560 results for “Manufactured Landscapes”

Avatar and the glowing bioluminescence of Pandora

May 28th 2020

At first sight James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar (2009) is no more than a spectacularly rendered version of the classical Pocahontas story. We could criticize its keenly calculated ambition to please everyone, the hammy dialogs, its thinly veiled ecological message, or the somewhat bizarre spirituality in its second half. But we choose not to. Avatar is an important film and there is more than meets the eye through the 3D goggles.

To begin with, the film familiarizes us with the beauty …

A countryside dweller’s guide to the future

April 4th 2020

The current lockdown in much of Europe has city-dwellers flocking to the countryside to wait out the outbreak sweeping the continent. Seeking relief from coronavirus, urbanites flee to rural areas en masse, where locals beg them to please stay away.

Countryside, The Future

But what exactly are we talking about when we speak of “the countryside”? In general, the rural, remote, and wild territories is what we think of as “countryside”. Or the 98 percent of the earth’s surface not …

How China is enjoying blue skies — thanks to the coronavirus

Britta de Vries
March 17th 2020

Surrounded by greyness and with the air around you having a dusty, burnt taste; for a long time this is what it has been like to live in many of the world’s highly polluted cities. However, because of the drastic measures taken because of the novel coronavirus, the lock-down response to the virus in China has resulted in a drop in air pollution as the pandemic continues to halt industrial activities in the country — giving the city’s atmosphere and …

Why half of the world’s beaches could disappear by 2100

Simon Boxall and Abiy S. Kebede
March 11th 2020

Up to half of the world’s sandy beaches are at risk of disappearing by the end of this century if no action is taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s according to a new study, published in Nature Climate Change. Even assuming a better outcome for action on climate change, where global emissions peak around 2040, well over one-third (37%) of the world’s beaches would be lost by 2100.

Researchers had previously analysed satellite images showing shoreline change from 1984 …

How fungi can help create a green construction industry

Ian Fletcher
February 12th 2020

The world of fungi has attracted a lot of interest and seems to be becoming very fashionable of late. A new exhibition at Somerset House in London, for example, is dedicated to “the remarkable mushroom”. No surprise: we’re being promised that mushrooms may be the key to a sustainable future in fields as diverse as fashion, toxic spill clean ups, mental health and construction. It’s in this last field that my own interests lie.

Climate change is the fundamental design …

Three ways farms of the future can feed the planet and heal it too

Karen Rial-Lovera
December 30th 2019

Intensive agriculture may be nourishing most of the Earth’s inhabitants, but it’s doing the opposite to earth itself. Its dependence on singular crops, heavy ploughing machinery, fossil-fuel based fertilisers and pesticides is degrading our soils wildlife and nutrient cycles, and contributing a quarter of the planet’s unwanted extra heat.

But we’re not powerless to change the future of food. Nature and technological innovation are tackling these problems head on – and if the solutions they’re offering are incorporated on a …

Why electric cars should be allowed to drive faster

Van Mensvoort
December 4th 2019

In response to the nitrogen crisis, the Dutch cabinet is planning to reduce the speed limit during the day to 100 kph. In itself a sensible decision. But it is strange that this measure also affects motorists who cause no nitrogen emissions whatsoever. A missed opportunity to reward sustainable actions. That's why we started a petition. We want a separate lane for electric cars where 130 km/h is allowed. Sign if you agree with us.

Before I explain why we …

Next Generation: Unleashing nature’s untapped potential with Amelie Unger

Freya Hutchings
November 17th 2019

This story is part of Next Generation, a series in which we give young makers a platform to showcase their work. Your work here? Get in touch and plot your coordinates as we navigate our future together.

Continuing our Next Generation series is Amelie Unger, a recent design graduate who draws design solutions from nature's untapped potential. Unger is a recent MA Interior Architecture graduate from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. Her fascinating perspective calls for a new approach …

Four visions for the future of public transport

Marcus Enoch
November 7th 2019

The way people get around is starting to change, and as a professor of transport strategy I do rather wonder if the modes of transport we use today will still be around by the turn of the next century.

Growing up, my favourite book was a children’s encyclopaedia first published in 1953. One double page spread featured an annotated cityscape, showing all aspects of the built environment – most of which we would still be familiar with now. The various …

Green roofs improve the urban environment – so why don’t all buildings have them?

Michael Hardman and Nick Davies
October 29th 2019

Rooftops covered with grass, vegetable gardens and lush foliage are now a common sight in many cities around the world. More and more private companies and city authorities are investing in green roofs, drawn to their wide-ranging benefits which include savings on energy costs, mitigating the risk from floods, creating habitats for urban wildlife, tackling air pollution and urban heat and even producing food.

A recent report in the UK suggested that the green roof market there is expanding at …

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