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Color-Coded Spaces Help Employees Way-Find at the Relaxound Office

Gone are the days of boring beige offices with headache-inducing fluorescent lights and claustrophobic cubicles. The modern office embraces color, comfort, and connection – something exemplified by the new Relaxound office in Berlin, Germany, designed by Ester Bruzkus Architekten. “We love spaces within spaces, the blurring of inside and outside, unconventional color combinations, and material contrasts,” says Ester Bruzkus, Partner at Ester Bruzkus Architekten.

Relaxound specializes in products that enhance their physical environments with soothing, natural sounds. But it is important that the company’s office embrace this relaxed work ethos, so distinct spaces – for work and for play – are integrated into the floor plan fostering a cheerful atmosphere conducive to productivity and well-being.

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Charming Birdhouse-Style Tiny Home Could Be Your Next Vacation Rental Destination - Yanko Design

By 02/18/2024

Dubbed the Buitenverblijf Nest, this unique-looking cabin is designed by Namo Architecture and i29 Architects. It is an idyllic little cabin elevated in a forest in the Netherlands. The cabin is inspired by a birdhouse but it looks like a rather massive one. It can accommodate a family of four, although a bit tightly. The tiny home is tucked away in the Netherlands’ Hoge Veluwe National Park and is quite similar to BIG’s Biosphere.

Designer: Namo Architecture and i29 Architects

The cabin is part of a series of 11 dwellings in the cabin and was designed to be vacation rentals by the local authorities. The Buitenverblijf Nest is elevated on slender black supports and is raised 7.5 meters above the forest floor. The exterior of the home has space for birds,  bats, and insects, as well as solar panels on the roof that give access to power.

As you enter the home, you are welcomed by a 55-square-meter space. You can enter the cabin via a spiral staircase, and a terrace area leads you to the first floor. The home incorporates generous glazing, as well as a circular porthole-style window, that allows natural light to stream in throughout the day. These windows also offer lovely views of the forest. The layout of the home is designed to be simple and functional, with a compact living room equipped with some seating and a table, and a kitchen with an induction stove, fridge, sink, oven, cabinetry, and dishwasher.

Create the Perfect Entry for Any Design Award Program in Five Steps - Core77

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Original author: Eric Ludlum

Here's what we looked at this week:

Fun for corporate drones: The Escalator Slide, by artist/designer Julijonas Urbonas.

Mitsubishi Electric's sealed, insulated $270-$500 single-slice toaster apparently makes perfect toast.

The precursor to the bicycle: This 1816 "running machine," a/k/a the Draisine.

Designed for the contract market, industrial designer Goncalo Campos' Babar chair uses less parts and simplifies production compared to an incumbent design.

A hair comb is relatively slim and easy to carry; a hair pick, less so. Global industrial design and product development firm Shark Design rectified this with their Portable Hair Pick. As the firm writes:

Collapsible and perfect for on-the-go use. The portable hair picks are designed to be completely collapsible. The size of the hair picks is around a standard mobile phone size. Users can collapse the hair picks by moving the yellow slot up and down the track.

Serve as a makeup mirror. When the hair picks is opened, it also serves as a makeup mirror. With the angular joint, the mirror stays up and slanted for ergonomic use.

Hands-on design approach. To make sure the design function as expected and eliminate potential pain points of the design, we would develop step-by-step prototypes to check each of the mechanisms. In the hair picks, a flat spring is used to push the parts in position so that the hair picks to stay in place during use.

Open window packaging design. Used to show the users the actual product. Printed instruction is presented both in the front window and the back so that consumers can easily understand the product functions.

This waterproof Storm Jacket, by Hong Kong clothing brand Storm Lab, has a whopping 18 pockets. There's an extra flap of fabric to help accommodate them all. It's an EDC'ers dream.

One pocket, on the left sleeve, is transparent and comes with a removable "lighting module" that serves as a hands-free flashlight.

These Nomadife knife cases are by Japanese manufacturer Babacho. The company has been making knives since 1890, but these decidedly modern offerings are meant specifically for "nomadic cooking;" i.e. for people who want to bring their own blades to campsites, barbecues and cooking schools.

The cases are terribly sexy. A block of Paulownia wood has been notched and slit to accommodate a kitchen knife, which is held in place by unseen magnets. A sleek aluminum cover slides open along grooves machined into the wood. There are two sizes: S will accommodate blades up to 155mm in length, whereas M can handle up to 210mm blades. Any larger than that and you may as well buy a scabbard.

#5 - Interstate Waste Services Expands with Acquisition of Oak Ridge Waste & Recycling

Interstate Waste Services, Inc. (IWS) has announced a significant step in its expansion strategy. The company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Oak Ridge Waste & Recycling, a respected player in Connecticut's waste management sector.

Read the full article here.

#4 - Super Bowl LVIII Becomes First NFL Game to Use 100 Percent Carbon-Free Energy

Super Bowl LVIII became the most-watched telecast of all time with 123.4 million viewers, it made for a global stage for a budding, unescapable mega-star relationship, and was the first football game to be powered by 100% renewable, carbon free energy (CFE).

Piotr Malczyk / Alamy Stock Photo

After years of frustrations from residents, a Newport, Kentucky recycling plant is being relocated.

River Metals Recycling (RMR) reached an agreement to move, and Newport City Commissioner Ken Rechtin said it is “the most significant progress made in quite some time.”

Leading up to the move, RMR has heard plenty of complaints from neighbors and other nearby residents who complained about loud explosions happening at the plant. Rechtin explained that these loud noises can be attributed to propane tanks that made it to the scrap piles.

“There’s always been an effort on the citizens’ behalf and me that we just modify their behavior so as not to have these violent explosions,” Rechtin explained.

The Final Expansion project, completed in December 2022, added 30 million gallons per day (MGD) to the system’s capacity, bringing the total to 130 MGD - enough water for 1 million people per day. Notably, this expansion achieved an unprecedented milestone: recycling 100 percent of OC San’s reclaimable wastewater flows, a feat unmatched by other wastewater recycling initiatives.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognized this big achievement by granting both agencies the National Environmental Achievement Award in Community Leadership for the Groundwater Replenishment System Final Expansion.

The award recognizes agencies that have made outstanding contributions to environmental protection and the clean water community.

“OC San and OCWD have set the stage for what it takes to truly excel as water recycling agencies and I am proud for us to be recognized by NACWA,” stated OC San Chairman Chad Wanke. “This recognition is indicative of the commitment our staff and Board of Directors make every day to Orange County.” About OC San OC San is a public agency that provides wastewater collection, treatment, and recycling for approximately 2.6 million people in central and northwest Orange County.

OC San is a special district that is governed by a 25- member Board of Directors composed of 20 cities, four special districts, and one representative from the Orange County Board of Supervisors. OC San has two operating facilities that treat wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sources. For more information, please visit