Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Of all the technological breakthroughs we've witnessed in recent years, the emergence of 3D printing technology is one of the most exciting. This week saw a number of breakthroughs in the realm of 3D printing, beginning with Deep Space Industries' plans to develop space-based 3D printers that could produce satellites using materials mined from asteroids. Dutch design firm Universe Architecture announced plans to build the world's first 3D-printed house (which is shaped like a Mobius strip), and French sculptor Gael Langevin is currently developing a design for an open-source humanoid robot that you can make at home with a 3D printer. We learned about an inventive DIYer who figured out a way to hack an old inkjet printer and transform it into a bioprinter. And at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week on Monday, Iris van Herpen debuted the world's first 3D-printed flexible dresses.
In renewable energy news, this week Inhabitat sent a reporter to Masdar City, which was once billed as the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste city, to report on some of the new energy-efficient developments there -- including Siemens' new LEED Platinum headquarters and the world's largest concentrated solar power plant. V3solar announced that its spinning cone-shaped photovoltaic cells could produce power at two-thirds the current cost of retail electricity, and a report issued by the World Wildlife Fund found that solar power could serve all the world's energy needs. Belgium announced plans to construct an artificial island to be used solely as storage for wind energy, and Duke Energy recently flipped the switch on what the company claims is the world's largest battery power storage system in West Texas.
In the world of green transportation, Toyota and BMW announced plans to create next-generation car batteries that will generate energy from thin air. At the World Future Energy Summit, students at Osaka Sangyo University rolled out a sporty new emissions-free fuel cell vehicle that's already licensed to drive on the roads in Japan. We also had a chance to check out the Zerotracer, a closed-cabin electric motorbike that recently traveled around the world in 80 days.
In green lighting news, artist Anne Militello recently unveiled her Light Cycles LED art installation, which transforms the 10-story atrium of the World Financial Center in New York City into an impressive glowing light show each night. And speaking of light installations, the entire city of Amsterdam has been aglow with light sculptures, LED decorations, fiery boat parades and huge projections for the Amsterdam Light Festival, which just concluded this week. In Oslo, Squidsoup recently unveiled a new installation featuring 8,064 floating LED lights strung from the ceiling of Galleri ROM. And in San Francisco, the Bay Bridge will soon be adorned with 25,000 individually programmed white LEDs to celebrate the suspension bridge's 75th year.
Lego fans will be excited to hear that North America's first Legoland hotel is set to open its doors in Carlsbad, Calif., in April. In other green architecture news, San Francisco-based firm William Duff Architects recently completed a home in Menlo Park that features a layout based on the Fibonacci sequence. Architecture students in Nantes drafted a proposal to create a floating "hydropolis" that would rest on the tide of Egypt's Nile River. And for a bit of eco eye candy, this week Inhabitat featured Virginia-based artist Eric Standley's mind-blowing paper sculptures, which look like ornate stained-glass windows.