Currently browsing

October 2012

Re-healable concrete

  Key test for re-healable concrete – “Experimental concrete that patches up cracks by itself is to undergo outdoor testing.”  BBC Science post about concrete being developed at Delft Technical University that “contains limestone-producing bacteria, which are activated by corrosive rainwater working its way into the structure.” “In the lab we …

Global Innovation 1000

  Just out – Booz & Co’s Global Innovation 1000: Making Ideas Work.  There are interactive features as well as great charts showing change in R&D spending over time, what industries and regions are spending the most, and many more.  Here’s the full 16-p PDF.  [Note:  Booz & Co is now strategy&. …

Strange world of the Quay Brothers

If you’re in New York anytime through Jan 7 check out the MOMA exhibition Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets.  The exhibit features sets from the brothers’ stop-action animated films, along with posters, book art, and other works on paper.  It’s in the film work, though, …

Self-sustaining city outside Chengdu (AS+GG)

  Tall building specialists reveal concept for 1.3 sq km satellite city outside Chengdu – WAN post about “dense vertical city that acknowledges and in fact embraces the surrounding landscape” just outside of the Chinese city of Chengdu.  Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture envision it as very pedestrian-friendly, with …

Mumbai’s dabbawalas as model

    Mumbai’s Models of Service Excellence – Interesting article suggesting that Mumbai’s dabbawalas, the people who deliver lunches six days a week, serve as an example to managers of a well-designed delivery system. The dabbawala service is legendary for its reliability. Since it was founded, in 1890, it has endured famines, …

Smart city lighting

  Creating a City-Wide Energy Internet – A joint report from Philips and Cisco for “an intelligent, networked public lighting infrastructure” involves moving from fluorescent city lighting to an interconnected system based on LED technology. “An independent, global trial of LED technology in 12 of the world’s largest cities found …

India’s root bridges

  Post on the Blog of the Long now, India’s Living Bridges, is about traditional bridges grown from roots in Northeast India.  Check out the 4:30-min clip and the link to more images on Atlas Obscura’s website (a site that’s definitely worth a look).   The root bridges, some of which are …

Google’s data centers

  If you’re like me, you’ve always wondered how all that data gets to your screen. Now we get to see what Google’s eight data centers look like on their Google Data centers page.  Here’s an overview with a selection of Connie Zhou’s great photos, Peek inside Google’s data centers …

People love blue / Structural blue

    Fascinating article from The New York Times, True Blue Stands Out in an Earthy Crowd, with observations of interest to designers: In healthcare: Sick children like their caretakers in blue: A recent study at the Cleveland Clinic found that young patients preferred nurses wearing blue uniforms to those …

Walking power

What if Your Footsteps Could Power Your City Sustainably? – Post on UrbanTimes about Pavegen Tiles, made from recycled rubber, that generate electricity when you walk on them.  Here’s a quote from Pavegen‘s CEO:  “When you stand on a tile it flexes just 5mm in the centre, which is actually imperceptible …