City of Source – Hidden in the desert of ABU DHABI

What’s happening in the middle of Abu Dhabi’s desert in United Arab Emirates? A whole new city in the form of a cube is emerging built on the principle of sustainability. Masdar city, which in Arabic means source, will be finished by 2025 and will be completely powered on renewable energy.
masdar_neighbourhood_development_1-minAlthough United Arab Emirates is considered to be built on oil and gas, there was recently an initiative to find new sustainable ways for producing energy. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, located in the core of the city, is doing in situ pilot projects so that the guidelines behind the WWF would be applied to the development of Masdar. The aim is to create a zero-carbon and zero-waste environment. A lot is invested in equipment like solar panels and concentrated solar power systems to produce thermal energy.  hujdnu
egs5The whole city plan rethinks approaches to sustainable architecture and urbanism. Behind the design of the city is the British architectural firm Foster and Partners and its urbanism plan which is incorporating principles of traditional Arab architecture. Solar radiation in the streets is minimized by narrowing them which provides a lot of shade, while natural ventilation is regulated by traditional architectural elements- wind towers. Accordingly average temperature in the streets are 15 to 20 °C (27 to 36 °F) cooler than the surrounding desert. Fasades are mostly made of terracotta decorated with arabesque patterns or covered with solar panels.
q23limage_5-minTo cut emissions, public transportation within the city will rely on electric vehicles and other clean-energy vehicles, among which is a personal rapid transit (PRT) systems. Also, Masdar city is planed to be friendly to pedestrians and cyclist. There are still some problems to be solved, as blowing sand can stick on solar panels, and a more effective water management system. Still this visionary plan is an impressive example of sustainable building. prt_1280__popup

Digital Grotesque – 3D Printing technology and architectural forms

Digital Grotesque consists of two human-scale, highly ornamented sandstone grottos designed by architects and programmers Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer. Grottos I and II are 3.2-meters high, designed with customized algorithms and printed with a 3D sand printing technique. These architectural sculptures were made on commission by Centre Pompidou in Paris for its exhibition Imprimer le monde held in March 2017 and FRAC Centre in Orléans.imprimer-le-monde-centre-pompidou-outside1_960 imprimer-le-monde-centre-pompidou-outside6Sand printing technology is shifting boundaries with the use of 3D printing in architecture. It overcomes limitations in  producing architectural components with 3D printing technology that, until now, has only been used to make relatively small objects. Although these sandstones blocks are strong enough to fulfill construction requirements, Benjamin and Michael mixed it with resin in order to further harden it by closing its pores.3d-printed-architecture-installation4 3d-printed-architecture-installation15The computational design allowed architects to render tiniest details into reality and to create a complex and breathtaking surface of artificial sandstone bricks. Aediculaes, which forms the grottos, are rich in details and evoke floral and geometrical forms. Complex geometries are formed with customized algorithms, altering parameters for divisions and subdivisions on the surface which results with 260 million individual facets generated through.3d-printed-architecture-design7 composition1The Digital Grotesque project is not the only one that proves the immense impact that the 3D printing technology has had on architecture. There are other projects which explore opportunities of 3D printing technology, like ProtoHouse 1.0 and ProtoHouse 2.0 by Softkill Design, a UK group of architects or Landscape House by Dutch studio Universe Architecture.

WOOD IN PROCESS focuses on everything but the end product

“Wood in process” is a design experiment of a Dutch collective of designers called Envisions. They find ways to transform materials and  offer new design solutions. The motto of the group is that experimentation leads to innovation. Their research was presented last year at Milan’s week of design which focused on presenting design discoveries rather than on finished designs. It has been realized thanks to the cooperation with the Spanish firm, Finsa which produces wood-replacement materials, medium density fibreboard (MDF) and chipboards.5980776e80bcd-minThe collective, composed of design students from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, note: “Although it functions only as a rich conceptual field, the preliminary stage of production of products has unlimited possibilities and deserves all the attention”. The collective examines the possibilities of the artistic product, which is underestimated and rarely explored in the industry. 59807763cbb99-minEach of the 12 members of the collective was invited to visit Finsa’s factories to find potential new uses for their various materials, as well as materials produced during production. Presented materials were photographed and used by Walt Disney for making animation.598077733fbd8-minThe main idea of the Envisions group is that team work is ahead of the individual. They want to expand and create better communication between designers, clients and manufacturers; which they do with their presentations and exhibitions.   5980776407499-min