“Counting sheep” is a well-known mental exercise that people use when trying to fall asleep. It is thought to have been popularized by Miguel de Cervantes in Don Quixote, who is said to have been inspired by a twelfth-century Spanish tale. Whatever its origin, it is curious to think that falling asleep has been a problem for so long, even long before the invention of electric light or social networks on smartphones. In the early 2000s, the University of Oxford developed a study to prove the effectiveness of this sheep-related method. The conclusion: this tactic does not work.
Eucalyptus forests in Australia are known to burn periodically. It is the trees' way of ensuring propagation, as its fruits – known as gumnuts – have an insulating layer breaks down with the heat of the fire. Once they open, the burnt soil is covered with seeds, initiating a process of forest renewal. Glenn Murcutt, an Australian architect, has created a body of work rooted in the country's landscape. His innovative houses embrace the possibility of frequent fires, including elements that allow for fire control with the least possible loss. In short, the houses are built with very non-flammable materials, always have huge water reservoirs, and a “flood system” that allows the building and its immediate surroundings to be spared in the case of a forest fire.
Nowadays, the integral reform of flats in Barcelona is one of the most common activities for both freelance architects and local architectural studios. This is not surprising in a city with more than 4,000 years of history in which there is a lot of buildings and little room for new construction.
Concrete can be found in almost any type of construction around the world. But how is it made?
Sustainability is on everyone's lips these days – but mostly with a view to the future and the question of how it is possible to use fewer resources, produce more sustainably and reduce waste. However, sustainability can also be lived with a view to the past or the present – namely with a domestic environment that consists of durable furniture designs that outlast trends and never go out of fashion. In the third part of our series on design icons, we put Philippe Starck, Eero Saarinen, Achille Castiglioni, Patricia Urquiola and Max Bill in the spotlight with their evergreen furniture icons, which can be found on architonic.com.
The total energy demand from buildings has risen dramatically in recent years. Driven by improved access in developing countries, greater ownership of energy-consuming devices and increasing urban densities, today it accounts for over one-third of global energy consumption and nearly 15% of direct CO2 emissions. As the climate crisis aggravates and its consequences are more visible than ever, the architecture and construction industry must respond accordingly. It must take responsibility for its environmental impact and give priority to reducing energy consumption, whether through design decisions, construction techniques or innovative products. The key lies, however, in not sacrificing aesthetics and comfort in the process.
The primary function of architecture, and possibly the most important and basic, is to protect against the weather. Whereas our ancestors would stack tree trunks and animal skins to create rudimentary shelters against the sun and rain, the emergence of architecture took on impressive proportions, creating temples and captivating spaces that fulfill many other functions. The purpose of sheltering people from the outdoors, however, remains an important one and can turn an outdoor area into a functional and engaging space. With all the innovations that currently exist, there are also numerous improvements emerging for their mechanisms and functions.
Depending on the aesthetics of a space, the economy of the materials or even their long-term maintenance, there are various types of ceilings that are capable of meeting the technical and functional needs of architectural projects. Regardless of their manufacturing method, whether industrialised or handcrafted, ceilings represent a constructive element that constitutes the finish or interior cladding of roofs.
Access to adequate housing is a human right. But with prices rising dramatically, incomes not growing proportionally and ineffective public policies, the lack of secure, affordable homes is fueling an ongoing global housing crisis. In fact, 90% of 200 polled cities were found to be unaffordable to live in, with the impact of COVID-19 only worsening the situation and forcing much of the world’s population to settle for precarious living conditions. This is only expected to aggravate in the not-too-distant future; by 2025, the World Bank estimates that 1.6 billion people will be affected by the housing shortage.
Since the 1980’s, 3D-printing has offered new ways of developing architecture, engineering, and objects of daily use. When it comes to digitizing analogue processes, it is vital for users to become familiar with current tech innovations and their benefits. HIVE Project reshapes the art and craft of building in clay by combining traditional ceramics, smart geometry, and robotic precision to construct a masonry wall composed of one hundred seventy-five unique 3D-printed clay bricks.
Fungi are almost everywhere - in the air you breathe, the soil you walk on, we eat them and yes, they do also live inside of us.