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Plants Conquer Vacant Lots

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596 Acres aims to transform unused public space, in Brooklyn and beyond

In Brooklyn alone, there are 596 acres of vacant land just sitting there gathering garbage and gravel. Imagine if that was all green space, growing plants for food and providing parks for BK denizens. That's precisely the vision of 596 Acres, a public project which encourages people to connect with empty lots in the city. The group's actions range from guerrilla seed bombing to pushing for......read more

Brooklyn Loft Gets Green Makeover

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"Loop" renovation transforms Williamsburg residence

With its emphasis on openness and space over creature comforts like, say, a living room, loft living is perfect for young creative types who are more interested in throwing dance parties than dinners. But there comes a time when what you really want in a home is a cozy spot to watch TV. Adrian Jones knows this well. The designer had been living in his top-floor loft in Brooklyn for nine......read more

Sun-Powered African Huts

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Sustainable energy transforms lives in rural Kenya.

In east Africa, where access to reliable electricity is a rare luxury, small-scale renewable power is playing a transformative role in people's lives. In the New York Times, Elizabeth Rosenthal reveals the story of a rural Kenyan family whose whose small rooftop solar panel delivers enough power to charge their new cell phone and run four bright lights. The solar panel cost the family $80. ......read more

The Art of Urban Renewal

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Detroit duo Design 99 takes steps to transform a city in decline.

In Sunday's New York Times Magazine, "Consumed" columnist Rob Walker (author of the excellent Buying In: A Secret Dialogue between What We Buy and Who We Are) looks at the work of Design 99, a Detroit-based creative duo using art to transform space in the troubled city. Two years ago, the husband-and-wife team purchased a house in East Detroit (for $1,900!), which they equipped......read more

Light Touch

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New laser projector from Light Blue Optics transforms any flat surface into a touch screen.

With its newly unveiled Light Touch product, UK company Light Blue Optics envisions a total revolution in the way people interact with personal media. By freeing multimedia content from the confines of the small screen, it has the potential to do just that. Using holographic laser technology, Light Touch is said to transform any flat surface into a touchscreen, making the applications almost......read more

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