Riding the bus in Detroit is not fun: Half of the city’s bus routes have been cancelled over the last decade, and waiting for a bus to show up can take as long as two hours. A new project is trying to make that wait a little more pleasant by building mobile bus shelters—and since this is Detroit, the shelters are made out of recycled parts from abandoned buildings.
More about the Door Stops project here: These Makeshift Detroit Bus Shelters Are Recycled From Abandoned Houses | Co.Exist | ideas impact
Taiwanese design factory Fabcraft … wanted to find a way to bring 3D printing to the average person. They wound up getting some design plans and open-source software off the internet to build their own 3D printer, which they strapped to a bicycle and called Mobile Fab.
It has a workstation that grinds plastic cups (currently only No. 5 grade plastic) into a powder that is put into the 3D printer. The 3D printer converts the powder into an ink that is used to create gear-shaped tokens that are later fitted with LED lights and can be placed in bike spokes. The whole process takes about 2 hours.
The Fabcraft team bicycles around town asking people for their used cups and giving demonstrations on how the Mobile Fab works. They explain the many benefits of their creation, including reducing carbon footprints and pollution.
More: Bike Turns Plastic Cups Into 3D Printer Ink - PSFK
Designer Alvaro Catalan de Ocon has created a range of wicker lamp shades woven with old plastic bottles by artisans in Chile for his PET Lamps project.
More: Plastic bottles woven with wicker form Chimbarongo light for PET Lamps
Dutch designer Pepe Heykoop has made a series of furniture by casting recycled tin around wooden offcuts.
(via Bits of Wood by Pepe Heykoop - Dezeen)
Eco-eclectic: Marine Debris Typeface by Dion Star, exploring product and waste, assembles an alphabet, each letter a carefully selected bit of marine debris, collected at Wherrytown Beach in Cornwall, England, presented exactly as found.
(via Marine Debris Typeface by Dion Star)
Rupert Blanchard is sitting on what was once a pile of junk. The plywood top of this cabinet used to be a hoarding on a building-site, one of the drawers comes from a Victorian shop-counter, another is from a 1970s G Plan sideboard, and under his leg is part of a fire-safety sign of the kind he saw in the park as a child. In his hands all of them have found a renewed purpose. The furniture he makes is greater than the sum of its parts.
Blanchard is 34 and originally from Wiltshire. In 1999, a graphic-design course at Central St Martin’s brought him to London, where the streets were paved “not with gold, but with rubbish”. He started collecting the city’s leftovers, reimagining and refashioning them into furniture so distinctive that his style was quickly imitated; his designs remain highly sought after. Now his days are spent scouring demolition sites, house clearances, scrapyards and the like to find objects he can put to new use.
He has rules. “A material cannot be usable in its present state, it must be undervalued and no longer fit for its original purpose.” And, ultimately, it must be destined for landfill. Breaking up an object for its parts is not acceptable.
(via IN LOVE WITH LEFTOVERS | More Intelligent Life)
In an effort to prepare for a world after peak oil, design student Mark Colliass has invented a bike accessory that can only be described as Peak Hipster. His clever contraption transforms a fixie into a rolling factory capable of cranking out arty, limited-edition lampshades that would make killer Etsy listings.
The project makes manufacturing as easy as, well, riding a bike. A bespoke rotational casting machine attaches to a bicycle’s handlebars. A small shot of liquid resin is poured into a rubber mold and it is inserted into the rig. As the rider pedals, the front wheel rotates the mold, sloshing the plastic around the cavity. A chemical transformation begins, and 40 minutes later the rider can remove a fully formed lampshade.
More: This Contraption Turns Your Bicycle Into a Lamp-Making Factory | Design | WIRED
My Yahoo Tech Colleague Dan Tynan has a great overview on getting rid of electronic devices that have outlived their utility: The 3 R’s of Retiring Your Old Gadgets: Reuse, Resell, or Recycle
According to the NPD Group, the average U.S. household owns nearly six Internet-connected devices. A recent survey by used gadget marketplace uSell reports that seven out of 10 Americans own gizmos they haven’t touched for at least two years. As a species, we generate 20 million to 50 million metric tons of e-waste each year, most of it toxic, the vast majority of which still goes into landfills.
So in my household and probably yours, it’s time for some serious spring cleaning. But if you want to do it in a responsible way, your options boil down to the three R’s: reuse, resell, or recycle.
And don’t miss his equally useful sidebar: Five Things You Must Do Before You Ditch Your Old Gadgets.