Robotically woven hexagonal pavilion heralds revolution in architecture

March 1, 2017 by  
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An exciting fusion between robotics and architecture is on the rise, and the potential of digital fabrication is wonderfully expressed in the stunning Elytra Filament Pavilion. Designed by a team at the University of Stuttgart , the robotically woven structure is now on view at Germany’s Vitra Design Museum after its premiere at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London . The experimental pavilion is an artistic exploration between architecture, engineering, and biomimicry principles, weaving carbon fiber into fibrous structures inspired by beetles. Installed as part of the Vitra’s “Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine” exhibition, the 200-square-meter Elytra Filament Pavilion shows off the power of robotics in architecture. The University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) developed a unique robotic fabrication technique to create the pavilion’s 40 modular hexagonal units, each of which weigh 45 kilograms and take about three hours to make. A computer algorithm determined the pavilion’s design, which was then produced with the help of a robot. Taking cues from the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra, the computer-programmed Kuka robot spun resin-soaked glass and carbon fibers into hexagonal scaffolds and densely wound fibers into the canopy. The entire pavilion weighs 2.5 tonnes and is “exceptionally lightweight,” weighing less than 9 kilograms per square meter. Related: Robots weave an insect-inspired carbon-fiber forest in London “With Elytra Filament Pavilion we aim to celebrate a truly contemporary and integrative approach to design, engineering and production, resulting in a distinctive spatial and aesthetic experience,” said Achim Menges, an architect behind the project. “The canopy grows in response to real-time sensing data, showcasing the profound impact of emerging technologies and related new alliances between the fields of design, engineering and natural science. Through this we seek to provide visitors with a unique experience that offers a glimpse of novel architectural and engineering possibilities, which may transform our built environment in the future.” + University of Stuttgart Images by Julien Lanoo

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Robotically woven hexagonal pavilion heralds revolution in architecture

Donald Trump would probably hate this crossable border wall

March 1, 2017 by  
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As a tongue-in-cheek response to Donald Trump’s mission to build a wall along the US and Mexico border, Rotterdam-based Atelier ARI has created an art installation called Open Border. Created for the annual Winnipeg Warming Huts event, the bright orange 9-foot-tall, 120-foot-long “wall” is made of vertical plastic strips that easily let people pass through to the other side. The Winnipeg Warming Huts event is an arts competition that sees various designers install their art works along a long stretch of the Red River Mutual Trail. The open-air architecture gallery is known for having a number of fun, avant-garde designs, but this year, Atelier ARI’s winning installation is speaking volumes about Trump’s hard-line immigration policies. Related: Trump will give architects just five days to submit proposals for a Mexican border wall Visually, Open Border ‘s bright orange strips are in stunning contrast to the snowy landscape, inviting curious visitors to walk through from one side to the other. Although fun in nature, the protest art installation makes reference to a seriousness of the worrisome xenophobic international policies being demonstrated not only by the USA’s current administration, but worldwide. “Creating a wall or border on a route is one the most radical and unnatural architectural statements one can make, which was something we liked a lot,” de Grauw and den Berg told Co.Design . “The moment we came up with the wall we realized this would be a political act as well, relating to the speeches of Trump, but also refugee problems in Europe. [It’s] something you can pass through and a place to gather and warm up.” The design was strategically crafted to make people contemplate the issue as they pass through the orange curtains. The semi-opaqueness of the PVC strips cause people to be indistinguishable as they pass through, a metaphorical statement on the equality of the entire human race. Atelier ARI explains the significance, “Everybody in the wall becomes dark-red silhouettes. Everybody becomes the same.” + Atelier ARI Via Lost at E Minor

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Donald Trump would probably hate this crossable border wall

Shell predicted the effects of climate change in its own 1991 film

March 1, 2017 by  
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A recent report by The Guardian reveals that Shell not only knew the extent of climate change as far back as 1991, but even made a film about it. The oil company’s film, called “Climate of Concern,” said the climate was changing “at a rate faster than at any time since the end of the ice age – change too fast perhaps for life to adapt, without severe dislocation.” Despite that knowledge, the company has gone on to heavily invest in the Alberta tar sands, and lobby extensively against climate change action. Check out the video below. As The Guardian notes, Shell’s film painted a bleak picture of a planet ravaged by the effects of climate change : “Tropical islands barely afloat even now, first made inhabitable, and then obliterated beneath the waves … coastal lowlands everywhere suffering pollution of precious groundwater, on which so much farming and so many cities depend,” says the film’s narrator as images of people dealing with the effects of natural disasters and famine float by. “In a crowded world subject to such adverse shifts of climate, who would take care of such greenhouse refugees?” Related: Shell tells US it’s ready to begin drilling 8,000 feet below Arctic seabed https://vimeo.com/205539515 At the time it was made, the film was available for public viewing by anyone – including schools and universities. But it seems to have largely gone off the radar in the decades since. And according to Professor Tom Wigley, who helped make the film during his time as head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia , the predictions made by the film 25 years ago remain pretty accurate based on today’s knowledge. “It was quite comprehensive on what might happen, what the consequences are, and what to do about it,” he told The Guardian, noting that predictions for temperature and sea level rise in the film were “pretty good compared with current understanding.” A copy of the 30-minute film was recently obtained by Dutch online newspaper The Correspondent , which posted the video on its website and Vimeo . Via The Guardian Images via Chris Light and dvidshub , Wikimedia Commons Video via The Correspondent

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Shell predicted the effects of climate change in its own 1991 film

Staten Island is seeking proposals for a High Line park of its own

March 1, 2017 by  
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Why should Manhattan hog all the fun? Staten Island may soon get a “High Line”  of its own. Much like the OG linear park in Chelsea, which was constructed on an elevated section of a historic freight rail line, the proposed North Shore High Line could sprout from a similarly abandoned set of tracks in Port Richmond. The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation , a nonprofit group that advocates for the borough’s economic development, has issued an open call for ideas. “Realizing we have this long abandoned North Shore Rail Line, I wanted to look into how we could replicate what they did in Manhattan,” Cesar Claro, president and CEO of the SIEDC, told SILive . “We met with Friends of the High Line in Manhattan … and came up with a plan using the Manhattan High Line as the roadmap, and it will start with a design competition.” Photo: Screenshot from video by Russ Ott A North Shore High Line along the half-mile stretch between Richmond Terrace at Heberton Avenue to Nicholas Avenue would not only rehabilitate what is currently an illegal dumping ground, but it could also pose an “unprecedented economic and recreational opportunity,” according to Salvatore Calcagno, Jr., SIEDC’s ambassador for the project. “Based on the success of the High Line on the West Side of Manhattan, we believe that activating the dormant line in a similar fashion can be a transformative project for the area. We hope this leads to an active public space along the line,” Calcagno said. A 2014 University of California, San Diego study showed that Manhattan’s High Line boosted the prices of adjacent homes by as much as 10 percent. “If our high line is half as successful as Manhattan’s, it will be a major boon to the community,” Calcagno added. Related: Proposed Staten Island vineyard would produce local wine for New Yorkers Designers who want a shot at $10,000 in prize money have until April 7 to submit a proposal to the SIEDC, which will put the entries to a public vote before announcing the winner at its annual conference on April 27. Claro, the president of the SIEDC, says he hopes to be able to work with local officials to fund the project, which could run up to some $30 million. But even if greenlit, such a scheme would take years, perhaps even decades, to come to fruition. “Keep in mind Manhattan’s High Line took 20 years from idea to creation,” Claro said. + North Shore High Line competition + Staten Island Economic Development Corporation Via SILive and DNAinfo Photos: Screenshots from video by Russ Ott and Wikipedia

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Staten Island is seeking proposals for a High Line park of its own

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