REPOST: Portable Architecture You Can Roll, Wear, Tow, or Float

Innovations in architecture are almost limitless, and Dubai’s impressive skyline is a proof to that. However, in an article published on Atlas Obscura, outrageous architectural concepts such as portable saunas and moveable houses may soon become even more ubiquitous. Here’s more about portable architecture:


The Ecocapsule can accommodate two people and runs on solar and wind power. (Nice Architects, Slovakia, 2008) TOMAS MANINA


Moveable houses, portable saunas, and wearable tents are the subjects—among some 250—of the new book Mobitecture: Architecture on the Move, by Rebecca Roke. It’s both a paean to traveling light and an eye-catching look at all the ways a dwelling can move. The designs range from the functional to the outlandish, and cover an array of forms of transport, from tugboats to tractors.

Some of the examples are ideal for recreation, such as the compact-cute, California-made Golden Gate 2 camper, with a rounded timber frame, portholes, and a spot for a surfboard. For lovers of winter sports, the Nomad Sauna, which was built on a lake in Norway, includes an internal ice-hole for intensely refreshing breaks from the heat.

It is not all fun and games—others are designed for important, practical use. It can also be used to provide shelter during a crisis, or for protection in extreme weather. The Rapid Deployment Module is a temporary dwelling that can be assembled in an hour to provide shelter during a crisis or disaster, while the DesertSeal is an inflatable, lightweight tent that can protect inhabitants from extreme heat.

For portable architecture to actually move, it needs somehow to be stowed, carried, pushed, pulled, or towed, and this is the way that some of the portable shelters featured in the book get really get inventive. The Walking Shelter is like a tent on two legs (yours), and folds up neatly into the heel of high-top sneaker. Many of the designs are pedal-powered or designed to be towed in a more traditional manner. Some of those can be quite luxurious, such as the four-wheeled Collingwood Shepherd Hut wagon, with a shingled exterior and a cozy wood-burning stove.

And there are some creations that just defy categorization. The aptly named Portaledge, for example, is a small tent that rock climbers can affix to a rock face and sleep in (safely)—while dangling high above the earth. The experimental Camper Kart, created by artist Kevin Cyr, turns a shopping cart into a mini-home with a roof, sleeping desk and storage—all of which can be folded right back into the cart. It can also be considered an artistic statement on the perceived association between shopping carts and the homeless.

Continue reading HERE.

Supreme innovation: Mobile tech trends emerging anytime soon

A few decades back, mobile phones used to be those big clunky machines which people would use to communicate with another individual by utilizing radio waves. This was a breakthrough in and of itself because it meant people didn’t have to use wires anymore. They also had those big antennas sticking out of their heads and buttons which were not necessarily easy to press. That form factor is practically nowhere to be seen in the smartphone-dominated world of today. Its quick-paced evolution is definitely mind boggling, but the industry isn’t done innovating just yet. And for technophiles and tech investors alike, this is more than good news.

Experts speculate that one major change in mobile tech this year would be the arrival of speech-to-speech translation. A person only needs to speak into his smartphone using his native language and the phone will take care of translating it into any language that the user desires. Multi-language conference calls without translators of any kind can now become a reality.

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Another trend that the world should expect in the very near future are foldable, wearable phones. People want to watch online content on a wide screen but that also means using a device that is larger than their palms. Foldable tech will definitely address this issue. By utilizing the Organic Light Emitting Diode technology, smartphones don’t need to stick to their rigid form anymore. People can switch between phone and tab mode or even wear their smartphones on their wrists. All it needs is some added flexibility.

Batteries dying out has always been one of the banes of the industry. That’s why leaders are putting their effort into developing wireless and speedy charging. This could come in the form of walking, tapping the screen, or by simply coming into contact with body heat.

The future of mobile technology seems overwhelming but at the same time very promising. Tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and Sony are working extremely hard to bring these concepts to life and hopefully, become permanent part of the mainstream culture. Expect the industry to gain further growth within the next decade or so.

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For more insights into the tech sector and the economics behind it, here is an interesting article from LOM Financial.

REPOST: The climate finance architecture the world needs

Apparently, the world will have to transition to clean and resilient infrastructure to protect communities from the worst impacts of climate change. To do so, however, sufficient funding is needed. Read this GreenBiz article to know more:


Which kinds of funds should a country use for its climate investments?


The climate finance architecture — the system of specialized, public funds that help countries implement climate mitigation and adaptation projects and programs — is crucial if the world is to overcome the climate change challenge. These funds play a valuable role in everything from deploying renewable energy to helping smallholder farmers cope with drought to restoring degraded forests, and often mobilize even larger volumes of funding from the private sector and other sources.

Yet the climate finance architecture has become too complex. Over the past 25 years, dozens of national, regional and international climate funds have been created. Each new fund responded to needs and gaps that existed at the time, but this has led to a rather complicated system:

Complexity creates two problems. First, contributor countries have a harder time deciding where to put their money for maximum impact, because some funds do similar things. Meanwhile, prospective recipients in developing countries must spend scarce time and effort learning how to navigate this system to access financing. Overlapping roles and inefficiencies among funds mean the current climate finance architecture isn’t fully meeting countries’ needs.

The Paris Agreement on climate change, signed by 193 countries last year, calls for a major realignment of all financial flows towards low-emission and climate-resilient investments. Now is the time to strengthen the public financing architecture to deliver this outcome.

Continue reading HERE.

Super-cities: Skyscrapers of the future

The last two decades were perhaps history’s most ambitious period for architecture. Multi-billion development projects across the globe fuel massive construction booms, pushing design boundaries as well as boosting local or national economies. While the financial crisis of 2008 seemed to have discouraged many developers, building mega-projects—such as skyscrapers—did not stop companies from making history. In Dubai alone, dozens of innovative and groundbreaking structures rose above empty deserts like mushrooms and forever changed the emirate’s cityscape. In the next couple of years, several more revolutionary skyscrapers will hit news headlines. Some of them are as follows:


Jeddah Tower

When completed by the end of the decade, this Saudi super-structure will be the tallest skyscraper in the world. It will be more one kilometer tall and will be the centerpiece of a US$20 billion proposed development known as Jeddah Economic City. The project was designed by multi-awarded American architect Adrian Smith, who is also the genius behind the world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Aesthetically, the structure will resemble desert plant shooting upwards, symbolizing Saudi Arabia’s growth and future.


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Consisting of 400,000 square meters (4,300,000 square feet) of residential and commercial space, KL118 will overtake the iconic Petronas Towers as Malaysia’s tallest structure when it opens in 2019. It is currently being constructed within the vicinity of a number of historic landmarks with little modern development.


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An aquatic city found right next to a cosmopolitan desert boomtown, this mega-project will be a magnificent underwater hotel that will once again put Dubai on the map. When completed, the hotel will cover an area of 260 hectares, which is roughly the size of Hyde Park in London. The central structure of the Hydropolis is the Lemniscate, a symbol of wisdom. A unique aspect of the underwater building is that it will comprise of different structures that represent various parts of the human body.


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Baoneng Shenyang Global Financial Center

Currently under construction in Shenyang, Liaoning, China, this supertall skyscraper is notable for its design emphasis on both simplicity and iconicity. It has conical extrusions at its base, resembling canopies or nomadic tent entrances common during the Qing Dynasty. At the top is a “pearl” that would symbolize the Chinese wisdom, luxury, and purity. Located on a high seismic zone, the tower was designed to withstand strong ground shaking.


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These structures are highly impressive in their own right and will go down in historic as architectural marvels. However, regardless of how ambitious a building plan looks, its economic, cultural, and environmental value must be of the greatest importance.  Man’s ingenuity must always be used for the greater good.

Sleek and simple but a bit more personal: Interior design trends for 2017

The first few months of the year is often the start of an entirely different ball game in the world of interior design. The things which might have looked fantastic six months ago may no longer be as chic as it would be today. Design truly is a fickle creature. That’s why leading experts in the field try their best to stay in the know by keenly observing what kind of trends will follow the industry as a whole. For the most prolific, they can create and start a new trend themselves.

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Generational fault lines

One interior design prediction by a luxury rental developer is that the favorability of designs created this year will lie partly on the generational fault lines. This is driven by the growing number of millennials and baby boomers who are now shying away from home ownership. Generation Y is also following the dogma “less is more.” They want their space to be uncluttered and less fussy than traditional designs.


Geometric minimalism

Chanel Korby, the director of business development at a brokerage firm, also confirmed the appeal of clutter-resistant areas to young adults. The world outside is only becoming more hectic, that’s why people are now opting for tranquil environments in their homes. Even in the midst of a bustling cosmopolitan city, homes can achieve Zen-inspired interiors.


Emphasis on personalization

Millennials might be shying away from quite a number of knick-knacks, but that doesn’t mean that furniture are only applicable to the older generation. They just want a specific set of demands which will highlight who they are as a person. Young adults want to mix design styles and create a one-of-a-kind simple look, and they are more than willing to dish out more money to get what they want.

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Return to gold

The world’s most popular precious metal will once again make its way to interior design this 2017. This design trend has always been a classic, but it can now be used in conjunction with modern styles, especially when used as a finish for kitchen light fixtures and hardware. Gold tends to look great in every room, and pairs perfectly with a wide range of palettes and patterns.


Mixing furniture pieces properly

Scandinavian design will dominate this year, thanks to its clean lines and refreshing balance. This particular trend embodies the idea of simplicity, which many modern homeowners are continuing to gravitate to and enjoy. How to achieve the look? Neat and proper combination of furniture piece. Simple but sleek designs always translate to comfort and positive ambiance.

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Poor housing market propelled by the last major economic crisis adversely affected the interior design industry. However, things seem to be turning the tides as the business managed to grow fairly well over the last five years and is expected to do better up to the end of the decade or even beyond. The housing market is expected to improve dramatically, yielding growth for residential interior designers as home sales skyrocket. For investors with the heart for the arts, the interior design market could be a good venture to tap into.

The Advantages Of Investing In Real Estate

There are many things one can invest in and among them is in the industry of real estate. A lot of people find it more lucrative now to put their money in this department because they have seen great results for those who did it. I would like to say that investing in properties is ideal more than doing it in other venues. Today, you will learn about the many advantages on investing in real estate.real estate investment 2


  1. The fact that this could actually generate money once you started investing in it is a huge green light. Whether you want to resell it upon acquisition or you would want to have it rented, either way you would see that one is able to generate income out of it. Of course just like in any other businesses, you would experience some down time. But the beauty about investing here is that you can be sure that you would profit from it eventually.
  2. Another thing that you will love from it is the fact about depreciation. It means that when an asset or property depreciates, you could still use that for your tax benefit. This also means that once your investment real estate depreciates, the taxman in your country would have to reduce that amount on annual basis from your taxes. The total value of the real estate you invested in would be based on its structure, the materials it was made of and the amount of time since it was built. Usually, the taxman would separate the value of your property based on its structure and the length of time since it was last built. As the year goes by, the property depreciates and that would work well with your tax payment.
  3. The next advantage you have from it is the fact that all the expenses spent related to your investment in real estate are actually deductible. Having a property manager inspecting your investment or when you have it repaired, you must know that all those are deductible. This is once again another thing that would help you with your tax papers. It is not just the value of the property itself, but pretty much everything related to it that made you spend for it would not be counted on your property tax fees.
  4. Now, aside from the benefit you could get from “depreciation,” you would also reap the benefits from its “appreciation.” As the years go by, the chances of a property to grow when it comes to its net worth is high, which would eventually affect its value. This is when a real estate would experience appreciation. For example, some of the houses built in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills were priced for less back in the 30s. But of course since time is involved in real estate and the other things that would affect its value like its ambiance, neighborhood, etc.; houses there now are worth around millions of dollars.

These are just among the things to consider as an advantage in investing in real estate.



Buy, Sell or Hold? The Pain Of Giving Advice

My brother came to me for some advice last night. It was almost midnight and he was still tense and troubled.  You see, he’s getting married soon and he’s been preparing for it for the longest time. He’s your typical good boy.  Sound mind, good sense – a responsible guy.

I thought he was worried because he wasn’t sure about pushing through with the wedding. But I found out that he was being troubled by the stock portfolio he had set up with an offshore LOM bank account. There wasn’t anything wrong with the company itself, in fact LOM are great, it was stock portfoliomore the way he had handled his own stocks.  He had put almost all his savings in stocks, mainly blue chips.  He tried to diversify his holdings across different industries. Power generation, retail, airline and tech industries.  But, as a whole, his portfolio was down 20 percent.

Now he needed money to pay for his wedding costs and other things related to settling down.  What was he going to do?

He could still hold his position for some time and wait for the prices to improve.  Anway, his wedding was still scheduled mid-2016.  Maybe near that future time, he could already be seeing green and even be making some money.

But then again, what if the prices went down even more? His now 20 percent loss could turn to a 50 percent loss by that time.  So maybe he should just sell now while the loss was still tolerable for him.  He’d cry a bit and lick his wounds but he can move on.

Or a third possibility would be that he and the market are just overreacting negatively right now.  Maybe the stocks in his portfolio are actually undervalued and he should be buying some more at the current bargain prices and thereby even reduce his average cost a bit more.

Hold, sell or buy?  Those three options kept him awake at night.  Hold, sell or buy.

Now I’m not the type to give advice to family. I’ve learned the hard way that family members are the worst clients.  They tend to blame you more than third parties.  Institutions are the easiest to deal stock portfoliowith because the accountant or fund manager representing the institution doesn’t have his personal money on the line.  He accepts losses as part of the game.  He understands how the market works and takes responsibility for his decision to buy, sell or hold.

Retail investors are more emotional with their trades. I guess it’s because we are talking about their personal hard earned money.  It’s more difficult to break it to them that they have a loss to cut.

But family members are the worst. I won’t generalize.  But I’m just referring to my personal experiences.  Family members would blame me if the stock price went up.  “You should have told me it was going up some more. I could have added to my position.”  Even worse, they blame me for a stock they didn’t buy if they hear about it in the news that the price went up.  They also point the finger when the stock price goes down.  “What am I gonna do now?  Your recommendation failed and I’m worse off than before.”

So what do I tell my brother?  Buy, sell or hold?

In reality it depends on my brother’s investment horizon. Is he in it for the short-term or the long-term?  It also depends on how much he’s willing to risk.  Of course it also depends on our outlook of the future.  Will Yellen hike interest rates this December?  Are we entering a bear market? Or is this just wave 4 of a supercycle?  The problem is all the answers are relative and unsure. Even my brother can change his mind about his intentions and investment horizon.  And not even the US Fed knows what will happen precisely after it decides to hike, cut or maintain interest rates.  Even the talking heads monitoring and giving their expert opinions about the stock market are useless at predicting a market crash.  Otherwise, nobody would have been wiped-out in the dotcom bubble of 2001 or the housing bubble of 2008.  In short, we are all fumbling, and winging it as we go.  That’s why every time someone advices an investor in the stock market, he wraps up with the caveat “invest only what you can afford to lose.”  Yeah, that sucks.  But the stock market investor just goes ahead and signs the client account information form and proceeds to buy the stock recommendation.

And so, to my brother, I said, “You should sell now if you feel that you won’t be able to handle it should your loss increase further.”  Then I lectured him about how he should have set a ten percent stop loss.  I told him that the US Fed might hike rates in December and that will most likely send the market south even more.  He looked at me with much pain and said, “maybe I’ll just wait a bit more.”  I said “It’s really up to you.  Anyway those are good companies you have and it is December anyway.  There’s still a chance for it to go up.”

With a sigh of relief, I was glad he didn’t take my advice.  Sort of.  I don’t even know what kind of advice that was.  At least he won’t blame me. I hope.

How To Invest With Minimal Risk

When it comes to investing, there is no such thing as “no risk involved.” If anyone offers you to invest on something with that kind of deal, I can already tell you not to go with it because that sounds too good to be true. And you know what they say when it’s too good to be true? There is a huge possibility that you are going be scammed.


Now that you know about this, it is important to know that risk will always be a part of it. The trick is how you could minimize them and still enjoy the growth of your money in the end. Experts will tell wall streetyou that it is all about lowering or spreading the risk, so you won’t end up losing money completely.


I don’t want to scare you with this venture, but the wrong strategy and pretty much a wrong decision could make you go bankrupt. This is why it is crucial to do a lot of researches first and ask tons of tips from financial experts before diving into the world of investing.


Believe it or not, risk could be calculated. Everybody in Wall Street is pretty much trained to do it on a daily basis. As an investor, it is your job to figure this out because this is your money you are about to place on the line here. Hire someone to manage the lowering of the risk for you if you must.

One of the tricks to finding out, which investment would give you minimal risk before shedding your money in is viewing the history of the stock or the company. Like does it have any records of completely going broke in the past and how does it cope with fluctuation, just among the things to research on. If of course it is something that has failed in the past, then you will have to think about your retirement money going to waste.


Basically, what I’m trying to say here is that the stock market could be a pretty risky place to start an investment. Go for something that you could get results fast like a small business. Think of something that people would buy easily and can’t live without. A good example would be food or a small clothing line. These are necessities, so people would buy them (given the fact that your products are of great quality) whether they like it or not.


Now, if you really are adamant about putting your money in the market, you just have to know how long could a stock possibly recover. Knowing this would lessen the risk of your investing. Mixing stocks and bonds is also way to minimize your risk in this industry. The more money you invest in more than one boat, there is a huge chance that you won’t get broke in the future from all the assets you have put out. Follow these tips I have for you today, and you’re on your way to a good investment deal.