Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Wood

The shelter sits in the mountains of Bergen, Norway (Photo: Gunnar Sørås)

The result of a design-build workshop at Bergen's School of Architecture that was headed by OPA Form's Espen Folgerø, the Tubakuba (or Tuba Cube) Mountain Hub is available to anyone to use for one night, for free, but is particularly aimed at families with young kids, in a bid to instill a sense of appreciation for nature in the little ones. It's accessed by a small tunnel that brings to mind something from a fairytale.  Read More

Burr Burton Academy Mountain Campus, by Bensonwood, won the Regional Excellence category o...

WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council – a body that strives to promote the benefits of building with wood – recently announced the 16 winners of its 2015 Wood Design Awards. The event offers an opportunity to judge the current state of new and recently-built wooden buildings in the United States.  Read More

An item made from the agave bagasse/plastic composite

When the sap from plants such as sugar cane is extracted for commercial use, what's left over is a fibrous material known as bagasse. This is commonly used as biofuel, or is compressed into a wood substitute. Now, Mexican startup Plastinova is using agave bagasse from the tequila industry to make a wood-like material of its own, although it's also incorporating recycled plastic.  Read More

The ZumZum balance bike assists children in learning bike balance and handling

Among the many bicycle designs we look at here at Gizmag, we see a fair number of balance bikes, including the multifunctional LittleBig Bike. We've even seen a wooden one or two, but we've never seen a balance bike quite like the ZumZum, which is built around a curved wooden frame that serves as its own suspension system.  Read More

A microscope image of CNF fibers made via the new process (Image: Edinburgh Napier Univers...

While we hear a lot about the wonders of materials like graphene and carbon nanotubes, nanofibrillated cellulose (aka: Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF) also shows a lot of promise. A type of "nanocellulose", it can be used to produce composite materials that are strong, light, electrically-conductive and oxygen-impervious. Additionally, it uses an existing waste product as its feedstock. Unfortunately its production process is fairly energy-intensive, limiting its widespread use. Thanks to a new technique, however, that may soon no longer be the case.  Read More

Haus Hohlen has had a new building 'envelope' built around it

When houses are extended, it's generally the case that an additional section is simply added on to one part of the building. A house in Austria, however, has had an entirely new exterior built around it. The existing building of Haus Hohlen is now part of the house's interior.  Read More

Sawdust can be converted into a fuel additive – among other things – using a new chemical ...

This is science at its best: Decades ago, the only practical use for sawdust was to soak up vomit, but thanks to scientists at a Belgian university who developed a new chemical process, that same sawdust could soon be used to create gasoline and other products normally derived from petroleum.  Read More

The new technique has been tested on artifacts recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose (...

In 1545 Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose sank suddenly under mysterious circumstances. In 1982, the rediscovered ship was raised to the surface in a remarkable feat of underwater archaeology that sparked decades of heroic preservation work. Now a team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge is working with the Mary Rose Trust conservation team to test a new way of conserving waterlogged wood in order to preserve the great ship and her cargo of history for later generations.  Read More

Cambodia's Sleuk Rith Institute will be Hadid's  first large-scale wooden project (Image: ...

Zaha Hadid is best known for producing flowing structures made from modern materials like concrete, but the Iraqi-British architect has unveiled her first large-scale wooden project. If the end result lives up to the promise shown by the early renders Hadid's office has made available to the press, Cambodia's Sleuk Rith Institute may well end up being rated amongst the architect's finest work to date.  Read More

The Ikea Regissör bookshelf

Were you one of those kids who bought the snap-together model kits, instead of the usual ones that required glue? Well, even if you weren't, you'll likely be glad to hear this – Ikea is planning to start selling furniture that requires no tools to put together.  Read More

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