Technology

Harvard GSD Releases App on Ecological Urbanism

A new app by Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, called Ecological Urbanism, is the start of a deep dive into innovation research in urban sustainability.

Tablets are revolutionizing how people interact with information. We can now walk around with libraries in our knapsacks and the touch screen interface has enabled us to bridge the physical-abstract divide. The universe is now pushed and prodded, and just as the universe is expanding, so is our access to digital information. A new app by Harvard’s Graduate School of…

On Technology and the Importance of Play in the Workplace

The AIA Portland Technology Symposium inspires our contributor to consider the importance of play relative to technology’s impact on the design professions.

AIA Technology Symposium from KPFF Cinema on Vimeo. While attending the recent AIA Portland Technology Symposium I was inspired to think about the importance of play relative to technology’s emerging impact on the design professions. I went into the conference knowing that successful companies often foster a culture of experimentation and exploration. They encourage employees to explore tangents, push boundaries,…

The Brilliance of Color

Recently I read an article about the most beautifully colored berry I have ever seen. At first I thought it was fake, one of those plastic berries you see in a sci-fi movie, the type of berry offered to the star ship captain by the scantily garbed alien, and as tasty as they are psychosomatic. Pollia condensata Berries, a little…

Tech and Sustainability Meet Up at Greenbuild

The “classic” Silicon Valley stretches from Palo Alto to south of San Jose, CA, about 20 miles south of San Francisco. Bay Area locals are mighty excited about Greenbuild coming to San Francisco in November.  The conference theme, “@ Greenbuild,” references the mindboggling array of Internet and technology companies headquartered in our backyards. You know Google, Yahoo, Twitter (co-founder, Biz…

The Need for Storytelling in Landscape Architecture

Amanda Walter and Holly Berkley, co-authors of "Social Media In Action," discuss how social media tools are changing the ways the architecture industry communicates.

  What does it mean to tell the story of landscape architecture? Of design, generally? And what about the stories behind the designs of all of the projects underway worldwide? The aftermath of a great project can unfortunately be a resounding silence: the metaphorical gates open, the space is unveiled, the construction teams leave the site, and then a few…

Q&A: Andrew Blum on the Internet’s Physical Spaces

Andrew Blum’s new book, "Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet" is an evocative trip to the heart of the Internet.

Metropolis contributing editor Andrew Blum’s first book, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet appears today in bookstores (and presumably on iPads and Kindles as well). I had the pleasure of reading it in galleys a couple of months ago. It’s an evocative trip to the heart of the Internet, a look at both the physical connections behind…

Open-Source Cracks Open 3D Imaging Biomedicine Tools

These programs are now more easily accessible to those without advanced computer knowledge.

When you imagine uses for open-source 3D imaging software, medical applications don’t immediately spring e to mind. But at The Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute and The Center for Integrative Biomedical Computing at the University of Utah, the focus is precisely on how to apply 3D imaging and visualization to help advance medical treatments and therapies. Even better, they have…

Architectural Storytelling vs. Public Relations

Since we’re on the topic of design technology, we may as well start talking about the holidays. In the last 5 years or so online videos have become de rigeur for company holiday cards. Like the switch from paper towels to air blowers in the washroom, it’s a move that undoubtedly makes a lot of sense from a sustainability standpoint,…

Plastic “Trees” Generate Energy From Wind

A joint research team from Cornell and China's Northwestern Polytechnic University are prototyping an alternative tool for harvesting wind.

Image via creativemachines.cornell.edu There have been many suggestions on how to harness wind to power buildings or just to produce more clean sources of energy to add to the grid. The problem is that many of these technologies are prohibitively expensive, so that the cost of producing the devices is not offset by the amount of energy they produce. At…

Lab Report XIX

In this series of posts I have primarily focused on the of research technologies, either on the verge of being developed or currently available, technologies that will improve the lives of architecture and design professionals as well as other interested adults. On occasion I did look at innovations focused on children. Columbia University’s Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT) belongs to…

The Projected Story

What you see in the video above is San Francisco-based Obscura Digital’s six solid weeks of content development, countless hours of production, and invaluable cultural awakening coming to life on the exterior surface of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. This 17-minute long show of architectural projection animations replayed every 30 minutes for 5 days starting on November 29,…

Cabinet of Curiosities

I’m of the first generation that grew up with computers. This doesn’t mean that I was born with an innate ability to use them, but being around something fosters a sense of acceptance and curiosity towards that thing. To see what I mean, give a two year old an iPhone and see how quickly she manages to unlock it and…

Stewart Brand: Tech Pioneer & Editor of the DIY Bible

Stewart Brand, editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, is one of three design pioneers whose ideas have stood the test of time: going from revolutionary to mainstream.

The Whole Earth Catalog, edited by Stewart Brand and first published in 1968, very quickly achieved cult status in American counterculture. This DIY-er’s bible introduced people to the most advanced thinking of the time—from tensile structures to computers. That in itself should be enough to reserve Brand a place in the annals of architecture and design, but he was also…