Archinect - News 2015-09-04T12:39:28-04:00 http://archinect.com/news/article/135747100/google-street-view-captures-beautiful-public-space-transformations Google Street View captures beautiful public space transformations Julia Ingalls 2015-09-02T20:02:00-04:00 >2015-09-03T14:26:21-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/8z/8z0zr0eoa04ouxqv.jpg" width="514" height="489" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A Brazilian urban planning collective called Urb-i...scoured Google Street View images to find the most stunning public space transformations from around the world. The results give us hope that our cities are becoming more beautiful places to live.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Cheer up: not everything is getting worse, at least not if you check out these comparison shots of real places from around the globe captured on <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/115731034/google-is-letting-you-visit-museums-around-the-world-using-street-view-and-youtube" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Street View</a>. Compiled by Urb-i, these 41 intersections and urban streets are studies in <a href="http://archinect.com/news/tag/509560/pedestrian" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">pedestrian-friendliness</a>; as the years melt by, many of the municipalities and cities strip away traffic lanes and replace them with sidewalk planters, pavers, and other traffic-calming elements. In some cases, cars are removed entirely, letting people (and greenery) retake the streets. Here's a view of&nbsp;<a href="http://archinect.com/news/tag/43490/hungary" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hungary</a>:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/yt/yt9l007j8l7pauyb.jpg"></p><p>A street in <a href="http://archinect.com/news/tag/12263/detroit" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Detroit</a>:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/93/93s6xxb21hu1r8ro.jpg"></p><p>Also in <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/90310460/speech-bubble-lamps-make-montreal-street-into-comic-strip" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Montreal</a>:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ey/eybuc17zt6nyv30m.jpg"></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135669066/real-life-tractor-beam-nasa-teams-with-arx-pax-to-create-micro-satellite-capture-devices Real-life tractor beam: NASA teams with Arx Pax to create micro-satellite capture devices Julia Ingalls 2015-09-02T08:00:00-04:00 >2015-09-02T11:54:50-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/og/og326llot7j32oq4.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><a href="http://archinect.com/features/article/112809997/working-out-of-the-box-greg-henderson-of-hendo-hoverboards" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architect-founded technology firm Arx Pax</a>, who brought you the <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/112427946/a-chat-with-the-architect-who-invented-the-hoverboard-episode-4-of-archinect-sessions-out-now" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hendo Hoverboard</a>,&nbsp;and <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/133181511/archinect-s-dry-futures-competition-featured-by-msnbc-juror-and-nasa-hydrologist-jay-famiglietti-interviewed" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NASA</a>, who recently brought you photos of Pluto, announced today that they've teamed up in a Space Act Agreement to create micro-satellite capture devices that create magnetic tethers between satellites.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ql/qljul3sl3pr5qye8.jpg"></p><p>The technology, which is based on Arx Pax's patented electromagnetic energy transmitting Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA), would allow the proposed devices to manipulate and couple satellites from a distance. This effect could be roughly compared to the "tractor beam" used on the TV show "<a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/16635320/1-5-billion-star-trek-theme-park-announced-for-jordan" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Star Trek</a>" (except for small satellites only, and with a much simpler initiator than the NCC 1701).</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/mc/mcs4ow4ncuc9isut.jpg"></p><p>Arx Pax and NASA are keen to design a device that can attract one object to another remotely, which would allow the initiator to keep an object in its field stationary: once engaged in the device's field, the satellite would be unable to either move from or toward the device. According to Arx Pax, this "will enable the...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135681135/new-showers-installed-at-auschwitz New Showers Installed at Auschwitz Miles Jaffe 2015-09-01T23:48:00-04:00 >2015-09-03T13:52:58-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/3n/3nqzm2n5iarx39m3.jpg" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The management at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has defended the installation of sprinkler showers at its entrance, after a visitor complained that the new facilities were a painful reminder of the gas chambers used to murder prisoners.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Is Auschwitz now a theme park?</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135648127/mit-presents-3d-printer-that-can-print-10-materials-simultaneously-without-breaking-the-bank MIT presents 3D printer that can print 10 materials simultaneously without breaking the bank Alexander Walter 2015-09-01T13:34:00-04:00 >2015-09-01T14:16:05-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/yf/yfi0vtwt2vtpr8g5.jpg" width="514" height="705" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As 3D printing advances from its plastic roots, we&rsquo;re seeing more and more materials passing through its nozzles. Metal, glass, random gunk&mdash;each new filament opens the door to new manufacturing applications. Now researchers have made a printer they claim can use up to ten different materials at once. The &ldquo;MultiFab,&rdquo; made by MIT&rsquo;s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), could offer a relatively low-cost option for the multimaterial 3D printing market.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Click <a href="http://cfg.mit.edu/sites/cfg.mit.edu/files/paper.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a> to read the full paper,&nbsp;<em>MultiFab: A Machine Vision Assisted Platform for Multi-material 3D Printing</em>.</p><p>Related on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/129807944/amsterdam-could-get-a-new-3d-printed-bridge-built-by-robots" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amsterdam could get a new 3D-printed bridge built by robots</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/122302552/uc-berkeley-team-unveils-bloom-3d-printed-cement-structure" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UC Berkeley team unveils "Bloom" 3D-printed cement structure</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/121663958/the-future-of-3d-printing-will-be-neoclassical-villas" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The future of 3D printing will be...neoclassical villas?</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/120908279/singapore-company-launches-world-s-first-3d-printer-scanner-hybrid" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Singapore company launches world's first 3d printer/scanner hybrid</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/135646477/uber-brings-mad-max-to-seattle Uber brings Mad Max to Seattle Nicholas Korody 2015-09-01T12:44:00-04:00 >2015-09-01T12:54:13-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/fr/frlxqnq76aaljh40.jpg" width="514" height="356" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>To promote the new Mad Max video game coming out at the start of September, Uber teamed up with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment this weekend to give fans in Seattle real rides in real Fury Road vehicles. Through Monday (we know &mdash; not enough time, life isn't fair, etc.), those going to and from the city's PAX Prime gaming convention will have the chance to nab a varied set of postapocalyptic chariots that seat either one, three, or four other riders.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The rules are simple:</p><ul><li>Trips must begin and stay within downtown Seattle. The Wasteland is vast and gas is precious &mdash; the Warboys must remain near their Stronghold.</li><li>Your dollars are worthless in the Wasteland. Payment shall not be required.</li></ul><p>Here's a look at some of the cars helping to bring new meaning to "disruptive innovation":</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/pw/pwina38h6g6iqmwg.jpg"><br><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/lu/lul5fyyxpmmzundc.jpg"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/xd/xdyvjahxp5u64euq.jpg"><br><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/6p/6pb43tyxpzzzuxyc.jpg"><br><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/69/69zkkwa0q6nrtgxd.jpg"><br><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/xf/xft7ihu1nrgsx6mm.jpg"></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135357408/woman-s-dream-tiny-home-clashes-with-canadian-law Woman's dream tiny home clashes with Canadian law Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-28T18:43:00-04:00 >2015-08-29T23:21:05-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/sb/sb91otet3c9n27ep.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Cheryl Smith planned to move "off the grid" and into a small house near Clark's Harbour, N.S., a year ago. But thanks to Canadian building regulations, the four-by-six metre structure remains half-built and empty. [...] Canadian laws require living spaces to have access to power to run smoke detectors and air exchange systems. But Smith said the point of moving into her tiny home was to disconnect from the power grid.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More from the tiny home world:</p><ul><li><a title="Seattle high schoolers push to provide moveable, minimalist shelters for the homeless" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/126280652/seattle-high-schoolers-push-to-provide-moveable-minimalist-shelters-for-the-homeless" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Seattle high schoolers push to provide moveable, minimalist shelters for the homeless</a></li><li><a title="The problem with tiny homes - they can get stolen" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/117724661/the-problem-with-tiny-homes-they-can-get-stolen" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The problem with tiny homes - they can get stolen</a></li><li><a title="Swedish architects design for un-permited small-space living" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/117134090/swedish-architects-design-for-un-permited-small-space-living" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Swedish architects design for un-permited small-space living</a></li><li><a title="The Tiny House Lover's Guide to Romance" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/100062620/the-tiny-house-lover-s-guide-to-romance" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Tiny House Lover's Guide to Romance</a></li><li><a title="Teenager builds tiny home to avoid mortgage trap" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/18810722/teenager-builds-tiny-home-to-avoid-mortgage-trap" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Teenager builds tiny home to avoid mortgage trap</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/135280266/leaving-town-this-bot-will-write-your-goodbye-letter-for-you Leaving town? This bot will write your goodbye letter for you Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-27T19:31:00-04:00 >2015-08-27T20:24:38-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/w2/w24s0s7dm43xdiqm.jpg" width="514" height="102" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Of course, San Francisco has much to offer. The clothing stores, the cable cars, the botanical gardens. My neighbor the conveyor operator, Alan. The libraries, the sports bars, the bus stations. Sigh.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Leaving Everywhere" is a piece of net art that spits out "break-up" letters with cities by citing randomly-selected data from the US Census Bureau. Made by <a href="http://tinysubversions.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Darius Kazemi</a>, the letters are all essentially Mad Libs for arguing about cities, where Kazemi's algorithm fills in the blanks.</p><p>The letters are all structured more or less the same, expressing things loved about the city followed by its flaws, then some redeeming quality, a comment on racial demographics, and then sometimes, a Shakespeare quotation. This gives a deliciously arbitrary, and at times a bit unsettling, flavor to the data.&nbsp;</p><p>Here's a prime example, to Boston:</p><p><em>Boston, it is time for us to part. In just a few weeks I'll be moving to Newark, New Jersey.</em></p><p><em>I'm going to miss things about this city for sure. The bakeries, the Belarusian restaurants, the convention centers. The Greek restaurants, the flower shops, the toll booths. My local communications equipment operator, Delaney. It is with a heavy heart that I leave here.</em></p><p><em>That ...</em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135264992/trial-by-fire-man-waits-out-raging-wildfires-in-concrete-home Trial by fire: man waits out raging wildfires in concrete home Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-27T15:01:00-04:00 >2015-08-27T18:44:44-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/aw/aw9ztbemi6xrfmqc.jpg" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;I was a little disappointed in the fire service,&rdquo; said Belles, standing on the charred hillside next to the dome in his semi-rural neighbourhood on the edge of town.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Wildfires currently blazing in Okanogan County, Washington, have just broken the record for the biggest in the state&rsquo;s history. With fire season just getting underway and September looking hot and dry, the so-called Okanogan Complex fires will likely persist for months.</p><p>In Omak, a small town in the county nearly surrounded by the fire, many residents have already fled, forced out by the blaze or sickly thick smoke. But self-described &ldquo;inventor&rdquo; John Belles decided to stick things out in his self-made concrete dome house.</p><p></p><p>Surrounded by 12-foot high flames and extreme heat, Belles stayed in the house, unharmed (but toasty), until the fire around him had died down, leaving only charred vegetation behind. He told the Guardian, &ldquo;It was incredibly hot but the house did what it said it would do. They said it was nonflammable, and it was.&rdquo;&nbsp;The house was undamaged, save for a destroyed electricity box.</p><p>Belles built the home himself 15 years ago, knowing full well of the fire danger in the area ...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135189464/could-quantum-dots-be-the-key-to-turning-windows-into-photovoltaics Could 'quantum dots' be the key to turning windows into photovoltaics? Nicholas Korody 2015-08-26T14:37:00-04:00 >2015-08-26T14:37:26-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/wl/wlstnmffz6qf4j91.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>While wind may be one of the most economical power sources out there, photovoltaic solar energy has a big advantage: it can go small. While wind gets cheaper as turbines grow larger, the PV hardware scales down to fit wherever we have infrastructure. In fact, simply throwing solar on our existing building stock could generate a very large amount of carbon-free electricity.</p></em><br /><br /><p>But, as many homeowners already know, installing solar panels can be quite cost-prohibitive. New research might just have solved that problem by incorporating solar hardware into the most basic light filter used in architecture: the window.</p><p>According to a study, solar windows could filter out a portion of light and convert about a third of it to electricity. By utilizing a "diffuse cloud of quantum dots," the glass would still meet "the highest standards for indoor lighting."</p><p>The quantum dots are made of "copper,&nbsp;indium, and selenium, covered in a layer of zinc sulfide." They absorb a broad band of the solar spectrum but convert it to "specific wavelength in the infrared," which happens to be ideal for absorption by a silicon photovoltaic.&nbsp;</p><p>There would be a good deal of energy loss in the conversion process compared to a panel installed on a roof, but as <em>Ars Technica</em> notes, that's not really the point. Contemporary architecture tends to use vast amounts of glazing &ndash; by harvesting even ...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135130016/airbnb-to-collect-taxes-in-paris Airbnb to collect taxes in Paris Nicholas Korody 2015-08-25T20:30:00-04:00 >2015-08-25T20:30:21-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ou/ouph6cds0t29lh5l.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>After imposing taxes on units in Amsterdam, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and elsewhere, &ldquo;home-sharing&rdquo; facilitator Airbnb will now begin collecting taxes in Paris, the company&rsquo;s biggest market. Collection officially begins October 1st and some see the move as Airbnb&rsquo;s attempt at playing nice with city regulators. Venture Beat connects the change to Uber&rsquo;s troubles in Paris, where the ride service company fought new regulation policies.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/135044746/newly-patented-space-elevator-could-take-astronauts-12-miles-up-into-the-stratosphere Newly patented space elevator could take astronauts 12 miles up into the stratosphere Alexander Walter 2015-08-24T17:20:00-04:00 >2015-08-25T12:30:26-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/m6/m61qkb2sy41ixfdt.jpg" width="514" height="257" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Canadian space and defense company Thoth Technology is attempting to make reaching the stratosphere as simple as riding an elevator up a tower about 23 times taller than the world&rsquo;s tallest building. The Thoth space elevator patent, approved by the US patent office on July 21, specifies that the tower could be built on any &ldquo;planetary surface,&rdquo; (i.e. not just Earth), a sign that Thoth is thinking pretty far ahead. [...] the top of the tower will serve as a rocket launch site.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In slightly more <em>recent-technology</em> elevator news:</p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/133183117/thyssenkrupp-s-cable-free-elevator-test-tower-tops-out-in-less-than-10-months" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ThyssenKrupp's cable-free elevator test tower tops out in less than 10 months</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/128864326/japan-s-simple-logic-for-putting-toilets-in-elevators" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Japan's simple logic for putting toilets in elevators</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/127120545/installation-of-ultrarope-elevators-begins-at-kingdom-tower" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Installation of UltraRope elevators begins at Kingdom Tower</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/135028637/it-s-time-to-say-goodbye-to-the-library-as-we-know-it It's time to say goodbye to the library as we know it Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-24T12:22:00-04:00 >2015-08-26T19:28:31-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ex/exg7g5lcm79tgdhn.jpg" width="514" height="292" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>While I believe there will always be a place for the book in the hearts of academics, it is far less likely there will be a place for the book, or at least for every book, on the academic campus. [...] This is not to say that academic library construction and renovation have come to an end. But rather than being conceived of as on-campus book warehouses, academic libraries are today being reimagined as spaces in which learning, collaboration and intellectual engagement take center stage.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More from the world of library design:</p><ul><li><a title="Stacked: Archinect's comparison of Fujimoto and Tschapeller's library stacks" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/134203292/stacked-archinect-s-comparison-of-fujimoto-and-tschapeller-s-library-stacks" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stacked: Archinect's comparison of Fujimoto and Tschapeller's library stacks</a></li><li><a title="The tiny village library that draws Beijingers in droves" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/131258946/the-tiny-village-library-that-draws-beijingers-in-droves" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The tiny village library that draws Beijingers in droves</a></li><li><a title="Redesign of DC's main Mies library tip-toes around the good and the bad " href="http://archinect.com/news/article/124745471/redesign-of-dc-s-main-mies-library-tip-toes-around-the-good-and-the-bad" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Redesign of DC's main Mies library tip-toes around the good and the bad</a></li><li><a title="Another big concrete panel falls off Zaha Hadid-designed library" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/117664390/another-big-concrete-panel-falls-off-zaha-hadid-designed-library" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Another big concrete panel falls off Zaha Hadid-designed library</a></li><li><a title="Glasgow School of Art to hold conference about restoration of Mackintosh library" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/108097712/glasgow-school-of-art-to-hold-conference-about-restoration-of-mackintosh-library" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Glasgow School of Art to hold conference about restoration of Mackintosh library</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/134905866/design-thinking-comes-of-age Design Thinking Comes of Age led signal light 2015-08-22T22:07:00-04:00 >2015-08-25T18:25:51-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/rv/rva4z4d4lk2e62mr.jpg" width="514" height="242" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Transformative innovation is inherently risky. It involves inferences and leaps of faith; if something hasn&rsquo;t been done before, there&rsquo;s no way to guarantee its outcome. The philosopher Charles Peirce said that insights come to us &ldquo;like a flash&rdquo;&mdash;in an epiphany&mdash;making them difficult to rationalize or defend. Leaders need to create a culture that allows people to take chances and move forward without a complete, logical understanding of a problem.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Filed under Organizational Culture, Design Thinking Comes of Age goes further to consider, "there&rsquo;s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn&rsquo;t about aesthetics. It&rsquo;s about applying the principles of design to the way people work.&nbsp;This new approach is in large part a response to the increasing complexity of modern technology and modern business.</p><p><em>What Is a Design-Centric Culture?</em></p><p>...All in all, it is about products, designing them and getting them out there to have them consumed by you. Hence,&nbsp;Design-Centric Culture.. Think Design thinking.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/134589596/mit-s-placelet-sensors-technologize-old-fashioned-observation-methods-for-placemaking MIT's "Placelet" sensors technologize old-fashioned observation methods for placemaking Justine Testado 2015-08-18T19:49:00-04:00 >2015-08-19T11:55:27-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/2g/2gywucmqw4npkk9c.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>With a $35,000 grant from the Knight Prototype Fund, [MITs Elizabeth Christoforetti] and her team are working on a project called Placelet, which will track how pedestrians move through a particular space. They&rsquo;re developing a network of sensors that will track the scale and speed of pedestrians [and vehicles] over long periods of time. The sensors, [currently being tested in downtown Boston], will also track the 'sensory experience' by recording the noise level and air quality of that space.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="http://archinect.com/features/article/106956389/the-life-of-a-new-architect-elizabeth-christoforetti" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Life of a New Architect: Elizabeth Christoforetti</a>&nbsp;(Featured interview)</p><p><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107714855/mit-s-mindrider-helmet-draws-mental-maps-as-you-bike" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bike</a></p><p><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/100931500/mit-s-newest-invention-fits-all-the-furniture-you-need-in-one-closet-sized-box" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT's Newest Invention Fits All the Furniture You Need in One Closet-Sized Box</a></p><p><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/83383390/mit-develops-self-assembling-modular-robots" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT develops self-assembling modular robots</a></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/134499490/this-studio-illustrates-minecraft-s-architectural-capabilities-to-create-imaginary-worlds This studio illustrates Minecraft's architectural capabilities to create imaginary worlds Justine Testado 2015-08-17T16:34:00-04:00 >2015-08-24T21:50:23-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/76/76xvtfizxy81sw5x.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The BlockWorks studio proves, yet again, that architects can use Minecraft as a design tool to produce rather magical results with impressive detail. The team of architects, designers, and animators envision mystical cubic worlds in response to what they refer to as "Briefs", which include commissions from YouTube personalities, gaming networks, museums, and film studios as well as original submissions to actual Minecraft design competitions.</p><p>Although the designs are largely fictional, BlockWorks draws inspiration from real-world buildings from throughout history and even structural details by today's starchitects. As expected, the team's growing portfolio is pretty spectacular, and surely retains one's attention for a good amount of time.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/vr/vrcrzii4cmsenlwy.jpg"><br><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/4z/4zwofgmxqynsl5wf.jpg"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/rq/rqcdgxxhhwiydfd7.jpg"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/0l/0lfzeqrnrktnpbh7.jpg"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/8z/8zqbw5g8jk47nzv1.jpg"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/xo/xogew70hw24b0w43.jpg"><br><br>You can check out more of BlockWorks' projects in greater detail on their <a href="http://blockworksmc.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">website</a>. Also, sneak a peek at some their project trailers below or on their <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZEgEAyjv1YHP-jvjLQpaCA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">YouTube channel</a>.</p><p><em>All images <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BlockWorksmc" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">via</a>. H/T <a href="http://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/08/when-minecraft-meets-architecture-magic-happens/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kotaku Australia</a></em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/134203297/don-t-get-smart-with-me-reassessing-the-internet-of-things-in-the-home Don't get smart with me: reassessing the "Internet of Things" in the home Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-13T19:30:00-04:00 >2015-08-16T12:21:16-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/b3/b3829566c070df26ad868285bbf58dc4.jpg" width="514" height="387" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>By the end of this year, some 20 million households in the U.S. will have some form of smart-home device, double the number in 2012 [...] But some homeowners find themselves frustrated by the proliferation of smart-home technology. They complain of complex systems for once-simple tasks like turning on the light, &ldquo;learning algorithms&rdquo; that get their preferences wrong and systems that simply go on the fritz too often.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a title="Enlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic drought" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/130971783/enlisting-the-internet-of-things-against-california-s-historic-drought" target="_blank">Enlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic drought</a></li><li><a title="Hackers Present Threat to Internet of Things" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/106092479/hackers-present-threat-to-internet-of-things" target="_blank">Hackers Present Threat to Internet of Things</a></li><li><a title="When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/78289196/when-smart-homes-get-hacked-i-haunted-a-complete-stranger-s-house-via-the-internet" target="_blank">When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/134182334/tokyo-begins-farming-produce-beneath-its-subway-lines Tokyo begins farming produce beneath its subway lines Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-13T13:04:00-04:00 >2015-08-20T22:02:14-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/eb/eb79a0b3b8e293cc2df20f30be90693d.jpg" width="514" height="290" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Kakutani is the main farmer behind "Tokyo Salad,"&nbsp;the Metro&rsquo;s new farming enterprise, farming that takes place underneath the Tozai Line. [...] Tokyo Metro started hydroponic farming this past January. They&rsquo;re currently selling the lettuce varieties to a local Italian restaurant and The Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel. Over the next couple years, they&rsquo;re hoping to expand. Maybe they&rsquo;ll start selling to grocery stores, and maybe Kakutani says, "we&rsquo;ll make salads or smoothies.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>More innovations from Japan:</p><ul><li><a title="Japan's largest treehouse is also a high-tech engineering feat" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/132648258/japan-s-largest-treehouse-is-also-a-high-tech-engineering-feat" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Japan's largest treehouse is also a high-tech engineering feat</a></li><li><a title="Turning Japan's golfing greens into solar farms" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/132487606/turning-japan-s-golfing-greens-into-solar-farms" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Turning Japan's golfing greens into solar farms</a></li><li><a title="Japan's simple logic for putting toilets in elevators" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/128864326/japan-s-simple-logic-for-putting-toilets-in-elevators" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Japan's simple logic for putting toilets in elevators</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/134105097/data-crunching-the-uberization-of-new-york-city Data Crunching the Uberization of New York City Nicholas Korody 2015-08-12T12:59:00-04:00 >2015-08-13T18:42:14-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/2a/2a6582bdfbe772d9d88236b2e344efb1.jpg" width="514" height="859" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The recent debate between Uber and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over whether the ride-for-hire company was exacerbating Manhattan congestion was fueled by incomplete, misleading data. There was no way of knowing exactly where Uber cars and taxis pick up passengers, and so the city agreed to a study of Uber&rsquo;s effects last month as part of its detente with the company. Now, thanks in part to a Freedom of Information Law request, we have data. A lot of data...</p></em><br /><br /><p>The folks over at <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/uber-is-serving-new-yorks-outer-boroughs-more-than-taxis-are/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">FiveThirtyEight</a>&nbsp;processed a nearly-overwhelming amount of data on Uber usage in New York City and got some pretty interesting (if not entirely surprising) results. At the top of the list, their research verifies the ride-share company's claims that their doing a better job in serving the city's Outer Boroughs than traditional cabs. "Of the 4.4 million Uber rides for which the data shows a pickup location, 22 percent started outside of Manhattan, compared with just 14 percent of the 88.4 million yellow and green taxi rides," they note.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/5a/5ad47e7a2cacb7f27cd4b5bb153e58ec.jpg"></p><p>Some other findings include:</p><ul><li>63% of all Uber rides start in Manhattan south of 59th St. (the most traffic-congested area in the city, &nbsp;as well as the part best-served by the subway).&nbsp;</li><li>Uber is particularly well-used in the affluent NW Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale, as well as the NE Queens neighborhoods of Little Neck and College Point, while traditional taxis remain dominant in the regions of Queens closest to Manhattan.</li><li>In general, man...</li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/134052824/coating-the-la-reservoir-in-shade-balls-will-save-300m-gallons-of-water Coating the LA reservoir in "shade balls" will save 300M gallons of water Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-12T09:14:00-04:00 >2015-08-14T12:20:14-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ce/ce92dc0adec2930b9c9de2287c28d011.jpg" width="514" height="336" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[On August 10], the Los Angeles Shade Ball&nbsp;Cover Project rolled to a halt, rounding off years of work.&nbsp;With a shout of "shade balls away!" Los Angeles city officials overturned a row of sacks and&nbsp;sent 20,000 of the jet black&nbsp;objects&nbsp;cascading&nbsp;down into the Los Angeles Reservoir. [...] Together, the ball shroud prevents damage from sunlight, dust, and errant birds, and keeps 300 million gallons of surface water from evaporating each year.</p></em><br /><br /><p>What's plastic, black, saves water and costs 36 cents each? Shade balls! The LA Mayor's Office's <a href="http://www.lamayor.org/_mayor_garcetti_announces_completion_of_innovative_shade_ball_cover_project_at_los_angeles_reservoir" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">press release</a> tells their origin story:</p><p><em>Dr. Brian White, a now-retired LADWP biologist, was the first person to think of using shade balls for water quality. The idea came to him when he learned about the application of &ldquo;bird balls&rdquo; in ponds along airfield runways. The innovative, in-house solution has been used in LADWP&rsquo;s open-air reservoirs since 2008 to block sunlight, prevent chemical reactions and curtail algae blooms. Currently in place at Upper Stone, Elysian and Ivanhoe reservoirs, the shade balls come with the added benefit of reducing evaporation off the reservoir surfaces by 85 to 90 percent.</em></p><p>The "shade balls" news may be too late to make this week's <a href="http://archinect.com/forum/thread/133912890/a-pretty-cool-pic-of-a-kid" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Meme Monday</a>, but I'll leave it up to Archinectors to cook up something ... memorable.</p><p>Watch a truckload of shade balls being emptied into the reservoir:</p><p></p><p><a href="http://dryfutures.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/uploads/f8/f8xfni2nf4bnpbd6.jpg"></a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the...</em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/134040761/watch-taipei-101-s-728-ton-mass-damper-in-action-during-typhoon-soudelor Watch Taipei 101's 728-ton mass damper in action during Typhoon Soudelor Alexander Walter 2015-08-11T16:55:00-04:00 >2015-08-11T18:30:04-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/32/32b2605e03812cda594bb7ae6d8dc49d.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Like all supertall skyscrapers, Tapei 101 has a mechanism inside to help stabilize itself in high winds. [...] At 6:59 am, in the winds of Typhoon Soudelor, the damper moved by a full meter from its center position, farther than it has ever moved in the building's decade history. [...] Soudelor brought sustained winds of 100 mph, with at least one confirmed gust of 145 mph .</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/133648887/create-sonic-architecture-with-mesh-music-and-lights-at-the-new-museum-this-weekend Create sonic architecture with mesh, music, and lights at the New Museum this weekend Justine Testado 2015-08-06T14:50:00-04:00 >2015-08-09T10:34:30-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/wt/wtbwc0snzghq0uhq.jpg" width="514" height="322" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Museum displays are typically meant to be seen and not touched, but a recent wave of exhibitions is upending those rules. Take DELQA, an interactive music and light installation opening in the New Museum's NEW INC space on August 6. Showcasing the music of Matthew Dear combined with Microsoft's Kinect technology, the project allows participants to touch, push and poke suspended mesh walls to manipulate a musical composition, creating their own unique experience of the space.</p></em><br /><br /><p>If you're on the hunt for weekend plans in NYC, DELQA will be at the New Museum only from August 6-9!</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a title="How architecture helped music evolve - David Byrne " href="http://archinect.com/news/article/75192945/how-architecture-helped-music-evolve-david-byrne" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How architecture helped music evolve - David Byrne </a></p><p><a title="Frank Gehry: Is Music Liquid Architecture?" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/98957858/frank-gehry-is-music-liquid-architecture" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Frank Gehry: Is Music Liquid Architecture?</a></p><p><a title="How an &quot;egalitarian incubator&quot; music venue hopes to revive Brooklyn's art scene" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/132953936/how-an-egalitarian-incubator-music-venue-hopes-to-revive-brooklyn-s-art-scene" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How an "egalitarian incubator" music venue hopes to revive Brooklyn's art scene</a></p><p><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/123198621/soundscape-new-york-captures-the-sounds-of-nyc-s-iconic-buildings" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Soundscape New York" captures the sounds of NYC's iconic buildings</a></p><p><a title="Jam to your heart's desire with Stereotank's &quot;Heartbeat&quot; installation in Times Square " href="http://archinect.com/news/article/120588790/jam-to-your-heart-s-desire-with-stereotank-s-heartbeat-installation-in-times-square" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jam to your heart's desire with Stereotank's "Heartbeat" installation in Times Square </a></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/133571706/are-apps-the-virtual-gateway-to-physical-gentrification Are apps the virtual gateway to physical gentrification? Julia Ingalls 2015-08-05T18:26:00-04:00 >2015-08-09T11:58:29-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/hm/hmv55xia99ntz0zp.jpg" width="514" height="894" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Laundromats have recently been closing down in San Francisco, which prompted a Google employee to tweet in response "cost of disruption: washio and others have removed need for laundromat on every block." Who needs laundromats when there's an app for that? Well, people who can't afford to spend $15 a pop on washing their socks, for starters. The tweet prompted a thoughtful article in <a href="http://mic.com/articles/123311/silicon-valley-white-male-privilege-class-war" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tech.Mic</a>, in which the short-term gains of disruptive app inventors are speculatively played out to their potential society-eroding ends, especially in the arenas of <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/117656322/public-transit-helps-new-yorkers-earn-more-money" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">transit</a> and health care. In this case, the article points out that the laundry delivery app in question is exactly that: a delivery service that still uses third-party launderers to actually clean the clothes, but charges for the convenience.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/cr/cr7d7nk7o5gnjymm.jpg"></p><p>Apparently, the San Francisco laundromats are closing mainly because of the usual gentrification pressures in the form of desirable cheap real estate, not necessarily because of apps. However, assuming ...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/133414232/generate-your-next-creative-idea-with-morpholio-s-journal-app-a-digital-super-tool-sketchbook Generate your next creative idea with Morpholio's Journal app, a digital super-tool sketchbook Archinect 2015-08-04T12:00:00-04:00 >2015-08-04T14:15:22-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/fq/fqvy8ax97rg18cfn.jpg" width="514" height="290" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Architects and designers have adapted to the digitization of the creative process, although trustworthy paper sketchbooks, notepads, and journals remain as an essential free-flowing workspace for brainstorming ideas. <a href="http://www.morpholioapps.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Morpholio</a> conveniently combines both realms in <a href="http://morpholioapps.com/journal/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Journal</a>, a new app that redefines the portable sketchbook as a mixing chamber where designers, artists, writers, and all creative types can effortlessly record, organize, collage, or sketch to develop their ideas &mdash; right at their fingertips.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/s9/s9xsdtiujptvxmmv.jpg"></p><p><strong>Journal Unleashes 5 Super Tools:</strong></p><p><strong>1. Sketch on anything, anywhere</strong></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/w4/w45a0xycoog8b7be.jpg"></p><p>Journal allows you to sketch and write on any media. Not everyone wants to start with a blank canvas and now you don't have to. Design over an image, get creative with a photo, or make backgrounds of any type. You can sketch on top of any surface, and the sketch will literally move, twist and scale with the image it's on. Draw on everything to build the ultimate archive of inspirations, ideas, and encounters; allowing the lon...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/133197580/apple-reportedly-grabbing-a-little-piece-of-san-francisco-real-estate Apple reportedly grabbing a little piece of San Francisco real estate Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-31T18:35:00-04:00 >2015-07-31T18:35:41-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/h7/h7nko4yx8ifwlwo7.jpg" width="514" height="337" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Apple Inc.] reached an agreement to rent about 76,000 square feet of office space in the South of Market neighborhood&rsquo;s 235 Second St. [...] the area has some of the highest monthly asking rents in the city at about $66 a square foot. [...] Apple and Facebook have been notable holdouts as Silicon Valley giants like Google and Linkedin gradually expanded their footprints in San Francisco.</p></em><br /><br /><p>&#8203;More news from Apple and San Francisco:</p><ul><li><a title="Apple invites visitors to gaze at its 'spaceship' from new observation deck" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/133107408/apple-invites-visitors-to-gaze-at-its-spaceship-from-new-observation-deck" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apple invites visitors to gaze at its 'spaceship' from new observation deck</a></li><li><a title="Drone footage shows the latest construction status of the Foster-designed Apple campus" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/117649070/drone-footage-shows-the-latest-construction-status-of-the-foster-designed-apple-campus" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Drone footage shows the latest construction status of the Foster-designed Apple campus</a></li><li><a title="Can't find office space in San Francisco? Try the mall." href="http://archinect.com/news/article/128651497/can-t-find-office-space-in-san-francisco-try-the-mall" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Can't find office space in San Francisco? Try the mall.</a></li><li><a title="Uber HQ headed to San Francisco's Mission Bay" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/128246762/uber-hq-headed-to-san-francisco-s-mission-bay" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Uber HQ headed to San Francisco's Mission Bay</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/133039152/bacteria-laden-concrete-helps-cracks-fix-themselves Bacteria-laden concrete helps cracks fix themselves Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-29T17:06:00-04:00 >2015-08-08T22:00:29-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/a5/a54666e9eba1ff46231eb4086ec008a8.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Inspired by the human body, Jonkers, who works at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, created self-healing concrete. He embeds the concrete with capsules of limestone-producing bacteria, either Bacillus pseudofirmus&nbsp;or&nbsp;Sporosarcina pasteurii, along with calcium lactate. When the concrete cracks, air and moisture trigger the bacteria to begin munching on the calcium lactate. They convert the calcium lactate to calcite, an ingredient in limestone, thus sealing off the cracks.&nbsp;</p></em><br /><br /><p>More concrete news:</p><ul><li><a title='Celebrating concrete architecture in a mini "block party"' href="http://archinect.com/news/article/131897122/celebrating-concrete-architecture-in-a-mini-block-party" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Celebrating concrete architecture in a mini "block party"</a></li><li><a title='Getty awards over $1.75 million to fix crappy concrete in "Important Modern Buildings"' href="http://archinect.com/news/article/130331695/getty-awards-over-1-75-million-to-fix-crappy-concrete-in-important-modern-buildings" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Getty awards over $1.75 million to fix crappy concrete in "Important Modern Buildings"</a></li><li><a title="Ten Top Images on Archinect's &quot;Concrete&quot; Pinterest Board" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/129890744/ten-top-images-on-archinect-s-concrete-pinterest-board" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Concrete" Pinterest Board</a></li><li><a title="Could this revolutionary new material replace concrete?" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/125359981/could-this-revolutionary-new-material-replace-concrete" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Could this revolutionary new material replace concrete?</a></li><li><a title="China used more cement in 3 years than the U.S. did in the entire 20th century" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/123814572/china-used-more-cement-in-3-years-than-the-u-s-did-in-the-entire-20th-century" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China used more cement in 3 years than the U.S. did in the entire 20th century</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/132892117/archinect-launches-dry-futures-competition-in-response-to-california-s-historic-drought Archinect launches "Dry Futures" competition in response to California's historic drought Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-28T12:11:00-04:00 >2015-08-09T21:10:44-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/dz/dzklyfarv1dqpxt3.jpg" width="514" height="270" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The Golden State's nickname has taken on a grave new meaning. The agricultural and economic powerhouse of the country is in the midst of a historic drought pervading the whole U.S. Southwest, at once turning sprawling front lawns into golden-brown scratch pads and inciting&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/04/30/403283276/drought-in-calif-creates-water-wars-between-farmers-developers-residents" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Chinatown</em>-style disputes</a> among developers, farmers, and residents over water rights. The situation is dire, and while <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/131348933/as-californians-let-their-lawns-turn-golden-water-conservation-targets-were-exceeded-in-may" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">conservation efforts are succeeding</a>&nbsp;to a degree, plans must extend into the far future in order to contend with <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/122813531/california-has-about-one-year-of-water-left" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">depleted reservoirs and record low-levels of groundwater</a>. Cities can't always count on free-flowing taps.</p><p>Believing that&nbsp;architects are in a unique position to imagine how the built environment must adapt,&nbsp;Archinect is launching&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://dryfutures.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">&ldquo;Dry Futures&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;</strong>&ndash; a&nbsp;new competition seeking imaginative, pragmatic, idealist, or perhaps even dystopic, design proposals for the future of California&rsquo;s drought. And the stakes couldn't be higher: in <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/122813531/california-has-about-one-year-of-water-left" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">a recent op&shy;-ed for the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>, Jay Famiglietti, senior w...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/132873615/fog-catchers-squeezing-water-out-of-thin-air Fog catchers: squeezing water out of thin air Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-27T13:35:00-04:00 >2015-08-08T19:07:00-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/mn/mn06xfx9g2qu867m.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Simply look up into the sky at a single cloud, on average that white pouf holds 8 million gallons of water&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;enough to sustain 100,000 people for a day. Yet the water we harvest has become so scarce, its cost is greater than the devices invented to catch and deliver it. [...] How might we imagine new ways to collect water? How do we get it off my socks and into my coffee cup?</p></em><br /><br /><p>Fog catchers &ndash; contraptions that gather the moisture in our atmosphere for drinking water &ndash; have been used by humans and animals alike to survive in some of the driest places on earth. In Chile's&nbsp;Atacama desert, fog catchers have been in use for over half a century, and even are <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-32515558" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">used to gather water to brew local beer</a>. The Namib beetle (named for its habitat in the South African desert) has a pattern of bumps on its back that funnel trapped moisture into its mouth. Now, these simple water-capturing techniques are being looked to as one of the many potential relief systems in the American southwest's historic drought.</p><p>In one of their simplest forms, fog catchers are essentially fine-meshed nets, erected on the landscape at an angle suited to the area's fog and winds. The basic form was made drastically <a href="http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2013/how-to-get-fresh-water-out-of-thin-air-0830" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">more efficient by MIT and Chilean researchers</a> relatively recently, however there's more room for innovation in both smaller and larger-scale applications.&nbsp;In perpetually foggy places, s...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/132666733/dump-your-old-vector-files-in-the-digital-junkyard-to-be-recycled-into-real-world-objects Dump your old vector files in the Digital Junkyard to be recycled into real-world objects Justine Testado 2015-07-24T21:28:00-04:00 >2015-07-31T08:41:30-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/7q/7q820e2arudnm9fq.jpg" width="514" height="189" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Digital Junkyard is an experiment in virtual salvage. It is a repository of donated digital information that is used to generate real physical and spatial objects...This project is an embodiment of the growing collective intelligence that technology affords us; and an experiment in ideas about digital ecology. It also honours the time and energy that designers put into testing and making mistakes.</p></em><br /><br /><p>No, this isn't some snarky Craigslist ad. Recently launched by architecturally trained designer and artist Car Martin, the Digital Junkyard is a website with a mission to transform as much of your unwanted vector files into a new physical object or creative idea of sorts, in the real world. In addition to "dumping" their files, users can "salvage" and download donated files, and can eventually check out the resulting "artifacts" -- although that section of the site is yet to be filled.</p><p>The Digital Junkyard accepts a maximum of 250 MB and is mainly looking for vector files. More specifically:</p><ul><li>Adobe (.ai .eps .pdf)</li><li>Autodesk (.dwg .rvt)</li><li>Mcneel/Rhino (.3dm .gh.ghx)</li><li>Sketchup (.skp)</li><li>GIS (.mxd &amp; shapefile folders)</li><li>Other (.svg .dxf)</li></ul><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/nc/nchiy3qvwjzxoetg.jpg"><br><em>Screenshot via djunkyard.com</em></p><p>While the Digital Junkyard can be a practical outlet for architects and designers to clear up their digital workspaces, Martin's website has an introspective side to it that is greatly relevant at this point in our tightening relationship wit...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/132659521/as-a-last-resort-in-historic-drought-santa-barbara-dusts-off-its-desalination-plant As a "last resort" in historic drought, Santa Barbara dusts off its desalination plant Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-24T18:55:00-04:00 >2015-08-08T17:45:50-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/5l/5lf40k5cfe318677.jpg" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Santa Barbara City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $55 million to reactivate a mothballed desalination plant that could provide the city with nearly a third of its drinking water. [...] &ldquo;Desalination has been a last resort,&rdquo; Mayor Helene Schneider told The Times Tuesday night after the vote. &ldquo;The way the drought has continued these last four years, we are really getting at that last resort.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on the historic drought in the U.S. southwest:</p><ul><li><a title="Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/126421871/gov-brown-issues-order-to-reduce-california-s-greenhouse-gas-emissions" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions</a></li><li><a title="California has about one year of water left" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/122813531/california-has-about-one-year-of-water-left" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">California has about one year of water left</a></li><li><a title="30% of the US in Drought" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/106867107/30-of-the-us-in-drought" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">30% of the US in Drought</a></li><li><a title='Relocation or Adaptation: "We may have to migrate people out of California"' href="http://archinect.com/news/article/105498113/relocation-or-adaptation-we-may-have-to-migrate-people-out-of-california" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Relocation or Adaptation: "We may have to migrate people out of California"</a></li><li><a title="Drought may force California to reverse flow of its Aqueduct" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/98670776/drought-may-force-california-to-reverse-flow-of-its-aqueduct" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Drought may force California to reverse flow of its Aqueduct</a></li></ul><p><a href="http://dryfutures.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/uploads/f8/f8xfni2nf4bnpbd6.jpg"></a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the&nbsp;<a href="http://dryfutures.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures competition</a>!</em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/132648258/japan-s-largest-treehouse-is-also-a-high-tech-engineering-feat Japan's largest treehouse is also a high-tech engineering feat Alexander Walter 2015-07-24T15:09:00-04:00 >2015-07-25T17:37:56-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/it/itckki4tbnb47s1q.jpg" width="514" height="771" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Completed in March of 2014, Kusukusu [...] is a marvelous feat of architecture, engineering and technology. Working with Hiroshi Nakamura of NAP Architects, the team came in and 3D-scanned hundreds of points on the tree. Based on that 3D data they then created a steel trellis that threaded through the tree, interlocking perfectly [...]. What&rsquo;s amazing is that the treehouse in its entirety, never touches the tree. It&rsquo;s completely self-standing so as to not harm the tree.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Here are a few more images of the stunner of a treehouse in Atami, Japan designed by master treehouse builder&nbsp;Takashi Kobayashi in collaboration with&nbsp;NAP Architects.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/cc/cc72ilezl3jpeagw.jpg"></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/2t/2torlh574dy5kbpf.jpg"></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/iv/iv2k1yger6zw9xb6.jpg"></p><p>To learn more and see the complete set of photos, head over to <a href="http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2015/07/23/japans-largest-treehouse-is-a-sprawling-structure-built-around-a-300-year-old-tree/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spoon &amp; Tamago</a>.</p><p><em>Photos by Koji Fujii/Nacasa &amp; Partners Inc.&nbsp;</em></p><p>In other tree-hugging news on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/131795914/new-zealand-landscaper-shapes-church-out-of-trees" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New Zealand landscaper shapes church out of trees</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/131562508/it-s-official-trees-are-good-for-your-health" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">It's official: trees are good for your health</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/130810350/the-public-life-of-the-world-s-celebritrees" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The public life of the world's celebritrees</a></li></ul>