Cul-de-Sacked. Emily Badger of The Atlantic‘s newly launched Atlantic Cities argued that the cul-de-sacs—the suburban answer to the overcrowded urban grids—may be a dead-end in more ways that one. Badger said cul-de-sacs are responsible for our decreased sense of safety, and moreover, happiness.
Talking Transit. Gothamist is right on calling out New York’s MTA as being “really into technology this month.” In a win for the constantly connected and a potential loss for our already-hectic commutes, starting Tuesday, AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers can pull out their cell phones and talk away on underground cell service through the 14th Street corridor. It will take the MTA five years to fully cover the entire New York subway system. Five more years of relative peace-and-quiet.
Paramount Makeover. The LA Times reported that Paramount Pictures is planning a whopping $700-million upgrade to its Hollywood lot, creating nearly 7,300 jobs during construction over next two decades. Rios Clemente Hale Studios and Levin & Associates Architects are charged with improving a place that hasn’t seen much change since the Gary Cooper days without compromising its old Hollywood charm.
Park(ing) police. A Miami-based PARK(ing) Day organizer created a green oasis for the day-long celebration of public space, putting up planters and bringing seats, tables, and WiFi, but according to police, he lingered a little too long. Police arrested the man for taking too long to clean up his parklet the next day, reported Streetsblog.
Closing Time. Seventy historic state parks across California are slated for closure this year due to budget cuts. The Los Angeles Conservancy has more information on the parks, five of which are in the Los Angeles area, including Los Encinos State Park and the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park.
Scary Design. The art, literary, and film magazine Zeotrope: All-Story, founded by Francis Ford Coppola, has invited Rodarte fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy to design the Fall 2011 issue. The theme is “Horror,” where artists, designers, writers, and other contributors explore the scary, the Gothic, and the sublime. More info at Zeotrope.
Broad-casting. Can’t get enough Diller Scofidio + Renfro? Now you can watch the construction of DS+R’s Broad Museum in Los Angeles 24 hours a day on a live camera feed that allows viewers to track construction progress and view high resolution photography taken every 15 minutes. The museum is expected to be completed in 2013. Via the LA Times.
Tourism and The Met. The Met Press Room shared that their summer 2011 exhibition season, including the enormously popular “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” show, brought in $90.8 million for New York City. “Using the industry standard for calculating tax revenue impact, the study found that the direct tax benefit to the City and State from out-of-town visitors to the Museum totaled some $90.8 million,” according to the Met. Sixty-eight percent of museum visitors were not from New York City and stayed for an average of five days.
Migration melee. Migratory birds continue to fall victim to the glass facades comprising invisible and impenetrable forest of buildings in New York City. Bird advocacy groups and planning and building commissions are beginning to take notice. The New York Times investigated this ecologically sensitive dichotomy.
Let there be light. MIT students and the MyShelter Foundation, a non-profit aimed at creating sustainable communities, have joined forces to light up the Phillipines. This capable collaboration has created an innovative way to bring light to notoriously dark cities outside of Manila. The result? The Solar Bulb. Core77 explained this simple and ingenious amalgamation of water, sealant, bleach and a plastic bottle.
Road to Africa. While perhaps not on the immediate horizon, urban thinkers and This Big City are looking at Africa and its potential for economic development. With all of our hindsight in the world of urban planning, is it any wonder that we do not know where to begin? The photo says it all.
Parking Paris. French and Swiss architecture outfits AWP and HHF have collaborated to out-design competitors and take home the privilege of creating all of the infrastructure buildings at Paris’ Parc des Bords de Seine. DesignBoom looked at this series of low-cost, modular structures that will bring new residents to the park to eat, play, and watch birds from a second-story platform.
The Critical Moment: Architecture in the Expanded Field
Opening reception: 7:00pm,Thursday, September 15 (TONIGHT!)
The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery
7 East 7th Street
Urban Design Week kicks off today, and on your rounds of events, you may want to stop by Cooper Union’s latest show, which features the thesis projects of its first graduating class of the school’s new MArch II program. The exhibition opens tonight with a reception at 7:00pm and runs through November 5.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 12-7pm, Saturday 12-5pm
Gallery Closed: Sunday and Monday
Bike On, NYC. This afternoon the mayor’s office announced that the company Alta would run the city’s new bike sharing program, which is set to begin next summer. In Manhattan south of 79th Street and in select neighborhoods in Brooklyn, 10,000 bicycles will be available for pick up at 600 stations. More details at The New York Times.
Back to the future? Ford Motor Company has somehow navigated its way through the Great Recession by focusing on its core values and eliminating the fat. This gaunt American icon is now beefing up and hedging its bets on design of the new, “Evos” in an attempt to blow the DeLorean-esque doors off its profit margins. More at Motortrend.
Bangkok Underwater. Thailand’s capital city is slowly sinking, and may even be submerged as soon as 2030, unless drastic planning measures are taken, reports The Guardian.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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Zephyr, the innovators of design-forward ventilation hoods, have unveiled revolutionary new range hood technology with their DCBL Suppression System (pronounced DeCiBeL Suppression). The standout feature of new Next Generation Europa Collection, Zephyr’s DCBL Suppression System (DCBL) features the industry’s first direct current (DC) brushless motor, Bloom HD LED bulbs with a 25,000-hour lifetime, and an on-board computer that actively optimizes the range hood’s performance. The DCBL Suppression System exceeds ENERGY STAR requirements and is up to 80 percent more energy efficient than other range hoods in the category.
Stay tuned, because Zephyr is undertaking pioneering projects on all fronts—including partnering with industrial designer Robert Brunner, designer/collaborator with rapper Dr. Dre on the BEATS headset, on a new collection of range hoods.
Some highlights of the DCBL Suppression System:
· An industry first – A direct current (DC), brushless motor has never been used in a range hood before.
· Zephyr’s DCBL motor greens the kitchen – It uses 77 percent less energy; it surpasses ENERGY STAR requirements, exceeding minimum efficacy levels by 14.2 CFM/W, and pulls approximately 30 percent more CFM on working speed settings.
· 77 percent Less Noise – The DC motor is the industry’s quietest—a big deal, as standard ventilation hoods are noisy—the noise level of Zephyr’s DCBL motor (0.8 Sone) is dramatically quieter than that of an AC motor (3.5 Sones).
· Higher working speed and moves more air than an AC motor (250 CFM in DCBL vs. 180 CFM in AC)
· Dimmable LED – First in Range Hood History – Bloom HD LED dimmable light bulbs never get hot and have a 68-year lifetime.
· On-Board Computer System – The DCBL Suppression System’s multifunctional, on-board computer integrates the user interface, LED controller and DC motor controller, all while managing the distribution of energy for each component.