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We are happy to be growing steadily into the first and biggest cross-European design platform. The project has evolved so far based on bootstrapping technique, testing on small markets before going big, minimizing trial and error effects. Adaptability led to multiple micro (and macro!) decisions and 3 versions in 2 languages. We are so thrilled to announce that in a few days we will be ready to launch groundbreaking “Designodom Version 4″”! Take a glimpse of what you can expect to see :

1. An online search platform for design items is added

2. You can expect to search for your next piece of furniture, decor or lighting, between more than 50 European online furniture and decor retailers, offering thousands of quality products in various prices. The project will kick of with a handful of retailers and the rest will added along the way .

3. Based on your country of living, you will be able to browse between all options available.

4. Yes, shipping fees will be there too, as will free shipping!

5. Major website redesign, adopting English as main language.

6. The innovative client and designer matching process has been improved too!

We are almost there! Keep up the good work everyone! Our team rocks!

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Do you find solar panels on buildings useful but ugly? We did too but we also love efficiency, renewable energy and zero consumption buildings. Luckily during the last years, architects and product designers seem intrigued to the challenge: some find new uses for existing technology, others create innovative new materials. It’s time to map our options. Continuing from our previous post, here they are:

5. The Color: Making solar panels any color you fancy. As many people do not opt for sustainable energy solutions becasuse they do not like them aesthetically, has led some energy startups, to work on creating panels in any colors we tell them to. Minus: we have to be patient. Next!

6. The “Soft”: Making solar panels soft. To be specific, “Not rigid”.

This is mainly achieved by a. not putting the glass case over the silicon cells and b. to make the silicon cells hard so as they do not break easily.

Some producers have managed to create sticky rolls of solar generating surfaces.

This idea has high potential since it is easy to apply and maintain, it is light and can be applied easily in various surfaces. Next!

7. The “Tiled”: Changing the common photovoltaic panel dimension. Tesla had a simple and sharp idea: why not make a solar panel that has the size of an ordinary roof tile? Duh! Awesome idea, beautiful to see, easy to apply and maintain. Next!

8. The “Transparent”: Why not making transparent solar panels and use them in windows? It is possible, beautiful and it only seems fair . Next!

9. The “Solar Paint”: a paint that can turn any surface into a solar cell. This groundbreaking idea seem to offer the potential to cover existing surfaces too. As such it can be applied on old and new buildings, on any private and public surfaces (roads, pavements etc), seems easily applied and maintained. Minus: low energy output per solar generating area.

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Do you find solar panels on buildings useful but ugly? We did too but we also love efficiency, renewable energy and zero consumption buildings. Luckily during the last years, architects and product designers seem intrigued to the challenge: some find new uses for existing technology, others create innovative new materials. It’s time to map our options. Continuing from our previous post, here they are:

4. The “Grand Vertical”: Panels on walls. Given that all buildings have outer walls and their vertical surfaces of most buildings are bigger than their roofs, why not put the panes on them? It only seems fair .

This option is used mainly in new buildings, designed to house working environments, as they are covered in some sort of cladding anyway.

Architects are keen to use photovoltaic panels as cladding and eager to exploring all options.

They change the usual solar shape panel,

they play around creating patterns by custom size cells placed in new frameworks, they encase the whole thing in one big glass surface,

they create rotating panels that are also used for shading,

they create bold shapes for flagship solar buildings such as this “Solar Ark” created for Sanyo in Japan,

And sometimes, they create surprisingly playful spaces that make sustainability fun and sexy!

It’s all in the brief buys! Next!

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Do you find solar panels on buildings useful but ugly? We did too but we also love efficiency, renewable energy and zero consumption buildings. Luckily during the last years, architects and product designers seem intrigued to the challenge: some find new uses for existing technology, others create innovative new materials. It’s time to map our options. From the most simple to the cutting edge, here they are:

1. The “Hello World”: South facing tilted panels on horizontal roof. Energy efficiency rocks, looks disappoint. Heavily . Given that there are other options out there, we wonder why would ayone want to live in that building nor watch it opposite the road .

Although the image above could easily be the most boring example of solar energy power source on roof, this stadium in Japan is not.

In fact it’s a fun example of how architects can add value to a sustainable project. Next!

2. The New World: Panels placed on horizontal roof. Good energy efficiency, looks nothing too fancy but ok. Minus: an accessible roof cann’t be used for anything else. Also you have to be careful not to step over and break the glass that protects the silicon cells. Plus: No one except the birds can actually see the solar panels and your property does not look a freaking mess .

It’s a good idea for buildings in old cities like this Vatican Solar roof. Next please!

3. The Tilted World: Panels on slanted roof. Given that you place your photovoltaic power station on the roof you already have, this option is slightly less energy efficienct than the previous one but worlds apart aesthetically.

This is so because not all roofs are facing south which is the best orientation to produce energy from the sun. This option is similar to option 2 as it follow’s the roofs inclination, but like option 1 the panels are easily visible.

This housing unit in the UK is a good example of a project where the architects have worked miracles in incorporating prefabricated solar panels in the building’s shell. Next!

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What could a design project in Designodom be? Whatever you would ask anyway from an architect or interior designer.

Example: I have a 1 bedroom apartment in Nicosia, Cyprus. It will be constructed during the following year, it is developing right now. I need someone to see the plans – change if we can make them better. Moreover, I want to supervise and design everything inside, choose and buy all furniture and decor so that tenants can use it fully furnished.

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What could a design project in Designodom be? Whatever you would ask anyway from an architect or interior designer.

Example: I have an 80sqm apartment (2 bedrooms, 1wc, kitchen, living room) which I intend to renovate completely. Currently we are working on energy saving works (windows, doors, insulation etc). After that we want to go forward with a turning the existing kitchen into a bedroom and move the kitchen into an open plan living room. I love Scandinavian design!

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What could a design project in Designodom be? Whatever one would ask anyway from an architect or interior designer.

Example: I want a preliminary architectural design for 5 vacation houses on Tinos at Cyclades islands in Greece. I am in no real time pressure but I would like to have a starting ground by the end of this year. This concept and preliminary arcitectural plans will help me find a developer.

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We watched Amazing Interiors (Netflix) focusing on houses that although they seem quite boring from the outside, they bear truly extraordinary interiors. Here is what you need to know:

What it is about: Documentary – mini series. In every episode 3 houses are shown. One of them is under construction and the other two are finished. There is no presenter.

We enjoyed: Although entitled “Amazing Interiors” we liked very few of the cases depicted. It is clear that behind every house there is an owner with real passion and focus, but most homes turn out kitsch, over theatrical and narcicistic for a broader audience. The best cases are the ones that are built around a non-thematic concept (i.e. curcus or skate arena) but instead a strong construction decision (i.e. house out of shipping containers).

Interesting Trivia: You name it, we have it! There is a circus house, a skate-park house, a car museum house, a house made out of containers, a house in a former church, another one inside a huge industrial dome etc.

Photo Credits Architect’s House S01307, AmazingInteriors, Netflix

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What could a design project in Designodom be? Whatever you would ask anyway from an architect or interior designer.

Example: Our company will move it’s headquarters in an industrial building. We need a. To renovate the existing (same building) 1st floor offices which are about 80sqm and b. to construct additional office space on the ground level, right below the ones mentioned above. We need an open plan reception, meeting room and open plan office soace. The two floors are connected via a staircase.

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We watched The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes (Netflix) focusing on houses built in challenging surroundings and how they were designed to respond to these environments. Here is what you need to know:

What is it about: Documentary mini series, presented by award-winning architect Piers Taylor and actress and property developer Caroline Quentin. There’s good chemistry and the two bring unique expertise to the table. The first series focuses on 4 houses per episode, that were all built on simile yet challenging surroundings: built into the side of a cliff, nestled in a forest, perched at the top of a mountain or hidden under the earth.

We enjoyed: Mesmerising images of rare architecture projects. At most cases, the charm leads the presenters to overlook obvious practical issues. Caroline’s joyful authentic laugh. Real “behind-the-scenes” stories /construction nightmares. The presenters don’t take themselves too seriously, have fun, know what they are talking about and appreciate architecture.

Interesting trivia: Undergound houses episode features a house on Antiparos island, Greece. Designodom celebrates that.

Photo Credits: Ktima House by Camilo Rebelo and Susana Martins in Greece , S01E04, Τhe World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, Netflix

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