Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road.
Turkish design practice Designnobis has produced an interesting concept for a pop-up shelter, dubbed Tentative, that features a fiberglass roof and floor, and tent-like weather-resistant fabric walls. Though still in the early stages of development and thus lacking in some hard details, the compact shelter shows promise thanks to its dramatically decreased size when in transportation.
Nissan has joined forces with British architecture firm Foster + Partners to design a new generation of fuel station that takes into account the continued growth of electric vehicles. At the moment it's all very mysterious, and both firms remain tight-lipped as to what they have planned.
Solar-powered homes, cars, and planes are all well and good, but decades of research in the field have finally resulted in something really useful: the IrresistiCat solar-powered cat toy. It's a simple device, featuring a ball that's propelled around a circular enclosure when enough juice has been received from its solar panel.
Though we appreciate shipping container-based architecture when it's done right, the ubiquitous metal boxes don't seem a good basis for a skyscraper. Still, the dream of a container tower refuses to die, and international firm Ganti and Associates Design has taken a crack at designing a structurally viable and sustainable container skyscraper for the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India.
If you're an outdoorsy type then you probably already know how handy a water disinfectant system can be in the right circumstances – because who wants to lug large quantities of water around if they don't need to? Tortoise Gear has designed a prototype drink reservoir named Sol Water that's claimed to remove the vast majority of bacteria and viruses using the power of the sun.
Good ideas tend to stand the test of time and the yurt is no exception, hence the number of modern options on the market. Aurora, Colorado-based Freedom Yurt-Cabins offers its own updated take on the nomadic dwelling, with improvements including energy-efficient windows, a proper front door, and modern insulation. It's available in a number of sizes, with the smallest 217 sq ft (20 sq m) model starting at just under US$12,000.
Here's some interesting – though unlikely to be realized – food-for-thought from Shenzhen, China-based CRG Architects. The firm envisions constructing a pair of shipping container-based skyscrapers in one of the world's largest slums: Dharavi, Mumbai, India.
Back in 2011, we reported on BIG's Amager Bakke project: a waste-to-power station near Copenhagen billed as "the world's cleanest power plant." It should certainly be the world's most fun, as it's due to get a ski slope and an art installation which expels a steam ring each time a ton of carbon dioxide is released. The Danish firm recently turned to Kickstarter to fund development of the steam ring generator.
Honolulu, Hawaii-based firm Elevate recently unveiled an eponymous prototype structure that could appeal to fans of tiny houses and treehouses alike. Raised between 8 - 12 ft (2.4 - 3.6 m) on a wooden pedestal, the greenery-covered dwelling features a partially shaded space to park a car underneath, and boasts solar panels and a rainwater collection system.
Bratislava, Slovakia-based Nice Architects made quite a splash when it unveiled its Ecocapsule micro-shelter back in May, even though all we had to go on at the time were some interesting renders. In the months since, the firm has turned pixels into prototype product, and hopes to start shipping its novel egg-shaped tiny home in early 2016.