Architects design giant air purifying towers to fight Delhis air pollution

November 26, 2019 by  
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According to WHO, air quality in India’s capital of Delhi is among the worst in the world and is the fifth leading cause of death in India. In a bid to fight this silent killer, Indian practice Studio Symbiosis Architects has taken on a pro-bono project to design A?ra, a proposal for a system of air purifiers to clean the city air for the benefit of all residents in Delhi. Developed using the principles of aerodynamics, the A?ra air purifiers rely on a curved shape and air pressure differentials to intake polluted air and produce cool, clean air. Delhi has made headlines year after year for the thick, suffocating smog that has blanketed the city and neighboring areas. With the levels of PM 2.5 spiking to dangerous highs, Studio Symbiosis Architects sought a solution that could be enjoyed by all and not just those able to afford home air purifiers. Related: Pollution Pods let visitors taste pollution from around the world At the heart of the architects’ proposal is A?ra, a series of giant, air purifying towers topped with green planters with drip irrigation. Each tower would have two main chambers: one to increase the relative velocity of the air and the other for purifying the polluted air before blowing it out at high speeds and at lower temperatures to create a pressure difference that then pushes warm, polluted air back toward the tower. The architects estimate that an 18-meter-tall A?ra tower could clean 32 million cubic meters of air every day and have the capacity to clean 1.3 million cubic meters of air per hour. The A?ra towers represent only the first part of the architects’ proposal. The architects’ implementation plan would begin with installing a ring of 60-meter-tall A?ra towers around the city border to stop the flow of external pollution. Smaller, 18-meter-tall A?ra towers with a range of 1 square kilometer would then be installed in select “hot spots” along a grid to ensure clean air within the city. The air purification system would be supplemented with “A?ra velocity” gadgets that can be attached to the tops of cars as well as a network of “A?ra Falcon” drones that would move around the city and monitor air pollution levels. The systems collectively would be called the “A?ra Hive.” + Studio Symbiosis Architects Images via Studio Symbiosis Architects

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Architects design giant air purifying towers to fight Delhis air pollution

Students propose a biomimetic solution to reduce post-harvest food waste in Nigeria

November 26, 2019 by  
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As one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producers of tomatoes, Nigeria grows up to 1.5 million tons of the fruit annually, yet nearly half of that harvest fails to make it to the market. In a bid to provide a solution to post-harvest food waste, a team of Pratt Institute students designed a storage facility for tomato farmers in Nigeria that takes inspiration from the respiratory system of a cricket and the ribs of a cactus. The proposal — titled Tomato’s Home — was recently named a finalist in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge and has advanced to the Biomimicry Launchpad, an accelerator program that helps early-stage entrepreneurs bring nature-inspired solutions to market. Unlike consumer-driven food waste that plagues the developed world, much of the food waste in developing countries such as Nigeria occurs during the post-processing stage. The students’ proposal focuses on the small farms around Kano in northern Nigeria, where the majority of the country’s tomatoes are grown. Related: 6 groundbreaking examples of tech innovations inspired by biomimcry The students’ solution begins with a storage basket made from natural materials. Inspired by the way peas are protected and arranged in their shell, the students suggest weaving together loofa — the dried, fibrous part of the luffa fruit naturalized in the area — into a basket base for storing the individual tomatoes and to prevent bruising. The soft bed of loofa would be protected and given structure by a layer of woven teak on the outside. To store the tomato baskets, the students have also proposed a modular building constructed from natural materials, including clay bricks and thatch. Designed with an emphasis on natural ventilation and insulation, the buildings take direct inspiration from elements in nature, such as stack flow ventilation that the students say mimic the respiratory system of crickets. Light colors on the facade help reflect heat much like the white shells of certain desert snails, while the thatched roof — inspired by the thatched nests of grass-cutting ants — provide insulating benefits without compromising ventilation. + Pratt Institute Images via Pratt Institute

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Students propose a biomimetic solution to reduce post-harvest food waste in Nigeria

Stunning family home in Ecuador offers serenity in an increasingly noisy world

November 26, 2019 by  
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At one time, we were all so eager to stay connected to everything at every moment, but now, architects are fielding demands to create quiet refuges where people can escape the noise. Case in point is the gorgeous House of Silence designed by Ecuadorian firm Natura Futura Arquitectura . Located just out of Quevedo, this unique home has a massive central courtyard that acts as a serene meditation space for a family looking to block out the noise. Located in Quevedo, a province of Los Ríos, Ecuador, the House of Silence was designed for an elderly man who wanted a home where his family could come together to escape the city and a space where his grandchildren could run and play freely throughout the interior and exterior. Related: A playful home built of recycled materials takes in sunrise views in Ecuador The 1,000-square-foot house creates a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Two rectangular volumes house the main living area on one side and the private areas on the other. The interior spaces are connected by a large interior courtyard . This central garden, which opens up to an expansive landscape, is at the heart of the design. The serene space includes a wraparound walkway with a pair of hanging hammocks looking out onto a small garden area. Leading farther out toward the landscape, a concrete platform floats over a shallow pool, a strategic feature meant to bring the inhabitants closer to nature. With an opening above, natural light floods the entire space, creating a flexible area that can be used for either quiet meditation or family gatherings. Additionally, this open area has its practical, energy-efficient uses as well. According to the architects, the green-filled space was designed to provide a “ bioclimatic effectiveness ” that naturally cools the interior living spaces during the summertime and warms them during the winter months. + Natura Futura Arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images via Natura Futura Arquitectura

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Stunning family home in Ecuador offers serenity in an increasingly noisy world

Minimalist, energy-efficient cabin is glazed in a mirror-like shine

November 26, 2019 by  
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Prolific Russian architect Alex Nerovnya has recently revealed designs for SOL House, an energy-efficient cabin with massive, double-glazed walls with a mirror-like shine that renders the building almost invisible when viewed from certain angles. Following the architecture team’s penchant for minimalist and contemporary designs set in nature, the SOL House features clean lines and a simple, gabled shape. Cross-laminated timber and steel elements form the structure of the house, which is painted black on the exterior to make the building recede into the forest surroundings. Conceived as a comfortable weekend retreat for guests looking to reconnect with nature, the SOL House spans approximately 100 square meters and features a generous, wraparound timber deck. The most striking element of the two-story building is the south-facing, glazed facade that provides an unbroken view of the outdoors from both floors. According to Nerovnya, the reflective glass can be treated with a special ultraviolet coating to prevent bird collisions while still appearing completely transparent to the human eye. Related: Contemporary A-frame home soaks up lakeside views in Mexico The interior features a relatively open layout, with the rooms oriented toward outdoor views, whether through the double-height, glass facade or the large windows on the east and west sides. Steel construction supports the weight of the glass walls but is hidden so that only the timber construction is exposed. The minimalist interior includes an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area as well as a master bedroom and bathroom. “Three guiding principles that our team kept in mind when designing this project were clean shapes, genuine natural materials and energy efficiency ,” the architects explained in a project statement. “We were inspired by the possibility to merge commonplace, classic architectural shapes with the wild environment.” + Alex Nerovnya Images via Alex Nerovnya

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Minimalist, energy-efficient cabin is glazed in a mirror-like shine

Disney Develops Plant-Controlled Touch Software That Makes Music

August 21, 2012 by  
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Singing flowers used to live only in the fanciful realm of cartoons, but like something out of Alice in Wonderland , Disney Research presents “Botanicus Interacticus”, an interactive music game that uses a houseplant as controller. Simply sink a single wire into the soil and the system turns any plant into an interface – users can touch any part of the plant, or simply be in proximity. Using the same technology found in smartphone and touch-screen monitors, the game can detect where and how the plant is being manipulated, and change the frequency of the sounds it produces. Read the rest of Disney Develops Plant-Controlled Touch Software That Makes Music Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alice in wonderland , aura , botanicus interacticus , disney , houseplant , ivan poupyrev , microsoft kinect , siggraph emerging technology expo , touch-screen , touche , viktor alexander kolbig

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Disney Develops Plant-Controlled Touch Software That Makes Music

Turn Your Bike Rims into Running Lights: Aura and Revo

August 15, 2011 by  
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Project Aura: Bicycle Safety Lighting System from Project AURA on Vimeo . If you’re tired of regular ol’ bike lights, and appreciate a clever verb, check out these two ideas for illuminating your bike on the road, via the rims. One is called the Aura system, the other is called Revolights. Not only do they look cool, they allow you to be seen from the side, instead of just the front and back with traditional bike lights. Safe and sharp at the same time. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Turn Your Bike Rims into Running Lights: Aura and Revo

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