What’s On Tap? 5 Sustainability Trends For 2019

In 2019, global sustainability trends are taking shape in a meaningful way. Some you may not notice right away, but others will be impossible to miss since they will not only be emphasized in the media, but also in our everyday lives.

Here are 5 sustainable trends to keep an eye on in 2019.

1. Sustainable Vehicle Automation

As climate concerns continue to grow, so does the attention being paid globally to carbon emissions. Because cars and trucks are large contributors to these emissions, a great deal of progress continues to be made regarding the restructuring of the vehicle industry. Low to zero-emission vehicles, self-driving cars, and fully electric options are gaining in popularity – a trend that will only gain strength in the coming year.

According to GreenBiz several countries are working to actively ban fossil fuel cars within the next 25 years and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has projected that self-driving vehicles could remove up to 90% of vehicles on the streets of urban cities.

2. Consumers and technology will make headway in reducing plastic pollution

Addressing our plastic problem is something that many organizations, corporations, activists, environmentalists, governments and individuals have been doing for years – so what is going to be the new trend in the 2019 plastic battle? The answer lies with the informed consumer and changes in plastic technology.

Because plastic is an affordable material with an extensively wide range of uses, it isn’t likely that plastic waste will become a thing of the past by December 31, 2019. What is likely to happen is a change in the way consumers use plastic and the pressure they will continue to exert on their elected officials to make single-use plastics less accessible overall. 

3. Sustainable Farming 

If there is one area in 2019 that sustainable efforts can have a huge impact, it’s agriculture. The past few years have shown increased attention to the way we produce food, and efforts have been growing to ensure that the process of growing is as beneficial for the earth as it is for our tables.

According to James Goodman, director of futures and projects at Forum for the Future, “The internet of things, remote sensing, artificial intelligence and a revolution in robotics are coming together to make low-input, data-driven automated agriculture at scale a real possibility.” This is good news for more efficient use of water, decreased waste overall, and better crop production in the coming years.

4. Increase in sustainable building materials

The years 2016 – 2018 showed us that if it can be made in an eco-friendly way there is likely someone out there who will make it so – 2019 will be no different. While packaging and everyday materials have been making responsible shifts to biodegradable, compostable, and fully recyclable options in recent years, there is one industry that will continue to strive for new sustainable heights in 2019. That is the construction industry.

According to Marc Spiegel, Construction and Demolition Sector Lead and Co-Founder of Rubicon Global, “When looking at the construction and demolition industry, it will be critical to leverage technology to deal with the massive challenge of cleaning up, waste and recycling.  Today there are better ways to deal with construction clean up, other than doing what we did 50 years ago and calling the garbage company. Educating the public and private sectors on modern possibilities is vital to change old habits.

In addition, the lack of dedicated construction and demolition material recycling facilities means that each commodity being recycled must have its own container to prevent cross contamination. This scenario makes coordination and logistics more important for users and vendors, which is why embracing technology could be a catalyst for change in 2019 and beyond.”

5. Increased social action and education around sustainability

With so much at stake globally, 2019 could be the year when the effects of our increasingly ultra-connected behavior as a society rises to a new level and leads to meaningful positive change. Change can be hard but we are proving more and more that it doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. In the past, we have achieved great things as a society when we have worked together and in 2019 we expect to see big changes.

For example, we expect to see a growing number of organizations doing the hard work needed to gain B Corporation status, an increase in green building LEED Certifications, more cities instituting single-use plastic bans, and global policy changes intended to make polluting nearly impossible. 

We also expect to see sustainability commitments increase for small business and individuals through more responsible recycling practices, efforts toward becoming more energy efficient, and efforts to become more educated about sustainable initiatives in local communities.

What is micro-retailing and why is it a growing trend? 🍃

It's hardly news that the retail industry is going through significant contraction of selling space as an uptick in bankruptcies and outright liquidations forces hundreds of locations to close en masse. In addition, dozens of struggling retailers continue to shutter outlets hoping to improve profitability or avoid a similar fate. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that the number of store closings this year will exceed last year's record pace. While there are plenty of new store openings, the net downsizing of retail space in certain categories is clearly significant (for a deeper dive I recommend this excellent report by Coresight Research).

Another factor that is starting to affect vacancy rates is that some brands are "right-sizing" their prototypical store, in what I affectionately label the "Honey, I shrunk the store" phenomenon. Some of this is a sure sign that the retailer has run out of ideas for the space it has and is hoping to shrink to prosperity. Good luck with that. Others are wisely optimizing their footprints to address the rise of e-commerce and other fundamental changes in shopping behavior.

What's new—and fundamentally more interesting for retail's future—is the rise of much smaller and very much reimagined formats from well-established brands. I first delved into this last year writing about Nordstrom Local, the storied retailer's new service-focused micro-concept. Nordstrom has since disclosed plans to open additional locations and hinted in its recent investor presentation that Local could be a key part of the company's portfolio strategy to drive market share on a city-by-city basis. Ikea joined Sephora, Target and others who are hoping to spur outlet growth by announcing a smaller format that holds the potential to unlock many additional urban locations by having fundamentally different economics and site-location requirements.

In some cases these retailers are dealing with the harsh reality that their concepts are maturing and it's becoming impossible to find locations where they can generate an ROI from their traditional format. Without reengineering their underlying economics, their store growth plans come to a screeching halt. In other cases they are mirroring aspects of the playbook employed by many digitally-native brands as they began opening physical stores: locate closer to where the target customers live or work, make services a key component of the value proposition, harmonize the experience across digital and physical channels, minimize inventory and use technology as a differentiator.

Over the years, many retailers have chased the notion of a smaller store as the key to spurring outlet growth. Where most went wrong was delivering a watered-down version of what the brand was known for. Saks' Main Street strategy is an expensive lesson in what not to do. The smaller box did encourage them to open in locations that could not financially accommodate a "real" Saks store. In theory, this strategy held the promise of increasing the luxury retailer's store count by some 50%. Unfortunately customers were underwhelmed by the offering, seeing it as a "baby" Saks. Eventually all the expansion sites were closed.

17 Things Every Miamian Needs a Break From ☀️

Welcome to “the 305,” where our “winters” make the rest of the country jealous, our coffee is strong, and our people are beautiful. It’s no secret that everyone wants to visit Miami, but like any city, living here can mean its fair share of annoyances (not that we'd trade it for anywhere else). Among the endless pool parties, there are things that every Miamian would like to (occasionally) escape. We rounded up 17 of the most common complaints.


Sending our NYC friends pictures from the beach in January, while they’re putting on seven sweaters and a peacoat to take out the trash? Priceless. Spending hours in front of the mirror to look like a runway model, only to walk outside and turn into a wet dog by the time you reach your Uber? Worth whatever the hell it costs to travel somewhere without humidity.


It’s a thing. We natives can’t explain it and Miami transplants rarely accept it, but if you invite us over for dinner at 7pm, we will show up at 8pm. With the appetizers. We may accept our bad habits, but visit another city and be reminded that punctuality can be oddly refreshing… especially at restaurants, where it doesn’t take a waitress 45 minutes to remember to bring your menus.  


When you live in a place where it’s beach season year-round, the gym is a way of life. It also means half your Instagram feed is just friends finding any excuse to show you they do CrossFit.

Cynthia Perez/Thrillist

Cynthia Perez/Thrillist


Drive around for an hour to find parking cheaper than valet, then end up paying the valet anyway because your reservation was an hour ago and you’re over it.


Blinkers are optional. Changing lanes like you’re the only person on US 1, even when it’s rush hour, is not. Speaking of which...


Construction. Tourists. Bad Miami drivers. Construction. That Uber driver who can’t find you. Construction. The reason is irrelevant -- just know that if you try to drive anywhere, anytime except 1pm on a Tuesday, you will be bumper-to-bumper for at least an hour.



Our people know they look good... and are shameless about keeping up with the competition. Get in the way of a sprinkle-pool Instagram moment at the Museum of Ice Cream, and you might just get chased down Collins Avenue.


To the masses of college students who make the beach impossible to go to in March and April: Your fake, post-2010 Four Lokos and Tide Pods are not welcome here. Nor are your Uber surge prices.


Those $18 sous-vide bacalao crêpes with lime-green seafoam and dehydrated olives look great -- except when all you really want is a bread basket or a plate of croquetas.

Cynthia Perez/Thrillist

Cynthia Perez/Thrillist


Does anyone even know what they’re building on the Palmetto anymore?


“I have season tickets to all the Heat games because they are the best team on Earth and God bless Wade County and I will forever pledge my loyalt-- oh, LeBron left? When’s the first Dolphins game, again?”


Here, bro, everyone speaks Spanglish, we make up words like “irregardless,” and it’s commonplace to randomly yell “dale.” Dah-laaaay! Sometimes, not every conversation needs to sound like a Pitbull song.


That guy with the Lamborghini lives with his abuela in West Kendall and will walk your dog for gas money.

Cynthia Perez/Thrillist

Cynthia Perez/Thrillist


The only way to avoid paying less than $1,300/month for a 600 square-foot, 1-bedroom apartment (with one laundry machine for the whole building) is to move to Hialeah. Or Homestead, where the money you’re saving in rent just goes to gas money because you’re 45 minutes away from… anything. What I’m saying is, maybe Lamborghini guy has it figured out.


You never hear anyone say they’re going to Miami to “settle down.” You DO hear them say they’re going to Miami to "meet hot chicks at the Clevelander” or see them slide into your DMs with the ever-hopeful “Ayyyyy mami.”




After the party, it’s the hotel lobby, where you meet a guy with a table at LIV, take him to Better Days, and somehow end up on the sand at 21st and Collins drinking rosé at sunrise. On a Wednesday. It’s fun when you visit, but when you live in a place where the partying never stops, plowing through lines of tourists to pay $20 for a vodka soda gets old fast. Netflix and pajama Fridays, amiright?

Special project launch: The secret notebook of Cândido Portinari 🎨

The55Project, together with the Portinari Institute, brings the stylist Ronaldo Fraga and the ballerina Ana Botafogo to promote the connection between art and fashion, on May 16 to 18, at Miami Ironside.

All the project elements revolve around what the poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade defines as the “Portinari Universe”. It will be three days of dynamic activities – a fashion show, documentaries, art talks, public schools’ children’s’ workshops with activities in Portuguese – all these in a set design inspired by Portinari’s work. The event will also include a presentation from the Miami City Ballet inspired by the work “Guerra e Paz” as a tribute to the Brazilian ballerina Ana Botafogo.

Ana Botafogo

Ana Botafogo

Event Schedule

 Place: Miami Ironside

7610 NE 4th Ct, Miami, FL 33138

 Thursday, May 16th

  • 6PM – 9PM | Opening Night Reception

Friday, May 17th 

  • 10AM | School Field Trips

  • 6PM | Art Talk with Ronaldo Fraga

Saturday, May 18th

  • 11AM – 2PM | Open to the public and Family Day

Ronaldo Fraga & Portinari Project is brought to Miami with the generous sponsorship of FedEx Express, Miami Ironside (venue partner), Azul Airlines, Perrotti Family Trust, Piquet Law Firm, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Midtown and Cultural support from Consulate General of Brazil in Miami, Projeto Portinari, Monte Paschoal Wines, Studio D, Sagrado Café, Leblon Cachaça, AB Catering, Cecconello and InMiami Magazine.


  • www.the55project.com

  • info@the55project.com

Miami's Magic Makes it a Destination for Business and Life 🏙

Miami becomes the only city to host the Super Bowl a record 11 times times but it's been nearly a decade since it last hosted the big game when the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 — back when Saints fans still celebrated the Super Bowl.

"If you haven't been to Miami in about 10 years, it's a completely different city," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "It's one of the most beautiful cities in the nation. It's one of the most unique cities in the nation. We're a truly international city. We speak your language. We have a very unique set of tastes and sounds and culture."

Watch the Super Bowl LIV video featuring Miami's own Pitbull:

The city's rich culture and diversity is owed to the fact that 60 percent of the people who live in Miami weren't born here.

"We also know how to throw a great party," assured Gimenez in accepting the ceremonial gold football in Atlanta.

Monday marked the start of a yearlong campaign to highlight South Florida and all it has to offer by creating excitement and building a sense of pride within the community. The Super Bowl video seeks to reintroduce America to everything new since the city last hosted the game.

"Our campaign is an invitation for the world to join Miami and live it," declared Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Rodney Barreto. "We couldn't be more excited to have someone like Pitbull bring this to life – he truly embodies Miami lifestyle and vibe, and its people."

Hard Rock stadium is bathed in the colors of Super Bowl LIV. Photo courtesy Miami Dolphins.

Hard Rock stadium is bathed in the colors of Super Bowl LIV. Photo courtesy Miami Dolphins.

The iconic 47-story Miami Tower, which houses the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee in the heart of downtown Miami, has been bathed in the campaign colors at night as has been Hard Rock Stadium – Miami pink and a Florida-inspired ocean blue.

"We are excited to kick off our year and work with sponsors to 'Live it Miami,'" added Barreto.

In addition to Gimenez and Barreto, NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Owner Stephen Ross and Vice Chair, President and CEO Tom Garfinkel were also on hand Monday along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee for the handoff of the Super Bowl LIV game ball.

While Super Bowls are already larger than life events, Super Bowl LIV will mark the culmination of the 100th season anniversary of the NFL.

It will spawn special events and activities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties as part of the festivities. For more information, visit www.MIASBLIV.com.

The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee is planning "significant community programs" around the 2020 game.

"Local minority-owned, women, LGBT and disabled veteran-owned businesses have the opportunity to pursue contracts through the NFL's supplier diversity program, Business Connect," according to committee officials. "The community also has the chance to participate as part of the 10,000 volunteers that will serve as city ambassadors during Super Bowl week."

To learn more about how to get involved, visit www.MIASBLIV.com

"We're at the bottom of the map, but we're always on top," Pitbull raps in the video. "Host of Super Bowl 54 making history. Eleven Super Bowls. We produced the most NFL players and that's no mystery."

SENTIENT House Miami pop up | MAY 2-8 🍃

Sentient House is a collaborative club lounge connecting work, leisure, and entertainment for travelers staying in vacation rentals.

Sentient House pop-up at Ironside

Sentient House pop-up at Ironside


Sentient House delivers a beautifully designed, expertly integrated and optimized for work and leisure.


Their food and beverage team will deliver complimentary continental breakfast, coffee, snacks and other beverages throughout the day.


Sentient provides secure luggage storage so you have the freedom to enjoy the day


The local SH team deliver rich engaging events that bring the local community to you; the traveling community.


Meet with the local team who can help you get dialed into the city through local event and attractions you would never find on your own.


Standards learnt from the world’s most luxurious hotels are integrated into the Sentient House experience

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 1.54.53 PM.png

Connect with Sentient

7 reasons why plants are valuable and important 🌱#HumanSpaces

Everyday, we encounter plants whether it is in parks, the wild outbacks of nature, or in the simple pleasure of plantscaping the inside and outside of our homes. But do we truly understand the vital role plants have in this world? The very thought should cause us to pay more attention to the beautiful botany that surrounds us.

Here are 7 reasons why plants are valuable and important:


The sun is provider of all energy. We eat plants to gather the energy stored in their cells. And we are here because our ancestors foraged plants for food. They learned the ways of agriculture to make it easier and grew plants that produced products such as wheat and corn to eat. Approximately 7,000 different plant species have been cultivated and used as food for people. Though humans can live on the consumption of animal products, it is just a step away from plants since cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, rabbits and other animals eat plants to live.


The air we breath mainly consists of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. But it is oxygen that is vital for our cells to produce energy, energy that originated with the sun. When the sun shines down, plants absorb the sunlight to produce energy and end up releasing oxygen into the air as a by-product of their metabolism.  We in turn inhale the oxygen for our survival and exhale the carbon dioxides plants require. Breath deeply and drink in the oxygen-laden air and realize it’s because of plants we are alive.


Where there is water, there is life. Plants regulate the water cycle by distributing and purifying the planet’s water supply. Through the act of transpiration, plants move the water from the soil up their roots and out into the atmosphere. Moisture accumulates into clouds and eventually the water droplets are returned back down as rain to revitalize life on earth.


Many of prescription medicines come from plant extracts or synthesized plant compounds. Aspirin comes from the bark of the willow. Mint leaves have mentha that is used in throat lozenges, muscle creams and nasal medicine. The malaria drug ingredient quinine is from
the bark of the Cinchona tree. About 65% – 80% of the world’s population use holistic plant-based medicine as their primary form of healthcare according to the World Health Organization.




The implementation of LEED and WELL Building Standard shows that society is learning the value of incorporating nature or biophilia into man-made environments, both inside and outside for psychological and physical health. Plants advance health, happiness, mindfulness and productivity when weaved inside buildings and throughout the communities. Including living plants inside a home or business revitalizes the air, humidity and lowers stress levels for better wellness.


Plants make up the backbone of earth’s diverse landscape that provide hundreds of unique habitats necessary for life. Flowers dance in the fields while grasses on a hill sway in the wind. Trees strut tall in their habitat and act as the earth’s dynamic lungs, powering life everywhere. Birds pick up straw, leaves, bark, along with feathers, hairs and other items to make a comfy nest in a tree, bush or even tall grasses. Our ancestors used thatched roofs made of grasses or palm fronds, and wood to secure their homes. Industrial hemp was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. Plants in all their diversity keep the cycle of life moving.


Excessive carbon released into the environment has been blamed for the current climate change we are experiencing. But rarely is it explained that plants store carbon by pulling it from the air. Plants help keep much of the carbon dioxide produced from our burning of fossils fuels out of the atmosphere. We owe our temperate climate to the perpetual landscape of green that blankets our world.

Bal Harbour Village to Ban Single-Use Plastics Beginning in October 🍃 #Glocal

There's really no valid argument against the idea that single-use plastics are ruining the planet. About 40 percent of plastic products are used only once, and as a result, almost 700 species have been harmed by this trash, according to National Geographic. The European Union recently banned ten types of single-use plastic items, including polystyrene cups, citing reports that 80 percent of marine litter is made of the stuff.

In South Florida, Bal Harbour will take a similar approach. Last week, the village council voted unanimously to ban most single-use plastics, including straws, utensils, and shopping bags.

Environmentalists say single-use plastics pollute the oceans, causing damage to ecosystems.  Photo by  Bo Eide / Flickr

Environmentalists say single-use plastics pollute the oceans, causing damage to ecosystems.

Photo by Bo Eide / Flickr

"This is something that I don’t think anyone’s doing across the state... so we’re feeling our way through and seeing what the reaction is and how it works," Mayor Gabe Groisman said at the April 16 council meeting where the vote took place. "We actually don’t know how it’s gonna fly, but we think it’s the right kind of statement to make."

The ordinance prohibits the use, sale, or distribution of single-use plastics in commercial establishments, including restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and condo and apartment buildings. Officials in Bal Harbour, a ritzy, oceanfront community best known for its luxury shopping mall, say they crafted the regulations to address plastic pollution in public areas.

"Bal Harbour Village is a major and internationally recognized tourist destination that continues to encounter discarded plastic items on the Village’s beaches, waterways, and streets, as a result of the improper disposal of these single-use plastic items," a council memo states.

The ban comes as the Florida Legislature debates bills that would preempt municipalities such as Bal Harbour from prohibiting plastics. Councilman Buzzy Sklar says he recently visited Tallahassee to talk to lawmakers, who suggested it was "very favorable that [Bal Harbour's] ordinance will stand up." The village's attorney has also crafted the ordinance in such a way that it can be amended to abide by state law.

As currently written, the warning period for the ban begins October 1. On December 1, businesses that flout the rules will be fined $250 per infraction. Individuals can be fined $25 per infraction.

In addition to applying to commercial establishments, the ordinance also pertains to all Bal Harbour-owned facilities and village-approved events. A person who books a pavilion at a village park for a birthday party, for example, could be fined for using plastic utensils, but a person on a spontaneous picnic would not.

The law makes exceptions for medical and dental offices, as well as for schools.

The Problem With Plastic ♻️ #Glocal

Plastic isn’t just a problem when it enters the environment as waste. Rather, plastic pollutes at every step of its life.


Plastic is made from fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and even coal. As demand for fossil fuels as an energy source declines relative to production, plastic production represents a lifeline for the fossil fuel industry. All of the problems of fossil fuel extraction and transportation – from oil spills to groundwater pollution – come along for the ride.


Converting fossil fuels into plastic feedstocks requires large chemical processing plants which emit a variety of pollutants into the air. These plants tend to be situated in low-income communities, which lack the resources or political capital to fight back. These communities face higher rates of disease as a result of their exposure to pollutants from nearby plants.


Many plastics contain chemical additives which can leach back out of the material, getting into our food, our water, and ultimately our bodies. For example, BPA, an endocrine disruptor that can cause big problem particularly for young people, is found in many types of plastic commonly used for food storage.



Plastic stays around for hundreds of years or more. Unfortunately, only 9% of the plastic every produced gets recycled; the majority ends up in landfills or in the environment. In fact, 8 million tons of plastic enter our waterways each year. All that plastic is starting to show up in unexpected (and unwelcome) places, from our tap water to our food. The “smog” of microplastics in our ocean is smothering the small organisms that make up the base of the food chain, and could have serious implications for our food systems.

In addition to this wholistic view of plastic’s impact on people and the planet, our campaigns and communications are founded on four key understandings:

There is too much plastic in the system. Half of all plastic ever produced was made in the last 13 years. Plastic production globally continues to increase, with the plastic industry projecting 75% growth in the production of polyethylene (one of the most common types of plastic) in the US by 2022. Much of that growth is in single-use plastic with no recycled content. At this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. To reduce the consequences of plastic production and disposal, we must reduce the amount of plastic being produced.


Not all plastic is created equal. Some plastic is used to create long-lasting, durable goods. Some plastics have a high recycling value, making them far more likely to be recycled again and again. But much of the plastic in our economy has low or no value, meaning that it can’t be economically recycled and is therefore far more likely to end up in landfills or the environment.

Producers are bear ultimate responsibility for plastic pollution. We have been led to think that plastic pollutions is the product of careless litterbugs. While that may be true in certain countries with developed waste and recycling infrastructure, the majority of plastic waste entering the environment comes from developing nations in the global South. Despite the lack of established systems to manage plastic waste, multinational corporations like Nestlé, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson continue to dump huge volumes of low-value plastic into this region despite knowing full well where that plastic will end up. While they pocket the profits, we are all left to deal with the waste.

Solutions exist, and groups around the world are fighting for and implementing them. Although there is no singular magic bullet or one-size-fits-all solution, a growing movement of change-makers from around the world are building and scaling strategic, culturally-responsive solutions to the plastic problem. From local bans on no-value plastic like plastic bags and styrofoam take-out containers, to brand audits that identify problematic products for redesign, a rich tapestry of solutions hold the promise of a future free from plastic pollution.

Five Incredible Buildings Inspired By Nature 🌱 #Biomimetic

Biomimetic architecture uses nature as a model, measure and mentor to solve problems in architecture. It is not the same as biomorphic architecture, which uses natural existing elements as sources of inspiration for aesthetic components of form. Instead, biomimetic architecture looks to nature as a model to imitate or take inspiration from natural designs and processes and applies it to the man-made. It uses nature as a measure meaning biomimicry uses an ecological standard to judge the efficiency of human innovations. Nature as a mentor means that biomimicry does not try to exploit nature by extracting material goods from it, but values nature as something humans can learn from.

  1. Milwaukee Art Musem

Credit: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Credit: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The elegant Milwaukee Art Museum’s most eye-catching feature is its huge sunscreen roof – the Burke Brise Soleil – which is reminiscent of great white wings thanks to an open and closing mechanism controlling the 90 tonne screen.

Architect Santiago Calatrava wanted to incorporate both the urban and natural features of Lake Michigan, which the building overlooks, and took into account the “culture” of the lake front including boats and sails.

Gabriel Tang, an architect and senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, describes why this US building is among his favourites: “Although expensive and technically complex, this is a delightful way in which architecture can be inspired by observations and ideas from nature to create pieces which are interestingly functional, functionally practical, and practically beautiful.”

He adds: “I love the direct and straight-forward legibility of the building. The opening or closing mechanism is gracefully poetic, but yet performs a function – that of protection.”

2. The Gherkin

Credit: Getty images

Credit: Getty images

“This was one of the first environmentally progressive buildings in the UK city of London,” says Tang of 30 St Mary Axe, the UK’s iconic skyscraper more commonly known as “The Gherkin”.

Completed in 2004, the 180m tower has an air ventilation system similar to sea sponges and anemones, Tang points out.

These creatures feed by directing sea water to flow through their bodies. And similarly, The Gherkin is supported by an exoskeleton structure, and is designed so ventilation flows through the entire building.

3. The “algae house”

Credit: Novarc Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Credit: Novarc Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Germany’s extraordinary “algae house” or BIQ building in Hamburg actually incorporates living matter – microalgae – into its design.

One side of the green-hued tower’s largely transparent surface contains tiny, growing algae which can control light entering the building and provide shade when needed.

It’s the world's first example of a “bioreactor façade”.

Algae produced within the transparent shell are continuously supplied with nutrients and carbon dioxide by a water circuit which runs through the building’s surface.

The algae creates a sun filter, explains Cruz: “In winter for instance, when there’s hardly any light and Hamburg is pretty grey for a long period, then the algae will not propagate and the façade screens will be very transparent, and so light comes through.”

When enough algae have grown they can be harvested and used to make biogas (a renewable energy source made from raw materials) to supply the building.

The ingenious design was completed as a prototype for the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg in 2013.

4. Eden Project

Credit: Caitlin Mogridge / Redferns via Getty Images

Credit: Caitlin Mogridge / Redferns via Getty Images

The Eden Project, nestled in a clay pit near the hamlet of Bodelva in Cornwall, UK, houses an extraordinary collection of plant species from tropical rainforest and the Mediterranean.

But the domed building itself is a large part of the spectacle: its “curvilinear” shape is an example of “softer edge” geometries which fascinate architects today, says Cruz.

Architect Nicholas Grimshaw’s huge transparent semi-spherical creations were inspired by the shape of soap bubbles, and the building’s “Core” education centre mimics the Fibonacci spiral pattern found in many natural objects such as pinecones, pineapples, sunflowers and snail shells.

5. Downland Gridshell Building

Credit: Steve Speller - Alamy Stock Photo

Credit: Steve Speller - Alamy Stock Photo

The light and airy Downland Gridshell Building, part of the Weal & Downloand Open Air Museum in Singleton, Chichester, UK was completed in 2002 and uses oak laths bent into shape to create the double-curvature, lightweight shell structure.

“This is perhaps not a building that was inspired by natural observations but with its timber cladding on the outside and being located within the woods, this building strikes a very close relationship to its natural setting and has been described by critics and architects themselves as an armadillo,” says Tang.

Tang, having worked extensively with gridshell design, explains lightweight shells such as those seen in the Downland Gridshell Building, are typically made with timber or steel. “Imagine how a bird creates a nest from separate pieces of straw. These structures usually have light-filled interiors but because of the number of connections, can be difficult to make weather-tight.”

Design is a human ritual of understanding.
— Maggie Macnab, Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design

Mom and Me Brunch Pop Up with Arts & Crafts

Recipes For Change presents: Mom and Me Brunch Pop Up with Arts & Crafts! 

Celebrate Mother's Day for a cause with your little ones! Enjoy an amazing brunch by Zaytouna Foods and an Arts Pop Up station by Crearecs, letting the kids explore their creative talents as they hand make a memorial Mother's Day gift for Mom!


🌱This is all happening at the amazing and beautiful @MiamiIronside, an eco-friendly, sustainable and vibrant, mixed-use urban center designed to make everyday extraordinary.

🇸🇾All proceeds go directly to help women refugees from Syria

💕Share the love this Mother’s Day - to buy your tickets please follow this link.

10 Exceptional Earth Photos 🌎 #EarthDay

Celebrate Earth Day With The Greatest Images Of Our Planet.

The Earth remains humanity's only home in all the Universe, and the only planet that we know of capable of supporting human beings. Today, Earth Day, it's more important than ever to appreciate it. Below are some of the most impressive images of our home planet ever captured with a camera.

Northern Outburst by   Oystein Lunde Ingvaldsen

Northern Outburst by Oystein Lunde Ingvaldsen

The Great Blue Hole – Belize

The Great Blue Hole – Belize

Terraced Rice Field, China by   Thierry Bornier

Terraced Rice Field, China by Thierry Bornier

Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland by   Sigurdur Hrafn Stefnisson

Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland by Sigurdur Hrafn Stefnisson

Cave of Crystals, Mexico by   Carsten Peter, Speleoresearch & Films

Cave of Crystals, Mexico by Carsten Peter, Speleoresearch & Films

Camel, Socotra Island by   Sergei Reoutov

Camel, Socotra Island by Sergei Reoutov

Yellowstone Park by   Tom Clark

Yellowstone Park by Tom Clark

All This Blue Ice

All This Blue Ice

Serengeti, Tanzania by   Amnon Eichelberg

Serengeti, Tanzania by Amnon Eichelberg

Arizona Butte by   Rex Naden

Arizona Butte by Rex Naden

FRIDAY OPEN (last Friday of each month)

March 31st marked the start of our monthly "Friday Open" breakfast walk here at Miami Ironside with over a dozen participating design showrooms + galleries hosting breakfast items to a select VIP guest list. The March Guest speaker was Rebecca Mandelman from the @miamifoundation.

We hope you all enjoyed delicious treats as you walked through the showrooms here at Ironside. Our Friday Open morning walk is a great networking opportunity to connect with the businesses that make up the Ironside community. 

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Chinese New Year - Year of the Monkey Celebration

On Tuesday February 16, we celebrated the year of the Fire Monkey during our monthly CounterCulture Club Nights ringing in the Chinese New Year. 

Guests experienced Asian contemporary art, design and music presentations from ART Lexïng, Gauchet Fine Art, our newest concept retailer and design agency OKKIO MIAMI, pop-ups by IMPERIO jp Ltd. and Martha Solorzano, along with presentations from the Miami-Chinese community, includiing Elliot Lee of America Da Tang Group, Wok Star Blogger Eleanor Hoh and Feng Shui expert Sylvia Lu. 

Guests also munched on DELICOUS samplings and curated cocktails by Richard Haley of Blackbrick Chinese, while mingling to beats by Alan Andai of AAMusicians.com. 

The highlight of the night was the lion dancing team thanks to the parnerships of Anna Maria Troisis, of Downtown Doral, Lisa hernandez, from Paramount Miami World Center in Downtown and John Parsiani from Aria on the Bay. 

CounterCulture Club Nights is Ironside’s 1x monthly program celebrating themes of cultural, cross-cultural and geographic exchanges, arts, design, performance and cinema. The always fun and breezy night also includes craft cocktails, food and music, along with a chance to browse our shops, community exhibitors and galleries. Come on over and get to know the #Cool of the Upper Eastside. 

Photography by Patty Nash Photography


Mickey Demos Boxing 1 Year Anniversary

Miami has always been known for its health conscious, fitness oriented locals. With new workout crazes and ‘progressive’ teaching styles popping up every other week, it’s refreshing to be able to turn to a classic; and a local one at that! Mickey Demos Boxing Studio has been providing fitness classes to Miami locals, designed by Demos Jr. himself, a University of Miami Boxing Coach and founder of the Mickey Demos Fitness Method. This is Miami’s ultimate no frills approach to staying fit, and it’s proud to call Miami Ironside its new home.

Relocating their studio to Ironside last year has proved to be yet another successful turning point for the boxing legend. After years of acclaimed recognition, Demos re-opened its doors in Miami’s new, up and coming Upper East Side neighborhood. And on March 5th 2016 Mickey Demo’s will be celebrating its official One Year Anniversary at Miami Ironsides Bocce Piazza. Come join us for a night full of celebration! Meet the staff and gym members that have made Demo’s into the institution it is today.

Edible Garden

Discover our urban garden planters and plots, managed by Sanna, a naturalist who works with the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, which include such varieties as:  

Tomatoes: Costoluto Genovese, Cherry, Black cherry, Everglades, Yellow pear, Blueberry, Green zebra, Chadwick, Sun gold, Cherokee purple, Keywalo, Amber, Bradywire, Neptune. Beefsteak;

Peppers: Shishto, Biscayne. Pepperincino, Habenero, Early jalapeño, Bhut jolokia, Scotch bonnet, Fish verigated hot pepper, Red/orange lunch box, Cayenne, Bell pepper; 

Eggplants: Black beauty, Listada de gandia, White beauty, Calliope, Rosita; 

Greens: Arugula, Mizuna mustard, Scarlet mustard, Curled mustard, Red Russian kale, Dino kale, Scarlet kale, Kale curly, Swiss chard, Napa cabbage, Green sorrel, Green oak leaf, Red butter lettuce, Red leaf lettuce, Green butter, Micro greens;

Herbs: Oregano, Orange mint, Chocolate mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Nasturtium- variegated, kaleidoscope mix, empress of India, Lemon grass, Dill, Opal basil, Sweet basil, Thai basil, Sage, Rosemary, Creeping rosemary, Parsley, Cuban oregano; 

Butterfly plants / other edibles: Passion fruit, Sweet almond, Scorpion tail, Jasmine varieties, Milkweed, Gaillardia blanket flower, Butterfly plant cleradendrum, Bleeding heart cleradendrum, Gotu kola, Strawberry, Special Florida pineapple, Cranberry hibiscus, Aloe; and

Trees: Fiddle wood, Verigated pink lemon, Calamondin, Honey dew tangelo, Silver buttonwood. 


Design Escape resumed at Miami Ironside to coincide with contemporary art and design festivities of Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami/, December 3-6, 2015. The tastemaker event showcased new, bespoke art and design exhibitions, outdoor installations, and salon talks, culminating in the popular Campus Collective Party. 

This year, the event featured a Salon Talk by Impressões of A Change moderated by My Art Guide, along with speakers and designers from LAUFEN. Following the event, resumed our popular Campus Collective where guests could visit the newest exhibition in Laufens' concept showroom before sauntering to the open showroom events, including Oscar Ono Paris, Simple Steps, Gauchet Fine Art, Antico Stone & Tile, Porta Ramono, The Find, and many more. Batuke Samba Funk kept the Brazilian beats going while guests visited the pop-up Art Basel exhibit INTERSECTIONS: Trans-Cultural Expressions presented by the Swerdlow Art Group that featured works by Carlos Salas, Philippe Dodard, Maximo Caminero, Greg Robin and Sergio Payares that explores the dialogue between artists and the contemporary world in which we live. 

University of Miami School of Architecture

Second year Architecture students from University of Miami School of Architecture gave presentations on new emerging neighborhoods and project sites, including a look at the future of Miami Ironside. Projects were presented to the University's Industrial Advisory Board, and well as Miami Ironside's Founder Ofer Mizrahi. Student teams were required to present schematic designs, engineering aspects, 3D Drawings, and proposed infrastructure.