Color-filled hospital based on modular design

      The Colours at Martini Hospital in Groningen –  architect Arnold Burger of SEED architects and interior designer Bart Vos worked with color artist Peter Struycken to develop a palette of 47 colors for this new hospital in the Netherlands.   The organization of the hospital was deliberately …

The best of space and sky, APOD

  Cap Cloud over the Sierra Nevadas – today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is by Guido Montanes, one of the many professional photographers whose work is posted on APOD.  You’ll find a brief explanation of this unusual cloud phenomenon in the photo’s caption. If you’re interested in astronomy, …

World Buildings Directory

  World Buildings Directory – nice collection of data on all World Architecture Festival (WAF) finalists and winners, from the first Festival in 2008 to the most recent in 2013.  Search by project category (for instance Civic / Health / Landscape / Office / Structural / Transport), by country of project, by …

Who and what is an architect?

  Daniel Libeskind Is No Architect – thoughtful post about the use of the title ‘architect’, what it means to be an architect, and whether only licensed and registered practitioners should be called architects of buildings. There’s a debate within architectural circles (building architecture) about who can legitimately be identified as …

Piano’s single-room dream

Diogene: A cabin designed by Renzo Piano and RPBW for Vitra – Diogene is a single-room prototype cabin, a minimalist house of 2.5 x 3 meters that “functions completely autonomously as a self-contained system and is thus independent of its environment.” Since his student days architect Piano has been fascinated …

Why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming – an impassioned and thought-provoking argument for the value to society of reading, libraries, librarians, and how the daydreaming that reading can stimulate leads to imagining a better future and the innovation that our social and economic well-being depends …

Piranha etching, nanowire solar cells, and the photovoltaic holy grail

  “Piranha Etching” Could Push Nanowire Solar Cells Way Past Theoretical Limits – research in Holland is showing how to dramatically increase the efficiency of nanowire solar cells using ‘piranha etching’, a method of chemically cleaning the surface of the wires.  The large surface area of nanowire tends to have …

Library check – Frame #93 on the Rijksmuseum

    Frame #93 – July / Aug 2013 issue of this Dutch design magazine (text in English) features the Rijksmuseum, recently reopened after a ten-year closure for extensive renovations and restorations.     One of the challenges faced by Cruz y Ortiz, the Spanish architecture firm responsible for the rebuilding …

Designers + engineers = better products

      Why Designers and Engineers is a Match Made in Heaven – post about the benefits of designers and engineers collaborating on projects from their inception. Designers and engineers depend on each other to create innovative, trendsetting and sustainable solutions for humanity. Only a few decades ago, the …

Water strategy – what New Orleans can learn from Holland

How the Dutch are Helping New Orleans Stay Dry – excellent 8-min audio interview with New Orleans architect David Waggonner and Netherlands Honorary Consul General Connie Willems about water management and flood mitigation in New Orleans and in the Netherlands.  Even with substantial differences between the two locations – the amount …

Two on China: Connected China app / China’s Urban Billions series

  Connected China: Explaining the Players and Networks within China – post on the always-interesting blog information aesthetics about a “beautifully crafted” app developed collaboratively by Thomson Reuters and Fathom Information Design.  Here’s a direct link to the Connected China app.   [It] tracks and visualizes the people, institutions and relationships that form China’s elite power …

Libraries and the mystery of Toynbee tiles

Toynbee tiles – If you’re in the mood for a real-life mystery that involves imagination, single-mindedness over spans of time, great ingenuity, a fair amount of what many might describe as wackiness and that remains, despite knowing who the person behind the tiles is, at its heart still an enigma, …

Energy use in the U.S. (charts)

    Americans continue to use more renewable energy sources – press release from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about their 2012 flow chart of energy use in the U.S.  The “Rejected Energy” figure (upper right, in grey) has generated comment. Once again, wind power saw the highest gains, going from 1.17 …

Lego Architecture Studio designed by architects

  A Monochrome Lego Set To Teach Tomorrow’s Architects – six architectural firms contributed to the 268-page books that accompanies Lego Architecture Studio, a completely white set of Lego bricks designed to highlight major architectural principles.  Each of the firms – REX Architecture, Sou Fujimoto, SOM, MAD Architects, Tham & Videgård, and Safdie Architects – gets up to …

Azure 2013 Awards of Merit

Announcing the AZ Awards of Merit – annual design awards in residential architecture (shown here), furniture design, residential interiors, temporary architecture, furniture systems, commercial architecture over and under 1,000 square meters, landscape architecture, commercial interiors, concepts, and student work.  Images for all the finalists are here.