This cabin in the woods is actually a waterside apiary that aims at education & conservation of bees!

This lakeside apiary in Newt, Somerset has been designed to provide a home for the bees while creating an immersive educational experience. Called Beezantium, it draws on the long tradition of pavilions that evoke a sense of whimsy and playfulness – almost like a cabin in the woods full of speaking bees! Beezantium was built with a careful range of design considerations to serve and exhibit the hive in an organic yet fun way.

Beezantium occupies a former unused wasteland that has been transformed into a natural expanse, so while this waterfront property might have been cheap with the right design and purpose it’s now prime! The wooden structure is topped by a sloping roof that is wrapped in copper shingles which creates a jewel-like effect that also acts as a beacon in the woodland surroundings, drawing visitors towards the structure. It looks like a cozy cottage right out of a storybook.

The huge picturesque window invites people to explore the internal workings of the space, while also offering views out over the lake and trees beyond. The cabin is clad in oversized timber panels which distort the sense of scale of the pavilion as you get closer. The outside walls are made up of unseasoned oak because it is perfect for bees as they can enter the hive through natural holes or via a series of copper pipes that have been built into the fabric of the structure.

When you enter the space, you realize that the traditional concept of the folly is turned on its head. The interior features polished honey oak which provides a rich and warm atmosphere to enjoy the exhibit and the bees themselves. Two oculi are set into a lofty ceiling, providing much-needed light and natural ventilation for the space below. Beezantium is different because usually apiaries are usually contained in a glass box in the middle of the room but by pushing it to the edges, it was possible to create an educational showcase in collaboration with Kossmanndejong which is an Amsterdam-based design agency that focuses on the exhibition and interior architecture.

“The Beezantium has been designed to provide a sensory, otherworldly experience. It appears jewel-like, quirky, and playful – almost like a folly in a landscape with a glowing copper roof, but instead of being only about pleasure, the Beezantium is a purposeful building designed to house bees in observation hives in the external walls, that can be viewed in a range of habitats internally. There is a huge extraordinary interactive and immersive exhibit that describes the world from the bee’s perspective, that is hung from the ceiling and contained within a honeycomb structure, enabling visitors to understand bees and their place in the world,” says Piers Taylor, Director of Invisible Studio.

All elements, shapes, and colors have been designed to represent bees. My personal favorite is the bright cocoon seating which probably makes you feel like a bee in a hive yourself! Beezantium has a whimsical vibe with a purpose – it aims to conserve and educate people through the medium of design, architecture, and interior which is all centered around bees while making humans feel welcome but also reminding them of the larger picture without the gloom-and-doom tactic.

Designer: Invisible Studio

This oddly-shaped Finnish cabin was made with cross-laminated timber to withstand subarctic cold!

This cabin in the woods is an otherworldly, all-black, geometric structure built to provide cozy refuge even in harsh Finnish winters. It was designed for a California-based CEO who returned home to Finland with her family to be closer to her ancestral land so she could maintain it. The cabin is aptly named Meteorite based on its unique shape and is set in a clearing surrounded by spruce and birch trees. The cabin is made entirely from cross-laminated timber (CLT) which is a sustainable alternative to other construction materials.

The three-story home is built entirely from 272 prefabricated panels of cross-laminated, locally sourced timber—a sustainable material that lends itself to digital design methods and follows the Finnish tradition of timber construction. Air gaps of various sizes behind the facade keep the interior warm without conventional insulation, even during Finland’s freezing winters, and give the Meteorite its out-of-this-world shape.

Inspired by the Ice Age rock formations found throughout the region, the Meteorite is a faceted dwelling designed by Kivi and Tuuli Sotamaa, the brother-and-sister duo behind Ateljé Sotamaa. They designed the faceted structure as a guest house for the family, although during the pandemic it has served also as an office for, a recording studio, and an after-school playroom for children.

The Meteorite’s black-tinted exterior provides a stark contrast to the warm, all-wood interior. “Everything on the outside is designed to dramatically stage the inside,” says Kivi. “It’s a mysterious object, and you don’t quite know what is going on within.” Part of the mystique lies in the deceptive nature of its size—the interior spans only 807 square feet of floor space, yet its total volume is 10,594 cubic feet.

Its envelope contains no plastic or insulation; it’s simply two sheets of wood, and the air gap in between them helps to regulate indoor temperature even when the subarctic climate outside drops to single digits in winter. The “between space,” as Ulla describes it, also hides storage and the building’s technical systems, preserving the minimalist feel of the interior.

The Meteorite’s interior is clad in spruce from floor to ceiling, and all the furniture for the living areas were hand-selected works by Finnish designers that the couple picked out themselves. The dining area features a built-in corner sofa designed by Ateljé Sotamaa with slipcovers and pillows by Klaus Haapaniemi & Co – a local artistic brand with works inspired by traditional Finnish folklore.

The Meteorite was originally envisioned as a guesthouse, but with the pandemic keeping them at home, it now serves as a more permanent, multipurpose space for the family. The traditional separation of work and home has disappeared, and it’s beautiful that they are merged within this single building.

My favorite part of the home – and I’m sure also the kids’ – is the giant net on the top floor. It ties the home together visually while adding connectivity without having to be in the same space. It is also extremely well light thanks to the multiple windows and skylights that are placed on unconventional angles because of the unique shape of the cabin.

The warm wooden interior complements the black timber exterior very well. The cabin is a beautiful blend of Finnish and Scandinavian elements in the finer details as well as the overall aesthetic which is minimal and monochromatic. Meteorite is an elegant picture example of modern architecture and interior that has been woven together with local traditions, simplicity, and sustainability.

Designer: Ateljé Sotamaa

Sony’s futuristic floating habitat shows what homes could look like in 2050!





In 2050, it is said that there will be more “climate refugees” who have lost their homes due to the impact of climate change, as well as emigrants who have been forced to leave their countries due to political problems. There may also come a time in the future when people live in floating mobile houses that drift across the world’s oceans. These groups of people could become like sea nomads, forming a unique ecosystem in which they coexist with the natural environment.

When people from a wide range of cultural spheres are living on the ocean, how do people coexist with other people or with the environment? This design prototyping examines people’s life at sea in 2050 and the ecosystem they create from the perspective of housing.

People who live on water inhabit floating mobile houses that can travel freely on the sea, depending on the weather, ebb and flow of tides, and time of the day. They may move in search of food to a place where there is a school of fish, and they may also connect with houses of different “sea cities” to interact with people with different cultures and values. People’s mobile lifestyle will make urban ecosystems more fluid.

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Floating mobile houses are housing for use at sea, equipped with an engine with a cleaning filter, sail, and stabilizers in the living space. The variable roof can be folded up in a storm to avoid the wind and erected to use the wind as a power source when traveling. The two-story structure is divided into a public space above the water and a private space underwater.

The house uses solar panels for some of its materials and produces the electricity used by the inhabitants. The electricity generated is stored in an energy tank containing water as thermal energy, which can be retrieved as electricity when needed. For houses that need more electricity, an energy tank can be autonomously connected to supply energy.

Designer: Sony

2050

This eco-friendly packaging design for premium Chinese tea draws inspiration from the plantations!





Packaging designs that pay homage to what’s inside or the process or creating it truly tug at our heartstrings. Especially, eco-friendly packaging designs because they showcase the best of innovation and sustainability. Chatu is a shining example of all of that – the packaging is an ode to the tea plantations in Sichuan, Henan, and Fujian provinces from where the premium Chinese tea is collected. Each tea package has a unique shape that represents the terrain and resembles the patterns on the hands of tea pickers.

The Chinese tea plantations were the source of inspiration for the packaging design. The texture of the package mimics the shape of the land on which the tea is harvested which is so sacred to the tea pickers. Even the colors were carefully chosen to match each of the three types of tea – white, green, and red.

The packaging is made by molding pulp and then colored with natural dyes. The shape resembles traditional Chinese teapots while the texture is a reminder of the plantations. The loose-leaf tea leaves are packed in two-layer cotton bags because it is breathable and environmentally friendly.

Each package also comes with a note that gives you more information about the province and the type of tea – it educates you about the flavor and the agricultural features of the plantation that make it special. It also tells you how the tea should be brewed for the optimum experience. Chatu is minimal but yet so powerful in communicating about the product, the process of making it, the art of brewing it, its origins, and more in the most simple yet elegant form.

Designer: Xenia Alexandrova

This minimal electric kettle’s design has been inspired from iconic Roman architecture!

People travel across the world to see Roman architecture, especially the linear columns that are so iconic! Drawing inspiration from the popular historic style, SeungHyun Lee designed HYGGE – a modern, minimal, and sleek hybrid kitchen appliance.  HYGGE is an electric kettle but also functions as a jar to store your drink. Although it is inspired by Roman architecture, its name comes from the Danish word ‘hygge’ which is a cultural attitude that implies well-being, coziness, and contentment.

HYGGE’s design embodies all the emotions behind the Danish lifestyle practice which is all about making choices that lead to satisfaction and happiness by finding the magic in small, everyday things. Pronounced “hoo-gah”, the defining cultural practice celebrates mindfulness and joy in tiny things like drinking a cup of hot chocolate in winter.

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“The curve comes from nature, and the straight line comes from humans. The man-made Roman column, while blending with the natural sunlight, is balanced between man-made and natural, and finally becomes a work of art between sky and ground. I hope that users who use the health kettle can find their own balance in work and life, and become themselves,” explains Lee.

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The kettle’s top is designed to create an interactive experience with the product, a kind of communication between designers and users across time and space. The best part is that this method avoids the situation where your hands are scalded by steam! The sleek aesthetics help it perfectly stay on your counter or table, unlike the outdated plastic ones that we all hide too often in your cabinets. HYGGE lets you enjoy the simple practice of boiling water in an electric kettle and adds elegance to the otherwise mundane task – it elevates the experience of brewing and drinking tea into a cozier, beautiful moment!

Designer: SeungHyun Lee

These prefab coral shaped structures are designed to be self-sustaining centres for the coastal community!

Architecture has the power to infuse the local culture and sustainability into the structure. A shining example of such designs is the Cagbalete Sand Clusters in Taguig, Philippines. The organically shaped structure is a multi-use development made while respecting the existing ecology as well as the history of farming and fishing in the area. The unique building is constructed with prefabricated sections that can be placed and added on in a horizontal or vertical direction.

Each of the units, individually or placed together, forms a coral-like shape inspired by the local marine ecology. The lead architect of Carlo Calma Consultancy Inc. and client C Ideation envisioned the development to be community-focused, which they described as “farm leisure.” The self-sustaining group of clusters will rely on electricity produced from solar umbrella pods and passive design techniques such as natural ventilation.

The structures include a private family home and a restaurant that offers farm-to-table endemic plant species and seasonal mud crabs from nearby farms. This not only speaks to healthy living and local industry, but mud crab farming is also credited with preventing soil erosion and protection of vital mangroves.

“They have elevated the humble hapa net into something beyond its utilitarian origins,” stated the press release. “It is now both part of the structure’s construction membrane, a tool for food production, and a web that facilitates the daily activities of the structure’s inhabitants, enmeshing time, culture, and space.”

Hapa nets throughout the structure offer protection from the weather and insects while reflecting the historic use of the nets.

For residents and visitors, the design includes a saltwater grotto, along with mud pools and soaking pools. The designers hope the multi-focused design elements cater to tourists, specifically eco-tourism while honoring the Filipino culture — which spans 7,641 islands made up of varying natural and community elements.

Cagbalete Sand Clusters won the Food Category of the WAFX Awards this year. The architectural design is also a finalist in the “Experimental” category of the World Architecture Festival, which will be held this December 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. It truly showcases how buildings don’t have to take away from the space they stand on but can co-exist while helping protect the natural environment.

Designer: Carlo Calma Consultancy Inc.

This outdoor sleeping bag and its packaging are made of 100% natural materials!




This sleeping bag is made of 100% natural, from the packaging to the last button. Thanks to our patented, innovative insulation made of RDS-certified down and wool, DownWool, we achieve the best sleeping climate. Down is light and has excellent insulation properties. Wool is insensitive to moisture and regulates the sleeping climate. In DownWool we combine the good properties of down and wool. All individual parts on the sleeping bag are OEKOTEX certified. At the end of its long life, the sleeping bag can be completely composted.

Back to nature. Grüezi bag wanted to create a sleeping bag made from 100% natural materials – from the packaging down to the last button: and they did it! You will be amazed at the sleeping conditions and the sense of well-being you get in the sleeping bag. Once you’ve slept in it, you’ll never want to come out!

Thanks to its natural materials, it feels pleasantly soft and its innovative DownWool filling, a mixture of down and wool, creates an outstanding sleep climate. The down ensures cozy insulation, the wool works like natural air-conditioning. Thanks to its overlapping design, the Nature can be opened entirely; this means that it is easier to get into the sleeping bag.

For extra comfort, its width can also be adjusted if you require more space. The pillow pocket is also great. Just insert a jacket or pullover here and you already have a non-shifting pillow. Have a fantastic sleep with the Nature in nature.

DownWool is an innovative high-end filling composed of 70% down and 30% wool. Down has a very high insulation capacity and a low weight. However, down only provides insulation as long as it is dry. With increasing humidity, the insulating effect of down is significantly reduced. The characteristic of wool is that it provides insulation and absorbs moisture. In this way, the down will stay dry and thus keeps its very high insulation capacity. With the unique mix of DownWool we achieve optimal insulation and a perfect dry sleeping climate with a low weight. The sleeping climate is decisive for sleep quality. The deeper and more relaxed your sleep, the more rested you will be the next morning.

Designer: Grüezi Bag

This concrete bench collects rainwater for plants that are a part of the seating!




Concrete jungle is not just something Alicia Keys sang once, cities are becoming more paved with every passing day leaving scarce patches of greenery. Having concrete structures everywhere is not appealing to the eye but at the same time makes it harder for cities to use rainwater because they don’t have surfaces to absorb it. This makes it harder for them to maintain natural public spaces and green starts turning to gray. To solve this problem, Barbara Standaert made the Waterbench – it is exactly what you think. The design combines a bench, a rainwater barrel, and a planter into one to restore some greenery into the urban landscape.

Rainwater is used in public spaces to create self-sufficient green. The permanent water supply always guarantees a dry seat, even in rainy weather, requires hardly any maintenance, and ensures a permanent green touch in the city.

The rainwater naturally seeps through the porous concrete cover and is collected in a water-tight concrete reservoir where the plants find their water and food. The water is naturally absorbed and transported to the plants by a nylon cord. The Waterbench Rainwater buffer + water reservoir for plants Cover made of permeable concrete Collection trough in architectonic concrete water reservoir: +/- 280 liters.

Length 250 cm, Width 174 cm, Height 45 cm Weight: +/- 1,300 kg for the collection tray, +/- 1,100 kg for the cover. It is available in grey, other shades possible upon request. Overflow, allowing water to escape if the tank is full. The element rests on rubber stands, allowing excess water to run off. Another advantage of the Waterbench is the option to ‘plant’ the bench with little prior effort, in line with the particular needs of the environment.

Starting with the design question “How can we restore natural processes and give back some green to our urbanized landscape?” – I started researching what is being done today to direct rainwater to nature. Porous rainwater pipes were one example. The material fascinated me. I brought it to the surface to show what it did to the audience. After this, the function to combine the material and water storage with greenery was quickly made. During my studies I made the prototype all by myself. I carved out the some mold by using my football shoes. I filled the mold in cooperation with a concrete manufacturer and transported the (way too heavy) concrete block in a rented van. One day before the jury, I still had to apply the porous top layer… After I graduated I found a manufacturer who is now producing the market suitable Waterbench.

Designer: Barbara Standaert

This tiny house has been designed for sustainable, energy-efficient, off-the-grid living!

I love tiny houses but even more if they are designed to be sustainable, energy-efficient, and on wheels – that is exactly what Project Ursa is! The mobile home is made for off-the-grid living featuring solar panels, water harvesting systems, and the coziest interiors that makes the “cabin in the woods” aesthetic into a lifestyle.

Tiny houses on wheels have to have a length of 4m, 5m, and respectively 7m, to be 2,5m wide and to have a maximum height of 4m. The Ursa tiny house is currently located in Cascais, Portugal, and can function completely off-grid.

To ensure that, the roof features a subtle 5% slope which allows rainwater to drain easily into a couple of water tanks with a total capacity of 650 liters. This water is then redirected to the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, and the shower where it’s filtered and reused. After that, the reused water goes into another tank and from there is used for watering plants.

On top of the roof, Ursa features solar panels which are facing South. Their inclination can be adjusted up to 30% in order to maximize the energy product all year round, making this a very efficient off-grid tiny house.

The energy produced by these solar panels is being converted and stored for later uses so the inhabitants can always have energy on demand when needed. Check out our informational article covering solar panel companies if you’re interesting in this subject.

This tiny house offers 17 square meters of living space in total which is organized into a kitchen, a full bathroom with a dry toilet that produces compost, a living area, two sleeping areas, and also an outdoor deck. Of course, each of these spaces is small and they all blend into one another which creates a cozy ambiance inside. This is accentuated by the warmth of the wood used for both the interior and the exterior of the Ursa tiny house.

Designer: Madeiguincho

This AI-enabled tiny home gets a design upgrade making it more spacious and futuristic!





Nestron is one of my favorite tiny home builders – they are modern, minimal, and AI-enabled! The sure in tiny homes is not a design trend but an architectural movement that is here to stay, they are more affordable, more sustainable, and more conducive to our evolving flexible lifestyles when compared to traditional houses. Nestron’s latest model is the Cube Two X which has been built upon the existing Cube Two’s functionality and aesthetics with more upgrades keeping in mind a bigger family instead of a two-person household. Take the full virtual tour here!





Cube Two XD is a prefab unit available in two models – a one-bedroom or two-bedroom configuration, and is clad with steel and fiber-reinforced plastic. Singapore-based architecture studio has designed this modern home by drawing inspiration from sci-fi and spacecraft imagery.

The company’s latest prefab builds on the aesthetics and the functionality of their Cube 2 model. “We figured it was time to give the Cube 2 line an upgrade, and thus Cube Two X was born,” Law says. Since the launch of their Cube series, Nestron received numerous requests for an even larger unit with the option for two bedrooms. The company responded to demand by creating Cube Two X, a scaled-up version of the Cube Two.

The one-bedroom and two-bedroom Cube Two X models offer 376 square feet of living space. The structure consists of a steel frame wrapped with fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) siding that can withstand extreme heat and natural disasters.”All of our products are made with high-resistance materials,” Law says. “The FRP exterior wall panels are less likely to rust or corrode, and they hold up in high temperatures, harsh environments, and extreme weather conditions, including heatwaves, hurricanes, and earthquakes.”

Built-in furniture preserves floor space in the tiny home. The designers outfitted the dining area with a built-in table for two and created a sleek built-in sofa for the living space. Optional features include electric-heated flooring, a smart mirror, a music system, and a concealed electric stove. “The invisible stove is a unique space-saving idea,” Law says. “It’s a seamless kitchen counter when you’re not cooking, but when you are, the counter transforms into a stovetop.”

Curved edges and voice-controlled tech lend a futuristic feel to the home, which is designed so that it can be shipped anywhere in the world and arrive move-in ready. “The home is fully equipped with built-in furniture that helps to maximize floor space,” Law says. “There’s no installation needed upon arrival. Much like how a washing machine works, our clients just need local contractors to wind up the power sockets and the water supply and then Cube Two X is a fully functioning home.”

For how high tech the tiny home is, it makes a relatively low impact on the environment. “Ninety percent of the materials we use are recyclable,” Law says. “The interior wood wall panels, for example, are made from non-virgin wood and recycled plastic that’s environmentally friendly and 100 percent recyclable.”

The bedroom has a large built-in wardrobe and a recessed wall niche for storage above the bed. “We make a big effort to care for the environment because we believe everything starts at home,” he says. “Living in your home should be an experience that’s environmentally friendly—and we’d like for people to be able to live a sustainable lifestyle without additional effort.” The bathroom features a smart mirror and an electric pulse toilet.

The Cube Two X is also prefabricated in a factory environment, which helps to reduce material waste. “This speeds construction time by up to 50 percent compared to on-site construction, which takes around one month,” Law says. “It’s a faster and more cost-effective process, ensuring we have no construction waste, as we use prefabricated molds to shape our products, which greatly increases accuracy.”

If the cinematic worlds of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and William Hanna and Joseph Barbera’s The Jetsons were combined to create a tiny home, it might just be Nestron’s Cube Two X – tech lovers and digital nomads are going to love this innovative home!

Designer: Nestron