As 3-D printing becomes more available, the potential to create unprecedented architectural feats has exploded. The latest iteration of this growing trend involves a research team at ETH Zurich and the super-slim concrete ceiling they made with a 3-D printed sand mold. The team made a total of 11 1,000-square-foot slabs, which will be installed in their ongoing DFAB House project.
Here's Our First Look at Martian Architecture
While the timing of Mars colonization remains a mystery, we now have a better idea of where the first homo sapiens on the red planet will live. Swamp Works, a small team at the Kennedy Space Center, have their sites set on regolith, plastic polymers, and 3-D printing as the key to future martian dwellings. Robots and a beefed-up version of Autodesk will ensure that the structures can withstand solar radiation, extreme weather, and micro-meteorites.
Carbon May Be Humanity’s Best Bet Against Climate Change
One of the most ambitious fights against global warming today is being fought on the carbon capture and sequestration front. Instead of viewing carbon as a problem, entrepreneurs across many sectors are viewing carbon as an economic and environmental opportunity.
Talk about hanging out. But not if you’re prone to vertigo. , a prototype that debuted during in Eindhoven, is ’s response to “office workers needing a private spot away from the office where they can re-engage with the outdoors,” she notes.
Kiss L.A. Traffic Goodbye With Electric Double-Decker Buses
Think double-decker buses are only for sightseeing? Alexander Dennis is eschewing that stereotype by introducing North America’s first electric double-decker transit bus to Southern California next year. The manufacturer’s Enviro500 model, which will soon help alleviate traffic between the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles, will sport a Proterra E2 battery that enables a travel distance of up to 200 miles per charge.
The Sky Is the Limit for Aston Martin
When it comes to personal mobility, luxury automobile manufacturers are reaching for the stars. At the Farnborough Air Show, Aston Martin debuted Volante, a conceptual three-seat vehicle sporting a hybrid-electric power train that allows vertical take-off and landing. It’s strictly hypothetical for now—the British luxury sports car manufacturer needs to clear a multitude of legislative roadblocks before officially launching—but the idea paints a bright picture for the future of air travel.
Turns out that data analysis never stops with what’s on the page (or screen). A recent analysis by Salesforce examined the way people responded to different colors of data, as well as the speed and accuracy of decisions made based on that information. The results surprised the Salesforce team.
Bentley Reinvents Production Process for New Continental GT
Jeepers, creepers... where did you get those LED headlights? In the case of the , director of design Stefan Sielaff channeled cut-crystal glasses into the third generation of the grand tourer. But more significant is its aluminum exterior, which is nearly 200 pounds lighter than its previous incarnation. That’s because the panels are superformed, a technique involving heating the metal to nearly 1,000 degrees. “We literally had to invent a new production process to accomplish this,” Sielaff explains. “The lesson is that it’s not only the creative act of designing something new but also fighting to bring it into production.”
Wutopia Lab Treats Two Shenzhen Homes to Gender-Inflected Makeover
Spotlighting a global lineup of firms, the alternates between Hong Kong and neighboring Shenzhen, China. The latter hosted the most recent biennale, but, unlike previous ones sited in typical exhibition venues, this edition staged high-concept interventions in migrant villages outside the city center. It was there that transformed side-by-side residences into His House and Her House, a gender-inflected meditation on the modern cosmopolis.
Finding a way to curtail plastic waste is one of humanity's greatest challenges. One solution that’s been growing in popularity around the globe are Ecobricks: plastic bottles filled with compressed, non-biodegradable plastic trash. These bricks can be tied, glued, or mortared together to create walls for structures, playgrounds, stools, tables, and many other practical objects.
Trash Would Make a Great Construction Material
The construction industry is one of the most resource-consuming around, making use of high-impact materials as well as low-efficiency processes and manufacturing. To help mitigate these environmental pitfalls, engineering firm Arup proposes repurposing organic waste into building materials—a move that would make effective use of resources and help develop a self-sustaining circular economy. Crops such as mushrooms, corn, wheat, bananas, sunflowers, peanuts, potatoes, and rice have already proven to be successful building materials, and widespread use could eliminate landfill waste or perhaps eliminate excess waste entirely.
Rising Sea Levels Prompt Innovations in Amphibious Architecture
Dutch firm Waterstudio focuses on the growing field of water-based design, with founder Koen Olthuis pushing the idea of the “blue city”—a city that can not only withstand the rising sea levels but benefits from them; using water to store, generate, and reduce the use of energy. To put the idea into practice, Waterstudio is partnering with Oddysea Development to create a man-made mini Atlantis called Arabian Oddysea in Bahrain, boasting an Arabian horse track and a man-made mountain. With a target completion date of 2023, Arabian Oddysea will incorporate innovative aqueous elements like floating solar panels, water batteries, and a seawall that generates energy.
At the International Builders Show 2018, Humphreys and Partners Architects proposed a hypothetical tower that would address New York’s housing shortage, dwindling parking spaces, increasing drone traffic, and the need for sustainable design. Named Pier 2, the building would use modular technology and green design like photovoltaic glass, solar panels, and wind turbines. Modular micro-apartments would offer affordable living, and feature landing pads for drones that enable easy delivery of people and goods at various points along the tower.
Print Your City! Designs Chair From 100 Pounds of Plastic Waste
Architects Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki, founders of 2-year-old Dutch studio the , set out to tackle a mounting problem: the proliferation of plastic detritus, of which only 9 percent is currently recycled. “Plastic has a major design flaw,” Sakkas states. “It’s only used for a short time, but lasts forever.”
Facebook's Fixation on “Community” Extends to New Company Town
Back in the early days of industrialization, company towns were a common solution to mass numbers of people existing in one place for the same reason. Some were equitable and successful, most were exploitative cash grabs for the men in charge. But in our current era of shiny-eyed tech companies, people put a blinder on to these historical truths. Case in point: Facebook’s Willow Village, a 59-acre residential community for its programmers.