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This Unique New Technology Hopes to Turn Your City’s Streets Into Your News Homepage

09:30 - 15 August, 2017

The people of Manchester, UK, recently gained access to an entirely new way to access local news and engage with their city: OtherWorld, a pilot news experiment from startup studio Like No Other and Google’s Digital News Initiative. OtherWorld uses Bluetooth and cutting-edge beacon technology to deliver geo-located news directly to your smartphone for free, without installing an app. Referred to on the OtherWorld website as “living media,” as users walk around the city and pass by story locations, a silent notification will pop up on their phones, disappearing again as they walk out of range. Because the news you see on OtherWorld is directly related to the space you’re currently occupying, the system ensures that the news you’ll see is relevant to you. This unobtrusive method allows users to choose whether and how they will engage as well as adding an evanescent, elusive quality to the stories; you could walk right by and miss one if you aren’t paying attention.

In this way, OtherWorld illustrates the layers of our cities that are often invisible to us, bringing them into focus and allowing a deeper level of exploration into even a familiar city neighborhood. Focusing on stories that involve a real-world experience, users could become aware of an event nearby, a volunteer opportunity, a public meeting, or any number of other possibilities—thereby involving themselves in the public space and public realm in a way they would not have otherwise been able to.

This Super Fast Algorithm Edits Photographs Like a Professional – Before You Take Them

16:00 - 7 August, 2017

In the past decade or so, smartphones and social media apps have revolutionized our culture's relationship to images. From Instagram to Facebook to Pinterest to Youtube, photographs and videos are now so ubiquitous that they have become literally disposable, with apps such as Snapchat trading on their promise to delete your images after a certain period of time. But while smartphones are a very visible driver of this change, what is often forgotten are the huge developments in image-editing software that have supported this revolution—from the HDR built into your smartphone's camera to the wide range of filters provided by Instagram.

Now, as reported by MIT NewsGoogle and MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory may have created another cosmic leap forward: an algorithm that can provide automatic, professional-level image retouching so quickly that you can see a preview before even snapping the photograph.

Google Unveils Images of its New BIG and Heatherwick-Designed London Campus

13:30 - 1 June, 2017
Google Unveils Images of its New BIG and Heatherwick-Designed London Campus, Courtesy of Google
Courtesy of Google

Google has submitted the design for its new London office to Camden Council for planning approval. Designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio, the 11-story "groundscraper" design will be located in King's Cross, and will combine with their existing office at 6 Pancras Square and a third, forthcoming building to create a campus for up to 7,000 Google employees.

Courtesy of Google Courtesy of Google Courtesy of Google Courtesy of Google + 6

Zaha Hadid Celebrated in Latest Google Doodle

08:00 - 31 May, 2017
Zaha Hadid Celebrated in Latest Google Doodle, Zaha Hadid in front of the Heydar Aliyev Center. Image via Google Doodles
Zaha Hadid in front of the Heydar Aliyev Center. Image via Google Doodles

The latest Google Doodle, on display today on Google's homepage in many countries around the world, honors the late Zaha Hadid on the 13th anniversary of her acceptance of the Pritzker Prize. The highest honor in the architectural profession, Hadid became the first woman to be selected as a winner in 2004.

The doodle portrays the architect in front of one of her most acclaimed buildings, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. Earlier concepts for the doodle are shown to have featured Hadid's designs for the Glasgow Riverside Museum and Galaxy Soho in Beijing.

14 Chrome Extensions to Make Your Architecture Browsing More Efficient

08:00 - 3 May, 2017

Architecture can be demanding. As designers, we perform enough roles to fill a Shakespearean drama - from artist, scientist, and mathematician, to economist, cartographer, and writer. Fortunately, one trait many of us share is curiosity - a willingness to embrace new ideas, continually asking how we can improve ourselves and the world around us. The internet, therefore, is somewhat of an architect’s playground - a labyrinth of inspiration, ideas, and hacks.

As the internet continues to respond to societal needs, browsers such as Google Chrome are hosting an array of clever gadgets to enhance productivity, many of which you may not be aware of. From page rulers and palette generators to screen recorders and time trackers, designers can equip their browser with an arsenal of icons to rival a CAD toolbar. Below, we’ve listed 14, just to get you started! 

ArchDaily Chrome Extension. Image Page Ruler Chrome Extension. Image Power Thesaurus Chrome Extension. Image Screen Shader Chrome Extension. Image + 15

Visit Over 2,500 Museums Worldwide From Your Desk With Google Arts & Culture

08:00 - 29 April, 2017
Visit Over 2,500 Museums Worldwide From Your Desk With Google Arts & Culture, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Image via Google Arts & Culture
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Image via Google Arts & Culture

Technology giant Google, through the Google Arts & Culture project, is offering a different experience in terms of culture. In addition to providing thousands of online exhibits, the project offers the possibility to explore more than 2,500 museums through a feature very similar to Google Street View. Users can virtually visit museums all over the world, the project offers 360° views of places that can often be inaccessible due to financial costs or distance.

Architecture Takes Center Stage With Google Earth Relaunch

10:00 - 18 April, 2017

Google Earth is no longer a clunky, data-intensive desktop or mobile application. As of today, one of the tech-giant's flagship (and unrivalled) products has been relaunched as a widely accessible web application for Google Chrome. This means that anyone can now access the full Google Earth product, free of charge, without having to install software or download mobile applications.

Google's New AutoDraw Feature Will Complete Your Drawings for You

10:15 - 12 April, 2017

via GIPHY

Drawing on a touchscreen or trackpad can be a huge pain – but when you’re on the go, sometimes that may be your only option to quickly convey an image. To the rescue, Google has unveiled its latest AI experiment, AutoDraw, which uses machine learning to pair your wobbly doodle with a corresponding artist-drawn image – like autocorrect for sketching.

New Renderings Revealed of Google's Mountain View Campus

14:00 - 1 March, 2017
New Renderings Revealed of Google's Mountain View Campus, Courtesy of City of Mountain View
Courtesy of City of Mountain View

New images of BIG and Heatherwick Studio’s proposed Google campus in Mountain View California have been revealed in planning documents presented to the city last month. Initially announced in 2015, the project has seen several revisions after first running into difficulty with the city planning board, and then after swapping sites with fellow tech giant LinkedIn. The latest iteration, the 18.6-acre Charleston East campus, features a 2-story, 595,000-square-foot building topped with a flowing, tent-like canopy.

Courtesy of City of Mountain View Courtesy of City of Mountain View Courtesy of City of Mountain View Courtesy of City of Mountain View + 14

Land Lines: Trace an Infinite Path Around the Planet Using Maps

08:00 - 20 December, 2016

Land Lines, a new Chrome Experiment exploiting the satellite image data collated by Google Maps, allows anyone—cartographic aficionado or otherwise—to marvel at the contours of the world through gestures. Intelligently designed to detect dominant visual lines from a dataset of thousands of images, cut down from over 50,000 by using a combination of OpenCV Structured Forests and ImageJ’s Ridge Detection, users can simply "draw" or "drag" on a mobile browser or on a desktop to "create an infinite line of connected rivers, highways and coastlines."

Google Timelapse Shows the Rapid Expansion of the World’s Cities over 32 Years

12:00 - 2 December, 2016

Google Earth has released an update to its Timelapse feature, giving viewers a better look at the rapid expansion of the world’s urban areas between 1984 and 2016.

Originally released in 2013 in partnership with TIME and NASA, the update adds in four more years of data, as well as petabytes of imagery data from two new satellites, Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2, to provide clearer views of new developments and the recent effects of climate change on our natural environments.

BIG & Heatherwick Studio to Design New London HQ for Google

14:20 - 15 November, 2016
BIG & Heatherwick Studio to Design New London HQ for Google, Heatherwick Studio's design for the new Coal Drops Yard shopping area at King's Cross. Image © ForbesMassie
Heatherwick Studio's design for the new Coal Drops Yard shopping area at King's Cross. Image © ForbesMassie

BIG and Heatherwick Studio have been selected as the architects for the new Google Headquarters at their King’s Cross campus in London. The ten story, 650,000 square foot building will be the first wholly owned and designed Google facility to built outside of the United States, and is part of a campus expansion plan that will eventually contain offices for 7,000 employees.

The Internet's Unanswered Questions And Strange Assumptions About Architecture and Architects

13:00 - 23 October, 2016

The usefulness (and, at times, unintended hilarity or abhorrence) of Google's autocomplete function is nothing new. The screenshots, listicles and articles dedicated to exposing humanity's curiosity, bias and, alas, stupidity have circulated the interwebs since the "Search Suggestion" feature was launched in 2008. As you type a query, topic or name into the the search bar, you are served search predictions, which the company describes as "related to the terms you’re typing and what other people are searching for."

27 of the Best Google Doodles Celebrating Architects and Architecture

14:10 - 21 October, 2016

Since 1998, Google has been manipulating their iconic logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists, creating what they call Google Doodles. Since the very first doodle (used to indicate founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s attendance at Burning Man that year), Google has produced over 2000 fun, colorful drawings to inform their users about the important milestones that fell on that date.

Google and La Biennale di Venezia Release Online Catalogue of 3700 Images from the 2016 Venice Biennale

13:45 - 13 October, 2016
Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia
Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

Google and La Biennale di Venezia have teamed up to release an online catalogue of the 2016 Venice Biennale. Hosted on Google’s Arts and Culture platform, the digital archive contains over 3700 images and videos from the 15th International Architecture Exhibition “Reporting From The Front”, curated by Alejandro Aravena, and a selection of National Pavilions and ancillary events.

MIT and Google Team Up to Create Transformable Office Pods

08:00 - 4 October, 2016

The MIT School of Architecture’s Self-Assembly Lab has teamed up with Google to create Transformable Meeting Spaces, a project that utilizes woven structure research in wood and fiberglass pods that descend from the ceiling, transforming a large space into a smaller one. Designed as a small-scale intervention for reconfiguring open office plans—which “have been shown to decrease productivity due to noise and privacy challenges”—the pods require no electromechanical systems to function, but rather employ a flexible skeleton and counterweight to change shape. 

This skeleton is composed of 36 fiberglass rods, which are woven together into a sort of textile or cylindrical braid. Thus, the structure behaves “like a Chinese finger trap: The circumference of the pod shrinks when it’s pulled, and expends when relaxed.”

Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab Courtesy of Unknown Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab + 7

BIG and Heatherwick's Futuristic Google HQ Back on the Table After Massive Land Deal with LinkedIn

12:05 - 13 July, 2016
BIG and Heatherwick's Futuristic Google HQ Back on the Table After Massive Land Deal with LinkedIn, © Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio
© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

The “Googleplex” is back on. After the Mountain View City Council announced last year that they would be awarding the majority of the land needed to construct the futurist masterplan designed for Google by BIG and Thomas Heatherwick to fellow tech giant LinkedIn, the future of the ambitious glass-canopied corporate campus seemed to be dead in the water, with the architects even releasing images of a pared down design that would occupy a much smaller footprint. But all of that has now changed thanks to a surprising property swap between the two companies that will see over three million square feet of real estate switch hands.

BIG and Heatherwick Reveal Revised Plans for Google’s Mountain View Campus

08:00 - 31 March, 2016
BIG and Heatherwick Reveal Revised Plans for Google’s Mountain View Campus, Exterior Rendered Perspective. Image Courtesy of Google
Exterior Rendered Perspective. Image Courtesy of Google

Following the loss of part of their proposed site to LinkedIn and the subsequent reveal of an alternative site, Google has unveiled the revised plans for their Mountain View Campus. Designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio, the original proposal featured several “Lego-like” buildings covered by glass canopies. The new proposal uses similar design decisions, with the building massing adjusted to the new site.