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June 2013

Book-illustration-lovers delight

  BibliOdyssey – one of my favorite places to take a break; here’s the tag line:  Books~~Illustrations~~Science~~History~~Visual Materia Obscura~~Eclectic Bookart.  Each post features images based on a theme, or from a specific book or manuscript.  The images are wonderful and plentiful and unexpected.  Most sources are from early printed books or manuscripts …

Mirrored ductwork extends daylight

  Mirror Duct System – post on Transmaterial about a duct system that’s lined with reflective aluminum mirrors which can “extend light as much as sixty feet inside a structure.”   Developed by Tokyo-based Material House, Mirror Duct System is a completely passive technology that contributes to CO2 reduction by …

3 for bicycle riders

The Atlantic Cities often covers how cities and urban areas around the world accommodate bicycle traffic.  Here are three recent posts:   10 Brilliant Pieces of Bike Infrastructure – examples, many with clips, from ten cities in Europe, China, and the U.S.   A Real-Time Bike-Share Map for the Entire World – …

“What we find when we’re not looking”

Unintentional Knowledge: What we find when we’re not looking – this is an eloquent plea for balance between digital and traditional library-based research.  While fully supporting the capabilities offered by online search technology the author also highlights the value of what a person can find by browsing library stacks, the …

Rudolf Steiner and organic architecture

  Architecture: Steiner – editorial on WAN (World Architecture News) about wholeness in architecture, particularly in the work of the Austrian “scientist, philosopher, and writer Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)” who designed and built the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland that is familiar to students of architecture around the world.  A link in the …

Building energy performance regulations

If you’re interested in energy requirements or ratings for buildings around the world, here are a few sites that can give you specifics.  Each link is to one section within a larger website; those parent websites are all worth a bit of further exploration as well. Existing Policies, from BuildingRating.org –  select …

Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Gallery Pavillion

  Video: The making of Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – Wallpaper has a 3:29 min video clip on this year’s pavilion, the result of Fujimoto’s desire to create an ‘architectural landscape’.   ‘The experience is more like a labyrinth but the space is very simple,’ says Fujimoto. Sized more …

Strawscraper, energy from wind

  Stockholm’s strawscraper will produce electricity from thousands of wind-agitated straws – skyscraper addition designed by Belatchew Arkitekter’s Labs studio applies piezoelectric technology via “hair-like material that harvests energy from the wind.” From the architect’s website: The straws of the facade consist of a composite material with piezoelectric properties that can …

Niels Diffrient (1928 – 2013), designing to human scale

In Memoriam: Niels Diffrient – anyone who’s been in the design world within the last 50 years will have come into contact with the work and ideas of designer Niels Diffrient who died last Saturday at the age of 84.  From his ground-breaking work on the 3-volume reference set Humanscale to …

Secret of ancient Roman concrete

Ancient Roman Concrete Is About to Revolutionize Modern Architecture – researchers at Berkeley Lab have analyzed the concrete from Roman ruins in 11 Mediterranean harbors and discovered why so many of them are intact despite two thousand years of pounding by the sea.  The composition of that ancient concrete and method …