IBM Watson launches a “Siri for Cities” app as more tech companies clamor for smart cities where “things” can communicate and supply data

(Courtesy IBM Watson)

(Courtesy IBM Watson)

The IT industry is pushing relentlessly to institutionalize smart cities by installing internet-connected lampposts, digital signage, building facades, and more. IT research and advisory firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, 2.9 billion connected “things” will be in use in the consumer sector.

IBM Watson jas joined the breakneck race with the launch of its “Siri for Cities,” a cognitive computing platform that enables users to ask complex questions about city services. By speaking into their smartphones, laptops or Apple Watches, residents can inquire about fire and police services to parking and waste collection.

Continue reading after the jump.

While Google is photographing your street, its cars will also be mapping the air city dwellers breathe

(Courtesy Aclima)

(Courtesy Aclima)

Will we call it Air View? Google is collaborating with San Francisco–based, pollution-tech start-up Aclima to begin assessing air quality in metropolitan areas across the United States. Cars Google uses to capture its popular Street Views have been equipped with Aclima’s environmental sensors and will be able to detect pollutants such as Methane, Carbon Dioxide, and Black Carbon.

Continue reading after the jump.

2015 Best of Products Awards> Visionaries

Awards, National, Product
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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vision3-1of2

(Courtesy Nissha Printing Company)

On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process.

Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging.

The complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, and online here. In this final installment of reporting the competition results, we recognize four products as Visionaries. Whether a prototype or already in production, these pieces caught the jury’s attention for their pursuit of pure design ideals.

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2015 Best of Products Awards> Kitchens + Baths and Lighting

Awards, National, Product
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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lighting-winner-3of3

The winner of the Lighting category, Running Magnet 2.0 by FLOS Architectural. (Courtesy FLOS Architectural)

On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process.

Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging.

While the complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, AN will be publishing the results daily over the next week. Today’s categories, Kitchens + Baths and Lighting, evidenced a trend toward efficient use of space and energy. View all of the published categories here.

View the winners after the jump.

2015 Best of Products Awards> HVAC and Outdoor Furnishings

Awards, National, Product
Monday, July 27, 2015
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outdoor-winner-2of2

The winner in the Outdoor category, Walkable Photovoltaic Floor by Onyx Solar. (Courtesy Onyx Solar)

On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process.

Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging.

While the complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, AN will be publishing the results daily over the next week. Today’s categories, HVAC + Environmental Systems and Outdoor Furnishings + Products, evidenced a shared trend of sustainability. View all of the published categories here.

View the winners after the jump.

Here’s what happens when Zaha Hadid and Pharrell get together to design sneakers

Design, National, Product
Monday, July 27, 2015
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zaha-adidas

(Courtesy Adidas)

From the strange bedfellows files: Musician Pharrell Williams has enlisted Zaha Hadid as a partner to rejuvenate a rather staid athletic shoe.

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2015 Best of Products Awards> Facades + Structural and Openings

Awards, National, Product
Thursday, July 23, 2015
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The winner in the Facades+Structural category, UniQuad Unitized Daylighting System by CPI Daylighting. (Courtesy CPI Daylighting)

The winner in the Facades+Structural category, UniQuad Unitized Daylighting System by CPI Daylighting. (Courtesy CPI Daylighting)

On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process.

Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging.

While the complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, AN will be publishing the results daily over the next week. The entries in today’s categories, Facades + Structural and Openings, show a joint interest in streamlining the installation process while expanding aesthetic possibilities. View all of the published categories here.

More after the jump.

Institutional projects lift the Architecture Billings Index to its highest score since 2007

BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

While you were out grilling hot dogs and searching for the song of the summer (give it up, there isn’t one), the Architecture Billings Index was climbing to its highest score since 2007. In June, the ABI posted a 55.7, up significantly from 51.9 in May. The new projects inquiry index also had a great month, moving from 61.5 to 63.4.

More numbers after the jump.

2015 Best of Products Awards> Finishes + Surfaces and Interiors + Furnishings

Awards, National, Product
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
.
(Montage by AN)

(Montage by AN)

On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper‘s first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process.

Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging.

While the complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, AN will be publishing the results daily over the next week. Today’s categories, Finishes + Surfaces and Interiors + Furnishings, evidenced a trend toward dramatic design.

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Product> Hot Stuff for Kitchens & Baths

Spec Sheet  
LEAD-LaCornue

(Courtesy La Cornue)

Assertive style and high performance are characteristic qualities in the latest crop of new products and collections for the kitchen and bath. Often drawing on designs of the past, they nonetheless present an advanced aesthetic.

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After letter-writing campaign, Senate committee backs down on massive change to TIGER program

Light rail in Minneapolis. (MARK DANIELSON / FLICKR)

Light rail in Minneapolis. (MARK DANIELSON / FLICKR)

Since 2009, the United States Department of Transportation’s TIGER program has helped realize some of the country’s most innovative and overdue urban design and transportation initiatives. Launched as part of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, TIGER grants have since provided funding for projects like the Brooklyn Greenway, Kansas City streetcar, and new light rail in the Twin Cities.

Continue reading after the jump.

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