Harnessing urban wind power: innovative building-integrated technology

A collaboration between the Cluster for Sustainable Cities of the Faculty of Creative & Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth and the Southampton-based company MA Systems and Control Ltd is exploring the potential for innovative building-integrated urban wind power technology.

This Emerging Technologies Innovate UK funded research project, “Wind ASSURE”, is a collaboration between industry and the University that will allow the business partner to ensure public acceptance and optimum urban integration of the new technology. The technology is an alternative to the conventional wind turbine and can use low wind speeds. The innovation is expected to outperform big turbines at much lower wind speeds which are frequently found in urban areas.

10 of the most ground-breaking uses of plywood in architecture and design

To coincide with the opening of an exhibition dedicated to plywood at London's V&A museum, we've rounded up 10 projects from the Dezeen archives that push the material to its limits.

Plywood: Material of the Modern World charts the history of plywood from the 1850s to present day, showcasing examples of how the material has contributed to significant developments in the design industry, from transport to housing and furniture.

Objects on show range from planes to skateboards, to now-iconic furniture designs by Ray and Charles Eames, Alvar Aalto and Marcel Breuer, and innovative high-rise housing built with one of the most high-tech forms of plywood – cross-laminated timber.

Autonomous Assembly: Designing for a New Era of Collective Construction

We are now on the brink of a new era in construction – that of autonomous assembly. For some time, the widespread adoption of robotic and digital fabrication technologies has made it possible for architects and academic researchers to design non-standard, highly customised structures. These technologies have largely been limited by scalability, focusing mainly on top-down, bespoke fabrication projects, such as experimental pavilions and structures. Autonomous assembly and bottom-up construction techniques hold the promise of greater scalability, adaptability and potentially evolved design possibilities. By capitalising on the advances made in swarm robotics, the collective construction of the animal/insect kingdom, and advances in physical computational, programmable materials or self-assembly, architects and designers are now able to build from the bottom up. This issue presents future scenarios of autonomous assembly by highlighting the viability of decentralised, collective assembly systems, demonstrating the potential to deliver reconfigurable and adaptive solutions.

Deep Structures

Deep structure is felt in all of us, informing our everyday interactions and acts of creation. These primal memories are ancient, and as Cecil Balmond explains, inescapable. Here he contemplates how we came to make sense our world and the mysterious power of these very first archetypes.

Deep structure is a drum that beats behind organisation – a primal memory of the algorithms that paved the way for survival.

Deviant Geometry

With his focus on how a piece resonates with a viewer, artist Olafur Eliasson creates works to captivate the senses; turning the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern into The weather project, a misty expanse of sun and sky to play with our notions of experience and representation, and creating four monumental waterfalls along the waterfront of New York Harbour to encourage viewers to consider public space and enhance their connectedness to the city.

The Otherness of The Machine

Dr Willmann, you trained as an architect but now primarily work on mapping the connections between architectural theory and computer aided design. Can you explain a little about how these interests converged and how your interest in robots in architecture arose?

In my opinion, today’s very specific implementation of robotic fabrication processes – in comparison to the lack of material substance in the early days of architecture’s digitalisation during the 1990s – is practically forcing architecture’s arrival in the digital age. Particularly from a theoretical/historical perspective this is very interesting since we are no longer witnessing the delayed modernisation of the discipline, but rather the advent of a uniform technological basis for architecture, which since the onset of building industrialisation in the early 20th century has remained more vision than reality. Clearly, this has a number of substantial implications; for instance, with this shift in the production conditions, the Albertian division which has determined architectural practice for the past 500 years, between intellectual work and manual production – between design and realisation – is now being rendered obsolete.

The Incredible Science Behind How Nature Solves Every Engineering Problem

New trend is emerging, where researchers, designers, and everyone in between are starting to ask, "how can we be more like nature — more renewable, more constructive and more sustainable?" 

In a world filled with 7 billion people crammed into mega cities, human kind will have to adapt before we can continue to grow, or else we will destroy the only home we've ever known. We need to look to nature for instructions on how to survive on this planet in ways that are "conductive to life," according to biomimicry pioneer Janine Benyus.

Parametric Design: the only option for high performance façade design

After a few days in Jakarta looking at super reflective glass boxes, now stuck in an airport (that sells no beer on a 35 degree day!), i cannot help but reflect on how import the role of parametric design is to design teams.

No doubt many of us can already appreciate, parametric design is a true enabler of creativity, allowing designers the ability to model the relationship between elements to inform the design of complex geometries and structures.

Digital Materials. A new “biologically digital” materiality

New materials
Enza Migliore
In 1902 Georges Méliès produced what is considered the first science fiction film of the history: “Le voyage dans la lune”. It was a virtual imaginary about a fictional spacecraft crashing into the eye of the moon. Decades later, that image on the screen takes shape, becomes aluminum, titanium, metal alloys, ceramics.
Subsequently, a few decades from the materialization of that dream, in the 80s, the bits start to pervade our daily lives and the whole world, from philosophers to artists, sociologists and designers, believe that these small units are decomposing the reality to recompose it in a virtual universe. A process of dematerialization seems to take place which blots out time, space and physicality. The real and living spacecraft looks like returning to its antecedent entity, a projection on the screen.

WATER PORE PARTNERSHIP

POREFORM

Poreform is an urban surface—an intelligent and flexible system of pores—that absorbs and collects water likeskin for a city. Capable of rapid saturation and slow release, the pores of this urban skin are inlets to a new adaptable infrastructure below its surface.

Las Vegas is an arid city that suffers from periods of extreme water scarcity punctuated by destructive flooding in the densest urban areas. The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), which governs the water resources of the city, continually strains against the outer limits of the available supply in an effort to prevent systematic shortages. Meanwhile, because of Las Vegas’s position in the center of the Las Vegas Valley hydrographic basin, the water infrastructure of the city is incapable of absorbing the 27.1 billion gallons of rainwater that flood the center of Las Vegas every time it rains.

The Next Generation of Computational Design

A scrum meeting at Case Inc.
It has become unusual to design architecture without computers, but the convenience and expedience come at a price. Many firms now must spend time developing their own algorithms, scripts, and plugins to coax the software into producing the designs they want. To aid this process, they often hire computational designers and expect their design staff to be familiar with computational concepts, such as programming and parametric modeling.

Source: http://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/the-next-generation-of-computational-design_o

Self-Driven City - Tallinn Architecture Biennale

Main Exhibition "Body Building"
The main exhibition of this year’s Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB 2015 is looking at hybrid forms of construction where cutting-edge technology and science meets the self-driven variability of material systems and where the degrees of freedom and control define an outcome of multiplicity within tolerance, trying to find a balance between the unruly and the predictable - body and building.

Source: http://www.tab.ee/programme/main-exhibition

Tesla unveils a battery to power your home, completely off grid

CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, landed an official message unveiling the Powerwall, a battery designed to power your home.  The message came at a convention center powered completely by renewable battery power.

The battery unit itself contains the same batteries present in the Tesla electric cars.  The 7kWh unit will ship for $3,000, while the 10kWh unit will go for $3,500 (get the big one). They will store electricity from the grid or from solar and wind generators on site and if the grid goes down, they will continue to power your home indefinitelyThis feature makes them ideal for developing nations that are leap-frogging power grids completely.

Musk refers to it as changing the "entire energy infrastructure of the world."

Source: https://www.minds.com/blog/view/485549672757211136/tesla-unveils-a-battery-to-power-your-home-completely-off-grid

INFORMED CLAY MATTER 2.0 – FABLAB TORINO

3.09.2015 · by Co-de-iT · in code, digital fabrication, Education, inFORMed matter, research, upcoming workshops

inFORMed Clay matter 2.0
grasshopper & robotics workshop
October 23-25 2015
Fablab Torino, Italy

[.]  Brief:
The workshop idea rises from a collaboration between Co-de-iT, Fablab Torino, Officine Arduino, based on an ongoing Co-de-iT research called “inFORMed matter“.

Source: http://www.co-de-it.com/wordpress/informed-clay-matter-2-0-fablab-torino.html

Archagenda

ArchAgenda Debates!
OCTOBER 5, 2015 | 5:30-9:30PM
SETTING THE AGENDA FOR 21ST CENTURY ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
DEBATE PROVOCATION>>> The Chicago Architecture Biennial asks "What is the state of the art of architecture?” The ArchAgenda Debates aim to spark lively and candid debate on the direction contemporary architecture should take. What should be the agenda of 21st century architecture? "Is there such a debate? Before such a debate can commence we need to answer a fundamental question concerning our discursive culture: should we – the participants/ protagonists of architecture – commit/submit ourselves to a collective debate arguing about the broad direction in which architecture should progress?" [1]

Source: http://archagendadebates.splashthat.com