NEVEL is a moving labyrinth (11 X 11 m) consisting of 9 programmable walls able to rotate 360°. Architecture comes alive, walls become doors, spaces open and close, visitors are locked up and set free again.
via Regine at wmmna
January 31st, 2006
Why put up costly cell-phone towers in thinly populated areas, when a few balloons would do? In North Dakota, former Gov. Ed Schafer is backing a plan to loft wireless network repeaters on balloons high above the state to fill gaps in cellular coverage. “I know it sounds crazy,” said Schafer, who now heads Extend America, a wireless telecommunications company. “But it works in the lab.”
The company behind this system, Space Data, has launched thousands of the free-floating balloons in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico over the past year. The wireless data network they encompass tracks oil company vehicles and monitors the production of oil wells and pipelines,
“To cover every square mile of North Dakota, it would take 1,100 cell towers,” Schafer said. “We can do the whole state with three balloons.”
If successful, the hydrogen-filled balloons could be drifting across the stratosphere above North Dakota this summer, providing cellular coverage at a tiny fraction of the cost of building cellular towers. Up to 20 miles above the earth, well above commercial airliner pathways, steady stratospheric winds would push the latex balloons across the state at about 30 mph. Each balloon would deliver voice and data service to an area hundreds of miles in diameter.
“Nine balloons would always be in the air, with some going up, some going down, and some in the middle,” Schafer said.
The balloons swell from six feet in diameter to 30 feet after they gain altitude. Once a balloon leaves the state, its toaster-size communications pod would jettison, deploy a parachute and fall to earth, where it would signal its position.
January 31st, 2006
If your building interactive architecture, its obviously not just about understanding digital technology, you have to have an understanding of all the materials in construction that would lend themselves to interactive spaces. I’ve just got hold of this book Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine Our Physical Environment and I’d recommended it to anyone interested in particularily interior design or interactive installation design. To support the book is an interesting website with the occasional material getting shown online. Here’s their blurb ‘With more than 200 materials, organized by category, described, pictured, and annotated with technical and sourcing information, this catalog is an essential tool for any architect or designer interested in keeping up with the rapid developments in the field of materials, looking for a source of inspiration for their designs, or just eager to get their hands on real materials in an effort to understand the incredibly innovative palette now available to us.’
January 30th, 2006
So whats the interactive architecture in this? Well its the slowest form of interaction I’ve posted so far but the process of pleaching gives the patient house builder the ability to share with the tree the role of architect rather than the architect taking entire control of the final outcome of the building.
Growing a home from living trees instead of building a home from felled timber is the goal of an architect from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mitchell Joachim, part of the MIT Media Lab’s Smart Cities Group, along with ecological engineer Lara Greden and architect Javier Arbona, propose a home that is actually an ecosystem.
The Fab Tree Hab goes beyond sustainable housing and so-called green design — building with materials that have a low impact on the environment and human health.
“Not only does it do zero damage, but it will hopefully clean the air,” said Joachim.
The habitat is based on an ancient gardening method known as pleaching, which weaves together tree branches to form living archways, lattices or screens.
January 25th, 2006