Modeled after the design of Chemex coffee makers, Soma is an elegant water filter that would look great on any table. Made from shatter-resistant glass, BPA-free plastic, and biodegradable filters from coconut shells, silk, and plant-based casing. They’ve even made the filter replacement easy with a subscription service, and each sale donates clean drinking water through charity: water.
Soma is now available for $59 here.
Forget Steve Jobs. Elon Musk is the closest thing we have to a real-world Tony Stark. Here, the founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX explains how it all fits together to build a better world through technology. He also discusses his project SolarCity, which is making home solar power widely available and affordable. Inspiring stuff.
This tiny off-grid retreat on a coastal island in Maine was designed and built by Alex Porter for her father, and it is almost entirely self-sufficient. The house, which is situated on a tiny sleeve of rock tucked close to the water, features solar power, super-efficient appliances, a small water pump, a rainwater catchment tank, and a composting toilet which converts waste into fertilizer. It also has protection against the harsh elements with a resilient corrugated steel skin featuring a series of rolling storm panels. Most of the finishing materials were sourced locally and floated in.
More on the project at Dwell.
We just wrapped up the fourth annual 24 Hours of Reality, a day-long live-streamed event with Al Gore discussing solutions to the climate crisis. Above are a couple of the highlights: a short video we made titled “Good News” and an interview with actor/activist Mark Ruffalo where he discusses his own actions and reasons for hope on climate change.
Scott Stowell is creative director of Open, a New York design studio. Here he reveals his approach to taking on projects and how he has cultivated a studio that relies on risk. “We like to do projects that we don’t know how to do,” he says. It’s part of his life motto: “No one has any idea what they’re doing. We’re all just figuring it out.”
TINY is a nice little documentary on people who have decided for various reasons that they’d be happier living in a very small home. It’s really interesting to watch their process of building the structures and to see the final results. Plus, it definitely makes me want to get rid of some junk.
Having spent a good chunk of my adult life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — the home of Harley-Davidson — I grew to appreciate the company’s heritage and their unique bad-ass image. But let’s face it… Harley’s are fucking obnoxious to anyone within a half-mile radius. Times are changing, Harley’s sales are down, and younger generations don’t feel the need to have an extremely loud piece of machinery between their legs. So it’s high time Harley introduces their first ever electric motorcycle, which they are calling Project LiveWire.
As we’re seeing with the Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, Tesla, etc., electric vehicles are clearly where the industry is headed. Not only are they more fuel efficient and capable of running off clean energy, they are getting cheaper, more powerful, and the batteries keep getting better all the time. So if we can cut down on both air pollution and noise pollution, it’s a win-win for all. This new bike still makes some noise, which they describe as sounding like a “fighter jet.” But it doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as the signature Harley sound we all know. I hope they find success with this new direction. It is 2014 after all. Let’s act like it.
Fast Company just published their list of this year’s 10 most innovative companies in design. They say what’s fueling the best in design is the desire to make life easier and more enjoyable. While that’s definitely true, there’s also a clear move towards products and services that are better for our health and environment, from Nike’s innovative use of materials that are less toxic and create less waste to Warby Parker, who donates a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased. Check out the list here.