London-based Foster + Partners spent a year working with automaker Nissan to rethink how homes and cities can run effectively on clean energy. Their concept puts electric cars at the heart of the power matrix, functioning as the energy hub that feeds power to the house, the grid, and other vehicles and devices using Nissan’s wireless charging technology, Gizmag explains. The goal is to effectively store, but not waste, renewable power from the sun, wind, and water. Such emphasis on vehicles opens them up to new functional opportunities, effectively making them traveling power sources that also incorporate new technology like piloted drive. The Japanese car maker is currently testing out a similar vehicle-to-grid concept in Europe, Dezeen reports. “Integrating zero emission technologies into the built environment is vital in creating smarter, more sustainable cities,” David Nelson, co-head of design at Foster + Partners, told Gizmag. “That commitment must extend far beyond the car; it must sit at the heart of everything we do.” Learn more about the pair’s concept in the video below. [Gizmag + Dezeen + Nissan]

ICMYI: Last year, Silicon Valley 3D printing startup Carbon (formerly Carbon 3D) caught the public’s eye (and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding) when it debuted its high-speed 3D printing technology that uses ultraviolet light and polymer resins. Now, that technology is available to the public through a handful of 3D-printing service bureaus and contract manufacturers. [ARCHITECT]

Ikea is planning to shift its packaging material from polystyrene to a biodegradable alternative made from mushrooms, helping to mitigate the waste’s impact on landfills. The same material, from Green Island, N.Y.–based manufacturer Ecovative, was used to form the 2014 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program installation, Hy-Fi, by The Living. [Curbed]

If you can see it from space, it’s probably a big deal. New research from Stanford University finds that the confluence of more people living in “intense light areas” (such as urban centers) and the growth of those areas are getting in the way of a good night’s sleep. [CityLab]

Researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) are exploring alternatives to the turbine in harvesting wind energy. Their work looks at what happens when wind passes through tree-like structures made of electro-mechanical materials in the hopes of one day turning the energy created by vibrations from everyday human activity into power. [OSU]

Regardless of whether you’ve sat in an Aeron chair, you’ve undoubtedly felt its influence. Debuting in 1994, the landmark task chair from Herman Miller was outfitted with knobs and levers allowing each employee to tailor its ergonomics to their own comfort. Its subsequent effect on the way we sit at work has been profound. [Fast Company’s Co.Design]

Somerville, Mass.–based design studio Nervous System is raising the bar on its high-tech dresses with this red number made of 3D printed petals whose computational design and arrangement is based on a body scan of the lucky wearer. More than 1,600 unique parts and 2,600 hinges were required, and the team used a folded printing technique so the dress comes off the print bed ready to wear. The dress was designed for the upcoming #techstyle exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which runs from March 6 through July 10. [Designboom]