Posts tagged with "Technology":

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Specsheet >Customizable HVAC systems and innovative weather barriers

CÔR WI-FI THERMOSTAT Carrier
The latest version of the Carrier Côr wi-fi thermostat is enabled to work with Apple HomeKit. Users can utilize iOS-enabled devices to control their Côr thermostat from anywhere with the iOS 10 Home app or Siri on iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. The HomeKit technology is end-to-end encrypted with authentication between the heating and cooling system and the iOS device.
SKYLINE SLIM TILE FACADE Neolith These thin tile facades feature large Neolith slabs with near-zero porosity, making them resistant to changes in temperatures and extreme weather conditions, sun exposure, scratches, graffiti, and warping. The tiles are also surface-treated with a Pureti coating to reduce the effects of pollutants and decrease long-term maintenance costs.
 
VRP Friedrich Friedrich recently launched a variable refrigerant packaged (VRP) heat pump system, a total HVAC solution that also incorporates air and humidity controls. It includes a precision inverter compressor that reduces sound, and combines variable refrigerant flow designed for hospitality, multifamily, and commercial applications.
SMART VENT Keen Home Keen Home is introducing a wireless, app-enabled zoning system that redirects airflow to regulate individual room temperature. Powered by AA batteries, the Smart Vents conveniently create a Zig-Bee mesh network controlled via a smartphone app. The app provides open-close controls that can be programmed with daily schedules to close vents based on room occupancy. Aerodynamic airfoil louvers ensure quiet operation and airflow.
LONGOTON TERRA-COTTA RAINSCREEN FACADE SYSTEM Shildan/Moeding Longoton is a high-performance terra-cotta facade panel system that can be incorporated in horizontal and vertical configurations and also function as a rain-screen. The panels are available in 16 standard colors, custom colors, custom glazing, and standard and varying finishes and profiles.
TDP05K Ruskin Eight moisture-resistant flex sensors and multiple velocity and temperature points make these thermal dispersion airflow and temperature measuring probes super-accurate. The TDP05K probe can measure a velocity range of from 0 to 5,000 FPM and will display the flow and temperature at each sensing point.
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Adam Greenfield’s new book questions our bright technological future

Technology is never value-neutral, and yet American culture often embraces new technologies as if they do not contain the seeds of every other aspect of American life and were freed of messy political and social consequences. The sort of pervasive technological positivism is inextricably tied to a certain spectrum of political philosophy, namely of the neoliberal and libertarian variety. The technocracy that worried many philosophers in the 20th century has now arrived, and it is potentially scarier than any of them could have even imagined. Adam Greenfield is a leading critical voice on technology. Employed as a consultant for urban planning, design, technology and architectural firms, Greenfield has been in the trenches of emerging technology. He has conducted research for firms like Razorfish and Nokia, and taught at New York University and the London School of Economics. He has been a critical voice among urbanists on the use of urban data and smart cities, and for the past 15 years, he has run the thoughtful and influential blog Speedbird.  In his book-length essay, Against the Smart City (2015), he analyzed the proposals of many (still unrealized) smart cities and projected the dystopias they could become. He took the ephemera, renderings, and brochures at face value, analyzing the technologies and value claims made by the companies promising brightly-rendered automated futures.  His latest book Radical Technologies (2017) allows us to contextualize the present moment of technophilia and how this set of technologies have radically transformed or disrupted everyday life. Chapters are divided up by technologies such as smartphones, automation, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital fabrication, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Each chapter takes readers through how each technology works and though the social and political implications that these transformative technologies pose. Throughout the book, Greenfield constructs a complex argument for critical engagement with technologies by laying out the best and worst-case scenarios for each technology. He is at his most convincing, however, in his big-picture skepticism. The zeitgeist of our moment is a general trust in business and technology leaders to change things for the better, and technologies offer an easy fix in place of uncomfortable political compromises. Technology is often used a band-aid in place of policy or to fill the void of ethical debate. We are told that the best one can hope for are nudges for certain types of behavioral improvement as we cheer on far-reaching automation for seamlessness, efficiency, and profit. These “world-changing” technologies rely heavily on the belief that they bring something positive into the world or at least require the trust that their convenience outweighs the consequences. However, they are unleashed onto the world because they support the growth of a post-Fordist capitalism as it accelerates toward a more automated future, one that Greenfield calls the “post-human everyday.” Most early adopters take it in faith that technology creators have our interest and enjoyment in mind. However, the technology sector (like architecture) often doesn't care about its unintended effects. Although Greenfield rarely touches on the specific ways that these technologies inform architectural practice, each of the areas he covers has major implications for our field—whether to open up new job specializations or market opportunities, or how they will radically transform our aesthetic tastes and disrupt our belief systems and ethics. Technology's impact can be seen everywhere from Patrik Schumacher’s declaration of “parametricism as a philosophy” to the way that nearly every large design firm now has a technology wing and research groups, spinning off tech startups wildly into the ether. The ubiquity of digital fabrication, IoT, AR/VR, and smart phones has already reshaped huge portions of the AEC industry and will continue to shape it in technology’s image. Inherent in being a critic of technology is that one can be wildly wrong in a very short amount of time. Technologies often change rapidly (sometimes within months), fall into disuse or disappear as they are superseded. What this means for writing about technology is that observations will easily feel dated. Criticism of technology remains at its most useful when it contextualizes the ways that technology is everyday life—the ways that is it is part of society. Greenfield’s guide to the everyday after the iPhone and technologies like it is an important piece of critical thinking that should resonate widely. Greenfield will be speaking about Radical Technologies in NYC on September 14th-16th. Thursday, September 14th 7-9pm: Verso Loft Friday, September 15th 1pm: Columbia University GSAPP with Laura Kurgan Saturday, September 16th 7-9pm: McNally Jackson Books with Aimee Meredith Cox
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Meet the honorable mentions in our 2017 Best of Product Awards!

Last week we shared the winning designs from our largest-ever Products Awards across 15 sundry categories, including technology, textiles, HVAC, furniture, facades, and more. Scroll through the slideshow to see the the honorable mentions from each category, evaluated by our team of judges for innovation, aesthetics, performance, and value. You can find our winners and honorable mentions featured in our September issue—out September 6! The Best of Products Awards Jury: James Biber Partner, Biber Architects Olivia Martin Managing Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper William Menking Editor in Chief, The Architect’s Newspaper Patrick Parrish Owner, Patrick Parrish Gallery Tucker Viemeister Founder, Viemeister Industries Pilar Viladas Design writer and editor HONORABLE MENTIONS To view images of all honorable mentions, please click through the slideshow above. Finishes & Surfaces CONDUCT by Flavor Paper PUZZLE by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby for Mutina for Stone Source Bath LINEA SHOWER BASE by Fiora VERGE WITH WASHBAR by Bradley Corp. Lighting SYMMETRY by Visa Lighting LIFT WITH BIOS by Pinnacle Architectural Lighting Textiles SIGNATURE & LEGACY COLLECTIONS by KnollTextiles SHADE by Chilewich Openings GPX FIREFLOOR SYSTEM by Safti First CURVED by Vitrocsa Technology & Innovation MATTERPORT PRO2 3D CAMERA by Matterport PORTABLE ULTRA SHORT THROW PROJECTOR by Sony Kitchen 4-DOOR FLEX REFRIGERATOR by Samsung VERTICAL BAR BLOCK by Henrybuilt Interior Commercial Furniture GLASSCUBE by CARVART KANSO BENCH by HBF Interior Residential Furniture STEMN SERIES by Fyrn DICHROIC TABLE by Rottet Collection Structural FIRE AND WATER BARRIER TAPE by 3M SCHLUTER-DITRA-HEAT-DUO by Schluter Systems Smart Home Systems EVOLVED MINNEAPOLIS FULL ESCUTCHEON HANDLESET by Baldwin Hardware PANOVISTA MAX by Renson Facades PHOTOVOLTAIC FACADE by Onyx Solar TRIANGULAR RAINSCREEN PANEL by Shildan HVAC EME3625DFL LOUVER by Ruskin AIRFLOW PANEL by Architectural Applications Outdoor Public GO OUTDOORTABLE by Landscape Forms ULURU by Metalco srl/id metalco, Inc. Outdoor Residential CLOUD BENCH by Bend Goods VERTICAL LOUNGER by DEESAWAT  
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Thanks to big data, all architects will face a major professional crossroads bigger than CAD or BIM

This is the third column of “Practice Values,” a bi-monthly series by architect and technologist Phil Bernstein. The column focuses on the evolving role of the architect at the intersection of design and construction, including subjects such as alternative delivery systems and value generation. Bernstein was formerly vice president at Autodesk and now teaches at the Yale School of Architecture.

Disabling (Professional) Expertise

In 1977, social critic Ivan Illich argued that the mid-20th century should be named “The Age of Disabling Professions,” asking whether “if this age, when needs were shaped by professional design, will be remembered with a smile or with a curse.” Illich’s skepticism about the importance and role of doctors, lawyers, and architects was an inflection point in the ascendance of the professional class that began with the industrialization of America. What followed for architects—who, at just about the same time as Illich’s query, were subjected to the emergence of alternative forms of project delivery (like design-build), new incumbents treading on our turf (like construction managers), and influence from extrinsic forces (like lawyers and insurance companies)—was several decades of existential angst with which we are all familiar.

Forty years later, there are more architects, and more work for us, than ever—yet the existential angst remains: If recessions, construction managers, and liability insurance underwriters didn’t manage to dismantle the profession, now what? Answering that question comes the Oxford duo of Richard and Daniel Susskind and their 2015 tome The Future of the Professions, an exhaustive examination of how the broad influences of digital technology may be the end-of-times challenge to the professional class so desired by Illich. The Susskinds argue that it will not be a loss of faith in architects, lawyers, and accountants, but rather the broad democratization of expertise through big data and data sharing, expert systems, and automation that will “transform the work of human experts.” As knowledge work begins the same transfiguration in the world of computation that manufacturing experienced with machine automation, the bespoke relationships curated by architects with clients will be circumvented by widely accessible knowledge systems, architects will no longer be the anointed “gatekeepers” of professional knowledge or judgment, and the increasing complexity of building problems will face economic pressures demanding that architects provide even more service for less money. Large swaths of professional services will be routinized by computers, further decomposing those services into discrete automated tasks. New systems of design and construction delivery will reconstitute from traditional professional scopes disintermediated by algorithms and big data.

But if the essential value of architects is our ability to design—see the world creatively, synthesize disparate information, generate new and innovative ideas—aren’t we safe from this digital onslaught? Not so fast, according to the Susskinds, who ask, “To what problem is judgment the solution?” They cite the 60 million disputes on eBay resolved with automated mediation (and no lawyers), medical advice dispensed by WebMD on smart phones around the world, or the online tax-preparation software used by millions of taxpayers each year; many of these folks would have never dreamt of hiring a lawyer or an accountant. And this is the core of their argument: Technology will democratize expertise, making it available to many more recipients than could ever by curated by 1:1 professional relationships.

Since society created the professional class to codify and distribute professional expertise, shouldn’t this trend to democratization be embraced? And since architects design a small percentage of the built environment, isn’t this trend, in theory, all for the good? Should architects cede our authority to algorithms, it’s likely we’ll lose all control and influence over the forces that often reduce great design aspirations to mediocre results. It is difficult to argue, however, that the changes that automation and the resulting process innovation that the Susskinds predict will put great pressure on the role of our profession while simultaneously eliminating the need for broad swaths of production work like working drawings.

How to respond? As far back as Illich’s original provocation, architects have decried our diminishing influence while embracing new technologies and their opportunities with at best mild enthusiasm and at worst outright hostility. This wave of automation-innovation will be much more profound than CAD or even BIM. Perhaps it offers a chance to deeply examine the value proposition of architecture and architects, and, using our skills, to design our roles in the future supported and accelerated by new technology rather than, once again, threatened by it.

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AN recaps the inaugural Tech+ expo in New York

"If you took GPS out of people's phones now, they would die." That was the bold claim Google's Aaron Luber made at the inaugural Tech+ expo today. Hyperbole? Maybe, but Luber made the point of how dependent we are on technology to navigate the built environment. Moreover, how else does technology impact our surroundings?  Presented by The Architect's Newspaper, the inaugural Tech+ expo saw 500 architects, designers, and tech experts head to Metropolitan West to get the low-down on how technology is shaping the built environment. The day was shaped by industry professionals discussing and showcasing technology that is developing a role within the design process of numerous firms and enhancing client-architecture relationships. Luber estimated that by 2018 almost all Android-based cell phones will be running software called "Tango." This software, he explained, when used with another software package called "Trimble," allows GPS to work in-sync with programs such as AutoCAD to allow clients to view their projects live on-site. Luber called this a "visual positioning service," which, for all intents and purposes, was an augmented reality machine. As for virtual reality, however, a host of VR firms, including Iris VR, Insite, and NVIDIA was present at Tech+ with their stalls showcasing their latest products. VR has, for a while now, been used to enhance the client-architect relationship through walk-throughs and other demonstrations. Despite confessing to being trained in "analog fashion," Keynote speaker Hao Ko of Gensler said: "Maybe the days of drawing plans and sections are gone now, we don't need 2D drawings anymore." Technology, he went on, has enabled us to present more coherent representations to clients. Before architects had to make physical models to enhance the experience, and these models were made at larger and larger scales—something Eero Saarinen was very familiar with, as Ko displayed a picture of the Finnish-American architect's legs sticking out of a model of the TWA terminal. Plans and models, though, can work together too. Graphisoft demonstrated how its software amalgamates section and plan drawings into 3D models, allowing both architects and clients to read what they see at the same time. Using ArchiCAD and exporting to Graphisoft, architects can also share 3D models with those using iPhone's too. Likewise, LERA demonstrated that tuning off layers can reveal construction sequences, among other things. What to take from all this? Ko summed the event up in his keynote: "To make the most of the future, we have to live in it," he said, before going on to describe the NVIDIA California office complex designed by Gensler. "Technology does not wait, and neither should architects."
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Bradley Cantrell chosen as Chair of Landscape Architecture at UVA School of Architecture

The University of Virginia has announced the appointment of Bradley Cantrell as the new Chair of Landscape Architecture at the School of Architecture. Cantrell is currently an associate professor of Landscape Architectural Technology at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and director of their Master in Landscape Architecture Program. The Architect’s Newspaper met with Cantrell in April of last year to discuss his groundbreaking work in the fields of landscape architecture, ecological analysis, technology, and artificial intelligence. In that interview, Cantrell describes his work as "cyborg ecologies" that focus on blurring the lines between natural and man-made systems. “I think a lot of people have issues with the idea that we’re actually extending even more control over the landscape,” said Cantrell. “I think there is a fear of that we’re constantly in discussion about how we relinquish control. I think it’s an open question.” He believes that the integration of technology and nature should be seen as a powerful and positive synthesis and something to be celebrated, as opposed to an “us versus them” duality between man and nature. Cantrell discusses the power of technology that is not only designed to serve mankind, but can also be used to serve the natural environment. In our interview, he explained: “I think this idea that there are competing goals and that humanity might not always be at the center of all of those goals—that takes somewhat of an enlightened viewpoint, but it also is one that is necessary for us to have.” Cantrell will step into his new role at the University of Virginia on June 25, 2017.
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Disney Research team creates a room of wireless electrical supply

Imagine a world where you no longer have to fight for a plug to charge your phone. Imagine just walking into a room for endless battery life. Well, a team at Disney Research has managed to create just that: a room that can wirelessly power ten objects at once without a single plug or cord. The “room-scale ubiquitous wireless power delivery system," as they call it, can put almost 1,900 watts of power into the room at a time. The catch is that the room must be designed and built specifically to accommodate the system. The prototype room built by the Disney team is made entirely out of aluminum panels with a copper pipe situated in the middle of the room as part of the power-delivery system. The system is fairly simple: a signal generator sits outside the room and sends out a 1.32MHz signal that connects to a ring of 15 capacitors mounted on a copper pipe at the center of the room. This creates quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), as Disney calls it (almost as easy to say as Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious). Once everything is turned on and contained in the aluminum-clad room, a uniform magnetic field is created and can be “tapped into” to for power. As of right now, there are still a few concerns. For starters, a human can’t stand within 46 centimeters of the copper pole or they will exceed the specific absorption rate (SAR) the human body can withstand without harm. Possible solutions include an automatic shut off for the system if someone comes too close or just putting a wall around the pole. But who would put a column in the middle of the room? There is also an issue with pumping power into the room if there aren’t enough objects in the room to absorb it. Because of the enclosure, the unabsorbed power stays in the room, which could become dangerous if it built up past the acceptable SAR limits. The good news is that the system can be scaled up or down to create charging stations or cabinets, and the hope is that someday the system won’t require a specially-made room to function. For now, I would keep that wall charger handy. To read more about the science behind the system click here.
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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  
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Dewalt unveils their own construction site friendly smartphone

After making sturdy smartphones cases, Dewalt has unveiled their very own smartphone: the Dewalt MD501, Android-tailored and designed to be at home on the construction battlefield.

Naturally, the phone is designed to withstand conditions that other smartphones cannot, though one would expect this given the $544 price tag. Able to survive 6.5 foot drop onto concrete, the handset can also fully function in temperatures ranging from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Dewalt also claims that their phone is "impervious to dust and particles" and can be submerged in 6.5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

The phone also packs a 13 Megapixel rear camera complimented by a 5 megapixel on on the front and 16GB of internal memory to store pretty much all the photos you'll take. This can be upgraded further via the inclusion of a microSD card slot.

As is the usual gripe of modern smartphones, the battery can provide up to eight hours of talk time while also being able to be charged wirelessly (with QI technology). Bluetooth integration and an amplified loudspeaker essentially means users can chuck their phone down near to a QI charging base and still be able to hear instructions coming their way from the phone.*

The lack of wires will be good news to many within the building and construction industry, as will the inclusion of a touch screen that can be used with gloves and G-sensor, gyroscope, pressure, magnetic, light and range sensors.

*Note this is not officially recommended.

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Will the rise of self-driving vehicles signal the death of the traffic light?

The dawn of self driving cars promises to be an exciting new era for transport. However, what exactly lies ahead is still up for debate. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETHZ), and the Italian National Research Council (CNR) have outlined how traffic signals could be rendered obsolete if automated vehicles get their way. The development is known as "slot-based intersections," and if realized, would significantly reduce queuing, delays, and pollution. If evidence from any science fiction movie is anything to go by, it's that humans have very little trust in automated technology. It's easy to picture: panic as your self-driving car appears to be careering into another, only to miss by a a tiny margin, all perfectly predicted by an automated system of course. https://vimeo.com/106226560 That may be an exaggeration, but Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab and his team have produced a model that shows cars zipping through a four-way intersection both without stopping or slowing down and remaining unscathed. “Traffic intersections are particularly complex spaces, because you have two flows of traffic competing for the same piece of real estate,” he said in a press release regarding the study, published in detail here. “But a slot-based system moves the focus from the traffic level to the vehicle level. Ultimately, it’s a much more efficient system, because vehicles will get to an intersection exactly when there is a slot available to them.” https://youtu.be/4CZc3erc_l4 Trust in such a system would have to be high. Communication between cars would have to be flawless and safety measures for failure would also have to be in place. That said, if implemented, the system would speed up journey time and also reduce pollution by cutting down on the time spent idle at traffic signals. Of course, signal-less interchanges already exist, they're called roundabouts. But the possibility for human error (and hence collisions) still exists in the roundabout, along with the need to give way to others.
"Slot-based intersections are similar to slot-based management systems used for air-traffic control," say the team. "Upon approaching an intersection, a vehicle automatically contacts a traffic management system to request access. Each self-driving vehicle is then assigned an individualized time or “slot” to enter the intersection." Speed limits could also change. If a perfect system can plot every movement, why not travel at the fastest, yet safest, possible speed? This is just one of the questions arising as self-driving cars become more and more likely to enter our lives. Would car lanes also be made thinner? Vehicles won't be making mistakes so why not cram as many in as we can and maximize efficiency? https://youtu.be/sQuJ8GKTjFM In terms of having a central traffic organizing system, getting different car manufacturers to be completely open with each other is another major bridge that would need to be crossed. And as for the more pressing issue of automated vehicles' interaction with humans, MIT's Senseable City Lab responds by saying: "slot-based intersections are flexible and can easily accommodate pedestrian and bicycle crossing with vehicular traffic."
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You can now explore the Guggenhiem museum using Google Street View technology

If you can't make it to Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, fear not: Google Street View has a solution. Though not quite as fulfilling as visiting in person, their self-guided virtual tour offers insight into the museum's iconic architecture while letting you view some of its exhibitions and artworks. This isn't the first time Google Street View's engineers have added masterpieces 0f art and architecture. In fact, as a member of the Google Cultural Institute, the Guggenheim is one of almost 750 museums and collections available to explore online. Google also offers walkthroughs of famous world wonders such as the Taj Mahal. With the Guggenheim museum, online tourists can view 120 pieces of artwork on display and travel up and down the building's famed spiral ramps. Attempting to keep the virtual tour as realistic as possible, Google only allows you to click one step forward at a time, though it's also possible to jump from floor to floor. Because of Wright's layout of the museum, it wasn't easy for Google to create its virtual walkthrough. Drones, tripods, and Street View “trolleys” captured a patchwork of images to create 360-degree views. The experience is best accessed via the Google Cultural Center (available here) rather than entering from Google Street View (as shown in the image). Selecting the latter leaves you stuck halfway up the Museum. Exhibitions from the Guggenheim Foundation currently available online are No Country: Contemporary Art For South and Southeast Asia and Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim. For architecture enthusiasts, Google is exhibiting Photography and Modern Architecture in Brazil at its online cultural center, available here.
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Six design lauded for ideas to reclad Manhattan’s MetLife Building with an energy-efficient facade

Manhattan's MetLife building celebrated its 53rd birthday on Monday. The tower has become engrained into Manhattan's urban fabric, but it has also become an incredibly inefficient in how it uses energy, and a recent competition tasked designers with fixing the problem by applying a new building facade. Metals in Construction magazine has unveiled six winners of its “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition after its jury couldn't select just one winner. Tasked with developing an "innovative and energy-efficient redesign of the façade of 200 Park Avenue," the winning teams split the $15,000 prize. The brief stipulated that designers come up with a "highly efficient envelope with the lightness and transparency sought by today’s office workforce—while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic of the building’s heritage." Prizes were given at a conference at the Times Center in New York City, preceded by talks on sustainability and retrofit facades which included panel discussion. The winning submissions are: Panam Under Glass (PDF) According to competition organizers: "Adapting the tapered form of the tower as a geometric module/motif creates a non-directional pattern across the surface of the tower – in keeping with early models and renderings which emphasized the form over the surface. Applied in a larger scale to the tower allows for maximum daylighting while the denser, smaller scale at the podium creates a more monolithic reading much closer to pedestrian level." Performance-Based Preservation (PDF) According to competition organizers: "By preserving and overcladding - instead of demolishing and recladding - our proposal reduces the building’s environmental impact by 42% over the next 50 years... On the north and south, we add a new unitized curtainwall outboard of the concrete that uses emerging materials to generate energy while dynamically controlling solar heat gain and glare. On the east and west, we bring the new envelope inboard of the concrete to highlight the materiality and plasticity of the existing skin." Thermalswitch Facade (PDF) According to competition organizers: "The Thermalswitch facade looks at hybridizing the overcladding and double skin techniques to create a unitized frame which mounts directly over the existing precast panels. The Metlife facade is constructed of a primary precast panel with integrated fins on both sides that alternates every other bay. Between these primary panels, secondary infills are set at the spandrel conditions." Harnessing Urban Energies (PDF) According to competition organizers: "In our submission for the Metals in Architecture competition, we have lowered the present annual energy consumption of the building by 80 percent, and by 74 percent as compared to the median New York City office building." Vertimeme (PDF) According to competition organizers: "Macro geometry of the curtain wall unit creates a self shading effect to reduce undesirable direct light and heat gain. The angle of the glazing is tuned to reflect solar insolation, optimize views from the building and reflect the image of the city back to the streetscape. Pre-assembled unitized aluminum curtain wall frame and assembly, stainless steel mullions, caps and grills." Farm Follows Function (PDF) Submitted as a graphic novel, "Farm Follows Function" sees Walter Gropius say "This will surely be my Finest work: A masterpiece - my crowning achievement! A multifunctional complex set in the middle of america’s metropolis..." His work is then dramatically transformed into a living tower-block farm. One passer by is shown to be saying "This elevated park is a real oasis of calm in the hubbub of midtown! with a market and even outdoor seating! awesome!"