Acer Aspire Vero laptops made from recycled plastic, ready for a more sustainable planet

Aspire Vero 14 Features

Acer continues to be a leader in the laptop market. It is the preferred brand not only for education but also for gaming. Of course, that can be argued, but when it comes to tech, we welcome any company as long a product delivers a great performance as needed.

Acer has just introduced a slew of new products from the Vero Series. The eco-conscious product portfolio includes two new Aspire Vero notebooks, the Veriton Vero all-in-one (AIO) desktop, new Vero monitors, a new Vero mouse and keyboard, and a Vero PD2325W projector. All of these products make use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, as well as recyclable packaging.

Designer: Acer

Aspire Vero 15 Laptop

Aspire Vero 14 Laptop

We’ll focus on the two Aspire Vero laptops as these have been sustainably designed. They both run on the 12th Gen Intel Core processors and come with 14- and 15-inch Full HD displays. The Aspire Vero notebooks result from the brand’s commitment to making a more sustainable future. The “green” computers are made from recycled plastic, starting with the chassis. The latter uses 30% PCR plastic, saving some 21% in CO2 emissions. It’s also paint-free to lower the negative impact of VOCs.

The Aspire Vero notebooks are also easy to disassemble, which makes them ideal for upgrades, repairs, and even recycling. This series was actually given a few recognitions and awards. It was recognized at the Good Design Award 2021 and was a Reddot Winner for Packaging Design in 2021. It boasts an EPEAT Silver registration, so we know the products are really environment-friendly, and the claims are not just for marketing purposes.

Aspire Vero 15 Laptop Materials

On the base panel, you will see there is a Post Consumer Recycled logo to show the laptop is manufactured using post-consumer resins. Those PCR plastics are more sustainable, eco-frirendly, and can help reduce landfill waste. The bottom and top cover of the laptop, plus the operating surface and the screen bezel, are all made of 30% PCR materials. Even the keycaps (keyboards) use 50% PCR, so the laptop is really “green.”

Acer is all about reducing waste and adapting to the needs of the planets. The laptops can be easily upgraded as you can quickly take them apart, thanks to the use of standard screws. Acer has implemented the VeroSense smart battery management app for further energy efficiency.

Aspire Vero 14 Specs

Acer describes the new laptops as “Green but Mean” as the latest Intel processors power them. The Aspire Vero (AV14-51) uses 12th Gen Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Xe graphics. It comes equipped with WiFi 6, a couple of USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, and a Thunderbolt 4/USB Type-C port. In addition, it comes with a 14-inch Full HD display ideal for work, school, or entertainment.

Acer Aspire Vero 15 Specs

The Aspire Vero (AV15-52) has a more prominent 15-inch Full HD display. It also runs on 12th Gen Intel Core processors and features the same USB 3.2 Type-A Gen1 ports and Thunderbolt 4/USB Type-C port. Like the 14-inch version, you can charge mobile devices even when the Vera notebook is turned off. The 15-inch laptop comes in Cobblestone Grey and Starry Black while the other laptop is also ready in Cobblestone Grey and Mariana Blue.

Acer Aspire Vero 15 Features

Both notebook computers even feature a Full HD camera to allow premium quality video-conferencing. This makes collaborating and connecting more enjoyable as you can see people more clearly than ever. Furthermore, to continue with the eco-friendly theme, both Aspire Vero laptops use OceanGlass trackpads. These are also “green” innovations from ocean-bound plastic.

Acer worked closely with Intel to ensure the computers met the requirements to be considered Intel Evo laptops. They meet Intel’s hardware specifications that allow improved battery life, responsiveness, fast charging, intelligent collaboration, and instant wake. We can expect a powerful performance from these two laptops, whether for work, school, business, or entertainment.

Acer Aspire Vero Laptop Series

Now let’s talk about pricing when the two laptops drop in September in the US. The Acer Aspire Vero (AV14-51) will be $749.99. However, it will come earlier in the EMEA and China this August for EUR 899 and RMB 4,999, respectively.

Availability of the Acer Aspire Vero (AV15-52) in the said regions and countries will be the same. It will be $749.99 in the US and EUR 999 and RMB 4,999 in EMEA and China beginning in August. The two Acer Aspire Vero laptops will continue the Taiwanese tech giant’s sustainable efforts, and we believe they won’t be the last.

Acer Aspire Vero Notebook

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Framework takes the modular laptop dream a step closer to reality

Laptops allowed us to take our computers anywhere with us, but there was a price to pay for their portability and compactness. Unlike their desktop counterparts, these thin and lightweight notebooks have most of their parts fixed and soldered down, preventing piecemeal upgrades or even replacements. For years, laptop users have been dreaming of portable computers that were easy to repair and easy to upgrade, and for years, manufacturers have been promising that. None of the big names have been able to pull it off, though, but an upstart startup seems to be on the cusp of success. Framework just announced its second-gen modular Laptop, but it’s the announcement more than the laptop itself that’s getting people excited.

Designer: Framework

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From a technical and design perspective, the new Framework Laptop is definitely worthy of being called an “upgrade.” It makes a full jump to Intel’s current 12th-gen Alder Lake processor from last year’s inaugural release. The new laptop also sports a more refined and strengthened top cover, switching to a full CNC process that provides more rigidity compared to the old aluminum forming manufacturing. That, however, was just the tip of the iceberg because Framework is making good on what it promised when it launched its first laptop.

Those who own the existing 11th-gen Intel Core models can upgrade to the latest Intel processor just by buying a new mainboard. If, however, they aren’t satisfied with the somewhat flimsy top cover of last year’s Framework Laptop, they can upgrade only that or upgrade both at the same time by buying an Upgrade Kit combo. Those who never owned a Framework Laptop have the option to buy a pre-built machine or a DIY kit that lets the buyer choose the exact modules they want and install their own operating system of choice.

Just as important is the fact that the company sells these pieces by themselves as well as Expansion Cards like the PCI-E cards of old. In fact, the announcement also reveals a new 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Expansion Card that will be joining the roster soon. Whether you occasionally need a DisplayPort or a card reader, the Framework Laptop has you covered. And, of course, you can also upgrade or replace the RAM, the screen, or even some cables, which are all sold by Framework directly.

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Although everyday laptop users won’t be too excited about this news, it’s a very bold move toward making the laptop ecosystem better for everyone. This is the first modular laptop that has managed to reach a second generation to fulfill its promises, which means it’s really the first that will allow owners to upgrade to newer hardware just by buying the parts they need rather than the whole. You will, of course, require some knowledge on how to take things apart and put them back together again, but Framework also provides guides for those.

Having a modular laptop also means having an easily repairable laptop, which goes a long way in extending the life of the device and delaying the time it will become landfill material. The big question now is whether this business model will be as sustainable as the laptop itself. The Framework Laptop is still in its infancy, and it might take a few more generations before it can be considered stable or even profitable. Hopefully, the company will stick around long enough to change the laptop landscape and push bigger manufacturers in a similar direction.

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Top 10 electric vehicles that are the future of automotives

In a world where sustainability is running on everyone’s mind, and the consumption of fossil fuels is quite literally looked down upon – Electric vehicles have been slowly and steadily taking over the world! Electric vehicles ditch the age-old fossil fuels and instead run on large traction battery packs which are in turn powered via charging equipment. They may not run on engines, but they still manage to be sleek, swift, and powerful. And, we’ve curated a collection of EV designs that we felt were the best of the lot! From a bold reimagined DeLorean EV to a transforming electric vehicle that goes from a two-wheel e-bike to a self-balancing unicycle – these innovative and groundbreaking automotives promise to be the future of urban commute and automobiles!

1. DMC DeLorean EV

This iconic car is in fact all set to hit the limelight on August 18, 2022, at the prestigious Awards Ramp at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. From what we see in the teaser image, the EV is going to follow the norm with a modern silhouette and this concept gives our imagination wings. If we ignore the rear that looks more akin to the Bugatti Chiron, the EV could be pretty similar to what we see in these renders. A bold form factor with an intimidating front could be on the cards. The side profile has to be sharp and flowing with a supercar-like domineer but slightly bend towards the coupe persona too.

2. 2023 Subaru Solterra EV

This is the first-ever pure electric vehicle in Subaru’s line-up. The EV is powered by the 72.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack sitting between the axles, generating 215 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque. The car goes from 0-60 mph in just 6.5 seconds flat which is good considering this is an EV. Solterra has a very low center of gravity and soft suspension which makes it a bit jittery while tackling tight corners. The silver lining here though is the high ground clearance of 8.3 inches and the multiple levels of regenerative braking which is controlled via the paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

3. 2022 Nissan Ariya EV

Nissan’s design brief for this car was ‘Timeless Japanese Futurism’ which allowed the design team to tap into key Japanese words to inspire their global design team to create the Ariya’s exterior, words like sleek, sharp, and seamless. The overall design is definitely futuristic, but the most appealing part of its exterior for me is the front grille, which looks like a traditional grille but packs some stand-out features. Nissan instead calls their grille a ‘shield,’ as it shields hi-tech cameras, radar, and sensors that assist with the car’s self-driving system and ACC.

4. The Zeva Zero

The Zeva Zero definitely looks more like a flying saucer than a flying car, even if the goals and some of the technologies are similar to other attempts at making personal transport vehicles that traverse the skies to avoid earth-bound traffic. For one, it utilizes vertical take-off and landing, a.k.a. VTOL, more similar to a helicopter than an airplane. On the one hand, this has the benefit of saving parking space, so to speak, because the flying saucer launches and lands in an upright position, contrary to what you’d expect from a flying disc. This even has the advantage of allowing the Zeva Zero to “dock” vertical against walls of buildings with a system that the startup calls the SkyDock.

5. DeLorean E

This concept rendering by transportation designer Onkar H takes a dig at what a DeLorean of the future will be like. Of course, it has to be electric to stand a chance of longevity in the closely contested automotive market that’s going through a metamorphosis for an electric vehicle-dominated near future. An electric DeLorean E powered by 4 high-performance motors and a mid-mounted battery pack is what the passionate fans will take with both hands. After all, it kills two birds with one stone – owning a classic piece of history that doesn’t sound alienated in the EV landscape.

6. Titaa

Titaa is a dual-purpose, electric vehicle that can transform from a two-wheel e-bike into a self-balancing unicycle. While riding manual unicycles might be too much of a learning curve for most, self-balancing, electric unicycles sound more like something we could all get behind. Titaa, a unicycle with just those sorts of mechanics, conceptualized by Husky Design is a dual-purpose, modular vehicle that can transform from a bicycle into a self-balancing unicycle.

7. Audi Urbansphere

This luxurious EV concept riding on 24-inch rims is tailored for a progressive mobility era where level 4 autonomous driving will be more than a common thing, and the digitally dominated cabin space takes a detour to a more communal and open design. It’s no surprise the Urbansphere has seatbacks capable of 60 degrees recline and an extendable footrest means the occupants ride in utmost luxury. Audi is planning to add a large format and transparent OLED screen which pivots vertically down from the glass roof to divide the two seating rows just like a taxi divider.

8. The IBO

The IBO’s mood board includes the Avant-garde architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, especially the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which defied architectural standards with its unique spiral shape. The continuous and clean lines “represent the resurgence of the American automobile of the eighties,” says automotive designer Ángel Álvarez from IBO’s design team. The IBO shatters perceptions that a good, dependable pickup should look edgy like a Cybertruck, and instead opts for slick, curved surfaces – think Baymax, but a car.

9. Evanora

Christened ‘Evanora’ or Greek for ‘gift from the gods’, Dhanak’s concept falls in line with Lotus’ tradition of naming their vehicles beginning with the letter E. Dhanak’s approach towards designing the car deviates from the standard practice of taking a top-down approach. While most car designers have an internal framework pretty much ready, they always start with the outside and work their way in. Dhanak, on the other hand, designed an outer structure to complement the inner structure. The skeletal bodywork you see was designed to clad just the chassis, resulting in an aesthetic that’s quite literally as minimal as it gets.

10. The Polestar O2

The Polestar O2 capitalizes on a rising trend that’s been set by self-driving cars. Sure, the O2 isn’t a self-driving concept, but just the way self-driving cars have redefined what sitting inside an automobile means (you’re not a passenger anymore – you’re a traveler in a moving room), the O2 has shifted the focus from driving to ‘enjoying driving’. The Polestar O2, announced just today, isn’t your average EV… it’s an EV that wants you to be in the driver’s seat as well as the director’s seat. The car comes with a companion drone stashed in its boot that deploys on command, filming you from flattering angles so that you’re quite literally the star of your own Fast and Furious film.

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Tower Blocks bring a more eco-friendly version of Jenga

One of our favorite games to play during casual dinner parties is Jenga or tower blocks if you want to be generic. It doesn’t take a lot of thinking or physical prowess, although strategy is also important. What if you could have a version of this game that is more eco-friendly and can help reduce plastic waste? Of course, that would be better if you’re conscious of the carbon footprint that you leave behind with your purchases.

Designer: Intops

Korean global manufacturer Intops wanted to lessen its global footprint even as they make products using various materials that, unfortunately, include plastic. So they came up with a “revive project” that will use all of these discarded materials and turn them into something useful. They used materials from discarded, defective items that they manufactured as well as creating composite materials from their production plant, specifically discarded plastic, wood, and leather.

The first creation that they’re currently crowd-funding is a version of Jenga but made from eco-friendly materials simply called Tower Blocks. The composite materials are made up of 540g of discarded plastic and 143g of discarded wood. Compared to making the original game with its regular material, these blocks can reduce CO2 consumption by 81%. They say that a set of these blocks can be compared to recycling 44 disposable coffee cups or 135 disposable spoons.

 

In terms of its design, these Tower Blocks have a leaf pattern for aesthetic purposes embedded on the blocks instead of just the smooth surface on most blocks like these. And instead of just the wooden color that we’re familiar with, the set has off-white (sand), pink (flower), and green (leaf), making it more colorful and pleasant to the eyes. The words “recycled plastic and wood waste” are also etched in each block, lest you forget what it is made from. Even the packaging uses eco-friendly paper made from 100% sugar cane residue with soybean oil link.

The pandemic has reportedly worsened the plastic consumption globally so having projects like these that try to reduce or at least recycle these materials are always welcome. They have already more than met their original funding goal so expect this to become available in the market soon, at least in South Korea.

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The Tesla of prefabricated homes + more eco-friendly designs that are the future of architecture

With the world turning topsy turvy since the pandemic hit us, living in a sustainable, conscious, and smart manner has never been more imperative. The architecture around us should seamlessly integrate with, and nourish the planet, not drain her resources and reduce her lifespan. Being at one with Planet Earth, while taking rigorous care of her has never been more of a priority. In an effort to encourage an eco-friendly way of life, sustainable and eco-friendly architecture has been gaining immense popularity among architects! Architects have been designing sustainable homes, cabins, hotels, and even floating cities! These architectural designs aim to harmoniously merge with nature, co-existing with it in peace, and allowing us to live in equilibrium with the environment. They reduce their carbon footprint and encourage a green and clean lifestyle. And, not to mention they’re aesthetically and visually pleasing as well! From the ‘Telsa of prefabricated homes’ to the world’s first floating city in South Korea – these architectural designs will convert you into sustainable architecture advocates!

1. OM-1

Don’t you just wish sometimes that you could “build” a house online and then order it just the way you like it? Well, now you actually can to some extent as a company called Dimensions X is aiming to be the Tesla of prefabricated homes. Plus, just like the environmentally friendly car company whose model they are following, the houses they will be offering homes that are energy efficient and will offer less carbon footprint.

Why is it noteworthy?

Australian entrepreneur Oscar Martin partnered with architect Peter Stutchbury to create a company that can offer people their prefabricated homes with a few clicks on their website. The process isn’t yet as simple as ordering a Tesla but they do have an online configurator that will tell you how much it will cost you as soon as you build your prefab home and make certain changes to it. There are modules and elements that you can modify to make it your own.

What we like

  • An energy-efficient home with a small carbon footprint
  • You can choose things like the length and size of the entire house as well as placements of doors and windows, finishes, orientations, and other elements that you can personalize

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

2. Wattle Bank Home

Situated on a plot of land on Amy’s parents’ farm, the couple’s Wattle Bank home was designed and built by the modular home building company, Modhouse, founded by Amy’s parents Mark and Melissa Plank. Each 20-foot shipping container that comprises the tiny home connects to one another via integrated passageways. These hallways also help make the most of the available living space by hosting utility rooms, like the laundry and entryways. Throughout the home, floor-to-ceiling entryways and windows give the feeling of indoor-outdoor living, adding some extra space to the interior as well.

Why is it noteworthy?

While downsizing our lifestyle requires letting go of many luxury comforts, it also makes room for simpler life pleasures. Sure, getting rid of the pool might hurt a little, but more green space allows for more plant cultivation and harvesting. For one Australian couple, Amy Plank and Richard Vaughan, downsizing meant disbanding from domestic duties for the freedom to surf, garden, and enjoy nature whenever and however they like. Hoping to make their dream of a downsized, sustainable lifestyle a new reality, Plank and Vaughan found the freedom they hoped for in shipping container architecture. Merging three shipping containers together to form a 530-square-foot tiny home, Plank’s and Vaughan’s Wattle Bank home fits the bill.

What we like

  • Provides a feeling of indoor-outdoor living
  • Built using eco-friendly materials

What we dislike

  • Not much to distinguish it from other shipping container-based architecture out there

3. Shell House

Japanese architect Tono Mirai is known as the pioneer of something called “earth architecture,” and his latest creation, Shell House, is a cabin in the middle of the forest that seems to have sprouted out of the ground. The 625-square-foot cabin is in the forested mountains of Karuizawa, Nagano, with a view of Mount Asana, Honshu’s most active volcano.

Why is it noteworthy?

It is a shell-shaped structure with the west and north elevations closed while the east and south sides are open. The house is elevated four feet above the ground so moisture won’t seep in and over the years, the materials used will develop a rich patina.

What we like

  • Built using local timbers like Japanese red pine, cypress, and cedar
  • Aims to “evoke the life force of nature”
  • The entire house is able to adjust or respond to weather conditions, whether it’s the humid summers or the freezing winters

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

4. The Rain Harvest Home

Even though I know I will probably never be able to live in one, I definitely like looking at homes that are located in the middle of nature. Of course, it still needs to have some kind of modern conveniences as a city girl like me still loves her creature comforts. But the idea of living in a luxurious but eco-friendly home near mountains and trees and rivers has a certain, romantic appeal, even if that will most likely remain just a dream.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Rain Harvest Home seems to meet all of the criteria I was mentioning above as it is located in a nature reserve in Valle Bravo, just two hours away from Mexico City. It’s actually more than just a house, although the house itself is already pretty amazing in itself. It also has an architect’s studio and a detached bathhouse just a few steps away from the main house.

What we like

  • A green roof that seems to be hovering above the house
  • Net-zero structure

What we dislike

  • The raw and unpolished aesthetics may not appeal to everyone

5. OCEANIX Busan

OCEANIX Busan Sustainable Flowting Cities

OCEANIX Busan Project

Oceanix has showcased a prototype of a floating city. It’s a project of the developer firm together with the United Nations and the Busan city government. The floating city is a more resilient and sustainable version of the key shipping hub.

Why is it noteworthy?

Officially called OCEANIX Busan, the floating city is an upcoming destination for visitors and travelers. It’s a unique tourist site that offers organic dining from local restaurants, harbor-view guestrooms, skylit greenhouse amenities, and communal terraces. There are eco-retail options on the elongated ground level, complete with waterfront views. All these can be found in the Lodging Platform which is just one of the many platforms available in the floating city.

What we like

  • Food is grown in the garden right on the hydroponic towers available
  • Sustainable, adaptable, and scalable

What we dislike

  • It’s still a concept!

6. Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex

Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex, comprised of five sustainable green towers, was built to mitigate the effects of urbanization and fight for the environmental survival of our cities.

Why is it noteworthy?

As our cities become increasingly popular destinations for younger generations, the need to introduce sustainable and biophilic architecture has never felt more urgent. As we face urban expansion and densification, architects are taking initiative to ensure the environmental survival of our contemporary cities. Italian architect Stefano Boeri has found promise in vertical city forest complexes, a form of biophilic architecture that incorporates teeming greenery into the very structure of residential buildings. Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex is Boeri’s latest sustainable undertaking, a forest complex in Huanggang, Hubei, China “intended to create a completely innovative green space for the city.”

What we like

  • 404 different trees fill out the layout of Easyhome, absorbing 22 tons of carbon dioxide and producing 11 tons of oxygen over the span of a year
  • Increases biodiversity by attracting new bird and insect species

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. The Pied-à-Mer

If you had to spend a sufficient amount of time on a ship, you would want to have pretty comfortable lodgings. Alas, not all of us could afford to go on luxurious cruises let alone go on a private cruise aboard a luxury line. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream or marvel at what glorious living conditions are out there for those who can afford to do so. This pre-fabricated holiday apartment is one such thing we can only wonder about unless you can someday go aboard the largest private cruise ship in the world.

Why is it noteworthy?

Inspired by the Unite D’Habitation housing typology by Swiss-French architect and designer Le Corbusier, the Pied-à-Mer is a 600-square foot luxury holiday apartment on a private cruise ship. As expected of course, it has a nautical theme but with midcentury, modernist influences. It starts out as a one-bedroom living space but can morph into a two-bedroom space for when they get visits from friends or family members.

What we like

  • Prefab design
  • Nautical-inspired aesthetics

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

8. Redukt’s tiny home on wheels

Poland-based Redukt built a tiny home on wheels that combines simplistic design with a clever layout to produce a mobile tiny home ideal for a family of four traveling through backcountry roads on a summer vacation.

Why is it noteworthy?

Poland-based Redukt, a tiny mobile home company, found sophistication and an open-plan layout through simplistic and versatile design for their off-grid-prepared tiny home on wheels. Prepared for all elements, Redukt’s tiny home on wheels is thermalized with oiled pine boards that give the home a tidy, yet natural personality. Dissolving the barrier between the outdoors and interior space, the tiny home comes with twin glass doors that are just short of reaching floor-to-ceiling heights.

What we like

  • Prepared for all four seasons through the home’s roof topped off with galvanized metal sheets
  • Outfitted with all the elements necessary for off-grid living

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

9. St. Andrews Beach House

St Andrews Beach House Cover

St Andrews Beach House Design View

With just an hour’s drive, you can go from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula and spend a few days near the water in a house that doesn’t have hallways and corners.

Why is it noteworthy?

The absence of hallways isn’t just what makes this house unique. It’s a perfect circle. It’s also many things that are unusual. The location of this house alone, St. Andrews Beach, makes it already a winner. It’s an ideal coastal getaway destination which made the owners, a couple who loves the beach, decide on the property. The Andrew Maynard Architects firm was tapped to design the St. Andrews Beach house. It now stands as one of the many spectacular houses in the area. It has quickly become a popular fixture in the landscape even with its size and location, as well as, integration with the environment.

What we like

  • Absence of hallways
  • Unique circular form
  • Built from eco-friendly materials

What we dislike

  • There isn’t much to see or explore in the area – which could be an issue for some

10. SAWA

SAWA, designed by Mei Architects and Planners, won the Experimental Future Projects category in the World Architecture Festival 2021. The apartment building drips with green roofs and balcony plantings. It is also Rotterdam’s first 50-meter-high residential building. The design beat out seven other nominated projects for the top prize in the category.

Why is it noteworthy?

The building is called the healthiest building in the Netherlands. It is designed to prove that humans can live and build in a sustainable way. The plan for the building intentionally reduced the approved volume of the zoning plan model with a stepped exterior. SAWA will house about 100 apartments, with a large communal deck on the first floor plus numerous terraces. The column structure within the building allows apartments to be rearranged in the future, which helps future-proof the building for multiple uses.

What we like

  • Focuses on circular timber construction, biodiversity, and healthy communities with ample planting space
  • Built with an aim to reduce CO2 emissions and help achieve national and international climate goals

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

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Nike ISPA Link series advances efforts to a circular, zero-waste future

Nike ISPA Shoe

Nike already has other sustainable efforts, but the top sports brand will continue to develop other ways to help the planet. The Move to Zero campaign is in full swing so expect more environment-friendly products and collections will be introduced.

The last pair that made us want to really get serious with going green was the Nike Pegasus Turbo Next Nature. That pair used at least 50 percent recycled material. Now Nike is introducing a new collection of shoes and sneakers you can take apart. Meet the Nike ISPA Link, and this pair is something you can easily disassemble.

Designer: Nike ISPA

Nike ISPA

Nike ISPA stands for “Improvise; Scavenge; Protect; Adapt.” It’s a design philosophy that challenges creatives to work on designs and start experimenting and reimagining products. Nike has been aiming for a circular system that results in reduced or zero waste. The main goal is to really protect the planet and the future of sports.

The Nike ISPA Link reminds us of the Layers Module Sneakers we recently showcased. That pair is designed to be easily assembled and disassembled for easier recycling. It’s not mainly to say Nike is working on more sustainable pairs. The Nike ISPA is also designed to perform. The first two pairs from the ISPA team are the Nike ISPA and Nike ISPA Link Axis.

Nike ISPA Details

The initial effort of the Nike ISPA group is expected to show the capabilities and the possible future of sustainable or circular designs. The innovations are meant to push circular footwear design to respond to the climate crisis. The project results are shoes that are both durable and flexible, thanks to innovations in footwear design.

Catalyst Footwear Product Design’s VP Darryl Matthews has this to say about the Nike ISPA: “Designed in partnership with engineering, digital product creation and development, these shoes are completely informed by method of make — it is a case of form following function. We hope that these ideas and aesthetics become normalized, accelerating our ability to imagine how shoes will continue to evolve in the future.”

Nike ISPA Design

Nike is working hard to achieve its sustainable goals by 2025 and beyond. That’s only three years from now, but we don’t doubt it can be done. The Link and Link Axis will further expand Nike’s many efforts. The Nike ISPA won’t be the last as more innovations will be unraveled. New approaches will be discovered and implemented as Nike also works with other companies and industries. Nike Chief Design Officer John Hoke noted, “We have a responsibility to consider the complete design solution: how we source, make, use, return and ultimately reimagine product. The goal is to make matter matter more.”

Such cross-industry collaborations will result in business models that work. New infrastructures are expected to be set up to make recycling products more accessible. Nike is also investing worldwide in product take-back consumer programs. All these efforts and more are said to help advance the brand’s ability to repurpose products.

Shoe design-wise, the ISPA Link is glueless, which means the pair doesn’t need any heating or cooling processes. The three inter-locking modules of the sneakers only take eight minutes to assemble and maybe even faster to disassemble. The upper of the shoe features yarns made from different recycled materials. Pegs are found on the midsole, and they can fit the openings of the upper. As the pair near its end of life, you can simply take them apart and drop off the parts at a Nike store.

Nike ISPA Sneakers

The Nike ISPA Link Axis is the bolder version. It is the upgraded pair with its 100% recycled polyester Flyknit upper. The latter fits over the outsole, so there is no need to glue or sew. In addition, the TPU tooling used here is 100 percent recycled from a scrap airbag material, while the TPU case is 20% recycled.

There really is no stopping Nike from working to achieve its numerous sustainable goals. A few years ago, Nike released its free circular design guide to help designers embrace sustainability. That Nike Playground constructed with 20,000 upcycled sneakers already made an impression. The Nike Atsuma reduces material waste by creating an interesting inverse design. There’s also the Nike SB Dunk High Cork that allows you to be eco-friendly in style.

Feel free to check out the “Plastic: Remaking Our World” exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Nike is participating until September 4 of this year. You will see there the design and evolutionary journey of the ISPA Link line. Learn how Nike’s approach and sustainable intent leads to innovative design.

Nike ISPA Shoes

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World’s first fully biodegradable COVID test aims at tackling our massive medical waste problem

A London-based design consultancy has created a concept testing device for Covid-19 that cuts down on the single-use plastic waste that has plagued us since the beginning of the pandemic. An estimated 26,000 tonnes of plastic Covid waste currently pollutes our oceans, according to a study published in November last year. Morrama’s ECO-FLO hopes to curb that number.

“Plastic has been at the front line of the pandemic – face masks, lateral flow tests, and sanitizer bottles” Morrama’s founder and creative director Jo Barnard said. “With new COVID-19 variants constantly evolving, active testing has been and will remain to be an important part of living with COVID-19. At Morrama, we were inspired to create a test kit that doesn’t contribute to the amount of plastic ending up in our landfills, so ECO-FLO was born.”

ECO-FLO was envisioned as a one-of-a-kind test kit that, instead of relying on nasal swabs, uses a saliva sample instead. The kit comes in four parts – the test kit, the test strip, an absorbent pad, and a sachet. While current lateral flow and PCR tests have a much more complicated (and failure-prone) procedure, using the ECO-FLO is much easier and foolproof. Just open the kit up and place your saliva sample in the designated absorbent pad. Close the kit and press the button on the front, and your results get displayed on the test strip. Once you’re done, place the kit back inside its sachet and dispose of it carefully.

The kit itself is made from recycled paper pulp, while the sachet it’s contained in uses a biodegradable Nature Flex film. Morrama mentions that when disposed of, the kit can naturally break down and disintegrate within 4 to 6 weeks.

Aside from being easy on the environment, Morrama mentions that ECO-FLO’s saliva-based testing system is a game-changing innovation too. The London-based studio is tapping into a nascent technology known as Parallel Amplified Saliva rapid POint-of-caRe Test (PASPORT) to make their test kit work. Unlike nasal swabs, which are invasive and also need to be performed with skill, the saliva-based testing kit offers a much more intuitive alternative. Reading the test results are easier too. Unlike current testing strips that read C for Control and T for Test, Morrama’s ECO-FLO uses a “tick box” style to indicate whether the result is positive. The London-based consultancy adds that it could be made available via the NHS or over the counter at pharmacies.

“Existing lateral flow tests were a reaction to the threat of the pandemic and were rolled at-speed to enable at-home testing. As a result, there were almost no considerations about the ease of use and the impact on the environment in either the production or disposal process. Now we have an opportunity to correct these mistakes”, says Andy Trewin Hutt, Associate Director at Morrama. “We have developed ECO-FLO to highlight the need for a more sustainable design. Projecting forward to future pandemics, ECO-FLO could offer a simpler, more accessible and more sustainable option to aid in keeping people safe through instantaneous mass testing, designed with people and the planet in mind.”

Designer: Morrama

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Top 10 3D printed designs that perfectly showcase this smart + innovative technique

3D Printing is gaining more momentum and popularity than ever! Designers and architects all over the world are now adopting 3D Printing for the creation of almost all types of products and structures. It’s a technique that is being widely utilized in product design, owing to its simple and innovative nature. But designers aren’t employing 3D printing only to create basic models, they’re utilizing this technique in mind-blowing ways as well! From a 3D printed backpack constructed from recyclable materials to a pair of 3D printed shoes that’ll make you feel like Bigfoot – the scope of this dependable technique is unlimited! Dive into this collection of humble yet groundbreaking 3D printed designs!

1. The Cryptide Sneaker

The Cryptide 3D Sneaker Sintratec 2

The Cryptide 3D Sneaker Sintratec

The Cryptide Sneaker was designed by Stephan Henrich for Sintratec. The German architect and designer came up with a pair of full 3D shoes meant to be laser sintered with a flexible TPE material. Using a Sintratec S2 System 3D printer, the shoes were formed and printed.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Cryptide features a sole with an open design. The designer said it was made possible by SLS production (Selective Laser Sintering) and a material called Sintratec TPE elastomer. Simply put, SLS is an additive manufacturing that takes advantage of a laser to sinter particles into a more solid 3D structure. Henrich and Sintratec worked together to bring the sneaker design into reality.

What we like

  • The size and shape can adapt to the foot of the wearer
  • They remind us of the Adidas Futurecraft 4D!

What we dislike

  • They don’t rate high on aesthetics + style
  • The shoes will leave freaky footprints

2. Angled Stands

Designed to easily become the centerpiece of any geek’s table, these stands are 3D-printed pretty much to scale, and are designed to easily fit most standard headphones (and even VR headsets!)

Why is it noteworthy?

Although each headphone stand is 3D printed (and you can even see the lines on some of them), it also has a stunning amount of detail. Take for instance the Chewbacca headphone stand right below. This is because Angled partners with designers and artists to release new variants and models online. Artists create detailed models that get approved by Angled’s team based on sizing, proportions, and its ability to be printed without any flaws/errors. Once a design gets approved by the Angled team, it makes its way to their store and for every sale, the artist gets a commission.

What we like

  • They can be customized and painted to make them all the more realistic
  • Has stands that hold your Xbox or PS controllers

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

3. Peugeot’s Storage Inserts

Peugeot has developed storage inserts for their new 308 models that are 3D-printed from a flexible filament using innovative 3D-printing technology. French automobile brand Peugeot is known for its catalog of unique, well-made cars. The new 308 model from Peugeot is an update on the brand’s 3008 SUV, the team of designers gave the new generation a smaller and sportier look.

Why is it noteworthy?

Starting with a new flexible polymer, Peugeot uses innovative 3D-printing technology to create sunglasses holders, cup holders, and phone/cardholders to fit into the 308’s center console. In collaboration with HP Inc., Mäder, and ERPRO, the Peugeot team used the new HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing technology to format and produce their line of accessories.

What we like

  • The 3D-printed accessories are constructed from Ultrasint TPU, or Thermoplastic Polyurethane, a type of filament with elastic properties like rubber, yet durable like plastic
  • The custom-fitted storage inserts carry an array of different functions, from a phone holder to a sunglasses case

What we dislike

  • Not created from the most eco-friendly materials

4. Earth Moc

Designed as a passion project, Daniel Shirkey’s Earth Moc was created as a potential recovery shoe for hikers. Shirley’s prime objective was to figure out how one single material could fulfill every aspect of a shoe’s experience from its flexibility to comfort, while giving your feet the support they need after a tough hike. Shirley’s design even comes with treads on its underside that additionally allow you to do some light hiking in, giving the right amount of traction required on moderately uneven surfaces and dirt paths.

Why is it noteworthy?

The highlight of the Earth Moc is its design. The entire shoe is made from a single material, sort of like a Croc, except it features interwoven elements that provide the stretch and flexibility of a conventional sandal. While most single-material shoes are made by injection molding of an elastomer, Shirley’s concept goes down a different route. The interwoven elements are practically impossible to mold in a traditional injection mold, which is why Shirley resorted to 3D printing. Prototypes of the shoe were made by Switzerland-based Sintratec, a 3D printing and solutions company. Inspired by intertwining roots and vines, Shirley’s shoe was 3D printed on the Sintratec S2 system with flexible TPE.

What we like

  • Made from a single material
  •  Inspired by intertwining roots and vine

What we dislike

  • It’s not available yet!

5. Novum 3D

Vaude is an outdoor mountain sports brand that develops sustainable outdoor gear because they want younger generations to be able to enjoy the outdoors in the same ways we’ve enjoyed it. Supplying the clothing, accessories, and equipment necessary to take on your next hike, camping trip, or forest bath, Vaude is committed to a responsible and sustainable design process from start to finish and back again. Using innovative 3D printed back pads, Vaude’s latest product is a fully recyclable backpack made from mono-materials.

Why is it noteworthy?

Dubbed Novum 3D, Vaude’s outdoor backpack features a honeycomb construction that ensures maximum stability while keeping the materials needed for production to a minimum. Each component of the backpack, from the straps to the packsack and even the honeycomb back pads is 3D printed from 100% thermoplastic material (TPU). Each component of the Novum 3D is also fully removable and recyclable, taking a big step towards a circular economy.

What we like

  • Sustainability remains at the forefront of Vaude’s design principles
  • This type of construction offers us the highest stability with the least amount of material

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

6. Alive

Alive is a customizable, 3D-printed wheelchair for dogs suffering from joint-related body ailments. As our dogs grow older, age-related body issues, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and paralysis make it difficult to enjoy life. When even moving feels hard, aging dogs are less likely to spend time with family members and take care of bodily needs, leading to psychological stress.

Why is it noteworthy?

While technical accessories and equipment do exist to offer some relief, antiquated building methods make it hard for dogs to adapt to wheelchairs and other assistive appliances. Revolutionizing the canine assistive appliance game, industrial designer Martin Tsai conceptualized a wheelchair for dogs called Alive that can be 3D printed to fit your dog’s body data and needs.

What we like

  • It’s a one of a kind design that provides aid to dogs suffering from joint-related body ailments
  • Uses 3D scans of the dog’s body data to generate an optimized wheelchair for each dog

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. Benedetto’s 3D-printed plastic accessory

Widely touted as Apple’s biggest design flaw, the company’s Magic Mouse is infamous for needing to be flipped over in order to charge it, making it entirely useless in the process. It’s inelegant, and the only (logical) explanation seems to be the fact that Apple doesn’t want you using the mouse while you charge it, but Benedetto has a clever solution that defies it all… well, sort of.

Why is it noteworthy?

Having faced this problem too, Benedetto decided to tackle it head-on, or rather, underside-on, because that’s where the charging port is located on the Apple Magic Mouse. Benedetto’s solution just involved bending the wire and introducing a makeshift trolley that still allows you to slide the mouse around your mousepad/desk WITH the bent wire. Simple, isn’t it?

What we like

  • Innovative + unique effort
  • Made from 2 pieces of 3D-printed plastic

What we dislike

  • The solution didn’t work out in the end

8. The Sopp Table Lamp

Looking quite like some Zaha Hadid-inspired architecture on your table, the Sopp table lamp by Max Voytenko for Gantri uses Gestalt’s visual laws to look like it has mass, while the lamp itself is made from what seems like entirely crisscrossing 2-dimensional surfaces. The Sopp is a paradoxical masterpiece, inspired by seemingly opposing disciplines: natural forms and modern architecture”, Voytenko writes. “Who knew minimalism could be so mesmerizing?”

Why is it noteworthy?

Kyiv-based Voytenko’s design philosophy of ‘less is more’ shines through wonderfully with Sopp. There’s no voluminous mass to the lampshade. It’s entirely lattice-based, but still has its own 3D mass shining through the twelve 2D planes that intersect each other. The abstract parachute-shaped design rests on a flat base, which houses the lamp’s internal LED light along with its electronics. Both the lamp and base are 3D printed at Gantri’s San Francisco factory using their proprietary Gantri Plant Polymer, a special bio-based material that has a signature matte finish that gives each Gantri lamp a premium appeal.

What we like

  • There’s no voluminous mass to the lampshade
  • Entirely lattice-based

What we dislike

  • Seems quite delicate, as if it could easily be damaged

9. Greenfill3d

Greenfill3d is a Polish home goods and furniture company that uses wheat bran waste to 3D print home goods items like storage compartments and advertising racks. One of the easiest ways we can reduce our personal carbon footprint is by taking a look at the build of items we use on a daily basis. A closer look reveals that many of the products we surround ourselves with are made from materials that aren’t so great for the landfill. Designed for obsolescence, most of these plastic-based products end up in landfills where they might remain for years to come.

Why is it noteworthy?

Hoping to change the way we consume home goods and everyday products, the Polish company Greenfill3d produces items that are made from biodegradable or bio-compostable materials in accordance with the ideas of zero-waste and the circular economy.

What we like

  • Each item that comprises Greenfill3d’s home goods collection is composed of multiple parts that are 3D-printed individually
  • Made from sustainable materials

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

10. Cullan’s 3D-printed shoes

Designed in the metaverse by Cullan Kerner, the shoes embody an aesthetic that’s best described as ‘oddly refreshing’ and the reason is because it doesn’t stick to the constraints of regular shoe design intended for mass production. The process with shoe design is standardized to a great degree – you’ve got pre-set sizes, materials that are readily available, dies for cutting/molding these materials, and processes like stitching or gluing that bring them together

Why is it noteworthy?

Cullan’s design process, however, is completely different. For starters, the shoes were made entirely in Gravity Sketch, a free VR software that allows you to design directly in a 3D space. Cullan designed the shoes almost like a sculptor makes an art piece, creating in 3D space. The shoes are made for 3D printing – a process that still hasn’t been mass-accepted by the shoe industry. The idea is simple – Cullan’s model gets imported into a 3D printing software, and the printer meticulously builds the design layer by layer using a single flexible elastomeric material.

What we like

  • Each shoe can be designed to fit you perfectly, and they’re all made to order
  • Available as NFTs

What we dislike

  • They’re not in production!

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This “Tesla of prefabricated homes” plans to bring eco-friendly prefab houses to your doorstep

Don’t you just wish sometimes that you could “build” a house online and then order it just the way you like it? Well, now you actually can to some extent as a company called Dimensions X is aiming to be the Tesla of prefabricated homes. Plus, just like the environmentally friendly car company whose model they are following, the houses they will be offering homes that are energy efficient and will offer less carbon footprint.

Designer: Peter Stutchbury

Australian entrepreneur Oscar Martin partnered with architect Peter Stutchbury to create a company that can offer people their prefabricated homes with a few clicks on their website. The process isn’t yet as simple as ordering a Tesla but they do have an online configurator that will tell you how much it will cost you as soon as you build your prefab home and make certain changes to it. There are modules and elements that you can modify to make it your own.

They have already come up with their first prototype called OM-1, an energy-efficient home that’s around 613-square feet. It’s made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) which lessens its carbon footprint and has a flat roof with eaves. You will be able to choose things like the length and size of the entire house as well as placements of doors and windows, finishes, orientations, and other elements that you can personalize.

Of course, there are a lot of energy-efficient elements that you can choose to add to your prefab home. You can choose to add beehives, mineral pools, rainwater tanks, composting, etc. They also do not use concrete and instead use something called Surefoot Footing as its foundation which will let you put up the house on any terrain without disrupting the land on which it will stand on. The idea is to make your entire home not just easy to put together but to leave as little carbon footprint when building it.

Once you’ve finalized all your options, it will take them six weeks to build your dream house and then ship them to you on your home site where it will be ready for assembly. There will eventually be a step-by-step guide so anyone will be able to build the home by following the instructions. You will still be able to remove walls, rotate elements, switch windows and doors, and even add extra eaves for storage.

The process isn’t that seamless yet as houses are much more complicated than cars. But the goal of Dimension X is to make it as simple as possible while giving users as many options as they can to make the houses they’re ordering truly their own.

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This handheld printer concept reduces waste by printing on any paper size

If you could print on any size of paper at any time, you can probably help cut down on the number of trees that have to be cut down needlessly.

We live in a world that revolves around content stored in digital form, but we also still live in a world that exists in the physical and material realm. Giving physical form to those digital files still happens a lot, perhaps more than it should be, so the need for the printed page isn’t going away any time soon. Unfortunately, printing on paper is also one of the biggest causes of waste, especially when you consider the different paper sizes that are used throughout the world. If printing is inevitable, we might as well try to make it as efficient as possible, which is what this ideal printer is trying to propose.

Designer: Alonso Bastos Durán

Of course, all printers these days can support a range of paper sizes, but those naturally require that you have a supply of those materials. Not much of a problem if you only ever print in one size all the time, but when you need to print something smaller, you’re stuck with having to cut and throw away the excess areas. That pretty much leads to waste, which, in the long run, worsens the state of deforestation in the world. Since it’s not really possible to just stop printing altogether, the next best thing is to be as flexible as possible.

The Printall concept does exactly that by adjusting its printout to any paper, even if it means a smaller size than your regular printer can support. That’s only possible, however, because the device doesn’t exactly function in the same way as a regular printer. You don’t have to feed it paper because it doesn’t actually have to apply ink on it like you would on a normal inkjet printer.

Instead, the printer uses Xerography, which basically uses electricity to charge black or colored powder so that they stick to surfaces. Also known as electrophotography, the dry copying technique offers a bit more flexibility, at least in what you can print on. That’s what makes Printall special because it could print on any compatible material, including things that might not be paper. You can even print on steel or concrete with the right materials. In context, however, it simply means you can accommodate the biggest and the smallest printer sizes with no exception.

Without the restrictions of physical paper, the printer can also break free of having to be tethered to a single location. In fact, Printall is designed to be portable and handheld, allowing you to print anywhere and on anything that is compatible with that same xerographic technology. That said, it does seem like you will need to be the one that guides the printer over the paper or surface, so it’s not exactly certain how accurate it will be. But since it’s actually just using light, it’s possible to also just step back, project your image on “paper,” and let the printout magically appear.

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