Tags >> design
Nov 20
2009

Clover Billboard Contest

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , Rohnert Park , Petaluma , media , Ideas , humor , food , farms , families , design , children , business , author , art

Bruce Robinson

The winner of the latest “Clo the Cow” billboard slogan contest drew from Dirty Harry to get a happy diary.

Clo the Cow will be featured on the billboard with the winning slogan, of course, but Clover-Stornetta president Marcus Benedetti says the cartoon cow is more than just a pretty face.

Daniel Judd celebrates his contest victory, sharing a high five with Clo the Cow as girlfriend Andrea Duszynski looks on.

 

Oct 29
2009

Builders of the Pacific Coast

Posted by Bruce Robinson in trees , Science , planning , open space , Ideas , housing , environment , design , coast , California , author , art

Bruce Robinson

From remote cabins crafted of driftwood to stunningly beautiful and unconventional family homes, Bolinas-based writer and photographer Lloyd Kahn collects innovative individual builders up and down the Pacific Coast.

Below are two examples of the buildings featured in the book: The elbaorate temple built by SunRay Kelly at Harbin Hotsprings, and a whimsical gazebo made of driftwood on a Vancouver Island beach.

The farther north he ventured, the more Kahn found projects that had been built in substantial part from found materials—driftwood on the beaches, and fallen timber inland. He says that immersing himself in that world has had an enduring effect in the way he sees potential resources around him now.

Lloyd Kahn's first building experience was with geodesic domes, which led to his first book as well. But  he eventually became disenchanged  the domes, and turned his attention to the more generalized subject of  Shelter, published in 1973. The success of that volume launched his Bolinas-based publishing business,  which concentrates on books about do-it-yourself homebuilding, and health. He'll present a slide show drawn from Builders of the Pacific Coast at Copperfield's Books  in Sebastopol on Thursday night, Oct. 29, at 7  pm.

 

For his next publishing project, Kahn says he will be narrowing his lens to focus on creative “micro” housing efforts, such as this work in progress.

The intricately ornamented staircase and loft below is yet another of the utterly unique homes Kahn has featured in Builders of the Pacific Coast.

 

Oct 20
2009

Bio-converter

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , resources , invasive species , Ideas , government , garbage , environment , design , conservation , climate change , chemicals , carbon , alternative energy , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Sonoma County inventor James McElvaney (right), has developed a system to convert organic waste into energy and other beneficial byproducts, one that creates the energy that powers it in the bargain.

Bob Hillman, McElvaney's partner in their start-up,  Bioconverter LLC,  sees their new technology as a tool to capture greenhouse gases while also combating invasive, non-native plants, such as the Ludwigia, or Creeping Water Primrose, now prevalent in the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

The company offers a more comprehensive explanation of their processes on the FAQ page of their website, but you can read an overview here.

The primary process of bioconversion takes place in a series of vertical tanks, such as those seen at left.  In addition to the environmental benefits of bioconversion, Hillman notes that it has the economic potential to actually fund some of those productive outcomes.

 

 

Oct 01
2009

The Greening of Greensburg

Posted by Bruce Robinson in weather , teens , speaker , solar , planning , housing , government , farms , families , environment , design , construction , community , climate change , carbon , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Just two years after being leveled by a tornado, Greensburg, a tiny town in the middle of Kansas has become a model for green rebuilding.

Nearly 95% of the town's homes and other buildings were destroyed by the storm, as seen in this photo, taken a week after the tornado hit.

The green rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas cannot be attributed to an unlikely enclave of progressive thinkers in the American heartland. Rather, says Daniel Wallach, (right) founder and Executive Director of Greensburg GreenTown, the fact this has happened in a small, deeply conservative town makes it even more significant.

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) was quick to respond to the Kansas tornado that flattened Greensburg, in part to improve their public profile after the Gulf Coast hurricanes. But Wallach says the agency had to be persuaded at length to buy into the green vision that the community shared.

There's an extensive photo gallery of the damange caused by the tornado and the new buildings that have emerged in its wake on one page of the Greensberg GreenTown website. Another page hosts their design competition for eco-friendly homes. "The Chain of Eco-Homes"  has attracted 150 entries, which can be viewed and voted for online. The winnign design will be built as part of the town's ongoing effort to promote itself as "a living science museum" on green consrtruction and muncipal planning.