TreeHugger wonders if a 94-square-foot home (pictured above) built as a possible solution to Sweden's student housing crunch is just too compact n' cute for its own good. The Swedish Housing Authority seems to think so. The tiny home is indeed pretty damned small — "you are in the shower when you sit on the toilet, and from there you can also reach out and touch your stove" — and may not pass Housing Authority muster but the company behind it hopes the Authority will relax its rules so that the prototype home can be replicated in a slightly larger form. 


Jetson Green takes a quick glimpse at a new report published by the Preservation Green Lab at the National Trust for Historic Preservation that compares the environmental impact of building reuse/renovation and new construction. Not too shockingly, "when comparing buildings of equivalent size a​nd function, building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction."


Dwell swoons over new offerings for kiddos — a three-piece dinnerware set, utensils, coloring book, and plywood "Factory" puzzle — from the handcrafted tableware wizards over at Heath Ceramics.


The Sun Journal warmly welcomes the state of Maine's third passive house project. The "buttoning up" of the home, located off of Sunday River Road in Newry, is being overseen by Danish-born Passivhaus consultant/contractor Jesper Kruse. He remarks: “If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, it's got to really come down to how much oil are you burning? How much electricity are you using? I mean, you can buy a bamboo floor, but it's not going to increase your comfort." Amen, brother.


Contemporist renders this blogger totally homesick with a look at Scott Allen Architecture's Cliff House in Gig Harbor, Wash. This green-roofed, energy-efficient beauty sits right on the Puget Sound and features an outdoor wood-burning pizza oven. Please. take. me. there. 


The New York Times admires the handiwork of Nightwood, a Brooklyn-based interior design firm that work magic with revamped, refurbished, reincarnated, and reimagined vintage furnishings. Client Aya Yamanouchi Lloyd learned that "anything can be fixed and repaired" after working with the firm.


Co.Design digs Parasite Farm, a conceptual indoor verimicomposting/gardening system for kitchens that comes complete with a built-in chopping board lid, planters, and a rather unappetizing name. Describes Belinda Lanks: "Once you’re done cutting up your vegetables, simply slide the trimmings into the bin, where worms process them into humus. To harvest the soil, simply shake the grate at the bottom and pull out the drawer underneath; residual water is siphoned into a separate translucent tank for use as liquid fertilizer. Load up your bookshelf planters with soil and seeds, install some grow lights above, and you’ve got a mini farm powered by your own waste."


Grist fields a most excellent question — "why are my CFLs burning out so quickly?" — in the latest edition of "Ask Umbra."


The San Francisco Chronicle catches up with lauded landscape architect Andrea Cochran who, in addition to taking on high-profile jobs for big-money clients, has injected much needed green into low-income housing projects like the Richardson Apartments in San Francisco. 


And finally, iQ — a most excellent line of eco-friendly, cartridge-based household spray cleaners — reveals the winner of the Who Cares About This Planet? Challenge, a contest that I had the pleasure of serving as a judge on. A big congrats to Vikas Malhotra of Ontario  for his winning submission, "Saving the Planet at Work," and all of the other finalists. 



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

Playing catch up: The missing links
This week: <i>Too</i> tiny student digs in Sweden, the Pine Tree State gets its third Passivhaus and 'Parasite Farms' for your kitchen. Plus, the winner of the