Archinect - News 2018-12-14T07:32:34-05:00 An Apple town square? Stockholm says no, thank you Katherine Guimapang 2018-11-01T14:31:00-04:00 >2018-11-01T15:33:12-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Kungstr&auml;dg&aring;rden is the most important park in Sweden, [...] It is the thread that pulls together the historical power of the monarchy with the commercial blocks of Hamngatan and the working-class districts of S&ouml;dermalm. This is very important for democracy because it has to do with power, symbolically and spatially.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stockholm</a>, Sweden's beloved capitol is home to stunning landscapes that keep residence and visitors mesmerized. Its cobblestoned streets are lined with amazingly preserved buildings, beautiful open water views, and public spaces. Nestled in the heart of Stockholm is&nbsp;Kungstr&auml;dg&aring;rden, one of the most treasured and valued parks in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sweden</a>. Revered by its inhabitants, once word got out that <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apple</a> had plans to "transform" their beloved space by creating a "town square," the people of Stockholm made their voices heard.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Proposed store rendering. Image &copy; Apple / Foster &amp; Partners</figcaption></figure><p>We get it, Apple has already taken over our lives by transforming daily communication, productivity, etc. But, does Apple have the leverage to transform <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">public spaces</a>? Town squares are defined as open, public spaces located at the heart of a city. To a trillion-dollar tech company like Apple, their intention of&nbsp;redefining the relationship between public and private spaces is exactly what they are aiming for in build...</p> “Colonizing Experiment in Surveillance Capitalism”: Privacy Expert Resigns From Google-Backed Smart City Project Over Surveillance Concerns Miles Jaffe 2018-10-26T12:28:00-04:00 >2018-10-26T12:29:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A privacy expert tasked with protecting personal data within a Google-backed smart city project has resigned as her pro-privacy guidelines would largely be ignored by participants. &ldquo;I imagined us creating a Smart City of Privacy, as opposed to a Smart City of Surveillance,&rdquo; Ann Cavoukian, the former privacy commissioner of Ontario, wrote in a resignation letter to Google sister company Sidewalk Labs.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Smart phones, smart cars, smart cities, but smart for who?</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> Sidewalk Labs' Toronto waterfront smart city raises dystopian concerns Hope Daley 2018-08-10T14:40:00-04:00 >2018-08-10T15:40:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Sidewalk&rsquo;s vision for Quayside &mdash; as a place populated by self-driving vehicles and robotic garbage collectors, where the urban fabric is embedded with cameras and sensors capable of gleaning information from the phone in your pocket &mdash; certainly sounds Orwellian. Yet the company contends that the data gathered from fully wired urban infrastructure is needed to refine inefficient urban systems and achieve ambitious innovations like zero-emission energy grids.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Last fall Sidewalk Labs, a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google</a>-affiliated company, announced plans to build a new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">smart city</a> model on 12 acres of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Toronto</a> waterfront named Quayside. The design would include infrastructure with sensors and data analytics with the claim of building an overall more streamlined, economical, and green urban space. Sidewalk Labs' partnership with Canada is the beginning of an urban model they hope to expand globally.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>While the goal may look utopian, many see an ominous future where governance is under threat rather than the projected promise of urban innovation. Concerns center around tech monopolies, the collection and commodification of city data, and a democratic process of decision making for our environments.</p> Preserving Iraq's Heritage: World Monuments Fund partners with Google for new online exhibitions Alexander Walter 2018-06-06T16:10:00-04:00 >2018-06-06T16:10:23-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Launched on the Google Arts &amp; Culture platform today, the project includes drone footage of ancient sites and structures like the ziggurat in Borsippa and the Archway of Ctesiphon, 3D models of now lost architecture, like Babylon&rsquo;s famous Ishtar Gate, and documentation of sites that have been damaged or destroyed by Isis, including Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Using drone footage, 3D models and videos, the tech giant is working with cultural institutions to make preservation efforts accessible to a larger public," <em>The Art Newspaper </em>reports.</p><p>View the <em>Preserving Iraq's Heritage</em> online exhibition <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</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> Thom Mayne Young Architects Program is extended for third semester Hope Daley 2018-02-14T18:53:00-05:00 >2018-02-14T18:53:57-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Morphosis</a> has announced the educational initiative led by the firm&rsquo;s Pritzker Prize-winning founder,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thom Mayne</a> Young Architects,&nbsp;has been extended through the remainder of the 2017-2018 academic year in partnership with Hall Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Students in the Thom Mayne Young Architects Program. Image: Google.</figcaption></figure><p>This program enables 6th grade&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">students</a> who participated last semester to continue developing their design skills in this 12-week course. The after-school classes are led by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pratt Institute</a> architecture students, and task the students with creating a beautification proposal for their classroom.&nbsp;Each student received a new Pixelbook laptop donated by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google</a> with state-of-the-art design software to develop their design skills.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>An architecture model produced by a student in the Thom Mayne Young Architects Program. Image: Morphosis.</figcaption></figure><p>Students will demonstrate their grasp of architectural concepts and their mastery of design software in mid-term and final presenta...</p> From Search Engines to Sidewalks? Anthony Morey 2018-01-10T12:22:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Yet what has drawn the most concern and curiosity with regards to Quayside is a uniquely 21st-century feature: a data-harvesting, wifi-beaming &ldquo;digital layer&rdquo; that would underpin each proposed facet of Quayside life. According to Sidewalk Labs, this would provide &ldquo;a single unified source of information about what is going on&rdquo;&mdash;to an astonishing level of detail&mdash;as well as a centralized platform for efficiently managing it all.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While tech companies struggle to discover the new way to get a glimpse into our daily habits&mdash;attempting to discover how and where we spend our time and money&mdash;Alphabet might have just brought the &lsquo;<em>Truman Show</em>&rsquo; approach to marketing.&nbsp;</p> <p>With <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sidewalk Labs</a>, a subsidiary of Alphabet, announcing its first ever Urban Development in Toronto earlier this year, it is no surprise that tech companies have switched gears and begun to see the city itself as a device, rather than just the thing in your hand. Tech giants are beginning to turn architecture into a tool for data collection and that data is then becoming the perspective in which the Architecture is critiqued. What does that spell for the discipline at large?&nbsp;</p> <p>Beyond our discipline, if every decision is based on its ability to produce more data, how does that impact privacy and freedom of choice? What would the pop-up ad equivalent become if it is capable of leaving the digital screen and becoming an urban phenomenon and where would the ...</p> Google's Sunnyvale plans include two building by Bjarke Ingels Group Hope Daley 2018-01-08T15:16:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Google on Wednesday unveiled its plans&nbsp;for a striking new&nbsp;development in Sunnyvale&rsquo;s Moffett Park, where thousands of the company&rsquo;s employees could work in more than 1 million square feet of offices. The search giant filed a proposal with Sunnyvale city officials late Wednesday for a two-building, 1.04 million square foot project, called Caribbean, that would be large enough to accommodate 4,500 Google workers.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google</a>'s massive&nbsp;expansion plan in&nbsp;Sunnyvale include two buildings designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bjarke Ingels Group&nbsp;(BIG)</a>. Renderings of the new project show a complex named the Caribbean featuring long inclines allowing employees to walk, bike, or skate to any level of the building.&nbsp;Located on Caribbean Drive, these two buildings would make up just a piece of the company's total $1 billion purchase of about 50 properties in Sunnyvale.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><figure><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></figure></figure><p>Mark Golan,&nbsp;chief operating officer&nbsp;of Google&rsquo;s global real estate investments &amp; development unit, stated during an interview, "Google has made a significant investment in Sunnyvale... Our intent would be to develop that out over time." While Google has big plans for it's new complex, the site is not projected to be up and running with employees until at least 2021.&nbsp;</p> <figure></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>With enough sites purchased by google, there is a good chance <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">housing</a> could be developed as well as offices.&nbsp;Golan revealed, &ldquo;A new mixed-use community where you have live-work capabilities, makes a lot o...</p> Could "landscrapers" like Google's new London HQ represent a shift in workplace design? Alexander Walter 2017-12-05T14:00:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Last month, London mayor Sadiq Khan, joined by a trio of Google executives, broke ground on the site of Google&rsquo;s new campus in the city&rsquo;s King&rsquo;s Cross district. [...] The property has been dubbed a &ldquo;landscraper,&rdquo; a building as long and as horizontal as skyscrapers are tall and vertical, and it could represent a shift in the very shape of the places where people work. Google&rsquo;s London flagship will be 1,082 feet long, which is 66 feet longer than The Shard, London&rsquo;s tallest building, is high.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>Quartz</em>' article features input from American futurist, Amy Webb, who predicts a bright future for landscrapers &mdash;&nbsp;not only in London.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Google.</figcaption></figure><p>More about the new&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Heatherwick Studio</a> + <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BIG</a>-designed&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google</a> London HQ <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> "The building is truly in service to the people that work there" Nam Henderson 2017-11-19T16:57:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>the building has three sides that are facing active streets...has quite a bit smaller scale than its neighbors...really sets a precedent for the future, for buildings that are carefully modulated to fit into the Boulder scale</p></em><br /><br /><p>Natthan Heffel speaks with David Tryba (of Tryba Architects) about their new design for the Google Boulder Campus. He highlights the firm's collaborative approach to designing a cutting-edge, flexible work environment.</p> <p>They also talk about the firm's Denver Union Station renovation and larger role, in filling Denver's "<em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">empty canvas</a></em>" over the last two decades, of the cities urban revitalization.</p> Google's Sidewalk Labs to redevelop Toronto waterfront as one of the largest smart city projects in North America Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-10-25T14:43:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Silicon Valley, and the tech industry at large, is known for reinventing the everyday. From buses to vending machines, and from the necessary to the indulgent, each week seems to bring another headline about the tech world's disruptions. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon</a> has recently comprised a good sum of this ink with the announcement of plans for a new headquarters and the subsequent bidding war straight out of Hunger Games that has cities across North America submitting over 238 proposals to host. But while <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon searches for cities</a> to house a new campus, another tech giant&mdash;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google</a>, that is&mdash;has decided to go in a different direction, cutting to the chase and just building the city themselves.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Digital Infrastructure Vision. Image courtesy of Sidewalk Labs.</figcaption></figure><p>The online empire began as a quaint search engine but has since transitioned into the business of measuring pretty much everything. In 2015, the company reorganized itself into multiples under the umbrella company&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alphabet</a>, in order to separate its core...</p> Where cars learn how to drive like people Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-28T15:02:00-04:00 >2017-08-28T15:16:31-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Even within the polygon abstraction of the simulation the AI uses to know the world, there are traces of human dreams, fragments of recollections, feelings of drivers. And these components are not mistakes or a human stain to be scrubbed off, but necessary pieces of the system that could revolutionize transportation, cities, and damn near everything else.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Waymo is Google's self-driving technology company that was launched in 2009. Since developing 'world&rsquo;s first and only fully self-driving ride on public roads' in 2015, they've introduced fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans and started an early rider program which invites residents in Phoenix, AZ to join a public trial of self-driving vehicles that shapes the cars' evolution.</p> <p><em>The Atlantic</em> got to tour the company's training campus, Carcraft, reporting on the complex system behind the smart cars' learning environment where&nbsp;the digitization of the real-world driving takes place. There, single driving maneuvers and scenarios&mdash;like one car cutting off the other on a roundabout&mdash;are amplified into thousands of simulated scenarios that probe the edges of the cars' capabilities, forming Waymo's AI simulation apparatus.</p> <p>The cars are training in both&mdash;the virtual and the real world, driving over 8 million miles per day through the fully modeled, digital versions&nbsp;of Austin, Mountain...</p> Architecture critic Rowan Moore on the extravagant “palace” headquarters of tech giants Justine Testado 2017-07-25T20:46:00-04:00 >2017-07-25T20:46:21-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>It&rsquo;s also striking that for all its fame Silicon Valley makes little impression on the visual consciousness of the world &ndash; there&rsquo;s not a strong sense of what it actually looks like. Until now it has lacked landmarks. But that much power and that much money will not always be happy to be unobtrusive. We are only just beginning to see the ways in which it can change the landscape of cities.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Architecture critic Rowan Moore analyzes how tech giants Apple, Google, and Facebook are appointing world-famous architecture firms to design their increasingly extravagant office campuses, as symbols of their global power.</p> <p>&ldquo;For the tech giants are now in the same position as great powers in the past &ndash; the bankers of the Italian Renaissance, the skyscraper-builders of the 20th century, the Emperor Augustus, Victorian railway companies &ndash; whereby, whether they want to or not, their size and wealth find expression in spectacular architecture [...],&rdquo; Moore writes. &ldquo;Having as much sense of their own importance as those previous powers, tech companies probably don&rsquo;t mind commissioning structures that define their time.&rdquo;</p> Google's Dandelion startup wants to make geothermal energy more affordable for homeowners Alexander Walter 2017-07-10T14:49:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Google parent Alphabet is spinning off a little-known unit working on geothermal power called Dandelion, which will begin offering residential energy services. [...] Dandelion chief executive Kathy Hannun said her team had been working for several years "to make it easier and more affordable to heat and cool homes with the clean, free, abundant, and renewable energy source right under our feet," and that the efforts culminated with the creation of an independent company outside of Alphabet.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"In the U.S., buildings account for 39% of all carbon emissions, mostly from the combustion of fossil fuels for heating and cooling," <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dandelion</a> CEO Kathy Hannun explains on the company's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">blog</a>. "In the Northeast, heating and cooling is particularly carbon-intensive due to the relatively high use of fuel oil or propane as a heating fuel.&nbsp;This also leads to unpredictable costs for homeowners; if fuel prices rise during a particularly long and cold winter, their wallets take a hit."</p> <p>Hannun describes how designing a better drill was the key to reducing cost, time, hassle, and environmental impact of the drilling process: "After months of testing, we hit upon a design for a fast, slender drill that hit our objectives. It could drill just one or two deep holes just a few inches wide, and compared to typical installation rigs, it produced less waste and took up much less space as it operated. It left a typical suburban backyard relatively undisturbed, so we could minimize landscaping costs ...</p> Allison Arieff describes Silicon Valley's outdated and dysfunctional planning Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-07-10T14:08:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The built environment of the Valley does not reflect the innovation that&rsquo;s driving the region&rsquo;s stratospheric growth; it looks instead like the 1950s. Looking at aerial views of midcentury campuses like the Eero Saarinen-designed Bell Labs next to contemporary ones like Apple, it&rsquo;s nearly impossible to tell the midcentury structures from the 21st-century ones.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While Silicon Valley is&nbsp;a&nbsp;place&nbsp;of much interest&nbsp;to many, its architectural image and overall planning is hard to grasp or&nbsp;call successful.</p> <p>Allison Arieff of NY Times argues that the isolated corporate headquarters of tech giants have no consideration for the larger context of their surroundings, and heavily contribute to the Bay area's ever-worsening traffic which in combination with the outdated zoning laws, makes the whole region an extremely hard place to live in.&nbsp;<br></p> <p>"In 2011, when asked by a City Council member what benefit the new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apple headquarters</a> would have for Cupertino, Steve Jobs responded that it&rsquo;d get to keep the company there. And that&rsquo;s about the extent of what it got. A project like the new Norman Foster-designed Apple Park shows a blatant disregard not only for the citizens of Cupertino but also for the functionality of the region."<br></p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Apple Headquarters in Cupertino&nbsp;</figcaption></figure><p>"Because of the Bay Area&rsquo;s chronic underinvestment in housing and transit, home prices escalate and cong...</p> Google's infamous 1000 floor elevator design question Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-06-23T17:52:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Potential employers don&rsquo;t pose design challenges with the expectation that you blow them away with your ingenuity or clever solutions. They want to see if you ask probing questions that uncover constraints, or if you rush to the whiteboard without deeper understanding.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Design challenges are&nbsp;often used by&nbsp;companies to asses potential employees&rsquo; problem solving skills.&nbsp;This Google interview challenge in particular seems to have captivated the design community</p> <p>&mdash;<em>How do you design an interface for a 1000 floor elevator?</em></p> <p><em></em>Dozens of designers around the world have attempted solving the problem by designing elevator's interface. They've all failed because of&nbsp;presuming too many variables&mdash;the user, the environment, the purpose... The answer to the&nbsp;question is that there is simply not enough information provided.</p> A surprisingly classical look for Google's London HQ from Heatherwick Studio + BIG Julia Ingalls 2017-06-01T20:14:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Back in 2015, the 11-storey, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AHMN</a>-designed scheme for Google's headquarters was deemed "too boring" by Google CEO Larry Page. Heatherwick Studio and BIG were brought in to add some pizazz to what was an admittedly fairly straightforward, boxy design. Today's freshly unveiled renderings show a more visually nuanced building than their predecessor, but the structure does not push design boundaries in the overt way that many associate with BIG and Heatherwick.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Indeed, the abundance of bordered, angled bay windows creates the effect of a colonnade; viewed from the exterior, the building resembles a kind of Parthenon mash-up. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a roof garden quickly place the building in its modern context, but this is a building that takes pains to join a conversation, not start one.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Thomas Heatherwick explained in a statement that "The area is a fascinating collision of diverse building types and spaces and I can't help but love this mix of massive railway stations, roads...</p> As the cities change, Google Street View records Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-05-26T15:27:00-04:00 >2017-05-26T20:33:03-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>It&rsquo;s been a decade since Google Street View launched, giving folks all the tools they need to virtually travel to far-flung places without leaving the comfort of their couch. But the tool is also useful for those who are curious about the evolution of places over time&mdash;and few places have experienced as drastic a change to their landscape in the past decade as New York City.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Consider how much NYC has transformed in the past ten years. It is hard to even imagine the city's appearance in 2007 &mdash; prior to&nbsp;20 skyscrapers' rising above the southern side of Central Park, before projects like <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hudson Yards</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the High Line</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pacific Park </a>even begun their construction,&nbsp;and back when&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Williamsburg</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Long Island City</a> were not nearly as dense as today.</p><p>To see it for yourself, head over to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Street View</a> for some time-traveling. The feature can be activated by pressing the clock icon below your location.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""><em>View of 339 11th St in 2009 vs 2016</em></p> AutoDraw, Google's newest A.I. Experiment, guesses what you're trying to draw Alexander Walter 2017-04-17T13:29:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>You simply start drawing your best version of a pizza, or house, or&nbsp;dog, or birthday cake and the algorithms try to figure out what it is that you&rsquo;re trying to draw. It then tries to match your squiggles with drawings in its database, and if it finds any possible matches, it&rsquo;ll show them in a list at the top of your virtual canvas. If you like one of those options, you simply click on it and AutoDraw replaces your amateurish creation with something a bit slicker.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AutoDraw</a> tool is part of Google's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A.I. Experiments</a>&nbsp;sandbox and pairs machine learning with artist drawings from a growing, crowd-sourced library. "AutoDraw&rsquo;s suggestion tool uses the same technology used in QuickDraw, to guess what you&rsquo;re trying to draw," states the tool's About page. "Right now, it can guess hundreds of drawings and we look forward to adding more over time."</p><p>While simplicity and intuitive accessibility are the striking features of this early version, AutoDraw&mdash;and a universe of variations&mdash;show a lot of potential for architectural sketching and prototyping.</p> New renderings of the Google campus revealed Nicholas Korody 2017-03-01T17:08:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Silicon Valley is in the midst of something of a building boom with several of the tech giants commissioning new headquarters from big-name architects. First came Facebook with a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">campus</a> designed by Frank Gehry. Next, Apple got Lord Norman Foster to design a spacecraft-like, donut-shaped&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">building</a>, which is currently nearing completion. And then there's Google, who had Heatherwick Studio team up with BIG to design a sprawling campus for megacorporation. After they encountered some trouble with the site, Google traded spaces with LinkedIn and are now inching closer to a groundbreaking.</p><p>Heatherwick Studio and BIG have recently released new renderings of the campus. Major elements include a sprawling tent-like roof that will enclose several discrete structures, regulating the internal climate. A green "loop" lined with cafes and shops will thread through several of these pavilion structures.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>More images in the gallery below.</p> Watch the world change with Google's new Timelapse tool Nicholas Korody 2016-12-08T12:27:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>A lot has changed since 1984. That much is made clear with Google&rsquo;s fun new toy, an interactive timelapse of Google Earth that stretches back 32 years. Constructed with 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, the tool was made interactive by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab&rsquo;s Time Machine library.&nbsp;</p><p>You can pan around the map and see just about anywhere on the planet. Watch as cities get new developments, expand outwards, or gain green patches. Farming areas are particularly interesting. From above, crop rotation looks like crazy pixel art. Other regions prove more depressing. You can see with vivid clarity the melting of glaciers and mass deforestation.</p><p>Play around with the map here:</p><p></p><p>More from Google:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google moves ahead with plans for a massive new London HQ</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Take a stroll inside Herzog &amp; de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, courtesy of Google</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google acquires LinkedIn's HQ in huge, unexpected property swap</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alphabet's secret plan to overhaul public transport in the US</a></li></ul> Google moves ahead with plans for a massive new London HQ Nicholas Korody 2016-11-15T14:21:00-05:00 >2016-11-15T14:53:52-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>More than three years ago, Google announced plans to build a massive &ldquo;landscraper&rdquo; headquarters in London. But after switching architects from <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AHMM</a>&mdash;whose plans were deemed &ldquo;too boring"&mdash;to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thomas Heatherwick</a>, and following the chaos of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Brexit</a>, the plans were up in the air. Now, <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the Guardian</a></em> reports that Google&rsquo;s chief executive Sundar Pichai has announced that plans were going ahead.</p><p>The headquarters will be built in London&rsquo;s King&rsquo;s Cross, in between King&rsquo;s Cross station and St. Pancras. Like with the plans for Google&rsquo;s new Silicon Valley headquarters, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bjarke Ingels Group</a> will collaborate with Heatherwick Studio on the design.</p><p>"From the beginning, the project to give Google a new home in King's Cross has been extraordinary. Rather than impose a universal style on Google&rsquo;s buildings in the UK and the USA, we have tried to create an interestingness that fits the scale and the community of King&rsquo;s Cross,&rdquo; BIG and Heatherwick Studio <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">state</a> in a joint press statement. &ldquo;The Silicon Valley star...</p> Take a stroll inside Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, courtesy of Google Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-11-15T13:53:00-05:00 >2016-11-22T22:02:03-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>After <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">nearly ten years of being put through the ringer</a> of recession and recovery, Herzog &amp; de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie&nbsp;is finally complete, and slated for its grand opening in January 2017.</p><p>But before the public gets to bask in&nbsp;Yashuhisa Toyota's acoustic design, anyone can peek inside the concert hall for a look. Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, part of the Google Cultural Institute's attempt to record the world's collections and cultural institutions for sharing online, you can take <a href=";sv_lat=53.54137132218951&amp;sv_h=222.96747409686537&amp;sv_p=21.524929239871653&amp;sv_z=1.0000000000000002&amp;sv_pid=aPhScs4OnuUAAAQvvo7Yfg" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">your own personal tour of the venue</a>. Play conductor or snag that perfect seat; check out the coat check, or take in the view of the neighboring HafenCity waterfront area. The resolution is high enough to get a good read on those pocketed interior walls.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Check out Google's view of the Elbphilharmonie&nbsp;Hamburg&nbsp;<a href=";sv_lat=53.54137132218951&amp;sv_h=222.96747409686537&amp;sv_p=21.524929239871653&amp;sv_z=1.0000000000000002&amp;sv_pid=aPhScs4OnuUAAAQvvo7Yfg" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Google acquires LinkedIn's HQ in huge, unexpected property swap Justine Testado 2016-07-13T18:13:00-04:00 >2016-07-17T19:46:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>[Google and LinkedIn] announced a large, surprising property swap encompassing over three million square feet of existing and future real estate... From Google, LinkedIn is picking up seven buildings...In return, Google is getting LinkedIn&rsquo;s Mountain View headquarters office and...four different surrounding properties that enable Google to follow through on its ambitious plan for a new, green, crazy-futurist campus.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Following an unsuccessful bid <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">last year</a>, this is good news for Google as they continue to push toward making their dream campus a reality.&nbsp;Unleash the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">&ldquo;crabots&rdquo;</a>.</p><p>Previously on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect Sessions Episode #19: Don't be Evil, Don't Throw Stones</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google loses to LinkedIn in Silicon Valley HQ pitch</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New Googleplex will be built by robots</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Unveils BIG + Heatherwick Studios Collaboration for New Campus Master Plan</a></li></ul> Alphabet's secret plan to overhaul public transport in the US Nicholas Korody 2016-06-28T20:07:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Sidewalk Labs, a secretive subsidiary of Alphabet, wants to radically overhaul public parking and transportation in American cities, emails and documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. Its high-tech services, which it calls &ldquo;new superpowers to extend access and mobility&rdquo;, could make it easier to drive and park in cities and create hybrid public/private transit options that rely heavily on ride-share services such as Uber.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"But they might also gut traditional bus services and require cities to invest heavily in Google&rsquo;s own technologies, experts fear."</em></p><p>In related news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google's Sidewalk Labs contemplates building an entire city</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. says computers qualify as drivers in Google's autonomous vehicles; won't even have to go to the DMV</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google launches Waze Carpool with cost-neutral pricing</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google to announce a voice-activated, smart home device</a></li></ul> Google launches Waze Carpool with cost-neutral pricing Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-05-26T18:46:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The pilot program is limited to about 25,000 employees of companies including Walmart and Adobe Systems... Waze will match riders with drivers already heading along similar routes during the morning and evening rush hours. [...] Waze Carpool is charging riders just $0.54 a mile, which is also what the IRS recommends companies reimburse their employees per mile for business-related travel. &ldquo;Waze Carpool focuses on covering costs, not generating an income,&rdquo; the company explains.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Google purchased Waze, the Israeli GPS-based navigation system with real-time travel details submitted by users, in 2013 for $1.15B. With a fleet of already operating autonomous vehicles, Google stands to leverage its Waze transit data in big ways for an autonomous taxi service that could hit companies like Uber and Lyft hard.</p><p>That $0.54 rate for the Carpool rides is also significant because it won't lead to the same insurance-scrutiny that has plagued other ridesharing companies:</p><p><em>Waze Carpool&rsquo;s $0.54 rate is also important from a regulatory standpoint. As Waze explains, car insurance policies in states including California typically cover &ldquo;not for profit, share-the-expense carpooling.&rdquo; By framing its operations that way, Waze Carpool may be able to avoid the scrutiny around insurance coverage that has at times sidelined Uber and Lyft.</em></p><p>Related on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a title="Women-only Uber alternatives face pushback from antidiscrimination laws" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Women-only Uber alternatives face pushback from antidiscrimination laws</a></li><li><a title="Google, Uber, Lyft, Ford and Volvo join forces to lobby for autonomous vehicles" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google, Uber, Lyft, Ford and Volvo join forces to lobby for ...</a></li></ul> Google to announce a voice-activated, smart home device Nicholas Korody 2016-05-18T13:16:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Google will introduce its much-anticipated entry into the voice-activated home device market on Wednesday, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Named Google Home, the device is a virtual agent that answers simple questions and carries out basic tasks. It is to be announced at Google&rsquo;s annual developers&rsquo; conference in Silicon Valley. [...] Questions are already arising about privacy, disclosures and the quality of the information being doled out.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The project will compete against Amazon's Echo.</p><p>For more on new forays into smart home technology, check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mark Zuckerberg's resolution for 2016: build an at-home AI "like Jarvis in Iron Man"</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A city for the future but devoid of people</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Samsung Acquires SmartThings, A Fast-Growing Home Automation Startup</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon's new Dash button and the value of running out of toilet paper</a></li></ul> Silicon Valley campuses at risk as sea levels rise Nicholas Korody 2016-05-03T14:29:00-04:00 >2016-05-06T00:37:40-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Sea level forecasts by a coalition of scientists show that the Silicon Valley bases for Facebook, Google and Cisco are at risk of being cut off or even flooded, even under optimistic scenarios where rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions avoid the most severe sea level increases. Without significant adaptation, Facebook&rsquo;s new campus appears most at risk.</p></em><br /><br /><p>San Francisco to mandate solar panels for new constructionsWhile the Frank Gehry-designed campus was elevated to prevent flooding, even a 1.6 ft rise &ndash; on the low end of predictions &ndash; will "inundate" the campus. Google is a little better off but will also be swamped if the Antarctic ice sheet starts breaking up, as <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">evidence</a> suggests may happen imminently.</p><p>For more news on rising tides in the Bay Area:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"King tides" give a glimpse of what the (near) future's rising seas will look like</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Can Silicon Valley save the Bay Area?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">San Francisco to mandate solar panels for new constructions</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cliff-side apartments on the brink of collapse following El Ni&ntilde;o storms in California</a></li></ul><p><em>This month, Archinect's news and editorial are organized around a special theme &ndash; <strong><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Help</a></strong> &ndash; with focused coverage on social and humanitarian issues affecting the built environment with an eye towards ways architects can mobilize and enact positive change.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Have related projects of your own? Submit to our <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">open call</a> before Sunday, May ...</em></p> Google, Uber, Lyft, Ford and Volvo join forces to lobby for autonomous vehicles Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-04-28T12:51:00-04:00 >2016-04-28T13:04:16-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, a lobbying group with the express purpose of advocating autonomous driving. [...] "Self-driving vehicle technology will make America's roadways safer and less congested," [David Strickland, a former administrator of the NHTSA] said [...] "The best path for this innovation is to have one clear set of federal standards, and the Coalition will work with policymakers to find the right solutions that will facilitate the deployment of self-driving vehicles."</p></em><br /><br /><p>Lyft has also been in talks with General Motors (which is not a part of the Self-Driving Coalition) to put out its own group of autonomous for-hire vehicles. Models for Google's vehicles include both bespoke prototypes and Lexus SUVs, and Uber is developing its own testing grounds for self-driving cars in Pittsburgh.</p><p>Related on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a title='"In LiDAR We Trust" &ndash; Poking the subconscious of autonomous vehicles with special guest Geoff Manaugh, on Archinect Sessions #43' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"In LiDAR We Trust" &ndash; Poking the subconscious of autonomous vehicles with special guest Geoff Manaugh, on Archinect Sessions #43</a></li><li><a title="Beverly Hills wants to provide driverless cars as public transit" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Beverly Hills wants to provide driverless cars as public transit</a></li><li><a title="How prepared are American cities for the new reality of self-driving cars?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How prepared are American cities for the new reality of self-driving cars?</a></li><li><a title="U.S. says computers qualify as drivers in Google's autonomous vehicles; won't even have to go to the DMV" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. says computers qualify as drivers in Google's autonomous vehicles; won't even have to go to the DMV</a></li><li><a title="The U.S. just got $4 billion to spend on self-driving cars" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The U.S. just got $4 billion to spend on self-driving cars</a></li></ul>