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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.

Workshop: Light in Action

18:10 - 14 August, 2017
Workshop: Light in Action

Techniques, technologies, construction, controls: master it all during LIGHT IN ACTION, a fast-paced, one-day lighting education.

Take a break from the office desk to earn 3 AIA credits and 2 NCQLP credits. The program includes:
- tour of a rare NYC factory
- 'Art of Lighting' tour (1 AIA and NCQLP credit), showing art lighting techniques, through the Edison Price Lighting Gallery.
- dimming controls primer (1 AIA credit), including how to design for Title 24.
- 'LEDs as IoT' presentation (1 AIA and NCQLP credit), analyzing LEDs as the future hub for the Internet of Things.
...and more!
Sign up with info@epl.com

Agency2017: Australasian Student Architecture Congress in Sydney

18:02 - 14 August, 2017
Agency2017: Australasian Student Architecture Congress in Sydney

The Australasian Student Architecture Congress (ASAC)—titled Agency 2017—will be held in Sydney from the 28th of November to the 2nd of December. It will be the first congress held in Sydney since 1999 and student-led by ASAC Inc., a non-profit student body based in NSW, Australia.

This New App Wants to Answer All Your Building Code Questions

09:30 - 13 August, 2017
This New App Wants to Answer All Your Building Code Questions, © UpCodes
© UpCodes

Perhaps nothing can kill a project budget or give an owner heartburn quite like costly code fixes during (or in the worst case, after) construction. As architects, we do our best to navigate construction codes during design, but there’s no denying their complexity. Projects have to comply with multiple different codes at both the federal and local levels; different codes sometimes even contradict one another, leading to headaches for the design team.

However, a new website and mobile app hopes to make understanding and complying with building codes easier for architects and designers. “The solution we provide is a search engine tailored for architecture,” explains Scott Reynolds, co-founder of UpCodes. With his background in architecture, Reynolds has partnered with his brother Garrett Reynolds—who has a PhD in machine learning—and through UpCodes, the pair to ease some of that building code-driven frustration.

How New Technologies Are Turning Awkward Elevator Rides into a Thing of the Past

09:30 - 4 August, 2017
How New Technologies Are Turning Awkward Elevator Rides into a Thing of the Past, Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign
Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign

Elevator rides may offer an uplifting experience in the literal sense, but while they are indispensable in modern buildings, users face extremely compact spaces which are designed to fit effectively into buildings. Awkward looks at the floor or past other people’s faces reveal our discomfort with the elevator’s crowded anonymity. Couldn’t a more spatial experience lead to a more exciting journey? Flat screens and projections are starting to be included in elevators, but these are just the beginning of a revolution in the atmospheres created during vertical transportation.

Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign Illuminated elevator shaft at the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium. Designed by André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak. Image © Thomas Schielke Illuminated elevator shaft with artwork at Chelsea Day School, New York. Artwork by Kenji Hirata. Image © GION +12

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.

Decades After the Rise of CAD, Architecture Is Going “Paperless”—For Real This Time

09:30 - 11 July, 2017
Decades After the Rise of CAD, Architecture Is Going “Paperless”—For Real This Time, A view of Sean Gallagher's work as seen in Morpholio's Trace App. Image Courtesy of Morpholio
A view of Sean Gallagher's work as seen in Morpholio's Trace App. Image Courtesy of Morpholio

If you visit an architecture office today, you may sense a slight change. The days of bulky desktops, ergonomic mouse pads and tower-high stacks of drawing sets are slowly giving way to digital pencils, tablets, and tons of architects’ hand-drawings—both physical and digital. Architects across the globe are clearing their desks, literally, and utilizing emerging touchscreen tools and software for designing, sharing and collaborating. It seems possible that, for the first time in years, the architecture profession could revisit Bernard Tschumi’s “paperless” studio which formed a key part of his tenure as dean of Columbia University’s GSAPP in the mid-1990s. However, this time, “paperless” starts with a pencil, instead of a click.

This Robotic Arm Can Cut Marble Into Unique Freeform Shapes

12:00 - 2 July, 2017

This video is part of a conference held every two years by the Rob|Arch Conference series, developed by the Association for Robots in Architecture and related to robotic fabrication in architecture, art, and design.

'Carrara Robotics' was presented in 2014 by Jelle Feringa (Odico) and Lucas Terhall (Hyperbody), and shows a robot that is able to cut through marble with such flexibility and freedom of movement that it generates uniquely beautiful forms. The robot occupies the technology of abrasive cutting and -through a software- it cuts marble, as well as different types of foam, delivering pieces of high geometric complexity as a result. 

See Thyssenkrupp's Sideways-Moving Elevator in Action

09:30 - 1 July, 2017

In this video, British YouTuber Tom Scott explores Thyssenkrupp’s potentially disruptive new "MULTI" elevator system,” which the company revealed in detail this week. Though only in its beta stage of development, being tested within the confines of ThyssenKrupp’s 246-meter tall “innovation” tower in Rottweil, Germany, Multi aims to transform high rise building design with horizontally moving elevator cabs.

The German firm’s cable-free system utilizes vertically mounted tracks, in-cab braking systems, and pivoting elevator tracks to whisk occupants up and across buildings faster and safer than traditional shaft based systems.

Is India's Plan to Build 100 Smart Cities Inherently Flawed?

09:30 - 29 June, 2017
Is India's Plan to Build 100 Smart Cities Inherently Flawed?, Mumbai Skyline. Image <a href='https://pixabay.com/en/mumbai-bombay-cityscape-skyline-390543/'>via Pixabay</a> by user PDPics (public domain)
Mumbai Skyline. Image via Pixabay by user PDPics (public domain)

The Indian Government’s Smart City Mission, launched in 2015, envisions the development of one hundred “smart cities” by 2020 to address the country’s rapid urbanization; thirty cities were added to the official list last week, taking the current total of planned initiatives to ninety. The $7.5-billion mission entails the comprehensive development of core infrastructure—water and electricity supply, urban mobility, affordable housing, sanitation, health, and safety—while infusing technology-based “smart solutions” to drive economic growth and improve the citizens’ quality of life in cities.

In a country bogged down by bureaucratic corruption, the mission has been commended for its transparent and innovative use of a nation-wide “City Challenge” to award funding to the best proposals from local municipal bodies. Its utopian manifesto and on-ground implementation, however, are a cause of serious concern among urban planners and policy-makers today, who question if the very idea of the Indian smart city is inherently flawed.

ThyssenKrupp Brings Sideways-Moving Elevator Innovation To Reality

08:00 - 28 June, 2017

In their latest press release, elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp announced new information about their cable-free system that rethinks the movement of the 1853 invention. Allowing for both horizontal and vertical transportation, “MULTI” has the capacity to innovate tall building design through its elimination of architectural constraints such as vertical alignment and elevator shaft dimensions. First unveiled as a concept in 2014, MULTI reported this month that the elevator has been installed into a test building and is soon to be implemented publicly into new developments.

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

Riverside Urban Hackathon 2017

19:30 - 21 June, 2017
Riverside Urban Hackathon 2017

Influence the future of Riverside, CA by merging design & tech to positively impact tourism in the city.
#RUH17

"X-Ray Vision" Headset Allows Architects to See Under the Surface of Construction Sites

09:30 - 15 June, 2017
"X-Ray Vision" Headset Allows Architects to See Under the Surface of Construction Sites, Courtesy of DAQRI
Courtesy of DAQRI

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Augmented Reality in Construction Lets You See Through Walls."

Imagine you’re part of a crew constructing a new office building: Midway through the process, you’re on-site, inspecting the installation of HVAC systems. You put on a funny-looking construction helmet and step out of the service elevator. As you look up, there’s a drop ceiling being installed, but you want to know what’s going on behind it.

Through the visor on your helmet, you pull up the Building Information Model (BIM), which is instantly projected across your field of vision. There are heating ducts, water pipes, and electrical boxes, moving and shifting with your point of view as you walk along the corridors. Peel back layers of the model to see the building’s steel structure, insulation, and material finishes. It’s like having comic book-style X-ray vision—and soon, it could be a reality on a construction site near you.

Draw Perfectly At Any Scale With This Augmented Reality App

16:00 - 24 May, 2017

The ability to draw well is one of the most coveted skills in architecture. Unfortunately for those without an innate gift for sketching, it's also one of the most difficult to learn—even if it can, contrary to popular opinion, be learned with commitment and practice. But for those poor souls without such talents, there is now a fix: an app called SketchAR.

Available for iPhone and Android devices that incorporate Google's Tango technology, SketchAR can take photographs or other images, convert them into sketchable line drawings, and then use augmented reality to overlay them onto real-world surfaces.

Why Getting a High-Quality UltraWide Display Could Improve Your Design Life

16:00 - 19 May, 2017
Why Getting a High-Quality UltraWide Display Could Improve Your Design Life, "Curve and Create" <a href='https://www.instagram.com/p/BUQWc9eh0p1/?taken-by=littledrill'>by @Littledrill</a> featuring the LG UltraWide Monitor 34UC98. Image Courtesy of LG
"Curve and Create" by @Littledrill featuring the LG UltraWide Monitor 34UC98. Image Courtesy of LG

Laptops and tablets are great tools for the designer on the move—but when it comes to maximizing your productivity, there's simply no alternative to a larger desktop screen. Smaller devices simply don't have enough space to efficiently display the many apps, images, multiple view frames and other documents that most designers juggle in their work, and while switching between different apps and programs might only take a few seconds, those seconds add up over the course of a long day. According to a study by the University of Utah, using a larger screen allowed people to complete tasks up to 52% faster, saving as much as 2.5 hours per day. These findings are also backed up by myriad anecdotal evidence: ask any architect and they will likely agree that a larger monitor helps them professionally.

How Air Conditioning Helped Shape Architectural History (For Better or Worse)

09:30 - 16 May, 2017
How Air Conditioning Helped Shape Architectural History (For Better or Worse), © <a href='http://www.cwcs.co.uk/'>CWCS Managed Hosting</a> via <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/122969584@N07/13778436885'>Flickr</a> licenesed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© CWCS Managed Hosting via Flickr licenesed under CC BY 2.0

This article originally appeared on Curbed as "How air conditioning shaped modern architecture—and changed our climate."

During a conversation with the New Yorkera window washer who worked on the Empire State Building says that some of his toughest moments have been cleaning the trash that tenants toss out the windows. In his many years working on the Depression-era skyscraper, he’s wiped numerous half-empty coffee cups off window panes, and even scraped 20 gallons of strawberry preserves from the building’s facade. Tossed out in the winter, it stubbornly clung to the outside of the skyscraper.

Cracking a window open in a skyscraper seems like a quirk, especially today, when hermetically sealed steel-and-glass giants offer the promise of climate-controlled comfort. But ever since Chicago’s Home Insurance Building, considered one of the first skyscrapers, opened in 1884, the challenge of airflow, ventilation, and keeping tenants cool has been an important engineering consideration shaping modern architecture.

The great commercial buildings of the modern era owe their existence, in many ways, to air conditioning, an invention with a decidedly mixed legacy.

Big Data Becomes Architecture in This CNC-Milled Screen Wall for IBM

12:00 - 29 April, 2017
Big Data Becomes Architecture in This CNC-Milled Screen Wall for IBM, Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture
Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture

Responding in part to recent debates on how big data will affect our built environments, Synthesis Design + Architecture have teamed up with IBM Watson Analytics to design an interior feature wall for the Watson Experience Center in San Francisco. The project, named Data Moiré after the dizzying patterns created by overlapping sets of lines, uses data from the influence of mobile phones on monthly consumer spending to create a precise screen material that defines the wall.

Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture +31