The New York Times tackles a not-so-merry topic that's received a fair amount of action 'round these parts in 2012: the war against front yard agriculture. Explains Steven Kurutz: "Though rooted in something as innocuous as vegetables, these disputes touch on divisive issues like homeowner rights, property values, sustainability, food integrity and the aesthetics of the traditional American lawn. Ecologists and libertarians alike have gotten into the debate, the latter asserting that the codification of gardens is just one more way the government tells people how to live."
Architizer gathers around a festive holiday tree in Hasselt, Belgium (AKA the "Capitol of Taste") made from ... discarded dishes. Coordinated by design firm MOOZ, the 30-foot "Taste Tree" is comprised of over 5,000 cast-off and mis-matched porcelain plates, platters, and cups donated by locals.
TreeHugger details the modern gingerbread trend, a trend that I'm admittedly starting to grow a bit tired of. I suppose that the delicious novelty of gingerbread construction is starting to wear off for me. I'm full. But that isn't the case for Lloyd Alter: "Everything in a healthy home should be non-toxic, from the building materials to the finishes. That's why I am such a fan of the modern gingerbread movement- totally edible, if fattening. The other great thing is that gingerbread structures tend to be small and can be considered part of the tiny house movement. Because they sneak under the building code and planning guidelines, they have promoted an explosion of architectural creativity."
Jetson Green drops a (previously hinted at) Christmastime bombshell: Publisher/editor Preston Koerner has sold his venerable green building/design blog, a 6-year-old website that's always proved to be invaluable resource for your's truly, to new owners and will be focusing on his family and other endeavors. Best of luck, Preston ... I look forward to seeing the new incarnation of JG!
Curbed promotes eyeball bleeding with a roundup of "19 Households with Hideous Holiday Interiors."
Apartment Therapy seeks design inspiration from Darwin, that dapper primate that was found in a Toronto IKEA store earlier this month wearing nothing but a diaper and a shearling coat.
EcoHome is kind enough to point out that while apartment sizes in cities across the country are no doubt shrinking as developers get all worked up over the micro-unit movement, one metropolis is actually bucking the trend: Washington, D.C. Yep, the average square footage of apartments in the nation's capitol is, in fact, increasing.
Co. Design promotes a rather ingenious product: the Bonsai, a jacuzzi of sorts for disposable razors that saves water while also extending the life of your blade. Explains founder Craig Battin: "We realized we could build something to provide consumers with a better daily experience, but also allow them to conserve water without even thinking about it. It really represents sustainability without the compromise often associated with ‘green’ products.” Battin is currently seeking funding for the Bonsai via Indiegogo. I likey. A lot.
SmartPlanet is a touch weary of the Lixil Satis toilet, an intelligent commode from Japan (shocker) with an integrated stereo that "connects with your smartphone to not only keep an eye on your daily habits, but also to allow you to control its functions without touching the toilet."