Simply look up into the sky at a single cloud, on average that white pouf holds 8 million gallons of water — enough to sustain 100,000 people for a day. Yet the water we harvest has become so scarce, its cost is greater than the devices invented to catch and deliver it. [...]
How might we imagine new ways to collect water? How do we get it off my socks and into my coffee cup?
Fog catchers – contraptions that gather the moisture in our atmosphere for drinking water – have been used by humans and animals alike to survive in some of the driest places on earth. In Chile's Atacama desert, fog catchers have been in use for over half a century, and even are used to...
The trend toward living in less square footage isn't just about battling rent hikes: in Orange County, the able-bodied and financially resourceful are choosing to habitate (and sometimes co-habitate) in so-called micro or mini-apartments. Although the definition varies, anything below 500 square...
These are strange days in San Francisco, where the clamor to build needed housing — especially at affordable levels — is matched only by the self-righteous vigor with which actual proposals for that housing tend to be opposed...But if we want a well-planned city with distinctive new buildings for all its citizens, projects like this show that good design and good policy can go hand in hand. — San Francisco Chronicle
Developer Tishman Speyer's nearly one-year-old proposal for a 400-foot-tall residential tower, which Jeanne Gang designed, at 160 Folsom St. is suddenly facing opposition from local groups. With former mayor Art Agnos at the forefront of the opposition, the groups argue that the building promotes...
This relatively low-tech method is among a battery of tests that materials scientists are using to determine why several anchor rods securing the newest portion of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the region’s busiest, failed their earthquake inspections. The first alarms sounded in 2013, when seismic tests found 32 faulty rods. They’d been sitting in a large pool of water, corroding. — wired.com
For a fledgling startup, finding an office in San Francisco can be a real nightmare. Rents are now climbing past $60 a square foot, second only to Manhattan in the US [...].
This means young startups have to get creative if they insist on staying within the city. And Westfield, one of the world’s largest mall operators, has a solution for them: Bespoke, a 37,000-square-foot coworking and event space within its shopping center in downtown San Francisco. — qz.com
The heart of the campus, designed by SHoP Architects and interior designer Studio O+A, is a multistory “commons” — a glassed-in network of circulation and gathering spaces fronting Third Street. [...]
Uber said that the design of the Mission Bay office would mark a departure from the open office plans that have become so trendy in recent years. Instead, the Uber workstations will be arranged in a series of work areas, each with access to shared support and collaborative work zones. — sfgate.com
Between 925 and 1,960 units citywide have been removed from the housing market by hosts renting out entire units on Airbnb for more than 58 days, the [San Francisco Budget & Legislative Analyst's] report estimates. [...]
The report draws a comparison between the number of evictions in neighborhoods with the most hosts, though notes there is no way to draw a direct connection. In the Mission, for example, there were 315 hosts last year and 323 evictions. — m.sfexaminer.com
New York and London remain the world’s most global cities, as they are the only cities to rank in the top 10 of both the Global Cities Index and the Global Cities Outlook according to the A.T. Kearney Global Cities 2015 [...]. San Francisco leads the Global Cities Outlook due to its strength in innovation. Other cities ranking at the top of the Global Cities Outlook include London (#2), Boston (#3), New York (#4), and Zurich (#5). — atkearney.com
For lovers of city rankings:Melbourne named world’s most liveable city for fourth consecutive yearForbes Releases Baffling "Coolest Cities" ListFor skeptics: The Top 6 Reasons to Be Wary of City Rankings, Ranked
When the Presidio Trust announced last year that it was rejecting George Lucas’ bid to build a museum at Crissy Field, its leaders didn’t reveal that three days earlier they had been prepared to grant the “Star Wars” creator the land he sought. [...]
if he agreed to change the look of his desired museum, a mock-classical temple that at one point had four ceremonial domes. [...]
Five months later, Lucas was bound for Chicago. — sfgate.com
South of San Francisco, a whole town is being deformed by plate tectonics. [...]
This is Hollister, California, a town being broken in two slowly, relentlessly, and in real time by an effect known as “fault creep.” A surreal tide of deformation has appeared throughout the city.
As if its grid of streets and single-family homes was actually built on an ice floe, the entire west half of Hollister is moving north along the Calaveras Fault, leaving its eastern streets behind. — bldgblog.blogspot.com
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tossed out an idea that she admitted might sound a bit crazy: What if San Francisco housing developers could fulfill their affordable housing requirements by building some of that housing in Oakland? [...]
The idea is for San Francisco residents who qualify for below-market-rate housing to live in affordable units that would be built in Oakland. [...]
The foundation for the partnership is already being prepped in Oakland — sfgate.com
Everyone knows the supply of new homes in the Bay Area is falling far short of job and population growth, but the number of existing homes being put up for sale is also near record lows in many areas. [...]
“The move-up market is pretty much frozen,” said Matt Fuller, an agent with Zephyr. “Even if you can do great on the sale of your property, you are terrified to enter the market as a buyer.” [...]
Inventory is also shrinking because post-foreclosure sales have dried up. — sfchronicle.com
The Navigation Center is one of the most innovative homeless-help experiments being undertaken in the U.S. — meaning that when it opens the week of March 16 at an old high school at 16th and Mission streets, it will be watched not just by every homeless camper in the vicinity, but by aid agencies around the nation. [...]
The Navigation Center will be doing this as a pilot project for eight to 18 months, depending on its success. — SFGate
Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Winter-Spring 2015Archinect's Get Lectured is back in session! Get Lectured is an ongoing series where we feature a school's lecture series—and their snazzy posters—for the current term. Check back frequently to keep track of any upcoming...
“This corridor of shame that I call Van Ness and Market is just a spectacular example of failed urban planning.” [...]
“In the built environment, as one writer puts it, all our warts and our glories are there,” says Paul Groth, an architectural historian at UC Berkeley. “You can tell how we’re treating our fellow humans in the built environment. It really is an autobiography.”
So, what does Groth think our current architecture says?
“Greed.” — KQED
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