Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – videos – *faircompanies

Treehouse architect Alex Shirley-Smith wanted to create a portable treehouse, a kind of ready-made, floating shelter that could be assembled in any backyard, wood or even city streets.

In 2010 Shirley-Smith released several tree tent prototypes inspired by spiders’ webs. “A spider always uses three anchoring points and the web finds its own position in space that’s a circle in between any of those 3 points. So as long as you’ve got 3 anchoring points this tent will find its own central position to create its own shape inside that triangle. The whole thing is sort of taken from spider’s web technology or you know, what exists in nature. Biomicmicry.”

After refining 11 prototypes, Shirley-Smith and partner Kirk Kirchev finally released a production model tree tent- the Tentsile Stingray. Using just 3 tree straps, 2 poles and one fly sheet, the Stingray will shelter up to 4 people in mid-air. It takes about 10 minutes to set-up and a few minutes to take down. And best of all, it is one size fits all.

“It’s not bespoke, so it’s a treehouse solution that avoids all of the pitfalls of treehouse architecture. Because a treehouse has to be bespoke to be made to the host tree and this is a treehouse that one shape fits all. It doesn’t have to be custom made: any three trees, any three points, I mean we’ve put it up in London on lampposts and bollards and stuff.”

The tent can be used as a camping alternative- to keep you comfortably suspended above any animals, bugs or uncomfortable rocks-, but the design could also prove the basis for a new type of eco-village. Kirchev dreams of one day creating a community of (much larger) tensile structures where portable villages could be mounted and disassembled in a day, leaving little impact on the forest floor.

“It will also be quite spectacular to be able to be up above in the canopy where the birds are singing and there’s leaves and it’s just a great environment, which it has been unexplored until now. Go back to the trees… we’ve never had people up the trees until we came down from the trees I suppose.”

– tags: small spaces tiny homes treehouse biomimicry small homes tiny shelter london small shelter tentsile ecovillage floating tent hammock tent portable treehouse queen’s wood tentsile stingray

via Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – videos – *faircompanies.


Bayside Marina Hotel, Shipping Container Architecture | GBlog

The Bayside Marina Hotel by Japanese architecture firm yoshimura is another stunning example of modular construction built using shipping containers.  The seemingly random positioning  of the pthe prefabricated modular cottages gave a  unique and different view to each room as well as creating multiple panoramic scenes within and around the premises. Each unit consists of two containers stacked upon one another which have been pre-fabricated in Thailand and assembled in Japan. Check also the Crossbox by CG Architects

via Bayside Marina Hotel, Shipping Container Architecture | GBlog.

Self-Powered Wireless Window Sensors Provide Foolproof Security | Gizmodo Australia

Window sensors have long been a part of security systems, but since they all rely on wires so they can be constantly monitored, there’s the potential for them to be compromised. That’s not the case with these new wireless sensors that are invisible when installed, and don’t even require an outside power source.

Developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, the new sensors are built around the institute’s HallinOne 3D magnetic field sensor which is already in use in other consumer products. A magnet embedded in the bottom of the window is detected by the fingernail-sized 3D sensor built into its frame. It’s sophisticated enough to determine both the position and angle of the magnet, so it can tell if a window has been left just slightly open, or even if it’s been properly locked. And to keep it powered a thermoelectric generator, also embedded in the window frame, converts heat into electricity — while a small solar cell harvests sunlight from outside.

The system also uses a clever nodal RF system to wirelessly transmit status information to a base station. Every single window has a small radio unit and microcontroller built-in so that they can talk to each other, passing along data to the next if they’re out of range of the base station. And while all the hardware is only available as bulky prototypes at the moment, by the end of the year it will be refined and ready for mass production so you can hopefully expect to see security systems employing this technology as early as next year. [Fraunhofer]

via Self-Powered Wireless Window Sensors Provide Foolproof Security | Gizmodo Australia.

Sman Cruisers’ Classic Wooden Bikes Take to the Streets With Sustainable Style | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

With summer in full swing and temperatures soaring across the states, why not stay cool and reduce carbon emissions at the same time by taking to the streets on a wooden bicycle by Sman Cruisers? The retro-styled beach bikes, developed by Dutch master woodworker Arnolt Van Der Sman, combine 1950s California surf culture with environmentally-friendly materials to inject classic form with contemporary eco-consciousness.  Read about what makes this cruiser sustainable after the jump.

via Sman Cruisers’ Classic Wooden Bikes Take to the Streets With Sustainable Style | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

The Cool Hunter – Outdoor Wallaper by Wall & Deco – Italy

The Italian wallpaper company Wall & Decò is known for creating exquisite, large-scale mural-like wallpapers that define a room. They are widely used in hotels and restaurants, and for private residences by interior designers.

In April at the Fluorisalone 2012 in Milan, Wall & Decò introduced a new wallpaper system designed for the outdoors.

Their OUT – Outdoor Unconventional Textures – system is a three-part covering that allows for incredible photographic reproductions and large-scale graphic designs to be applied onto outside walls. The system consists of an adhesive, a technical fabric and a finishing treatment.

The designs introduced in Milan included a Bauhaus look, a black-and-white OP pattern, tile-initiations and even military camouflage. We believe this is an idea that has staying power, and that it will expand and improve as feedback from early users comes in. – Tuija Seipell

via The Cool Hunter – Outdoor Wallaper by Wall & Deco – Italy.

The Coolest Hideaway Desk Bed – YouTube

The Coolest Hideaway Desk Bed


The Hide Away DeskBed is both a Desk and a Bed. Innovative and convenient, the Hide Away DeskBed is an elegant solution to the need for optimal functionality in limited space. The Hide Away DeskBed provides you with the best of both worlds – an effective work space by day and a comfortable sleeping area by night.

The Hide Away DeskBed locks in place in the up-right Desk position then unlock and lower the desk into the Bed. Your computer, printer, papers and even coffee stay on the desk without removing or spilling a drop. When lowered, the hidden bed is revealed.

The Hide Away DeskBed: perfect for loft living, dorm rooms, home office or a child’s room. Space saving solution at its best! Choose Twin, Twin Extra Long and Full size plus additional Hide Away DeskBed furniture to make your room complete. Please view demonstration video online at http://www.specialtytools.com

via The Coolest Hideaway Desk Bed – YouTube.