Design Milk wouldn't mind spending some time in Green Zero, a wood-clad backyard studio retreat from Italian architect Daniele Menichini that comes complete with rooftop solar and a rainwater catchment system. This is ADU design at its most adorable. 

GreenBuildingAdvisor unleashes a barrage of "toos" in an insightful Monte Paulson-penned piece tackling 10 common misconceptions about the Passive House building standard: too expensive, too stuffy, too ugly, too complicated, too soon etc. 

Designboom shares Huba Mountain Shelter, a self-sufficient Alpine hut concept that resembles the love child of an outhouse and a box of Kleenex: "Intended to be located above 1000m, where the average wind speed is about 6 m/s reaching up to 30 m/s, the shelter is equipped with an effective vertical wind turbine. The annual rainfall in the mountains exceeds 1200 mm/m2 and this abundance of wind and water in such an extreme climate allows the structure to benefit from the natural resources. The energy produced by the generator is stored within a battery and is used to supply the building’s heating, lighting and water pump. Specially arranged roof tiles enable rainwater to easily be collected within the tank, which is then filtered and safe for drinking." That would be it pictured up top.

Defamer chronicles the recent technology woes of Martha Stewart who suffered an unfortunate incident with her iPad earlier this week while "crafting a candy corn bird feeder out of an old nylon and a used high heel."

Architizer delves into high-end feline architecture/design. 'Nuff said. 

Grist goes for the predictable "Waiting for Guffman" reference with a look at Stooldio, an "eco-friendly, recyclable, chemical-free stool that its inventors claim could last a century."

Gizmodo gives a whole lot of love to LEGO with an excerpt from "Beautiful LEGO," a brand new tome from New Jersey-based plastic brick wizard Mike Doyle. He writes: "I enjoy turning this simple, familiar toy into expressive works of art. There is a shock of seeing this toy, so familiar to most, executed on such a serious level. The puzzle-like challenge of overcoming a strict, rule-based system to create works of beauty and meaning is especially attractive to me and always keeps me coming back for more."

TreeHugger travels to China for a behind-the-scenes look at the work of magical prefab tower erector Broad Sustainable Building.

The Atlantic Cities looks back to Superstorm Sandy in a discussion of the financial, political, and logistical hurdles surrounding the storm-proofing of multifamily apartment buildings in an insightful piece by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Max Weselcouch, and Vicki Been.

Co.Exist takes a peek inside of Japan's Nakagin Capsule Tower, a housing complex consisting of 140 really tiny modular housing units that predates the current micro-housing trend not by several years but by several decades. Completed in 1972, the "Metabolism"-style building was constructed as a sort of crash pad palace for commuting businessmen although nowadays the impossibly cramped (100-square-feet) capsules serve as office spaces, pied-à-terres, and super-cheap primary housing. Explains photographer Noritaka Minami of the building:  “It had a very specific intent that it was going to serve a certain clientele: businessmen who needed an urban home during the week. In a way, it didn’t necessarily follow his original intent.”

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Backyard love shacks and mountaintop rest huts [Weekend link clump]
This week: A seductive modular retreat from Italy and a self-sufficient Alpine hut that kind of looks like a box of Kleenex, and the finest in feline design