Pulling double-duty is an fundamental concept in eco-friendly design, the general school of thought being this: if one thing serves both tasks A and B, then something solely dedicated to task B doesn't need to be introduced, thus reducing energy expenditures on production/packaging/shipping. But we crossed the Atlantic only to find one industrial design whiz who's pulling "double-duty" into a whole other realm.
It's fitting that the name of Steven Ma's blog is "Xuberance," for the work of the Vienna-based designer exhibits just that. A professor of urban strategies at the University of Applied Arts, Ma recently unveiled the ec-O Bench, a twisting, circular form made of Bio-Luminum, 100 recycled aircraft aluminum, and Bio-Glass, 100 percent recycled glass. On top are four lighting channels with embedded solar panels, allowing the system to capture and store light; a built-in water collector and filter allow it to sustain plant growth.
Visit Ma's blog for the technical specs and info—notated with the dizzying attention expected from an academic—or just be hypnotized by the great potential that one product holds. Yes, you can actually sit on this!
(Rendering: Steven Ma)