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March 2013

Living willow hedges

  Living Willow Hedges – post with photos of hedges, or hedgerows, made with live willow.  Living fences woven from the genus Salix work in the Northern Hemisphere where they are native and root easily. More on living fences:  Multifunctional Living Fences – includes benefits / disadvantages, suitable species, how …

Shipping container housing for students

  Keetwonen (Amsterdam student housing) – called “the biggest container city in the world” Keetwonen provides popular housing for students in Amsterdam, 1000 units.  Each has its own kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, study room, and balcony. The initial fears of some people that the container homes would be too small, too noisy, too …

INABA on architecture, technology and the city

  Adaptation: Architecture, Technology and the City – great digital magazine from the analysis-based architectural practice of Jeffrey Inaba on how cities and technology are adapting to each other.  There’s a lot of thoughtful content here.  A brief selection:       (p. 43) Measuring the City: The infrastructure of data …

Light, sleep, melatonin, and cancer

    Blue light has a dark side, an article from Harvard Medical School, and a 12-min video clip of Russel J. Reiter, M.D. PhD of University of Texas talking about Melatonin’s role in Cancer are both worth your time, especially if you’re involved in the design of healthcare facilities. The …

USAspending.gov

If you need to understand U.S. government spending, take a look at USAspending.gov.  The first thing you see after a search is a map that lets you know at a glance which states have the most funding for whatever it is you’re looking up.  For instance, here’s a search for …

First large-scale wave power farm

      First Large Wave Power Generator Installed in Lysekil, Sweden – Uppsala University is installing the first generator of what will become the first large-scale wave power farm for producing electricity. “The generator will be the first in the world not to use permanent magnets. The materials in …

Smart textile for medical use

New textile technologies developed for emergencies – a Spanish technology transfer group, Tecnalia Research & Innovation, has developed a smart textile with the ability to change shapes. Verstiff is a flexible textile that, when subjected to a vacuum, becomes as hard as conventional plastic.  Releasing the vacuum reverts the textile to …

Graph Words – visual thesaurus

  Graph Words: online thesaurus – if you’re visually oriented and either enjoy words or want to understand them better, try Graph Words.  It maps the various meanings associated with a word and color-codes them as nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.  Shown here is ‘design’ and related nouns and verbs. …

A ‘darker green’ for tech campuses

  Silicon Valley Tech Giants Plan Super-Green Campuses – a number of high tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung, Nvidia) are planning corporate campuses in California that, in addition to being designed by big name architects, go beyond the standard requirements for sustainability in new buildings. Apple’s campus, designed by …

eVolo skyscraper competition winners

    In pictures: eVolo’s madcap skyscraper competition winners – post on gizmag  has 27 images of the winners and runners up of eVolo Magazine’s annual design competition. Novelty, be it technical or aesthetic, is the order of the day, and while one shouldn’t expect to see any of these …

Sistine Chapel

  The Sistine Chapel is much in the news these days.  Even though you can’t get in to see it because of the papal election process taking place right now inside the Chapel, there are ways to explore the space and its famous frescoes virtually.  Try, for instance, this 360 degree …

World cities – where’s the growth?

            The world’s economic center of gravity shifts – a post in McKinsey Quarterly’s Chart Focus newsletter about … 440 largely obscure urban areas that will account for close to 50 percent of expected global GDP growth between 2010 and 2025 McKinsey Quarterly has a …

Accountable Design for Accountable Care

  Accountable Design for Accountable Care – from McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and HOK, a 20-p PDF that looks at healthcare design and the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (PPACA).  Image here is from p. 3 and illustrates typical acute care unit configurations.   …  illustrates how healthcare design impacts accountable …

Cool roofs – Blue roofs

    Cool Blue Roofs May Be The Secret To Energy Savings – on the amount of energy savings that could be realized if more buildings had ‘cool’ roofs, roofs that reflect rather than absorb sunlight. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group says a national campaign could save …

Light transmitting concrete facade

    World’s first facade featuring light transmitting concrete opened to public – media facade designed by Carpus & Partner for RWTH Aachen University in Germany uses LUCEM-manufactured translucent concrete panels, part of their Lichtbeton series. Each panel is fitt[ed] with colour-changing technology, with the colours becoming brighter approximately one …