Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Sustainable

The concept is the work of Los Angeles-based design studio M-Rad (Image: M-Rad)

An ambitious new concept by Los Angeles-based design studio M-Rad envisions shipping container-based structures, sustainable technology, and extreme sports coming together in one place.  Read More

The Clara ukulele from Blackbird Guitars

The stork flew over San Francisco today and delivered a new baby to the workshop of Blackbird Guitars. Unlike its stablemates, such as the gorgeous Rider, the Clara concert-level ukulele is not made from carbon fiber. It's made from a newly-developed sustainable material called Ekoa, which is said to give the instrument the strength and durability of the company's usual material of choice and the tone of vintage wood.  Read More

Le Tronc Creux, which means 'The Hollow Trunk,' is a low impact shelter which sleeps nine ...

French design studio Bruit du Frigo has drawn inspiration from fallen down tree trunks, which often provide shelter for small animals, to create an eco-shelter for humans in the forests of Bordeaux. Dubbed Le Tronc Creux, which means "The Hollow Trunk," the low impact shelter is roughly the same size as a shipping container and can easily be transported by truck to different locations when required.  Read More

The NOMAD Micro Home measures just 100 sq ft (9.2 sq m)

Canadian company NOMAD Homes has produced a new concept micro-home that measures just 100 sq ft (9.2 sq m), ships as a flat-pack, can operate off-grid, and is said to be easy-to-build. The firm has turned to Indiegogo to raise funds for manufacturing, and eventually intends to sell the base version of the home for under US$25,000.  Read More

Gizmag presents a look at five of our favorite passively-cooled homes

Home air-conditioning offers near-instant relief from hot weather but is both expensive and resource-heavy to run. Gizmag picks five of our current favorite passively-cooled homes that are environmentally responsible to keep comfortably cool, and – perhaps just as importantly – very desirable to live in.  Read More

The winning house, LISI, by the Vienna University of Technology features a lace-like UV cu...

Team Austria (Vienna University of Technology) has been announced the overall winner of Solar Decathlon 2013 after the closest competition in the history of the event. Second place went to University of Nevada Las Vegas, with the Czech Technical University achieving third place overall.  Read More

The Tree Snake House snakes it way through the tree tops

Tree Snake Houses by RA Architectural and Design Studio is the latest in a long line of innovative treehouses that we've covered at Gizmag. Located at the Pedras Salgadas Spa and Nature Park in the north of Portugal, the pair of houses snake their way through the tree tops, offering simple and private accommodation.  Read More

Swedish architectural firm Tengbom has come up with an accommodation model that squeezes s...

Swedish architectural firm Tengbom has come up with a creative new accommodation model that squeezes student living into a compact 10 sq m footprint. The Smart Student Unit aims to offer an inexpensive and sustainable housing choice for students in Sweden that could reduce the current residency rents by half.  Read More

Energy Box was completed earlier this year (Photo: Pierluigi Bonomo)

Following the earthquake which struck L'Aquila, Italy, on April 6 2009, Pierluigi Bonomo was tasked with building a replacement home for a family. The architect produced a three floor property, dubbed Energy Box, which features an unusual wooden box-like design, and energy-reducing technologies including passive ventilation, and photovoltaic panels.  Read More

Pump House, by Branch Studio Architects, was completed this May (Photo: Branch Studio Arch...

It's an obvious point, but it's easy to forget that the most appealing homes don't have to be the most expensive or imposing. We're reminded of this yet again by Pump House – a basic but idyllic weekend retreat designed by Australian firm Branch Studio Architects (BSA). It was built with a modest budget, and boasts the advantage of operating off-the-grid.  Read More

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