Posts tagged with "Apps":

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Startup wants to automate the home design process

Anyone who’s played The Sims (especially with cheat codes) knows the fun and ease of designing your own home with a few clicks of the mouse. Anyone who's designed an actual, IRL home knows that the real process is completely different. Homebuyers who want a custom home often encounter a frustratingly opaque and expensive process, or are stuck with pre-made plans that look like everyone else’s. They’re left, as Michael Bergin, cofounder and director of architecture at the startup Higharc put it, with “houses that are just left without design.” And even getting an architect to customize stock home plans, like those available online, Bergin said, can wind up costing at least in the low five figures, so instead, most go for pre-designed plans. “People spend their entire savings, everything that they have, on something that's not fit for them." Higharc believes there could be a “middle ground” in home architecture. To that end, it's developed a web-based home design app aimed at the everyday user and homebuyer. “We are trying to…address fundamental inefficiencies, structural challenges in the home building,” said Bergin. “The product that we are developing isn't going to replace an experienced 20-year architect,” he admitted, but it will, Higharc hopes, make customization much more accessible to a wider swath of new home buyers. Higharc is trying to embed “architectural intelligence” directly into its web-based software. The app uses, among other technologies, “procedural generation,” a computational technique borrowed from video games (one of Higharc’s founding members, Thomas Holt, has game industry experience), that generates graphics on the fly. “The difference between where this lands in gaming and our approach is that we're building in these heuristic or structural rules, so that no house that's produced in our system is structurally deficient,” explained Bergin. “[Higharc] looks at the international building code and prescriptive span tables and ensures that every house that we are producing is something that's buildable.” (A recent Curbed article reported that many of these code data come from the International Code Council, which recently sued the startup UpCodes for republishing building codes.) Higharc said that as it expands into new markets (it's currently beginning its first role out in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, area), it is also incorporating regional building codes. To help with siting, Higharc pulls in public GIS data. Users can pick a plot anywhere in their area from a Google Maps–like interface and try out building their home. They can then take their design and see how it fits on another plot, and Higharc will adjust the home accordingly to make sure it fits just right on the new site. Right now, The Sims comparison might go a little too far—those 3D characters don’t have to worry too much about structural integrity, after all. Higharc allows users to choose from a series of options—preset aesthetics, number of bedrooms, guest suites, number of floors, the size of each room, etc.—and automatically generates a home optimized for the user selections and the chosen plot, immediately adjusting and restructuring the entire home as the homebuyer switches options. All the while, the software displays an estimated cost range that adapts with each change to help users stay on budget. “We’re making [home building] a fun process, making it an accessible process for everyone,” said Bergin. “Ultimately, we just want to make better neighborhoods and give home buyers and builders choice—and agency.”
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CityIQ plans to install thousands of sensors to monitor San Diego

Smart City Expo World Congress, held this year in Barcelona, is an annual architectural, engineering, and technology exhibition dedicated to creating a better future for cities worldwide through social collaboration and urban innovation. Among the projects that were unveiled at this November's event was CityIQ’s proposal to install 4,200 sensor nodes throughout San Diego, California, a major tech hub whose goal is to decrease its carbon emissions and energy use in order to fight climate change. The CityIQ nodes, which are part of an elaborate internet of things (IoT) project, will be coupled with new smart city apps to improve the city’s parking, traffic, and streetlight efficiency by an estimated 20 percent. CityIQ is already cooperating with multiple departments within San Diego, including the police department, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the Traffic and Engineering and Operations unit. The company's IoT project involves embedding sensors and software into the streets of the San Diego in order to collect and exchange data, and just last week, the city agreed to install 1,000 more nodes than originally planned. The new data that will be accumulated by the nodes can support a wide variety of innovative apps, including Genetec, which facilitates real-time emergency response, Xaqt, which displays the latest traffic patterns, CivicSmart, a smart parking app, and ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection app that can locate the scene of the shooter in less than a minute. The city is also working toward bringing a state-of-the-art Lightgrid system onto the streets, whose immediate data collection and connectivity will provide the city with a better understanding of streetlight usage, and it is expected to save the city over $250,000 in energy costs. “Our ability to leapfrog our smart cities technology ahead in both energy savings and scale is a testament to the hard work and ongoing collaboration of many public and private stakeholders,” said San Diego’s interim deputy chief operating officer Erik Caldwell in a statement. “We are proud of our progress so far in building a solution that will stand in the test of time and enhance our citizens’ quality of life.”
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Artist Artie Vierkant uses augmented reality to put his art in your hands

Brooklyn-based artist Artie Vierkant melds photography, commercial printing, and sculpture. For Vierkant, there is no real hierarchical distinction between art experienced in real life or in a photograph. In Vierkant’s post-digital world, 2-D and 3-D, image and object, original and copy, exist on a level playing field. He often takes photos of his installation, modifies them, and repurposes them as new works in and of themselves. Most recently, this has taken the form of an augmented reality (AR) app, Image Object (a term Vierkant termed in 2010 to describe work which “exist[s] somewhere between physical sculptures and altered documentation images”), released in conjunction with his exhibition Rooms greet people by name at Galerie Perrotin on the Lower East Side. Vierkant sat down with the Architect’s Newspaper to discuss the app, the boundaries between 2-D and 3-D, and what augmented reality means for the future of public space. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfq5LJuhF_9/?taken-by=avierkant Architect's Newspaper: Along with your exhibition Rooms greet people by name at Galerie Perrotin in New York, you’ve released an app, Image Object. Can you give us a little background on the app? Artie Vierkant: The app is functionally just a camera app. Part of the idea is for people to take photos and videos with it. For me, that’s just another extension of the work. It started because I realized augmented reality platforms are basically what I do already with the installation view editing in a very simple way. I started playing around with those tools and then realizing that if I applied the same principles as what happened in the installation views, AR could essentially create the exact same aesthetic experience, but perceptually in space, where you could wander through and around the work. It takes the reproduction in a photo on my phone or online or in a book and renders it spatially. AN: Like much of your work, this app troubles the boundary of 2-D and 3-D, perhaps taking it even further than what you've done before. If you're using the Image Object app in the exhibition, there’s a simultaneity between the arts instantiation in the gallery space and in the flat space of your screen. Artie Vierkant: I’m always quite serious about these points of intersection. AN: But, on the other hand, the app works anywhere. You can attend the exhibition without going to the gallery. Artie Vierkant: Or make your own. AN: I was reading somewhere that you said digital space was “susceptible to modification.” How might we think of physical space along these lines? One of the big questions for AR is where the boundaries between physical spatial experience and digital experience are. And if those boundaries even matter. Artie Vierkant: I think it’s becoming increasingly obvious that those distinctions and boundaries don't really matter. So many of these technologies are just prosthetics that extend our regular perceived lived reality. The idea of having two totally separate realms has been long ago debunked. We’re living in an incredibly weird time. AN: The idea of being “post-internet” presented the notion that the internet became so pervasive it just was simply the background of our world, not some special, fetishizable thing apart from it. It infiltrated existence. Now everything is passively designed to accommodate our use of the internet, to accommodate computation—possibly without even conscious thought. What sort of spaces and designs can we imagine as AR becomes increasingly high-level and increasingly entrenched? Artie Vierkant: This is what would maybe be the really interesting possibilities with AR. For example, buildings are designed knowing that a certain type of use is going to be predominant within them, but AR actually creates a situation where for the first time you could actually introduce a completely other layer. You could say that that's not totally the case because many things you could physically make, you could waste a bunch of material and resources doing it though. AN: The gallery is almost a perfect metaphor for this though because it is always claiming to be an empty, evacuated space. Artie Vierkant: The white cube will not stop trying to attest that it is a neutral zone or a completely empty space of limitless possibility. Which is obviously false. AN: AR takes that notion of emptiness and asks why bother filling it with stuff when you can fill it digitally. In this way, the gallery is the most extreme test case for the relationship between physical space and AR. Another interesting problem of AR is its relation to the private/public in space. The gallery is a space we occupy with others, but the app’s view of it is limited to our own phones. What does AR mean for public space and togetherness in physical space? Artie Vierkant: I have my own assumptions about how a lot of these technologies will play out and continue to be developed. I don't think that the more utopian options are going to play out in the short term, frankly. Clearly one of the issues that we have right now with "digital space” is its relationship to corporations. Social media space is basically just comprised of huge advertising companies. You could imagine a more egalitarian version of this under capitalism where you're both selling you're both your resources, where you're actively selling your attention and being remunerated for it. AN: Still, that remains capitalism as such, if a less extreme variety of it. Even the more radical proposals that have existed have quickly turned into commercial tools; if late capitalism is good at anything, it's rapidly subsuming anything that was initially meant to oppose it. Artie Vierkant: But, outside of an individualized experience which the market is predisposed to, you could also imagine a very strange reality that would be produced by having an augmented reality share a collectivized experience where you have a separate life over everything or different spaces where you could go into, like a white cube, and could load up some stuff that people have left there. Rooms greet people by name will be on view at Galerie Perrotin until April 8. Image Object will remain downloadable from the Apple App Store. Artie Vierkant: Rooms greet people by name Galerie Perrotin 130 Orchard Street New York, NY Through April 8    
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Here's what Apple's big announcement offers to architects

Today Apple launched its latest watch, TV, and iPhone series at the company's new Cupertino, California campus, designed by Foster + Partners.

One of the unveiled gadgets, a $999 device dubbed the iPhone X, features a larger screen and a whole host of fancy features that befit its high price tag. Almost like the Apple Watch, the new iPhone can be charged with magnetic induction and employs face recognition to unlock itself—there's no home button. With better cameras, the phones have the optimal hardware for augmented reality, a useful technology for designers and one that Apple has been keen to refine. You don't have to be a well-compensated tech bro to get in on the fun, either: cheaper phones in the iPhone 8 line were also launched today for those with less money to spend.

On all models, the Camera app uses machine learning to analyze lighting conditions and adjust the image accordingly. For graphic communicators, there will also be animated emojis, which use your facial movements to turn static icons into cartoons.

The stakes for the rollout are high. Since its debut ten years ago, Apple has sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones, and despite its comparably high price tag, the series' sales rank second only to phones from electronics manufacturer Samsung.

With all the tech-talk, what do architects and designers need to know about this new roll-out?

First, iOS 11, the new operating system, will allow designers to draw with the Apple Pencil on the iPadPro with greater ease.

But there's even bigger news. The OS now comes with ARKit, Apple's foray into augmented reality. Introduced in June, ARKit allows developers to churn out augmented reality apps using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), a technology similar to the one that powers Pokémon Go. The key difference is that SLAM recognizes and scales objects relative to their environment, which is great for gaming but also provides the foundation for spatial analytic tools that are sure to be a huge boon to architects. Users will be able to upgrade to the new OS on September 19.

Developers for the AEC and design industries are bullish on the potential of these new features. Speaking with The Architect's Newspaper (AN), Anna Kenoff, co-creator of Morpholio (a suite that includes drawing app Trace and Board for moodboarding) called the new tools a "home run" for designers. A "drag and drop" feature will make it easier to access files and transfer them between programs, and the improved Pencil tool, she said, "will allow architects to work fluidly and precisely with their hands. It's making tedious processes easier because you're doing them by hand again." The latest versions of Morpholio's products will debut concurrently with iOS 11.
Below, Kenoff shared three other apps for architects that will work great with the new operating system:
Power-rendering app Procreate's biggest update yet will be released next week. And you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars annually to access its graphics capabilities: The app costs just $5.99.
The newest version of image-editing app Affinity Photo features full HDR merge support and 360-degree image editing. As a bonus, Kenoff said it's easier to use than Photoshop because of its ease of use with the Pencil.
Shaper 3D is a 3D modeling program for massing models faster, and it's the first professional 3D CAD that runs on an iPad Pro.
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Announcing a whole new way to discover stories about your city, region, or neighborhood

Have you ever walked by a new construction site and wondered what's being built? Spotted a striking storefront and wanted to know who designed it? Perhaps you'd be alarmed to discover your favorite park is at risk? At The Architect's Newspaper (AN), we're obsessed with covering the most important stories on the built environment, whether it's a mega project or a thoughtful change to a small plaza. Now you can discover our articles based on your location at any given moment. AN has partnered with Hoverpin, a free app that helps users find new people, places, and events, to make this possible. Here's how it works:
  1. Open Facebook's Messenger app on your phone. (If you don't have an iPhone, Messenger is free to download. The app requires you to have a Facebook account.)
  2. In the "Search" bar at the top, type "The Architect's Newspaper."
  3. AN's blue, circular icon should appear—click on it.
  4. Tap "Get Started" for a quick tour, then click "Explore."
  5. Select "Your location"—you'll be asked to send your location. You can adjust your pin on the map if you like. Tap the small, blue arrow once you're ready.
After you send your location, a number of articles will appear, each one relating to a site near you. Each "pin" links to the full article on AN's website. You can also view the project's exact location on a map or share the story others. Curious about a specific city? Just tap "Send a message" then enter the city's name (e.g. Philadelphia). We have over 250 articles available on this Messenger app, so while not every location will have relevant articles, our database grows every day. (A note to our international readers—at the moment, our pins are primarily in the U.S.) Want to explore our archive on your desktop? Visit the Messenger app's desktop version and repeat the steps above; the "Search" bar is at the top left of the page and features a small magnifying glass icon. You can also find all of our "pins" on this easy-to-navigate map. If you'd like to send a regular message through the app, just tap "Contact Us" and we'll respond as quickly as possible. Have questions or comments? Please let us know below or email info[at]archpaper.com!
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New app transports you through NYC's historic cityscape with archival photos

Finally, a digital archive of historic New York City photos that geolocates to your smartphone! This new app mines the digital collections of three NYC cultural institutions, placing the images onto an interactive map of the city. Working with Brooklyn Historical Society, the New York Public Library, and the Museum of the City of New York, Urban Archive has made accessible over 2,500 images from all five boroughs (sorry New Jersey). The newly formed nonprofit's ambition is to create apertures into the city’s urban history in a multi-dimensional digital platform that both informs and entertains the public.  This democratization of images has the potential to allow communities to articulate untold urban histories in a new forum of public engagement. The app has a sophisticated interface that, among other features, sends push notifications when you walk pass a historic building, giving new agency to urban explorers and history enthusiasts. The app also has curated walking tours of certain neighborhoods and a popular side-by-side photo generator that produces images you can share on social media. To "check-in," you need to be within 150 feet of the chosen location. "Certain check-ins may unlock achievements within the app, so no short cuts are allowed!" Urban Archive says on their website. While the available database is still in beta testing, Urban Archive continues to sort and geotag some 50,000 additional images, encouraging other institutions to share their collections. The Urban Archive iOS app requires an iPhone running iOS 10 or later. No iPad or Android versions are available yet.
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The resurgence of illustration in architecture and why it’s critical

Morpholio Trace’s Joey Swerdlin and architect Jim Keen have teamed up to discuss the art of illustration in architecture and how it impacts the communication of design to our peers, clients and ultimately the public. With the inundation of photo-realistic representations of architecture, it seems that far too often we lose focus on what is important in design and what needs to be conveyed at the early phases of a project. "These high fidelity images lend credibility to a project vision, but draw more attention to surfaces and details when the argument should be forming around space, place, and use," said Joey Swerdlin, Morpholio community director. It would not surprise many in our field that when asked, several architects admitted spending more time representing their work than actually designing it. There has always been a fine line between process and presentation, one feeding the other, but have we gone too far? Have we forgotten some of the most powerful tools in our storytelling arsenal and how they operate to filter and convey meaning? Morpholio Trace + Jim Keen from Morpholio on Vimeo. Jim Keen would say yes to this proposition. A seasoned architect with an extensive portfolio of built work, Keen ultimately turned his focus back toward illustration, where he finds the most satisfaction. His professional experience provided insight on the delicacy required to communicate a persuasive yet open-ended view of a space or project. According to Jim, “Today, computer renderings have lost their impact, leading the client to obsess over carpet colors or door handles meanwhile losing sight of the overall design. Hand drawings and sketches return the conversation to the design of space by focusing on architecture, form, and people.” Morpholio, a software company founded by architects, seeks to create tools that bridge the gap between the vitality of hand drawing and the intelligence of digital workflows. Jim’s work provides a fascinating case study for such experimentation and is a telling example of the desires that have shaped one of their most widely used apps, Trace Pro. The app replicates trace paper and the tools architects use to sketch, draft, and render. This new kind of interface for design is something in which Keen finds not only creative comfort, but also artistic freedom. “When I work through a design illustration with a client, I need software that 'disappears' and allows me to concentrate completely on the work." Keen’s work powerfully demonstrates that the act of illustration by hand can return the focus to that which should be central in architectural communication by editing out extraneous details, especially in the early concept phase. The diagrammatic nature of the images seems to leave room for evolution, and interpretation, thereby encouraging concepts to be further probed for new and perhaps even more novel possibilities. With the gift of the touchscreen, architects would be crazy not to find ways to integrate analog and digital methods of designing, taking advantage of the intuition and delight that working by hand is known to amplify. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to advance a discipline and language that was honed for centuries into the next era of style, culture, and craft. Reincorporating the hand drawing into a seamless digital workflow is fundamental for the post-digital architect, something that Jim Keen has found by drawing in Trace. Download Trace here. To see more of Jim's work, or request an illustration, please visit his website here.
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A quick and user-friendly glazing comfort tool

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Boston-based Payette recently unveiled a publicly available web-based tool that allows designers to evaluate glazing design and performance with respect to occupant thermal comfort. This Glazing and Winter Comfort Tool, developed by an in-house team of building scientists and designers, received an honorable mention at AIA's recent TAP/CAA (Technology in Practice) Innovation Awards.
  • Architects Payette
  • Team Involved Alejandra Menchaca, PhD, LEED AP – Senior Building Scientist / Associate; Lynn Petermann, AIA, LEED AP – Associate; Vera Baranova – Designer; Christopher Mackey – Building Scientist
  • Awards 2016 AIA TAP (Technology in Architectural Practice) Innovation
  • Location web-based
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Envelope performance tool
  • Topics Practice-based Research;  Academic; Applied Technology Development
The project comes at a time of increased interest in facade transparency, energy efficiency, and occupant comfort. Alejandra Menchaca, senior building scientist / associate at Payette and lead researcher on the project, said the project was initiated as a response to the challenges of quantifying how glazing performance and geometry will affect the need for supplemental perimeter heating early in the design process. "What if the design team could understand, as early as schematics, which facade properties negatively or positively impact occupant comfort? What if there was a way to avoid the use of perimeter heat by selecting the right glazing geometry and performance?" To achieve this goal, the project team modeled the tool after existing scientific research, and the firm's experience with high-performance building design. The result is a simple interface that educates the design community on thermal discomfort during wintertime. The tool produces graphic charts and diagrams based on user-controlled variables such as facade geometry, glazing performance, target interior conditions. It also allows design concepts to be further optimized through advanced options that take into account specific details such as R-value of the facade walls, exterior air speed, and even the insulating value of occupants clothing. This array of variables can be saved as a “case” option and compared with two other configurations for analysis. Beyond this level of interactive design analysis, the tool educates designers on types of thermal discomfort among building occupants and provides links to further reference information. The tool was released in coordination with a firm-wide R&D showcase, which Payette described as a “behind-the-scenes” look at research and development processes and outcomes of our findings. In addition to their Winter Glazing and Comfort tool, the office shared models produced through their fabrication lab, advances in virtual reality, and additional building science research. Payette's office shared testimonials from design professionals testing out the tool during their showcase. "This helps me understand the trade-offs with fenestration quantity, configuration, glass lay-up (and ultimately, cost of the fenestration) with comfort for the occupants of the building," an engineer testing the tool said. "The graphic output is quickly understandable and conveys the important results to decision makers who may be unfamiliar with much of the conceptual underpinning but recognize that comfort is key to occupant satisfaction. Having this tool available imposes quantitative rigor on comfort, which combined with quantitative daylighting analysis leads to a rational basis for fenestration design.” The publicly accessible tool can be accessed on Payette's website here.
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A new stenciling app aims to make life easier for architects and designers

Using a stencil, either for a plan or section, is nothing new for architects. Whether it's marking the outline of a 1:20 scale person, bed, kitchen unit, or tree, stencils have been making life easier for designers for ages. Today's architects are well aware of the wealth of digital stencils available online, however, app developer Morpholio now claims to haven taken this one step further.

In what they claim to be a "stencil revolution," Morpholio has unveiled a customizable stencil tool that can be used in conjunction with Trace App (also by Morpholio). Essentially, "Stencil" allows users to quickly turn images into stencils. The patent pending tool also provides the option of turning this into a customizable template, with the stencils themselves being scalable.

"Creating stencils sits perfectly between the architect's sketch and the quick photo," said Mark Collins, a co-creator of the tool speaking in a press release. "You're trying to capture something—a texture, pattern, or detail that you want to use. Sketching is great but slow. Taking a photo buries it in the photo album. Generating a stencil automatically creates an incredible tool that you can utilize in various ways. The stencil is the quickest path to [distilling] an image into an actionable idea."

The app asks users to set the contrast, inversion, and any transformations when going through the stencil creation process. When used with Trace App, stencils can be colored and have textures applied through brush types such as pencil, charcoal, marker, and brush. This can be done by setting the stencil and sketching over it with any brush or color. In addition, stencils can be used to form patterns and art, all of which can be applied "at any scale."

While custom stencils can be shared through social media and cloud services, Morpholio's app comes with a selection of pre-made illustrations and symbols that have been "artfully created for architecture, interiors, industrial and graphic design."

"Here we witness, through art, the power of stencils delivering rigorous detail with extreme efficiency; an almost perfect optimization of craft, process, and drama," said Toru Hasegawa, Morpholio co-creator. Meanwhile, Anna Kenoff, another co-creator said: "Allowing designers to draw and work in a fast and uninhibited space is the path to discovery. We want to bring these opportunities into the digital realm, combining analog process with new media that stays at your fingertips and keeps the creative process flowing."

To download Morpholio's apps, visit their website.

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A new digital participatory art project asks users to stop staring at their phones and Look Up

On a recent late night internet video binge, I found some neat footage of late 1980s New York street scenes. The shoulder pads, of course, were comically large, but the most striking thing was that everyone was looking at each other, the street, the scenery (or wore a fixed blank "don't talk to me" death stare that's still in vogue). No one was texting, gaming, or otherwise absorbed in the vortex of a handheld electronic device. Designer and artist Ekene Ijeoma would like to bring the public back to that recent past using the very device that makes zombies of us all. Look Up is a participatory public art project, accessed through your smartphone, that asks New Yorkers to take their eyes up from their phones and out onto the street around them. Look Up from Ekene Ijeoma on Vimeo. Using NYC DOT Vision Zero data on crash injuries and fatalities, Look Up calculates an "energy score" for every intersection in the city. A higher score indicates that more crashes have occurred at the intersection, and the user, consequently, should put more of their energy back into the city. The app detects when you've approached an intersection using GPS and wi-fi data (if available), and becomes more agitated according to the energy score. At a recent demo, The Architect's Newspaper met up with Ijeoma to stroll the Lower East Side. As we approached Rivington and Essex streets, the Android phone Ijeoma had given me vibrated softly. On screen, an alert pinpointing my location popped up, along with two ocular orbs with flowing irises that glowed blue-green. The vibration did prompt me to look up: I made fleeting eye contact with a stranger, and noticed a small tattoo peeking about a woman's ankle sock. Right now, the app is only available for Android as a Live Wallpaper, an app that runs in the background so participants can use other apps concurrently. Users can set the app to activate at any intersection where there's data, at set intervals, or randomly. The settings can also be adjusted to accomodate the faster pace of a car or bike. The goal of the project is to "tear down digital walls" and foster engagement with fellow citizens, explains Ijeoma. Recently awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in Design/Urban Environments/Architecture for his humanistic treatment of data, Look Up advances the discussion around who has a right to public space. Ijeoma brought up the example of an app that allows San Franciscans to reserve local ballfields. What's lost when techies, for example, can "reserve" a public soccer field online while neighborhood kids organize their pick-up games on site? Face-to-face interaction, Ijeoma suggested, could go a long way towards resolving these disputes and making sure all parties have fair access to shared resources. Ijeoma emphasized that he sees Look Up as art first, app second. The project subverts the divide between digital and physical, he explained, by allowing users to be more present in physical space. Curious? Check out the video below to see Look Up in practice:
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Pittsburgh gets its own smartphone architecture guide

The Boston-based interdisciplinary architecture firm over,under has launched a mobile architecture guide app called Jaunt Pittsburgh. The app provides navigation to a curated list of historic and contemporary architecture throughout the city, and can be downloaded for free for from Apple's App Store or Google play. Users can search and find architecture in three ways. Projects can be sorted through 1) a grid of icons, 2) a sortable list of architects, location, date, or other characteristics, and 3) a navigable map. Along with helping users find buildings throughout the city, the app includes photographs and historical information. Each project also includes a list additional readings outside of the app. "It has unusual breadth—it showcases Pittsburgh buildings as well as industrial and infrastructural sites dating from the city’s founding to the present,” says Martin Aurand, Architecture Librarian and Archivist at Carnegie Mellon University, and collaborator on the app. “It includes rare archival images from the Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives, and is particularly strong in its inclusion of modern and contemporary projects." over,under worked with students from Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture and from the Carnegie Mellon Qatar campus on the app. The interdisciplinary practice works on architecture, urban design, graphic identity, and publications. The firm produces everything from architectural films and mobile apps to building and urban design proposals. "<yoastmark
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New app is your geological tour guide wherever you go

Ever looked out of a plane window and wondered what you were looking at? For those who, like me, stare vaguely out at the vast sandy expanses of nothing, or the meaningless mountains below, help is here.
For the app's creator, flying provides the opportunity to see "planetary scale processes and the ways humans live around them." To locate areas of interest, the app cross-references the user's location with stored geologic maps from Macrostrat.org; fossil locations from Neotomadb.org and Paleobiodb.org as well as geo-referenced Wikipedia articles. Naturally, not all this information cannot all be stored at one time, so Flyover Country analyzes flight paths keyed into it. This allows it to cache (temporarily store) any relevant data that will be required, pointing out any significant locations based on where you are. Frequent journeys can be saved if necessary, for if you fall asleep on that outbound flight. Additionally, when not offline, the app factors in speed, location and direction of travel to predict what is coming up on your journey and notify you accordingly. Called "Navigation mode," this feature locks the screen to your position and orients the map using your phone's inbuilt accelerometer and compass. On iTunes, the description also notes how "'car/foot'" mode "provides a narrower but more detailed geologic map with detailed unit descriptions and metadata" compared to the wider strip of data found on plane mode. Now his app has found success, Loeffler says he wants to include an augmented reality aspect into the design. This would work in the same way night sky sky apps do (Google's Sky Map is a good example) just inverted, looking at the ground instead. One tip when using the app: make sure your phone has access to a power source when in use. The app is not a major battery drainer, but, for airplane mode, battery consumption is increased due to the use of GPS. So now, if you're dying to strike up conversation with the poor person sitting next to you, you can at least make a quip about how the desert you're flying over was once  tainted with blood in the Crimean War or how that this forest was once home to Pterodactyl's . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BavywmbuHM