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“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill

WOW – did you know the mattress trade in America is worth $14billion ?

Did you know mattress pricing has been described as “almost entirely unhinged from the cost of producing a mattress.”

Have you bought a mattress lately………?

This Remodelista post is really interesting, makes me angry, and makes me sad (please read it).  Where are our NZ disrupters?  Oops, now that I’ve written that, I realise – maybe that could be me.  There might not be any updates from me for a while – I’m busy….

While I’m doing that- a slight divergence.  Look at the photo above.  It’s a mattress from a 2013 post, with a new mattress design.  The sections in the Cuddle mattress solve the dead arm in bed issue by creating the space the cuddling arm needs to avoid getting squashed – simple and effective (and clever).

Up at the Lodge we’ve planted six citrus trees.  Two weeks later when were next up there they were just sticks desperate for water.  So we then spent more money than the trees cost (including the new ones we had to buy to replace the ones we couldn’t save) putting in an irrigation system and a lot of time spraying and putting down slug/snail bait.  See photo below – impressive isn’t it…..

What is impressive are Sam Van Aken’s Trees of 40 fruit.  For most of the year, the Trees of 40 Fruit looks fairly plain and green. But in the spring, the trees blossom into an explosion of pinks, whites, crimsons and purples. Then from July through October, they produce 40 different types of stone fruit: apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums and almonds.  If you watch his TED talk you’ll hear him describe the trees as; artwork, research project, and form of conversation.  I’m not quite sure how we would describe our 6 citrus :-)

Yes, I know just recently I said I wanted to be a filament designer, luckily I don’t have to decide until I grow up…

I thought this was freakn awesome (and it uses less water), and had to share.

However – spoiler alert – someone has commented “Neat idea, but be aware: this is purely a computer rendering, it’s not a real device!”  Damn, and I was ready to buy one!  design one.

Update – I saw this today, it’s from 2011 – watch this and see what you can do with water:

This is what I’m currently thinking about for the Lodge, and the internet is full of DIY examples.  The example above is commercially produced in Germany by Nagel (though not sure if they are still in business).  This looks like fun and is a great example of upcycling.  Though I’m not sure my DIY skills are up to this….

So, for the record I support Precinct Properties’ planned $550 million 35-level Auckland tower (it’s the glass fronted building in the middle of the image below).  It will change downtown Auckland – for the better.  It will give us underground rail tunnels, a new shopping complex and more office space.  But given the location and opportunity surely they could have pushed the boat out a bit and come up with something a lot more interesting/engaging/iconic…..

At least that’s what I thought when I was reading (in the same week) about The Rotterdam Windwheel (image above) which is a huge circular wind energy converter that houses apartments, a hotel and a giant coaster ride.

Can design save the world?  Next time you’re busy Googling (yes, it’s a real word) type in the phrase “Design can save the world.”  Apparently back in 1998 someone had the audacity to wear a t-shirt proclaiming so.  It created quite a vitriolic backlash – and the heading above (and another version of the t-shirt).  I can’t remember how I stumbled across this recently :-)

In 2013 Kayne West said the world can be saved through design, and more infamously that “everything needs to actually be architected.”  Obviously I’m a fan of design and architects and strongly believe in the power of our built environment to nurture us,  inspire us, and bring us together.  But saving the world?

No.  Design won’t save the world.  But nor will love, or volunteering at a soup kitchen.  But that doesn’t make any of those things less important.  And nor are any of them mutually exclusive.

Which reminds me – another thing that won’t save the world – haters!

Update – just read a quote (don’t know when/where) from David Carson (American graphic designer) “Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”

Why pay to get this delivered from the US?  Wouldn’t it be easier to buy the code that you then feed into your own printer – or the one at the local library, or M10.

Of course, if you can’t wait and want one of these now, visit Chris Milnes Etsy shop.  The 6 inch version (that’s 15 cm) is only $38.77NZD + $15USD to get here.  According to Etsy he’s had over 17oo sales (Batman isn’t the only option)

More interesting – the modelling credit goes to contributors at MakerBot’s Thingiverse  – a thriving design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things.  They’ve got over 100,000 3D models available.  WARNING – you can spend quite a bit of time on this site.

Confession – I don’t actually want a 3D printer.  At least not just yet, but I know the day will come when I will – and it’s getting closer :-)