Of course, San Francisco has much to offer. The clothing stores, the cable cars, the botanical gardens. My neighbor the conveyor operator, Alan. The libraries, the sports bars, the bus stations. Sigh. — Leaving Everywhere
"Leaving Everywhere" is a piece of net art that spits out "break-up" letters with cities by citing randomly-selected data from the US Census Bureau. Made by Darius Kazemi, the letters are all essentially Mad Libs for arguing about cities, where Kazemi's algorithm fills in the blanks.The letters...
“I was a little disappointed in the fire service,” said Belles, standing on the charred hillside next to the dome in his semi-rural neighbourhood on the edge of town. — theguardian.com
Wildfires currently blazing in Okanogan County, Washington, have just broken the record for the biggest in the state’s history. With fire season just getting underway and September looking hot and dry, the so-called Okanogan Complex fires will likely persist for months.In Omak, a small town in...
While wind may be one of the most economical power sources out there, photovoltaic solar energy has a big advantage: it can go small.
While wind gets cheaper as turbines grow larger, the PV hardware scales down to fit wherever we have infrastructure. In fact, simply throwing solar on our existing building stock could generate a very large amount of carbon-free electricity. — Ars Technica
But, as many homeowners already know, installing solar panels can be quite cost-prohibitive. New research might just have solved that problem by incorporating solar hardware into the most basic light filter used in architecture: the window.According to a study, solar windows could filter out a...
After imposing taxes on units in Amsterdam, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and elsewhere, “home-sharing” facilitator Airbnb will now begin collecting taxes in Paris, the company’s biggest market.
Collection officially begins October 1st and some see the move as Airbnb’s attempt at playing nice with city regulators. Venture Beat connects the change to Uber’s troubles in Paris, where the ride service company fought new regulation policies. — nextcity.org
Canadian space and defense company Thoth Technology is attempting to make reaching the stratosphere as simple as riding an elevator up a tower about 23 times taller than the world’s tallest building.
The Thoth space elevator patent, approved by the US patent office on July 21, specifies that the tower could be built on any “planetary surface,” (i.e. not just Earth), a sign that Thoth is thinking pretty far ahead. [...] the top of the tower will serve as a rocket launch site. — qz.com
In slightly more recent-technology elevator news:ThyssenKrupp's cable-free elevator test tower tops out in less than 10 monthsJapan's simple logic for putting toilets in elevatorsInstallation of UltraRope elevators begins at Kingdom Tower
While I believe there will always be a place for the book in the hearts of academics, it is far less likely there will be a place for the book, or at least for every book, on the academic campus. [...]
This is not to say that academic library construction and renovation have come to an end. But rather than being conceived of as on-campus book warehouses, academic libraries are today being reimagined as spaces in which learning, collaboration and intellectual engagement take center stage. — qz.com
More from the world of library design:Stacked: Archinect's comparison of Fujimoto and Tschapeller's library stacksThe tiny village library that draws Beijingers in drovesRedesign of DC's main Mies library tip-toes around the good and the badAnother big concrete panel falls off Zaha Hadid-designed...
Transformative innovation is inherently risky. It involves inferences and leaps of faith; if something hasn’t been done before, there’s no way to guarantee its outcome. The philosopher Charles Peirce said that insights come to us “like a flash”—in an epiphany—making them difficult to rationalize or defend. Leaders need to create a culture that allows people to take chances and move forward without a complete, logical understanding of a problem. — Harvard Business Review
Filed under Organizational Culture, Design Thinking Comes of Age goes further to consider, "there’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about applying the principles of design...
With a $35,000 grant from the Knight Prototype Fund, [MITs Elizabeth Christoforetti] and her team are working on a project called Placelet, which will track how pedestrians move through a particular space. They’re developing a network of sensors that will track the scale and speed of pedestrians [and vehicles] over long periods of time. The sensors, [currently being tested in downtown Boston], will also track the 'sensory experience' by recording the noise level and air quality of that space. — CityLab
More on Archinect:The Life of a New Architect: Elizabeth Christoforetti (Featured interview)MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bikeMIT's Newest Invention Fits All the Furniture You Need in One Closet-Sized BoxMIT develops self-assembling modular robots
The BlockWorks studio proves, yet again, that architects can use Minecraft as a design tool to produce rather magical results with impressive detail. The team of architects, designers, and animators envision mystical cubic worlds in response to what they refer to as "Briefs", which include...
By the end of this year, some 20 million households in the U.S. will have some form of smart-home device, double the number in 2012 [...]
But some homeowners find themselves frustrated by the proliferation of smart-home technology. They complain of complex systems for once-simple tasks like turning on the light, “learning algorithms” that get their preferences wrong and systems that simply go on the fritz too often. — wsj.com
More on Archinect:Enlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic droughtHackers Present Threat to Internet of ThingsWhen 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet
Kakutani is the main farmer behind "Tokyo Salad," the Metro’s new farming enterprise, farming that takes place underneath the Tozai Line. [...]
Tokyo Metro started hydroponic farming this past January. They’re currently selling the lettuce varieties to a local Italian restaurant and The Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel. Over the next couple years, they’re hoping to expand. Maybe they’ll start selling to grocery stores, and maybe Kakutani says, "we’ll make salads or smoothies.” — pri.org
The recent debate between Uber and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over whether the ride-for-hire company was exacerbating Manhattan congestion was fueled by incomplete, misleading data. There was no way of knowing exactly where Uber cars and taxis pick up passengers, and so the city agreed to a study of Uber’s effects last month as part of its detente with the company.
Now, thanks in part to a Freedom of Information Law request, we have data. A lot of data... — FiveThirtyEight
The folks over at FiveThirtyEight processed a nearly-overwhelming amount of data on Uber usage in New York City and got some pretty interesting (if not entirely surprising) results. At the top of the list, their research verifies the ride-share company's claims that their doing a better job in...
[On August 10], the Los Angeles Shade Ball Cover Project rolled to a halt, rounding off years of work. With a shout of "shade balls away!" Los Angeles city officials overturned a row of sacks and sent 20,000 of the jet black objects cascading down into the Los Angeles Reservoir. [...]
Together, the ball shroud prevents damage from sunlight, dust, and errant birds, and keeps 300 million gallons of surface water from evaporating each year. — atlasobscura.com
What's plastic, black, saves water and costs 36 cents each? Shade balls! The LA Mayor's Office's press release tells their origin story:Dr. Brian White, a now-retired LADWP biologist, was the first person to think of using shade balls for water quality. The idea came to him when he learned about...
Like all supertall skyscrapers, Tapei 101 has a mechanism inside to help stabilize itself in high winds. [...]
At 6:59 am, in the winds of Typhoon Soudelor, the damper moved by a full meter from its center position, farther than it has ever moved in the building's decade history. [...]
Soudelor brought sustained winds of 100 mph, with at least one confirmed gust of 145 mph . — popularmechanics.com
Museum displays are typically meant to be seen and not touched, but a recent wave of exhibitions is upending those rules. Take DELQA, an interactive music and light installation opening in the New Museum's NEW INC space on August 6. Showcasing the music of Matthew Dear combined with Microsoft's Kinect technology, the project allows participants to touch, push and poke suspended mesh walls to manipulate a musical composition, creating their own unique experience of the space. — core77
If you're on the hunt for weekend plans in NYC, DELQA will be at the New Museum only from August 6-9!More on Archinect:How architecture helped music evolve - David Byrne Frank Gehry: Is Music Liquid Architecture?How an "egalitarian incubator" music venue hopes to revive Brooklyn's art...
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