Jump to Navigation

News Feeds

Preserving England's history in concrete

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:11

This week, English Heritage ... listed 14 late 20th century office developments as historic monuments. The buildings, all constructed between 1964 and 1984, will now be protected from summary demolition or insensitive remodeling, standing as examples of the best architecture of their period. [...] The buildings being spared might seem extremely modest, even provincial. That could partly be the point—the buildings are supposed to be representative of their country, after all.



Categories: Design Feeds

Uber sued for negligence after New Delhi rape incident

Inhabitat - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:09

Uber App

Uber, the trendy San Francisco-based rideshare company, is being sued for negligence and fraud following an alleged rape in New Delhi last December. The victim, who is going by the moniker “Jane Doe” in order to protect her identity, claims that her ordeal was a direct result of Uber’s “hollow marketing tactics and disregard for customer safety”, and she says that the company places more emphasis on promotion and profit than on screening its drivers.

Uber, Uber app, Uber rideshare, Uber rideshare program Uber, Uber app, Uber rideshare, Uber rideshare program


Read the rest of Uber sued for negligence after New Delhi rape incident

Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg
Post tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,








Categories: Building Green

Duffy London’s King Arthur Swing Table keeps folks from being Excali-bored

Inhabitat - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:59

 

King-Arthur-Swing-Table-lead-2

Duffy London is encouraging people to “bring the playground into the boardroom or dining room” with their brilliant new King Arthur Swing Table. This round table is supported by a four-poster frame, from which a Geo lampshade and hanging chairs are suspended. Not only does the design make vacuuming a breeze, but staff members or dinner guests stay engaged and inspired as they swing around during presentations and dessert courses. Available in a variety of different hues and finishes, to seat 8 or 12 diners and thinkers, it can turn any meeting area into a very silly place, but in the best ways imaginable.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

+ Duffy London

Images by Duffy London and Tom Oxley Photography.

Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment

The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg
Post tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,








Categories: Building Green

Get Lectured: Rensselaer, Spring '15

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:43

Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Winter-Spring 2015

Archinect's Get Lectured is back in session! Get Lectured is an ongoing series where we feature a school's lecture series—and their snazzy posters—for the current term. Check back frequently to keep track of any upcoming lectures you don't want to miss.

The next featured poster comes from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture.

Want to share your school's lecture series? Send us your school's lecture series poster and details to connect@archinect.com.

Unless noted, lectures begin at 6 p.m. at EMPAC / The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media + Performing Arts Center: 110 8th Street, Troy NY 12180. Free admission.

Feb 9
RHETT RUSSO
Architecture in Surplus
at the EMPAC Concert Hall

Mar 11
JIM COLLINS, '77
"The Pursuit of Excellence in an Era of Resistance"
at the EMPAC Theater

Apr 6
Bedford Chair Symposium:
"Integrated Ideation: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Structures"

CRAIG SCHWITTER / BuroHappold
BRUCE DA...

Categories: Design Feeds

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in December

Calculated Risk - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:31
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in December to 1.88%, down from 1.91% in November. Freddie's rate is down from 2.39% in December 2013, and the rate in December was the lowest level since December 2008. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.

These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure". 

Note: Fannie Mae will report their Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate for December next week.

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent RateClick on graph for larger image

Although the rate is generally declining, the "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%. 

The serious delinquency rate has fallen 0.51 percentage points over the last year - and the rate of improvement has slowed recently - but at that rate of improvement, the serious delinquency rate will not be below 1% until late 2016.

Note: Very few seriously delinquent loans cure with the owner making up back payments - most of the reduction in the serious delinquency rate is from foreclosures, short sales, and modifications. 

So even though distressed sales are declining, I expect an above normal level of Fannie and Freddie distressed sales for 2+ more years (mostly in judicial foreclosure states).

The Electromagnetic Fortification of the Suburbs

BLDG BLOG - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:13
[Image: A drone from DJI].

It's hardly surprising to read that drones can be repurposed as burglars' tools; at this point, just take any activity, add a drone, and you, too, can have a news story (or Kickstarter) dedicated to the result.

"Why not send an inexpensive drone, snoop in your windows, see if you have any pets, see if you have any expensive electronics, maybe find out if you have any jewelry hanging around," a security expert wonders aloud to Hawaii's KITV, describing what he sees as the future of burglary. Burglars "can do all that with a drone without ever stepping a foot on your property line."

"So what's a homeowner to do?" the TV station asks.

They suggest following the drone back to its owner, who, due both to battery life and signal range, will be nearby; or even installing "new expensive high-tech drone detection systems that claim to detect the sounds of a drone's propellers." This is absurd—suggesting that some sort of drone alarm will go off at 3am, driving you out of bed—but it's such a perfectly surreal vision of the suburbs of tomorrow.

Fortifying our homes against drone incursion will be the next bull market in security: whole subdivisions designed to thwart drone flights, marketed to potential homeowners specifically for that very reason.

You go home for the weekend to visit your parents where, rather than being enlisted to mow the lawn or clean the gutters, you're sent you out on drone duty, installing perimeter defenses or some sort of jamming blanket, an electromagnetically-active geotextile disguised beneath the mulch. Complex nets and spiderweb-like antennas go on sale at Home Depot, perfect for snaring drone rotors and leading to an explosion in suburban bird deaths.

[Image: A drone from DJI].

This news comes simultaneously with a story in Forbes, where we read that drone manufacturer DJI is implementing a GPS block on its products: they will no longer be able to fly within 15.5 miles of the White House.

The company is issuing "a mandatory firmware update to all Phantom drones that will restrict flight within a 15.5 mile radius centered around downtown Washington D.C. Pilots looking to operate their Phantom drone will not be able to take off or fly within the no-fly-zone."
Based off a drone’s GPS coordinates, the technology to geo-fence drones from entering a particular airspace, especially around major airports, has been around in Phantoms since early last year. The new update will add more airports to its no-fly-zone database as the 709 no-fly-zones already in the Phantom’s flight controller software will expand to more than 10,000, with additional restrictions added to prevent flight across national borders.
This is remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that firmware updates and geography now work together to disable entire classes of products within a given zone or GPS range. Put another way, drones today—but what tomorrow?

Geofencing or "locationized" firearms have already been discussed as a possible future form of gun control, for example, and it would not be at all surprising to see "locationized" smartphones or geofenced cameras becoming a thing in the next few years.

All a government (or criminal syndicate) would have to do is release a (malicious) firmware update, temporarily shutting down certain types of electronics within range of, say, a presidential inauguration (or a bank heist).

[Image: A drone from DJI].

More to the point of this post, however, GPS-based geofencing will also become part of the electromagnetic armature of future residential developments, a new, invisible layer of security for those who are willing to pay for it.

Think, for example, of the extraordinary geographic dazzle effects used by government buildings to camouflage their real-world locations: as Dana Priest and William Arkin wrote for The Washington Post back in 2012, "most people don't realize when they're nearing the epicenter of Fort Meade's, even when the GPS on their car dashboard suddenly begins giving incorrect directions, trapping the driver in a series of U-turns, because the government is jamming all nearby signals."

If half the point of living in the suburbs is to obtain a certain level of privacy, personal safety, and peace of mind, then it is hardly science fiction to suggest that the electromagnetic fortification of suburbia is on the immediate horizon.

You won't just turn on a burglar alarm with your handy smartphone app; you'll also switch on signal-jamming networks hidden in the trees or a location-scrambling geofence camouflaged as a garden gnome at the edge of your well-mown lawn. Drones, dazzled by invisible waves of unpredictable geographic information, will perform U-turns or sudden dives, even racing off to a pre-ordained security cage where they can be pulled from the air and disabled.

The truly high-end residential developments of tomorrow will be electromagnetically fortified, impervious to drones, and, unless you've been invited there, impossible for your cars and cellphones to even find.
Categories: Building Green

Sea turtles face growing danger due to plastic trash in Australian waters

Inhabitat - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:00

plastic, trash, garbage, litter, ocean, clean up, sea turtles, Australia, Sydney, wildlife rehabilitation, danger, health, recycling, conservation

Sea turtles living off the coast of Australia face a growing danger in their own habitat: ocean plastic. The amount of plastic debris in the waters surrounding Australia is growing rapidly and so are the unprecedented numbers of injuries sustained by sea turtles and other ocean creatures. Veterinarians warn that humans should find ways to control the amount of plastic waste before the effects become irreversible.

plastic, trash, garbage, litter, ocean, clean up, sea turtles, Australia, Sydney, wildlife rehabilitation, danger, health, recycling, conservation plastic, trash, garbage, litter, ocean, clean up, sea turtles, Australia, Sydney, wildlife rehabilitation, danger, health, recycling, conservation


Read the rest of Sea turtles face growing danger due to plastic trash in Australian waters

Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg
Post tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,








Categories: Building Green

DIY: Make recycled candles for Candlemas Day

Inhabitat - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:00

Candlemas-Upcycled-Candles

February 2nd has had special significance since ancient times: celebrated as Imbolc by the Celts, and more recently as Candlemas by Christians, it’s also commonly known as Groundhog Day. Although the days are growing longer, winter’s darkness is certainly still present, and candles can help dispel the gloom until the sun returns again. Read on for DIY instructions for how to make some of your own recycled candles to brighten up your home for this February festival.

Candlemas, Candlemas Day, candlemas, candle, candles, making candles, candle-making, upcycled candles, recycled candles, wax, candle wax, paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, DIY candles, DIY candle making, DIY, DIY craft, craft, crafts, Imbolc, Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemass, Groundhog Day Candlemas, Candlemas Day, candlemas, candle, candles, making candles, candle-making, upcycled candles, recycled candles, wax, candle wax, paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, DIY candles, DIY candle making, DIY, DIY craft, craft, crafts, Imbolc, Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemass, Groundhog Day Candlemas, Candlemas Day, candlemas, candle, candles, making candles, candle-making, upcycled candles, recycled candles, wax, candle wax, paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, DIY candles, DIY candle making, DIY, DIY craft, craft, crafts, Imbolc, Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemass, Groundhog Day Candlemas, Candlemas Day, candlemas, candle, candles, making candles, candle-making, upcycled candles, recycled candles, wax, candle wax, paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, DIY candles, DIY candle making, DIY, DIY craft, craft, crafts, Imbolc, Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemass, Groundhog Day Candlemas, Candlemas Day, candlemas, candle, candles, making candles, candle-making, upcycled candles, recycled candles, wax, candle wax, paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, DIY candles, DIY candle making, DIY, DIY craft, craft, crafts, Imbolc, Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemass, Groundhog Day Candlemas, Candlemas Day, candlemas, candle, candles, making candles, candle-making, upcycled candles, recycled candles, wax, candle wax, paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, DIY candles, DIY candle making, DIY, DIY craft, craft, crafts, Imbolc, Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemass, Groundhog Day Candlemas, Candlemas Day, candlemas, candle, candles, making candles, candle-making, upcycled candles, recycled candles, wax, candle wax, paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, DIY candles, DIY candle making, DIY, DIY craft, craft, crafts, Imbolc, Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemass, Groundhog Day

Read the rest of DIY: Make recycled candles for Candlemas Day

Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg
Post tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,








Categories: Building Green

Ontario, California fighting for a stronger airport in Los Angeles' mega-region

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:49

While American airlines carry more than 700 million passengers annually, nobody wants to fly out of his own backyard. Nobody that is, except the citizens of Ontario, California. [...] Ontario wants as many of those potential 30 million passengers as it can get. And it has been pleading, negotiating and suing for the right to do so. [...] “The Ontario Airport is the largest economic engine in the Inland Empire ... It generates jobs, revenue to the city and to the entire region"



Categories: Design Feeds

Kickstart this! Archinect's Kickstarter picks for January 2015

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:26

Our first Kickstarter list of 2015! Here you'll find our latest selections of crowdfunding campaigns that piqued our interest for Archinect's curated Kickstarter page.

Parabola Chair

After two years of development and 15 full-sized prototypes, designer Carlo Aiello's Parabola Chair recently won the prestigious 2014 Red Dot Design Award. Aiello's Kickstarter campaign could help bring the chair to a wider market.

MODUS: The Ultimate 11-in-1 Portable Sketching Tool

The MODUS combines multiple essential drawing tasks into one nifty portable tool. It has the exact dimensions of a credit card, so it can slip right into a wallet. It's also made of 6061 Aluminum that can prevent RFID theft.

Life-size Animated Film

London-based animated filmmaking team Daisy Jacobs and Chris Wilder are crowdsourcing funds in hopes to bring their next film project together, where 2D painted characters interact with real-world 3D objects. You can check out the trailer of the team's last life-size animated film, "The...

Categories: Design Feeds

Dynamo: More Than Grasshopper Lite

Revit Add-ons - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 09:48
There's a post on the CASE website demonstrating how Dynamo is most equipped to add value not in the creation of free-form geometry but, instead, in the management of building information.

Three examples are given. The first is related to building intelligent responsive models.


The second examples relates to streamlining data entry and documentation.


Finally, there's a quality control example.


The article, by CASE's William Wong, is absolutely worth a read, and is available on the CASE website.
Categories: Revit/BIM

Filmmaker, blogger … butcher? How TED Fellow Bassam Tariq works to upend conventional views of Muslim life

TED Blog - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 09:43
Artist Bassam Tariq is determined to shine a light on the incredible diversity of Muslim life – and he does it by any means necessary. Known for his blogging project 30 Mosques in 30 Days, Tariq and a friend took a month-long road trip through all 50 states, breaking their Ramadan fast each evening in []
Categories: Design Feeds

Square the circle and see clearly

Design Matters - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 09:23
Note the circles inside this bookcase which offers geometric clues to the proportions

Note the circles inside this bookcase which offers geometric clues to the proportions

Pre-industrial design books frequently employed squares, circles, and simple rectangles to convey the basic proportions in a design. Often these drawings show circles surrounded by squares and rectangles to help the reader quickly grasp the composition. A circle conveys that the space is equal in width and height (essentially a square) and combinations of overlapping circles easily convey a square expanding into a rectangle. The beauty of using these simple overlapping circles is that it’s easy to depict rectangles which have harmonic width to height ratios. Draw two circles where the diameters just touch the focal points and the surrounding rectangle has a ratio of 2 parts high to 3 parts wide ( 2:3 is a fifth in music).

 3

This design uses a simple rectangle with overlapping circles to reveal a rectangle that is 2: 3

I often encourage students to draw these simple rectangles to help them visualize harmonic shapes, rectangles with ratios of 1:2, 2:3, 3:4, 3:5, and 4:5.

Let’s say you want to draw a rectangle that is 4:5 or four parts high by five wide. Historically this was called a square and one quarter square. Begin by drawing a circle then scribe a horizontal line through the center and extend it in the direction you want to expand. Then use dividers to step off the line into four equal parts inside the circle. Go back to your  compass and draw  an overlapping circle so the circumference of your second circle overlaps all but one quarter of the first. Surround both with a rectangle and you have a nice harmonic shape to use for the opening on a fireplace or the outline of an end table.

blog 001


Categories: Design Feeds

Comment on Q4 GDP and Investment: R-E-L-A-X

Calculated Risk - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 09:08
There are legitimate concerns about a strong dollar, and weak economic activity overseas, impacting U.S. exports and GDP growth. However, overall, the Q4 GDP report was solid.

The key numbers are: 1) PCE increased at a 4.3% annual rate in Q4 (the two month method nails it again), and 2) private fixed investment increased at a 2.3% rate. The negatives were trade (subtracted 1.02 percentage point) and Federal government spending (subtracted 0.54 percentage points).

As usual, I like to focus on private fixed investment because that is the key to the business cycle.

The first graph shows the Year-over-year (YoY) change in real GDP, real PCE, and real fixed private investment.

Investment Contributions
Click on graph for larger image.

It appears the pace of growth for real GDP and PCE has been picking up a little. Real GDP was up 2.5% Q1 over Q1, and real PCE was up 2.8%. Both will show stronger growth next quarter (since Q1 2014 was so weak).

The dashed black line is the year-over-year change in private fixed investment. This slowed a little in Q4, but has been increasing solidly.

The graph below shows the contribution to GDP from residential investment, equipment and software, and nonresidential structures (3 quarter trailing average). This is important to follow because residential investment tends to lead the economy, equipment and software is generally coincident, and nonresidential structure investment trails the economy.

In the graph, red is residential, green is equipment and software, and blue is investment in non-residential structures. So the usual pattern - both into and out of recessions is - red, green, blue.

The dashed gray line is the contribution from the change in private inventories.

Note: This can't be used blindly.  Residential investment is so low as a percent of the economy that the small decline early last year was not  a concern.

Investment ContributionsClick on graph for larger image.

Residential investment (RI) increased at a 4.1% annual rate in Q4.  Equipment investment decreased at a 1.9% annual rate, and investment in non-residential structures increased at a 2.6% annual rate.   On a 3 quarter trailing average basis, RI is moving up (red), equipment is moving sideways (green), and nonresidential structures dipped a little (blue).

Note: Nonresidential investment in structures typically lags the recovery, however investment in energy and power provided a boost early in this recovery. 

I expect investment to be solid going forward (except for energy and power), and for the economy to grow at a solid pace in 2015.


Pages

Subscribe to Today's Buildings aggregator


Main menu 2

by Dr. Radut