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Sand: The Latest Architecture and News

8 Biodegradable Materials the Construction Industry Needs to Know About

09:30 - 2 May, 2018
8 Biodegradable Materials the Construction Industry Needs to Know About

In architecture we are so caught up in creating something new, we often forget about what happens at the end of a building’s life cycle—the unfortunate, inevitable demolition. We may want our buildings to be timeless and live on forever, but the harsh reality is that they do not, so where is all the waste expected to go?

As with most non-recyclable waste, it ends up in the landfill and, as the land required for landfill becomes an increasingly scarce resource, we must find an alternative solution. Each year in the UK alone, 70–105 million tonnes of waste is created from demolishing buildings, and only 20% of that is biodegradable according to a study by Cardiff University. With clever design and a better awareness of the biodegradable materials available in construction, it’s up to us as architects to make the right decisions for the entirety of a building’s lifetime.

The Next Sustainability Crisis: Humans Are Using So Much Sand That We May Actually Run Out

09:30 - 16 April, 2018
Objects made of Finite, a material developed by students from Imperial College London using desert sand. Image © Finite
Objects made of Finite, a material developed by students from Imperial College London using desert sand. Image © Finite

Sand is the most-consumed natural resource in the world after water and air. Modern cities are built out of it. In the construction industry alone, it is estimated that 25 billion tons of sand and gravel are used every year. That may sound a lot, but it’s not a surprising figure when you consider how everything you’re surrounded with is probably made of the stuff.

But it’s running out.

This is a scary fact to think about once you realize that sand is required to make both concrete and asphalt, not to mention every single window on this planet. The United Nations Environment Programme found out that from 2011 to 2013, China alone used more cement than the United States had used in the entire 20th century and in 2012, the world used enough concrete to build a wall around the equator that would be 89 feet high and 89 feet thick (27 by 27 meters).

Finding Love in the Sand: The Instinctive Architecture of the Pufferfish

09:30 - 23 April, 2017

How much effort are you willing to put in to attract that special someone? The humble Japanese pufferfish, just twelve centimeters long when un-puffed, almost certainly has you beat. To attract the best fish in the sea, male pufferfish spend at least seven 24-hour days completing an intricate mating ritual that involves swimming their bodies into and through the seafloor to form ridges and trenches in the sand. If they pause too early, the entire ordeal gets washed away by currents.

Call for Submissions: MaT(i)erre(s)

03:40 - 29 April, 2016
Call for Submissions: MaT(i)erre(s), Earth grounded material © amàco
Earth grounded material © amàco

Under the name "MaT(i)erre(s) - about the connection between man and matters", this initiative invites you to share your experiences, theorical thoughts and eyesights on simple matters, in relation with body, space, urban areas, art, crafts, mind, socio-cultural, cosmogony, and science. These disciplines are called for setting in motion and in echo their actions and intuitions, to gather them soon in an « event-laboratory » where "doing" and "thinking" will be as one.

Formlessfinder's "Tent Pile" a Hit at Design Miami/

00:00 - 21 December, 2013
© James Harris
© James Harris

From the architects. Formlessfinder’s Tent Pile brings an intensely architectural intervention to Design Miami/, inventing a new building typology to provide shade, seating, cool air, and a space to play for the city’s public. The design practice, co-founded by Julian Rose and Garrett Ricciardi in 2010, approaches new projects with an interest in the specifics of geography — closely examining the spatial, social, and physical conditions of the location with which their structure will interact. They prioritize the use of available materials, committing to deploy them in ways that allow for reuse, an approach that produces what they refer to as “an architecture that can go from nothing to something and back again.”

Learn more after the break...

Manifestations : The Immediate Future of 3D Printing Buildings and Materials Science

13:00 - 12 November, 2011
© Markus Kayser
© Markus Kayser

The future potential to build and realize the concepts of the human mind lie just there, within the potential of the human mind. For years the architectural world has been struggling to keep up with the ability of pen-to-paper and the recent advents in NURB surface computer modeling, algorithmic and parametric architecture. This in-return has led to the  building and technology industry playing catch-up with the recent advances in 3D architectural visualizations. In fact, as computer-aided design invaded these practices in the 1980s, radically transforming their generative foundations and productive capacities, architecture found itself most out-of-step and least alert, immersed in ideological and tautological debates and adrift in a realm of referents severed from material production.