Harvard University Develops Robot That Crawls Like a Snake; You Won’t Want These in Your Boots…

Scientists at Harvard University have created a soft, tube-like robot with silicone rubber acting as its artificial skin. The laser-cut rubber used is a thin, stretchable plastic sheet, with the cuts, shaped like triangles or circles, look similar to the scales on the skin of snakes. The robot is able to move as air is pumped into the tube, which allows the robot to expand and contract, resulting in the scales to pop up and anchor against the ground, pulling the robot in a forward motion. As for moving backwards; the researchers are still trying to figure that out. Continue reading “Harvard University Develops Robot That Crawls Like a Snake; You Won’t Want These in Your Boots…”

The “Trace” App by Morpholio Lets You Update Construction Design Changes On The Fly!

I recall in my days in the world of architecture as an intern where I’d go to job sites to document existing features, take measurements, and make changes to exiting construction documents on paper and digitally in AutoCAD — or even searching and finding the original construction documents in the school district archives because the school claimed to have lost them; I’m looking at you Alamo Heights ISD.  Anyway, more times than not you’d be on a project site and find  a problem that needed immediate attention. The problem is that once the project heads to the Construction Administration phase is NOT the best time for big design changes, new field conditions, client changes, errors, etc., etc…. Thankfully, Morpholio has updated their TracePro iPhone app, allowing users to alter job sites by simply “importing key components of the design process into the Construction Administration phase.” Continue reading “The “Trace” App by Morpholio Lets You Update Construction Design Changes On The Fly!”

The More You Use This Memo Pad, More Architectural Sculptures Are Revealed…

Japanese company Triad created this unique set of memo pads, called Omoshiro Blocks (or “fun blocks”), which slowly reveals an architectural sculpture as you remove each page from the pad. It’s almost like you’re excavating a historical structure while making daily reminders to yourself! SCORE! Thanks to the precision of laser-cutting, these Omoshiro Blocks let it users make notes on over 100 appealing sheets of colored paper, while at the same time unveil amazingly detailed 3D architectural treasures distinctive to each note pad.  The pads contain tiny paper replicas of historic sites, ranging from the Tokyo Tower, to Sensō-ji, to the Buddhist Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, and more. Continue reading “The More You Use This Memo Pad, More Architectural Sculptures Are Revealed…”

Need To Save Crumbling Buildings? Just Use LEGO!

Courtesy of Jan Vormann

Artist Jan Vormann has spent 10 years exploring the world, visiting roughly 40 cities across Europe, Central America, Asia, and the United States, while making and installing LEGO masonry interventions to city walls and buildings in moderate disrepair.  His ongoing project, Dispatchwork, started making these colorful toy-block repairs and additions — some using only a handful of LEGO bricks while some installations use up to 20 pounds of LEGO bricks — in Bocchignano, Italy, and later expanded to Tel Aviv and Berlin. Continue reading “Need To Save Crumbling Buildings? Just Use LEGO!”

Some of The Diverse Contemporary Architecture of Africa…

© Dook

The diverse continent of Africa is also host to diverse architectural projects, but many people outside of the continent are unaware (save for probably Kere’s lovely structures based on the local vernacular). Thanks to a wonderful slideshow post by Victor Delaqua of ArchDaily, we can catch a glimpse of some of the varied contemporary design projects installed in Africa. Of the 18 selected buildings from Mr. Delaqua’s original post (from 14 countries), here are my 7 favorite architectural projects from that post. Continue reading “Some of The Diverse Contemporary Architecture of Africa…”

The Oficinas Nexans Chile; A Greatly Lit & Circulated Office Space…

© Aryeh Kornfeld

This commission by Schmidt Arquitectos Asociados and  Ignacio Correa involved the remodeling the offices of Nexans Chile SA, located on the 2nd floor of a 1950s building, located within the southern area of Santiago, Chile.  The offices older configuration, part of the longitudinal direction of the plant, consisted of a central corridor divided two areas of open workstations, including private offices, meeting rooms and bathrooms. The problem: other than the wear-and-tear of age, these spaces were organized against building facades, resulting in the limited illumination of natural light in the work spaces located towards the center area of the plant. Continue reading “The Oficinas Nexans Chile; A Greatly Lit & Circulated Office Space…”

Here’s a ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Fan Film Made with LEGO!

Man, it SURE has been a while since The PractitioNERD posted any sort of a LEGO-related story, but I’m glad we could get back on that 1000-piece LEGO train (toot-TOOOOT). With the success of the theatrical LEGO films (The LEGO Movie & The LEGO Batman Movie) and the unlikelyhood of a movie based on the Grand Theft Auto video game series (likely due to the rights to the movie title; THANKS Ron Howard), it’s very evident that these two brands will never officially mesh together. HOWEVER, the lovely concept of fan films DOES exist. YouTube movie maker love Nukazooka latest short brings the two together to create a winning combination.

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Candida Tabet Arquitetura’s House ACP

© Fran Parente

The House ACP, designed by Candida Tabet Arquitectura and completed last year (2016), is located on a semi-circle-shaped plot of land in Indaiatuba, Brazil that is a single story tall and features a mezzanine — acting as a featured social area — and an annex playroom house for the two children of the couple who this house was designed and built for. The building’s orientation helps maximize the views of the beautiful surrounding environment, as well as showcase the ciruclation of the interior spaces, while the double-height of the mezzanine’s great cieling promotes cross-ventilation (allowing the hot air to do what it does best; RISE).

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A Barn Replacement + Farmhouse Restoration by Singer Baenziger Architekten

© Christian Senti

When Singer Baenziger Architekten took on this project of a farmhouse from the 1600s and a later-built barn (both sharing a cantilevered saddle roof) in the village center of Schlieren, Switzerland, they looked to restore the house while converting the barn building into a new living space. According to the design team, led by Roman Singer and Rémy Baenziger, the project will also include breaking up the singular roof through the use of roof windows and two roof sheds. Along with this, the outside landscape will retain the original exterior space, the unfinished nearby alley’s forecourt,  and the existing tree garden, but will add a new small private seating area for the farmhouse’s residential units. Continue reading “A Barn Replacement + Farmhouse Restoration by Singer Baenziger Architekten”

Genyo Takeda, Nintendo Game And Hardware Designer, Is Retiring

Genyo Takeda, known for working on some of Nintendo’s most iconic games, consoles, and tech, will be stepping down from the company this June. Takeda, 68, was hired in 1971 by future Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi, and got started by creating the gun game that nearly sunk Nintendo (not by his doing, but due to the oil crisis of the late-1970s). However, he would go on to produce and direct classic games (like Punch-Out!!, Pilotwings 64, and Dr. Mario 64) and technology (like tapping the NES cart’s RAM to back up save data, the N64 controller’s analog stick and headed up the Wii’s development) as he had long been part of Nintendo’s technology brain trust.

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