The Ajiro

What is it? Entry into, and finalist of, the 2011 James Dyson Student Design Awards by Alexander Vittouris. First seen in a Habitus Living article, here. With extraordinary technical innovation, Vittouris did not build the Ajiro, a single-person velomobile, but grew it from a rapidly-growing strain of bamboo over a re-usable steel structure. This concept is derived from the... Continue Reading →

From my sketchbook: Piemonte

2010621.1742 Patchwork Piemonte, northern Italy. On the outskirts of a small village called Mombaruzzo, the land is naturally undulating and heavily cultivated. Even the hills of Tuscany cannot compete with the particular-ness of this vista.

Mihaly Slocombe: Website active

Hill House, 2006 The website for our architectural practice, Mihaly Slocombe, is now active. Check it out here. "We are dedicated to inventive, timeless and environmentally sustainable design. We believe that every project has the inherent potential to change the built environment for the better. Be it a new house on a vineyard or an office fitout... Continue Reading →

The electric Rolls-Royce

What is it? Currently a one-off prototype, the 102EX Experimental Electric is making the rounds of stronghold Rolls-Royce markets to determine potential customer interest in the car. Based on the top-of-the-range Phantom, it does away with a thirsty 6.75 litre V12 petrol engine in favour of a bank of 96 batteries under the bonnet and... Continue Reading →

Say Yes Australia

What is it? A new ad campaign, viewable here, that accompanies the endorsement of the Labour Government's proposed carbon tax by a group of 140 prominent Australians. Despite the Opposition's vehement denouncement of the tax, former Liberals leader John Hewson is one of the 140. However, it is Cate Blanchett, Australian actress and active supporter... Continue Reading →

E10 petrol

What is it? An automotive petrol mix that includes 10% ethanol and offers the benefits of reduced fossil fuel consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, an improved octane rating, cleaner engine operation and better mileage. It also usually carries the bonus of a slightly cheaper pricetag over standard petrol, in the realm of 2 - 4c... Continue Reading →

When green was just a colour

What is it? Susan Warren Utley, on her Creative Procrastination blog, wrote this interesting and insightful post on the transformation of environmental sustainability in the daily lives of average people. Once upon a time, green was not a socio-political movement, it was just a colour. Living sustainably was not a much-publicised marketing campaign, it was... Continue Reading →

The value of a university education

I have recently started teaching structures and construction to first year architecture and engineering students at the University of Melbourne. As an architect who graduated from the same university 5 years ago, and to whom first year structures is just a distant memory, it probably comes as no surprise that in order to teach the... Continue Reading →

Transport security or scarcity?

What is it? The Victorian State Government has recently confirmed it will make good on its pre-election promise of introducing 940 security guards to metropolitan railway stations around Melbourne over the next three years. The guards will be trained in a similar (through controversially less intensive) way to police, given the power to search and... Continue Reading →

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