Invisible Solar Harvesting Technology Becomes Reality

Solar power with a view: MSU doctoral student Yimu Zhao holds up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. Image © Yimu Zhao

Solar harvesting systems don’t need to be glaringly obvious. In fact, now they can even be invisible, thanks to researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) who have developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) that can be applied to windows or anything else with a clear surface.

LSC technology is nothing new, but the transparent aspect is. Previous attempts yielded inefficient results with brightly colored materials, and as researcher Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and science at MSU, puts it, “No one wants to sit behind colored glass.” To learn how Lunt and the rest of the research team achieved transparency, keep reading after the break.

Preston Scott Cohen + Integrated Design Solutions to Expand UM Architecture Building

Museum of Art / Allied Works Architecture with (Click image for more). Image © Jeremy Bittermann

The University of Michigan (UM) has commissioned Preston Scott Cohen and Integrated Design Solutions to design a $28 million expansion for its 40-year-old design building. Primarily planned to be used by the school’s architecture program, the new addition will include classrooms, studios and offices, as well as the renovation of existing studios. The news comes five years after schematic designs for the original expansion were abandoned. More information, here.

Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, Architect

Lebbeus Woods, San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake, Quake City, 1995; graphite and pastel on paper; 14 1/2 in. x 23 in. x 3/4 in. (36.83 cm x 58.42 cm x 1.91 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Estate of Lebbeus Woods

From November 22 through March 2, 2014, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University presents Lebbeus Woods, Architect, bringing together over 100 works from the past 35 years by one of the most influential architects working in the field. Recognized beyond architecture, Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012), who was born in Lansing, Michigan, has been hailed by leading designers, filmmakers, writers, and artists alike as a significant voice in recent decades. Notably, Zaha Hadid, architect of the Broad’s newly inaugurated building, cities Woods as a key influence.

“Lebbeus was a very close friend and great architect. His visionary work explored the fantastic potential and dynamism of space with radical proposals and powerful drawings that were extremely influential,” says Hadid.

Woods’ works resonate across many disciplines for their conceptual potency, imaginative breadth, jarring poetry, and ethical depth. On view in the Broad’s own visionary spaces, Lebbeus Woods, Architect offers compelling insight into the infinite potential of profound architectures, whether real or imagined, to inflect our lived experience. This travelling exhibition features drawings and models from major national and international collections including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), MoMA, the Whitney, MAK Vienna, and the Getty Research Institute.

More information can be found here.

Title: Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, Architect
Website: http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/lebbeus-woods
Organizers: Michigan State University
From: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 
Until: Sun, 02 Mar 2014 
Venue: Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Address: 547 East Circle Drive, Michigan State University, , MI 48823,

‘Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site’ Competition Entry / Various Architects

Courtesy of Chung Whan Park, Terry Park, Jeong Jun Song, Hyuntek Yoon, Kyung Jae Yu

The mission in the proposal, titled ‘The Grand Opening,’ for the Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site competition is to create a vision for a 24/7 timeless, vibrant and walk-able urban neighborhood in downtown with a catalytic impact on the retail activities of Woodward Avenue Corridor.  Designed by Chung Whan Park, Terry Park, Jeong Jun Song, Hyuntek Yoon and Kyung Jae Yu, The Grand Opening will connect the different contexts of the existing urban settings and bring every hour of excitement, crowd and memorable identity to the street life of downtown Detroit. More images and architects’ description after the break.

An Opportunity for Revitalization in Detroit

, ; Courtesy of Flickr User DandeLuca, licensed via Creative Commons

Young entrepreneurs gravitate to places where they can become the founders of a revitalized culture; where land is cheap and available, and innovation is uninhibited by a status quo.  Detroit, Michigan has become one of those places. The media gives us a portrayal of a wasteland, a post apocalyptic landscape of dilapidated homes and infrastructure, but there is plenty opportunity for start-ups to redefine Detroit’s future. That it why young innovators and risk-takers are needed to bring new energy and awaken new markets within the city.  A recent article by Chuck Salter for Fast Company identifies six entrepreneurs who have started businesses in Detroit.  They vary from grassroots campaigns to inform people of opportunities within the city to small scale enterprises that bring retail and infrastructure to the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods.

More after the break.

Yingst Retreat / Salmela Architect

© Undine Prohl

Architects: David Salmela Architect
Location: Michigan, Michigan,
Architect In Charge: David Salmela
Area: 4,000 sqft
Year: 2008
Photographs: Undine Prohl, Peter Kerze, Paul Crosby

Two Islands Wins Inaugural Flat Lot Competition in Flint

Courtesy of Public Art Project

Update: Our friends at Two Islands have launched a Kickstarter campaing so you could also be part of the project. By pledging £5, you can have your own photo used in the ceiling of Mark’s House (or £20 for a bigger one). You can send a photo, a sign, a collage or even a QR code, so get creative! Click here for all the information.

Occupying no more than eight parking spaces on Flint, ’s central downtown parking lot, this temporary summer pavilion designed as an abstract, reflective and floating representation of a Michigander, Tudor-style home has been chosen as the winning scheme in the inaugural Flat Lot competition presented by Flint Public Art Project and the Flint Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. 

More information on the winning scheme after the break…

Glen Lake Tower / Balance Associates, Architects

© Steve Keating

Architects: Balance Associates, Architects
Location: Michigan,
Architect In Charge: Tom Lenchek, AIA
Project Architect: Margo Peterson-Aspholm, Kyle Zerbey
Area: 1,400 sq ft
Year: 2011
Photographs: Steve Keating

Detroit by Design 2012 Competition Winning Proposal / Matthew Edward Getch + Maciej Woroniecki

Aerial Perspective of Hart Plaza

Aiming to create a riverfront like none other in the world, landscape architect Matthew Edward Getch and architect Maciej Woroniecki shared with us their proposal in the Detroit by Design 2012 competition where they received the 2nd overall prize and the first prize for the People’s Choice Award. The goals of their proposal were born from ’s apparent weakness. They established linear interventions which recognized the severed parks and green networks and utilized them to reconnect the citizens of back to the riverfront through pedestrian friendly portals. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum / Zaha Hadid by Brad Feinknopf

 

©

Brad Feinknopf, a nationally recognized architectural photographer, kindly shared with us his recent photographic work on Zaha Hadid‘s Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum at State University. Known for his traditional, yet cutting edge approach to photography, his quality work here emphasizes the unique exterior and interior spaces of the building created by Hadid’s investigation into the lines of circulation and visual connections. Photographed during the day and night, he also captures its interface between city and campus. Additional images by Feinknopf can be viewed after the break.

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan Headquarters / SmithGroupJJR

Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR

Architects: SmithGroupJJR
Location: , MI, USA
Area: 4,366 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR

Madonna University – Franciscan Center for Science and Media / SmithGroupJJR

Courtesy of

Architects: SmithGroupJJR
Location: , MI, USA
Area: 6,038 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR

Henry Ford Health System / SmithGroupJJR

Courtesy of

Architects: SmithGroupJJR
Location: Michigan,
Area: 840 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR

Central Michigan University Events Center / SmithGroupJJR

Courtesy of

Architects: SmithGroupJJR
Location: Michigan,
Area: 6,741 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR

‘The Forest’ Detroit Riverfront Competition 1st Prize Winning Entry / Hyuntek Yoon, Soobum You (Team Atelier Why)

Courtesy of Hyuntek Yoon, Soobum You (Team )

Hyuntek Yoon and Soobum You of Team Atelier Why shared with us their first prize winning proposal in the Detroit Riverfront competition. Their ‘Forest’ concept, which aims at being a fairy tale between the city and the forest by ‘filling’, is the focus of the urban development. Currently, the site is filled with voids, such as trees and the knoll, but the forest creates rich stories with the city. Providing spaces that are more secure and for smaller activities, people will have the chance to experience nature. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Detroit River Front Competition Entry / AMA

Courtesy of Architetto Matteo Ascani ()

The main objective for the River Front proposal is to create a new image of the city, an exclusive and unique landmark that glances to a future involved in its nature that it forgot for a long time. Designed by Architetto Matteo Ascani (AMA), the project for the redevelopment of Hart Plaza is divided in major guide lines: water, nature, history. They provide a new landscape system, where water enters inside the plaza by canals that redesign the cost line, as the river comes closer to the downtown. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The Dynamism of Zaha’s Eli and Edythe Broad Museum

© Paul Warchol

Rio de Janeiro-based writer Robert Landon has shared with us his experience exploring Zaha Hadid’s newly completed Eli and Edythe Broad Museum in Michigan.

As you approach Zaha Hadid’s new Eli and Edythe Broad Museum in , Michigan, it is the complex, light-catching carapace that first reels in the eye — a fine shock after the brick, neo-Gothic buildings that define the rest of the Michigan State University campus. Draw closer and its undulating fins, opening and closing in rhythmic asymmetries, begin to seduce the mind. In some places scrunched up into sharp angles and in others allowed to breathe for longer stretches across the low-slung facade, the fins seem to be the expression of some higher, grid-bending equation.

In a half-conscious attempt to solve the math, you begin to circle the building. At certain points, the fins spread wide enough for generous glimpses inside, but as you move keep moving, the inner secrets vanish again behind the metal lattice. In the same way, the relentlessly kinetic carapace tantalizes with, but ultimately eludes, any logical or definitive summing up. What is certain, though, is that, by the time you’ve come full circle, you’ll have grown quite curious to see what is going on inside.

More after the break…

‘Your Text Here’ Installation / Marcos Zotes/UNSTABLE

Courtesy of /

The ‘Your Text Here’ participatory, site-specific light installation challenges the condition of the city constantly telling us what to do, what to think, and how to act. Using explicit visual language, a multiplicity of billboards, signs, images and symbols invade our public spaces in order to tell us something. The project by Marcos Zotes/UNSTABLE aims at empowering local communities by providing a tool that transforms people voices into citizen proclamations the size of buildings. You just submit an anonymous text message in a website through your mobile phone, and in turn it is automatically projected at large scale onto the façade of a building. More images and architect’s description after the break.