Toronto’s waterfront to undergo major futuristic redesign thanks to Google’s Sidewalk Labs

October 18, 2017 by  
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In collaboration with Sidewalk Labs, a start-up created by Google to “accelerate innovation in cities around the world,” the city of Toronto will embark on a futuristic redesign of its waterfront that will incorporate cutting edge technology and sleek modern design to build an urban gathering place for businesses, locals and visitors. Innovations on the Toronto waterfront may include free public Wi-Fi, automated trash systems, robust renewable energy sources, and self-driving cars . “This project will become a model for others not only in Canada, but around the world,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It is estimated that the innovations by Sidewalk Labs could reduce typical greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds, save the average commuter an hour of travel time and put residents of the neighborhood, which has been dubbed “Quayside,” within a very short walking distance from green space. “Over time, “we believe Sidewalk Toronto can demonstrate to the world how to make living in cities cheaper, more convenient, healthier, greener, fairer, and even maybe more exciting,” said former New York City  deputy mayor and current Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff. Sidewalk Labs, acknowledging that “that great neighborhoods aren’t planned from the top down,” has announced a town hall meeting for November 1, 2017 in which citizens can discuss their ideas and concerns regarding the new project. Related: Trees to grow on the balconies of Penda’s timber high-rise in Toronto Founded in 2015 as a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Sidewalk Labs has been deciding between several locations for a comprehensive feasibility study to test ideas and systems that could be applied in the design of the cities of the future. The announcement by Sidewalk Labs and Toronto follows several months of speculation about the company’s plans, which were rumored to include a “Google Island” city built from the ground up to Sidewalk Labs’ specifications. In its work to redesign Toronto’s waterfront, Sidewalk Labs will use tools like Flow, which the company conceived to identify problems in traffic flow or lack of transportation access. Via Inc. and The Verge Images via Depositphotos

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Toronto’s waterfront to undergo major futuristic redesign thanks to Google’s Sidewalk Labs

Futuristic solar fabric canopy reacts to heat, sunlight, and movement

June 28, 2017 by  
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MoMA PS1 just completed one of its most experimental and coolest installations to date. The Long Island City-based contemporary art museum wrapped up construction on Lumen, an immersive and interactive installation made with solar-active canopies that glow at night. Designed by Jenny Sabin Studio , Lumen reacts like a living entity to light, heat, and movement, creating different engaging environments from day to night. Set to open to the public Thursday, June 29, Lumen will be on view in MoMA’s PS1 courtyard during summer 2017. The futuristic canopy was selected as the winner of The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program that challenges emerging designers to create a temporary, outdoor installation addressing environmental issues and forward-thinking design. Jenny Sabin Studio designed Lumen with over a million yards of digitally knitted fiber made from recycled photo-luminescent textiles that absorb solar energy during the day and emit glowing hues of blue, pink, and purple at night. The cellular canopies are stretched overtop the courtyard and give the space an extraterrestrial vibe. Suspended from the canopy like stalactites are 250 tubular structures. A hundred robotically woven recycled spool stools are scattered throughout the courtyard like stalagmites. Related: Futuristic canopy made of knitted solar panels wins 2017 Young Architects Program at MoMA During the day, the canopy’s integrated misting system sprays water to cool visitors in hot weather. Lumen’s use of mist for cooling and its multicolored glowing backdrop at night creates a dynamic setting for the 20th season of Warm Up , MoMA PS1’s pioneering outdoor music series. MoMA PS1 writes: “Socially and environmentally responsive, Lumen’s adaptive architecture is inspired by collective levity, play, and interaction as the structure transforms throughout the day and night, responding to the density of bodies, heat, and sunlight. The result of collaboration across disciplines, Lumen applies insights and theories from biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering—integrating high-performing, formfitting, and adaptive materials into a structure where code, pattern, human interaction, environment, geometry, and matter operate together.” + Jenny Sabin Studio Images by Pablo Enriquez

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Futuristic solar fabric canopy reacts to heat, sunlight, and movement

China breaks ground on first Forest City that fights air pollution

June 26, 2017 by  
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A pollution-fighting green city unlike any before is springing to life in China. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti , the first “Forest City” is now under construction Liuzhou, Guangxi Province. The futuristic city will use renewable energy for self sufficiency and be blanketed in almost 1 million plants and 40,000 trees—a sea of greenery capable of absorbing nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants annually. Commissioned by Liuzhou Municipality Urban Planning for the north of Liuzhou along the Liujiang river, the 175-hectare Liuzhou Forest City will be the first of its kind that, if successful, may raise the bar for urban design worldwide. This first Chinese Forest City will host 30,000 people in a community where all buildings are entirely covered in nearly a million plants of over 100 species, as well as 40,000 trees, that produce approximately 900 tons of oxygen . The use of greenery-covered facades builds on Stefano Boeri’s previous works, including the Vertical Forest residential building in Milan. The new green city will be entirely wired and connected to Liuzhou with a fast rail line used by electric cars. Powered by geothermal and solar energy, Liuzhou Forest City will include residential areas, commercial and recreational spaces, two schools, and a hospital. The project is slated for completion in 2020. Related: China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing The architects write: “The diffusion of plants, not only in the parks and gardens or along the streets, but also over building facades, will allow the energy self-sufficient city to contribute to improve the air quality (absorbing both CO2 and fine dust of 57 tons per year), to decrease the average air temperature, to create noise barriers and to improve the biodiversity of living species, generating the habitat for birds, insects and small animals that inhabit the Liuzhou territory.” + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images via Stefano Boeri Architetti

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China breaks ground on first Forest City that fights air pollution

Self-assembling shelters that could revolutionize emergency housing

February 16, 2017 by  
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Emergency shelter design is becoming increasingly important due to the various refugee situations occurring around the world. Although some designs have already been awarded for their crucial role in providing emergency housing, other forward-thinking designers such as Haresh Lalvani are actively working to create a biomimicry-based system where shelter structures would be able to assemble themselves. As cofounder of the Pratt Institute Center for Experimental Structures , Lalvani is employing a “wildly interdisciplinary range of tools” to create a type of generative geometry that would be able to assemble and repair, grow, and evolve all on its own. The designer is using concepts found in biology, mathematics, computer science and art to create systems where matter would start encoding information, a similar process to that of stem cells and genes in the human body. Lalvani explains that these biological systems are “the only place where software and hardware are the same thing.” Related: ASU’s new Biomimicry Center offers first-ever master’s degree in biomimicry https://youtu.be/fh-fMUo0Kjk Using biomimicry as inspiration, Lalvani is testing the potential of giving physical objects the power to assemble through a similar system of genomic instructions encoded into the raw material. His prototypes stem from a concrete and humanitarian approach that could potentially create, for example, rapidly deployable disaster housing . Creating an “inherently ephemeral building type”, however, is no easy task, and one that requires a futuristic level of technology. Working with metal fabricator, Milgo/Bufkin, Lalvani has managed to convert 2D sheets of perforated metals into rigid 3D structures using a computer controlled laser cutter that perforates “variable openings” into the sheets. Using a force such as gravity for instance, the spaces can be pulled apart or stretched, therefore creating another, more flexible form that is completely distinct from the original material. This type of installation could be a potential game changer for shelter design considering some of Lalvani’s installations take less than one minute to bend into shape. Additionally exciting is the fact that the raw material is just one thin sheet of metal, and can be easily transported and requires no tools for assembly, making it especially useful for emergency situations. + Haresh Lalvani + Pratt Institute Center for Experimental Structures Via Archdaily Images via Haresh Lalvani

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Self-assembling shelters that could revolutionize emergency housing

Geologists find seventh continent hiding in plain sight

February 16, 2017 by  
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There’s another continent on Earth , and it’s been lurking in plain view for a long time. Geologists have traditionally identified six continents, combining Asia and Europe into Eurasia, but a new study reveals New Zealand and New Caledonia are actually part of a seventh geologic continent called Zealandia. In the Geological Society of America ‘s journal GSA Today , 11 scientists from institutions in New Zealand, New Caledonia, and Australia revealed the find. They claim New Caledonia and New Zealand aren’t just an island chain as was once thought, but are part of one 1.89 million square mile piece of continental crust that comprises Zealandia. Once part of the supercontinent Gondwana, now just around five percent of Zealandia is above the ocean’s surface. Related: Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius To discern a continent, geologists consider four criteria: first, elevation above the ocean floor; second, if igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks can found; third, if the land is comprised of a thicker piece of crust compared against the ocean floor; and fourth, if there clearly defined limits around an area bigger than a continental fragment or microcontinent. Geologists have known for decades New Zealand and New Caledonia fit criteria one through three, but in their new study, the 11 scientists drew on satellite gravity data to help recognize Zealandia as a continent around the size of greater India. If you think you’ve heard the word ‘Zealandia’ before, it’s because geophysicist Bruce Luyendyk, who wasn’t part of the new study, coined the name back in 1995, to refer to the two islands and other submerged pieces of crust that once broke off Gondwana. Luyendyk said he wasn’t trying to describe a new continent then, but he thinks the scientists’ find will be accepted. He told Business Insider, “These people here are A-list earth scientists. I think they have put together a solid collection of evidence that’s really thorough. I don’t see that there’s going to be a lot of pushback, except maybe around the edges.” Luyendyk said there are clear economic implications to the study. United Nations agreements often describe continental shelves as boundaries that help determine resource extraction, and according to Business Insider New Zealand might have tens of billions of dollars of minerals and fossil fuels near its shores. Via Business Insider Images via Wikimedia Commons and N. Mortimer, et al./GSA Today

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Tridika is a self-driving maglev vehicle that would double as a portable living room

September 1, 2016 by  
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Hold onto your seats, folks—especially if you’re sitting on your living room couch. This wild self-driving living room concept lends a whole new perspective to the idea of private transportation . Charles Bombardier, a mechanical engineer from Canada with an unbridled imagination, worked with vehicle designer Ashish Thulkar to develop Tridika, the pod-like living room that doubles as a mag-lev vehicle. After all, Bombardier wrote for Wired, “Why shouldn’t people use their vehicles for purposes other than transport?” Bombardier has a history of wild and crazy ideas, over 200 of which have been chronicled on the blog he’s kept since 2013. Tridika is the latest, inspired by Thyssenkrupp’s Willy Wonka-style elevator (and probably in part by science fiction films, too), and the concept is essentially a driverless vehicle that operates on a magnetic levitation (maglev) track which, when not carting its owner around town, would be parked next to a home or apartment and used as additional living space. Another option, Bombardier explains, would be to configure the pod as a portable office capable of seating up to six people—perfect for the perennial workaholic. Related: Could maglev hovering homes be the answer to rising sea levels?  Considering how much time the average car is parked, doing basically nothing but waiting for the next commute or shopping trip , Bombardier’s impetus for the Tridika seems like a common sense approach. He argues the concept may be a great way to maximize limited space in crowded urban environments, simultaneously solving parking issues while expanding the usable area of your home. Because maglev technology powers vehicles with electricity drawn from the tracks, it could also be a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel-based cars. But what about the technology? Is a self-driving living room even possible? Well, sure. Since the concept is based on existing maglev technology, it seems as though creating the box-shaped pods might not be such a challenge. Of course, then you’d have to find a developer who wants to outfit their buildings with maglev tracks and take on the challenge of selling driverless pod living rooms to residents. But, if the price is right and the benefits are clear, the trend could eventually catch on. Via Wired Images via Ashish Thulkar/Tridika

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Tridika is a self-driving maglev vehicle that would double as a portable living room

Extreme hanging pods create a meditative, light-controlled space for rock climbers

July 27, 2015 by  
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Futuristic Urban Algae Folly grows food, fuel and shade

June 2, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Futuristic Urban Algae Folly grows food, fuel and shade Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae , algae canopy , bio-digital design , carbon sequestration , eco design , EcoLogicStudio , food , fuel and design , futuristic design , green design , interactive pavilion , microalgae , milan expo 2015 , Spirulina , sustainable design , the future of food is green , urban algae canopy , urban algae folly

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Futuristic Urban Algae Folly grows food, fuel and shade

Cosmic Messenger records your messages and sends them into outer space

April 15, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Cosmic Messenger records your messages and sends them into outer space Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cosmic Messenger , futuristic design , Lera Moiseeva , Message in a Bottle , Nichetto Studio , Nooka , space exploration , space travel , video device , virgin galactic

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Cosmic Messenger records your messages and sends them into outer space

Planning Korea envisions futuristic pod habitats in Paris

February 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Planning Korea envisions futuristic pod habitats in Paris Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anne hidalgo , egg shaped architecture , futuristic city , futuristic design , glass pods , L’air Nouveau de Paris , panoramic views , Paris , Parisian architecture , planning korea , pod architecture , Reinvent Paris , Urban design

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