5 key drivers of the healthy building movement
The wide-ranging efforts include improving indoor air quality and even increasing activity levels of building occupants. Allen and colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have defined nine foundations for healthier buildings, such as better water quality, reducing noise, regulating temperature, and maximizing light.
— National Geographic
As part of the Urban Expeditions series, Brian Howard explored some of the latest trends in green design, which go far beyond energy and water efficiency to issues of public health/wellness. View full entry
If you can't stand the heat, get an outdoor kitchen (homeowners are, says AIA)
Over the past century, kitchens have gone from being a back room to the center of many homes. Now, according to a new study released by the AIA, many homeowners are requesting outdoor kitchens, creating an uptick in work for residential architects. “Homeowners continue to find new ways to add... View full entry
Gimme (customizable) shelter: pop-up modular homeless housing project tailor-made for each community
Assembled from containers placed within a scaffolding net, WE Architecture's Jagtevj 69 aims to create alluring public space while simultaneously providing temporary housing for the homeless.The proposal stresses that it's a temporary solution; by creating a variety of different spaces for... View full entry
Make it rain as you sit on rocking chairs inside the Cloud House
Not far from the hustle and bustle of Farmers Park in Springfield, Missouri, the Cloud House is a getaway spot where anyone can sit and enjoy a few moments of peace and relaxation as you listen to the (somewhat simulated) sound of a gentle rain, as if you were sitting on the porch of a rural farm... View full entry
How does one design against "magic" used to trap self-driving cars?
As if the challenges of politics, engineering, and weather weren't enough, now self-driving cars face another obstacle: purposeful visual sabotage, in the form of specially painted traffic lines that entice the car in before trapping it in an endless loop. As profiled in Vice, the artist behind... View full entry
Tear down that wall (proposal)
Rael writes that one of the most devastating consequences of the wall is “the division of communities, cities, neighborhoods and families, resulting in the erosion of social infrastructure.” When we talked, he wondered how we might create something positive from something so horrible: “Can reform happen through borderland investment? If you build 150 libraries along the border, you’d get a very different outcome.”
— The New York Times
The RFP for the border wall is out, but the conscience-bearing architectural community is staying in (and trying to imagine alternatives to this xenophobic concrete smear job). In particular, in this New York Times article they're suggesting building anything but walls, suggesting that perhaps... View full entry
Vietnam's architectural past is being erased by new economic forces
What's the value of history? It's a question that keeps coming up around the world as new projects displace older architecture. In Vietnam, many of Ho Chi Minh City's distinctive (and, in many cases, French-colonial-era) structures are being dispatched to memory in favor of newer developments... View full entry
In 24 hours, get a 3D-printed house that will last 175 years
Although it's unclear when the furnishing/window and door fitting process takes place, one thing is certain: you can now have the basic components of an entire 400 square foot house printed in about a day from the company Apis Cor. Aside from being speedy, the $10,000 printing process is... View full entry
Urban India: Informal Housing, Inadequate Property Rights
The rapid pace of urbanization in developing countries places increasing levels of stress on cities. As thousands of people move into urban areas each year, the availability of affordable housing emerges as a key challenge. In India, 412 million people live in urban areas. Depending on the source... View full entry
Getting down with the LED grow lights to be used in NYC's Lowline
Although still just a mock-up in the Lowline Lab, the LED grow lights designed by Lighting Science for use in the real Lowline are a promising iteration.Combining everything that's great about glowing hexagons with three different settings ("soft-white light, one that mimics daylight, and one that... View full entry
Editor's Picks #464
Nicholas Korody, published HGTV Theory: Tiny House Hunters, Debt Resistors. Wherein he ponders "Are tiny homes the pots of today? Are tiny homeowners the Diogenes of the 21st century? Their lifestyle, a hyperbolic negation of some of the dominant values that define contemporary domesticity, draw... View full entry
MIT startup creates camouflage solar panels
Founded at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Sistine creates custom solar panels designed to mimic home facades and other environments, with aims of enticing more homeowners to install photovoltaic systems.
Sistine’s novel technology, SolarSkin, is a layer that can be imprinted with any image and embedded into a solar panel without interfering with the panel’s efficacy. Homeowners can match their rooftop or a grassy lawn.
— MIT News
The product caters to the growing "aesthetic solar" market which tries to attract homeowners that are considering going solar but fear the aesthetic impact of the traditional, bleak-looking dark solar panels on their home's appearance. Just last fall, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a line of glass... View full entry
Mithun's Wanapum Heritage Center nabs 2 awards, honors Native Am tribe
Just off the Columbia River, the Wanapum Heritage Center is a home for Wanapum culture and artifacts. The building form weaves solidity and light, from a protective repository enclosure that references traditional cliffside cave storage spaces to the glazed welcome area that evokes traditional fishing lanterns. The entry path aligns with the equinox sunrise, a Wanapum 'marker'. The center houses archival items alongside recording studios for oral history, and new gathering spaces.
— Mithun, an integrated design firm
History of the Present: Mexico City
An unpopular president, a myth-making architect, and a multibillionaire tycoon are building an oversize airport in a nature preserve. Can they make Mexico great again?
— Places Journal
The progressive capital of Mexico has a long history of massive infrastructure projects — megaproyectos — with egalitarian aims. Daniel Brook looks at the social, political, and environmental issues surrounding the latest — a $13bn new airport rising on a sinking lakebed. This article... View full entry
Got wood? Meet Australia's tallest (proposed) timber building
Combine cross laminated timber, glue laminated timber, and the desire to connect with nature while providing ample creative working space, and you have the 5 King Tower, a 52-meter timber structure with the strength of concrete and steel (but a much smaller carbon footprint).The 5 King tower... View full entry