Archive for the ‘home’ Category

Rethinking the Office - Dutch Design



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Posted: October 1st, 2008
at 2:26pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: home,design

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Meet the urban sharecroppers


It was a small notice, in between the ads for childminding and English lessons. "Free gardening. I will cultivate an abundant vegetable plot for you in your garden and we will share the produce 50/50." Then a number.

When I got home I looked at my garden - unused, unloved, under wood chip. I looked at Google Earth. Almost half of the 3.1m households in London have a garden. Put together, they would occupy an area roughly the size of the Isle of Wight, and could insulate us against food price hikes and keep us all in fresh vegetables. Most are lawns or crazy paving.

The idea of garden-sharing began in cities, among people who wanted to grow fruit and vegetables to eat but didn’t have the time, space or confidence. The most obvious solution was to pool resources; for knowledgeable people with time on their hands, but little space, to help the time-poor; and for those - often elderly - with large, unmanageable gardens to get labour in exchange for yield.

It started informally with flat dwellers annexing the odd flower bed and gradually it grew. Communal gardens cropped up, gardening groups emerged. Fritz Haeg created an edible estate in the front gardens of a Southwark tower block. Projects such as the Tavistock Garden Share Alliance and pilot schemes such as LandFit and Swapaplot paired up unused gardens with the green-fingered. Suddenly there was a blush of Yahoo message groups, adverts in the local library, communal street sheds and action days. People began to share support and tips at first, then labour, compost, watering duties and harvests. Sales of vegetable seeds overtook those of flowers for the first time since the second world war.

.::read the rest of the article a€">

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Posted: September 24th, 2008
at 12:28pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: hood status,life,web,home,mnp is for the children,weaponry,grub,diy

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Ninja Homes: MG_flat


Its like someone saw the secret plans for the MNP dojo we’ve been designing, and then turned them into a loft space. I mean, my ninjas, please! - do you see those video projections? Siiick…

Exhibited at the 2004 Venice Biennale, this loft space was designed by Carlo Ratti Associati for an ‘archi-enthusiast’ building owner in Turin [Italy] with a simple goal: refurbish the space and rent it out.


According to the Italian rental laws, tenants must paint their own walls, and maintain hardwood floors at their own cost. The landlord, therefore, needed only to provide simple plaster walls floors - for which low-cost industrial hardwood floors made of sawmill rejects/scraps were used.

This desire for a simple solution led the designers to develop an insertion into the space, based on the concept of an unfolding box. This created an interesting folding aesthetic - walls folding into shelves, bed space, counters, etc. This concept also inspired the ninjas over at Ratti Associati to integrate the everywhere display into the space, using video projections to enliven the simple forms.


IBM’s everywhere display is a video projector with a rotating mirror that allows any surface around it to become a potential screen. Its envisaged use in this project informed the design and modeling of interior spaces. The flat is designed around one core ambient, with low-rise partitions in order to maximize the co-visibility of surfaces. This allows projections on most internal walls and potentially creates a home-like pervasive computing environment - as demonstrated by MIT’s House_n group [from Carlo Ratti Associati].


The wall that you see the projections on in the images [shown blank in the image above] closes in a low-walled space for a bed - just a few steps off the floor of the main loft space. The understated forms and folding floor plane keep with the overall simplicity of the project, leaving color and other design choices to the individual tenants - or simply providing a clean, crisp aesthetic to be accentuated by the projections alone [which, is what I would do - forget painting anything].


::all images and info from Carlo Ratti Associati::

.::Check out our previous a€Ninja Homesa€ features->

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Posted: September 10th, 2008
at 11:01am by orangemenace

Categories: home,architecture,ninja homes

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a€oeLilypad Islandsa€A by Vincent Callebaut



The design of the city is inspired by the shape of the great Amazonia Victoria Regia lilypad. Some countries spend billions of pounds working on making their beaches and dams bigger and stronger. But the lilypad project is actually a long-term solution to the problem of the water rising.a€A He added: a€oeIta€™s an amphibious city without any roads or any cars. The whole city is covered by plants housed in suspended gardens. The goal is to create a harmonious coexistence of humans and nature.a€A The a€Lilypad Citya€™ would float around the world as an independent and fully self-sustainable home. With a lake at its centre to collect and purify rainwater, it would be accessed by three separate marinas and feature artificial mountains to offer the inhabitants a change of scenery from the seascape. Power for the central accommodation hub is provided through a series of renewable energy sources including solar panels on the mountain sides, wind turbines and a power station to harness the energy of the waves.

.::Design at ->

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Posted: September 3rd, 2008
at 5:17am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: life,too good to be true,green,home,weaponry,architecture,fo' real?,science,development

Comments: 1 comment

Recycled Tire Floormat



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Posted: August 18th, 2008
at 8:07am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: green,home,gear

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The $1 House


The $1 house is not unique to Detroit, although there are a lot of them for sale in the Motor City to local government. Under HUDa€™s Good Neighbor Program, properties offered to the public for sale for six or more months are removed from the market and proffered for $1 plus closing costs.

It appears to be a popular program. Michigan and Ohio were buying up so many $1 houses this year that HUD put a halt of sales in April so they could look into what local governments were doing with the properties, reported the Columbus Dispatch. But this is not a deal offered to the public or even directly to nonprofits.

Regular folks can find $1 deals, however. The houses just usually dona€™t include any land. Among the strings attached, buyers must pay to have the houses moved. The Angelino Heights home featured recently as the Home of the Week was one such $1 prize in 1978 before it was moved to its current site. It’s listed today for $1,495,000.

If having a site and paying moving expenses are not deterrents to you, lists a $1 house in South Bend, Indiana, and two in Lynchburg, Va. Still too steep? A Windsor, N.Y., farmhouse lists for $0. Not everything on the site is so inexpensive, but ita€™s pretty amazing what can be bought for about the price of an automobile. Tough luck for the Western U.S., though. The search unearthed no such gems. latimes

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Posted: August 18th, 2008
at 8:07am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: myninjaplease,too good to be true,home,business,weaponry,architecture

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Ninja Homes: House L


Located in Glienicke - a German municipality located north or Berlin - House L is a sustainable [read : minimum impact], site-integrated home for a family of four, designed by AMNP‘s ADLS 08.10.2007 : Pott Architects.


The house literally folds up out of the landscape - constructed at the top of a hill, House L is embedded in the hillside and looks back out over the sloping forest terrain. Beyond the views it frames down the slope, this connection to the terrain also allowed the house to have a minimum impact on the existing site. The surrounding landscape was preserved as much as possible, creating a building that now seems to exist as a part of the local forest, instead of appearing as an outside insertion upon the land.


The objective was a house designed sensitively enough to harmonize with its natural surroundings, leaving intact the mature trees and the whole forest-like atmosphere of the setting. The building was to feel wide open to the changing natural seasons and the sunlight, drawing them close to the family’s everyday home life [via Pott Architects].


While I’ve been unable to find plans/sections of the house, the rooms seem to be organized so that the public space - kitchen, dining + living rooms - are all within a large, bright, open space that looks out over the landscape, while the more private spaces - bed + bath rooms - are ‘buried’ within the hillside.


::images via Pott Architects::

::Check out our previous ‘Ninja Homes‘ feature::

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Posted: August 6th, 2008
at 2:59pm by orangemenace

Categories: green,home,architecture,ninja homes

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Ninja Roundup

So, we don’t really do this often… but format being the elusive beast, sometimes we just have to face the Jabberwocky head-on. Here’s what’s going on in the ninja universe right now.

  • THE MURDER, the Boston punk band whose members include some of our favorite collaborators and associates have released their long awaited debut record after months of ripping up the Boston scene. They’re having their CD release party this coming Saturday. Go purchase their CD and check out the release party flyer below.
  • Jessie is still M.I.A. for the most part, but GreenMNP’s eco-system continues to thrive. Check out the recent post on the new episode of Battleground Earth.
  • Trizlam has got some major interviews coming down the pipeline for MusicMNP any day now. Check out his quick synopsis on the Johnny Osbourne re-release.
  • Amara’s blog, Daily Bread is still the best new food blog out there. Besides providing what looks like a delicious zucchini salad with yogurt recipe, she lets us know what she’s reading for her Saturday Roundup (inline)
What Ia€™m reading right now:

And I mean… if all that isn’t enough for you, you can watch the videos below and lament the iPhone’s effect on society as we know it - and the consequent loss of honeybees worldwide.

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Check out the show!
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That last bit is, I think, sponsored by Hagen-Dazs ice cream which has a pretty cool flash interactive help the honey bee campaign. Maybe you should also check this out:

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Posted: August 5th, 2008
at 10:00am by Black Ock

Categories: youtube,apple,green,web,cell phones,home,grub,architecture

Comments: 1 comment

Ninja Homes: Tattoo House


[Image: Night few of the Tattoo House - a kitchen+living space addition]

I should start by saying that Andrew Maynard - with the lofty goal of ‘complete tyrannical world domination‘ [sounds familiar…] - has already reached 9th dan ninja status, and I’m pretty sure he’s not even thirty [so in architecture terms, he’s basically a child]. The Aussie architect has a unique and thoughtful approach to design, and should be watched closely by all those interested in quality, green, and seemingly low-cost buildings.

Here we have the Tattoo House - an addition to an existing 3 bedroom home in Fitzroy North [a suburb of Melbourne] providing the current residents with new living and kitchen space, opening onto a new deck.


[Image: Close-up of the house’s ‘tattoo’ and the shadows it creates]

Many of the design decisions behind the Tattoo House were based on the budget, along with local building requirements - truly using the project’s restrictions to drive the design. The addition is therefore simple square - where each element serves multiple functions for ‘maximum return’. More design for your buck.


[Image: View of the kitchen - in particular the counter in the back as it becomes the landing for the stairs to the second level]

The new kitchen, located on the ground floor, is an open plan with large sliding glass panels that allow the space to be opened to the outside - merging with the deck to form an even larger interior/exterior room, which is accentuated by the double-height area created along the exterior wall.


[Image: View of kitchen/dining area’s double height space, which opens onto the deck]

Above, on the second level, a new family room overlooks the kitchen’s double height space and is given a nice level of privacy by the house’s ‘tattoo’ - UV stable stickers in the form of tree supergraphics, based on images of trees from a local park. More than a simple decoration, the tree graphic is a response to the local building council requiring that the second storey spaces be at 75% opacity. The solution screens the inside - eliminating the need for curtains, reflects heat and glare away from the expansive windows - controlling solar heat gain, and [last but definitely not least] creates an incredible play of light + shadow on the additions interior surface. Pretty siiick.


[Image: View showing kitchen opening onto exterior deck, forming a new, large open space]

Head on over to Andre Maynard Architects’ website for more images [pages 1, 2, 3, 4, sketches + info on the ‘tattoo’] and an array of noteworthy projects.

::Images courtesy of Andrew Maynard Architects - photography by Peter Bennetts - originally posted on AMNP::

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Posted: July 30th, 2008
at 2:30pm by orangemenace

Categories: art,home,architecture,design,9th dan,ninja homes

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