Turning Concrete Buildings Into Large Batteries

Though the technology needed to transform a concrete building into a rechargeable battery has existed since the early 20th century, new research from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology affirms that it’s possible to implement right now within many of the world’s pre-existing concrete buildings. According to Luping Tang of Chalmers and Emma Zhang of engineering and technology company Delta of Sweden, embedding carbon fibers (among …

Affordable Plastic Waste Bricks That Are Stronger Than Concrete

Materials engineer Nzambi Matee—the founder of Nairobi-based Gjenge Makers—not only invented a brick made from plastic waste that’s stronger than concrete, but she also set up the factory after losing patience waiting for government funding. The bricks are made from a blend of discarded high-density polyethylene (traditionally used for products like shampoo bottles), low-density polyethylene (plastic bags) and polypropylene (used for tougher items like buckets)—all …

Bower Studios’ Limited Edition Concrete Melt Chair

A mind-bending material evolution for the brand's reimagined The Future Perfect piece

Brooklyn-based Bower Studios‘ limited edition Melt Chair (now in concrete and chrome-plated brass, after an initial marble and antique brass release) defies expectation. It does so by rising up at the juncture of art and design, function and observation, and even perception and reality. These contrasts—and the more obvious dialogue between its sets of materials—overlap into an imaginative, expressive representation of a chair that’s greater than its parts. “The …