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” …

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 …

The future of smart materials

Sustainable materials expert Blaine Brownell discusses possible futures for textile-based architecture. By Mason Riddle “Within this exploding environment of new materials, I quickly realized how limited the architect’s palette is” states Blaine Brownell, recounting his epiphany a few years ago after working as a practicing architect. “We architects simply have to get smarter.” Given such …

Colorful clouds decorate architecture office

An office for an architecture firm demands elements that set the space apart from a typical workplace. To enhance the Irvine, Calif. office of Mulvanny G2 Architecture, Transformit installed a fabric piece to create ambiance in the café area. The piece transforms the ceiling into a sky-like scene, with the design conjuring imagery of clouds …

Greenwich Market gets a makeover

Hopkins Architects, London, U.K., recently submitted plans for the regeneration of Greenwich Market. The plans took three years of extensive research to produce. David Selby, director of Hopkins Architects, says, “The market regeneration has very particular needs which have demanded that we draw upon experience developed over many years in the fields of lightweight structures, …

Millennium Park pavilion embodies past, present and future

Zaha Hadid Architects, London, U.K., designed this pavilion for Millennium Park to encapsulate Chicago’s history and future. The design of the tent-like structure, engineered by Rockey Structures, Oak Park, Ill., mimics its dual representations through the balance of light and shadows that pass through the ceiling as sunlight filters through during the day. Tensile fabric …