Float Lab designed to serve as "new kind of architecture for climate adaptation"

Float Lab by California College of the Arts

Sea urchins, mussels and crabs are among the marine creatures that are expected to take up residence in a floating structure in the San Francisco Bay that was created by a multidisciplinary team at the California College of the Arts.

Float Lab by California College of the Arts

The structure – formally called the Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab – is currently moored in Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, where it will remain for three years.

Serving as both a research platform and demonstration project, the structure was created by a team of artists, designers and architects from the California College of the Arts (CCA). The project was spearheaded by the university’s Architectural Ecologies Lab, which is led by architecture professors Adam Marcus, Margaret Ikeda and Evan Jones.

Float Lab by California College of the Arts

The diverse team worked in concert with scientists from Benthic Lab and the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, along with experts at the Port of Oakland.

The Float Lab will test solutions for enhancing marine habitat and alleviating coastal erosion. The floating structure acts as a breakwater, which typically consists of piles of rocks placed alongside a shoreline. Breakwaters help block waves and make the water calmer.

“The Float Lab, a cutting-edge prototype for an ecologically productive floating breakwater, merges expertise from design, advanced digital manufacturing and marine ecology to imagine a new kind of architecture for climate adaptation,” the team said in a project description.

Float Lab by California College of the Arts

The structure measures approximately 14 feet by 8 feet (4.2 metres by 2.4 metres).

The hull is made of ecologically optimised, fibre-reinforced polymer composite and weighs 500 pounds (227 kilograms). Inside the hull are 1,200 pounds (544 kilograms) of concrete ballasts, which help ensure proper buoyancy.

The Float Lab’s shape was determined by the varying habitat needs for sea creatures. Species that have settled on earlier prototypes include bryozoans, tube worms, sponges, crabs, nudibranchs, crustaceans, oysters, mussels and sea urchins.

The upper portion has peaks and valleys, allowing tidal pools to form. The underside also has varying topographies to make it suitable for different types of invertebrates. Plankton and other nutrients flow into underwater “fish apartments”, helping foster ecological diversity.

Float Lab by California College of the Arts

“The substrate is designed to create a range of scales of habitats for marine invertebrates, creating small pockets of space that protect smaller creatures from predators,” the team said. “This strengthens the food chain and increases biodiversity.”

“In large masses, this biological growth can help attenuate wave action and reduce coastal erosion – one of the primary impacts of climate change and sea-level rise,” they added.

To help with the formation of tidal pools atop the hull, the structure has a small irrigation pump that collects seawater and channels it to the mounds. The water then trickles down and collects in pools.

Float Lab by California College of the Arts

“The irrigation pump is on a timer and circulates several minutes every hour during the day,” the team continued.

To keep the interior free or water and condensation, the structure has two bilge pumps, which are commonly used on small vessels. The pumps are activated when water is detected by float switches.

The pumps are powered by batteries inside the hull. The batteries, in turn, are charged by solar panels.

The team plans to install monitoring devices in the coming months, including temperature and turbidity sensors.

Float Lab by California College of the Arts

The Float Lab is the “first prototype of its kind” to receive permits from both federal and local regulators. The project earned approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

The structure has already won several accolades, including a Catalyst award from the Buckminster Fuller Institute and an Incubator Prize from Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Other projects that aim to create habitat for marine creatures include the Pier 35 “eco park” in Manhattan by Shop and Ken Smith, which features a rocky beach designed for mussels.

Photography is by Joshua Eufinger, Mike Campos, and the Architectural Ecologies Lab.

Project credits:

Project leaders: Adam Marcus, Margaret Ikeda, Evan Jones
Design team: Taylor Metcalf, Georine Pierre, Jared Clifton
Marine ecology: Benthic Lab, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (John Oliver, Kamille Hammerstrom, Daniel Gossard)
Fabrication: Kreysler & Associates (Bill Kreysler, Josh Zabel)
Maintenance and deployment consultant: DC Marine (Dean Christian)
Naval architecture and engineering: Tri-Coastal Marine (Andrew Davis)
Deployment team, Port of Oakland: Bill Morrison, Donald Ockrassa, Kevin Nekimken, Sean Wheels, Greg Skeen
Administrative support: Dustin Smith, Amanda Schwerin, Karina O’Neill, Laura Ng, Sarah Lowe, JD Beltran, Wes Miller, Tracy Tanner
Project sponsors: Miranda Leonard, Kreysler & Associates, Ashland Reactive Polymers, Autodesk Workshop at Pier 9, Port of Oakland, CCA Center for Impact

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Foster + Partners unveils design for domed winery in France

Le Dôme winery designed by Foster + Partners for Saint-Émilion, France

Foster + Partners has revealed visuals of Le Dôme winery that is designed to blend in with the rolling hills of the historic commune Saint-Émilion in France.

Le Dôme will be located in one of the vineyards of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which dates back to the Roman era. It will combine “state of the art” wine production facilities with a tasting bar for visitors.

Its hill-like form is designed to mimic the gentle slopes of the vineyards, and will be combined with panoramic glazing to maximise views in and out of the building. Foster + Partners hopes this will help the building engage “in dialogue with the surrounding landscape”.

Le Dôme winery designed by Foster + Partners for Saint-Émilion, France

“The views and the landscape have always been the primary protagonists of the design,” explained Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners.

“The process of winemaking is taken to the heart of the building and the upper level provides a flexible area for people to gather and taste the wonderful wine of the terroir. The direct visual connection between the inside and outside, wine tasting and production, creates a unique and unified space for Le Dôme.”

Le Dôme winery designed by Foster + Partners for Saint-Émilion, France

Positioned at the end of a tree-lined avenue, Le Dôme will be characterised by walls of rammed earth, concrete and glazing, topped by a domed roof made from terracotta tiles.

It will comprise two storeys – one above ground and one partially buried within it to reduce its visual impact on the landscape. These will be lined with a warm material palette of wooden furnishings.

Visitors will access Le Dôme by an external ramp that leads to the upper level, designed by Foster + Partners to “emphasise its relationship with the site”.

Another ramp will be built internally, which will mediate between the two levels and guide visitors through the building to observe different stages of the wine-making process.

Le Dôme winery designed by Foster + Partners for Saint-Émilion, France

Once complete, the upper level of Le Dôme will be fitted out with tasting tables, a wine bar and entertainment spaces looking out over the vineyards.

These will envelop a circular atrium at the centre of the building, allowing visitors to look down onto the wine production and storage spaces that are positioned below ground.

Le Dôme winery designed by Foster + Partners for Saint-Émilion, France

The buildings domed roof will measure 40 metres in diameter, and will have a twirling conch-like timber structure that will span the space without dependance on columns.

This will be punctured by a six-metre-wide skylight at its centre, positioned directly above the atrium, which will bring light into the depths of the building.

Founded in 1967 by Norman Foster, Foster and Partners is an architecture studio with offices worldwide. Its headquarters is located in London.

The studio previously designed a glass-fronted winery at the historic Château Margaux wine estate outside Bordeaux and a winery clad in weathering steel shingles in Spain.

Other recent proposals by the practice include an Uber Air Skyport for Santa Clara, an extension for the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and The Tulip viewing tower for London, which was recently rejected by the capital’s mayor.

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Design Job: Love Martial Arts? Work as an Industrial Designer for Century Martial Arts in Oklahoma City, OK

What we want:
Creativity (this is product development)
Brainstorming/Conceptualizing (think outside the box)
Specification Documentation (it has to be done)
Sketching/Rendering (white boards used frequently)
Researching (Google isn’t the only resource)
Proof of Concept/Prototyping (doesn’t have to be pretty)
Packaging (guru)
Analyzing – updating current product or adding to, you must know your numbers

What you need:

Bachelor’s Degree in Design (but of course)
Ability to multitask (able to wear many hats and change them frequently)
Mad Adobe CS skills (will make your life easier)
0 – 5 years of related experience
Able to hold their own in a diverse group of people (enough said)
Enjoy using SolidWorks (it’s a way of life)
Able to convey ideas quickly (see white boards above)
Understanding of time management (yes we do want it yesterday)
A passion for Fitness and Martial Arts would be a plus! (it is who we are)

View the full design job here

A Ride on Paradise Road with Eliott Dudik

La série «Paradise Road» d’Eliot Dudik, vous emmène voyager sur des routes éponymes. Le photographe et artiste de livres américain explore, dans son travail, le lien entre culture, mémoire, histoire et lieu. L’inspiration pour cette série prend source dans l’image d’un panneau “Paradise Road”,  glissé dans sa conscience pendant une période de semi-lucidité. « Pendant ces périodes, des centaines d’images et de pensées font surface, mais celle-ci m’a fait sortir du lit. Ce, en raison de l’angoisse vis-à-vis de l’inquiétude que je ressentais à ce moment, quant à mon avenir et au chemin sur lequel je travaillais si durement à tracer» , explique-t-il.

Après cela, Dudik a commencé à cartographier toutes les routes des États-Unis, appelées “Paradise Road”. «Je fais généralement une photo argentique 8×10 sur chaque “Paradise Road” que je visite, pour tenter de comprendre et / ou créer un peu de compréhension sur un échantillon représentatif de la culture américaine. Je désire également produire une étude métaphorique du bonheur, de la sécurité, du sanctuaire, de la nostalgie américaine et, malheureusement de la défaite dans cette période particulière changeante et déséquilibrée », explique-t-il.

En plus de son travail artistique actuel, Eliott Dudik lance une bourse cinematographique: le Film Photo Award. Il consiste en une subvention biannuelle, qui fournit une grande quantité d’appareils de films professionnels Kodak à trois photographes différents, deux fois par an. Les photographes soumettent leurs projets sur un site internet pendant les deux périodes de soumission, et trois projets sont choisis à chaque session comme support de film.



RIBA members call for Boris Johnson to be stripped of honorary fellowship

RIBA debates Boris Johnson

Members of the Royal Institute of British Architects, including a past president, have signed a letter calling for UK prime minister Boris Johnson‘s honorable fellowship to be taken away.

Former president of the Royal Institute of British Architect (RIBA) Angela Brady has called for Johnson to be stripped of the honorary title, while immediate past president Ben Derbyshire said a discussion on the matter was “inevitable”.

Johnson was made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA in 2011 for making an “enormous contribution” to architecture during his eight-year tenure as the mayor of London.

RIBA debates Boris Johnson
Prime minister Boris Johnson was found to have unlawfully prorogued parliament

As mayor he was involved with several high profile architecture and design projects, including a redesign of the London Routemaster buses by Thomas Heatherwick, the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, London’s cycle sharing scheme and the Emirates Air Line cable car.

Calls to strip the title came after the British Supreme Court found Johnson’s suspension of parliament to be unlawful. The court also ruled that his advice to the Queen to prorogue parliament was unlawful.

Prime minister’s behaviour breaks RIBA code

“Honesty”, along with “integrity and competence” are the three key tenants of the RIBA code of professional conduct.  Johnson is not bound by the code, but RIBA members have claimed his actions has bought the institution into disrepute.

“Discussion ⁦‪@RIBA‬⁩ council next week on the appropriateness of Boris Johnson’s Honorary Fellowship is inevitable,” tweeted Derbyshire.

“After last night’s Commons debate its clear his behaviour fails to meet the standards in our new Code of Conduct for members. Sadly this does not apply to Hon. posts.”

Johnson came under fire for his language when parliament reconvened, where he dismissed an MP’s fears about the language used around Brexit leading to violence as “humbug”.

Letter against Johnson signed by British architects

A letter calling for the honour to be stripped from the prime minister will be presented at the next RIBA council meeting on Wednesday 2 October.

“Unequivocally he does not meet the professions code of conduct,” tweeted architect Walter Menteth, who organised the campaign.

Former RIBA Honours Committee panellist Sarah Wigglesworth, who was part of the team that awarded Johnson the membership in the first place, is one of the letter’s signatories. RIBA co-vice president for students and associates Simeon Shtebunaev has also signed the letter.

Peter Barber, Charles Holland and Piers Taylor are among the signatories, along with Dezeen Awards 2019 judge and London Eye architect Julia Barfield. Dean of the Pratt Institute School of Architecture and Dezeen Day speaker Harriet Harriss has also signed the letter.

RIBA promises to remain “apolitical” in judgement

As well as the unlawful suspension of parliament, the letter notes “reported comments widely construed as denigrating to women and ethnic minorities ” from the prime minister and “matters of propriety and conflict of interest” in its case for removing the honorary title.

Johnson is currently under investigation from the Greater London Authority over his failed Garden Bridge project. He has also been referred to a police watchdog over accusations of misconduct regarding favours granted to a businesswoman while he was mayor.

“We are aware of the concerns that have been raised,” a spokesperson for the RIBA told Dezeen.

“As a charity and professional body, we uphold standards whilst also remaining apolitical,” they added.

“There is a process for considering the revocation of any honorary award and any assessment would remain confidential at least until a decision has been reached.”

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More early-bird tickets for Dezeen Day available for a limited time

More early-bird tickets have been released

We have now sold out of early-bird tickets to Dezeen Day! However, due to strong demand, we’ve released more tickets at the same reduced price, which are available to buy until Friday 4 October. Student tickets have also been reduced in price.

Dezeen Day, which takes place at the BFI Southbank in London on 30 October, will set the global agenda for architecture and design.

High-profile speakers, including architect Patrik Schumacher, designer Benjamin Hubert and MoMA’s Paola Antonelli, will focus on five key topics facing architecture and design. These include future cities, the circular economy and how to run a successful design business.

The extended early-bird tickets, which will be on sale for another four days, cost £250 (plus VAT if relevant). This is around a 20 per cent discount on the full price of £300 (plus VAT if relevant).

If you buy three or more tickets you can receive a further discount of £50 per ticket. Student tickets have now been reduced in price and now cost just £75 each instead of £125.

Last chance to buy your early-bird ticket!

Tickets for Dezeen Day are selling fast, so make sure that you buy a ticket at the reduced early-bird price before midnight Friday 4 October.

Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet, architect Arthur Mamou-Mani, biofabrication designer Natsai Audrey Chieza and PechaKucha founders Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham are also among the speakers.

The full schedule for the day and list of speakers announced so far can be found here.

Purchase your early-bird ticket here or use the form below:

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Swedish architects create self-sustaining children's centre in Tanzania

Econef Children's Center in Kingori, Tanzania, by Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects

Swedish studios Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects have collaborated with local workers to create a self-sufficient orphanage in Kingori, Tanzania.

Designed as a home for 25 orphans, the Econef Children’s Center was created by the Swedish studios, along with Architects Without Borders Sweden and Engineers Without Borders Sweden for Econef – a Swedish-Tanzanian NGO that aims to prove the lives of orphans.

Econef Children's Center in Kingori, Tanzania, by Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects

The compound in northern, rural Tanzania is made up of a group of brick buildings containing bedrooms, classrooms and a kitchen, arranged around two courtyards.

Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects designed the Econef Children’s Center to be a self-sufficient as possible to reduce Econef’s reliance on private donations.

“To help achieve our goal the new buildings are planned to be ecologically and economically sustainable and largely maintenance-free,” explained Frida Öster, co-founder of Asante Architecture & Design.

Econef Children's Center in Kingori, Tanzania, by Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects

The children’s centre has solar panels to create electricity, rainwater harvesting systems to collect water and a biogas plant to produce cooking gas for use in the kitchen.

Surrounding the buildings are plantations that will be used to grow food for the children, as well as areas for livestock.

“Our goal has been to create environment that is safe, functional, and sustainable; provide spaces for the needs, desires and dreams; with consideration of local climate, resources, building techniques and materials,” Öster told Dezeen.

Econef Children's Center in Kingori, Tanzania, by Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects

Econef Children’s Center has been built using local materials with techniques that use locally available skills, to minimise the construction and transportation costs. This will also reduce the maintenance costs.

Walls have been built with traditional local burnt bricks, while the roof is made of corrugated steel supported on a wooden frame. A gap for airflow between the roof and the room’s ceilings is covered with sisal poles to prevent birds entering and nesting.

Econef Children's Center in Kingori, Tanzania, by Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects

“The buildings are inspired by vernacular architecture in the area, following the methods of local building tradition, while introducing a simple yet innovative typology in the region,” said Öster.

“Making the most of limited means, we wanted to create something beautiful,” she continued. “The skills of local builders are integral to the sustainable house typologies adapted to the northern Tanzanian climatical, cultural and economical conditions.”

Econef Children's Center in Kingori, Tanzania, by Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects

Other architect-designed orphanages include a concrete compound in Djibouti created for the charity SOS Children’s Villages International by Urko Sanchez Architects and a Habitat for Orphan Girls designed by ZAV Architects in Khansar, Iran

Photography is by Robin Hayes.

Project credits:

Lead architects: Carolina Wikström, Frida Öster (Asante Architecture&Design), Pilvi Vanamo (Lönnqvist Vanamo Architects)
Design team: Lukas Bidö (Asante Architecture&Design / Architects Without Borders Sweden), Jockum Beckeld (A-Direkt)
Client: Econef Tanzania
Engineering: Cornelis Oskamp
Landscape: Anna Valman, Julia Vilkenas, Johanna Ardland Bojvall, Hanne Nilsson
Collaborators: ECONEF, Architects Without Borders Sweden, Engineers Without Borders Sweden

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Chairs are now a thing of the past!

The Chairless Chair is an invention that has made its way all over the internet… and now its back, leaner, lighter and more desirable than ever before! First a bit of background, the Chairless Chair has been designed with workplace productivity and comfort firmly in mind; the unique device allows the user to effortless switch between standing and sitting, without the inconvenience of a cumbersome chair!

So what makes the Chairless Chair 2.0 worth discussing? Well we think it’s the undeniably staggering amount of attention to detail that has gone into the engineering and design of it! Every touch point, hinge and fitting has been designed to be as comfortable and as effective as possible, without hindering the user! Could you see yourself using this instead of your boring old chair?!

Designers: Marc Sapetti and Jonathan Medcalf for Noonee

Over 25% weight reduction thanks to higly performant and optimized structure. Increasing of size range from 1,50m to 1,95m. A leaner and lighter 360 degree Shoe Connector for optimized motion flexibility. Ease of putting the Chairless Chair on thanks to the Fidlock® magnetic fixing.

MIT creates reprogrammable ink to make objects change colour

MIT creates reprogrammable ink to make objects change colour

Consumers could change the colour of their cars, shoes, clothes or other belongings at will, using a new light-responsive ink from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dubbed PhotoChromeleon, the “reprogrammable ink” gives objects the ability to change colour and pattern when exposed to light of certain wavelengths.

The change is reversible and repeatable – users could update their items every day, if they wished – and the colour would stay fast in ordinary settings.

PhotoChromeleon is the invention of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Its researchers believe the ink could help reduce waste by reducing the demand for new goods.

“Countless resources could be preserved”

People could update older items once they tired of their original colour, and manufacturers could cut down on overproduction.

“This special type of dye could enable a whole myriad of customisation options that could improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce overall waste,” said CSAIL postdoctoral researcher Yuhua Jin, lead author on a paper about the project presented at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology.

“By giving users the autonomy to individualise their items, countless resources could be preserved, and the opportunities to creatively change your favourite possessions are boundless,” added MIT professor Stefanie Mueller.

MIT creates reprogrammable ink to make objects change colour
MIT designed the programmable ink, which it has named PhotoChromeleon

The CSAIL team invented both the ink and the user interface for processing designs and patterns onto objects.

The ink is actually a mixture of three photochromic dyes – cyan, magenta and yellow – that is evenly sprayed over an object.

Meanwhile, the digital interface allows users to apply a pattern of their choosing or creation onto a 3D model of the object.

Colours programmed using a projector and erased by UV

To merge the two, the user places the object in a box rigged with a projector, whose different wavelengths of light will eliminate different colours in the dye.

For instance, blue light is mostly absorbed by yellow dye, so the yellow dye is deactivated, leaving only magenta and cyan — a blue colour.

To erase the design, an ultraviolet light shines to return all the colours to their full saturation.

A video created by the lab shows them placing a shoe, a phone case, a toy car and a toy chameleon in the box to print them with patterns ranging from flames and florals to abstract geometries and high-resolution photography.

Financial backing for the project came from Ford Motor Company, which expressed interest in the potential benefits of the ink in the automotive industry.

“This ink could reduce the number of steps required for producing a multicolor part, or improve the durability of the colour from weathering or UV degradation,” said Alper Kiziltas, technical specialist of sustainable and emerging materials at Ford Motor Co. “One day, we might even be able to personalise our vehicles on a whim.”

The CSAIL team’s next step will be to expand the colour palette possible with PhotoChromeleon by collaborating with material scientists.

MIT’s CSAIL focuses on computing and artificial intelligence, with more than 900 researchers. Its previous projects include the soft robotic swimming fish SoFi and ColorMod, a direct precursor to PhotoChromeleon.

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A thermal camera equipped smartwatch that helps firefighters search and rescue faster!

Smart watches seem to be taking over the tech industry by storm, however PDF Haus has taken the concept one step further by creating the Pantech and Curitel Smartwatch. Inspired by the principles of the Pantech and Curitel Camcorder Phone, they decided to apply it to a new form factor- a Smartwatch. Armed with a thermal imaging camera, the Pantech and Curitel Smartwatch; a design by Kikang Kim is all set to transform the conventional thermal imaging experience into a more hands-free one.

Firefighters have been using thermal imaging cameras to save lives since ages galore. However thermal imaging cameras do tend to be bulky, reducing shooting capabilities and limiting hand movement. Though there’s no denying that these cameras are getting more compact by the day, PDF Haus decided to extend a limb and integrate the camera with a smartwatch. They collected and investigated relevant data, before coming to the hard-earned conclusion that such an integration was indeed possible! The result: a sleek smartwatch with a metallic finish and a strong rugged look, enabling firefighters to find an ignition point and save countless lives! The introduction of User Interface allows for the instant and easy capturing of images, without occupying any upper limb movement. Ergonomically the Smartwatch has been designed in such a way that all the firefighter needs to do is point the watch towards the fire, and watch the thermal image on the camera to discover if anyone is in need of help. A nifty dial has been provided to adjust the focus, with a tread pattern so it can be easily manoeuvered by the gloved fingers of the firefighters. An easily accessible power button allows us to switch the device on and off.

With a beautifully dotted strap and an array of different colors to choose from, PDF Haus has created a device that marvelously meets both tech and safety goals.

Designer: Kikang Kim with PDF Haus