When the 70th regular session of the General Assembly convenes on Sept. 15, it will do so in a complex of buildings that hasn’t looked so good or felt so secure in generations.
“We now have a very safe compound,” said Michael Adlerstein, [...] executive director of a seven-year, $2.15 billion renovation, known as the capital master plan, that is nearing completion. More visible than anything else is the robust yet crystalline new glass facade of the 39-story Secretariat building. — nytimes.com
Burglary is a spatial crime: its very definition requires architecture...Indeed, burglary's architectural interest comes not from its ubiquity, but from its unexpected, often surprisingly subtle misuse of the built environment. Burglars approach buildings differently, often seeking modes of entry other than doors and approaching buildings—whole cites—as if they're puzzles waiting to be solved or beaten. — BLDGBLOG
Since terrorism has become one of the guiding forces in urban design, the incorporation of immense fortifications into everyday streets has spawned an entire industry of defensive architecture [...]
The latest developments in this rising tide of urban paranoia are on display this week at the Counter Terror Expo in west London’s Olympia, a sprawling trade show that proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof”. It is an enormous supermarket of neuroses [...]. — theguardian.com
Alastair Graham hopes Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading, an initiative of the government of Cape Town, South Africa, will end better. He calls the effort, which has been revamping areas around train stations since 2006, part of “a package of potential solutions … either improving safety, or improving socioeconomic situation, or improving quality of life.” The project is aimed at curbing violence by augmenting the public spaces in which violent crime frequently occurs [...]. — nextcity.org
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
While security is seen as the obvious initial use for Jr., Roambotics has broader plans for the future. Telepresence is one, but the self-directed robot could also be used to spontaneously document social gatherings, or to keep an eye on sick or elderly relatives.
There's also the possibility of using Jr. as a 3D mapping system, effectively turning it into a Google Project Tango camera on wheels. — slashgear.com
The idea behind CV dazzle is simple. Facial recognition algorithms look for certain patterns when they analyze images: patterns of light and dark in the cheekbones, or the way color is distributed on the nose bridge—a baseline amount of symmetry. These hallmarks all betray the uniqueness of a human visage. If you obstruct them, the algorithm can’t separate a face from any other swath of pixels. — theatlantic.com
With a feature called HomeKit that's coming in iOS 8, iPhones will be able to start controlling smart devices, such as garage door openers, lights, and security cameras. It'll all be controllable through Siri too [...]
It's only a matter of time before major tech companies begin vying to be the thread that connects appliances and devices throughout your home, and this seems to be Apple's first step in the door. — theverge.com
Antiterrorist paraphernalia litter parts of nine square blocks, or at least a dozen acres -- all to protect the New York Stock Exchange from attacks.
Where Broadway opens to Wall Street, jaw-like truck barriers and a plastic-tent guard booth block the street. A fence squeezes pedestrians into one narrowed sidewalk.
Concrete Jersey barriers posing as planters are particularly hideous, part of a new antiterrorist aesthetic that afflicts courthouses and City Hall. — bloomberg.com
The August Smart Lock is the secure, simple, and social way to manage your home’s lock. Now you can control who can enter and who can’t—without the need for keys or codes. And you can do it all from your smartphone or computer. — august.com
Key-less entry has been available for cars for ages. It's about time buildings adopt this new technology. Fortunately, this new product is designed by master product designer Yves Behar, of Fuseproject.
With the blank slate offered by a catastrophic attack, planners, soon joined by the mayor himself, saw a chance to re-establish a great crossroads: Fulton and Greenwich Streets, tying the second World Trade Center into New York — north, south, east and west.
Now, however, they see that vision slipping away, as security concerns trump urban planning. — cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com
There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.
Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."
But the choice between gardens and gates isn't just academic for diplomats — it can affect the way they work. — npr.org
The idea for my final project, an architectural defense against drone warfare, came from the realization that law had no response to drone warfare. My own understanding of the ongoing [War on Terror pseudonym] as a civil rights issue is irrelevant, we only learn civil rights as a historical happening, not a current struggle. But architecture has a proud anti-legal tradition. Architecture is a way to protect people when law chooses not to. — chapatimystery.com
Mark Simon, a founding partner of Centerbrook Architects and Planners, agrees. “I think [bars and other fortifying techniques] send the wrong message to both kids and teachers,” he says. Based in Centerbrook, Connecticut, Simon has designed 20 school buildings, including five public elementary schools, though none in Newtown. “Buildings tell stories, and when a building is designed that way, it tells you that it doesn’t trust you. And kids intuit that they’re not trusted,” he says. — archrecord.construction.com
Over the last three decades, the design of U.S. embassies has been a balancing act between the need to protect diplomats and staff and the desire to project a positive image of the United States: welcoming buildings that showcase transparency and openness versus imposing and intimidating fortresses. But attacks on U.S. facilities, especially in the post-9/11 era, have tended to tilt the conversation toward the latter... — npr.org
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