In 1927 the Mississippi River flooded the Midwest causing mass devastation. The number of people who died in the tragic event is unknown; Herbert Hoover called it “the most dangerous flood our country has ever known.” Congress passed the Flood Control Act of 1928, and the Army Corps build a sophisticated model to test flood prevention strategies. The model was a three-dimensional map of the United States at 1/2000 scale. The model was used to successfully predict which levees were overtopped in floods in later years. Although computer models have replaced this massive model, physical models are still useful for running advanced simulations that computers cannot adequately process.
Source: 99 Percent Invisible
The Museum of Modern Art is celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright with a new exhibition titled Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive. The exhibition features drawings, building fragments, photographs, models, and other ephemera related to Wright’s career—including an original physical model of the Guggenheim—on view through October 1, 2017.
The microscopic structures of pollen were used to derive the forms of these 3-D printed lamps. The chosen types of pollen—such as ragweed, dandelion, and ash pollen—cause hay fever across Europe. The lamps are an exercise in converting two-dimensional images from under a microscope to 3-D virtual and physical models. The very things that bother the noses of Europeans can now delight their eyes.
Design Curial has compiled a list of “2017’s 10 Best Gas Stations, Worldwide.” Archinect reports that “new entrants are fueling some alternative aesthetic takes on the usually quotidian gas station.” The inherently mundane programmatic necessities and the pavilion-like formal requirements of the program allow designers to use these project as vessels for flights of fancy.
Airbnb’s affect on Amsterdam has been highlighted through the installation of a bedroom in a local subway station. Artist Boudewijn Ruckert uses this piece to create awareness about the fact that people are desperate to live anywhere in the Dutch city because such a large percentage of its already-low housing selection has been employed for Airbnb. The corresponding advertisement for this bedroom states, “the views from the windows are absolutely unforgettable.”
Source: Pop Up City
The site of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, has been an item of contention lately. Complaints about the World Heritage site’s lack of a prominent visual presence have prompted a rethinking of the site’s layout. Preservation Design Partnership has proposed a large, enclosing glass wall that will mark the bounds of the original structure. Critiques against this proposal assert that the area that will be enclosed by the wall currently functions as a completely public plaza. Critics argue that this proposal could be the end of the “street preaching, panhandling, raspa vending, trinket shopping, [and] photo posing” that constitute the role of the square in the city.
Source: Next City
Google Chrome has devised a new way to get to know our planet. Through doodling a curve onto its interface, Land Lines reveals a corresponding landform, along with its physical location. This is an application that allows users to happen upon parts of the world to which they would otherwise be oblivious.
Source: Visual News
During this year’s Venice Biennale, Sir Norman Foster presented about a port that his firm has designed for drones. Designed for Rwanda, the “droneport” is meant “to service difficult to reach hospitals with medical supplies across inaccessible and rural” areas. The design is composed of rammed earth arches that are built from local soil to reduce the cost of construction. This article by Failed Architecture elaborates upon the conditions in Rwanda and is critical about the potential effects (or lack thereof) of Foster’s project upon the socio-political milieu.
Source: Failed Architecture
Image Credit: CNN
Researchers at Delft Technical University in the Netherlands are developing a self-healing concrete. Its cement paste has been infused with harmless, dormant bacteria that becomes active when in contact with rainwater. This would cause cracks in the concrete to be filled. Reportedly, the most complicated part of developing the technology was ensuring that the “healing agent particles” were not disturbed during the initial concrete mixing process.
Source: The Future of Things
Talks of a Fort Worth-to-Dallas high-speed train line have been confirmed. The line would be about 30 miles long and would be traveled “at speeds between 70 and 125 mph.” An environmental impact study is currently in progress to be completed in one year, but the train line would most likely not materialize until the year 2023. This is seen as the first step to connecting Texas’ major cities to one another by high-speed train.
Source: Next City
Amazon’s campus in downtown Seattle will contain a 50,000- square-foot homeless shelter, Next City reports. The nonprofit that will manage the accommodations currently resides in a condemned building that is owned by Amazon, so it will be relocated to inside the headquarters. Amazon has also actively helped other entities in the Seattle area, such as the University of Washington computer science center and aloting space for another nonprofit as well.
Source: Next City
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects have revealed the first renderings of the Obama Presidential Library, which will be completed in 2021. The library will be located in Jackson Park in Chicago, and is designed to “seamlessly integrate into the park and the community,” per the request of the Obamas. The museum portion of the complex is a multi-storied, stone clad structure that will sit opposite the horizontally oriented library. Landscaping will wrap around the museum and atop the library, which opens up to a public plaza. Barack and Michelle Obama presented the concept design and site plan at an event on May 3.