Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Wood

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

Gizmag takes one last look at the Moto X: a groundbreaking phone we may or may not see mor...

This week Google shocked the tech world by announcing that it was selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo. While that raises lots of questions about future Motorola phones, it doesn't take anything away from the company's current flagship, made entirely under Google ownership. Read on, as we use our first hands-on with the wood-backed version as an excuse to revisit the terrific Moto X.  Read More

ModCubes can be reconfigured to form different pieces of furniture, such as this crib/cupb...

Modular furniture – that is, furniture than can be adapted to suit changing needs – is becoming an increasingly common concept. One company has gone right back to basics, and designed building blocks for an extensive range of modular furniture. These building blocks are called ModCubes, and when combined together they form pieces of furniture known as ModRoomz. The word LEGO is nowhere to be seen, but the Danish toy company deserves at least a small nod of appreciation.  Read More

The 2014 Lincoln MKX will incorporate Cellulose Reinforced Polypropylene in its center con...

Usually when you hear about wood being used in a car's interior, it's a fancy solid hardwood used to class up the dashboard. On Ford's 2014 Lincoln MKX, however, a relatively new wood-based composite material will be used in place of heavier, less eco-friendly fiberglass.  Read More

The Sandwichbike ships in Europe from December 1

Since the unveiling of the first Sandwichbike prototype in 2006, it's been a long road to commercial production for its Dutch designer Basten Leijh. The wood-framed bike is due to officially launch in Amsterdam on Sunday, and will be available for shipping thereafter.  Read More

The Spruce Stove in use, prior to being closed around the log

I speak from experience when I say that it's actually fun to go into the woods, saw up fallen trees, then bring the wood home to burn over the winter. What isn't so much fun is subsequently sawing the logs into stove-length pieces. With the Spruce Stove, however, you don't have to – you just continuously feed one long log in as it burns, sort of like feeding a pencil into a pencil sharpener.  Read More

The Nomadic Chair from Jorge Penadés is built for portability rather than comfort

Spanish designer Jorge Penadés believes that our idea of what makes a piece of furniture a luxury item has now changed. In a press release, he explains how luxury is "not anymore a matter of comfort." Instead it's being able to "decide where you want to have a moment of peace, a chance to escape from hectic activity of contemporary lifestyles." This philosophy is in plain view with his Nomadic Chair, which sees comfort reduced to a minimum to increase its portability.  Read More

Rubber Band Machine Gun

With its Rubber Band Machine Gun, or RBmG for short, XYZbot hopes to bring a new level of firepower to living room warfare. The wooden, battery-powered gatling gun is capable of unleashing devastation at a rate of 800 rounds (well, rubber bands) per minute and, should its crowd funding campaign prove successful, it'll ship as a build-it-yourself kit you can put together in half an hour.  Read More

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