Thursday, 16 September 2010

Fun House: Skip Stairs & Take a Two-Story Concrete Slide!

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Fun House: Skip Stairs & Take a Two-Story Concrete Slide!:

Concrete and white are tell-tale signs of modern style, but the introduction of some playful elements turns this otherwise-contemporary home into something dramatic, different and more child-friendly than most.

A curious playhouse in Indonesia by Aboday Architects, the home deals with issues of a strange, small, and code-limited site but all of these potential setbacks were taken in stride during the design process.

Arguably the core creative design move is a concrete slide which spirals down from the second floor study to a first floor living room area – great for kids, but big enough for adults too!

The asymmetrical composition of interior elements as well as creative design details (such as a snake-like handrail in the primary staircase) twist typically boring materials and bland colors together in engaging ways.

Vertical green climbers, slotted skylights and other exterior details serve to provide access to both daylight and plant life on both stories of the house.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Haircut Time: 25 Hair Styles That Will Blow Your Mind

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Haircut Time: 25 Hair Styles That Will Blow Your Mind: [ By Marc in Urban & Street Art, Urban Images. ]

As someone who has never said anything to a hair stylist beyond “Make it shorter,” I have a true admiration for people who step outside of the box and get truly creative with their hair. It’s rare to see someone nowadays with a magnificent mohawk, and though coloring hair is fairly common, the extent to which these hair artisans manipulate their appearance is amazing. Here are some of the wildest haircuts I’ve seen:

Sports Fanatics

(Images via dynamosoccer, chicagonow, buzzfeed, waycoolpics, nydailynews)

Sports fanatics are always finding new ways to declare their support for their favorite team, and though this usually involves branded merchandise or ridiculous makeup, some fans like to use every tool at their disposal.

Creative Shapes

(Images via paranoidpear, creativepics)

Why stop at creepy faces when you can use your hair to display any image you want? I certainly hope the guy on the left realizes his hair stylist did some creative trimming, and kudos to the guy on the right for adding some excitement to his hairstyle.


(Images via about, btnhboard, menhair, buzzle, nofxofficialwebsite)

Mohawks are past their heyday, but it’s still easy to spot some who still sport the most badass haircut around. It would be hard to miss some of these hardcore mohawk supporters, as they have some of the most intense examples I’ve seen.


(Images via crazyfunnypictures, btnhboard, bizarrocomic, video2funny, everythingweird, videolife)

It’s not uncommon to see little kids fooling around and pretending to have a face on the back of their head, aided with a backwards facing hat or glasses, but these people take it to the next level. I assume most people who do this are just looking for a temporary, hilarious outcome, but it looks to me like some of them have it as a permanent style choice.

Buzz Cuts

(Images via hairextensionspictures, modernsalon, fashionindie, picsdigger, mlgpro, totallylookslike)

A few stylists will add a small flourish when they’re buzzing a client’s head, but these stylists have created works of art. Geeks will be most fond of the Superman and Gears of War emblems.

Underwater Cities: 12 Sci-Fi Visions & Real Design Ideas

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Underwater Cities: 12 Sci-Fi Visions & Real Design Ideas: [ By Steph in Art & Design, Science & Research. ]

Whether it’s adventure or necessity that ultimately propels us to venture beyond our shores and build new communities in the sea, we’ve got plenty of space to work with: over 70% of the Earth is covered with water. The world’s oceans can provide a dreamy setting for all manner of submerged societies, from self-sustaining utopian cities to ultra-modern inverted ‘skyscrapers’ and museums. These 12 ideas range from science fiction to theoretically achievable projects, possibly leading to the world’s first permanent aquatic abode.

Sub Biosphere 2

(images via: phil pauley)

Imagine an entirely self-contained city that could go practically anywhere as the need arose – from floating on the surface of the ocean, to hidden in the depths. Sub Biosphere 2 is a concept for a submerged city featuring eight live/work/farm biomes surrounding a large central biome containing all necessary equipment to keep the city running. Theoretically, with enough notice and supplies, Sub Biosphere 2 – which is also a seed bank – could survive everything from a hurricane to a nuclear war.

The Gyre – A Floating Skyscraper

(images via:

Technically, the Gyre isn’t a floating skyscraper – it’s more like a seafloor-scraper. Rather than reaching high into the air, the tip of the Gyre descends 400 meters under the ocean’s surface from a floating platform with four arms that buoy the building and create harbors for massive ships. The Gyre, powered by the solar, wind and wave energy, would house a research station and a resort complete with shops, restaurants, gardens, parks and entertainment.

Jellyfish-Inspired Ocean City for Australia

(images via: design boom)

Some ocean cities aim not to look like a modern metropolis that has simply been submerged, but like part of the ecosystem of the sea. The beautiful ‘Syph’, a jellyfish-inspired Ocean City concept for Australia, proposes not buildings but ‘organisms’ that each have a specialized task like producing food or housing residents. Designed by Arup Biometrics for the ‘Now + When Australian Urbanism’ competition, this concept has a flowing elegance that’s fitting for its environment.

Trilobis 65 Underwater Home

(images via:

Not everyone is eager to pack into densely populated underwater skyscrapers and housing complexes, whether more of us live under the sea as a novelty or by necessity. Some deep-pocketed lovers of luxury may choose partially submerged abodes that are a variation of modern-day yachts. The round Trilobis 65 features an ‘observation bulb’ that provides a 360-degree view at a cost of just $4-5 million.

Amsterdam’s Underwater Future

(images via: treehugger)

Amsterdam has been dealing with a multiplying population and a shortage of land, a problem that will only get worse if the seas rise with global warming. While many forward-thinking architects have proposed a floating future for Amsterdam, this proposal would take certain functions of the city beneath sea level. Moshé Zwarts believes that draining canals, building under them and then re-filling them could provide space for parking, shopping and leisure.

Water-Scraper Self-Sufficient Floating City

(images via:

Like a combination of the Gyre and Australia’s ‘Syph’, the Water-Scraper is an inverted underwater skyscraper but also employs some stunning biomimicry. Designer Sarly Adre Bin Sarkum of Malaysia says “Its bioluminescent tentacles provide sea fauna a place to live and congregate while collecting energy through its kinetic movements.”

Hydropolis Hotel

(images via: builder blog)

It was supposed to be the world’s first underwater hotel, a massive 220-suite structure with a submarine ‘leisure complex’, an above-water land station and a tunnel connecting the two. But the Hydropolis Hotel was just a bit to ambitious of a project for the worldwide economic troubles of 2008-2010, even for Dubai, and though construction was set to start anytime, the project has been shelved.

Poseidon Undersea Resort

(images via: one nation)

Now that Hydropolis is off the table, Fiji’s Poseidon Undersea Resort really will nab the title of ‘world’s first underwater hotel’ – maybe. The resort was first supposed to open in 2008, but got pushed back to early 2010, which didn’t happen either. It’s unclear whether construction has even begun. But if it does ever become a reality, the resort will offer 24 suites on the floor of a 5,000-acre lagoon with stunning views for a fee of $30,000 per couple per week.

Alexandria’s Underwater Museum

(image via: national geographic)

Few people ever get a glimpse of the remnants of ancient Alexandria, long since sunken into the Mediterranean Sea. But all the treasures discovered by divers in the 1990s, including 26 sphinxes, could be visible to the public if the world’s first underwater museum ever gets built. The partially above-water museum would feature four sail-shaped structures representing the points on a compass, and would keep the ruins underwater to follow the UNESCO convention of preservation of underwater heritage. A team is still trying to determine how to build around such priceless artifacts without disturbing them.

Minnesota’s Secret Underwater City

(images via: io9)

Since 1996, people have been mesmerized by online accounts of a “secret underwater city” not under the sea in some exotic location, but deep within the Minnesota River. The “official Mankato, MN web page” has even lured tourists in with stories about an ancient city dating back to about 4,000 B.C., confirmed by “world famous astrogeologist Seymour Bottoms.” Getting the drift yet? The page was created by a professor at Minnesota State University to show his students that you can’t believe everything you hear on the internet – and yes, it has definitely resulted in some very disappointed and confused tourists.

Bioshock’s Underwater City of Rapture

(images via: the next side)

It never was and never will be a reality, but one of the most stunning underwater cities ever imagined is actually from a video game. The city of ‘Rapture’, from the game Bioshock 2, is entirely submerged somewhere off the coast of Iceland. Initially built as a utopian refuge from the post-World-War-II world, it fell victim to unrest from within, and it is the abandoned Rapture that gamers get to explore. This image is one of several by concept artist Tim Warnock depicting Rapture in all of its initial Art Deco glory.

R’lyeh, Home of Cthulu

(images via: john coulthart)

Long before any of the other undersea cities and buildings on this list were ever dreamed up, H.P. Lovecraft’s vision of R’lyeh was the most fascinating submerged metropolis since Atlantis. Illustrator John Coulthart brought it to frightening life in this incredible work of art, reminding us that undersea living isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Lost & Cast Away: Ten Amazing Uninhabited Islands

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Lost & Cast Away: Ten Amazing Uninhabited Islands: [ By Steve in 7 Wonders Series, Geography & Travel, Nature & Ecosystems. ]

Thinking of getting away from it all on a deserted desert island? Getting there & back isn’t always easy – if it were, most of these amazing islands would likely be inhabited. Luckily that’s not the case and we can still enjoy, if only temporarily and virtually, some of the planet’s most exquisite and pristine isles.

Maldive Islands

(images via: Fizzy Energy and Nitty Gritty)

The Indian Ocean nation of the Maldive Islands is the poster child for island nations, consisting of a double-chain of 26 coral atolls and encompassing approximately 1,190 individual islands. The coral atolls are in most cases divided into 5 to 10 inhabited islands and from 20 to 60 uninhabited ones. This unique situation of geography allows entrepreneurs on the inhabited islands to provide “desert island vacations” for foreign tourists looking to live – temporarily – like Robinson Crusoe.

(images via: Treehugger, 5 Minutes Guide and Fizzy Energy)

The Maldives, perhaps more than any other place on Earth, blurs the lines between land and water. While this allows for an abundance of tropical beauty and a remarkably temperate climate, it also puts the nation of 400,000 squarely in the cross-hairs of Global Warming. The average height above sea level in the Maldives is only 5 feet (1.5 meters) with the highest point rising a mere 7 feet 7 inches (2.3 meters). As sea levels continue to rise, high tides and storm surges will cause ever-greater damage to the point where many of the islands will simply cease to exist and their inhabitants could become climate refugees.

Auckland Islands, New Zealand

(images via: NZ/DOC, NASA, Travel-Images and UNESCO)

The Auckland Islands lie south of New Zealand, smack dab in chill southern latitudes dominated by the legendary “Furious Fifties”, howling winds that owe their speed and relentlessness to the lack of land in those latitudes. Auckland Island is the largest of the five islands making up this tight-knit archipelago, formed millions of years ago from several long dormant volcanoes. The total area of the islands is 241.3 square miles (625 km²) but the vast majority of the land is made up of deeply eroded, jagged mountains up to 2,170 feet (660 meters) tall.

(images via: Heritage Expeditions and Andris Apse)

Residual evidence of a possible settlement estimated to be from the 13th century has been found on the Auckland Islands, making it the farthest south any Polynesian explorers were able to reach. Several attempts to colonize the island were made in the 19th century but few lasted more then a couple of years. The islands have been completely uninhabited since the removal of a meteorological station set up and manned by the government of New Zealand during the Second World War.

Aldabra Island, Seychelles

(images via: Arkive, Hot Top Trends and

Aldabra Island is the world’s second largest coral atoll with a total area of 60 square miles (155.4 km²), divided into four individual islands. Aldabra has been known to humanity for many centuries; its name is of Arabic origin. The island group lies 265 miles (426.5 km) northwest of Madagascar and is the westernmost large island of the Seychelles: the island’s capital, Mahé, is over 700 miles (1,126.5 km) to the east. At 21 miles (34 km) long, 9 miles (14.5 km) wide and rising up to 26.25 feet (8 meters) above sea level it’s somewhat of a mystery why Aldabra hasn’t been able to support even a small human settlement.

(images via: Arkive, Hot Top Trends and

Aldabra Island is home to one of the world’s largest populations of Giant Tortoises – around 150,000 Aldabra Giant Tortoises (Dipsochelys dussumieri) roam the atoll, free from human predation. Such was not always the case: 19th century whalers, sealers and long-distance ship voyagers often captured tortoises for food and by 1900 they were nearly extinct. Aldabra is also home to the world’s largest land crab, the Coconut Crab (Birgus latro), known to netizens from a widely circulated image showing one of the creatures hiding (barely) behind a trashcan.

Tetepare Island, Solomon Islands

(images via: and Wikimedia)

Known as “the last wild island”, Tetepare Island in the Solomon Islands has been uninhabited since the mid-19th century when members of its native tribe fled to surrounding islands due to an increasing threat from headhunters. The island is 45.5 square miles (118 km²) in area and is the largest uninhabited island in the western Pacific Ocean region.

(images via: Jens Kruger, Solomon Times and AVI)

Tetepare Island has been monitored since 2002 by the Tetepare Descendants Association (TDA), a registered Solomon Islands charitable organization that seeks to preserve the island from logging and other resource exploitation for the benefit of future generations. An ecolodge has been established on the island under the TDA’s supervision, which provides employment to local islanders and raises both funds for conservation projects and awareness of Tetepare’s unique status.

Rock Islands (Chelbacheb), Palau

(images via: Citypictures, Survivor Skills and Daily Scuba Diving)

Made famous by their starring role in Survivor Palau, the tenth season of the American reality show “Survivor” broadcast in early 2005, the 250-300 Rock Islands (called Chelbacheb in the native Palauan language) encompass a total land area of just 18 square miles (47 km²) yet boast an abundance of ecological diversity. These heavily forested limestone and coral islands rise up to 680 feet (207 m) above sea level and many feature hidden lagoons and lakes where unique species abound.

(images via: NCBI,, The Independent and Secret of the Crystal Skulls)

A place as beautiful and fertile as Palau’s Rock Islands may be uninhabited today but it seems that human’s gave settlement a shot at various times over the past several thousand years. One of the most intriguing examples involves the discovery of skeletal remains of “tiny people”. At first thought to be related to the so-called Hobbits of Flores Island in Indonesia, it’s now believed the remains belong to ancient Palauans affected by Island Dwarfism.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica

(images via: Cocos Island and Diving World)

Cocos Island is sort of a northern Galapagos, lying quite isolated in the Pacific Ocean approximately 340 miles (550 km) off Costa Rica’s western coast. The roughly rectangular island is 9.2 square miles (23.85 km²) in area and hosts a mainly stable population of deer, pigs, cats, and rats introduced purposefully or accidentally by humans. The latter never maintained long-lasting settlements despite the availability of fresh water. The waters around Cocos Island are a rich oasis of marine life, as the following video shows:

Video más Reciente de Isla del Coco-Most recent video Cocos Island, via Marcogarrido1

(images via: SciFi Squad and FilmAffinity)

Author Michael Crichton probably based Isla Nublar from his novel (and later the films and games) Jurassic Park on Cocos Island. Supporting this supposition is the fact that “Isla Nublar” is Spanish for Cloudy Island and Cocos Island is the only island near Central or South America with an extensive Cloud Forest ecosystem.

Phoenix Islands, Kiribati

(images via: Cosmos Magazine, Wikimedia and Solarviews)

The Phoenix Islands are a group of 8 islands and several coral reefs located about halfway between Hawaii and Fiji in the south Pacific. The total land area of the islands is just 11 square miles (27.6 km²) and except for two dozen people (as of May 2010) living on Kanton, the largest of the group, the islands are uninhabited. Several attempts to settle or colonize the Phoenix Islands have been made over the past two centuries but all ended in failure with the last residents leaving in 1963.

(images via: San Francisco Sentinel and The Saipan Blog)

The Phoenix Islands are isolated – though part of the Republic of Kiribati, Kanton Island lies (1,765 km) east of the republic’s capital, South Tarawa. The southernmost island of the Phoenix island group has a dubious claim to fame. Nikumaroro (formerly known as Gardner Island) is thought by some to be the place where American aviatrix Amelia Earhart along with navigator Fred Noonan crash-landed in July of 1937, while attempting an around-the-world flight in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra.

Mu Ko Ang Thong, Thailand

(images via: Souvlaki for the Soul and Treetop Asia)

Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park (established 1980) consists of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Though the park as a whole covers 39.5 square miles (102 km²), only 7 square miles (18 km²) are dry land. “Ang Thong” means “Bowl of Gold”, and the islands enjoy the warm weather and abundant sunshine that has made tourist areas in Thailand’s Surat Thani province so popular.

(images via: Simandan, Psychedelic Adventure and G Living)

The islands of Mu Ko Ang Thong are the setting of The Beach in the 1996 Alex Garland novel and the 2000 film of the same name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Pre-production activity including flattening the beach was conducted, which ruffled feathers locally, but the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami saw the beach re-assume much of its original look and character.

Monuriki Island, Mamanuca Islands (Fiji)

(images via: CIO, David Wall Photo and Hotel Rental Group)

There are about 20 volcanic islands in the Mamanuca Islands group, part of the nation of Fiji. That number drops to about 13 when the tide is high, however. Many of the Mamanuca Islands are uninhabited and the main factor deciding habitation seems to be the availability of fresh water.

(images via: DVD Beaver and Mentalfloss)

One of the Mamanuca Islands has achieved a special type of fame: tiny Monuriki Island is the main location where the 2000 movie Cast Away was filmed. The character played by Tom Hanks, “Chuck Noland” (C. No land… get it?) faced several difficulties surviving on Monuriki, chief among them making fire and finding a source of fresh water to drink. Good thing he had his pal Wilson to keep him company too!

Ball’s Pyramid

(images via: Oddity Central, Fakename2 and Starship)

Rising from the Pacific Ocean 13 miles (20 km) southeast of Lord Howe Island and 370 miles (600 km) east of Australia, 1,844 ft (562 m) high Ball’s Pyramid may be the Earth’s most visually stunning island. The shear volcanic outcrop was first discovered in 1788 by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball. It wasn’t until nearly a century later, in 1882, that the first person actually stepped – very carefully, I’m guessing – onto the rocky shore of the island. It’s safe to say that there may not be a single patch of horizontal ground anywhere on the 3,600 ft (1,100 m) by 1,000 ft (300 m) remnant of a 7 million year old volcano.

(image via: Outdoors Webshots)

You’d think Ball’s Pyramid would be a rock climber’s and BASE jumper’s idea of paradise, and indeed the pinnacle was successfully climbed to the summit for the first time in February of 1965. Climbing was banned entirely in 1982 though since 1990 applications may be made under special conditions, subject to approval by the Australian government.

Devon Island, Canada

(image via: Statistics Canada)

This list leaves out major and minor islands of the arctic and Antarctic as they do not remotely meet any conception of a “desert island”. Even so, we will give honorable mention to Devon Island, the world’s 27th largest island and the largest uninhabited island on the planet. Located in Canada’s arctic archipelago northwest of Baffin Island, Devon Island measures 21,331 square miles (55,247 km²) in size.

(images via: Canadian Museum of Nature and Atlas Obscura)

The brutally cold, dry climate and the existence of the 14 mile (23 km) wide Haughton Impact Crater has made Devon Island the perfect testing area for future Mars rovers and habitats. It ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids, as Elton John once sang, and as for those Desert Island Discs? Leave ‘em at home – you’ll have trouble finding an electrical outlet anyway.

Waterproof Paper!? Artisan Pottery of Waste, Wood & Sand

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Waterproof Paper!? Artisan Pottery of Waste, Wood & Sand:

It might be a bit pretentiously presented (complete with cute little rusticated tags), but would you be less than boastful if you brought together so many elements in one design? These clever works are a combination of local, free-trade, artisan-made pottery pieces plus a biodegradable set of recycled materials.

Without using synthetic chemicals or eco-harmful varnishes, Ceylon Paper Pottery has developed a 100% waterproof hybrid material made of waste wood, reused paper and simple sand. The result looks and feels like rough homemade papers, but has the strength and durability of typical pot-throwing materials.

It sounds simple, but there is a careful selection process – blends of differently dyed papers produce a variety of organic brown tones as well as blacks, whites and everything in between.

Their collections vary over time, but are all based on an underlying “light, strong, unbreakable and eco-friendly” construction system that can be used to replace ceramics or porcelain. Once could imagine a number of uses for this method and material set beyond these more arts-and-crafts-type applications.

Added accents make use of local scrap woods including mahogany, teak, mango, kumbuk and other exotic and colorful hardwoods that would otherwise be expensive to use in home products.