The Vertical Garden

July 1, 2009

Writing the history of a new trend in landscape design with one of the pioneers. Reviewed by Bruce Dvorak Every once in a while, a book comes along that is timely, original and inspiring. The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City, by French scientist/artist Patrick Blanc is one such book. Blanc is a “green” …

Formfinder

Reviewed by Ali Heshmati and Lars Meeß-Olsohn Introduction It is hard to experiment with any new building material, especially when that material is outside the standard choices. Structural fabric is one of those materials. Structural fabrics (or membranes as they are called in Europe) have been around for decades, but due to their unique qualities …

Regulatory considerations in the design of fabric awnings

By James A. Strapko Awnings in the architectural design process Recent trends in building regulations for commercial and residential projects may push architects toward taking awning design more seriously. In the past, architects have been tempted to view the awning as a discrete, subordinate element of a building envelope. As such, it is a candidate …

Moving elements soothe airport visitors

Travelers at the Indianapolis airport are treated to art that aims to calm. By Adam Regn Arvidson Air travel is stressful these days. Increasing delays, shrinking legroom and the proliferation of fees dog the business and casual traveler alike. Just arriving at an airport seems to raise the stress level, and the conclusion of a …

Luxury development receives Mediterranean makeover

The repurposing of a former boat storage facility in Naples, Florida, cleaves to its nautical roots in the details. A recently completed luxury development called Naples Bay Resort in southern Florida has proved successful despite an economic outlook that has turned grim. The resort’s overall image is meant to evoke a scaled-down version of the …

Fabric canopies provide shade for commuters

A new park and ride near Austin, Texas, offers commuters a cool respite from the heat. Commuters near the Dell Computers corporate campus have several good reasons to go green when they head to work, all of them contained in this smartly designed transit hub in the northern suburb of North Austin, Texas, off of …

Geogrid resists cracks

Tech Glass Geogrid is normally used as an innerlayer over distressed pavement, or within the overlay for reinforcement. A series of glass fiber strands are knitted into a grid and coated with modified polymer bitumen. Each glass strand has a very high tensile strength and modulus of elasticity at low elongation that provides additional support …

Spunlace material offers improved insulation

3D Performance is an innovative spunlace material designed for performance apparel, medical and hygiene applications. The three-dimensional, hydro-embossed web offers improved insulation properties and comfort. The material’s texture creates a better absorption of dust and liquids for improved cleaning properties. SOURCE Norafin

Biological approach presents possibilities for designing fiber composite structures

Exploiting the concept of “adaptive growth” found in nature may suggest new methodologies for creating fiber composite structures. By Christina Doumpioti Introduction A main goal of my research is to propose a biologically inspired computational approach to form generation and design methodologies that are not teleological and linear but parallel and with multiple interdependent hierarchies. …

Designers discover the potential of interactive mesh

Designers discover the potential for illumination and interactivity in metal mesh fabrics, blending electronics, architecture, innovation and economy. By June Bisantz Imagine a future in which surfaces manifest themselves as translucent, receptive membranes, shimmering with light and movement. Our everyday lives will be transformed by walls, ceilings and floors that respond to movement and changes …