Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Lego just made an announcement that will have geeks around the world salivating: Beginning in September, the company will release a 1-foot-tall Star Wars Ewok Village, complete with tree houses, rope ladders and of course, our favorite furry friends. That's not all -- this week the toy maker also unveiled plans for a new Lego museum in Denmark that looks like a big pile of toy bricks. In other blocky building news, the world's first carbon-negative building brick was just unveiled in the UK, and Studio Liu Lubin created an awesome set of stackable Tetris-style micro houses in China. And in green transportation news, Tesla announced that it will add a fourth car -- a compact SUV -- to its electric vehicle lineup, and Japan just unveiled a new prototype of its ridiculously fast 310MPH maglev train.
Think your Prius gets good gas mileage? A team of students at Brigham Young University designed a new car that can travel 1,300 miles on a single gallon of fuel. And speaking of fueling up, a new charger that can juice up an electric bus in 15 seconds flat is being tested in Switzerland. Siemens is set to harvest energy from speeding trains by installing a new regenerative-braking energy storage system on the TriMet Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Line in Portland. German scientists created a new lithium-ion battery that can maintain its charging capacity for 27 years. And in Chicago this week, architects and car designers participated in the "Big Ideas in Small Spaces Webcast," and you can watch the entire talk on Inhabitat.
In other green design news, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto's cloud-like Serpentine Gallery Pavilion just opened to the public in London. Architecture firm SOM is the latest high-profile firm to promote building skyscrapers from wood with the publication of the "Timber Tower Research Project." Chinese counterfeiters are at it again -- this time, it's Florentijn Hofman's six-story-tall inflatable yellow duck that they're copying, and Hofman is reportedly not pleased about it. Architecture firm Woods Bagot recently used 200 orange traffic cones to make a big prickly light installation. In green textile news, Nike and NASA teamed up with USAID to launch a competition that calls for the creation of new sustainable materials. Finally, Inhabitat sat down to chat with botObjects founders Martin Warner and Mike Duma about ProDesk3D, the world's first full-color 3D printer, and we took at a look at PreNatal 3D -- a company that creates framed figurines from ultrasound scans.