The disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant marked the beginning of the "Robotics Challenge." Developers were rankled by how helpless robots were as they wandered through the radioactively contaminated reactor building. As they swerved around aimlessly in the steam, cables broke and the operators lost contact with the robots. [...]
They compiled a list of eight tasks that robots would have to master in the future to be capable of performing well in disaster response. — spiegel.de
The tech sector is, increasingly, embracing the language of urban planning — town hall, public square, civic hackathons, community engagement. So why are tech companies such bad urbanists? — nytimes.com
“The people who design the cars and the people who design the roads never talk to each other,” according to Kati Rubinyi. With a background in architecture, urban planning, and fine arts, Rubinyi wants to enrich mobility planning by bringing everyone involved to the same table. Her book, The Car in 2035: Mobility Planning for the Near Future, includes essays from the different viewpoints of planners, policymakers, architects, and car designers [...]. — buildabetterburb.org
As virtual access to art collections expands through online walk-throughs and projects like Google’s Open Gallery, museums have long been experimenting within their own halls with ways to accommodate a wider range of visitors, particularly those with disabilities. Historically, museums...
The newest version of [Highlight], available for iPhone and Android, uses every sensor, signal, and stream it can get its hands on to passively figure out what you’re doing, and it intelligently scans users nearby to figure out who you might be interested in.
It’s not necessarily about people you know but people you could know. And that makes it both way cooler and way creepier than Facebook could ever dream of being. — Wired
Reactions to Alan Parkinson's luminaria range from rhapsodic and enlightened, to energized or calmed. These giant inflatable structures, first designed by Parkinson in the 1980s and now touring worldwide under his "Architects of Air" organization, resemble multi-colored bouncy citadels, and...
Audiotopie was awarded $10,000 from the 2013 Phyllis Lambert Design Montreal Grant in Montreal, Canada earlier this week.
Established in 2007, the annual grant distinguishes young, emerging Montreal designers who have shown excellence in their work and research study that can contribute to the city of Montreal. — bustler.net
"The $10,000 grant will enable the Audiotopie team, which designs immersive sound works closely connected to physical spaces through creation of sensory experiences, to go on a study trip during which its members will compare sound environments in the underground spaces of three Asian cities."
Google's Street View is slowly covering more and more of the world's surface, but it still has holes. Now though, you can help fill them—and all you need is an Android phone or DSLR.
Google has just launched a new Street View feature which allows any user to recreate the usual Street View experience by stringing together photo spheres along paths which they define. — Gizmodo
As part of our quest to find out what makes cities smart, we throw a spotlight on infrastructure: How can information technology and urban planning help to make us more flexible and mobile? At the same time, mobility is just one aspect of a wide spectrum of complex networks that govern life in an urban context. In view of limited resources and changing climate, another factor seems even more pressing: energy consumption and conservation. — betterymagazine.com
The 4th issue of BRACKET just launched its Call for Submissions, and this time the theme is [takes action]. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2014. Following is the full submission brief: Bracket [takes action] “When humans assemble, spatial conflicts arise. Spatial planning is...
Most of us have gotten used to smartphones replacing long-established devices such as cameras and music players.
Soon, however, they might be taking over the duties of something that is itself an emerging technology – the 3D scanner.
Researchers at ETH Zurich have created an app that allows an ordinary smartphone to capture and display three-dimensional models of real-world objects, for subsequent finessing or even 3D printing. — Gizmag
Using digital fabrication and some clever tricks we're able to manufacture beautiful, low cost structures which easily bolt together. You design for it like it's a big imaginary 3D printer then you and your friends get together and bolt your house together! [...]
It works like a techno version of a barn raising. — Arcology Now
Architecture start-up Arcology Now wants to provide an alternative to 3D printing building technologies, focusing on reliable materials and elbow grease. The Phoenix, Arizona group has developed a digital fabrication software that generates a framework for any 3D surface out of steel tubes and...
This sponsored post is brought to you by BQE Software: Multi-million dollar industrial and commercial clients don’t tolerate a lot of things—not sloppy jobs, not late or bloated invoices, not cheap-looking handmade reports, and they sure don’t put up with excuses. Johnson Pace...
At the intersection of these two domains – technology and civic life – a small and fascinating sector has been taking root for the last few years. [...]
Together, these types of companies and organizations have loosely come to define "civic tech" – and the potential for a future where technology finally, seamlessly, significantly alters how we relate to government and our neighbors. — The Atlantic Cities
Not without its growing pains, the U.S. government is slowly learning to effectively use technology to connect to its citizens. The expanding field of "civic-tech" focuses on the sharing and distillation of government data, to grease the bureaucratic wheels and ramp up personal civic engagement...
And just like that, it's already December. For the last two months of 2013, let's have a look at our favorite picks from Archinect's curated Kickstarter page. 1. 'REM' - Rem Koolhaas Documentary by Tomas Koolhaas Directed by Rem's son, Tomas Koolhaas, this feature-length documentary has two...
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