All posts by Webmaster

Comments on Storing quantum information permanently

Storing quantum information permanently – While rocking my son to sleep, I have been catching up on some reading and finely read this interesting article on quantum memory. The basic premise is that scientists have come up with a way to store information geometrically, in this case using a torus. Sound familiar to anyone… sounds like Architecture to me.

Case in point, my finally grad studio was on formalizing knowledge geometrically to create a library. The instructor encouraged us to us topological knots, such as torus's. Though my pursuit ended up exploring cellular automata instead, this article is fascinating as it points a way in which topological knots might actually be used to store knowledge.

Comments on Parallax is a dizzying monochrome nightmare created by two people

Parallax is a dizzying monochrome nightmare created by two people – Parallax is a new maze game where one travels through two overlapping dimensions with different geometry to find the exit to the maze. It is difficult to explain without watching the video, but the general concept is that one can see and travel through portals between the two dimensions on your way to finding the exit.

To conceptualize multiple dimensions is a difficult task and one that Architects should consider. We already balance try to balance the multiple, overlapping and sometime contradictory uses, programs, perceptions and ideas that make up a space, but to formalize it is a whole other challenge, Parallax shows one possible way.

Comments on Lytro’s new light field camera lets you focus after you take a picture

Lytro’s new light field camera lets you focus after you take a picture – An amazing new camera that captures “light fields” instead of 2D pictures. A light field includes depth of field and exposure information so it can be dynamically altered. In theory, one should be able to recreate the 3D objects projected through the field from the photo.

The implications for Architectural Visualization are immense.  In its basic form, it would allow one to take a photo, import it into modeling software that would generate a 3D model with mappings.  From there it would be easy to insert new rendered objects.

I really look forward to seeing where this technology goes.

Comments on Spec Writers Are Always in the Basement; A Case for Changing Specifications.

Build Blog » Spec Writers Are Always in the Basement; A Case for Changing Specifications. – Build Blog’s perspective on specifications is definitely colored by the types of buildings they design and the process of engaging contractor’s that they choose as a design/build firm. There are definitely benefits to their approach and one that I find familiar in my recent experience in high end residential design.

However as several of the comments bring up, the idea of putting spec information directly on drawings or in schedules tends to break down when addressing public works who require multiple bids and true performance specifications with alternates for all products. Large complex projects have similar obstacles.

That said, in my own work, I find a hybrid approach best. For those products and specifications that require only performance information, a traditional specification is best, however for proprietary products or materials that are integral to the design I like to use a schedule(s) that list out the information in a concise way.

Comments on Engineering atomic interfaces for new electronics

Engineering atomic interfaces for new electronics – Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been exploring the special behavior of electrons at the interface between two different materials. The oxide interfaces that they have been studying have electrons gases that behave more like liquids of vary viscosity depending on the materials used.

It seems to me, that this is fertile ground for an architectural concept. The very idea of treating architectural space as a material continuum rather than the more typical outlook of form that frames space. This is not an argument for the sleek forms of parametric thinking, though it doesn’t exclude them. Rather, I argue that a material thinking is more about exploring contextual relationships, both continuous and discrete, in a way that favors the field rather than any individual piece.

Comments on CHEAP — THE BI BLOG

CHEAP — THE BI BLOG – As always, Bi Blog provides two different takes on their current post concerning the concept of CHEAP. While Jacob's half is poignant in how it describes the consequences of building cheaply even when it was with good intentions. Thom's thoughts on CHEAP, however, are more aspirational and thought provoking. Thom questions why contemporary Architecture seems fraught with expensive formal devices over the careful balancing material excess with other resources equally as important, such as space. It is a good question, but one that must be asked carefully, while heading the implicit warning in Jacob's post.

Comments on AD Classics: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library / Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill | ArchDaily

AD Classics: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library / Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill | ArchDaily – The rare book library at Yale is an excellent example of modernism done right. While the building is largely self contained and self referential like most classic modernism, the library's carefully crafted spaces and exquisite materiality of the translucent marble facade, give it a sense of progression and reverence for the functionality of the library.

While the seriousness and sincerity that the library takes for its function seems out of date compared to the irony filled and clever architectural programs that spill out architecture schools and magazines, it is also its greatest asset. While so much modern architecture has lost its ability to affect and instead comes across empty or naive, this library still carries with it a sense self and purpose that is rare.

Comments on Theoretical physics breakthrough: Generating matter and antimatter from the vacuum

Theoretical physics breakthrough: Generating matter and antimatter from the vacuum – Space is never truly empty. Even a vacuum isn't pure absence. Scientists at the University of Michigan have proposed a theory where using a strong laster, once can generate additional particles from a vacuum. They are now working on ways to prove it experimentally, but the basic concept is mind incredible. A true void doesn't exist, all space is intensely charged with matter.