It's very likely that you are reading this text in an interior space with the lights on. For most people, modern living entails spending most of the day in closed rooms, bathed in a sum of artificial and natural lights. Yet while artificial light has afforded mankind incalculable possibilities, it has also caused some confusion in our bodies, which have evolved for thousands of years to respond to the stimuli of sunlight in the day and darkness at night. This responsiveness to natural light is called the circadian rhythm or cycle, and describes the 24-hour biological cycle of almost all living beings. Circadian rhythms are primarily influenced by light reception, but temperature and other stimuli also play a role in the process.
Architect and Urbanist graduated from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). Master in Urban Planning, History and Architecture Program, also at UFSC, with research related to the theme of mobility and urban sprawl. Has been collaborating in ArchDaily Brasil since 2012 and is currently Editor of Materials.
Food production is directly reliant on bees, and their disappearance could lead to catastrophic effects on humanity. There are alarming reports all over the internet about how these little insects are dying. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 75% of the world's food crops rely on bees. For example, it is only possible to have a juicy and well-developed strawberry if dozens of bees go by the flower at the right time and pollinate it. Without them, it would look more like a raisin.
The history of concrete dates back to ancient Rome, approximately 2,000 years ago. The so-called “Roman Concrete” is composed of limestone, volcanic ash, and seawater and it permitted the construction of aqueducts, highways, and temples; many of them still stand to this day. Some time ago, this original mix was discovered to form a mineral called aluminum tobermorite, which gets stronger as time goes by.
British company Kast has launched a new version of its traditional pigmented concrete sinks. Since concrete is an extremely versatile material, which combines the characteristics of natural stone with the ability to be molded in different forms, the products show carved surfaces with highly defined textures. The exploration of their linear patterns ranges from smooth horizontal ripples to diagonal folds or 'sharp' and vertical grooves. The organic variations in the colors and textures of the surfaces create a different aesthetic that comes directly from the character of the material.
Since the 1970s, humanity’s resource consumption began to exceed what the planet could renew in a year. That is, we are withdrawing and polluting nature more than it can naturally recover. According to the World Bank, if the world's population reaches even the projected number of 9.6 billion people by 2050, it will take almost three Earth planets to provide the natural resources needed to maintain humanity's current lifestyle.
Every day an enormous amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through industry, transportation, burning fossil fuels and even respiration of plants and living things. As the consequences of climate change become clearer, both governments and private sector companies are setting targets for carbon emission reductions, since these are regarded as the main greenhouse gases, and their high concentration in the atmosphere lead to air pollution and acid rain, among other consequences.
Picture this. You're in a restaurant and you can hear the conversation of the person in the table next to you better than the person you're sitting with. Then, everyone begins to speak louder, making the environment chaotic. Absorption, reflection, reverberation, frequency, decibels, etc. Although acoustics is a complex science that can render buildings almost uninhabitable when not properly thought out, architects do not always possess the theoretical resources nor have the necessary concern to develop acoustically comfortable spaces.
European children spend approximately 200 days a year at primary school. Even though the academic year in most parts of the world is not as long as in Europe, the place where children and adolescents spend the most time, following their own homes, is usually in educational institutions. These can be places for learning, playing and socializing, and as sad as it may be, they can also be safer places for children living in environments of abandonment, hunger, and violence, providing them with opportunities and even meals. A United Kingdom-wide survey found that the differences in physical characteristics of classrooms accounted for 16% of the variations in learning progress over the course of a year. In other words, the better a classroom is designed, the better children perform academically. According to the study, the factors that most affect children are sunlight, indoor air quality, acoustic environment, temperature, the design of the classroom itself and the stimulation within it.
Ever since Manchester University first isolated Graphene in 2004, it has been widely referred to by its properties as a promising material through diverse research that focuses on reaching a range of uses in the most varied industries. Graphene is known to be one of the strongest materials known to science due to its composition of a single carbon atomic layer in a hexagonal mesh. It is also one of the finest materials known to mankind, 200 times stronger than steel yet 6 times lighter. Plus, it is an excellent heat and electricity conductor, aside from its interesting light absorption qualities. When combined with other elements, including gases and metals, it can produce different new materials with highly superior properties.
This is all quite recent: less than a year ago, a French family became the first in the world to live in a 3D printed house. Short of 20 years, this seemed like a distant dream, this new technology has developed quickly, and it arises as a possible contribution to the housing crisis around the world.
Thermal comfort becomes very evident when it is not attended to. When thermal conditions are adequate in one location, our body is in balance with the environment allowing us to perform activities normally. On the other hand, when a space is too hot or too cold, we soon see changes in our mood and body. Dissatisfaction with the thermal environment occurs when the heat balance is unstable, that is when there are differences between the heat produced by the body and the heat that the body loses to the environment.
During the modern period, the buildings that used the traditional sloping roofs with tiles, draining the waters as quickly as possible, have begun to give way to the well-known 'waterproof flat roofs.' In spite of delivering a clean aesthetic to the project, allowing the use of the last slab as a space for living and contemplation, this solution can become a headache for its occupants if its execution and design are not careful. It is no accident that there have been infiltrations in famous modern buildings, such as the Vile Savoye or the Farnsworth House, designed by great masters of architecture. Currently, the civil construction industry has developed more sophisticated products and techniques that drastically reduce the chances of subsequent infiltration. However, we could say that waterproof flat slabs continue to be fragile points in buildings. The architects from Brasil Arquitetura have improved an inventive and very simple solution to avoid infiltrations in flat slabs, much used in the 70's by architects like Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Ruy Ohtake, filling them with vegetation.
As urban dwellers become more aware of the environmental impacts of food production and transportation, as well as the origin and security of what they consume, urban agriculture is bound to grow and attract public and political eyes. Bringing food production closer, in addition to being sustainable, is pedagogical. However, generally with small size and other restrictions, the concerns of growing food in cities differ somewhat from traditional farming.
Urban gardens can occupy a multitude of places and have varied scales - window sills and balconies, slabs and vacant lots, courtyards of schools, public parks and even unlikely places, such as subway tunnels. They can also be communitarian or private. Whatever the case, it is important to consider some variables:
As ingenious solutions for environments that require additional space and ventilation, articulated or accordion doors and windows operate by folding their leafs one over the other and onto the sides of the opening. They moving via upper and lower rails which can be embedded into masonry and allow separation and integration rooms while adding aesthetic value to the project.
This system generates a similar effect to that of a sliding door or window, but it differs in that all its leafs remain in the same plane when they are closed, giving a clean appearance to the façade.
Gottfried Böhm is a German architect who was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1986. His father, Dominikus Böhm and his grandfather Alois Böhm were both architects, as well as three of his sons, among them, Peter Böhm. Few people know that he has two projects erected in Brazil, in Brusque and Blumenau - two cities highly influenced by German culture. Photographer Ronaldo Azambuja shared with us his series of photographs of the mother church Igreja Matriz São Luiz Gonzaga in Brusque. The text was written by Angelina Wittmann, architect, and researcher.
Glass is so present in our lives that it’s very difficult to think about the amount of work, experimentation and technologies behind each panel or glass object. It’s also impossible to separate innovations from modern architectural projects –from architects such as Mies Van der Rohe and Le Corbusier– from the advances of the glass industry.
We’re following the history of glass, from Mesopotamian artifacts to technological glasses, and we invite you to travel with us.
Many of us have already lived, are living, or will live in a shared student house - a good mix of cheap housing and intense socializing with friends and school mates. For a reasonable price, it is possible to have a single private room and share common spaces. In fact, not only university students are living this way nowadays. The concept of co-living is becoming more and more an attractive and effective solution.