The world economy: key statistics

January 1, 1970

By Jeff Rasmussen It was a recovery year, to be sure, but an uneven global rebound kept the lid on the world economy. For the last three quarters of the year in 2013 and 2014, the U.S. has been an economic island, showing noticeable improvement in comparison to other major economies around the world. This …

Shade possibilities

Award-winning, customizable sun protection By Barb Ernster Seeking sun protection for his patio, Dr. Alan Shargani could not find a solution that was reasonably priced or didn’t take several weeks to make. He ended up designing his own and created Infinity Canopy Inc., a versatile and customizable shade system that is simple to install, affordable …

Awarding neighborhood advancement through architecture

Complex transit-oriented renovation project. By Jake Kulju The $500 million Denver Union Station renovation is easily one of the largest and most complex transit-oriented renovation projects in the United States. Denver has been in the process of revitalizing the underused area since the 1980s when it began seeking ways to turn the underused rail yard …

Carnegie Hall retractable rooftop pavilion

The great design that never was. By Mason Riddle Fortunately or not, some structures never see the light of day. Take for example the spherical Cenotaph for Isaac Newton (1784) by the acclaimed French visionary architect étienne-Louis Boullée. Did not happen. Or Eliel Saarinen’s 1922 soaring setback design for the Chicago Tribune Tower. Although notable …

Keeping it up

How Tectoniks’ Dreamforce, an air-inflatable structure that is one and a half football fields in length, keep its figure during the world’s largest vendor-sponsored trade show. The world’s largest vendor-sponsored trade show, Dreamforce 2013, brought downtown San Francisco to a standstill last November when it hosted more than 130,000 cloud computing enthusiasts from 65 countries. …

The future of air-supported structures

By Bruce N. Wright Asked what they would like to see in the future for air-supported structures, both Tectonik’s Kelsall and Inflate’s Crosbie see the integration of flexible photovoltaics as the gold standard. “Once flexible PV becomes cost effective,” says Crosbie, “that, for us, is the ‘Holy Grail.’ Then these structures can become both dynamic …

Insulating for the elements

For fabric roofs, R-values can be obtained in a number of ways, depending on light transmission needs. By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Like most wall systems in architecture, the R-value is a function of building up layers of materials that have different insulative values as well as water imperviousness. This holds true for fabric roofs, …

What not to do

When installing fabric structures, it’s important to consider the conditions. By Bruce N. Wright, AIA There are some basic no-nos when it comes to installing a fabric structure, and temperature and weather conditions are right up there at the top. “Don’t install fabrics in high winds or under 50 degrees Fahrenheit because the behavior of …

Fabric catches power of the sun

Solar energy-collecting fabric products can impact energy use—and make businesses in the industry successful. By Todd Dalland Coal and oil have superbly fueled and helped enable the extraordinary growth of modern civilization. Their supply is reaching its peak, though, and will soon start to decline—while our population continues to grow and its energy needs increase. …

Defining responsive textiles and reactive façade systems

To make the terms “responsive” and “reactive” more understandable, a look at common approaches to shading systems is necessary. By Elena Vlasceanu Recent innovations in parametric architecture allow for finely controlled and adapted façade systems that react to diverse building and user needs. The control of the elements refers to both their shape and production …