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Innovation

Small-Scale Rainwater Harvesting Made Simpler by Studio Bas Van der Veer

06:00 - 15 September, 2017
Small-Scale Rainwater Harvesting Made Simpler by Studio Bas Van der Veer, Courtesy of Studio Bas van der Veer
Courtesy of Studio Bas van der Veer

Earlier this month, Studio Bas van der Veer, the Dutch product design studio, unveiled its design for a rain barrel at the three-day fair, spoga+gafa 2017, in Cologne. Van der Veer, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, initially designed the product – then titled ‘A Drop of Water’ – as part of his thesis in 2009, for which he not only won the prestigious René Smeets Award for best project at the school’s Graduate Galleries exhibition but was also shortlisted for the Melkweg Award. Over the years, the design won numerous accolades, including the Journées des Collections Jardin - Innovation Award, and the Tuinidee Award.

Courtesy of Studio Bas van der Veer Courtesy of Studio Bas van der Veer Courtesy of Studio Bas van der Veer Courtesy of Studio Bas van der Veer + 12

This Adjustable Tensegrity Structure is Constructed From Just Two Structural Elements

08:00 - 31 August, 2017

This investigation by Kuan-Ting Lai, developed as part of his thesis on Reconfigurable Systems of Tensegrity at the University of Stuttgart, is an exploration of the capabilities of structural principles in creating transformable architectural structures.

The project, a prototype made of pneumatic cylinders and polycarbonate panels, explores different methods of reconfiguration based on the basic rules of tensegrity, demonstrating the potential to rapidly adjust the lighting or ventilation conditions offered by the structure.

This Smart Glass Can Change From Opaque to Transparent in Just Seconds

08:00 - 30 July, 2017

A relative newcomer to the material world, smart glass (also known as switch glass or electrochromic glass) has the ability to change its properties and appearance, allowing the environmental conditions of a space to be optimized according to the use and needs of its users. 

Electrochromic glass technology works by changing the electrical polarization between some of its components. Its most widely used variant, known as PDCL, consists of a thin film of liquid crystal that sits between two conductive transparent plastic layers (usually laminated glass). By changing the current running through the liquid crystal, the glass can take on different appearences.

Custom Bamboo Skylight Illuminates the Interior of a Historic Building in China

06:00 - 21 July, 2017
Custom Bamboo Skylight Illuminates the Interior of a Historic Building in China, Cortesía de Atelier Archmixing
Cortesía de Atelier Archmixing

In response to the overwhelming growth of cities and neighborhoods in China, architects from Atelier Archmixing’s Shanghai office, have developed a series of proposals that seek to return value to sensitive interior spaces and improve the user’s quality of life through design.

The project consists of an interesting light fixture; a bamboo structure similar in shape to an umbrella, that lets natural light and fresh air into the building.

Call for Submissions: International Competition in Architecture 2017

09:30 - 27 June, 2017
Call for Submissions: International Competition in Architecture 2017, Call for action: International competition in architecture 2017
Call for action: International competition in architecture 2017

The architect, the engineer, the designer, all of them participate to the development and the construction of an upcoming world at their own level. Together, by looking further, beyond preconceived ideas and well-established concepts, these entrepreneurs, these creators, have the power to make up new rules, propose new directions: innovative facilities and housing bringing new living conditions, making room for new ways of moving, of consuming energy, to counter major environmental challenges of our era and others to come. The prizes of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation support and accompany this approach.

Innovation, architectural disruption, sustainable development and resilience against climate changes are the keywords of this 7th edition of the international competition in architecture of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation – Institut de France.

This Magnetic Drill Screws Through Wood Leaving No Visible Holes

08:00 - 24 June, 2017

Invis Mx2 is a device that allows you to connect screws and bolts easily without leaving any holes. Its cordless screwdriver works through a MiniMag rotary magnetic field, which adapts to any conventional drill, allowing to generate detachable connections with a tensile force of 250 kg per connector. 

The system is designed to be applied to wooden elements and ceramic materials, allowing the construction of furniture, railings, coatings, stairs, among others. 

© Invis Mx2 / Lamello © Invis Mx2 / Lamello © Invis Mx2 / Lamello © Invis Mx2 / Lamello + 5

Granite - The Great Contemporary Unknown

12:00 - 1 May, 2017
Granite - The Great Contemporary Unknown, University Library of Vigo Alberto Noguerol & Pilar Diez Architects. Image Courtesy of Cluster del Granito
University Library of Vigo Alberto Noguerol & Pilar Diez Architects. Image Courtesy of Cluster del Granito

Rediscover a natural, unique and original material, with multiple applications for current architecture and design immovable over time, granite is a jewel of nature capable of providing exclusivity to any contemporary construction or finish. Its wide range of varieties and the incorporation of new cutting technologies and those giving a surface finish, provide us with infinite design possibilities.

8 Excellent Examples of What Innovative 21st Century Schools Should Look Like

08:00 - 10 April, 2017

If we think about how the educational system worked in the past, we can quickly see that both the teaching style in schools as well as the school’s infrastructure were very different from the current system. The educational model of the twentieth century could be defined as being similar to the "spatial model of prisons, with no interest in stimulating a comprehensive, flexible and versatile education."

However, we are now at a time when social, economic and technological developments have created a more global society and where information and learning are becoming more affordable. This radical change has transformed the societies in which we live, leaving the current educational model based on a rigid and unidirectional teaching obsolete. 

As such, there are schools that have not only broken the mold of traditional teaching but have formed new educational standards, exploring new paradigms and opening up new possibilities within the design of educational spaces. Since architecture and educational models often reflect the ideology of a society, how is the school of 21st century defined? 

Vittra Telefonplan / Rosan Bosch. Image Hakusui Nursery School / Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop. Image Cortesía de Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop Kwel Ka Baung School / A.gor.a Architect. Image Cortesía de Agora Architects Farming Kindergarten / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki + 31

Design by Data Advanced Master in Paris is Breaking Boundaries Between Architecture and Engineering

15:48 - 24 February, 2017
Design by Data Advanced Master in Paris is Breaking Boundaries Between Architecture and Engineering, Projet Synapses Credits : WAO architecture
Projet Synapses Credits : WAO architecture

The Design by Data Advanced Master® in Computational Design, Digital Manufacturing and Building Technologies provides attendees with a cross-disciplinary culture of computational design and a comprehensive knowledge of cutting-edge technologies in the fields of parametric architecture, robotics, digital manufacturing and 3D printing for the construction industry.

10 Innovative Materials That Could Revolutionize the Construction Industry

08:00 - 9 December, 2016

Cement that can generate light? Concrete for building on Mars? Translucent wood? Biodegradable furniture? Pollution absorbing bricks? At first, it sounds crazy but these are only some of the research projects taking place around the world in order to take the construction industry to the next level.

Continue reading below for more information about the motivations behind these projects and how these "experiments" that have already begun large-scale testing are being carried out. 

Call for Submission: Place and Displacement - A Marketplace in Refugee Settlements

18:00 - 22 November, 2016
Call for Submission: Place and Displacement - A Marketplace in Refugee Settlements, Call for Submission: Place and Displacement - A Marketplace in Refugee Settlements
Call for Submission: Place and Displacement - A Marketplace in Refugee Settlements

Challenge
We challenge the innovative minds around the globe to design a marketplace with an operational plan for a vulnerable population (adolescents, single mothers, children, people with trauma, etc) in one of the refugee settlements below. The marketplace should be able to run for long-term, i.e. 3-5 years, and benefit as many people as possible. The overall budget limit for both construction and operation of the entire marketplace is $100,000.

Opportunity
In light of the current surge of refugees in the international arena, refugee livelihoods in transitional settlements have become a crucial topic in contemporary geopolitical relations.

These Are the World's Most Innovative Architecture Firms

09:30 - 27 October, 2016
These Are the World's Most Innovative Architecture Firms

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "5 of the Most Innovative Architecture Firms."

The AEC industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Cumbersome organizational structures and high financial stakes make it difficult for AEC professionals to experiment. Due to the limited role of architects in the project development process, innovative design solutions and experimentation with new manufacturing techniques are still confined to academic circles and research institutions.

However, some architecture firms are utilizing their high profiles, international success and the influx of talented, young designers to establish in-house research divisions and incubators that support the development of new ideas in the AEC industry. The following five companies are consistent in pushing the envelope and helping architecture adopt some of the latest technologies:

Call for Submissions: Blue Award 2016

16:42 - 17 March, 2016
Call for Submissions: Blue Award 2016 , Blue Award 2016 - SUBMIT NOW
Blue Award 2016 - SUBMIT NOW

The Department of Spatial and Sustainable Design, Vienna University of Technology, and the Society of Architecture and Spatial Design is organizing the BLUE AWARD, an international student competition for sustainable architecture. The prize is overseen by the UIA, International Union of Architects, represented by its former President Albert Dubler.

The competition is open to university students of Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs as well as for students working on a diploma thesis or dissertation in the academic fields of architecture, urbanism or regional planning and civil engineering. The submitted project must be part of a supervised coursework, having taken place during one of the following semesters: Summer Semester 2014, Winter Semester 2014/15, Summer Semester 2015, Winter Semester 2015/16 and Summer Semester 2016.

Go Beyond: Design Challenge

14:00 - 29 February, 2016
Go Beyond: Design Challenge

The Go Beyond: Design Challenge is unique from usual design competitions because it funds the construction of a working prototype in addition to offering prize money. This is an international design competition organized by the Singapore-based ONG FOUNDATION for architects, engineers, designers and innovators to create new-to-the-world solutions. Every year, about two million shipping containers are no longer used. What if these could be upcycled into sustainable architecture to reduce the total carbon footprint of global development?

This Clay Brick Disperses Heat to Keep Buildings Cool

08:00 - 11 December, 2015
This Clay Brick Disperses Heat to Keep Buildings Cool, © Camilo Suz
© Camilo Suz

With the goal of harnessing and exploring the benefits of clay as a raw material, which is characteristic of Colombia's Cúcuta region, Architects Miguel Niño and Johanna Navarro created Sumart Diseño y Arquitectura SAS, a studio that designs and develops sustainable architectural solutions.

One of their most successful projects is the Bloque Termodisipador BT, a ceramic block designed with an irregular cross section that allows ventilation to pass through the brick, reducing the amount of heat that enters the interior of the building.

© Camilo Suz © Camilo Suz © Camilo Suz © Camilo Suz + 14

IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

06:00 - 30 October, 2015

Sofoklis Giannakopoulos, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), has designed Pylos, a 3D printer that utilizes a natural, biodegradable, cheap, recyclable and local material that everyone is familiar with: the earth.  

In an effort to make 3D printing a “large scale construction approach” even in years of economic and environmental turmoil, Pylos explores the structural potential of soil, a material that has been widely used in vernacular architecture around the world, and particularly in the Global South. 

Learn more about the printer after the break.

Watch How This Blade Uses One Cut to Make a Perfect Corner

08:00 - 29 June, 2015

View post on imgur.com

Developed by Andrew Klein, this simple carpentry technique can bring your small-scaled, DIY constructions to new levels.

Klein’s specially designed saw blade has a specific shape that cuts wood without completely breaking it, allowing the board to be folded to form three-dimensional parts with varying uses. 

Check out a series of GIFs showing how it works after the break. And if you're interested in learning more about systems for building with wood, check out our Materials catalog

How to Build Your Own Furniture Using LEGOs for the Formwork

13:00 - 25 April, 2015

Since its creation in the first half of the 20th century, the LEGO brick has come to be used for much more than its original purpose as a children’s toy. 

We’ve seen LEGOs used to create replicas of classic architecture, urban interventions, virtual games and even an entire house. Now, a new video highlights the bricks’ potential as a formwork for creating furniture. The bricks' ability to be easily assembled and disassembled makes for an efficient and easy-to-create formwork, which when filled with concrete and left to set creates these incredible, textured nesting tables. 

Watch the video above for a tutorial on making the tables -- does anyone dare try it themselves?