The downside of giant banks of windows or glass walls, though, becomes obvious when the relentless afternoon sun makes the heat and stuffiness inside intolerable [...].
The makers of “smart glass” say they can address this problem. Smart-glass windows transform from transparent to opaque, and every shade in between, in seconds. They often rely on electrochromic thin films embedded in the glass.
The upshot: Less energy is needed to heat or cool a building. Shades and blinds become optional. — qz.com
In the 1990s, Frank Gehry pioneered... “smart” digital design in architecture, by using software to optimize designs and translate them directly into a process of fabrication and construction.
Now known in the industry as parametric design and building information modeling, this approach has ushered in a new era of architecture, according to art historian Irene Nero: the era of “technological construction” [...]
How did an architect who doesn’t use computers start a technology company? — Priceonomics
In an article for Priceonomics, Lian Chang looks at the role Frank Gehry and his team had on the development of parametric design, aka building information modeling. Beginning with Gehry's fish-inspired pavilion for Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics, Chang traces the various construction impasses and...
Open data, and the interactive mapping and data visualization that can come of it, has become a de facto engagement and storytelling tool among contemporary journalists, social justice activists, and civic-minded technologists. But despite its allure, open data’s potential for fostering civic engagement and creating transparency and dialogue is plagued by issues of usability, access, and quality control. — urbanomnibus.net
[Mark Herrema] and Kenton Kimmel, a high school classmate, founded the Irvine, California-based company Newlight Technologies in 2003. After years of research, the team unveiled a way to produce plastic from carbon emissions that is actually more affordably priced than oil-based plastics.
The "secret sauce" is a biocatalyst that combines air and methane, and reassembles all of the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules into a thermoplastic the makers call AirCarbon. — Smithsonian
Newlight's work appears really interesting, addressing two separate but related issues: "first, oil dependency, by replacing oil with captured carbon emissions, and second, climate change, by creating a market-driven carbon capture platform." Basically, the technology comprises using a biocatalyst...
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
This post is brought to you by BQE ArchiOffice. Learn how this small architectural firm increased efficiency and improved cash flowWilliam Duff Architects is passionate about serving clients through the creation of innovative, sustainable architecture delivered through exceptional project...
Dash fits squarely into the current age of smart-home technology... It is not simply a matter of practical efficiency but of a proactive, preëmptive way of living, in which inefficiency is the worst kind of waste. The way we manage our chores is a measure of our worthiness. No one wants to live in a stupid home... And only a chump would ever run out of toilet paper.
But what if there is actual value in running out of things? — the New Yorker
Amazon released their new Dash devices yesterday and many people thought it was an April Fool's joke, partly " the idea seemed to poke fun at Amazon’s omnipresence, making it visibly manifest with little plastic one-click shopping buttons adhered to surfaces all over your home." But the device...
A research team from the Mechanical Engineering department at University of Utah is using high-performance computing resources from XSEDE to instantaneously and accurately simulate how infrastructure elements, such as parks, buildings, and parking lots, as well as their specifications and variations, affect air characteristics and quality in urban settings. — Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment
Driverless pods, gliding above city streets using a network of elevated guideways. This is SkyTran -- but is it the future? SkyTran wants to do away with train schedules and central stations to develop a grid system above the ground with multiple "off ramps" acting as stations where users can board pre-booked pods – a cab service for the skies. Call for SkyTran on your smart phone and a computer-controlled, magnetically levitating pod arrives. It will whisk you across the city... — CNN
SkyTran claims the pods, weighing just 300 lbs, would consume about a third of the electricity used by today's hybrid cars. And the infrastructure can be built for $10 million per mile, at least according to the CEO Jerry Sanders.Later this year, the company plans to complete its first pilot...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants Japan to showcase its cutting-edge technology in the new national stadium being built for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Abe made the remark on Monday at a meeting with a study panel on the stadium. [...]
Prime Minister Abe [...] said he wants to hear people in other countries calling the new stadium great.
Some people have raised concerns about high maintenance costs for the new facility. — NHK WORLD News
While some of that Japanese cutting-edge technology (for example 3D projection) will be found in the entertainment department, other features, like facial recognition, could enable ticketless entrance and serve security and counterterrorism efforts.Previously
A UC Berkeley research team led by Ronald Rael, associate professor of architecture, will unveil today (Friday, March 6) the first and largest powder-based 3-D-printed cement structure built to date. The debut of this groundbreaking project is a demonstration of the architectural potential of 3-D printing. It will close the fifth annual Berkeley Circus, which celebrates the research and accomplishments of the College of Environmental Design (CED) community. — UC Berkely
Dubai continues to treat city planning like a simulation game with the cheats turned on, unveiling its latest architectural wonder: the Museum of the Future. The building is set to open in 2017, and while we're not quite sure how to describe its shape (a lopsided torus? An aerodynamic donut?) it serves an interesting dual purpose as both museum and research lab. — theverge.com
Epic Games, the company best known for Gears of War, has a very different plan for this generation of video games — one that expands far beyond what games are typically assumed to be. [...]
In this future, or present if you ask Sweeney, lessons learned from one field, say an architect designing a virtual building, can be applied to games or film, and likewise. Sweeney believes the potential application of the engine across all fields increases exponentially as information is shared. — theverge.com
“Silicon Valley has been the cradle of a series of innovations that, over the last decades, have propelled technology and [the] world economy, but all of the resources, all of the intelligence, has been invested into the immaterial, the digital realm, the internet,” asserts Bjarke Ingels of...
Outside, across the car park of this otherwise unremarkable industrial estate, is a grand, neoclassical mansion that recently became a global internet sensation . It is the world’s first 3D-printed villa. [...]
Not all architects are convinced that 3D printing is good for architecture as a discipline. [...] "It may come without economic cost at a small scale but in architecture, if we are not careful, this is at the expense of integrity.” — theguardian.com
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