A robot revolution is coming to the developing world
There’s a lot of talk these days about jobs—bringing them “back” and creating new ones. But, as Bloomberg reports, high labor costs incentivize corporations to automate. What’s more? Apparently robots are about to do what they did to US manufacturing in the developing world. According to... View full entry
For some Uber drivers, their cars double as beds
The vast majority of Uber’s full-time drivers return home to their beds at the end of a day’s work. But all over the country, there are many who don’t. These drivers live near, but not in, expensive cities where they can tap higher fares, ferrying wealthier, white-collar workers to their jobs and out to dinner—but where they can’t make enough money to get by, even with longer hours.
To maximize their time, drivers find supermarket parking lots, airports and hostels where they catch several hours of sleep after taking riders home from bars and before starting the morning commute. View full entry
Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, on why computers are superior to human designers
Essentially people, all of us when we go to design something we often go out and do it and will make one or we’ll have three designs and…then we run out of time or money or patience and we say good enough. The computer doesn’t get bored in that same way. It doesn’t run out of time so you can literally test millions of versions and get a much better answer. So really what we are doing is automating the building of these prototypes.
Geoff Manaugh takes a look inside LAX's impressive airport security apparatus
In the summer of 2014, Anthony McGinty and Michelle Sosa were hired by Los Angeles World Airports to lead a unique, new classified intelligence unit on the West Coast. After only two years, their global scope and analytic capabilities promise to rival the agencies of a small nation-state. Their roles suggest an intriguing new direction for infrastructure protection in an era when threats are as internationally networked as they are hard to predict.
— The Atlantic
Being the world's fifth-busiest airport (74,937,004 travelers passed through LAX in 2015) makes this infrastructure megaproject one of the top-ranked terrorist and aviation targets in the country. With billions of dollars spent on the usual airport expansion and modernization projects in recent... View full entry
All that data Uber has been collecting might just come in handy
Uber has A rocky history with city governments—to put it mildly... Now, Uber is making something of a peace offering. The company is launching a new service that could help cities master their traffic. It’s called Uber Movement, and it uses information on the billions of rides Uber has completed.
Uber Movement is free for the select planning agencies and researchers granted access to it. With it, you can gauge travel times between any two locations. Since, as Uber's chief of transportation policy notes, Uber doesn't actually do any urban planning, they figure they might as well give all... View full entry
No more personal cars will be allowed in Madrid's city center
Madrid's mayor, Manuela Carmena, is serious about kicking personal cars off the road in the city center.
On a November 5 show on Spanish radio networkCadena Ser, she confirmed that Madrid's main avenue, the Gran Vía, will only allow access to bikes, buses, and taxis before she leaves office in May 2019, as noted by CityLab.
Are people in love with not having to drive to dense urban locales? (Answer: for the most part, yes.) Following the lead of numerous cities that are seeking either to reduce car traffic or obliterate it altogether, Madrid's mayor actually outlawed personal vehicles from the city's main... View full entry
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