After water, concrete is the second most-consumed material on the planet and its production is substantially growing, expected to increase from 4.4 billion tons, reaching production up to 5.5 billion tons by 2050. Unfortunately, this comes at a huge environmental cost, accounting for almost eight percent of the global carbon emissions. With this estimated expected growth, stakeholders in the construction industry must work on integrating sustainable building materials and innovative processes.
Innovation: The Latest Architecture and News
'Innovation' and 'design thinking' could possibly be two of the most extensively-used phrases both online and offline during the past decade. To respond to the global need of "changing the status quo", established companies, start-ups, and even universities have used this framework to generate novel ways of solving problems and create new products, taking into account their desirability, feasibility, and viability. And with that, a new archetype was conceived: the design thinker, someone who has the creative toolkit to generate something disruptive. So what is the meaning behind design thinking and what is its relationship with architecture?
With the aim of generating a significant impact on the responsible and sustainable consumption of resources and energy in the construction industry, ETH Zürich in collaboration with FenX AG is using foam 3D printing (F3DP) to manufacture geometrically complex formwork for the construction of special elements in concrete.
There's no question that 3D printing is here to stay. However, it is still a developing technology that raises certain questions: is it really effective for massive and large-scale construction? How sustainable is it? Will it go from being an option to becoming the norm in the construction industry? To help clarify the broader picture of 3D printing's place in architecture and construction, we spoke with Alain Guillen, Managing Director and Co-founder of XtreeE, a platform that allows architects to bring their designs to reality through advanced large-scale 3D printing, generating quick and precise shapes without material waste. See below how he and his team see the future of robotics in architecture and why architects should prepare to embrace this new technology, heading for a more efficient but equally creative future.
In order to create vibrant public spaces, people need to have a constant presence in these locations, whether they are on their own or in groups. In fact, they need to linger in these places and establish social interactions. To do so, one major element has to be incorporated into the urban setting: the bench.
This seating feature, simple or high tech, insures firstly the comfort of the passersby and animates the area consequently, through the addition of the missing human aspect. Sometimes, this is all it takes to revive a space that became a dull passage. The most basic urban design component can take many forms and can be created from different materials, always generating a statement and serving its purpose.
Now more than ever, architecture is in need of innovation. The pandemic has made us fundamentally rethink the functioning of our cities, public spaces, buildings, and homes. Meanwhile, the recent Black Lives Matter and racial justice protests have us questioning architecture’s complicity in broader socioeconomic issues. These challenges are pressing, and we cannot put off changing architecture any longer.
In 2013, Michael Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey ranked 702 occupations according to their probability of computerisation in the near future, from least probable (“recreational therapist”) to most probable (“telemarketers”). "Architectural and Engineering Managers” was ranked seventy-third, and “architects” eighty-second, while “architectural and civil drafters” ranked three-hundred and fifth. Clearly, technological advancements in fields such as machine learning and robotics are rapidly confronting us with issues of changing professional demand and qualifications. In this essay, Maurizio Ferraris turns the table on us: what if what we should be concerned with is not maintaining the human element in labor as production, but rather recognising human labor as consumption? Expanding on the arguments of his 2012 book, “Lasciar tracce: documentalità e architettura,” the author sees in automation an extraordinary opportunity in defining a renewed centrality of the human element, as the production of value associated with digital exchange is read through the three concepts of invention, mobilization and consumption.
GIDA 2020 - Goldreed Industrial Design Award - is the new international design award sponsored by the Xiongan Future Industrial Design Institute, with the aim of promoting at international level the concept of “harmony” applied to design.
Drawing from the scientific-technological progress and from the social changes that are currently happening in our society, GIDA aims at using design as a way to suggest new lifestyles, in order to contribute to the balanced development between human and nature.
The award sets for itself from the very beginning the objective of becoming a major reference in the international design field, by providing a
DI-2020 stands for Design and Innovation in 2020. The design competition is open to both concept projects, as well as realized projects by young design and tech professionals worldwide. International Talent Competition DI-2020 is about finding and celebrating talent that blurs boundaries between design, tech and business.
Please submit your proposal on a single page (4962 x 4961 px) with 200-500 words text outlining:
1. What is your proposal?
2. What problem does it solve?
3. Why your solution is unique?
4. How do you see your solution being implemented now and in the span of the next 3-5 years?
5. Add 1-5 visuals
With the aim of creating immersive environmental experiences in interior spaces, the design studio Aqua Creations has developed Manta Ray Light, a lighting installation built with responsive RGB LED technology that mixes the colors red, green, and blue to generate more than 16 million light tones. By presetting its color spectrum, offering a range of brightness settings on a scale of 0.1 to 100%, and even loading images and videos into its internal memory, the system allows its user to add color and movement to expressive spaces, or deliver a feeling of warmth and concentration to intimate and private rooms.
The global climate crisis is not only forcing us to rethink architectural design and the way we live, but also the materials and products that shape our built environment, starting from its origins and manufacture. Toward this end, wood has become an efficient alternative to steel and concrete – materials with high levels of embodied energy – and has led to some important architectural innovations that may culminate in its more widespread use worldwide.
Inspired by the efficiency of nature, Strong By Form has developed Woodflow, a technology that generates wood panels of high structural performance, "combining the optimization of their shape, the orientation of their fibers in relation to the direction of stressors, and the variation in their density for better compression or traction," as explained by its creators. In addition, all of their products are developed in a controlled process through parametric software, integrated into BIM platforms and CNC manufacturing systems.
We talked with Jorge Christie, CTO of Strong By Form, to learn more about this new technology.
As the climate crisis continues to unfold, professionals in architecture, engineering, and sustainable design have relentlessly searched for new ways to mitigate the negative effects of modern industrial production. One group of such innovators, Zero Mass Water, have contributed to this effort through their creation of ‘the world’s first and only hydropanel’ - an apparatus called SOURCE.
DETAIL is awarding the international DETAIL Prize 2020, and in doing so once again recognising the importance of innovative details for the overall design concept.
The DETAIL Prize is awarded for future-oriented, innovative and authoritative projects with outstanding architectural and technical qualities. From 2 March to 30 April 2020, planners can submit projects realised anywhere in the world for all building types that are characterised by special details within a coherent overall concept at www.detail-online.com/detailprize. In addition to the main prize, for the first time a prize will be awarded for an outstanding project built by a school of architecture.