I’m a quiet fan of these urban explorers, people who devote time to poking around abandoned buildings or “haikyo”.... And because I’ve spent so much time inhabiting digital rooms myself, I often think about how time decays digital structures. I imagine all of the strings of text that have come before or after mine that similarly disappeared into the void. But what happens when those spaces stick around, as in a virtual world—when they can’t physically decay? — theatlantic.com
Artist Julien F. Thomas and architecture office Hughes Condon Marler have designed a coffee bar in Vancouver that disconnects you from all wireless networks once you’re inside.
The Faraday Café in Vancouver got its name from the Faraday Cage, a material shield around the bar’s interior that was built by the designers to block all electromagnetic signals. By creating a place without any digital connections the owners [...] hope to restore non-digital, social interaction between people. — popupcity.net
Architects and builders all over the world seem to be participating in a fictional rat race to build the very first 3D-printed house. In the past five years we’ve seen quite some drawings and models of 3D-printed architecture, but only few architects have the printers running until now. In this article we’ll compare five of the most prominent 3D-printing initiatives in the world to find out what 3D-printed architecture has in store for the coming years. — popupcity.net
The Municipal Art Society of New York has developed a new tool that shows where development could bring the most change across the city's five boroughs. This resource is a continuation of the group's "Accidental Skyline" initiative, an effort to curb the "as-of-right" development (which allows developers to bypass some regulatory hurdles) that has resulted in some of New York's tallest and skinniest new skyscrapers. — citylab.com
A new technique developed by a Binghamton University physicist and his colleagues will improve the quality of flexible, conductive, transparent glass. (The sort that's needed for Minority Report-style giant computer displays.)[...] Creating a more reliable production process for a-IGZO will save electronics manufacturers money. It could also reduce energy use, as a fully transparent display can take advantage of ambient light and does not require as much backlighting. — ScienceDaily
Advances in technologies such as this one will enable glass to go beyond transparency and become screens, with the potential to radically change architecture and urbanism. A future in which windows, doors, and even walls could stream movies or display art is fast approaching. LED and LCD screens...
Super-starchitect Lord Norman Foster and his friends at the European Space Agency stunned the world last year with a plan to build a lunar base by 3D-printing it with moon dust. But what happens when you try something like that on Earth? How is 3D printing changing the way we build cities?
I got the chance to ask Foster just that question at the Center for Architecture in New York City last night. — gizmodo.com
We were participating in a little experiment trying to answer the question, “How does the brain respond to the city?” The headsets were recording second-by-second readings of our brain waves via Bluetooth to an app on the iPod. The resulting gigabyte of data, gathered from about 50 participants, will be aggregated into a visualization to be presented May 13 at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn. It’s part of the Van Alen Institute’s multiyear “Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape” project. — theatlanticcities.com
The vehicle's early life was confined almost entirely to California highways. Hundreds of thousands of test miles later, the car more or less has mastered the art — rather, the computer science — of staying in its lane and keeping its speed. So about a year and a half ago, Google's team shifted focus from the predictable sweep of freeways to the unpredictable maze of city streets. I was invited along as the first journalist to witness how the car is handling its new urban lifestyle. — theatlanticcities.com
Our technology-first approach has failed the city of the future. So-called “smart cities,” powered by technology, carry the promise of responding to the great pressures of our time, such as urban population growth, climate instability, and fiscal uncertainty. But by focusing on the cutting-edge technologies themselves and relying on private companies to move forward, we have lost sight of what we even want our cities to achieve with all that tech. — wired.com
What is said to be the largest private real estate development in US history is set to become the country’s first “quantified community” as well. Hudson Yards, a 17 million-square foot [...] development on the far west side of Manhattan, will be embedded with technology to monitor environmental conditions, energy production and usage, and traffic flows among its soon to rise towers. The developers are partnering with New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) [...]. — urbanomnibus.net
I’d asked Stokes whether the technology challenges of designing a building to last 100+ years are more difficult today than they were in, say, 1900 — or if it’s as difficult, just different. He said the challenges might be more difficult today, but regardless, maybe technology is changing the solution: we shouldn’t try to design buildings today to last 100 years, but design them so they’ll last for, say, 20 years and then be replaced. — radar.oreilly.com
Light-absorbing glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced streetlights on a 500m stretch of highway in the Netherlands.
Studio Roosegaarde promised us the design back in 2012, and after cutting through rather a lot of government red tape we can finally see the finished product. — wired.co.uk
Zero waste, lower transport costs and recyclable materials – is 3D-printing the future of housebuilding? Dutch architects are putting the process to the test for the first time in Amsterdam — theguardian.com
The Palo Alto, Calif., company outlined plans for a factory that would employ up to 6,500 people and cover as many as 1,000 acres, including solar and wind farms to supply its power needs. It is evaluating sites in Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, Tesla said in a regulatory filing.
The proposed 10 million-square-foot facility would make the powerful and pricey lithium-ion batteries that power its Model S and future vehicles. — online.wsj.com
On its Tesla Blog, the company claims that "by the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per kWh cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent."Is the electric car not so dead after all?See some slides from the...
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
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