Posts Tagged ‘tiles’

Tech inspired design

April 12th, 2010 No comments

It seems like everywhere I look every gadget/tech related blog is talking only about the iPad (including this one!). I’ve never been much of one to follow the group so I’m just gonna post whatever I wanna post (and it’s not because I’m resentful of the fact that I don’t have an iPad yet… no really, it’s not).

I found some cool nerdy design related stuff I’m going to post about instead. First, ceramic tiles modeled off the old school 3 1/2 inch floppy disks.

Designed by Australian design firm ENESS, these tiles are sadly not for sale. Though if they were they would totally corner the computer nerd market. I can already envision my kitchen countertops, or possibly the top surface area of what was previously a normal computer desk. If you know someone who can make ceramics these wouldn’t be hard to do. I think I still have a 3 1/2 inch floppy tucked away somewhere that could be used as a mold (no idea what is on it but some things just have sentimental value, you know?).

Via Wired Gadget Blog

Second is a modular floor covering concept from Kyoto based design student Shin Yamashita and unfortunately titled “The Land Peel”…


Made out of an insulating material, this floor covering converts into furniture. Need a seat and a TV tray to watch that next episode of Fringe while eating dinner, you say? No Problem!
Would you like to face east while working on your laptop today, but make it face west tomorrow? You can do that too.

I can see how this type of thing would go over well in Japan. I probably would have preferred this type of thing in my shoebox apartment as opposed to the table that came out of the wall and desk that couldn’t be moved along with the most uncomfortable chairs possibly in existence. And it looks like it can be totally customized as to size and shape. Here in the States I don’t see it garnering much popularity except possibly in children’s game rooms or daycare centers. But maybe I’m just not using my imagination.

What would make it much cooler would be to make it out of actual tatami mat material. Lose the gray with the primary colored accents. But what I really want to know is where did they get that tiny lamp?

New solar roof tiles

July 21st, 2009 No comments

Living in Austin I tend to see more than your average amount of solar panels. Not only do we get a lot of sunshine here (and I mean A LOT), but people here are really into getting their energy in an ecologically friendly way. I know solar energy isn’t quite there yet (by “there” I mean “sustainable” and “affordable” to the average person), but I try to pay attention to the advances so one day, when I’ve finally achieved the “dream” of home ownership, I’ll have a good idea of how to make my own house close to the ideal zero carbon foot print.
And the other day I found this:

Picture 1

A company called SRS Energy has partnered with US Tile, a leading manufacturer of Spanish, slate and shake roof tiles, to design solar panels with the exact shapes of their clay counterparts.
The idea is that more people will likely integrate solar paneling into their roofs if it is more aesthetically appealing. Good idea. Solar panels are kinda fugly, not that it ever bothered ME any. I’m more of a “greater good” kinda person.
But builders and designers obviously take aesthetics into consideration (especially when people are spending the kind of money you would have to spend on a house like the one in this photo) and I think this is an excellent practical solution. And I have to say I think it looks pretty damn good. Hopefully we don’t all have to own million dollar homes in order to get solar tiles. But I guess they have to start somewhere.

The US Tile’s Solé Power Tile system will begin to be installed in homes this November by contractors that have taken the company’s Solé certification class.
The current incarnation of these tiles are said to be able to convert 8-10% of the sun’s energy into electricity. That’s a little behind the 20% that traditional solar panels are capable of, unfortunately, but a representative from SRS energy claims the overall efficiency of the system makes up for the difference. I hope that is true.

I yearn for the day that photovotaic cells can outproduce the amount of energy it takes to make and ship them, and do it at an affordable price in a reasonable amount of time. Hopefully this initiative will help achieve that goal. It’s definitely a step.