It’s a Thursday morning in Beijing, and the world’s most famous living artist, Ai Weiwei, is sitting with one of the world’s most controversial technologists, Jacob Appelbaum, in the second-floor lobby of the East Hotel. [...]
On a whim, Ai suggests that they call Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living for the last two years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. [...]
Ai and Assange talk for several minutes about the mundanities of the dissident life. — fusion.net
James Biber can see Russia from his roof. Mr. Biber, the architect of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, the world’s fair that is racing to meet its opening date on Friday, also has a good view of Kuwait next door and Iran across the street.
“It’s really a kind of identity parade,” Mr. Biber, 62, said about the jumble. [...] “It’s every nation attempting to express itself in a building. It is the very best and very worst of design you’re going to see in its concentrated form.” — nytimes.com
Self-driving cars will certainly change our habits on the road. But truly autonomous vehicles will also affect how we work, says Tim Brown, chief executive officer and president of design consultancy IDEO...Without having to navigate city streets, people will be more productive during their commute. IDEO also envisions self-driving trucks...delivering everything from new jeans to grilled cheese. Most radical of all: Your workplace could be set on wheels to travel to you, rather than you to it. — Bloomberg
Since terrorism has become one of the guiding forces in urban design, the incorporation of immense fortifications into everyday streets has spawned an entire industry of defensive architecture [...]
The latest developments in this rising tide of urban paranoia are on display this week at the Counter Terror Expo in west London’s Olympia, a sprawling trade show that proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof”. It is an enormous supermarket of neuroses [...]. — theguardian.com
A group of venture capitalists, architects, engineers, and marketing gurus, under the name Los Angeles World's Fair (LAWF), are brewing plans for a two-year fair showing off the technology and culture of the future—including a Hyperloop, “3D-printed gourmet delicacies,” and self-driving cars. Theme: "The Connected City." Right now, they're trying to pull together $100,000 on Indiegogo to support economic and architectural feasibility studies for their plans [...]. — citylab.com
In 2013, Copenhagen—a city of ebullient cyclists—launched the mother of all city bike schemes. Its white bikes were fitted with motors and GPS-enabled tablets—expensive, but designed for a place whose people and visitors truly believed cycling was the best way forward.
Now the city that pioneered its first shared bikes in 1995 is facing a stark possibility: no bike share scheme at all. — qz.com
[Researchers at Tsinghua University] discovered that an applied electrical current causes the gallium alloy to drastically alter its shape. Changing the voltage applied to the metal allowed it to 'shape-shift' into different formations. When the current was switched off, the metal returned to its original drop shape. [...]
they realized that bringing it into contact with a flake of aluminum caused a reaction creating hydrogen bubbles that allowed it to move of its own accord. — reuters.com
The metal alloy in question is made mostly of gallium, which is liquid at <30 degrees Celsius. Researchers think that the material could have profound implications for medical science, in particular the delivery of drugs into the blood stream. Professor Liu Jing, leader of the research team at...
We are told that the “architecture of tomorrow” needs to be networked, collaborative and inclusive, drawing its inspiration from crowdsourcing, open access and mass customisation. But to do this “architecture must be put into the hands of people themselves” and the architect possibly “guillotined”. [...]
This is inflammatory stuff [...]. — bdonline.co.uk
“The School of Architecture has a long history of helping to reshape and revitalize the South Florida community,” said Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture. “We are pleased that Knight Foundation has chosen to support this unique project that will have a lasting impact on communities in need of assistance.” — University of Miami School of Architecture
The University of Miami School of Architecture today announced a plan to bring “third places” – community spaces, marketplaces, incubators and training centers – into two underserved Miami neighborhoods with $650,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.The Third Place...
The Four Level, or Stack as it’s sometimes known, was the first interchange of its kind when it fully opened in 1953. [...]
It may seem a cliche to simply associate LA with its freeways, but the connection between the infrastructure and the city’s image is strong. It’s not just about driving, it’s about a new form of urban living in the postwar era [...]
“LA kind of emerged at the forefront of that development and it became recognised as a freeway metropolis” — theguardian.com
Perhaps the most important and widely-used building material, concrete also has an enormous environmental impact. This is largely because in order to produce one ton of cement – the material that binds together rock aggregate in concrete – about 900 kg of C02 are emitted. In fact, the concrete...
[The Great Cannon] allows China to intercept foreign web traffic as it flows to Chinese websites, inject malicious code and repurpose the traffic as Beijing sees fit. The system was used, they said, to intercept web and advertising traffic intended for Baidu — China’s biggest search engine company — and fire it at GitHub, a popular site for programmers, and GreatFire.org, a nonprofit that runs mirror images of sites that are blocked inside China. — NY Times
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...after a year-long delay, Canada has committed $243.5 million to build a giant telescope observatory in Hawaii. The Thirty Meter Telescope, or TMT, will cost an estimated $1.5 billion USD to build...When completed, the TMT will be one of the largest telescopes in existence...Its 30 meter-wide mirror lens...will allow scientists to search the skies for planets outside of our own solar system, as well as other phenomena like supermassive black holes. — Vice
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—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... — MIT Technology Review
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 – as opposed to other terraforming ideas that would require engineering feats of unprecedented...
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