This library looks so intimate and welcoming. It’s a quality most designers and executives overlook, but it’s the determinant factor that makes a library most popular and productive. I think what makes it most beautiful is the exposed wood on the stairs, beams, and bookshelves. Materials seem like details when you’re redesigning a building, but it can be the most important piece of the whole project.
This garden is beautiful. As I fight the urge to spend hundreds of dollars on plants to fill my mother’s garden, I see gardens like these and know that one day I’ll have my own little space to fill.
However, balcony gardens are almost more romantic in concept, than they are reality (if you live in the Northeast). I see this and wonder how many containers need to be emptied over the Winter, moved inside for protection from the cold, or covered to protect from frost and snow exposure. Additionally, do you think this person would leave their entire garden behind when selling this place?
Using multi-color LEDs, an Arduino UNO, and a safety regulated helmet, a team of researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s Exertion Games Lab designed an interactive helmet that will make environments aware of bikers.
The LumaHelm also contains an accelerometer, which allows the wearer to control the lights via head movements. Presently, this lets users activate flashing “turn indicator” light patterns by purposefully tipping their head left or right, or activate a solid rear “brake light” by tipping their head back.
Artist Bruce Munro (previously) just opened a new exhibition at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania including a number of impressive translucent silos constructed from bottles. The exhibition will be up through September 11. Images above via Corriette Schoenaerts and Linden Gledhill.
Last semester in a Rapid Prototyping class at Cornell, Francois Guimbretiere said that the most effective use of the 3D printer was to create things that would else wise be challenging to find or build. Granted, we were talking about prototyping robots and custom cases, but this is a relevant concept to think about in the usage of 3D printers and CNC millers. Many people are led to believe that these devices will replace our need for shopping for mundane items entirely, but I think it’s more about the little pieces of innovative technology that will be made possible by these tools. In the case of a CNC milled house, it can be structural design that would not be possible by other methods of construction.
I would be interested in seeing this used as an alternative to concrete in the structural support of land manipulation. If you think about the way landscape architects use concrete, stone walls, and gabion baskets to retain and manipulate topography, there is a great potential for using degradable materials with CNC millers or 3D printers that integrate into the earth over time. The result of which would be a naturalized intervention on the landscape.
Boston is starting their own alternative parking initiative in the city, thanks to the precedents of San Francisco and New York City. Boston.PARKLETS is a program within the city planning department to take back the streets for pedestrians.
They are part of the growing movement to reclaim urban space for pedestrians and bicyclists and promote public transit. Mayor Thomas M. Menino has proclaimed “the car is no longer king,’’ citing the environmental, aesthetic, and health benefits.
It remains to be seen how willingly Bostonians, known for fiercely coveting and protecting their parking spots, receive the parklets.
Vineet Gupta, planning director for the Boston Transportation Department, said the city will work with merchants and neighbors to find appropriate spots, with the first parklets probably appearing next spring. They would scarcely put a dent in the city’s 8,000 metered spaces and untold thousands of unmetered and resident-permit spots, but they would enliven areas with heavy foot traffic otherwise lacking in public amenities, he said.
The city will pay to design and install the first parklets, estimated to cost $12,000 each, while asking businesses, nonprofits, and civic associations to sponsor maintenance of plantings and furniture.
via: The Boston Globe
“Copenhagen, a city of 1.2 million people [the bicycle-friendliest place on the planet], saves $357 million a year on health costs because something like 80 percent of its population commutes by bicycle, even in winter. That’s $300 per person per year.
At Fab Cafe, you can order coffee, snacks, and time on a laser cutter.
I think this would be a brilliant move in a city that has a growing population of small design firms. Imagine how easy it would be for you to make impressive models for those special projects? I would spend time every week in a place like this.
Networked Society ‘Thinking Cities’ - Ericsson
This is a fantastic video about utilizing technologies for the future networked landscape. It’s great to know that companies like Ericsson are putting an effort into innovating specifically for this. Most people are wrapped up into the iPhone app as their main way of bringing about networked societies, but I think expanding into infrastructure and physical objects can have more profound influences.
That being said, I do love the little things like Boston’s app for reporting public issues like potholes or disturbances in the landscape. Allowing for that connection, trust, and feeling of ownership are important elements of this urban ideal we’re all reaching for: the social, sustainable, and walkable city.