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Conversations, Innovations and Trends in Architecture and Design

Carbon Eater

Clear Skies. Designed by Parisian architect Vincent Callebaut, the carbon-absorbing Tao Zhu Yin Yuan tower mimics the shape of a DNA double helix – aptly surrounded by 23,000 plants and trees. Callebaut hopes that one day entire cities will evolve to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. In 2014, Taiwan alone created over 250 million tons of carbon dioxide. Callebaut’s tower hopes to absorb 130 tons of carbon dioxide while also offering residents built-in eco-friendly features such as rainwater capture and solar panels. In the future, Callebaut hopes to help design cities that encourage us to reconnect with our natural habitat. Many other eco-structures are appearing around the world, including urban farms, underwater skyscrapers and floating gardens. See the full design and other twisting towers at CNN.com

Back to the Drawing Board. Alhambra  - a world-renowned palace in Granada, Spain known for its beautiful gardens and architecture that blends into the surrounding city – is getting an update. Or is it? Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza and local architect Juan Domingo Santos are having to revisit plans for a new entry and visitor center. The original designs, which won a competition in 2011, will have to be redrawn after the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an official consultant for UNESCO that aims to protect World Heritage locations, calls the 125,000 square feet of new construction “too invasive” for the protected area. Architecuralrecord.com has more on the “dust up” at Alhambra.

Blurred Lines. Photographer Lucas Zimmermann sees traffic lights as more than just a regulatory measure; to him, they offer an artistic focus. While most won’t stop their commutes to observe the misty moonlight glow, Zimmermann captures each light’s transformation through the haze of fog, showing them emitting soft beams of  green, red and yellow. A collection of his photos  illustrates several traffic scenes in Germany. Check out some selections at Designboom.com.

Tribute to New York. The Louisiana Channel sat down with architect Daniel Libeskind, the master planner of 1 World Trade Center. In an interview, Libeskind, who has lived in New York since he was 13, touches on the complexity and beauty of New York along with its mix of personalities. “If you took the whole world and collapsed it into one little ball,” says the Polish-American architect, “you’d find it here, in this city.”  Huffingtonpost.com features a clip of Libeskind’s brief, yet thought-provoking perspectives.

Inspiration comes in many forms — images, words, music, and more. As part of staying #FluentInDesign, the team at Hunter Douglas looks for things that spark our imaginations. Please tweet us (@FluentInDesign) or email us with any feedback or ideas. Our address is fluent@hunterdouglas.com.

Image Credit: Photo by Vincent Callebaut via CNN.

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