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Featured Architecture + Design Blog of the Week

Inhabitat “Design will save the world” Blog

Studio Shift’s honorable mention submission for Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control

Studio Shift’s honorable mention submission for Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control


Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

Inhabitat was started by NYC designer Jill Fehrenbacher as a forum in which to investigate emerging trends in product, interior and architectural design. Mike Chino is the Managing Editor; Emily Pilloton, Olivia Chen, Evelyn Lee, Abigail Doan and Jorge Chapa are Senior Editors. The site was designed by Jill Fehrenbacher and runs off the fabulous blogging platform WordPress.



Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

With an interest in design innovations that enhance sustainability, efficiency, and interactivity in the home, Inhabitat’s attention is focused on objects and spaces that are eco-friendly, multi-purpose, modular, and/or interactive. We believe that good design balances substance with style. We are frustrated by the fact that a lot of what we see being touted as “good design” in magazines and at stores is all style and no substance. A lot of contemporary design merely imitates the classic Modernist aesthetic without any of the idealistic social agenda that made Modernism such a groundbreaking movement back in the early 20th Century. The flip side to this is that oftentimes real technological innovations – the ones which will eventually change the way we live our lives – are often not packaged into enough of a stylish aesthetic to move beyond niche circles and crossover into mainstream popular taste.

Likewise, we are frustrated at seeing an emerging category called “Green Design” – as if sustainability is somehow separate from good design in general. We believe that all design should be inherently “Green”. Good design is not about color, style or trends – but instead about thoughtfully considering the user, the experience, the social context and the impact of an object on the surrounding environment. No design can be considered good design unless it at least attempts to address some of these concerns.

We believe in the original modernist ideology that form and function are intertwined in design. Style and substance are not mutually exclusive, and Inhabitat is here to prove it!

ABOUT & MISSION statement via Inhabitat blog

architecture, architecture critic, buildings, construction, Featured Architecture + Design Blog, government architecture, green buildings, Green Built Environment, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, skyscraper | | Comments Off on Featured Architecture + Design Blog of the Week

Old Stone Highway House by Berg Design Architects in East Hampton


By Stephen Del Percio

May 25th, 2009

f you were fortunate enough to spend the Memorial Day holiday out in the Hamptons, one sight you might have missed is the Old Stone Highway House in East Hampton. Completed back in July of 2007 by New York City-based Berg Design Architects, the 2200-square-foot house’s architectural program is a “modern interpretation of the Long Island agricultural vernacular” that simultaneously “incorporates the use of environmentally low-impact building technology.”


Berg’s client sought a design that both suggested a Long Island barn where the client had summered and incorporated green building principles. The result is a simple, yet sophisticated, fusion of traditional and modern architecture that is grounded in sustainable design. The house’s western cedar siding and concrete block exterior emphasizes the building’s angular geometry which is kept in check by finished interior surfaces.


The structure itself is built from structural insulated panels (SIPs) and its HVAC system includes a geothermal heating and cooling system, as well as radiant floors. Low-e, dual-pane, argon-filled glazing is coupled with a site orientation that minimizes the house’s heating and cooling load. The house is topped off with a Kynar -finished (non-heat absorbing) roof; low-VOC paints and sealants were also specified throughout. Appliances are all Energy Star-rated and the house was furnished with a variety of vintage pieces.

Berg Design Architects was founded in 2001 by John Berg and is based on Varick Street in lower Manhattan.

This and more green architecture via greenbuildings NYC Blog

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David Fisher’s Dynamic Tower

This Dynamic Architecture building by David Fisher will be constantly in motion changing its shape. It will also generate electric energy for itself.  If you haven’t seen this vidio lately it’s worth revisiting (90 sec.)


More via Dynamic Architecture

architecture, buildings, green buildings, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, skyscraper | , , | 1 Comment

National Audubon Society green design case study

National Audubon Society Manhattan Headquarters
National Audubon Society Manhattan Headquarters

FXFOWLE’s Manhattan headquarters for the National Audubon Society offers lessons in how to maintain green leadership

By Aric Chen

Some organizations jump through elaborate cost-benefit hoops before deciding to build a green office. But for the National Audubon Society, the choice was a no-brainer. When changing needs prompted the century-old, New York-based environmental advocacy group to move its headquarters elsewhere in the city, “We wanted to make sure we were maintaining our leadership in green architecture,” says John Flicker, its president and CEO.

Full article via GreenSource


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Troy’s celebrated solar house left in dark


Facility touted as next big thing still shut

Shawn D. Lewis / The Detroit News

Troy — It was supposed to be a shining example of the green movement — a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups.

Seven months ago, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $900,000 house owned by the city of Troy that was to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot.

But it never opened to the public. And it remains closed.

Frozen pipes during the winter caused $16,000 in damage to floors, and city officials aren’t sure when the house at the Troy Community Center will open.

“It’s not safe right now, and there’s no estimated opening time because it depends on when we can get funding,” said Carol Anderson, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

That surprised the Oakland County Planning and Economic Development Department, which advertised tours of the house for its Tuesday Oakland County Green Summit.

“No, I didn’t know anything about it,” said Steve Huber, spokesman for county planning.

Bret Rasegnan, planning supervisor for the department, said the solar tours have been removed from the finalized agenda for the summit.

“It is disappointing that we can’t tour, but the summit will still be of great value. I don’t think it’s reflective of the technology.”

Lawrence Technological University, with help from DTE, mostly paid for the building. Its students built the 800-square-foot home, which was supposed to be livable year-round, free from the grid and churn out enough solar power to support a home-based business and electric vehicle.

So what caused the flood?

The city says it was a mechanical problem. University officials heard it differently.

Jeff Biegler, superintendent of parks for the city, said the flooding occurred from a glitch in the heater.

“The system was designed to kick a heater on to keep water from freezing,” Biegler said.

“The heater drew all reserve power out of the battery causing the system to back down and the pipes froze.”

Joe Veryser, an associate dean of architecture at the university, said he heard otherwise.

“What I heard repeatedly was that somebody turned off the breaker during the winter and forgot to turn it back on, which caused the pipes to freeze and then break.”

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