Sustainable Business Ideas
1-Flexible condos can be reconfigured and resized
2- For USD 60 a year, magazine delivers monthly works of art
3- Game creates a playable virtual world controlled by tweets
1-Flexible condos can be reconfigured and resized
It’s a fact of life that people’s needs change over time, and that’s as true in housing as any other industry. Aiming to create condominiums that are flexible enough to accommodate some of that change, Canadian architectural firm Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co. has created a new, modular design for living spaces that allows them to adapt when needed.
Created with developer Parallax Investment Corp., FlexNatür is a system for condos by which residents can buy living space in increments and then combine or divide up those increments to suit their current needs. So, rather than committing to a condo with fixed square footage and a preset floor plan, residents instead can buy a certain number of units of space, with room to reconfigure as their needs shift. Thanks to their raised floors, for example, units can be reconfigured without penetrating into the concrete substructure. Self-contained utilities, meanwhile, make it relatively simple to redirect plumbing. And instead of concrete walls, loads are carried on solid concrete columns, enabling walls to be shifted fairly painlessly. The cost to transform such a condo is “less than a third of the cost of major renovations to a home,” according to a report on TreeHugger.
The FlexNatür concept is currently implemented in Toronto’s Downtown condominiums, among other projects. All those in architecture and design: be inspired! (Related: New building block design serves multiple purposes — Eco houses snap together using Lego-style blocks.)
2-For USD 60 a year, magazine delivers monthly works of art
The subscription model continues to gain popularity among convenience-minded consumers. However, it’s rare that we see the concept applied to more high-minded goods. Now, however, Papirmasse is a venture from Canada that delivers 12 pieces of art throughout the year for just USD 60.
Each month, Montreal-based Papirmasse chooses a new, emerging artist to feature and asks that person to design a print for one of its upcoming issues. On the issue’s backside, meanwhile, it prints a short story, essay, graphic novel excerpt or poem. The result is “a magazine, piece of art, and social experiment all rolled into one,” in the site’s own words. Each issue is printed on archival paper in varying sizes and formats. Subscriptions are sold on a yearly basis for USD 60 so as to keep costs low; back issues are available as well.
From open source magazines to periodicals presented on audio LP, it’s clearly an era of experimentation in the publishing industry. The incorporation of original, affordable art, meanwhile, adds a compelling twist. One to watch! (Related: Limited-edition art by yearly subscription — Original art, priced for all.)
Spotted by: RP
3-Game creates a playable virtual world controlled by tweets
There’s no doubt that technology continues to provide ever-more immersive gaming environments, with the latest graphics and gameplay offering unparralled realism. A new game called Tweetland however, has plans to harness technology to build a gaming environment determined by social networking activity.
The game — currently seeking funds on Kickstarter with an target of USD 7,000 — feeds off tweets from around the globe and pulls them into a user’s gameplay experience. For example, in the Route 140 racing game, a tweet reading “I’ve just seen a meteor” from someone on the Twittersphere will result in a meteor landing on the track for the gamer to dodge. The game has been programmed to respond to tweets mentioning a variety of objects and events, such as car accidents, shooting stars, volcano eruption, fireflies and zombies. A video of the gameplay can be seen here. The other Tweetland game currently in production — Love City — feeds off tweets about love or hate, with the player’s gun being loaded with “hate” tweets to combat enemies generated by “love” tweets such as “I like hugs”. Both games feature retro graphics and an original soundtrack.
The Kickstarter funding will be used to develop the game for both the web and mobile devices, paying for the dedicated servers to run the Twitter integration correctly and to buy software licenses. Rewards are on offer for backers, such as a place in the game displaying the backer’s name, and access to a beta version of the game before a full launch. For those who can’t wait for that, a sample of the Tweetland world in action can be previewed on their website.
The Tweetland world is an intriguing proposition, and it won’t be necessary for user’s to own a Twitter account to play in it. The game’s innovative use of Twitter is one of the more interesting that we’ve seen, and pushes the boundaries for what can be achieved with social networks. If you’re thinking of boosting your brands online presence, this should be food for thought! (Related: In London, public transport travel gets gamified — Finnish library uses games to crowdsource indexing — Platform adds gaming elements to any website or application.)
Spotted by: Katharina Kieck
Prosumerzen Intelligence Team in collaboration with the leading world spotter of business ideas Springwise :