Cabin in a Shipping Container 2.0

“Take an easy-to handle 20′ ISO container frame. Outfit it with folding walls and the best in Canadian design. “The result is as smart as it is efficient, suitable for a family of four and a pet to live off the grid in comfort and contemporary style. It travels by train, truck, ship, airplane or helicopter, folded up and indistinguishable from any ordinary shipping container. Once it arrives, it unfolds rapidly to 480sf of self-contained, sophisticated living space with all the comforts of home.” It is an exhibition piece rather than a real living space,-” Its main purpose is to raise awareness internationally of Canadian capabilities, not just for Canada’s sake, but for the sake of those who want to learn from us about how to live softly, smartly, and stylishly on this shared planet.” Nicely done.::Bark ATC “atc8.jpg

Posted: October 19th, 2006
at 7:06am

Categories: architecture,pre-fab,green arch,housing

Comments: No comments

Guess What

Some failed looks into what our ancestors thought the present would hold.

article from msnbc.msn

Posted: October 16th, 2006
at 5:35am

Categories: architecture,urban/master planning

Comments: 1 comment

New Green Houses. Just Add Water

Fab Tree Hab Exterior

A crew of architects/designers[/ninjas] from MIT have developed what they are calling ‘Fab Tree Hab’, a house that would grow from seed to sappling to green ninja abode [and in only 25 years!]. The design is intended to replace Habitat for Humanity, where houses for those in need could be grown on a regular basis, creating completely green/sustainable communities.


[Image: example of the growth of the structure]

Here is some info on the house:
1. Composed of 100% living nutrients
2. Makes effective contributions to the ecosystem
3. Accountable removal of human impacts
4. Circulate water & metabolic flows symbiotically
5. Achieves fitness with our earthen web of life


[Image: section through house]

While I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for one of these bad boys, much respect for the design team for coming up with a truly green housing solution. Humans are a part of nature; its only right that our architecture should be too.

Team Members, from MIT:

Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D.

Lara Greden, Ph.D.

Javier Arbana, SMArchS.

More info at archinode, inhabitat and vision.

Posted: October 13th, 2006
at 11:24am

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,pre-fab,green arch,housing

Comments: 2 comments

Loft Cubes

How would a temporary and minimalist house that satisfied people living semi-nomadic lifestyles for short times in big cities be designed. How could it offer a sanctuary as well as social structure? Where would you build these joints, my ninja?


The answer, in reference to the city of Berlin, postulates that such structures should be constructed with the confines of existing architecture. The flat roofs of the post-war city and its suburbs are an undiscovered treasure of grand characteristics.

(loosely) translated from Plataforma Arquitectura
Check out the loft cube.

Posted: October 12th, 2006
at 7:45am

Categories: architecture,housing,urban/master planning

Comments: 1 comment

Design It Yourself!

Did you always want to be an architect/designer? Did the thought of never sleeping and perpetually smelling of coffee, cigarettes and B.O. make you go to business school instead? Well, try your luck with the [not so new anymore] download of SketchUp, a simple 3D modeling program recently bought and made free-to-all by Google. Now you can build your own buildings, and you won’t have to pay a professional [we accept donations tho]. Not only that, SketchUp is the program used to make the models in Google Earth, allowing you to actually insert your designs into the 3D environment found there, and view hundreds of others made by ninjas just like you. If you really get into it, check out Graphisoft’s free student version of ArchiCAD as well [not a student? then maybe you can afford to hire someone, like me maybe, after all].

The program may also be helpful to any movie making ninjas [like our friends over at Terrace St.], as it has features for story boarding and camera/set layouts and such. Remember how Goodnight and Good Luck won a set design Oscar? Yep, SketchUp at work.

Posted: October 11th, 2006
at 12:11pm

Categories: architecture,tech

Comments: 1 comment

Deep Sea Wind Power

Are you for green/sustainable energy? Love the idea of getting power for your laptop from thin air, literally? Well then you must be down with Wind Turbines and Wind Farms. Problem is, whenever these wonderful machines are going to be built, or even talked about, some N.I.M.B.Y. SOBs get together and try to ruin it, such as the proposed turbines off of Cape Cod in MA. Well, Professor Paul D. Sclavounos of MIT has been working on placing the turbines further off the coast, where they will not only be unseen [so stop complaining], but they will produce more energy as well. Sclavounos is one of many engineers working on turbines designed much like deep sea oil platforms, basically floating in the water and held in place by cables connected to the sea floor. This will allow for “the use of supersize 5-megawatt models as tall as the Washington Monument “. Sounds great, lets do it.

side note: people complain that turbines ruin natural landscapes and views, so they oppose their construction. While many disagree for aesthetic reasons, saying they are nice to look at, think about it from a logical perspective: you’re preventing the construction of the turbine so you can have natural views, that will cease to exist without the use of the turbine. just a thought.

A few quick comments on wind turbines and some misunderstandings:

– They do not pose a [significant] threat to birds [or in this case, fish]. More birds die by flying into buildings [wow] then wind turbines

– They [sea-based turbines] do not hurt fishing. They actually encourage schools of fish to gather at the base, therefore providing a place to which your boat could actually dock and cast off.

– They DO generate significant amounts of power [despite what rich white people with waterfront property tell you].

Links via Business Week and

[Special MNP thanks to my old Prof., Eleftherios Pavlides, for hippin’ me to wind energy]

Support Cape Wind!!

[And a special MNP thanks to Ryan for the continuing coverage of the illness]

Posted: October 11th, 2006
at 6:24am

Categories: architecture,green arch,tech

Comments: 1 comment

B-Boys in the Baths…

Peter Zumthor’s Thermal Baths in Vals, Switzerland, are pretty great. So is Hiphop. So, like me, many of you may be wondering why the two havn’t been combined. Well, wait no more! Instead, check this clip of Liricas Analas, a Swiss Hiphop crew who filmed a video there. However, listeners beware: I have NO IDEA what they’re saying.

Clip, via archidose

Posted: October 10th, 2006
at 6:06am

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please

Comments: 2 comments

House of Green

“The Akademie Mont-Cenis in Germany has a glass roof canopy that create a ‘micro-climate’ for the building’s interior. The roof also features integrated solar cells that produce about 700,000 kWh of energy per year. It is said to be the largest PV installation on a single roof. The building’s clever design means that the cells not only generate electricity but also act as a shading system. There’s also an extensive shuttering system for ventilation control. See more photos after the jump…”

article at treehugger

Posted: October 9th, 2006
at 6:30am

Categories: architecture,green arch

Comments: No comments

The Height of an Era

What was once and what is left at Haight Ashbury.

gallery at hubpages

Posted: October 9th, 2006
at 4:25am

Categories: architecture,urban/master planning,photographie

Comments: No comments

Floating Houses… in South America!

This ain’t some novelty or anything, but it sounded cool when we first laid eyes on it.

Apparently because of the flourishing salmon industry and the difficulty that workers have getting to these more remote places, in Chile they’ve started building floating houses made of concrete. Now, these are only supposedly for workers but it seems a lot of people are expressing interest in having one of these.


Check out the page if you want. You might need your google translator skills if you’re not a more elite bi-lingual ninja like most of us.

Original from Plataforma Arquitectura

Posted: October 2nd, 2006
at 7:06am

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,housing

Comments: 1 comment