Archinect - News 2018-12-09T23:22:13-05:00 The trials and tribulations of the 3D printer Katherine Guimapang 2018-11-21T17:26:00-05:00 >2018-11-23T10:18:36-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>For one, there is no such thing as a 3D printer that doesn&rsquo;t emit concerning microparticles into the air. Even industrial models that appear sealed, complete with fans and filters, put out measurable particulates.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Ask any architecture <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">student</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">3D printing</a> can be one of the best and worst things about the design studio. Architectural drawings and renderings are necessary, but in order for the concept to really come to life 3D scale <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">models</a> have acted as catalysts for translating the vision. Physical scale models go hand in hand with architecture. However, just as architecture has developed over time so has the technology.&nbsp;</p> <p>3D printers have changed the way architects and architecture students alike have communicated their ideas. Ranging in size and capacity, 3D printers can be found in almost every university, institute, and studio. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sci-Arc</a> EDGE student, Laure Michelon, states printers are running "24/7. Everyday. Pretty much everyone has one. There are about 10 printers in our studio." Besides it taking up space, the trials and tribulations of getting the machine set and ready is a whole other ordeal. However, besides the tedious fabrication process, does the 3D printer pose a different kind of...</p> Disappear Here: architecture and video games Alexander Walter 2018-11-13T13:24:00-05:00 >2018-11-13T13:25:19-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>North London video game developer, Shedworks, have developed a specially commissioned film for our exhibition Disappear Here: On perspective and other kinds of space, in collaboration with Sam Jacob Studio. We spoke to Greg Kythreotis, co-founder of Shedworks, to find out more about how the video came about and the processes behind it.</p></em><br /><br /><p>RIBA interviews&nbsp;Greg Kythreotis, co-founder of&nbsp;video game studio Shedworks; talking about his involvement in the current&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Disappear Here: On perspective and other kinds of space</em></a> exhibition at the RIBA Architecture Gallery in London, the collaboration with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sam Jacob Studio</a>, and potential overlaps between architecture and video games in respect of the 'perspective' theme.&nbsp;</p><p>"Whilst the history of perspective and architecture are incredibly intertwined,"&nbsp;Kythreotis explains, "I also think that, by virtue of historically being rendered on a screen, video games also have an incredibly rich history of exploring perspective. Whether orthographic, more realistic renderings or complete distortions and warpings of perspective, I would love to see the overlaps between mediums be explored in even more depth."</p> What buildings can teach us about accessibility and future cities Katherine Guimapang 2018-11-12T19:53:00-05:00 >2018-11-13T13:35:01-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Accessibility</a> looks like different things to different people. When architects design buildings there are parameters that must be met in order to meet standard building codes. With the passing of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Americans with Disability Act</a>, building regulations were placed to ensure that the design process included these "check off items". However, how can individuals with varying <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">disabilities</a>&nbsp;know where spaces are "fit" for them.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>McCormick Tribune Campus Center, ITT Image &copy; Simon King </figcaption></figure><p>Accessibility mapping has become a method which helps identify areas that provide access to individuals with disabilities. Groups all over the world from <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Nashville</a> to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Paris</a> take part in "map-a-thons" that allow people to come together in a collective effort to understand where access is available in their city. Whether they themselves are disabled, know of people who are, or concerned citizens who want to become more aware of their surrounds for others accessibility mapping allows for the tracking and documenta...</p> Chinese city to launch artificial moon into space. ​What could possibly go wrong? Alexander Walter 2018-10-29T19:13:00-04:00 >2018-10-30T17:03:35-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>It might sound like a plot cooked up by a cartoon villain, but a city in southwestern China is aiming to launch into space an artificial moon that could replace streetlights by bathing the ground in a &ldquo;dusk-like glow.&rdquo; [...] the satellite&rsquo;s mirror-like exterior would reflect sunlight down to Earth, creating a glow about eight times brighter than the moon. The artificial moon, which he said would orbit about 500 kilometers above Earth, could save $174 million in electricity from streetlights.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The capital of China's Sichuan province, Chengdu, could have its own illumination satellite&nbsp;'moon' up in the skies by 2020, according to the <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">People's Daily</a></em>.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Light pollution</a>, and its documented health effects on humans and nocturnal wildlife, doesn't seem to be much of a concern to the officials behind the audacious&nbsp;space-mirror scheme. As Kang Weimin, Director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace at Harbin Institute of Technology, attempts to reassure: "The light of the satellite is similar to a dusk-like glow, so it should not affect animals&rsquo; routines." &ndash; Okay, we're all cool.</p> Is the Embr a true personal HVAC system? Paul Petrunia 2018-10-25T13:49:00-04:00 >2018-10-26T13:41:11-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Five years ago we reported on a device invented by a group of students at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT</a>. This device, originally called "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Wristify</a>", was a small bracelet designed to heat or cool the wearer to achieve customized comfort, regardless of the surrounding environment. Today, after a few years of R&amp;D, and with the help of a successful <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kickstarter campaign</a>, we have <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Embr</a>, the newly designed and branded "Thermostat For Your Body".</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>The original "Wristify" prototype from MIT</figcaption></figure><p>The new hardware looks like a (very) large, faceless watch. The unit itself is an aluminum heat sink with a carved fingerprint-like series of waves on the outer surface, topped with a thin button/light bar indicating the current heating/cooling status. The strap is a steel mesh bracelet, very similar to Apple's Milanese Loop watch band (or a less expensive knockoff).</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>I've been trying out a review model for a few weeks, mostly testing out the cooling features since I&nbsp;live in LA. I've also given the heating feature a few opportunities t...</p> Google's Environmental Insights Explorer tracks carbon pollution on a local level Alexander Walter 2018-10-05T18:35:00-04:00 >2018-10-07T07:19:13-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Google has started estimating greenhouse-gas emissions for individual cities, part of what it recently described as an ambitious new plan to deploy its hoard of geographic information on the side of climate-concerned local leaders.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Google has launched a new online tool, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Environmental Insights Explorer</a>, which tracks emissions inventory on a city scale. The program is still in beta mode and currently only provides data for five cities (Pittsburgh, PA; Mountain View,&nbsp;CA;&nbsp;Victoria, BC; Melbourne, AU; Buenos Aires, AR) but could eventually turn into an enormously helpful planning tool for municipalities&mdash;especially while the consensus on man-made global warming can be frustratingly murky on the state and federal level.</p> How the data collected by dockless bikes can be useful for cities (and hackers) Alexander Walter 2018-10-05T14:37:00-04:00 >2018-10-05T14:39:23-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In the 18 months or so since dockless bike-share arrived in the US, the service has spread to at least 88 American cities. (On the provider side, at least 10 companies have jumped into the business; Lime is one of the largest.) Some of those cities now have more than a year of data related to the programs, and they&rsquo;ve started gleaning insights and catering to the increased number of cyclists on their streets.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>Technology Review</em> writer&nbsp;Elizabeth Woyke looks at ways how city planners in Seattle,&nbsp;WA and South Bend, IN use the immense stream of user-generated location data from dockless-bike-sharing programs to improve urban mobility &mdash; and how hackers could potentially access and abuse this (supposedly anonymous) information. "In theory, the fact that people can park dockless bikes outside their exact destinations could make it easier for someone who hacked into the data to decode the anonymous identities that companies assign their users,"&nbsp;Woyke writes.</p> As augmented reality further permeates the urban environment, do architects play a role in planning virtual spaces? Alexander Walter 2018-10-03T17:59:00-04:00 >2018-10-05T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Over the past couple of decades, artists and designers have developed augmented realities that propose vastly different, and often more radical perspectives of what a digitally enhanced public realm could look like. [...] many actually existing AR projects instead ask critical questions about the implementation of this novel technology and its potential to shift both the everyday experiences and political economies of architecture and cities.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In his latest <em>Failed Architecture</em> piece, Joshua McWhirter offers an insightful history of noteworthy <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">augmented reality</a>-powered works of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">art</a>, activism, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">game design</a>, and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">simulation</a> while also issuing a warning call about the impending privatization and commodification of the virtual public space without much input from architects. "And as this landscape increasingly constitutes a public realm in and of itself,"&nbsp;McWhirter writes, "a collection of hybrid real-virtual public spaces, there are even glimmers of direct challenges to its creeping privatization."</p> Autonomous crane technology receives investment boost Alexander Walter 2018-09-27T14:52:00-04:00 >2018-09-27T14:54:05-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>With industrial robotics forecast to be worth $71.72 billion by 2023, it&rsquo;s no wonder entrepreneurs&nbsp;are turning their attention to increasingly lucrative&nbsp;sectors, like warehouse automation, order fulfillment, and manufacturing. Tel Aviv-based Intsite is one of the latest examples. The startup today announced a $1.35 million pre-seed round led by Terra Venture Partners and the Israel Innovation Authority to fund what it claims is the world&rsquo;s first autonomous crane technology.</p></em><br /><br /><figure rel="width: 100%; height: auto;"><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Image: Intsite</figcaption></figure><p>AI-powered autonomous construction technology is poised to see enormous growth in the coming years, promising to significantly increase efficiency, cut costs &amp; realization time, and reduce human errors as well as workplace-related injuries.</p> <p>"According to McKinsey, about 98 percent of construction mega-projects go significantly over budget, in part as a result&nbsp;of heavy equipment inefficiencies," reports <em>Venture Beat</em>.</p> Morpholio Trace and Shapr3D launch new iOS 12 features to integrate 3D modeling and sketching for architects Alexander Walter 2018-09-26T15:59:00-04:00 >2018-10-15T12:31:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>With Apple's recent release of its latest mobile operating system, iOS 12, we're now seeing new feature releases in a variety of apps. Two players in the world of architectural software, Morpholio <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Trace</a> and Shapr3D, today announced a joint effort that promises to further bridge the divide between 3D modeling and sketching on the iPad Pro thanks to Apple&rsquo;s Drag and Drop and the new universal 3D file type USDZ.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Credit: Jim Keen. Image courtesy of Morpholio.</figcaption></figure><p>Dubbed "Drag 'n' Fly", the new iOS 12 feature by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Morpholio</a>, a company that we've covered previously on Archinect, enables users to integrate live 3D models in Trace sketches, create infinite views, and draw over automatically generated perspective grids. Shapr3D models can now be exported directly to Trace via the new OBJ export, simplifying the switch between drawing and modeling. <br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Credit: Jim Keen. Image courtesy of Morpholio.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Credit: Jim Keen. Image courtesy of Morpholio.</figcaption></figure><p>Morpholio Co-Founder Mark Collins explains the reason behind...</p> Amazon buys into the (Alexa-powered) prefab housing market Alexander Walter 2018-09-26T13:32:00-04:00 >2018-09-26T13:33:38-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Amazon has made clear that it wants to own the smart home space. Now the company's going a step further, taking a stake in a start-up that's building actual homes. On Tuesday, Amazon said its Alexa Fund invested in Plant Prefab, a Southern California company that says it uses sustainable construction processes and materials to build prefabricated custom single- and multifamily houses. The start-up is aiming to use automation to build homes faster and bring down costs.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With this recent investment in eco-friendly prefabricated home factory&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Plant Prefab</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon</a> uses its mighty financial leverage and dominance in the market for voice-controlled connected devices to make the brand just as synonymous with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">smart homes</a> as it already is with online retail.&nbsp;</p> <p>Plant Prefab, headquartered in&nbsp;Rialto, California,&nbsp;offers standard and custom prefab homes in collaboration with established design partners, including <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ray Kappe</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">KieranTimberlake</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">LivingHomes</a>.</p> Why 'smart homes' aren't really that smart yet Alexander Walter 2018-09-14T15:38:00-04:00 >2018-09-19T12:46:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Today you can have a fully connected home complete with sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, air quality, energy usage, and more, and check in on almost any appliance from anywhere in the world with just a smartphone. But even with all of the various connected appliances, virtual assistants, and copious sensors that can be installed in a modern smart home, the &ldquo;smart&rdquo; side of things is still rather lacking.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Verge</em> senior editor Dan Seifert asks: <em>Wouldn't it be cool if my home could figure everything out on its own?</em></p> Japanese scientists to run space elevator experiment in orbit Alexander Walter 2018-09-05T13:31:00-04:00 >2018-09-08T22:36:43-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A team made up of researchers at Shizuoka University and other institutions is set to conduct an experiment in September for a project to develop a "space elevator" connecting Earth and a space station by cable -- attracting attention as a possible dream vehicle for space travel and cargo shipments in the future.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The idea of a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">space elevator</a> has been around since 1895 when Russian/Soviet rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky&nbsp;(inspired by the newly erected Eiffel Tower in Paris) envisioned a very long cable running from earth's equator to space beyond geostationary orbit&nbsp;with a counterweight at the top to offset our planet's gravity&mdash;maintaining an upright tether,&nbsp;under tension, to run cars up and down.</p> First building awarded the Stirling Prize now slated for a primary school Hope Daley 2018-08-31T18:06:00-04:00 >2018-09-06T08:56:10-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The first building to win the RIBA Stirling Prize &ndash; Hodder Associates&rsquo; Centenary Building for the University of Salford &ndash; could be converted into a new primary school. The plans for the currently empty 23-year-old building form part of 5plus Architects&rsquo; emerging 99ha development framework for the university&rsquo;s existing campus and surrounding area.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Hodder + Partners's Centenary Building for the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">University of Salford</a> was the first to be awarded the RIBA <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stirling Prize</a> back in 1996. Originally designed to be the School of Electrical Engineering, during construction plans changed for the building to house the&nbsp;Faculty of Art and Design Technology. Now, according to a consultation document, the structure is slated for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">reuse</a> as an&nbsp;entry primary school.&nbsp;</p> Tokyo launches first autonomous 'robot taxi' ahead of 2020 Olympics Alexander Walter 2018-08-29T14:37:00-04:00 >2018-08-29T14:42:51-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A venture firm and a major taxi company began trials of passenger-carrying autonomous taxi services on Monday with an eye on launching the full service around 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympics and the Paralympics. ZMP Inc., a Tokyo-based developer of autonomous driving technology, and Hinomaru Kotsu Co., said they are the first in the world to offer autonomous taxi services to fare-paying passengers in the test through Sept. 8.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Other tech companies and automakers have also been testing autonomous driving services in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. If the Tokyo RoboCar MiniVan trial is successful, officials hope to scale up the program to assist with the increased transportation demand during the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2020 Summer Olympics</a> and, beyond that, help the rapidly ageing population in Japan's rural areas get around.</p> Researchers develop method to 3D-print inexpensive houses from peat Alexander Walter 2018-07-25T15:07:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T07:01:35-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Cut peat blocks were already being used for building houses thousands of years ago. Now, scientists at the University of Tartu have developed a material which could make it possible to print energy-efficient houses out of milled peat and oil shale ash using a 3D printer.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"As peat and oil shale ash are not very expensive, house builders would be especially happy about the price of the material. According to Liiv, scientists calculated that the cost for the construction of a house shell printed from this material with a floor surface of 100&ndash;150 square meters could be about &euro;5,000 (compared to the construction of the shell of a framed building of equivalent size, which would cost about ten times more). Thus, peat material could be used to build a very cheap house with an energy class A."</p> <p>H/T <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Global Construction Review</a></p> Facebook to double its London presence with new King's Cross buildings by AHMM and Bennetts Alexander Walter 2018-07-25T13:57:00-04:00 >2018-07-25T13:58:19-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Facebook is doubling its presence in London by acquiring office space across two buildings in King's Cross. The 600,000 square feet (56,000 square meters) of office space will be enough for more than 6,000 workstations. [...] The expansion follows the 2017 opening of its site at Rathbone Place, which added 800 jobs and opened its first in-house incubator program for startup businesses. It also has a location on Brock Street.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Considerably ramping up its workplace capacity by 611,000 sq ft in soon-to-be post-Brexit <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London</a>, Facebook will be moving into new buildings at King's Cross: 11 and 21 Canal Reach, designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bennetts Associates</a>, the ten and twelve-story-buildings already have detailed planning permission, as well as the nine-story-structure P2 by 2015 Stirling-Prize winning <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)</a> with a pending reserved matters planning application.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>11 and 21 Canal Reach by Bennetts Associates. Image: King's Cross.</figcaption></figure><p>"The deal comes just weeks after Samsung Electronics announced an agreement to open &lsquo;Samsung KX LDN&rsquo;, a 20,000 sq ft showcase space at Coal Drops Yard, the new Heatherwick Studio-designed shopping and lifestyle district in King&rsquo;s Cross, in October," reads a King's Cross <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">statement</a>.<br></p> <p>The new offices are expected to open in 2021.<br></p> Biogenic, bacteria-powered solar cells can generate electricity even under overcast skies Alexander Walter 2018-07-20T15:00:00-04:00 >2018-07-20T15:01:46-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Their cell generated a current stronger than any previously recorded from such a device, and worked as efficiently in dim light as in bright light. This innovation could be a step toward wider adoption of solar power in places like British Columbia and parts of northern Europe where overcast skies are common. With further development, these solar cells&mdash;called &ldquo;biogenic&rdquo; because they are made of living organisms&mdash;could become as efficient as the synthetic cells used in conventional solar panels.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While this isn't the first&nbsp;effort to build biogenic,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">bacteria</a>-powered solar cells, scientists at the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">University of British Columbia</a> claim to have <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">discovered</a> a novel, highly cost-effective, and much more sustainable way to use the photosynthesis capabilities of certain bacteria to convert light (even dim&nbsp;light) to energy.&nbsp;</p> <p>"They genetically engineered E. coli to produce large amounts of lycopene&mdash;a dye that gives tomatoes their red-orange colour and is particularly effective at harvesting light for conversion to energy," explains the UBC announcement. "The researchers coated the bacteria with a mineral that could act as a semiconductor, and applied the mixture to a glass surface. With the coated glass acting as an anode at one end of their cell, they generated a current density of 0.686 milliamps per square centimetre&mdash;an improvement on the 0.362 achieved by others in the field."</p> <p>More research is needed to turn this newly discovered method into market-ready biogenic solar panels.</p>... MIT Media Lab's new method of 3D printing allows for advanced complexity Hope Daley 2018-06-20T14:34:00-04:00 >2018-07-14T20:16:03-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>MIT Media Lab&rsquo;s Mediated Matter group has invented a new way to 3D print any&nbsp;object, regardless of how complex it is, with color and shape as detailed as a photograph. It&rsquo;s the equivalent of traditional CMYK printing, but in 3D. The results are stunning.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT</a>&nbsp;Media Lab has come up with a new method of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">3D printing</a> that allows for much more complex models and typologies. Such complexity was previously not possible as all pieces of a model had to be connected with no floating parts in space. With this new method, different materials are used to create a solid transparent block that encapsulates the complex model allowing for detached parts to "float" inside the transparent material.&nbsp;</p> How Amazon's patents shape our city of the future Alexander Walter 2018-06-08T15:00:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Taken as whimsical follies by the design press and broader culture, Amazon's architectural and logistical patents are altogether more sinister, signalling new, automated urban ambitions. [...] While some of these patents could be marked as routine publicity stunts, lurking beneath Amazon&rsquo;s bravado is an obsession with organisation and productivity: oriented towards abstract users, measured in data, and governed by algorithms.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In his piece for <em>Failed Architecture</em>, designer and writer Matthew Stewart investigates the implications of the overwhelming flood of architectural and logistical <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">patents</a> filed by Big Tech, and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon</a> in particular, on our cities and expectations of the world of the future.&nbsp;</p> <p>"We&rsquo;ve been treated to an Archigram-esque world of walking cities, inflatable mega-structures and roaming blimps," Stewart writes. "This world has included proposals for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">multi-level drone fulfillment centers</a>; mobile robotic warehouses; augmented reality furniture; inflatable data centers; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">underwater</a> and flying warehouse facilities; infinitely expandable data centers; on-demand clothing manufacturing, automated shopping with image recognition systems and the ever-present spectre of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">drone delivery</a>."</p> Shared housing startups prepare for big business Alexander Walter 2018-05-23T15:54:00-04:00 >2018-05-26T13:31:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A Crunchbase News analysis of residential-focused real estate startups uncovered a raft of companies with a shared and temporary housing focus that have raised funding in the past year or so. This isn&rsquo;t a U.S.-specific phenomenon. Funded shared and short-term housing startups are cropping up across the globe, from China to Europe to Southeast Asia.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Crunchbase reporter Joanna Glasner takes a look at the new crop of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">shared and short-term housing</a> startups that have recently raised millions of dollars in funding, such as Common, Starcity, Roomi, Ollie, HubHaus, and others.<br></p> Scientists build world's tiniest house using nanorobotic assembly Alexander Walter 2018-05-22T13:39:00-04:00 >2018-05-22T13:47:14-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In order to demonstrate the capabilities of a new nanorobotic system, French scientists have built a "microhouse" that sits on the cleaved end of an optical fiber. The diminutive home was built by a team from the Femto-ST Institute in Besan&ccedil;on, France, using the new &mu;Robotex nanofactory system. That setup utilizes a robotically-controlled ion gun and a gas injection system, operating within a large vacuum chamber, to assemble microstructures on the tips of optical fibers with extreme accuracy.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The '<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tiny Houses</a>' trend is so pass&eacute;&mdash;Micro Houses are all the rage now. This charming nanobungalow built by the French Femto-ST Institute sits on a plot measuring only 300 by 300 micrometers. <br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Credit: FEMTO-ST Institute</figcaption></figure><p>All you need to get started on your own fun projects is a large vacuum chamber, some ion guns, thin membranes of silica, with a little robotic piloting for the nanoassembly sprinkled on top.</p> <p>To learn how it really works, visit the full paper in the <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Journal of Vacuum Science &amp; Technology A</a></em>.<br></p> Jan Gehl has his doubts about 'Smart Cities' Alexander Walter 2018-05-07T14:52:00-04:00 >2018-05-07T14:57:29-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>I think we haven&rsquo;t thought through the challenge of technology for city mobility. We are stuck with some 120-year-old ideas that the industry is desperately holding on to. I tell students: Whenever you hear the word &ldquo;smart,&rdquo; beware, because that is somebody who wants to sell as many millions as possible of some new gimmick. And he is not necessarily giving you a better quality of life.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Annette Becker and Lessano Negussie, curators of the new exhibition&nbsp;<em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RIDE A BIKE! Reclaim the City</a></em> at the&nbsp;Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt, Germany,&nbsp;interviewed the 81-year-old 'people-friendly city' evangelist for the show's accompanying book.</p> An augmented reality art exhibit hijacks MoMA's Jackson Pollock gallery Alexander Walter 2018-04-27T14:57:00-04:00 >2018-04-28T12:11:12-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>NEW YORK&rsquo;S MUSEUM of Modern Art is under siege. Well, a virtual siege, at least. A group of renegade artists has co-opted the brightly-lit Jackson Pollock gallery on the museum&rsquo;s fifth floor, turning it into their personal augmented reality playground. [...] those that have downloaded the MoMAR Gallery app on their smartphones, the impressionist's iconic paintings are merely markers&mdash;points of reference telling the app where to display the guerilla artists&rsquo; works.</p></em><br /><br /><p>MoMAR's augmented reality app and the unauthorized accompanying group show <em>Hello, we're from the internet</em> explore the intersection of private physical space and the public digital realm. "MoMAR is an unauthorized gallery concept aimed at democratizing physical exhibition spaces, museums, and the curation of art within them," the group explains on its <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">website</a>. "MoMAR is non-profit, non-owned, and exists in the absence of any privatized structures."</p><p><br></p> <p>Get the app on <a href=";hl=en" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Android</a> or <a href=";preserveScrollPosition=true#platform/iphone" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">iOS</a> and head to MoMA's Jackson Pollock room on the 5th floor to see <em>Hello, we're from the internet</em> until May 3.<br></p> How 'smart glass' at airports boosts alcohol sales Alexander Walter 2018-04-23T14:21:00-04:00 >2018-04-24T14:02:49-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The tinted world of tomorrow is coming, and&nbsp;airports&mdash;mini-cities of steel, concrete&nbsp;and lots and lots of glass&mdash;are interested.&nbsp;In a test last fall, Dallas-Fort Worth&nbsp;International Airport outfitted one of its gates with a new type of &ldquo;smart glass&rdquo; that can&nbsp;adjust for sunlight exposure. The obvious point is to keep travelers from getting overheated&mdash;but the exercise also brought a&nbsp;more lucrative benefit.</p></em><br /><br /><p>A <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cornell</a>-led study at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport found that implementing a new type of electrochromatic '<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">smart glass</a>' at one of its gates not only led to cooler, more pleasant surface temperatures in the waiting area, but the tinted glass, and the resulting dimmer light in the neighboring bars and restaurants, also resulted in increased alcohol sales&mdash;by as much as 80%.</p> <p>More airports have announced plans to upgrade their lounges and terminals with&nbsp;'smart glass.'</p> The biometric identities of buildings Alexander Walter 2018-04-20T13:37:00-04:00 >2018-04-24T14:33:35-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>[...] iPhoto confused a human friend of mine &ndash; I&rsquo;ll call him Mike &ndash; with a building called the Great Mosque of Cordoba. [...] Rather than viewing this as a failure, I realized I had found a new insight: Just as people&rsquo;s faces have features that can be recognized by algorithms, so do buildings. That began my effort to perform facial recognition on buildings &ndash; or, more formally, &ldquo;architectural biometrics.&rdquo; Buildings, like people, may just have biometric identities too.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Peter Christensen, Assistant Professor of Art History at the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">University of Rochester</a>, elaborates on his research with 'facial recognition' on buildings to unlock architectural secrets.</p> You can now play Tetris with Soviet-style housing blocks Alexander Walter 2018-04-18T14:13:00-04:00 >2018-04-18T14:18:22-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>If you've been around the 'architecture-can-be-fun-too'-focused internet for a while, you may remember Sergej Hein's semi-viral gem of a video, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Berlin Block Tetris</a>, which was exactly that: an animated version of the video game classic using building blocks that resembled socialist-era residential high-rises.</p> <p>Lithuanian designer <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lukas Valiauga</a> has now taken the idea to the next, interactive, level and created the mobile app <em>Tower Block Game</em>.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Tower Block Game by Lukas Valiauga</figcaption></figure><p>"This game is a playful tribute to a not so playful reality of monotonous and bleak cityscapes built out of same prefabricated concrete blocks," the app description explains. "Very specific for Eastern-Europe but evident everywhere else, too. These relic tower blocks usually mark failed social programmes and neighbourhoods planned as clumsy as some failed building block game&hellip; On that note, build and demolish one for yourself!"</p> <p>Tower Block Game is available for Android from the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Play store</a>.</p> <p>Not much of a gam...</p> New key-less Moscow apartments use facial recognition to open doors and elevators Alexander Walter 2018-04-17T15:26:00-04:00 >2018-04-17T15:28:32-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A new Moscow apartment building has unveiled a fully-functioning facial recognition system designed to replace residents&rsquo; keys. [...] As well as allowing homeowners to enter the building without a key, the system&nbsp;automatically selects each resident&rsquo;s floor when they enter the lift, and keeps tabs on&nbsp;cars and pedestrians leaving the complex.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> How financial technology benefits from architectural design Hope Daley 2018-04-16T16:13:00-04:00 >2018-04-16T16:15:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Design lies at the heart of both architecture and software. People continuously try to define what design is (which maybe means designers are not good at designing design), and the reason is perhaps because there is no single type of design but several. Here I&rsquo;m going to talk about three that are relevant to both architects and fintech: blueprint-based design, recipe-based design, and systems design.</p></em><br /><br /><p>David Galbraith, previously&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">featured in our Working Out of the Box series</a>,&nbsp;explores what financial <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">technology</a> can learn from architectural design by diving into&nbsp;three design types.&nbsp;Galbraith has worked for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Norman Foster</a> and&nbsp;Fisher Park, and is currently a partner with Anthemis Group, a VC firm that focuses on financial services.</p> What it means to add 20,000 Waymo self-driving robot taxis to America's roads Alexander Walter 2018-04-03T18:19:00-04:00 >2018-04-11T12:01:03-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>On Tuesday, Waymo announced they&rsquo;d purchase 20,000 sporty, electric self-driving vehicles from Jaguar for the company&rsquo;s forthcoming ride-hailing service. [...] They estimate that the Jaguar fleet alone will be capable of doing a million trips each day in 2020. [...] if Waymo is even within 50 percent of that number in two years, the United States will have entered an entirely new phase in robotics and technology.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In his piece for <em>The Atlantic</em>, Alexis C. Madrigal looks beyond the technological and economic implications of Waymo's latest announcement to add 20,000 electric self-driving Jaguar I-Pace SUVs to its rapidly growing ride-hailing fleet by 2020 and instead think about the social (how comfortable/uncomfortable will we be around so many robots?), legal (what if a city wants to declare itself a "robocar-free zone"?), and urban planning effects (how will infrastructure redevelopment change our existing cities in the 21st century?).</p>