A render of a blue elevated train snaking through LAX.

Los Angeles’s TECH+ Expo brought together innovations in project delivery

On February 6, The TECH+ Expo transformed the second floor of Los Angeles’s Line Hotel into a showcase of the latest innovations in architectural technology. But rather than exhibiting 3D printers, robot arms, and brick-laying drones, the conference highlighted products designed to streamline design research, project delivery, and the architect-to-client relationship. Chief executive officer of BQE Software, Steven Burns, provided

A render of a cityscape of Gaza with photos showing smoke from bombs floating above.

TECH+ talks to Eyal Weizman about tech in truth-telling ahead of Forensic Architecture’s first U.S. survey

Forensic Architecture has garnered a significant reputation within the field of architecture (they had a major showing at the most recent Chicago Architecture Biennial) and beyond for their work reconstructing violent events perpetrated by state actors and others using architectural tools and emerging technologies. The collective’s work has been displayed everywhere from the courthouse to

A white building with large lit letters reading ARTLAB.

Barkow Leibinger and Sasaki create a radiant, net-zero ArtLab for Harvard

The Berlin-based Barkow Leibinger, with the help of the Boston-based architect of record Sasaki, has created the adaptable, translucent ArtLab for Harvard. As the university expands across the river into Boston’s Allston neighborhood, they’ve been developing an ArtYard—a contemporary, arts-focused answer to the walled Harvard Yard in Cambridge. Barkow Leibinger’s brief was to create an adaptable,

The slightly-faceted facade of a building with a blue-ish scratch patterned solar panel.

Kiki and Joost design patterned panels to help make solar facades as commonplace as bricks or wood

As sustainability continues to enter the fore in design decisions, there has been an increased push to make photovoltaic technology more aesthetically adaptable, moving away from just the standard array of blue solar panels installed on rooftops. Tesla’s troubled Solarglass Roof has promised to look just like standard shingles and UNSense, the tech spinoff of UNStudio, has been hard at work on

A bird's eye view of a futuristic city

Expo 2020 Dubai pavilions will showcase global innovations in sustainability and design

Long before the telephone, the airplane, and the internet, the original World’s Fair was created in 1851 as a method of presenting the achievements of all the world’s nations in a single setting. Countless modern accomplishments—among them, the telephone, the Ferris wheel, the dishwasher, and even the Eiffel Tower—have all debuted at various World’s Fairs

People point at a large touch screen.

NBBJ acquires interactive experience firm ESI Design

Global architecture and design firm NBBJ announced its acquisition of experience design studio ESI Design today. Founded in New York by Edwin Schlossberg, ESI Design has been a leader in interactive design for over forty years, dating back to their work on the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in 1977. Schlossberg will become a partner at NBBJ and continue to lead the studio

An image of a timber-finned kiosk on the harbor front with skyscrapers visible in the background and a statue visible in front. Overlayed on the picture is the wooden fins both open and closed.

This seaside kiosk in Hong Kong uses robotics armatures for a cinematic effect

Hong Kong-based firm LAAB Architects has realized the robotic Harbour Kiosk along the Avenue of the Stars, a stretch of the city designed as a tribute to Hong Kongese cinema, on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Originally asked to create a 108-square-foot food kiosk, the architects instead opted to combine the kiosk with a nearby

A person using an iPad to view AR effects over a model of the BAMPFA.

Luisa Caldas uses AR to let DS+R’s BAMPFA tell its own story

Luisa Caldas is a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, where she leads the XR Lab, focused on using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality, and other extended reality tools as part of architectural practice. Recently, Caldas created the Augmented Time exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), housed in

A segment of a gray tower with lattice designs at center on top of a wider gray building.

Sidewalk Labs unveils digital model for the world’s tallest timber tower

Sidewalk Labs, the architecture and urbanism spinoff of Google parent company Alphabet, has detailed a new model for designing tall timber towers on their Medium page. The “digital proof-of-concept,” designed in Revit and hosted in BIM 360, is called PMX (proto-model X), and is intended to show how a modular 35-story tower could be designed

A tall building with a sweepiing facade made of interlocking white Ts, designed by Morphosis. The building continues at a lower height as a undulating gray roof with some irregular fenestration.

Morphosis’s Kerenza Harris talks tech and integration

Kerenza Harris is the director of design technology at Morphosis, where she works across the firm to integrate advanced computational techniques and high-tech simulations throughout the design process. Ahead of her presentation on system-based design processes and extended reality at TECH+ in Los Angeles next week, AN caught up with Harris to get her takes

A black-and-white photo of a woman in a dark suit smiling and holding papers.

Upali Nanda uses neuroscience to understand buildings as living organisms

Doctor Upali Nanda is reimagining the role of the architect. Where design today is often top-down and architects move on to new projects before doors of the project open, Nanda believes the role of architecture is to create living systems that respond to inhabitants’ changing needs, and architects have to stay involved during occupancy to

The exterior corner of a gray building with three white surveillance cameras.

The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project wants to curb surveillance abuses

Without a suspicious eye or an advanced degree in software engineering, it can be nearly impossible to keep abreast of the evolving role surveillance technology has had in the law enforcement of the built environment. Biometric databanks, facial recognition cameras, cell phone trackers, and other watchful devices have been quietly installed throughout our major cities with shockingly

A render of an enclosed space with people with VR headsets and a hologram-like figure in the center.

New Museum and Onassis USA will launch a mixed reality lab in Leong Leong–designed space

The New Museum’s NEW INC and Onassis USA, the American outpost of the Greek arts organization, have announced a new joint venture focused on mixed reality projects. Called ONX Studio (for Onassis, NEW INC eXtended Reality Studio), the project will begin as a two-year pilot program and will function as an accelerator, workspace, and gallery

A procedurally generated neighborhood drawing

Sidewalk Labs is using machine learning to make neighborhood design smoother

Sidewalk Labs, the Alphabet subsidiary focused on urban technology, has been working on a new software tool for generating optimized city layouts. In an effort to combat the disconnect between various stakeholders in the urban planning process—architects, planners, engineers, and real estate developers—and their software, product manager Violet Whitney and designer Brian Ho have created

A top-down photo of a snowy landscape with four two-story structures in different colors.

Alaska’s Cold Climate Housing Research Center is rethinking how the Circumpolar North builds

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) describes itself as “an industry-based, nonprofit corporation created to facilitate the development, use, and testing of energy-efficient, durable, healthy, and cost-effective building technologies for people living in circumpolar regions around the globe.” Aaron Cooke, the architect who leads the Sustainable Northern Communities Program at the CCHRC in Fairbanks, Alaska, is

A render of a city with sloping roofs glowing at night in front of a snow-capped mountain.

BIG’s first project in Japan is a high-tech mobility incubator for Toyota

Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Toyota and BIG unveiled a new concept for a high-tech “Woven City” to be built at the car maker’s 175-acre former factory site at the foothills of Mount Fuji, in Japan. “In Higashi-Fuji, Japan, we have decided to build a prototype town of the future where

A rendering of a curving white and green tower in an intersection.

Studio Symbiosis proposes green, air-purifying towers for polluted Delhi

Home to 19 million people, Delhi has some of the most polluted air on the planet. With some toxic elements present in excess of 25 times the World Health Organization’s guidelines and with a growing population, new solutions are urgently needed. Studio Symbiosis has begun testing its own speculative project, Aura, as potential new “lungs

A concrete cube pavilion with puzzle piece–like panels that has bulbous forms made of white circles growing out of it.

Gerardo Broissin creates a lush microclimate inside a puzzle pavilion

Mexico City-based architect Gerardo Broissin has created a jigsaw puzzle-like concrete structure for the courtyard of the celebrated Museo Tamayo. Built for Design Week Mexico this fall, the pavilion, known as Egaligilo (Esperanto for equalizer), forms its own porous microclimate full of ferns and shrubs.  In order for the pavilion to successfully keep the plants healthy,

A gray house-like building with many transparent domes embedded in a public square.

Obra Architects creates self-contained, yearlong spring in Seoul

The New York and Seoul–based Obra Architects, along with Front Inc., Obra Abrim, Dongsimwon Landscape, and Supermass Studio, have created an oasis of “perpetual spring” in a public courtyard in Seoul. Supported by Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art as part of their exhibition The Square: Art and Society, the experimental pavilion features

The Architect’s Newspaper announces the best in high-tech design

The Architect’s Newspaper has granted its 2019 Best in Design Awards to a number of standout projects, with the TWA Hotel refresh coming out on top as the Building of the Year. AN also recognized the best uses of innovative materials, digital fabrication, and other tech-forward AEC innovations this past year. In Research, LAMAS’s Delirious

A top down view of colorful metal bands forming columns and circular open roofs, designed by SOFTlab

SOFTlab used complex computation to realize a colorful Philly installation

In West Philadelphia, SOFTlab has realized a six-pillar installation called Spectral Grove. The fanning canopy was realized with the help of three custom computational solutions. Made of powder-coated aluminum, the interlocking metal fins direct light and shadow throughout the day for an animated visual effect. Getting the angles of the canopy just right proved particularly

An iPhone that shows floating bottles and other digital artifacts with white text on black scribbles that reads "Boss: you're late Me: I saw a dog Boss: you said that yesterday Me: he lives in my house”

Curatorial collective augments MoMA with an AR exhibition

“There’s so much modern and contemporary art that isn’t shown,” the mononymous artist Damjanski said as we walked around the fifth-floor galleries of MoMA, iPhones in hand. “What if we could bring even more in?” Along with Monique Baltzer and David Lobser, Damjanski has come up with a solution to these limitations with MoMAR, an

A cellar-like room is filled with printed piles of soil.

ACADIA 2019 showcased the state of digital design

The presentations and activities at this year’s ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) conference gave attendees a glimpse of potentially disruptive technologies and workflows for computational architectural production. The conference was held this year in Austin from October 12 through 14 and was organized by The University of Texas School of Architecture faculty members Kory Bieg, Danelle Briscoe, and

A curving concrete facade with thin, tall windows that was 3D-printed by Apis Cor

Apis Cor claims to have created the largest on-site 3D-printed building

Dubai is now home to what is claimed to be the world’s largest on-site 3D-printed building. The 31-foot-tall, two-story government agency was printed in on-site three weeks using a single printer developed by the Boston-based Apis Cor, which has previously garnered attention for their sub-$10,000 printed home and for winning NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge along

A yellow four-legged robot dog on a construction site, one of the Spot models from Boston Dynamics

Roaming robot dogs could streamline jobsite documentation

Reality capture has revolutionized construction by increasing job site efficiency and safety and allowing for quick responses to design and building challenges. However, save for the use of drones, often operated by humans, on-the-ground monitoring has required the relatively traditional (and labor-intensive) task of walking around and taking photos and collecting data to feed into

A white panel over a plexi platform that has various wires with fans, a phone, and other devices connected

Canadian architecture collaborative designs a low-power panel to integrate tech

A collaboration of Canadian companies led by Toronto’s WZMH Architects has developed an award-winning prefabricated panel that could make buildings smarter and more efficient.  The prefab Intelligent Structural Panels are made of two steel plates, just two inches apart, that sandwich connective tech and are arranged something like an enlarged microchip. Lighting, HVAC, elevators, security

A top-down view of a white plastic tile with a 3D map of a city.

Boston architects come together to make a 3D-printable map of the city

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) has long kept 3D models of its city. However, cobbled together over the years, the files are at times cumbersome and as firms increasingly turn to 3D printing for model making and testing, not so useful. Printers don’t know how to process them or they are not designed

Four 3D-printed blocks, two gray stacked, the top with a dent, at right a gray block with a dent over a broken yellow block. These demonstrate the structures of Tubulanes

3D printing nano-tech inspired forms could lead to stronger, lighter buildings

Researchers at Rice University have developed a technique that makes 3D-printed common materials diamond-hard. Inspired by the theoretical form of tubulanes—a carbon nanotube structure that scientists predicted in the 1990s would have tremendous strength but have been unable to produce—the researchers scaled the structures up and found that these larger-scale imitators still maintained many of

Topdown look at students at work on tables at Cornell

Cornell forms new interdisciplinary collaboration to teach students about digital design

“Design is inherently interdisciplinary,” J. Meejin Yoon, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Cornell Architecture Art Planning (AAP) school, told the department’s blog last month. In that spirit, Cornell AAP and Cornell Tech have announced a collaborative, cross-disciplinary program for digital design solutions. The partnership includes the new M.S. Matter Design Computation (MDC) program for graduate