Friday, June 3, 2011

Design Meets Technology & Innovation

Design has the power to improve the welfare of humanity, to play not just an aesthetic or expressive role in civilization, but also to revolutionize the way we balance urbanization and nature on our planet . A quick "Bing" search of this idea landed me on the homepage, where the apex of evolution through science, technology, and art stared me right in the face.

The NAU group can be described as a "multidisciplinary collective of designers", working to create new strategies for urbanization, transportation, and comfort. Here are two recent innovations by the NAU group that have caught my eye.

1. The ECCO

The Ecco is a future possibility that is currently being developed by NAU. A zero emissions mobile, the ECCO is designed to function as a temporary home, giving the driver a means of escape to distant places with minimal infringement upon nature. "Its direct and sculptural form cheats the wind while pleasing the eye. While a bit wider than its Volkswagen predecessor, the Ecco’s form is more aerodynamic, and the vehicle rides closer to the ground (...) When used for extended living purposes, even where no electricity is available, its built-in photovoltaic panels and solar sail roof mean that it can cut out the middle man, and charge directly from the sun."

2. The Living Roof

The living roof is a compact self-sustaining capsule. "Intended as an urban rooftop getaway, but ready to be airlifted into the savanna at short notice, its ultra-insulated shell and regenerative systems allow the Living Roof to exist largely off the grid. Its sensuous form feed wind into mini-turbines at each end, while funneling rainwater to collectors. Integrated photovoltaic cells also help to make the Living Roof one of the world’s greenest structures."

I think the most interesting aspect of the living roof is that it provides for the user's needs through a rotating ring. Guests can choose between sleeping, lounging, and working, and the ring will rotate the appropriate module.

I could care less about any of this in terms of personally experiencing the luxury. In general, I tend to refrain from applauding modernization projects, I hate minimalism, and quake at the idea of a world built on aluminum and glass. However, in the case of NAU, I can appreciate the element of efficiency and the marriage of talent between the scientific, artistic, engineering, and architectural worlds.
Just thought I'd share...

For the company website: Click Here



  1. totally dig the roof thingie

  2. Agreed. I love how self-sustaining both items are


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