Murals in Madrid by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada focus on the Amazon — Inspiring City

Two new murals from Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada have appeared in Madrid. The new pieces feature themes of climate change and the fight of indigenous people to save their lands. Gerada choosing once again to use his art in order to draw attention to social issues and the rights of minorities. The murals have in part been inspired…

via Murals in Madrid by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada focus on the Amazon — Inspiring City

Giraffe Manor: Guests get up close with Rothschild giraffes at conservation-supporting boutique hotel- Life & Soul Magazine

There’s few boutique hotels in the world that can lay claim to visitors rubbing shoulders with giraffes over the breakfast table other than Kenya’s Giraffe Manor.

Giraffe Manor, set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, is a wonderful and delightful vacation for anyone who has an affinity with the graceful and elegant mammals that are giraffes, namely the Rothschild species.

The boutique hotel, which is situated at one end of land used as a sanctuary by the Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife for this rare species of giraffe, is often visited by a herd of Rothschild giraffes morning and evening, who sometimes poke their long necks into the windows of the dining room in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.

The giraffes are nurtured within the 140 acres of the estate, until they are ready to be reintroduced into the wilds of safer National Parks and game reserves wherever possible.

The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most endangered species of giraffe with under 2000 estimated to be left in the wild in 2016. One of the tallest giraffes, the Rothschild giraffe can grow to 19 feet in height and weigh about 2,500 pounds, with the males weighing more than the females by several hundred pounds.

Giraffe Manor, an English-style country mansion, has been supporting the conservation of the Rothschild giraffe since the 1970s when the then owners Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville first adopted an orphaned Rothschild giraffe, Daisy.

Now owned by The Safari Collection, Giraffe Manor has become a world-renowned boutique hotel, with 12 rooms offering guests old country house charm. Managed like a family home, dinner is served at a long table in the dining room, and after drinks served by the fire on the terrace overlooking the rolling lawns.

The Safari Collection supports several initiatives that protect local wildlife, including the Mara Cheetah Project, and operate sustainable practices throughout its portfolio of hotels aimed at reduce its  energy, water and materials and emissions.

A popular place to stay in Kenya, mainly because of its resident four-legged friends, Giraffe Manor recommends booking 1-2 years in advance prior to travel.

Images Credit: Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Meltdown: Exhibition emphasises the changing global climate and the importance of glaciers- Life & Soul Magazine

A series of artworks emphasising the changing global climate and the importance of glaciers is currently on display at London’s Horniman Museum.

The temporary exhibition, entitled Meltdown, aims to emphasise the importance of glaciers in a scientific, illustrative and dramatic way. The show features work from every relevant continent, leading the viewer on a journey in three chapters – The Importance of Glaciers, Current Issues and Meltdown Consequences.

Among the works include artist Peter Funch’s use of vintage postcards as a model for his images of American glaciers to capture the effects of glacial recession; Norfolk + Thymann’s images of part of the Rhône glacier covered in geo-thermal cloth to limit melting; Richard Mosse’s photograph of the ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland; and Noémie Goudal’s large-scale photographic installation mirroring the shifting glacial landscape, printed on biodegradable paper.

The exhibition – organised by climate change charity, Project Pressure – is on until 12 January.

Project Pressure, since 2008, has been commissioning world-renowned artists to conduct expeditions to document changes to the world’s vanishing glaciers, the consequences for billions of people, and efforts made to limit melting.

Meltdown

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Designer Maurizio Montalti develops mycelium-based material and products as a solution to plastic problem

Italian designer Maurizio Montalti poses for a picture in front of everyday objects he created, a chair, vases and even slippers, based on mycelium, the white and film-forming part of mushrooms, at the Micropia Museum displaying the invisible world of micro-organisms in Amsterdam on May 2, 2017. What is nicer after a long day than sinking your feet into comfortable slippers? But one Italian designer is hoping to show that shoes made from mushrooms can be just as cosy. / AFP PHOTO / Sophie MIGNON

Amsterdam-based designer Maurizio Montalti – who has created pieces of furniture from a fungus-based material – is proving that mycelium can be used to replace plastic and other materials that are tough to recycle.

By combining mycelium, the “root structure of fungus”, with agricultural waste such as wheat, rapeseed and flax, Maurizio Montalti has created a new material, which he has used in the design of chairs, lampshades, waterproof vases, and slippers.

The designer – whose studio Officina Corpuscoli houses a lab where scientists work alongside designers to grow new materials from living microbes – believes that products made from mycelium-based materials are a solution to the plastic problem.

Maurizio Montalti cites his main source of inspiration as “the fascination for the micro-scale, together with a holistic vision of the world as a macro-organism animated by symbiotic relationships”.

The Italian designer and his team at the Officina Corpuscoli lab have been researching mycelium-based materials for nearly a decade.

In 2015 the studio embarked upon an industrial venture, aiming to standardise and scale-up mycelium technology and the subsequent range of naturally grown products. Alongside industrial partners, Maurizio Montalti founded technology platform and company, MOGU.

MOGU is the first company to offer commercial mycelium-based products on the market, suitable for interior design applications and as an alternative to traditional synthetic materials, such as petroleum-based plastics.

MOGU say: “Today, our relationship with the ecosystem is more than ever compromised, due to human activity and particularly to the irresponsible manufacturing processes we constantly run.

“At MOGU, we thrive to employ only residues as raw input materials, setting new value for unexploited resources through the skillful action of fungal mycelium.”

Image Credit: Sophie Mignon/AFP

Officina Corpuscoli and MOGU

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Unicorn Wisdom: What unicorns can teach us- Life & Soul Magazine

Unicorns are one of the most loved mystical and magickal beings, with both children and adults drawn to their gentle nature, youthful take on life, playfulness, potent magickal and healing abilities, and spiritual wisdom.

These beautiful and graceful beings are often depicted as horse-like beings with a magickal horn that elevates from their third-eye area, in between the eyes. Beautiful they most certainly are, but if you were to meditate or to dream of unicorns you will not be surprised to learn that they are not exclusively white, as they are often depicted.

As a race of magickal beings, unicorns are as different as every other unique being – a myriad of shades, colours, sizes and often with dominant features such as zebra-like stripes. Their energy is pure and their light is a brilliant white light, which if you look up close is infact a spectrum of all colours.

Unique beings they are and unicorns teach us to honour our individuality. No two beings are the same, and unicorns help those who struggle with this truth or try to “fit in” with others to find their way in their exploration of getting to know themself, while also showing them how they can bring their individuality in to a group setting without losing themself so to speak.

Harmony is a quality that is associated with unicorns. As natural peacekeepers, unicorns are diplomatic, serene, adaptable beings who bring a whole lot of love, joy and peace wherever they go and to whomever they come into contact with.

Dwellers of the forests, unicorns have potent healing capabilities and are naturally knowledgeable about plant life. Those with unicorn energy often find themselves working with plants as herbalists, naturopaths, gardeners, chefs or mixologists.

Those with unicorn energy are also drawn to the healing arts and coupled with their infinitely creative abilities, you will often find them in the entertainments and creative industries – music, comedy, drama and writing just some of the avenues in which they channel their healing abilities to heal the masses. They just as easily heal with the music they create, the words they write, the jokes that they tell, than they do with the herbs they use in a magickal potion to heal.

Effervescent and enlightening, unicorns are naturally charming and a delight to be around. They make play time fun for children and encourage everyone to freely explore their imagination and creativity.

For those who take themselves seriously, those with unicorn energy will no doubt get them to lighten up rather swiftly. They encourage joy, laughter and fun. For adults who need to get back in touch with their inner child, unicorns can provide assistance. They help to illuminate blocks and obstacles to accessing one’s own creative powers and potential, and to explore new opportunities in life.

With their magickal horns, unicorns are natural visionaries and see the truth in everything. Those who seek clarity would do well to seek the wisdom of a unicorn, as they cut through illusions and encourage one to see the bigger picture.

While unicorns teach one to see the beauty in all life, their ability to see through everyone and everything is exceptional and impeccable, which is another reason why they make such fantastic companions for children as they serve as both protectors and guardians.

Eternally youthful, unicorns mature but they never “age”, which is why people of all ages find them endearing and seek their wisdom. They are naturals with children and the young, who are drawn to their energy like a magnet.

Those with unicorn energy make good parents, as they are able to relate to their children throughout their various life stages as if they were the same age and without embarassing their children, even the most surly of teenagers.

Given the high frequency at which unicorns vibrate at, those with a similar frequency will be drawn to them. Those with unicorn energy tend to be popular and while their intentions are not to draw attention to themselves, their presence always attracts attention as they “light up” a space and a gathering in so many positive ways.

Unicorns are very humble beings and while they easily make friends and can be sociable, as spiritual beings they spend quality time on their own nurturing their spirituality, the source of their sustenance.

For those on a spiritual journey who are attuned to unicorns, will find their path enlightening and illuminating with much adventure, as well as opportunities for play and to have fun. They will also likely find themselves at home in the forest, where meditation is likely to come most easily within the natural habitat of unicorns.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Move Over Hygge—Lagom Is the New Lifestyle Trend That’s Taking Over — StyleCaster — Wyndesong Collectibles

A special kind of coziness dominated the way we approached the late 2010s. Hygge—a Danish word that conveys that comfortable, fuzzy feeling you get every time you enter a room full of fluffy pillows and blankets—pervaded our lifestyles. 19 more words

Move Over Hygge—Lagom Is the New Lifestyle Trend That’s Taking Over — StyleCaster — Wyndesong Collectibles

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of stargazing tea rooms in bisei, japan- Nisha Designs

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of stargazing tea rooms in bisei, japan

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of tea rooms under the stars, a cluster of tea rooms offering a view of the surrounding scenery and the starlit sky as a teahouse connecting people to the stars and nature located in the town of bisei, okayama prefecture, japan, known as a sanctuary for stargazing. the site is surrounded by rolling hills and distant mountains and offers a view of a spectacular landscape.

tea room in the fog

moriyuki ochiai architects’s pieces are able to host a variety of events held throughout the year by the astronomy club and the tea ceremony club as well as a performance stage for concerts and plays. named after two rivers running through it, the town of bisei (jap. ‘beautiful stars’) is found in okayama prefecture which is also known for being the birthplace of eisai, a japanese buddhist priest, credited with introducing green tea to japan. in alignment with its heritage, the constellation of tea rooms is also in harmony with the surrounding undulating terrain, thus creating a landscape in which the indoor and outdoor expand seamlessly like the flow of a river under the milky way.

uster of tea rooms offering a view of the surrounding scenery and the starlit sky

the japanese tea room was developed as an enclosed microcosm called ‘enclosure’, and as such, each unit is designed as a spatial installation where one can perceive minute changes in its natural surroundings and experience the wonder and mystery of natural phenomena. meanwhile, mirrors placed on the exterior walls reflect the ever-changing outdoor environment like the water surface of rice paddies scattered across bisei, thus modifying the look and perception of the constructions throughout the day.

the constellation of tea rooms is also in harmony with the surrounding undulating terrain

visitors can experience the project as a galaxy of tea rooms built independently as they move in and around them freely. the outdoor space, taken as the space comprised between the tea rooms, the surrounding nature and the starry sky are beautifully intertwined to form a new landscape that comes in and out of view through the openings and gaps cut out from the multiple structures. the loose gathering of tea rooms forms an extension of the landscape and creates an environment enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities. by merging together this newly formed belt of tea rooms with the idyllic hills, mountains and starry skies of bisei, the studio sought to realize a tea house that reshapes the town’s panorama.

creating a landscape in which the indoor and outdoor expand seamlessly like the flow of a river under the Milky Way.
a cluster of tea rooms
the loose gathering of tea rooms forms an extension of the landscape and creates an environment enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities
tea ceremony
tea ceremony
tea ceremony
the open arrangement of the structures forms a stageconducivee to various events and activities by creating a space where multiple indoor and outdoor activities become possible
visitors can experience the project as a galaxy of tea rooms built independently as they move in and around them freely

the surrounding nature and the starry sky are beautifully intertwined to form a new landscape that comes in and out of view through the openings and gaps cut out from the multiple structures

project info:

design firm: moriyuki ochiai architects

team: moriyuki ochiai, jillian lei, xingguang li, marie uno, haruka amano, yuta takahashi

use: teahouse

location: bisei-okayama and awajiiland, japan

client: irbisei, nijigennomori/pasona group

constructor: takei construction, ca leading (osami hiroyama, masakazu hirose, yoshiko makabe, kazuya okuno, sanae iwamoto), soken group

special paint: osamu yamaguchi

paint: masanao uchida lighting: color kinetics japan (masaki yamashita, koki yano, miyahara yusuke)

sound system: yoshiyuki kanamori

videography: kazuma goto, noriko nishiguchi, shinichi hisamatsu, hajime kishii

tea ceremony set: nanzan ito,kenyu mitsuhashi,yuko nakano

tea ceremony: fumiko miyake , fujimi ishikawa

cooperator: norihiro ariyoshi (soken group), yoshinori takedo (grop)

photo: fumio araki

completion: january 2018

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: maria erman | designboom

Via: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/moriyuki-ochiai-architects-constellation-stargazing-tea-rooms-japan-04-23-2018/

Hotel Taselotzin: All female-run Mexico-based hotel "with an indigenous heart" empowering Nahua women- Life & Soul Magazine

Hotel Taselotzin, located in the Sierra Norte mountain range of Puebla in Mexico, is a sustainable hotel run by indigenous Nahua women.

Taselotzin, which in Nahuatl means “small plant or shoot”, started life as a hotel “with an indigenous heart” in 1995 as a result of the collective effort of the female-led organisation Masehual Siunamej Mosenyolchiacuani (“Indigenous women who support one another”).

Masehual Siunamej Mosenyolchiacuani was originally set up in 1985 to empower women within the community whilst protecting their indigenous heritage and traditions. Created and managed by more than 100 Nahua women of the region, many of whom are crafts people, the aim of the collective was to help indigenous women sell their crafts at fair prices and to improve their quality of life by creating jobs so to limit the number of community members needing to emigrate.

By 1987, the women’s collective realised that it was not enough to obtain income, and so on the advice of a student from the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), who told the indigenous women that their embroidery could turn profitable beyond their home community of Cuetzalan, the idea of a community-owned hotel arose.

Cuetzalan, nestled in the northern mountains of Puebla, is a small village rich in indigenous history and heritage that is known for its coffee plantations, greenery, cobblestone streets, waterfalls, and caves.

More than 80% of the town’s inhabitants are of Náhuatl origin and live under customs of ancestral community management. These customs are based on conservation and respect towards nature, which have helped prevent the arrival of mining businesses into the area. The remote village has also become popular with conscious travellers looking to experience indigenous customs and traditions.

Hotel Taselotzin – which came about to provide work, preserve culture and halt migrations to big cities and other countries – is preserving the region’s indigenous way of life. Located a 10-minute walk from the city centre of Cuetzalan, Hotel Taselotzin offers basic accomodation decorated simply with Nahua symbols in the 14 bedrooms, a restaurant serving native dishes, traditonal crafts and herbal remedies sold at the hotel, and spa services which include a temazcal sweat lodge and massages.

Rufina Edith Villa, the Nahuatl leader who manages Hotel Taselotzin, said: “In a council meeting we considered this dream [Hotel Taselotzin]. What we wanted was to have our own resources, and not depend on any institution.”

More than 100 indigenous families benefit from the profits of the hotel, which enables indigenous women to be empowered. All profits are distributed among the community members, depending on their participation, during the annual meetings. The crafts are sold under a fair-trade policy and these profits are invested into a fund established to encourage continual product development. In addition, the hotel has its own microcredit system, which is accessible to all members in case of need.

The women say that each room at Hotel Taselotzin and each space is embedded in the pacha mama, the mystical earth mother. The spirit of the pacha mama is said to sip into the rooms, blessing the mountains and Cuetzalan.

Sustainability is a natural part of everything the women’s collective do at Hotel Taselotzin. The hotel participates in composting, and the women also support and partcipate in the conservation of green spaces.

Rufina Edith Villa added: “This place is rooted in nature and our hotel is like a plant, if we do not take care of it, it can wither. It is up to us.”

Hotel Taselotzin does not currently have its own website but rooms can be booked via Booking.com and other online travel companies

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

FABRICS FOR CRUISE SHIPS- Nisha Designs

Within the Cruise Industry great importance must be placed upon the materials that are to be used, especially in terms of sustainability and function. Design requirements and ambience are part of the process and these must create a memorable impression & feeling that people will not forget.

Safety plays an important part therefore  the decorative and upholstery fabrics must pass special flame-retardancy tests specially developed for shipping (IMO Res. A471 (XII), IMO Res. A652 (16).

Especially with curtains, high light fastness is of great importance, since the solar radiation is much stronger than on land due to the reflection of the sea surface. Substances used in outdoor areas must withstand extreme solar radiation, seawater and possibly chlorine water. 

For more information on samples, pricing please contact Nisha Desai at nisha@nishadesigns.com or 702.622.8321

Via: https://www.delius-contract.de/en/products/contract-fabrics/filter/569

RECYCLING & PACKAGING Why you should Upcycle in your Next Remodel — ecogreenlove- Life and Soul Magazine

Upcycling is a great way to make use of old, damaged, or unwanted products by transforming them into something new and improved, rather than letting them go to waste. When it comes to home design, people typically use upcycling to create decorative accent pieces, but who’s to say you can’t upcycle in home remodel as well?

via Why you should Upcycle in your Next Remodel — ecogreenlove

Actor Matthew McConnaughey helps design Australia-based eco-cabin to reconnect guests with nature

True Detective actor Matthew McConaughey has joined forces with Australian tiny house startup Unyoked to design an off-grid, eco-cabin.

Known as The Reserve, the rustic-style eco-cabin with its dark wood-panelling, was built with sustainable materials and is solar-powered. Featuring large windows and a firepit and with no TV nor WiFi, The Reserve was designed to “help people disconnect and get back in touch with the benefits of the wild”. Basic amenities include a queen-sized bed, a gas stove, plates, linens and even a concealed bourbon bar.

The Hollywood actor was involved in the eco-cabin’s design from conception through to construction, and added his own personal touches to the interiors, including vintage books and a range of tapes that can be played in the cabin’s vintage cassette stereo system.

The eco-cabin, which is currently located in the Central Coast region in Australia, is available to rent from this month for up to two guests at a time.

The Reserve was launched as part of liquor brand Wild Turkey’s “With Thanks” initiative to get more people to “reconnect with the wild” while also protecting the environment. Matthew McConnaughey took on the role as Creative Director of the Kentucky-based liquor brand in 2014.

In a statement, Matthew McConnaughey said: “I’ve always been in awe of Australia’s natural beauty. My hope now is that The Reserve will inspire Australians to reconnect with nature as an antidote to the frenetic pace of life.”

Unyoked aims to make the Australian wildnerness accessible to those in need of respite and balance through state-of-the-art cabins designed to help connect guests with nature.

The eco-cabin, which can be booked via the Unyoked website, costs AUS$293 per night on weeknights and AUS$353 per night over weekends.

A percentage of proceeds from The Reserve eco-cabin will be donated to Unyoked’s charity partner, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, an NGO that aims to protect Australia’s wildlife and wilderness.

Unyoked

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Colorado is our New Faux Leather- Nisha Designs

Colorado is our new Faux Leather. It is available in 60 colours and due to its product properties it can be used in many different ways. Extreme durability is paired with a natural feel. The product is available from mid-January 2020.

Please contact Nisha Desai for further information at nisha@nishadesigns.com or 702.622.8321

We have many new products coming please visit our whole collection available online at https://www.delius-contract.de/en/