Four Architectural Innovations Make Time's Top 25 Inventions For 2013

Last week Time Magazine released their list of the top 25 inventions of 2013. The list covers both fun and life-changing new ideas, covering everything from the Cronut to the Artificial Pancreas - but there are also four architectural innovations that made the prestigious list. Find out more about them after the break.

© Family, PlayLab


The first entrant on the list is the +Pool, a design by Family and Playlab which epitomizes both technical and social ambition. Designed to float an the Hudson River in New York City and filter the water, it will give the people of New York the opportunity to swim in clean river water for the first time in over a century. ArchDaily has followed +Pool through two successful Kickstarter campaigns: the first to test the materials and technology, and the second to fund an in situ, full scale working prototype. Now, they are working on more traditional funding methods to make the $15 million project a reality, something which they hope to achieve by the summer of 2016.

Courtesy of

Infinity Tower

GDS Architects' Infinity Tower is next up on the list, and its reason for belonging there can be summarized in just two words: "invisible skyscraper". Using clever cameras and LED technology, what will be Seoul's tallest building will disappear from the skyline at certain vantage points. Projected to be completed in three to four years, the architects were keen to point out that it will still be visible to planes and birds.

The Solar Pavilion for the Volvo V60, by SDA. Image Courtesy of SDA

Volvo Solar Pavilion

This design by Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA) won the "Switch to Pure Volvo" competition for its versatility; the lightweight structure is both a carport and a charging device for the hybrid Volvo V60, and yet still folds down to fit in the trunk of the car. It also makes use of an intelligent control system to maximize the output of the solar panels which cover its tensile skin.

Sketches made with the 3Doodler. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of 3Doodler Kickstarter Page


The final architectural entry on the list is not an architectural design, but rather an architectural tool. The 3Doodler is essentially a fusion of a 3D printer and a pen, allowing the user to draw 3D sketches in mid-air. The benefit of this ability is clear to architects and designers, but also presumably to many others: with 26,457 backers on their Kickstarter campaign, the 3Doodler blew its fundraising goal out of the water, aiming at $30,000 but hauling in a massive $2,344,134.

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Cite: Rory Stott. "Four Architectural Innovations Make Time's Top 25 Inventions For 2013" 20 Nov 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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