six years of failing to negotiate with them, a Catalan designer is going public with a story that could cause Qatar tremendous embarrassment in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup. A member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and bound by the Paris Convention and the TRIPS [...]
Space comes at a premium these days, but could you live in a house that is only four feet wide? Israeli writer Etgar Keret commissioned Jakub Szczęsny from Centrala to build a tiny house between the crack of two buildings in Poland. Designed more as an artistic platform for intellectual engagement than a serious dwelling, [...]
It only costs Izhar Gafni 9-12 USD to produce this sleek, waterproof and roadworthy cardboard bike. At the behest of his wife (who was tired of Gafni’s talk without action), the Israeli Kibbutznik developed an earth-friendly alternative for urban cyclists that is “so cheap it’s not worth stealing.” Like most innovators, Gafni defied the naysayers [...]
Izhar Gafni makes a bike from cardboard for $9. Engineers told Izhar Gafni that a cardboard bike was impossible. But he went ahead and made one anyway. An ardent cyclist and skilled mechanic, Gafni found a cardboard bicycle taking shape in his mind. American engineers he consulted solemnly nay-sayed, but he couldn’t let go of [...]
We are in the midst of a global obsession with LEGO building blocks. No longer strictly a childhood toy, these colorful plastic blocks designed by Denmark’s Kristiansen family in the 1930s are popping up everywhere: corporations are building the tallest this and that in order to market their products and artists are using them to [...]
This venue offers dining that’s head and shoulders above the rest, literally. Dinner in the Sky is a self-contained “restaurant” comprised of tables, seats and kitchen on a platform that’s lifted skywards by a construction crane. Restaurant lifespan is fleeting, usually commissioned as part of a special promotion or business event. The system has also [...]
Israeli designer Omer Inbar is selling Bug Lights - a series of desk lamps that look like insects. Decidedly minimalist and definitely unique, each product comes with a choice of several different kinds of 25 W bulbs that emit a soft glow, along with a 1 meter long cable and a bug light ID postcard.
When commissioned to transform Izmir’s Orfi furniture store into an inspiring and atmospheric new space, Turkish designer Nail Egemen Yerce was presented with three concepts that needed to be incorporated: the garden, the plaza and the street. The existing office was endowed with an incredible excess of daylight, which needed to be diffused without shutting out [...]
There’s just one week left to win a beautiful organic cotton dress from MuMu Organic and help Green Prophet get to 6,000 likes on Facebook. We have a ways to go, so we definitely need your help. Here are three easy steps you need to take to stand a chance to win the dress of [...]
I used to be a wine barrel… and now I’m a chess board. Wine companies worldwide may be trying to ‘go green’ by producing organic wines (the wineries of the Middle East being no exception), but even so there is non eco-friendly waste associated with making vino. A winery in the Israeli Negev desert has [...]
Beirut-based Nadim Inaty designed the Green Wheel – a zany exercise machine concept that harvests kinetic energy and converts it into electricity. Comprised of a single unit complete with a bench and patches of real grass, the green wheel features three different levels for runners of varying strengths and produces roughly enough energy in 30 [...]
Following a spate of tire burning protests in Beirut that choke the city’s skies and people, Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri staged a colorful protest. The creative duo behind Bokja Design Studio treated more than a dozen tires with the same reverence as their antique and vintage furniture pieces by wrapping them in opulent textiles [...]
Guy Lougashi makes incredible sculptures entirely out of either colored or transparent tape. Eschewing the hardening or drying phase of many sculptural materials such as clay or paper pulp, the artist claims that tape is an incredibly versatile material that forms an excellent foundation for other design projects. And now it’s possible to glean some [...]
Renowned French designer Sandrine Dole wanted to find a way to recycle piles of rubber lying around Marrakech while simultaneously elevating the local community and its numerous cottage industries. Some of the main design challenges included separating the piles of dirty rubber from other waste and then turning them into something not only beautiful but [...]