An unnamed client hired London-based Baharash Architecture to design a luxury home that could fully function off the energy grid. That’s a tall order for any residence in Abu Dhabi, now consider the challenges for one sited in the punishing clime of the hyper-arid Liwa Desert where summer temperatures top 100°F. The star-shaped structure is modestly[.....]
Want to take camping to a higher level? Tentsile, a UK company has developed a novel treehouse tent that is bound to attract attention. Slung between three trees, and hanging a yard or two off the ground, this two-person tent feels like something between a shelter, a hammock, and a fine solution for smuggling chocolate[.....]
You’ve got open eyes. You’ve read the reports, like this one from the WWF on how polluting we’ve become. Yet we can’t get enough of consuming stuff on planet earth. Pick up the New York Times and see an editorial running on watch ads. Fancy, crazy expensive watches for elite people, not this planet in peril.[.....]
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[.....]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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[.....]
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.
We don’t mean to pick on any one firm here, but a string of repetitive competition proposals has culminated most recently in the Central Bank of Libya design for Tripoli by Henning Larsen Architects. Although they and other foreign foreign firms are making an effort to be culturally relevant, how many desert-like “flowing facades” do we need?
Masdar is taking decisive steps to build Masdar City’s first private homes. Adding to existing and planned educational, retail and business facilities just outside of Abu Dhabi, the 500 new houses promise to be “super sustainable” and ready within the next two years.
Qatar plans to spend roughly $200 billion to prepare for the hundreds of thousands of fans who are expected to show up for the 2022 World Cup – a sum that appears to be four stadiums more than the Emirate can afford.
An invention that 3D prints buildings using sand as a raw material? We knew that someone would put Markus Keyser’s amazing solar sinter tool to good use! This conceptual tower featured above and conceived by a team of Chinese designers imagines a cluster of towers made of sand that are constructed with a solar-powered 3D-printer.
Square footage comes at a premium in Tel Aviv, as it does in New York and many other global cities, so designers Raanan Stern and Shany Tal are particularly well adept at making the most of what they have. But the team have turned space management into an art form with this this tiny artist[.....]
Masdar City is starting to shape up with a roster of new buildings. Siemens recently completed their LEED Platinum headquarters, the new IRENA headquarters is in progress, and GE just opened their first Ecomagination Center in the city’s first commercial building – the Incubator Building.
Iran offers some of the world’s most epic rock climbing, but only a small handful of hard core international rock climbers have tested their courage and skill on its beautiful rock faces. Meanwhile, the less intrepid among us might settle for this awesome climbing gym designed for the Irianian village of Polur by New Wave[.....]
When the Middle East eco-city developers from Masdar approached David Ardill, Partner and Design Director at Sheppard Robson, to design Siemens’ new corporate headquarters at Masdar City, the architect said it was the most challenging brief he had ever encountered. Green Prophet visited the building this week for an exclusive tour.
Remember how exciting it was when we first saw pictures of Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates. Masdar is the futuristic terra-cotta curvy buildings designed by Foster & Partners? Well, the same design team is behind the United Arab Emirate’s solar-powered 2015 Milan Expo Pavilion and it features a host of groundbreaking technology.
We love Etsy as much as anyone, but we also feel it is our duty to support local efforts to collate cool design, handmade arts and crafts. CIRQY from Egypt does just that.
Residents of Abu Dhabi might be familiar with buildings made from palm leaves and earth, but cardboard? Legendary Japanese architect Shigeru Ban built Design Souq – a mobile, recyclable pavilion made entirely out of cardboard that is every bit as sturdy as brick or stone.
What’s it like to live on a boat? In such cramped spaces and always subject to nature’s whim, otherwise reasonable people can go mad if they don’t get cooperate. Acrojou explores the idea through a fascinating theatrical circus genre that is trending – even in Lebanon.
Israeli designer Omer Polak has designed an adorable wearable vase that keeps a flower or herbs close to the wearer’s chest. The Boutonnière is a lapel pin made from blown glass attached to clothing via a small brass pin.
A consortium of Japanese architects got together to protest Zaha Hadid’s winning design for the main stadium of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and despite all her fame and glory, the Japanese government listened.
So many countries in the Middle East and North Africa rely way too much on concrete for their building needs, but Libya Design bucks the trend with Doshma – a new creative hub built in part with a used shipping container.
Who isn’t in love with Moroccan decor – the amazing colors and designs that enliven any room? Well, Justina Blakeney certainly is. So much so, she decked out an entire AirBnB popup home in Los Angeles with decor from our favorite North African destination.
Meb Rure’s latest line of furniture is so bright, stylish and unique that it’s hard to believe they are made with almost all recycled materials.
We love everything about Sukkot, especially the philosophy and process behind the inspiring sukkah (booth) that Jews build during this week-long Autumnal holiday. But we’ve never seen one on the back of a tricycle.
Japan has won the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and Zaha Hadid has been picked to retrofit its National Stadium. First designed for the 1964 Summer Games, this new stadium boasts a few green credentials.
Israeli photographer Gabi Menashe loves outdated artifacts so much, he takes them apart, “one bolt, spring, button at a time,” and then artfully assembles the pieces for photographs published on his website Taking Apart.
Absurdly tall skyscrapers, overfishing and other environmental issues tarnish Dubai’s green image, but projects such as the new Reyoutilizer app at least makes recycling a bit easier.
Whereas most people would scarcely give a pile of old keys a second glance, the Vanina girls from Lebanon see in these disused materials new life as glittering jewelry.
Caravan Collective is a fresh new cycling apparel studio from Israel that fuses quirky graphic design with a passion for cycling, people, and the earth.
Dublin’s Heneghan Peng has designed a new museum for Palestine that is topped with a series of unfolding green terraces planted with vegetation that also grows in the surrounding hills.
The Dead Sea garnered international attention when photographer Spencer Tunick assembled a gang of naked nature enthusiasts for a controversial photo shoot, but the momentum has since died down. Paris-based Sitbon Architectes attempts to re-galvanize our attention with their award-winning design Cristal – The Dead Sea Gem.
The same Italian design firm that designed a fleet of eco-schools for Gaza has won an international competition to design the headquarters of Algeria’s telecommunications firm ARPT (Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et des Télécommunications).
Zaha Hadid’s flowing architecture instantly sprung to mind when we came across Zaid Bin Talib’s design proposal for an Iraqi embassy in Oslo. Daring, futuristic, and swooping, the design appears to be influenced by Iraq’s most famous architect’s style, except the Oslo School of Architecture and Design student’s work is so much greener.
When news of a $10 bicycle made of recycled cardboard first reached our desk, we didn’t think it would ever see the light of day, but in two days, Cardboard Technologies has already raised a whopping $16,070 on its Indiegogo campaign to mass produce what Popular Science Magazine called one of the best inventions of 2013.
Orlando De Urrutia has designed what he says is the world’s first building to get its water from the air. Called the Water Building Resort and powered by a facade of building integrated photovoltaics, the mixed-use structure designed for Dubai is shaped to resemble a water drop.
If you are a designer eager to find more sustainable material choices for your creative inventions, you might want to hit the BioCouture workshop during Beirut Design Week.
The ongoing Syrian conflict has put refugees at their highest number since 1994 – a terrible year for the people of Rwanda and Yugoslavia; this year – in time for World Refugee Day – IKEA and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) have unveiled a solar-powered home.
World Environment Day festivities came to a close on Friday, June 7 in Qatar as participants in the celebration’s green competitions were crowned winners. The message of the celebration is to save resources for future generations, an important message for the emirate hooked on natural gas and cheap non-renewable resources.
Diamond Developers selected Baharash Architecture to plan the second of four phases of Dubai Sustainable City – a 46 hectare, 500 villa eco-development slated for construction at the junction of Al Qudra and Emirates Roads in Dubai.
Tall glass buildings have come to dominate the Dubai and Abu Dhabi skylines, which makes absolutely zero sense given that summer temperatures consistently burst their seams in the region. But now the UAE has imported NASA-developed transparent panels that deflect heat back into the atmosphere.
Thinking and living in tune with nature is a way of life that is best started as early as possible, which is why we think there ought to be more schools like The Green School in Kfar Saba, Israel.
Qatar’s controversial 2022 World Cup planning got a burst of star power when renowned Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who was one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people in 2010, was appointed to join AECOM to design the Al Wakrah Stadium.
Cigarette butts are gross – whether they drift onto beaches, pollute our waterways, or endanger wildlife. But many cities in the Middle East, where smoking remains common, neglect to provide outlets for residents to discard their stinky stubs. That’s why three Lebanese electrical engineering students designed Urbin – a sleek disposal unit.
Oman is a small nation bordering Abu Dhabi on the Arabian peninsula; it has a long coastline and one of the largest populations of endangered Loggerhead turtles on earth. It also subsidizes energy and water, essentially arresting any kind of sustainable development. There’s no incentive to conserve something that comes for free – until now.