Hyperloop One announces 35 semifinalists in 17 countries for its global challenge
Whether you envisioned Hyperloop One as an overhyped pneumatic tube or an inventive way to transport cargo and/or passengers, 35 teams from 17 countries around the world have just been announced as semifinalists in the contest to create working transit corridors for the technology. The 35 proposed... View full entry
A team of scientists have made graphene—the strongest material in the world—into a building material
The space elevator—a theoretical mode of transportation where transport modules move up and down a long cable that connects Earth to space—has long been the stuff of futuristic fantasy...Now, a team of MIT scientists has designed one of the strongest lightweight materials in existence, taking us one step closer to realizing that sci-fi dream—and creating a formula for a material that could revolutionize architecture and infrastructure right here on Earth, too.
— FastCo. Design
The material in question is called graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon. At just one atom thick, graphene has so far proven to be inoperable as a building material, even though it's the strongest material we know about. But the team of MIT invented a process that could change that. Using... View full entry
Designers want to transform elevators into "fashionable and functional room(s)"
Forget climbing stars, or even walking laterally--in the increasingly dense and rapid reality of urban life, elevators have become a major part of daily living. According to The Guardian, major elevator designers like Otis are considering re-designing the elevator to become a more comfortable and... View full entry
Watch a meditative and breathtaking aerial survey of the L.A. River
Only one thing is certain now that Frank Gehry has undertaken the plan to revitalize the LA River: in the future, it will be different.Check out Archinect's extensive coverage of the LA River Redevelopment, including interviews with major players like Mia Lehrer via the Next Up series...This... View full entry
AIA study reveals architects want material manufacturers to step up their digital game
As any architect who has spent precious time trying to identify a chrome versus silver nickel plated kitchen faucet for a client can attest, outdated websites and their corresponding vague specifications from building products and materials manufacturers makes life unnecessarily tedious. This... View full entry
The logistics of building NASA's carbon-dioxide insulated, "Ice Home" on Mars
If you don't think you can handle another year on Earth, the possibility of dwelling comfortably on another planet is closer than you might expect. After announcing a winning design from Clouds Architecture Office and Space Exploration Architecture last October, NASA has released more detailed... View full entry
7-Eleven becomes first retailer to employ drone delivery
7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, shared new numbers from its drone delivery experiment today. Seventy-seven customers in Reno, Nev., have now received items ordered from 7-Eleven delivered to their doorsteps via drone.
All 77 flights were from one store to a dozen select customers who live within a mile of the shop. 7-Eleven has partnered with the drone maker Flirtey for its delivery pilot.
It marks the first regular commercial drone delivery service to operate in the United States, flying ahead of other, potentially bigger drone delivery projects that haven’t yet been able to take off in the U.S. — like Alphabet’s Project Wing and Amazon’s Prime Air, the latter of which only... View full entry
Discovering a lost civilization with cutting-edge technology
Entering the ruins was a disappointment. If the Mosquitia jungle were superimposed on Times Square, the foliage would be so thick that you would have no inkling you were in the midst of a city. Even standing at the base of an earthen pyramid in the central plaza of T1, surrounded by earthworks, terracing, and mounds, I had not the slightest idea that this was the main public space of what had once been a thriving city of thousands. Only through technology did we know our location in the ruins.
— the New Yorker
Douglas Preston discusses exploring an ancient city left untouched in the jungles of Honduras and rediscovered with LIDAR technology. The city was abandoned around 1500, devastated not by direct contact with Europeans but rather with the diseases they carried:This inferno of contagion destroyed... View full entry
Robots could soon maintain the Sydney Opera House's one million roof tiles
One million brilliant white tiles clad the 65m-tall precast concrete roof [...] glazed ceramic tiles need to be hand-checked, or tapped, every five years by specialist engineers, who abseil down the roof “sails” looking for changes in their sound or appearance. Now, thanks to the combined efforts of the opera house, the Getty Foundation, the University of Sydney and the engineering and design group Arup, this expensive, vertigo- inducing process is a step closer to becoming a thing of the past.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Jørn Utzon's saga with the Sydney Opera house coming to the big screenJørn Utzon's final touch to the Sydney Opera House: a Le Corbusier tapestryThe Sydney Opera House by Jørn Utzon Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary"So much more than an engineer": Ove Arup... View full entry
Top Features: Our Favorite Feature Articles of 2016
These are the articles that made big waves in 2016 – not just in traffic, but in defining the discussions architects were having. From professional practice issues to academia to interviews and showcases, we present to you our favorite original editorial of the year:One student's solution to the... View full entry
Boring: how serious is Elon Musk about his latest traffic-solving venture?
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has a pretty good sense of humor, but sometimes we can't tell when he's just joking or mulling his next big idea.
For example, on Saturday Musk took to Twitter to say out loud what every traffic-plagued Los Angeles resident is silently screaming inside: The city is a gridlocked hellscape.
"Traffic is driving me nuts," wrote Musk.
But he didn't stop there. He also raised the idea of boring through obstacles to alleviate traffic woes.
ALS-stricken landscape architect designs home controlled by his eyes
After being diagnosed with ALS, a disease of the nervous system that gradually takes away motor control, breathing, and speech, 38-year-old landscape architect Steve Saling decided to invent a home that he could control with eye movements. As CNN.com explains:With a grant of $500,000 from Berman... View full entry
Researchers discover 'glue' that makes plant cell walls strong — foreseeing brighter future for wooden skyscrapers
Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to research published today in the journal Nature Communications. The study, led by a father and son team at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge, solves a long-standing mystery of how key sugars in cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials.
— University of Cambridge
"But just as this could improve how easily materials can be broken down, the discovery may also help them create stronger materials, he says. There are already plans to build houses in the UK more sustainably using wood, and Paul Dupree is involved in the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at... View full entry
Las Vegas's city facilities are now entirely run on renewable energy
After a large solar array, Boulder Solar 1, came online on Dec. 12, the city was able to buy enough carbon-free electricity to power its 140 buildings, streetlights and other facilities. [...]
The renewables, plus energy efficiency savings, are estimated to save the city roughly $5 million per year [...]
The Vegas city council, after threatening to leave the grid entirely in 2015, struck a deal with NV Energy that would help the city get to 100% renewable.
Related on Archinect:AECOM halts work on Faraday Future's $1-Billion Nevada factoryZappos CEO Tony Hsieh made a $350 million bet on downtown Las Vegas – five years later, the results are murkyVegas is back...sortaLearning from Las Vegas: a look at the Strip through urban planning lenses View full entry
Traveling the world to understand 'The Future of Cities'
The inevitable, and accelerating, growth of cities is an undisputed premise in contemporary urbanist discourses. With the rapid rise of entirely new cities proliferating around the globe, questions arise of how much in urban life can be improved with a blank slate. This short film from The... View full entry