Archinect - News 2015-04-27T20:39:03-04:00 http://archinect.com/news/article/124816981/could-scientists-engineer-synthetic-organisms-to-stop-climate-change Could scientists engineer synthetic organisms to stop climate change? Nicholas Korody 2015-04-08T14:12:00-04:00 >2015-04-13T19:39:10-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/8c/8c69151b1b9262c3fc825b720f16e952.jpg" width="514" height="322" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Scientists and politicians the world over are looking for ways to halt or reverse [climate changes], a task that is fraught with difficulties in a world hooked on fossil fuels. One option increasingly discussed is terraforming&mdash;deliberately altering the environment in a way that cools the planet... Instead of creating global engineering projects, why not create life forms that do a similar job instead...</p></em><br /><br /><p>Ricard Sole and his associates at the ICREA-Complex Systems Lab in Barcelona are experimenting with the potentials of using synthetic organisms to terraform the planet. One advantage to such a project &ndash; as opposed to other terraforming ideas that would require engineering feats of unprecedented scale &ndash; is that the landscape could be changed with minimal human input, using "the growth and colonizing potential that life offers."</p><p>Of course, as the article notes, the potential problems are also massive, like, for example, unintentionally triggering feedback mechanisms that accelerate global warming, or devastate global food supplies. Looking back at <a href="http://archinect.com/features/article/114117296/architecture-of-the-anthropocene-pt-2-haunted-houses-living-buildings-and-other-horror-stories" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">other historical attempts to engineer biology</a>&nbsp;to suit human interests, this seems a more likely outcome than not. But Sole and his team are trying to develop preventative measures against such runaway growth. And as the article notes, one day this may be an urgent necessity: "if and when that day comes, let&rsquo;s hope we&rsquo;ll be glad of the researc...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/124294140/california-governor-mandates-water-restrictions California Governor Mandates Water Restrictions Nicholas Korody 2015-04-01T18:49:00-04:00 >2015-04-06T17:04:05-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/o7/o7es3oy926117n7g.jpg" width="514" height="685" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday imposed mandatory water restrictions for the first time on residents, businesses and farms, ordering cities and towns in the drought-ravaged state to reduce usage by 25%... [amounting] to roughly 1.5 million acre-feet of water (an acre-foot of water equals about 325,000 gallons) over the next nine months... "We're in a new era," Brown said. "The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that's going to be a thing of the past."</p></em><br /><br /><p>Brown's executive order will also mandate:</p><ul><li>Require agriculture to report more on their water usage so as to better "enforce against illegal diversions and waste"</li><li>A ban on watering lawns on public street medians</li><li>Significant cuts in water use for large landscapes like universities, golf courses, and cemeteries.</li><li>Switching out some 50 million sq. ft. of lawn for "drought tolerant landscaping"</li><li>A temporary rebate program for consumers to replace their appliances with water efficient models</li><li>Prohibiting new homes and developments from using potable water in their irrigation systems unless using efficient drip irrigation systems</li></ul><p>Here's hoping these mandates are enough to somehow provide the <strong>11 trillion gallons of water</strong>&nbsp;that California needs to recover from this very real and unprecedented natural disaster...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/122813531/california-has-about-one-year-of-water-left California has about one year of water left Nicholas Korody 2015-03-13T13:42:00-04:00 >2015-03-16T09:16:13-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/09/09e545ba3aa508e13f3b08fd801e1eba.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water &mdash; and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002... Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one...</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the article, written by Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at NASA JPL, despite historic low temperatures this winter, California's "wet season" did little to alleviate the drought. In fact, this recent January was the driest in the state's recorded history, which goes back all the way to 1895. According to satellite data, the total amount of water in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins was "34 million acre-feet below normal."</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/117123658/the-most-relevant-news-of-2014-for-architects The Most Relevant News of 2014 (for Architects) Nicholas Korody 2014-12-30T14:02:00-05:00 >2015-01-05T18:25:46-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/xn/xnawzkr1kg61094f.jpg" width="514" height="309" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Sometimes it's easy to pretend that architecture exists outside of this world, erupting instead in the blank of a 3D space governed only by the laissez-fair laws of software. But sometimes a news headline will penetrate through this fog of imagination, appearing as a blazing light shining forth from an image of some distant row of houses hollowed by mortar fire and colored with the blood of a strangers' body. "This is the real of architecture," the news seems to silently implore.</p><p>As gravity serves as the counterweight to the feverish, technofuturism fashionable to today's students, news events seem to ground architecture just at the moment it seems like it may finally escape into the vapors of idealism. While it may seem that architecture is increasingly consigned to the building of institutions or expensive residences, the demand for buildings and dwellings simultaneously grows louder and more desperate with every unfolding disaster.</p><p>A year-end round-up is as fraught as a ranking. If...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/115572057/jeanne-gang-s-thinning-ice-exhibit-in-miami Jeanne Gang's "Thinning Ice" exhibit in Miami Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-12-09T12:40:00-05:00 >2014-12-11T19:13:30-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/a9/a92422a96863795cc2b1f2fabae1ea34.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Jeanne Gang] had just come back from a trip on which she&rsquo;d been using binoculars with Swarovski lenses and had become intrigued by the optical aspect of the crystal company&rsquo;s output. She had also become interested in James Balog&rsquo;s Extreme Ice Survey, a long-term project that documents glacier shrinkage using time-lapse photography [...] One challenge the studio faced was communicating the size of the glaciers photographed by Balog, and the extent of the devastation caused by global warming.</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/115505365/relocation-or-adaptation-from-sprawl-to-archipelago Relocation or Adaptation: From Sprawl to Archipelago Nicholas Korody 2014-12-08T16:05:00-05:00 >2014-12-11T19:41:01-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/83/833f3cbd4ffcfe4824750530025a024f.jpg" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>1. By current estimates, if the polar ice caps melt, sea levels around the world will rise by between 80 and 100m. 2. Many cities (and, by default, around 70 per cent of the world's population) border on a body of water of some kind. According to 2010 government figures, 39 per cent of US population live on a coast. Half live within 50 miles of the ocean.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Based on worst-case scenarios for sea-level rise, cartographer Jeremy Linn imagined the future of three of America's major Western cities. He used topographic information to speculate on what an 80m &ndash; &asymp;262 ft &ndash; &nbsp;rise would look like as well as coming up with new names for this new geography. While such an increase in sea levels won't occur in our lifetime, our grandchildren could one day live in cities like this (if drastic food shortages, violent conflict, drug-adapted 'superbugs,' drought, and extreme weather don't get them first...). Such a rise in sea level would require every ice sheet on the planet to melt.</p><p>In Linn's imaginings, Portland (pictured above) has become a veritable archipelago of islands dominated by the spine of what-is-now Northwest Portland.</p><p>Likewise, much of contemporary Seattle will be replaced by a network of waterways. Only the city's hills would remains as isolated islands.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/47/47c88c7636fab03140c59c0cd8125d3e.jpg"></p><p>Los Angeles-of-the-future is almost entirely inundated. To get from Baldwin Island (Hil...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/111972700/how-has-the-world-changed-since-you-were-born How has the world changed since you were born? Nicholas Korody 2014-10-23T20:54:00-04:00 >2014-10-29T19:51:16-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/wf/wfr3jnt1fcpoov9a.jpg" width="514" height="362" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Find out how, since the date of your birth, your life has progressed; including how many times your heart has beaten, and how far you have travelled through space. Investigate how the world around you has changed since you've been alive; from the amount the sea has risen, and the tectonic plates have moved, to the number of earthquakes and volcanoes that have erupted. Grasp the impact we've had on the planet in your lifetime...</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/107648182/nimbys-go-to-court-over-modern-home-zaha-gets-an-apology-global-warming-rages-on-news-round-up-for-august-25-2014 NIMBYs go to court over "modern" home; Zaha gets an apology; global warming rages on: News Round-Up for August 25, 2014 Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-09-02T20:07:00-04:00 >2014-09-02T22:16:14-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/9v/9vtxfdi8z3dbl47e.jpg" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><em><strong>Friday, August 29:</strong></em></p><ul><li><p><a title="MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bike" 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>: The prototype is currently being used to create a mental-map and guidebook for NYC, and an upcoming Kickstarter campaign will attempt to fund the project for commercial sale.</p></li><li><p><a title="In Beirut, a grassroots push for more grass" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107711639/in-beirut-a-grassroots-push-for-more-grass" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In Beirut, a grassroots push for more grass</a>: Lebanon's fifteen-year civil war made much of Beirut's green space inaccessible or dysfunctional. The Beirut Green Project is trying to bring at least a modicum of green space back to the city's residents.</p></li></ul><p><em><strong>Thursday, August 28:</strong></em></p><ul><li><a title="Norwegian artists plan to open art academy in North Korea" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107634526/norwegian-artists-plan-to-open-art-academy-in-north-korea" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Norwegian artists plan to open art academy in North Korea</a>: Nothing's final yet, but the school is committed to its disbelief in sanctions or boycotts on art.</li><li><a title="Alvar Aalto gets a close look from Google's Cultural Institute" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107640149/alvar-aalto-gets-a-close-look-from-google-s-cultural-institute" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alvar Aalto gets a close look from Google's Cultural Institute</a>: Google's cameras go inside the famous Finnish architects studio, as well as a selection of his works, for a curated photo-exhibition.</li></ul><p><em><strong>Wednesday, August 27:</strong></em></p><ul><li><a title="China considering drastic ban on coal" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107557388/china-considering-drastic-ban-on-coal" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China considering drastic ban on coal</a>: Chinese news outlets claim that work is underway to ban coal in Bei...</li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/107496087/recently-discovered-underwater-methane-leaks-contribute-to-global-warming Recently-Discovered Underwater Methane Leaks Contribute to Global Warming Nicholas Korody 2014-08-26T18:30:00-04:00 >2014-08-26T19:16:09-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/n2/n2aku23qhfbpyi4y.jpg" width="514" height="324" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Scientists have recently discovered deep deposits of a powerful warming gas leaking into the ocean from previously hidden vents just off North America's East Coast, kicking up underwater carbon dioxide levels [...] Most of the vents are located about 1,600 feet down, the perfect spot for the ocean's temperature and water pressure to combine and create an oozing mix of ice and methane gas, a powerful substance with an impact on global warming that's 20 times more damaging than that of [CO2].</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/104722607/relocation-or-adaptation-construction-on-steel-wall-along-jersey-shore-set-to-begin Relocation or Adaptation: Construction on Steel Wall Along Jersey Shore Set to Begin Nicholas Korody 2014-07-21T18:10:00-04:00 >2014-07-21T18:10:10-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/fw/fwv3scadh9uze9ec.jpg" width="514" height="347" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Construction of a four-mile long steel wall going up along a stretch of the Jersey Shore ripped apart during Hurricane Sandy is expected to begin next month [...] The state Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $23.8 million contract to Springfield-based EIC Associates in May to build the steel wall that will stretch from Lyman Street in Mantoloking through Brick.</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/104712143/relocation-or-adaptation-map-shows-potential-impact-of-flooding-on-metro-boston Relocation or Adaptation: Map Shows Potential Impact of Flooding on Metro Boston Nicholas Korody 2014-07-21T15:29:00-04:00 >2014-07-22T18:44:21-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/bd/bdjggyhu406xm2ny.jpg" width="514" height="400" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The map [...] based on a report by the Boston Harbor Association, shows the impact of 5-foot and 7.5-foot coastal floods in Metro Boston that could be caused by a number of things &mdash; a rising sea level, storm surges, astronomical high tides or other causes.</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/103936244/miami-the-great-world-city-is-drowning-while-the-powers-that-be-look-away Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away Alexander Walter 2014-07-11T13:11:00-04:00 >2014-07-16T19:59:53-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/1a/1a5cc05d2bd5875dcf39f3d33f9ef447.jpg" width="460" height="276" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Low-lying south Florida, at the front line of climate change in the US, will be swallowed as sea levels rise. Astonishingly, the population is growing, house prices are rising and building goes on. The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers.</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/102197126/relocation-or-adaptation-preparing-for-global-warming Relocation or Adaptation: Preparing for Global Warming Nicholas Korody 2014-06-19T13:11:00-04:00 >2014-06-19T17:27:38-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/bu/bu5he0xyea7dmvfr.jpg" width="514" height="341" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>"...just as planning for response to an industrial accident doesn&rsquo;t make an industrial accident more likely, so too planning for relocations should not make them more likely... It is .... likely that the slow-onset effects of climate change will lead many to voluntarily migrate in anticipation that conditions will worsen. Those who are left behind &ndash; and who will need government assistance to relocate &ndash; thus may be particularly vulnerable."</p></em><br /><br /><p>The pressure to start preparing for inevitable relocations due to global warming and the resultant rise in sea levels is growing for many communities around the world. For some, the time for preparation is already running out and the time for action is now. In the United States, <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/05/18/185068648/impossible-choice-faces-americas-first-climate-refugees" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the first "climate refugees" are in the largely-native communities along Alaska's coastline</a>. Many of the small island nations of Oceania are beginning to<a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/05/18/185068648/impossible-choice-faces-americas-first-climate-refugees" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> ask their neighbors for asylum</a> preemptively. This will certainly present one of the most challenging realities facing architects in the future as the global refugee population begins to increase. An important strategy will be to learn from existing "refugee cities" such as <a href="http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/settlement.php?id=176&amp;region=77&amp;country=107" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zaatari</a> in Lebanon, currently the country's fourth largest city. Populated by people fleeing the violence in neighboring Syria, a <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2014/06/12/water-resources-under-strain-in-zaatari/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">current water shortage crisis</a>&nbsp;proves that, today, nearly every situation is in some ways affected by environmental conditions.</p><p>For places without as drastic a d...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/88985159/a-tale-of-two-cities-america-s-bipolar-climate-future A Tale of Two Cities: America's Bipolar Climate Future Alexander Walter 2013-12-16T14:01:00-05:00 >2013-12-23T18:41:23-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/b7/b7nxufsoeghsk3pu.jpg" width="514" height="284" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>New York City and New Bern, North Carolina both face the same projected rise in sea levels, but while one is preparing for the worst, the other is doing nothing on principle. A glimpse into America's contradictory climate change planning.</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/81442279/architects-to-the-rescue Architects to the Rescue? HotSoup 2013-09-09T14:19:00-04:00 >2013-09-17T00:21:42-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/gg/ggug7h8w58pas1hl.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Almost a dozen major architecture contests are underway. By calling in the pros, city and federal officials are casting a wide net for fixes. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have all the good ideas, and I don&rsquo;t care who does have them,&rdquo; Mayor Bloomberg said recently.</p></em><br /><br /><p> New York City and the feds are turning to design luminaries from the city and around the globe to help the five boroughs rebuild. But are the designers up to the task of saving the city from the next disaster? And will anyone actually follow their advice?</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/80156742/can-cities-adjust-to-a-retreating-coastline Can Cities Adjust to a Retreating Coastline? Archinect 2013-08-23T17:59:00-04:00 >2013-08-26T18:31:17-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/23/2391yl2d89zk5iqs.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;The problem is we&rsquo;re still building the city of the past,&rdquo; says Jacob. &ldquo;The people of the 1880s couldn&rsquo;t build a city for the year 2000&mdash;of course not. And we cannot build a year-2100 city now. But we should not build a city now that we know will not function in 2100. There are opportunities to renew our infrastructure. It&rsquo;s not all bad news. We just have to grasp those opportunities.&rdquo;</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/75811039/goodbye-miami-why-the-city-is-doomed-to-drown Goodbye, Miami: Why the City Is Doomed to Drown Alexander Walter 2013-06-24T17:59:00-04:00 >2013-06-28T16:29:19-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/6d/6d210e08d8bd47db1e267a248999a9cb.jpg" width="514" height="350" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin</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/55406926/melting-permafrost-plagues-dawson-city Melting permafrost plagues Dawson City Archinect 2012-08-16T15:42:00-04:00 >2012-08-20T14:47:15-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/z3/z3kje1bxs3qqltpq.jpg" width="514" height="344" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Dawson City spent more than $600,000 last year dealing with damage to roads and pipes caused by melting permafrost. A recently-published report says the shifting ground, a result of climate change, can do a lot of damage to infrastructure such as water and sewer systems.</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>