Design Wire March/April 2023

In a step toward addressing the growing affordable housing shortage in Maine, the UNIVERSITY OF MAINE ADVANCED STRUCTURES AND COMPOSITES CENTER (ASCC) has unveiled the BIOHOME3D, a 3D-printed house made from recycled forest materials. Created in partnership with MAINE HOUSING and MAINE TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE, the BioHome3D 600-square-foot prototype was printed in four modules and then assembled on-site in half a day. It is equipped with sensors for thermal, environmental, and structural monitoring to analyze how the structure withstands a Maine winter. Made possible by the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’s HUB AND SPOKE PROGRAM between UMAINE and OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY, the creation and implementation of BioHome3D aims to address labor shortages and supply chain issues that drive up costs and significantly lower the amount of available affordable housing.

Designed in collaboration with Egyptian artist and chef LAILA GOHAR, HAY has launched the SOBREMESA COLLECTION, named after the Spanish concept of relaxing with loved ones at the dinner table after a meal. The colorful products in the collection were loosely inspired by items in Gohar’s New York City studio that founder and creative director of Hay Accessories, METTE HAY, was particularly drawn to. Including products like colorful tableware, a netted shopping bag, a handmade bast-fiber market basket, embroidered tablecloths and napkins, colorful place mats, and more, Gohar designed the collection to be able to mix and match seamlessly with existing everyday items found in kitchens.

Created in response to the vast amount of waste generated each time a building is demolished, London-based architecture firm IF_DO has designed and built a structure that can be taken apart and put back together like flat-pack furniture. Located in a residential area of south London called Rotherhithe, the building, named THE HITHE, is made out of steel support beams and wooden elements that screw together to hold the structure up, but easily deconstruct and pack down once the supports are unbolted. Developed by nonprofit MEANWHILE SPACE CIC, which turns temporary spaces into affordable workplaces, the Hithe sits on a section of land allotted for businesses to occupy until permanent plans are developed by the local council. The demountable building currently sits on a previous structure’s foundation, and it houses 12 micro-units with one shared common space, serving as an incubator for small businesses including a skincare company and a sewing class. Designed to last up to 50 years, the Hithe will be deconstructed in 11 years and moved to a different location.

In late November, the UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND (UNE) broke ground on the HAROLD AND BIBBY ALFOND CENTER FOR HEALTH SCIENCES in Portland, part of a years-in-the-making project that will eventually consolidate all the college’s health-profession programs on its Portland campus. This will include relocating the COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE from the Biddeford campus. Citing a need for more physicians (especially family doctors) in Maine, this expansion aims to bring more students on the health profession track to the state. Made possible by a monetary gift from the HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION, the completed building is planned to be 110,000 square feet, with a projected completion date that will coincide with the 2024/2025 school year.

Following WORLD AQUATICS’ (formerly FINA, or the International Swimming Federation) decision to reverse its ban on the use of larger swim caps that accommodate voluminous hairstyles in professional swimming competitions, sports company ADIDAS has partnered with inclusive swimwear company SOUL CAP to develop the Adidas Soul Cap. Made from 100 percent silicone and available in regular to XXL sizes in a mint-green color, the cap is designed to comfortably fit individuals wearing dreadlocks, afros, and braids while still creating a firm seal that keeps hair dry. As a part of Adidas’s ongoing effort to make sports more accessible, this collaboration is intended as a step toward creating a more social, fun, and inclusive swimming environment.

Set to open in summer of 2023, a new boutique hotel in Portland’s West End is currently under construction. Developed by Portland-based UNCOMMON HOSPITALITY in partnership with New York design firm POST COMPANY, the five-story wellness-themed hotel will offer 48 guest rooms and a spa, cafe, bar, and gym. Named the LONGFELLOW HOTEL after Maine poet HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, the structure will occupy the space across from the Francis on Congress Street. Designed by ARCHETYPE ARCHITECTS with New Gloucester civil engineering firm TERRADYN CONSULTANTS and project manager ALLIED COOK CONSTRUCTION in Scarborough, the Longfellow Hotel will be the first independent, full-service hospitality offering to open in Portland in 20 years. Once finished, the interiors will include handcrafted woodwork, French balconies and bay windows, and wide-plank hardwood and mosaic tile floors. The on-site cafe and bar will be run by Siobhan and Mike Sindoni, owners of WAYSIDE TAVERN across the street, and the Nordic-inspired spa, called the Astraea, will have two massage rooms, two infrared sauna rooms, and a meditation room.

Citing drowning as one of the leading causes of death in children aged one to four, technology company CORAL SMART POOL has developed the MYLO VIRTUAL LIFEGUARD, a program that monitors pools above and below water around the clock. Outfitted with an UNDERWATER COMPUTER DETECTION CAMERA, the MYLO provides real-time video of a pool and, thanks to integrated AI technology, analyzes the video to immediately identify near-drowning events. Equipped with an aboveground camera and pressure sensors to indicate when a person has entered the pool, MYLO then relies on an underwater camera that can detect a sinking body and quickly set off a series of escalating alarms through an app and in-home alarm systems. Preorders of the MYLO are available now and are due to ship to consumers in April.

Cofounded by BOWDOIN COLLEGE alumnus and financial planner JAC ARBOUR and entrepreneur BRIAN MCKINNON, Alaska-based company PACBAK has developed a cooler specifically catered to sportfishing. Made from rotomolded plastic, PacBak’s P88-MK COOLER features insulated compartments, a slide-out cutting board, a compartment for a battery-powered vacuum sealer, and a removable table with fold-out legs to extend the workspace, all designed to allow sport fishers to process fish directly from the water. Named Best of Show and awarded Best Soft and Hard Coolers at the 2022 INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF ALLIED SPORTFISHING TRADES (ICAST), put on by the AMERICAN SPORTFISHING ASSOCIATION, the P88-MK started as a Kickstarter and is now available on the company’s website as a standalone cooler or with the vacuum sealer.

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