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November 2012

Detecting failure in composite materials

  Predicting material fatigue – about a concept developed by a team of German scientists for “self-reporting composite materials,” i.e. materials that detect fatigue, failure (for example cracking), or mechanical stress that’s happening inside the material. The concept utilizes zinc oxide tetrapod crystals as a filler material for composites which at …

Engaging residents in neighborhood redesign

    The Right Way to Engage Residents in a Neighborhood Redesign – from The Atlantic Cities: Denver’s rejuvenated South Lincoln neighborhood, being redeveloped in phases, will be walkable, transit-oriented, equitable, green, and perfectly located in close proximity to downtown jobs and services. It’s a terrific new model-in-the-making of how to …

Marketing tech infographic, 5 meta-trends

                  5 meta-trends underlying almost all of modern marketing – wonderful infographic of marketing technology firms illustrates one of the five trends.  All the others have good graphics as well. The great digital migration of marketing (and business). The convergence of paid, …

Microsoft’s zero carbon data center

  Microsoft Recycles Waste to Provide Clean Power for Data Center R&D – from Microsoft’s Global Foundations Services Blog: Microsoft is excited to announce its research and development of the first zero carbon data center – called the Data Plant – that will be completely independent of the grid and will …

Poll finds climate change a top business priority

Climate Change Among Top Sustainability Priorities for Business, Poll Finds – overview of the BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Poll 2012.  500 business leaders were asked to rank 14 sustainability challenges.  The poll looks back 20 years, forward 20 years, “and identifies the top priorities for companies in the coming year.” …

The architect and the plantsman

The Architect and the Plantsman – short piece on the collaboration of Peter Zumthor and Piet Oudolf, first on last year’s Serpentine Gallery (2011, image shown below; source) and now on the transformation of a former factory, De Meelfabriek, in the Dutch city of Leiden into high-end lofts. From Zumthor on …

Resilient cities – Questions for urban designers

    Cities as self-organizing systems – I’ll let the author of this Urban Times Daily Digest post, Andrew Mackenzie, explain: The following ten propositions about cities are based on the work of Brian Walker and David Salt in their new book, Resilience Practice. Written for resource managers in particular, Resilience Practice offers much for urban …

Hashima Island, coal mining to Bond

The History of Hashima, the Island in Bond Film “Skyfall” – transcript of PRI spot on the Japanese island, devoted solely to coal-mining, that was “recognized as the most densely populated place on earth…ever” until 1974 when it was abandoned.  Includes a 15-min video documentary.   Image source.

Growing up in a designer’s family

    Modernists At Play – the children of mid-20th century architects and designers talk about their childhoods.  From this Metropolis post: Michael Gotkin, a landscape architect who is currently writing a book on modernist play environments, says the concept of children’s play was radically reinvented by artists, architects, landscape architects, …

frog enables community design thinking

    Check out the free Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) from frog design or read this post from Co.Design. The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. … …

Munich’s metro stations

  The Architectural Spectacle That Is Munich’s Metro – interview with Nick Frank, an art director who’s taken striking photos of Munich’s subway stations.  He says the best time to find them without people is early Sunday mornings. We caught up with Frank to discuss the architecture of his architectural shots.

Color coordination for the web

  The Art of Color Coordination – infographic with nicely presented color wheel and color harmony advice, helpful especially for web designers.  From 20 Must See Infographics For Web Designers, Via Lauren Moss’s visual data ScoopIt page. Image source link: http://<a href=”http://bit.ly/1yAv3Dg”>Source</a>

New energy infographic – Reinventing Fire

Blueprint to the new energy era – great infographic from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) contrasting America’s energy sources and usage today and in 2050.   Click the ‘Reinventing Fire’ tab on the menu bar and you’ll see details for Transportation, Buildings, Industry, Electricity.  See also a 27-min TED talk by …

Local transportation funding measures

  Local Transportation Funding Measures Voted on Across the U.S. – post includes a table of results of recent votes in 11 U.S. states on a variety of issues touching on transportation.  The data is from the Center for Transportation Excellence. Between 2000 and mid-2012, there have been approximately 350 municipal, county, …