“Providing food and shelter to victims of a natural disaster is one of the first priorities for emergency services, but the process can often generate a lot of unnecessary waste. To help tackle this problem, UNICEF has developed an amazing reusable LEGO-inspired brick that doubles as a food storage container and a building material, addressing multiple needs in one fell swoop. Read on to see more pictures of this clever object designed by Psychic Factory! The bricks have two compartments – one that holds rice and another that holds water. Once these vitals have been consumed, the bricks are then filled up with soil and sand to give them weight and stacked just like lego bricks into temporary shelters that gives disaster victims relief from the elements. In the meantime, all of the packaging that might have been used to provide clean drinking water and food are spared, as well as the headache of sourcing and distributing them. And the best part? When this area recovers, the bricks can be re-used somewhere else!
The exquisite pieces of origami that unfold in this video were created by artist Etienne Cliquet for a piece entitled Flotilla. He used a computer-controlled machine to precisely cut the tiny designs, which are just a few centimetres wide, then folded them by hand. “I wanted to express the paradox between the fragility of things and the disturbing potential of micro and nanotechnology,” he says.
Cliquet isn’t sure what causes his designs to unfold when placed in water but it’s likely to be the result of capillary action. When liquid is sucked into fibres within the paper, it prompts them to expand.
Some of Cliquet’s designs display fractal behaviour, with the same shapes appearing in smaller and smaller form as the pieces unfold. The first design in the video is particularly reminiscent of the Koch snowflake, one of the earliest known fractals. “I like the way fractal shapes can be folded recursively,” he says. “It’s like small machines when they unfold on the surface of water.”
“For a few years now Kubik has travelled Europe setting up prefab nightlife for thousands ready to groove. Behind the light show’s bumps and beats are towers of common water tanks stacked high to provide backdrops for countless shows and festivals. Designed by Blestra Berlin, the instant venues have hit all corners of the continent in all conditions to keep the bash lit late into the night.”
“Life Cube, an inflatable tent that can set up in just five minutes is an example of a smart shelter design that has actually been built. Packed neatly into a recycled plastic container, it contains all the basic necessities needed post-disaster, including food, water, a battery, lights, radio, solar trickle charger and of course, a place to recuperate. Although the Life Cube hasn’t been vetted in a real world scenario, the company has at least had a chance to show it off to the Red Cross.”