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José Tomás Franco

Architect from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2012). Interested in in discussing around the efficiency and the importance of the user in the design process. Instagram @josetomasfr

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How Tree Trunks Are Cut to Produce Wood With Different Appearances and Uses

04:00 - 8 August, 2019
How Tree Trunks Are Cut to Produce Wood With Different Appearances and Uses, © José Tomás Franco
© José Tomás Franco

As wood is one of the most widely-used materials in the world, architects are accustomed to being able to easily obtain sawn wood at a nearby store. However, many of us know little about its manufacturing process and all the operations that determine its appearance, dimensions, and other important aspects of its performance.

The lumber we use to build is extracted from the trunks of more than 2000 tree species worldwide, each with different densities and humidity levels. In addition to these factors, the way in which the trunk is cut establishes the functionality and final characteristics of each wood section. Let's review the most-used cuts.

How to Design an Accessible Kitchen: Adjustable and Multifunctional Furniture

04:00 - 10 July, 2019
How to Design an Accessible Kitchen: Adjustable and Multifunctional Furniture, Courtesy of Häfele
Courtesy of Häfele

Universal accessibility in architecture refers to the capacity that all people have to access and inhabit a space regardless of their cognitive and physical capacities, and it is a subject that cannot be dismissed. Although little modifications can make a difference, it is ideal for the spaces to be thought out according to universal design guidelines from the beginning.

In the case of the kitchens, a series of new technologies that increase the comfort and efficiency of our daily spaces have made an appearance. Thus, multiplying its functions and allowing better use of the available surface. Let's take a look at the latest innovations presented by Häfele.

Courtesy of Häfele Courtesy of Häfele Courtesy of Häfele Courtesy of Häfele + 24

16 Brick Cladding Constructive Details

05:30 - 26 June, 2019
16 Brick Cladding Constructive Details, Brick Veneer Wall. Image Cortesía de Endicott
Brick Veneer Wall. Image Cortesía de Endicott

Traditionally, bricks have been used in architecture to fulfill a double function: structural and aesthetic. While they act as an effective and resistant modular solution in building structures, their faces can be exposed to constitute their architectural appearance, generating facades rich in texture and color, thanks to the iron present in the clay they are composed of.

At present, there are products that allow the attractive appearance of bricks to be merged with other structural systems, separating their functions and providing the necessary freedom of design so that the facades can adapt creatively in favor of the conditions of each project and the requirements of its users.

La Géode / ADHOC architectes. Image © Adrien Williams Four51 Marlborough / Hacin + Associates. Image © Trent Bell Photography Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building / Mecanoo + Sasaki Associates. Image Cortesía de Mecanoo Moody Center for the Arts / Michael Maltzan Architecture. Image © Nash Baker + 21

How to Choose the Right Glass for Your Projects

08:00 - 22 June, 2019
How to Choose the Right Glass for Your Projects, Town House in Antwerp / Sculp[IT]. Image © Luc Roymans
Town House in Antwerp / Sculp[IT]. Image © Luc Roymans

Today, improvements in glass processing technology have made it possible to render specific and effective solutions for a wide range of architectural projects. In fact, there are so many options available that it's almost necessary to research different products and their properties, and how this will impact, for example, the windows and doors that you are designing.

What variables should be considered – and prioritized – when choosing the glass used in a project? How can aesthetics coincide with function and efficiency? We sat down with the experts at Cristales Dialum to delve into the complex world of glass and to better understand the hows and whys of choosing the best type of glass for your projects and ensuring the best results for your clients.

Adaptative Plans: An Algorithm That Predicts Spatial Configurations

07:00 - 20 June, 2019

Automation has finally reached our desks. If just a few years ago we believed that technology (including robots) could replace the work done by humans, minus the design specifications and some 'creative' aspects, we were wrong.

The algorithm, Finch, generates different spatial configurations according to predetermined parameters as you change the total area of ​​the space. This helps to define zones in the initial stages of the project, which can then be refined according to the specific requirements of the assignment. The algorithm has been developed by BOX Bygg and Wallgren Arkitekter and written in Grasshopper, for now.

Aluminum Foam Facades: Architecture Rich in Texture, Porosity and Brightness

06:00 - 6 May, 2019
CaixaForum Sevilla / Vázquez Consuegra. Image © Jesús Granada
CaixaForum Sevilla / Vázquez Consuegra. Image © Jesús Granada

Modular coatings for facades and enclosures typically deliver fast and efficient solutions. However, many times they lack richness and character since they are repeated infinitely, without relating to the architectural design and its different functions and requirements.

These aluminum foam panels are manufactured through an air injection process in molten aluminum, which contains a fine dispersion of ceramic particulate. These ceramic particles stabilize the air bubbles, and create aluminum foam panels which provide an interesting level of detail and variability, generating unique facades with different levels of texture, transparency, brightness, and opacity. These ultralight panels can be used as flat architectural sheets, are 100% recyclable and available in standard sized formats up to 3.66 meters long (custom longer panels also available). 

Alusion™. Image Cortesía de Cymat Technologies Ltd. Alusion™. Image Cortesía de Cymat Technologies Ltd. Alusion™. Image Cortesía de Cymat Technologies Ltd. Alusion™. Image Cortesía de Cymat Technologies Ltd. + 20

How To Create 3D Environments From Images Taken With Drone

04:00 - 6 May, 2019

This video tutorial will teach you how to create detailed, 3-D environments from images taken by drones, using Photogrammetry to better contextualize our architectural projects.

The video covers the entire process, from flying the drone to using the RealityCapture software, including identifying plants and trees through an application for mobile phones and lastly viewing the architecture in 3D using Lumion.

Reaction And Fire Resistance: How Are Materials Classified In The Event Of A Fire?

04:00 - 1 May, 2019
Reaction And Fire Resistance: How Are Materials Classified In The Event Of A Fire?, Conceptual Diagram. Image © ArchDaily
Conceptual Diagram. Image © ArchDaily

In case of fire, protecting the lives of people is the most important. All occupants of the building should have the opportunity to evacuate on time, and the time available depends largely on the materials chosen and their behavior during fire exposure.

In order to facilitate and optimize this process, the European Union has adopted the Standard EN 13501 [1], introduced in the 2000s, which specifies a series of classes that determines the anti-fire properties of different materials. Their classifications are unified and compared based on the same test methods, and are currently used as a reference in many countries around the world.

Because of the architect’s role in choosing materials for projects, we have compiled the most important nomenclature to better understand the level of security of our built environment.

10 Ideas for Presenting Your Project With Concrete Models

07:00 - 25 April, 2019
10 Ideas for Presenting Your Project With Concrete Models, Solo House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Solo House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Physical models have, for centuries, been a highly-effective way of explaining an architectural idea, allowing the audience to experience a concept in a plan, section, elevation and perspective all at once. However, a model can communicate so much more if you deviate from traditional cardboard materiality. If you want to express the monolithic massing of your latest scheme, or its expressive texture, then a model of plaster or cement may capture so much more than a digital rendering ever could.

Creating a concrete model is profoundly engaging, as it forces us to follow a methodology similar to that of large-scale construction: make a mold / formwork, mix the cement or plaster with water, and then pour. When done correctly, the resulting model could stand as an architectural sculpture in its own right. 

Below, we have rounded up concrete models from the ArchDaily archives, giving you the inspiration to set your concrete model ideas in stone. 

How to Design and Build a Wooden Structure with Hidden Joints

05:30 - 17 April, 2019
How to Design and Build a Wooden Structure with Hidden Joints, Casa Peumayen / Aguilo + Pedraza. Image © Timber
Casa Peumayen / Aguilo + Pedraza. Image © Timber

New technology in digital building, particularly Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems, are changing the way that we design and build wooden structures. Their high level of precision allows us to design perfect assembles--without screws or visible metalwork--resulting in structures that are durable, easy-to-build, and extremely well-organized. We spoke with the experts at Timber to better understand the process of building a wooden structure and to compile a list of key tips in designing one.

© Timber El Galeno Horse Stables and Warehouse / Peñafiel & Valdivieso Arquitectos. Image © Francisco Croxatto Viviani House on the Rocks / Schwember García-Huidobro Arquitectos. Image © Nicolás Sánchez © Timber + 25

How To Promote Lifelong Learning, Productivity, And Meaningfulness In Architecture

12:01 - 31 March, 2019
How To Promote Lifelong Learning, Productivity, And Meaningfulness In Architecture, HF & VUC Fyn Complex / CEBRA. Image © Mikkel Frost
HF & VUC Fyn Complex / CEBRA. Image © Mikkel Frost

With the aim of generating an architecture that incubates the wellbeing, self-realization, and fulfillment of its inhabitants to become the best version of themselves, CEBRA has launched an ambitious Research and Development Program (R&D) called WISE (Work, Innovation, Space and Education).

As explained by its creators, the purpose of WISE is "to bridge the ongoing and rapid change in the sectors of workspace and education to inform the design of buildings that stimulate learning and innovation. We are connecting ideas of the foremost thinkers of education and entrepreneurship, research and studies in sensory stimuli, cognitive psychology, and behaviorism with architecture."

We spoke with Carsten Primdahl, founding partner of CEBRA, and Klaudio Muca, R&D Architect at CEBRA, to better understand the approach and expected results of the program.

How to Design for Visual Comfort Using Natural Light

05:00 - 20 March, 2019
Atelier_142 / Atelier Wilda. Image © David Foessel
Atelier_142 / Atelier Wilda. Image © David Foessel

Architects are increasingly aware of our influence on the well-being and good health of the users of our projects. Natural lighting –and how it should be complemented with artificial lighting– is an essential factor to consider for the visual comfort of interior spaces. But, do we know how to handle it correctly?

Maison Kochi / Meister Varma Architects. Image © Praveen Mohandas The Heart in Ikast / C.F. Møller Architects. Image © Adam Mørk Scheune Minden / Architekten Stein Hemmes Wirtz. Image © Linda Blatzek Photography ‘Hope’ Lavan’s Studio Apartment / MMGS ARCHITECTS. Image © Ramitha Watareka + 14

Storage Solution for Small Houses: Useful Examples

04:00 - 18 March, 2019
Storage Solution for Small Houses: Useful Examples, Cabin on the Border / SO? Architecture&Ideas. Image Cortesía de SO?
Cabin on the Border / SO? Architecture&Ideas. Image Cortesía de SO?

Dense cities mean small homes. With more and more frequency we are forced to adapt to spaces within which some elements simply do not fit. As architects, these restrictions actually provide us with opportunities and remind us that our goal is to give precise solutions to specific problems. Designing with infinite number square meters and/or an unlimited budget is practically unheard of.

What's the key to accommodating everything? Let's review some effective storage solutions for minimum, tight spaces.

END THE ROC / nook architects. Image © Yago Partal Bazillion / YCL Studio. Image © Leonas Garbačauskas HB6B / Karin Matz. Image Cortesía de Karin Matz Gorki / Ruetemple. Image Cortesía de Ruetemple + 33

These 13 Designs by IKEA Make Life Easier (and More Equitable) for Differently-Abled People

12:00 - 17 March, 2019
These 13 Designs by IKEA Make Life Easier (and More Equitable) for Differently-Abled People, ThisAbles Project. Image © IKEA / Milbat NGO / Access Israel
ThisAbles Project. Image © IKEA / Milbat NGO / Access Israel

Architects' general ignorance about the needs and requirements for people with special needs is worrisome. Beyond complying with mandatory regulations (different in each country), the quality of life for different-abled people depends on specific and daily factors that go beyond a railing or a ramp, and are often left in the hands of professionals who have never dealt with such issues.

This Ables, a project developed by IKEA and the non-profit organizations Milbat and Access Israel, provides an excellent resource for how to create an equitable design in the smallest and simplest of details. From door handles that are can be opened with a forearm to a couch lift that enables users to sit down and get up easily, these 13 products are available to the general public on ThisAbles.com. Some products can even be 3D-printed independently.

See the video below for more details of the project.

Arata Isozaki's Palladium Nighclub Through the Lens of Timothy Hursley

10:30 - 7 March, 2019
Arata Isozaki's Palladium Nighclub Through the Lens of Timothy Hursley, © Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley

In May 1985, an old theater and concert hall opened its doors to the public for the opening of a brand new nightclub in New York City. Located on 126 East 14th Street, the project was commissioned by entrepreneurs Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, owners of the also famous club Studio 54, and was conceived as a vibrant and luminous independent structure arranged inside a rather classic shell, which appears as a beautiful backdrop behind the clean geometry of Isozaki.

As The New York Times pointed out in its May 20, 1985 edition: 'Arata Isozaki is at once a great eminence of Japanese architecture and a source of some of its freshest thinking. And all sides of Mr. Isozaki are visible in the Palladium'.

© Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley + 14

Solve Complex Architectural Details With This 'Contour Duplicator Gauge'

05:00 - 19 February, 2019

Most of the materials that we use in the construction of our projects have shapes and dimensions that seek to facilitate their storage, transfer, and installation, being constituted in its majority by orthogonal modulations. These straight angles don't always fit with the irregularity of our designs, nor do they coincide exactly when encountering more organic materials or other specific elements such as ducts, pillars, or furniture.

This simple tool allows you to copy, duplicate, and measure complex contours so that the materials adapt perfectly to other elements. Its mobile 'teeth' must be pressed against the profile to obtain a mold of its shape, generating templates that will allow cutting and adjusting the original material with precision. Thus, the tool could even be useful for replicating or repairing unique details in restorations or refurbishments.

From Digital to Built: Six Experimentations With Brick

16:30 - 18 February, 2019
From Digital to Built: Six Experimentations With Brick, © TEM 2015
© TEM 2015

Argentine firm Estudio Arzubialde and Chilean architect Verónica Arcos led a Material Experimentation Workshop in Rosario, Argentina, during which six different groups of students designed and built projects using a variety of brick laying techniques.

Each project used different brick patterns based on simple rules, resulting in a structure with a certain degree of geometric complexity. 

© TEM 2015 © TEM 2015 © TEM 2015 © TEM 2015 + 38

This is How a Complex Brick Wall is Built Using Augmented Reality

05:00 - 25 January, 2019
This is How a Complex Brick Wall is Built Using Augmented Reality, Cortesía de Fologram
Cortesía de Fologram

Fusing augmented reality with the physical space, Fologram seeks to facilitate the construction of complex designs (for example, parametric designs that require a series of measurements, verification, and specific care) through digital instructions that are virtually superimposed into the workspace, directing a step-by-step guide for bricklayers during the construction process.

'Research institutions and large companies are working with industrial robots to automate these challenging construction tasks. However, robots aren’t well-suited for unpredictable construction environments, and even the most sophisticated computer vision algorithms cannot match the intuition and skill of a trained bricklayer,' stated their creators.

Cortesía de Fologram Cortesía de Fologram Cortesía de Fologram Cortesía de Fologram + 9