Facade Design in the Digital Age: Knowing the Tools is Half the Battle

East, Technology
Friday, April 11, 2014
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facades+PERFORMANCE tech workshops offer hands-on instruction in digital design. (Courtesy Mode Lab)

As most AEC professionals know, technology can be either a help or a hindrance when it comes to the design of high-performance building envelopes. Software programs like Grasshopper and Autodesk Vasari offer powerful tools for generating, modeling, and analyzing facades. But there’s a catch. Without a firm grasp of the programs’ capabilities, users can lose data, overlook important features, or otherwise negate the advantages inherent to digital design. Read More

Designing Tomorrow’s Facades Today

One of six Dialog Workshops will focus on the use of glass fiber reinforced concrete in facade design, as in the Broad Museum. (Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

One of six Dialog Workshops will focus on the use of glass fiber reinforced concrete in facade design, as in the Broad Museum. (Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

Innovations in building envelope design typically take one of two forms. The first concerns the materials themselves, and the application of developments in the science of glass, metal, concrete, wood, and plastics to architecture. The second has to do with how the facade mediates between the building interior and the environment.

In a world of extreme weather events and rapid sociological change, architects must invent new ways to marry flexibility, resilience, and sustainability in facade design.

Continue reading after the jump.

Shanghai Company 3-D Prints Village of Humble Concrete Homes

International, News, Technology
Thursday, April 3, 2014
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house-3d-printed-shanghai-8

(Courtesy 3ders.org)

A Shanghai building company has erected a small village of pitched-roof, 3-D printed structures—in about a day. WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co is behind the series of humble buildings, a fully fabricated unit is expected to cost less than $5,000. The homes were created through the use of a 490- by 33- by 20-foot 3-D printer that fabricates the basic components required for assembly.

More after the jump.

Canadian Artist Creates Interactive Wall That Moves As You Walk By

The HEXI Wall in Action (Courtesy thibautsld.com)

The HEXI Wall in Action (Courtesy thibautsld.com)

Canadian graphic designer, Thibaut Sld., has created an interactive wall that responds to human presence. The impressive installation—which is equal parts CGI and home design—is known as HEXI and is comprised of 60 mounted modules that work in-sync with motion detectors to track, and then mirror, a person’s movement along the wall. So, essentially, when a person near the wall moves, the wall moves with them. Brave new world.

Watch the video after the jump.

Skyscraper Expert Gordon Gill Talks High-Performance Facades

Facade detail of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture's Wuhan Greenland Center in Wuhan, China. (Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

Facade detail of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s Wuhan Greenland Center in Wuhan, China. (Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

Architect Gordon Gill has one simple rule for facade design: seek performance first, and beauty will follow. Gill, who will give the opening keynote address at next month’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York, is a founding partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, a firm known for pushing the boundaries of what architecture is and does. Gill and his team start by “establishing a language of architecture that’s based in the performance of a building,” he said. “We’re trying to understand the role of the building in the environment it’s being built in, then shape the building in order to benefit it the best way. Once we take that approach, the facades play a pretty rich role in either absorbing or reflecting the environment.”

More after the jump.

Two Opportunities to Learn Dynamo at facades+PERFORMANCE

East, Newsletter, Technology
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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Two facades+PERFORMANCE tech workshops offer hands-on instruction in Dynamo for Autodesk Vasari.

Two facades+PERFORMANCE tech workshops offer hands-on instruction in Dynamo for Autodesk Vasari.

BIM continues to transform the process of design and building. Dynamo for Autodesk Vasari is a leading open source visual programming environment that extends the parametric capabilities of Revit and Vasari.  April’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York includes two conference tech workshops focusing on Dynamo.

Gil Akos of Mode Lab will lead Enhanced Parametric Design with Dynamo (4 AIA CES LU credits). Participants will learn the fundamentals of parametric design within Dynamo, with attention to how the application can be used during every stage of the design process. The workshop will also feature a preview of work-in-progress versions of the open-source software. Read More

On View> Jim Campbell: Exploring Meaning Through Light

(Courtesy Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery)

(Courtesy Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery)

This month, artist Jim Campbell will be taking over New York City. First, an exhibition of new works by Campbell will be on view at the at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in Chelsea from March 7–April 19, 2014. Titled New Work, the show will focus on Campbell’s latest series of sculptural light installations. The exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery coincides with another expansive New York exhibition of Campbell’s work at the Museum of the Moving Image. That exhibition, Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception, will be on view from March 21 through June 15, 2014. In addition, the Joyce Theater will present Constellation, a collaboration between Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Campbell, from March 18–23, 2014. The performance will feature an installation comprised of 1,000 light spheres programmed in synchronized interplay with the dancers.

Read More

Boston Valley Brings a 100-Year-Old Dome into the Digital Age

Brought to you with support from:
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BOSTON VALLEY FABRICATED 18,841 INDIVIDUAL TERRA COTTA COMPONENTS FOR THE RESTORATION PROJECT (BOSTON VALLEY TERRA COTTA)

BOSTON VALLEY FABRICATED 18,841 INDIVIDUAL TERRA COTTA COMPONENTS FOR THE RESTORATION PROJECT (BOSTON VALLEY TERRA COTTA)

Boston Valley Terra Cotta restored the Alberta Legislature Building’s century-old dome using a combination of digital and traditional techniques.

Restoring a century-old terra cotta dome without blueprints would be a painstaking process in any conditions. Add long snowy winters and an aggressive freeze/thaw cycle, and things start to get really interesting. For their reconstruction of the Alberta Legislature Building dome, the craftsmen at Boston Valley Terra Cotta had a lot to think about, from developing a formula for a clay that would stand up to Edmonton’s swings in temperatures, to organizing just-in-time delivery of 18,841 components. Their answer? Technology. Thanks to an ongoing partnership with Omar Khan at the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning, the Orchard Park, New York, firm’s employees are as comfortable with computers as they are with hand tools.

Read More

Santiago’s Savior? Graphene Paint Considered for Valencia.  Santiago's Savior? Graphene Paint Considered for Valencia As AN reported earlier, Santiago Calatrava‘s legal battles with a number of his former clients are ongoing. The Spanish architect is embroiled in a number of disputes regarding issues of budget, maintenance, and functionality the costliest of which concerns the rapid deterioration of the facade of an opera house Calatrava designed in his hometown of Valencia, Spain. Now Graphenano, a Spanish manufacturer of graphene paint is offering a possible solution for the beleaguered architect. The company claims that a coating of their product would be enough to save building’s problematic mosaic exterior. Graphenstone is a paint from a mixture of limestone powder and graphene and has already been used to protect the facades of older buildings in other parts of Spain. (Image: Courtesy Graphenano)

 

The National Security State Watches You. Now You Can Watch It Back

East, Media, National, Technology
Friday, February 14, 2014
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The National Security Agency (Photo by Trevor Paglen)

The National Security Agency. (Trevor Paglen)

More than eight months after Edward Snowden started pulling back the curtain on the national security state, we’re just now getting our first glimpse of what that sprawling apparatus actually looks like – building by building. Up until this point, the only image of the actual, physical intelligence operation was an agency-released photograph of the NSA’s boxy, glass headquarters in Fort Meade.

Read More

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Student’s Puzzle Facade Project Is an Architecturally-Scaled Game

JAVIER LLORET'S PUZZLE FACADE (COURTESY CORE 77)

JAVIER LLORET’S PUZZLE FACADE (COURTESY CORE 77)

In his school project, Puzzle Facade, Spanish designer Javier Lloret decided to transform the exterior of an Austrian museum into an interactive piece of architectural entertainment: a giant Rubik’s Cube. Lloret wirelessly connected a 3D-printed handheld cube to a laptop responsible for controlling colors on the facade of a nearby building roughly shaped like a cube: the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. The building proved to be an ideal canvas for the project as it was already furnished with an LED-lit media facade.

Continue reading after the jump.

The New Face of the Olympic Games

International, Technology
Friday, January 17, 2014
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megaface_archpaper2

(Asif Khan)

More Nine Inch Nails than Mount Rushmore, the upcoming Sochi Olympics will feature a new giant pinscreen that renders impressions of the faces of visitors to the Games. The pavilion for Russian mobile phone giants Megafon will play host to the installation, which was designed by British architect Asif Khan.

Read more after the jump.

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