German community bands together to convert old WWII bunker into a ‘green mountain’

.

Related: Century-old WWI bunker is reborn as a contemporary alpine shelter

“We are rebuilding what we inherit.” The project’s initiative states, “Adding something to history while dealing with it and thereby reshaping history itself.”

Via Archdaily View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building



Modular Qube Tents snap together to create giant camping forts

The team behind the amazing modular Pod tent launched a new exciting tent design that can be connected to create complex camping structures in minutes. You can connect Qube tents on every corner and navigate each units standing up. M2C Innovation inventors designed the structures to include solar panels, LED lighting strips and a 13,000 Mah battery pack that stores energy for charging devices to full power 5-6 times from one stored charge.

Qube tents can be set up and packed away in less than… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Playful KATRIS scratching post blocks fit together like Tetris for cats

Featured on Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell”

Related: Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely

+ Katris Cat

Via Curbed

Katris, cat furniture, modular cat furniture, modular furniture, cat posts, View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Prefabricated garden retreat snaps together in less than a week

If your dream garden look like something from a fantasy world, you’ll love this Dragonfly Pavilion built for a backyard in Hoboken, New Jersey. Built from sustainably harvested and FSC-certified Sapele mahogany and recycled aluminum, this beautifully intricate garden shed takes inspiration from the complex pattern of butterfly and dragonfly wings. New York-based CDR Studio Architects designed this prefabricated backyard retreat, which took less than one week to install.

Prefabricated… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

House of Food Culture in Copenhagen will bring together food lovers and cooking aficionados

The L-shaped building will occupy a prominent location on the tree-lined Frederiksberg Alle, one of the most significant historic avenues in the Danish capital. It will comprise two levels of public spaces dedicated to culinary experiences and food, and 30 new housing units above. Different types of housing for families, students and singles will be distributed across five brick townhouses, including that accommodating the House of Food Culture.

Related: Copenhagen’s Tietgenkollegiet Dorm… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

The Armadillo Vault’s hundreds of limestone slabs are held together without glue

ETH Zurich’s Block Research Group worked in collaboration with engineering firm Ochsendorf DeJong & Block and masonry specialist The Escobedo Group to bring the structure to life using expertly designed compression techniques. 399 limestone slabs were brought together after mapping out the technique on RhinoVAULT, a design plugin licensed by the group. Philippe Block and Tom Van Mele of the research group state, “Without any glue or mortar, with perfectly dry connections, this is really a milestone… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Facing Death Together

Brant Huddleston
Brant Huddleston

After 17 years working for IBM, Brant Huddleston left the corporate world and became an entrepreneur. He’s recently started the Dance to Death Afterlife podcast to learn, with his listeners, about death and dying in an upbeat and educational way. You can follow the podcast on Twitter: @D2DAfterlife or Facebook.

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday….and all is well.

The last time I saw my brother was on a boat in the middle of the Severn River near Annapolis, Maryland. It was summer, and the family had gathered to spread his ashes. John died in April 1992 at age 39, just three weeks after the death of my father. It was a hard year.

It was then I began thinking more deeply about death, and as a bona fide geek, how technology might enhance ways to tell the stories of the dead. My father’s life—64 years of adventure, living overseas, fighting wars, and raising six children—was reduced on his burial plaque to the infamous hyphen found between date of birth and death. My brother’s life is even less memorialized, as there is no marker to him of any kind, and rarely a mention on his birthday or death day. Maybe it is just too much for us to bear, especially my nearly 90 year old mother, who grieves his loss more than the rest of us combined. We are, as are so many others, practicing our own form of death denial. So as the Severn River swallowed up the last of my brother’s physical presence, an idea was born.

As a geek, I imagined using technology to create something I called a talking headstone, which would use multimedia to tell the stories of the dead. The living could point at a ”memorial,” which might be in the middle of a river, and ask, “Who’s there?” Then, a short audio/visual presentation would play, conveying the dead person’s stories and a celebration of his or her life. The talking headstone would expand the hyphen and make it come alive! But in 1992, the technology to make such a headstone did not exist, so I put the idea away for nearly two decades.

Years later, when I finally began shopping my idea among funeral directors, I learned something about their culture: many whom I encountered were staunchly resistant to change and hostile to new ideas. I immediately recognized the culture, for I worked for IBM at a time when they too stubbornly fought inevitable agents of change, like the personal computer, with such ferocity that the company nearly collapsed. This tendency for a mainstream industry to resist changes evoked by disruptive, new ideas is brilliantly described in the book The Innovator’s Dilemma by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen.

From Christensen’s book and my personal experience with IBM, I knew the mainstream funeral services industry, with its legacy of digging holes and carving in stone, would never accept my high-tech invention. The future of the talking headstone lay elsewhere, with the rogues, the rebels, the dreamers, and those willing to challenge the entrenched paradigms of modern death practices. They’re the ones who, as the Japanese wisely advise, “ask why five times,” and they are among the very people I now seek as guests for my new Dance to Death Afterlife podcast.

The fear of death, and the subsequent denial of death, is pervasive in the United States, and it is unhealthy. Together we have an opportunity to change that, and if we follow the irrevocable pattern Professor Christensen traces back to the beginning of human history, that change will come from outside the mainstream. It starts with a vision. I believe by taking an unflinching look at death—a natural and unavoidable process—we’re better able to accept it, plan for a beautiful one, and most importantly, embrace every precious moment of life as a miraculous gift to be savored and cherished.

Others smarter and more talented than I have gone on to build the talking headstone, and I’m excited for them. My purpose now, as creator and host of the podcast, is to shine a light on their accomplishments (and all other facets of death, including those from the mainstream) so that together we can change our world a bit for the better, overcome our fears, and enjoy a fuller, more abundant life…for as long as it lasts. I want my listeners to be well informed and in control of their own experiences, as much as they can be. For if we don’t design our lives, and our encounters with death, then someone else will design those experiences for us, and it may not be what we truly want.

Did my brother John even want to be cremated? I don’t know. No one ever asked him.

Editor’s note: catch Melissa’s interview with Brant on his Dance to Death Afterlife podcast!

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center