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Articles by Elizabeth Burton

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This news bit is a little late, but still worth noting: Last month, an independent team made up of designers from Seattle architecture/design firm Mithun won first place in an international sustainable housing competition in Roanoke, Virginia, with their design for a house powered by–of all things–spinach. The house (the design is pictured at left) will be built this summer in Roanoke, along with other contest winners.

The C2C Home Competition, which drew 625 entries from 41 countries, was inspired by William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s work on cradle-to-cradle design principles. They ask designers to go beyond pollution prevention to creating objects and processes that nourish and replenish our communities, using materials that can be recycled indefinitely.

The team’s house takes energy from the sun and uses spinach protein sandwiched between glass to generate electricity for the entire neighborhood, turning the house into a supplier rather than a consumer–a house that acts more like a tree than like a machine.

The architects–a seven-member team led by Tim Meldrum and Matthew Coates–were influenced ... Read more