Photokina 2014 highlights

Wood

Ro-Ad Architects has designed a floating bridge at Ravelijn fortress

You could be forgiven for expecting a bridge to rise above the water over which it is intended to span. A new bridge in the Netherlands, however, takes a different approach. The Ravelijn Bridge floats on top of the water, providing access to and from the Ravelijn fortress-island.  Read More

The Wall-Mounted Standing Desk (at left) offers a simple yet elegant solution to the probl...

We've seen lots of standing desks here at Gizmag, including cheap and cheerful cardboard efforts, expensive automatic affairs, and even one that turns any office chair into a temporary compromise. And now we have a standing desk that doubles as a piece of modern art.  Read More

Swedish design firm Love Hultén's R-Kaid-R is an elegant retro arcade that you can fold up...

The humble video game arcade may now be a shadow of what it once was, but Swedish design company Love Hultén's beautiful R-Kaid-R ensures that your nostalgia-filled gaming can be just as magical as your memories. It's a portable arcade system that comes with built-in support for MAME and a variety of console and computer systems – including Neo Geo, Atari 2600, Super Nintendo, and all of the point-and-click adventure games playable in ScummVM.  Read More

Fiber made from cellulose claimed to be as strong as steel

A team of researchers working at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology claim to have developed a way to make cellulose fibers stronger than steel on a strength-to-weight basis. In what is touted as a world first, the team from the institute's Wallenberg Wood Science Center claim that the new fiber could be used as a biodegradable replacement for many filament materials made today from imperishable substances such as fiberglass, plastic, and metal. And all this from a substance that requires only water, wood cellulose, and common table salt to create it.  Read More

Fender's Special Edition Reclaimed Wood guitars

No matter how good the tone of modern materials such as Flaxwood and Arium are claimed to be, some players will simply not entertain owning a guitar unless it's made from vintage wood. Fender has soft-launched a Special Edition series of guitars aimed at players looking for the distinct tone of old growth timber, while enjoying the benefits of modern features and hardware. The company has secured a limited amount of reclaimed wood from obscure locations in the US for an interesting take on its iconic Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars. The redwood model is made using wood from the 1930s, and the pine models timber dates back to 1868 ... and you don't get much more vintage than that.  Read More

The team behind Modos is looking to offer more durability than typical flat-packed furnitu...

Flatpack furniture may have played its part in saving removalists from a world of back pain, but there is only so many times that those cheap panels can be pulled apart and put back together. The team behind Modos is looking to offer more durable furnishings while taking this convenience a little further, with a modular furniture system that uses simple connectors and wooden boards to form everything from stools to media centers.  Read More

The 1/26 scale model ISS built by Pat Acton using 282,000 matchsticks and 8 gallons (30 L)...

During the construction of the International Space Station (ISS), material selection was critical given the extreme environment of space. Chances are that one of those materials up for consideration was not matchsticks. But for Pat Acton of Iowa, the idea of designing and building a complete scale model of the ISS out of matchsticks seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea.  Read More

Kingsgate House by Horden Cherry Lee Architects (Photo: Horden Cherry Lee)

Forget the "Shard," the "Walkie Talkie" and the "Cheese Grater," the real revolution in UK buildings is in timber construction, which saves on build time, carbon emissions and boasts energy efficiency. One new apartment block in Chelsea is calculated to use the same energy as a Smart car.  Read More

The Quiet Treehouse is currently installed at this year's Ideal Home Show in Earl's Court,...

Luxury treehouse manufacturer Blue Forest has teamed up with noise abatement specialist Quiet Mark and UK retailer John Lewis to produce the Quiet Treehouse. Constructed for this year's Ideal Home Show, the cosy retreat packed with noise-reduction technology and low-noise home appliances. Once the show is over, it will be installed in the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, West Sussex.  Read More

Samples of Fraunhofer's wood foam insulation

Insulating your home may help the environment by lowering your energy usage, but unfortunately the petroleum-based foam that's typically used as insulation isn't all that eco-friendly itself. Researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, however, have developed a reportedly greener alternative that they claim works just as well – it's foam made from wood.  Read More

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