By manipulating the structure of steel on a nanometre scale, [Hansoo Kim and his colleagues at the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea] (have) produced a material which has the strength and the lightness of titanium alloys but will, when produced at scale, cost a tenth as much. — The Economist
The new, potentially-revolutionary alloy utilizes nickel, in addition to aluminum and iron, to create a metal that is as strong as steel but much lighter and cheaper. The scientists created the alloy using nanotechnology to manipulate the structure of steel on a minute level.Noting the decrease in...
The mortar resists microcracking through in situ crystallization of platy strätlingite, a durable calcium-alumino-silicate mineral that reinforces interfacial zones and the cementitious matrix. The dense intergrowths of the platy crystals obstruct crack propagation and preserve cohesion at the micron scale, which in turn enables the concrete to maintain its chemical resilience and structural integrity in a seismically active environment at the millennial scale. — Berkeley Lab
The provisional conclusions of the study are that the brain behaves differently when exposed to contemplative and non-contemplative buildings, contemplative states elicited through “architectural aesthetics” are similar to the contemplation of traditional meditation in some ways, and different in other ways, and, finally, that “architectural design matters.” — theatlantic.com
Interestingly enough, the ONE Prize "Smart Dock" competition has two 1st prize winners for 2014. Organized by Terreform ONE, this year's theme had participants propose a new design and science educational facility for the renovated Building 128 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The program of the collaborative educational facility will also include a public outreach center for socio-ecological design as well as spaces for lectures, events, and design studios for about 30 graduate students. — bustler.net
Out of 92 teams from 22 countries, the jury — chaired by Christian Hubert of Christian Hubert Studio and Chair of Terreform ONE — awarded two 1st prize winners, one 3rd prize winner, and one honorable mention.1st Prize ($3500): THE LUCENT CUBEBy “CAD monkeys" - Yun Wan, Silvia Lopes...
The new science of neuroaesthetics [...] tells us much about the way pure form is dealt with by the brain. [...] V S Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, and William Hirstein, a philosopher at Elmhurst College in Illinois, argue that we are innately attuned to recognise things as unified objects – such that we find brushstrokes or architectural features that can be mentally assembled into a coherent whole more beautiful. — aeon.co
Indonesia is preparing cloud-seeding operations in an effort to combat a haze of air pollution blanketing neighbouring Singapore. Pollution levels were "moderate" levels on Tuesday morning, according to the pollution standard index, a day after hitting "unhealthy" levels. The worst affected parts of the island are in the west and closest to Indonesia. The haze has become an annual event in this part of Southeast Asia, as farmers illegally burn forest or plantation areas to clear land. — Al Jazeera America
Scientists have recently discovered deep deposits of a powerful warming gas leaking into the ocean from previously hidden vents just off North America's East Coast, kicking up underwater carbon dioxide levels [...] Most of the vents are located about 1,600 feet down, the perfect spot for the ocean's temperature and water pressure to combine and create an oozing mix of ice and methane gas, a powerful substance with an impact on global warming that's 20 times more damaging than that of [CO2]. — News.Mic
What does a city look like? If you’re walking down the street, perhaps it looks like people and storefronts. Viewed from higher up, patterns begin to emerge: A three-dimensional grid of buildings divided by alleys, streets, and sidewalks, nearly flat in some places and scraping the sky in others. Pull back far enough, and the city starts to look like something else entirely: a cluster of molecules.
At least, that’s what it looks like to Franz-Josef Ulm, an engineering professor [...]. — bostonglobe.com
In a paper he recently published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, Tao points to two regions of China... that have a similar geographic location as the Midwest—but far fewer tornadoes. The difference, he says, is that China's plains are surrounded by three east-west mountain ranges, which slow down passing winds enough to prevent tornados from forming.
Tao, then, is essentially suggesting we build mountain range-sized walls across Tornado Alley... — motherboard.vice.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...
MIT Prof. Mark Jarzombek on the notion of primitive, the worldwide evolution of the housing, and the fate of the native populations in the modern environment
When does the architecture begin? How the pit house can explain the global migrations and links between the Navahos and first men in Europe? MIT Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture Mark Jarzombek clarifies the essence of the problem. — serious-science.org
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
Today’s technology is rooted in the work of Sir Isaac Newton. Contemporary physics’ paradox in resolving the difference between magnetism and electricity implies multiple truths and we wonder what drove Newton’s work and what drove Einstein’s? — toskovic.com
I discuss how paradox, uncertainty, and static historical context in physics justifying technology informs the form follows function of material mission of the modernists. How do alternate sciences and cultures inform the relationship between architecture, form, technology, and person?
Well-designed places can promote health, and design professionals can create them. Health depends... on wholesome places, not just for individuals, but across entire communities, and health professionals can recognize and support them.
Accordingly, two worlds need to come together: the world of design, in which architects, planners and their colleagues create places; and the world of health, in which doctors, public-health officials and their colleagues fight injury, illness and disability. — seattletimes.com
Howard Frumkin, dean of University of Washington’s School of Public Health, and Daniel Friedman, Ph.D., architect and former dean of the UW College of Built Environments, discuss the importance of architects and health specialists working together to create healthier spaces.
Pan and several colleagues argue that the underlying force that drives super-linear productivity in cities is the density with which we're able to form social ties. The larger your city, in other words, the more people you’re likely to come into contact with.
"If you think about productivity, it’s all about ideas, information flows, how easily you can access ideas and opportunities," Pan says. "We believe that the interaction mechanism is what drives the productivity of the city." — theatlanticcities.com
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