The top 10 fastest trains in the world belong to Asia and Europe. Number 10, the MLU00, which ran at a speed of 248.9 mph in 1987 was engineered before I was born. As an American in 2011, it’s pretty embarrassing that our fastest train is Amtrak’s Acela Express, which travels the not-so-far distance between Boston and Washington, D.C. and only reaches speeds of up to 150 mph. On top of this, If I were to take the fastest trip from Boston to Washingtion DC today, a 6 hour, 32 minute journey (I know because I just did the search), It would set me back $235.00, but a 1 hour, 40 minute, heavy-Co2-emitting flight with JetBlue would cost me $149.00 – which is $95.00 less… continue reading
March 30, 2011
March 26, 2011
What is Ecological Design? comprehensive resource, waste and space management
Beyond “sustaining” the urban landscape to endure the lifestyles of future generations, ecological design envisions long-lasting urban waste-management techniques and, as the world’s population climbs, long-lasting urban space-management techniques.
An average of 50 million people migrate to cities around the globe each year. As they do, more and more outside (rural) resources are being transported to cities while more and more waste is being transported out of cities to keep their populations comfortable. As global environmental and social pressures build under this unsustainable system (meaning, it won’t last – we’re drawing resources at a faster rate than they grow, and the waste is building up somewhere faster than it’s decomposing), new visions for urban consumption, waste, and space management are needed. To be clear, urbanism is not the problem we’re facing- the current design of urban spaces is. Built to serve the automobile, urban areas, as they exist today, promote the existence of an artificial boundary between the “city” and “nature” that have made it easy for urbanites to ignore their impressive impact on outside communities. continue reading
March 20, 2011
Organized by Planet One and Terreform One, the One Prize: NYC 6th Boro challenge is accepting design proposals that envision New York City´s 6th borough as the water that surrounds it. These propositions should describe a plan for a ¨NYC Blue Network¨ including the expansion of waterborne transportation, linking the five boroughs with transit hubs, incorporating ferries, water taxis, bike shares, electric car-shares, electric shuttle buses, providing in-water recreation, educational events, cultural activities, pavilion halls and climate resilience. If you can pull all of that off, you´ll be entered into the competition for the 10,000 dollar cash award prize and ten tickets to the NYC Clean Tech World Expo 2014. There are also three Honorable mention prizes worth 1,500 dollars plus one Expo ticket each. And hey, if you don´t make the top 4, well at least you´ll be recognized by some of the U.S.´s top leaders, academics, practitioners, and thinkers for trying to make the world a better place. continue reading
March 19, 2011
What is Ecological Design? Evolving, responsive structure
We all know, It´s not enough to engineer a building´s electricity to run on solar panels if it´s not perpetually sunny out. For temperate, seasonal climates, a variety of ¨green¨ design elements are usually used to lower energy consumption for ¨sustainable¨ building projects.
Beyond utilizing technologies like solar panels and wind turbines, ecological design processes embrace seasonal and environmental changes, planning and designing to meet them halfway. Projects have an evolving, informal structure, and take direction from nature herself. Rather than install bike racks to gain LEED points, ecologically designed architecture is structured, from the very core, to respond to change and challenges of the local environment in which it stands.
My last ecological design fundamentals post featured the Druk White Lotus School, set in the northern heights of ladakh, India. Arup engineers faced considerable climate challenges when designing the campus which, because of it’s 9,000-25,000 ft altitude, is very, very cold. However, because of its 9,ooo-25,000 ft altitude, it is also very, very sunny. The building´s design, which revolved around natural lighting and heating techniques for the local conditions, is another reason to consider the campus a prime example of ecological design. continue reading
March 17, 2011
What is ecological design? Human-nature Interaction.
Features of ¨green¨and ¨sustainable¨architectural design often emerge as solar panels, green roofs and other technologies that make up the checklist for LEED certification. But to identify features of ecological design is more complex.
Healthy ecosystems exist in a dynamic equilibrium of nutrient cycles and energy flows. To design ecologically is to consider the relationship between built structures and social structures as an evolving support system for environmentally responsible living. Ecological design does not only aim to produce low-impact architecture, but also works to support healthy relationships between culture and natural earth processes. continue reading
March 11, 2011
With Local River, french designer Mathieu Lehanneur has introduced a whole new dimension of conscious eating for fish-eating locavores. His freshwater aquarium-refrigerator design allows conscious foodies to raise their own fish and grow a vegetable patch in their living room. The system is supported by the natural exchange and interdependence between fish and plants: The plants extract the nutrient-rich water for growth while simultaneously acting as a natural filter, purifying the water to provide a healthy environment in which the fish can grow themselves. This process mimics natural pond ecology and maintains the vital balance for the ecosystem in which the fish live. It also allows fish eaters to better trace their culinary footprint, which, in an age of fish-decline due to extreme overfishing, is something worth acknowledging. continue reading
December 15, 2010
Public Design Festival edition n° 3 will be held in Milan from 12 to 17 april 2011 with a new formula: site specific projects scattered all over Milan from the city centre to the outskirts of town (Lambrate, Cadorna, Porta Romana, Garibaldi). Young designers, architects and projects makers can submit their projects to realise interventions, services, installations and public design projects.
Deadline January 31.
Public Design Festival is made of a constant research that brings to Milan selected projects from all over the world with the aim of giving space to public space in building future cities. Cities shall be citizen-friendly, they shall be built on people and relations, cities to live in, not to survive in. The winning projects for this edition will be presented in a urban course that will be visible for the whole city and ready to be experienced from the citizens and visitors of Public Design Festival. continue reading
May 10, 2010
We would like to tell you a little bit about the multipurpose street furniture we designed for the Madrid pavillon at the Shanghai Expo 2010. Around the air-tree you can now find 200 chair elements in red, orange and violet color.
July 13, 2009
Para continuar con esta serie de posts quería escribir sobre una línea de trabajo que empiezan a desarrollar multitud de diseñadores en todo el mundo (poco a poco y de forma a veces un tanto anónima, pero tiempo al tiempo…) que consiste en desarrollar sistemas que permitan al usuario crear/modificar/customizar/reparar sus propios muebles y objetos. continue reading
June 24, 2009
It’s a rare day indeed when we see [specially in urban scale] a brave project that amazes all of us, and I think this is one of those…
Apart from the “cool” new-yorker look, is some kind of relief that one of many awesome urban-scale proposals has been carried out. It had to happen in New York and lead the way in the U.S. of recycling and not demolishing when a construction stops being in use or is not profitable anymore. I suppose this frecuent situation is due to a lack of legislation to protect buildings that has special interest, but I think this is a cultural issue…