Asif Khan unveils the darkest building on earth for 2018 Winter Olympics

February 8, 2018 by  
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British-based architect Asif Khan unveiled a super-black pavilion at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that he describes as the “darkest building on earth.” Built for Hyundai Motor, the temporary Pyeongchang Olympic Park pavilion is fully coated in Vantablack VBx2—a material that can absorb 99 percent of the light that hits its surface. As a result, the pavilion looks like a gaping black void even in broad daylight. Standing at 10 meters (33 feet) tall, the 2018 Winter Olympics Hyundai Motor pavilion draws inspiration from the automotive company’s technology and offers a unique interactive experience. Khan attached thousands of tiny white lights to the super-black parabolic facades, evoking images of a starry night sky. The steel-framed building measures 35 meters (115 feet) by 35 meters. In contrast to the super-dark facade, the interior is a brightly lit white room housing a multi-sensory interactive water installation. Haptic sensors allow visitors to interact with the hydrophobic installation that emits 25,000 singular water droplets per minute; the water droplets zoom down channels, collide, split, and eventually pool into a drain. “From a distance the structure has the appearance of a window looking into the depths of outer space,” said Khan. “As you approach it, this impression grows to fill your entire field of view. So on entering the building, it feels as though you are being absorbed into a cloud of blackness.” Related: Video: Anish Kapoor’s “Decension” is a black vortex in the floor of an old movie theater He continues: “The water installation visitors discover inside is brightly lit in white. As your eyes adjust, you feel for a moment that the tiny water drops are at the scale of the stars. A water droplet is a size every visitor is familiar with. In the project I wanted to move from the scale of the cosmos to the scale of water droplets in a few steps. The droplets contain the same hydrogen from the beginning of the universe as the stars.” The 2018 Winter Olympics Hyundai Motor Pavilion will open at the Pyeongchang 2018 Opening Ceremony on February 9, 2018. + Asif Khan Via WAN Images via Luke Hayes

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Asif Khan unveils the darkest building on earth for 2018 Winter Olympics

Tree-topped bridge to double as public space for a historic Chinese town

February 8, 2018 by  
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MVRDV has won a competition for Dawn Bridge, a new multi-use bridge near Shanghai that will give locals and visitors the chance to experience a historic Chinese water town in a whole new way. Located near the famous water town Zhujiajiao, this new 80-meter-long landmark will be topped with trees and amphitheater-like seating that overlooks views of the water and riverside architecture. To blend the modern bridge into its surroundings, the architects drew a contextual palette of colors and materials referencing the local vernacular. Located between the 16th century Fangsheng Bridge and the Qingpu Road Bridge, the 24-meter-wide Dawn Bridge will mark a new era of development in the riverfront area. MVRDV’s winning design proposes a bridge that doubles as public space by turning part of the deck into amphitheater -like seating optimized for gatherings, meetings, and beautiful views of Zhujiajiao. The bridge also provides sufficient clearance to the approximately 80-meter-wide active riverbed that’s used for activities year-round. “The vertical alignment of Dawn Bridge defines a sense of lightness and elegance, and our aim was to provide a graceful low curve above the river that also blends with the landscape”, says Wenchian Shi, Partner at MVRDV. “Beyond blending, we wanted to create a bridge that invites public life over and around it and that is accessible to all people whether on foot or on wheels.” Related: World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens in the Netherlands The bridge’s pedestrian deck and landings will be painted in the same reddish hue as the wood found in the nearby houses, while the gray roofs and white walls of the local residences are echoed in the bridge’s white structural frame and gray asphalt. Proposed plantings and trees on the bridge mimic the greenery of the riverbanks . Completion is anticipated for 2019. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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Tree-topped bridge to double as public space for a historic Chinese town

Italy wants to roll out Smart Highways with first aid drones

January 30, 2018 by  
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Self-driving cars and drones are transforming the world we live in – and designers are harnessing these new technologies to make transportation safer, faster and more efficient. Carlo Ratti Associati teamed up with highway agency ANAS to design a new Smart Highway where drones deliver first aid and warn of hazardous road conditions up ahead. The Smart Highway program could be be implemented on more than 2,500 kilometers of roads and highways in Italy. The pioneering infrastructure system comprises a series of “flying poles” equipped with multiple sensors and Wi-Fi connections. On the top of each pole there is a recharging station from which drones can take off and start monitoring the road. Drones can serve several purposes–from maintenance to delivering first aid equipment, and detecting accidents, fires and floods . Related: Self-driving cars are hitting Atlanta this September Data collected by the poles can inform drivers, in real time, of road conditions ahead. Direct, customized messages can be sent to each driver’s mobile phone or to each vehicle’s on-board navigation system , which in turn can give feedback back to the system. Related: Dubai plans to launch autonomous flying drone taxis by mid-2017 “With this project, we aim to superimpose a digital layer over the existing physical infrastructure of our road network, to gather better data about our highways,” said Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and professor of the practice of urban technologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “The next step will be to pool this data with information already collected by individual cars, in an “Internet-of- Roads” scenario that will make us ready for the other revolutionary breakthrough that is likely to happen in the next decade: the arrival of self-driving vehicles,” he added. + Carlo Ratti Associati

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Italy wants to roll out Smart Highways with first aid drones

How the factory of the future saves energy

August 28, 2017 by  
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Thanks to data, sensors and software, it may be closer than you think.

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How the factory of the future saves energy

The inside perspective from an Exxon-funded climate scientist

August 28, 2017 by  
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Should the oil and gas giant be held responsible for misleading the public?

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The inside perspective from an Exxon-funded climate scientist

How Internet of things startup Verdigris gives buildings a voice

March 16, 2017 by  
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The new cloud-based company promises savings up to millions of dollars. But for starters, the upfront investment is minimal.

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How Internet of things startup Verdigris gives buildings a voice

Companies cut food waste to stop wasting profits

March 16, 2017 by  
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Businesses that stop wasting food generate a 14-fold return on investment.

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Companies cut food waste to stop wasting profits

The ‘Internet of Soil’ gets a boost from sensor makers Bosch, Flex

April 13, 2016 by  
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Water-saving agriculture tech startup CropX has secured new backing as more big businesses scope out the smart farming space.

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The ‘Internet of Soil’ gets a boost from sensor makers Bosch, Flex

How cities and citizens will lead in climate solutions

December 16, 2015 by  
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In the post-COP21 era, we need data more than ever to keep us on track to reduce emissions in cities and beyond.

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How cities and citizens will lead in climate solutions

The state of sustainability jobs in a post-COP21 world

December 16, 2015 by  
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What does people power look like following the Paris Agreement?

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The state of sustainability jobs in a post-COP21 world

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