Photokina 2014 highlights

Australia

The Illawarra Flame house was created by students from the University of Wollongong

A group of students from the University of Wollongong took a typical Australian "fibro house," and retrofitted it with technology which includes solar panels, climate control, and an energy monitoring system. The end result, dubbed Illawarra Flame, is a net-zero home which offers a potential starting point for transforming many similar properties into low-energy dwellings.  Read More

Patient Zero: Melbourne (Photo: Vinnie Lum, PhotoLuminessence)

"There was a full team of farmyard animals came through, and they murdered everything they saw." Meet Dave Leadbetter and Drew Hobbs of IRL Shooter, an Australian company that's blurring the boundaries between video games, live action role playing and laser tag. In 2012 these guys launched Patient Zero, a story-driven real life zombie shooter game in an outer suburb of Melbourne. Gizmag caught up with the pair as they prepare to bring the show to Sydney and beyond in 2014. (Editor's note: contains strong language.)  Read More

The Nyngan solar PV plant will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere

With plenty of sun-drenched, wide open spaces, Australia is an obvious place for large-scale solar power plants. It would seem that large reserves of coal, oil and natural gas, have on the other hand made it difficult for the country to wean itself off fossil fuels. But renewable energy is getting a boost down-under with the announcement of two solar projects, one of which will be the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Southern Hemisphere.  Read More

The One Wybelenna home (Photo: Scott Burrows)

Located in Brisbane, Australia, One Wybelenna is a luxurious property designed to achieve a high level of sustainability – as evidenced by its turf roof which not only provides insulation but also serves as home for a local species of bird.  Read More

Crofthouse is located on the south coast of Victoria and offers its owners a simple and su...

Located on the south coast of Victoria, Australia, Crofthouse offers its owners a simple and sustainable home which blends into its natural environment while also capturing the vast coastal views.  Read More

The Warning Pattern suit is based on fish patterns that warn off attackers

Worldwide, around 100 people are attacked by sharks each year. The anxiety this produces isn't helped by the fact that traditional black wetsuits make divers and surfers look like seals, and it’s not a good idea to dress up as a shark’s favorite snack before going into the water. Australian company Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) is developing wetsuits designed to deter shark attacks rather than ring the dinner gong by using disruptive patterns that sharks have trouble seeing, or that make them think twice about attacking.  Read More

Jason Learmonth tells us about his bike, his gear, and the role of a motorcycle paramedic.

Jason Learmonth is a paramedic with a difference. Instead of an ambulance, he gets around town on a motorcycle that's kitted out with almost every piece of clinical equipment an ambulance carries. It's part of a trial that's putting two of these machines on the road in Melbourne, Australia, for three years to discover whether the bike's ability to get into hard-to-reach places and move through congested traffic is useful enough to make it a permanent part of the Ambulance service. I followed Jason around for an afternoon to capture some of his extraordinary working day in pictures.  Read More

Other Architects' concept for the Australian Prime Minister's official residence, called '...

The official residence of Australia's current Prime Minister (known as "The Lodge") was only ever intended to offer temporary accommodation when constructed back in 1925. To celebrate this year's Canberra centenary celebrations, the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design invited architects to produce a modern replacement for the venerable lodge. Sydney-based Other Architects duly produced its "A House That Floods" concept.  Read More

The Klik building system is designed for residential projects of all sizes (Image: Elenber...

With Klik, Australian companies Elenberg Fraser and Unitised Building have come up with a prefabricated modular building system they claim is equally suited to knocking up a quick skyscraper as it is a modern, designer house. It makes sense, then, that the product is pitched at developers, architects and would-be homeowners, and that the multiple choice procurement procedure is identical for each. If you can tick a box, you can design a Klik building, more or less.  Read More

An artist’s impression of the gastric-brooding frog that was cloned by scientists working ...

Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The "Lazarus Project" team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog.  Read More

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