Casa GE Is A Low-Energy Home In Spain With A Minimum Footprint But Maximum Functionality & Comfort

Dubbed Casa GE, this newly built low-energy house in the town of Seva, nestled in the middle of Monstseny Natural Park, north of Barcelona was designed by Alventosa Morell Arquitectes. The home is located on a sloping triangular plot, tucked between two streets, and is designed to be a simple and minimal family home that has minimum energy requirements while maintaining a serene and solid connection to the garden. The home is quite modest and perfect for a close-knit family.

Designer: Alventosa Morell Arquitectes

The studio had a unique strategy for designing the home. They created a strategy with two approaches. At first, they surveyed the site and then selected the best spot to construct the home which was the highest and flattest point. This minimized earthworks and protected the pre-existing trees, while also maximizing the views. They also developed a brand-new construction system that can support a complete shift in the organization of the internal space, allowing it to transform from an open plan to a more intimate and conventionally designed space. It is a single-story home with a linear plan. The bedroom is connected to an office, and then a living room, kitchen-diner, and terrace.

The main rooms have a stunning view of the garden. They are amped with sliding glass walls which are teamed up with patterned brickwork. A large terrace opens up to the kitchen which is sheltered with an oversailing pitched roof. A simple porch features a solitary column and flat roof, which perfectly contrasts the terrace. The entire house is designed to be simple and low maintenance. The windows on the southern side offer solar heat in the winter while providing shade during the summer season. Skylights and sliding doors offer cross-ventilation during the hotter parts of the year, while excellent insulation enables the house to be heated via a single pellet-burning stove.

Casa GE is a prime example of excellent low-energy construction which is the specialty of the architects – Marc Alventosa and Xavier Morell. The architects make an effort to ensure that all their projects are “socially, economically and environmentally responsible”, and Casa GE is certainly no exception.

Enjoy camping in the great outdoors in comfort with off-grid camper trailer

There are different kinds of people who go camping. There are those that really want to rough it out in the middle of nature, away from the bare necessities that we’ve gotten used to every day. But there are also those that want to stay close to their creature comforts while still experiencing some semblance of the great outdoors. If you’re more of the latter, this Mad Max-looking vehicle may be the one for you.

Designer: Bruder

The Bruder EXP-8 is the flagship vehicle from the Australian adventure trailer manufacturer. If you want to experience an outdoor adventure, you can do so in the comfort of this off-grid camper trailer that is “designed and built for all seasons and environments”. You will be able to drive through the most uneven of terrains and the most extreme climactic conditions as it has 12 inches of suspension travel and three times more usable wheel travel than others in its category.

On the outside, it looks like something out of a Mad Max movie, but with a sleeker and sturdier look. Inside, it is spacious and has a pretty luxurious set up complete with a fully functional kitchen, a living room, bedroom, a bathroom that looks like those you can see in hotels, and gallery windows so you can enjoy a good view of the outdoors. It also has solar panels, a 20 KwH battery, and a 500W inverter so you can get enough power for four people inside the camper.

While it looks tough and heavy, they used lightweight construction for the Bruder EXP-8. It is also able to calibrate its height to fit different kinds of tow vehicles. It can even level out on sloping camp spots so you can enjoy the best of both worlds while camping out in luxury.

This aluminum lounge chair is built for easy repairs, not so much for comfort

Chairs are designed to be comfortable to sit on unless they’re meant to be art or statement pieces rather than usable furniture. Of course, not all designs hit the mark, and some tend to value other traits like aesthetics or features over comfort. That isn’t always intentional, though, especially for chairs that are meant to be sold commercially. This lounge chair, for example, seems to check off boxes like minimalism, repairability, and sustainability, but its rather imposing industrial aesthetic might make some think twice about parking their bodies on its thin body, even if there’s a comfy cushion on the seat.

Designer: Haus Otto

Truth be told, the AL13 lounge chair doesn’t inspire much confidence because of its super thin construction. Each component is made from laser-cut aluminum sheets that seem to be too thin to support heavy objects, like your body for example. Of course, looks can be deceiving, and this chair was designed to be really stable and safe, at least enough to be sold and used both for indoor as well as outdoor use.

The chair’s extra-wide seat is flanked by extra-wide armrests that might seem too high for actually placing your arms on them. Instead, they function better as small side tables to hold your phone, book, or drink, though you have to be careful with the latter that you don’t accidentally knock it over with your arm. It can also hold your laptop, but it might not be comfortable much less ergonomic to use it in that position.

Perhaps the more interesting aspect of the AL13 lounge chair is its somewhat modular construction so that parts can be easily disassembled. This makes it easy to repair, replace, or recycle parts, which are just bent sheets of aluminum. Its distinctive shape and the added function of the armrests make the chair suitable for any spatial environment, whether indoors or outdoors.

That said, the rather hard and cold appearance of the chair might feel a little intimidating, especially if you’re a fan of softer and cozier chairs. There’s an option for upholstered seat cushions, but that still leaves out the back and armrests, not to mention making it unsuitable for outdoor use. It’s still an interesting brutalist design, though, and could be an inspiration for other variations that add a bit more comfort to the equation.

Portable sound monitors helps you create music from the comfort of your room

Gone are the days when you will have to book studio time and spend a lot of money to be able to produce, mix, and create your own music. One tool that artists and producers need to be able to create music is to have great studio monitors so they will be able to fine tune the music they’re creating. We’re now seeing these monitors become more portable and lighter to cater to those who want to produce music from the comfort of their own homes.

Designer: AIAIAI

The Unit-4 monitors by Danish audio makers AIAIAI is one such tool that these indie music creators can use to produce their works of art. These studio monitors portable (weighing at just 2.5kg), battery-powered, and completely wireless. This means you can lug it around to wherever you are working in your house and you will not be bogged down by cables and power cords. Well, at least until the battery runs out after around 20 hours.

When it comes to quality, it can be comparable to the boxy, bigger sound monitors that studios use. It has Flat +/-2dB frequency response from 50Hz to 20kHz and can give a bass extension down to 40Hz with its 2-way active sound monitors. It has a 4-inch woofer and 1-inch silk-dome tweeter with crossover at 3kHz. It is also eco-friendly as the bass reflex enclosure is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic which also contributes to the sound quality since it minimizes resonance.

If you want to use the speakers the old school way, there is a 3.5mm mini-jack and 6.3mm balanced TRS inputs. It comes with a magnetic steel grill to protect the woofer and tweeter but you also have the option to not use it if you feel it interferes with the sound. You can get a pair of the AIAIAI UNIT-4 for $800.

This electric bicycle turns into a kick scooter but lacks the comfort one would desire

\Personal mobility vehicles come in various genres and form factors depending on the specific needs of the user. There is a wide array of options from the upbeat Segway and kick scooters to the more conventional bicycles and unicycles. The creative Asian market in Japan and China is also witness to the more futuristic personal pods that are a cross between a Segway and a scooter.

This electric bicycle further takes the hybrid nature of personal commuters to the next level with Cake bike-inspired aesthetics. The modular nature of this commuter makes it a good option for every kind of user. It can be your scooter, a Cake bike, or an electric ride.

Designer: YU ID

The ride also draws inspiration from everyday gadgets, adapting their sleek form without compromising on the robust aesthetic that’s vital to support the body weight. Talking of supporting the rider’s weight, the saddle takes an awkward-looking shape that’ll not keep the rider comfortable for long. This form factor flows with the slim character of the bicycle but is somewhat of a comfort killer I have to say.

The rear middle section of the Electric Mobility bicycle can be detached for the kick-scooter functionality. A pretty big kick scooter it has to be said, perfect for above-than-average people. Would anyone fancy riding this? Well, this commuter has many bases untouched that should have been taken into consideration while designing the blueprint.

Top 10 best designed PC gaming keyboards to maximize comfort and style

A great gaming keyboard is ergonomic and versatile. Some may use controller thumbstick-like analog mechanical switches for precise input, whereas most others use standard mechanical switches with binary input. Some take up a larger portion of your desk, whereas others are only about 60% of the size of a full-sized keyboard. Many modern gaming keyboards include some form of integrated RGB lighting, though there are a few in the wild that don’t include any lighting. You may prefer your keys with a satisfying click after each keystroke, or you might prefer the smooth silence of linear keys.

In any case, you should be able to use your PC keyboard all day long for both gaming and non-gaming tasks, and not feel any discomfort in your fingers or wrists while doing so or any time thereafter. There are a ton of different keyboards out there, but you shouldn’t have to spend all day trying to find the best designed PC gaming keyboard that suits your exact needs and also matches the style you’re going for. I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite gaming keyboards, and since there’s something for everyone, there’s probably something for you too.

1. SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL

SteelSeries is famous for producing durable, high-quality gaming peripherals that also manage to look snazzy and tasteful. The Apex 3 TKL (short for tenkeyless, or 80% of the size of a full-sized keyboard) should be an instant contender for any PC gamer looking for a compact gaming keyboard that can sustain long periods of play over many years. Its switches are rated to sustain over 20 million “whisper quiet” keypresses, it comes with eight RGB zones that can sync to games via onboard software, and it’s rated for IP32 water resistance, meaning you can spill your drink all over the keys, worry-free. Not to mention, it’s a steal at $44.99.

2. Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro

If you’re looking for a full-sized gaming keyboard instead of a TKL, you’re probably looking at the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. It admittedly looks a lot like the Logitech G915 Lightspeed keyboard featured just below, and this is thanks to its five macro keys on the left side of the keyboard – and the multi-function volume roller and media control buttons on the top right. It’s even more versatile, thanks to three additional macro buttons to the left of the macro keys (where your hands would grip onto the edge of the board) as well as the easily reconfigurable Razer Command Dial and wrist rest with RGB LED underglow that lights up the entire desk thanks to Razer Chroma RGB lighting software. It’s a bit spendy for a gaming keyboard at $229.99, but its possibly one of the most well-rounded, feature-complete gaming keyboards around.

3. Logitech G915 Lightspeed

A fantastic wireless competitor to the previously mentioned Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is Logitech’s G915 Lightspeed wireless keyboard. It gives up a bit of the latter’s versatility in favor of not being bound to one spot. The lack of a need for a wired connection lets you use it more comfortably in a more compact gaming space, with a sit-stand desk, or from a greater distance – like on the couch, for instance. Its RGB lighting system, Logitech Lightsync, is a little less impressive than Razer Chroma, but it can also easily connect to the full suite of Logitech Lightsync accessories, like the G560 gaming speakers.

4. Razer Huntsman Mini

Razer’s Huntsman Mini 60% keyboard is known as one of the strongest compact gaming keyboards on the market. RTings gave it a 9.5 for gaming, highlighting its high build quality and macro-programmable RGB-lit LED keys. Granted, the fact that it’s a 60% keyboard by default means it provides insufficient wrist cushioning in comparison to larger and more feature-complete keyboards like the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. It also lacks extra control functions and macro buttons, meaning what you see is exactly what you get. For an MSRP of $119.99, the Huntsman Mini is still an extremely well-designed, compact, and visually appealing PC gaming keyboard that will fit perfectly on a smaller desk.

5. ASUS ROG Azoth

ASUS ROG Azoth fits between the Razer Huntsman Mini and some of the larger keyboards we’ve mentioned so far. It’s a 75% TKL board with a number of unique features that you won’t find on other popular gaming keyboards. For instance its three-layer dampening system should make typing on it a cushier, smoother experience than clacking away on a non-cushioned keyboard. It’s also wireless in 2.4 GHz mode, with support for ROG SpeedNova and out of the box support for MacOS. If you’re a primary Mac user who also plays games on a Mac, this may be the absolute best keyboard of the bunch at an MSRP of $249.99.

6. HyperX Alloy Origins 60

HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is a competitive wireless alternative to the previously mentioned Razer Huntsman Mini. Much like the latter, it also contains programmable keys and fully-backlit keys. It’s also famously durable, with reviewers saying great things about its build quality across the board. The main difference for the end user is the Alloy Origins 60’s lower MSRP ($99.99), a wire-free experience, and its integration with HyperX NGENUITY, which can control lighting across other HyperX products. If you already own other HyperX products with controllable RGB through that software, this is probably the keyboard to get. Just know that it only works out of the box with Windows.

7. Wooting Two HE

The Wooting Two HE analog keyboard is a lot more like a video game controller in terms of input responsivity. Its analog mechanical switches are designed to react to the amount of pressure applied to them, allowing you to, for instance, walk slowly through an environment in a video game based on how far you press your finger into – presuming you’re like me and you never rebind the keys – the W key. Like many of the other keyboards on this list, it also features RGB backlighting, however, you can switch on Tachyon mode to turn that off and push the Wooting Two HE’s latency to below 1ms. That’s a great pitch for a full-sized gaming keyboard that sells for an MSRP of $194.99.

8. Corsair K70 RGB Pro

The Corsair K70 RGB Pro keyboard is comparable to the Logitech G915 Lightspeed or the Razer BlackWidow V4, with some key variations including 8000Hz polling speed and one feature in particular that stands out: Tournament Mode. By flipping the Tournament Switch on the back of the keyboard, you can immediately (temporarily) turn off all RGB lighting and macro profiles, setting the keyboard to do exactly what the keybindings in your game of choice tell it to do. It’s a bit spendy at $169.99, however, it’s catered directly to gamers who play competitively in certain games – then also play games with custom macros on the side – and want to be able to support both playstyles on the same keyboard.

9. HyperX Alloy Origins Core

The HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a lot like the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 we mentioned earlier. The main difference here, despite it retaining the same basic keyboard design, is its expansion to a TKL layout. To be fair, this is the option I’d personally prefer, since I’m not a huge fan of 60% keyboards. The good news is that it’s just as snazzy at the Alloy Origins 60 thanks to the signature HyperX branding and RGB backlighting with NGENUITY integration.

10. Logitech G413 SE

Easily the most minimalistic gaming keyboard on the list, the Logitech G413 gets rid of all the flashy RGB LED lights, macro buttons, and extra doohickeys in favor of a very simple PC gaming experience that (theoretically) puts build quality over everything else. Reviewers are a bit lukewarm across the board, with The Verge saying “the Logitech G413 TKL SE definitely feels like a $69.99 keyboard,” though some users love its low latency and its “what you see is what you get” personality. Still, as a Logitech G gaming keyboard, it has its place. It’s likely a great gaming board to place on a desk with little to no RGB lighting, where an RGB-backlit keyboard with tons of extra macro buttons and gaming features would look tacky.

New Sleek Airstream Trade Wind is customized to go further while enjoying the comfort of your home

Are you ready to embrace off-grid journeys that immerse you in the breathtaking beauty of nature? If so, then the all-new Airstream Trade Wind Travel Trailer is your brand-new option for unparalleled freedom and exploration.

This remarkable travel trailer boasts the most extensive solar capacity, the largest battery bank, and an array of features designed to let you roam farther and stay longer in the great outdoors. With its 25-foot size and a single floor plan, it strikes the perfect balance between comfort and flexibility for your living, sleeping, and relaxation needs starting at $129,400.

Designer: Airstream

Trade Wind’s off-grid ability is made possible by an internally stored 810Ah heated lithium battery bank, ensuring you have the power you need when you need it. Topped with 600W rooftop solar panels and a 3000W inverter, the new Airstream trailer allows you to charge your devices, operate onboard power points and appliances directly from its battery. It can even run the air conditioner and convection microwave simultaneously.

The Trade Wind boasts a recirculating water heater to conserve water from its 39-gallon fresh water tank, further extending your off-grid adventures. With a solar windshield, a 3-inch lift kit for added ground clearance, rugged tires, and front rock guards, you can tow your new Airstream on all types of challenging terrains.

Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by the warm embrace of gorgeous oak wood finishes and luxurious textured seating fabric. The interior design evokes the feeling of home, which is enhanced by a separate bathroom and shower facilities, a fully-equipped kitchen, bedroom with queen bed, and a comfortable lounge featuring a stowaway table to make for additional sleeping space, when you have guests over. The space left vacant by the table can even double as storage for your fishing poles, paddleboards, or a kayak.

Capable of sleeping up to five people, Trade Wind travel trailer offers an option for a pair of twin beds instead of the queen option while rear and roadside awnings add shade and style to the outdoor space. The trailer features an optional rear hatch door with a sliding screen to ensure convenience and extended living. So, when you arrive at your destination, open the hatch, pull down the screen, and enjoy al fresco dining with incredible views while keeping pesky bugs at bay.