A High-Speed Train between Major Texas Cities

Image Credit: Next City

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

A Headquarters with Quarters for the Homeless

Image Credit: ArchDaily

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

Plans Revealed for Obama Library

Image credit: The Obama Foundation

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.

Source: Dezeen

“The Great American Word Mapper”

Image Source: Visual News

Image Source: Visual News

Visual News reports about “the Great American Word Mapper,” a device that allows you to input a word and the output will inform you of its popularity based on location. The data driving the site was compiled in 2014 from billions of Twitter posts and the top 100,000 words used in those tweets generate the maps. It reminds us that vocabulary, regardless of the prevalence of social media today, remains tied to geography.

Source: Visual News

Jewelry that Captures a Moment

Image Credit: Dezeen

Image Credit: Dezeen

Love & Robots has created personalizable jewelry that can represent a specific moment in time as well as a geographic location. One chooses a location and a date on the store’s website, resulting in an animation of a fluttering metal cloth showing that day’s wind patterns. The customer can then pause the animation to produce a still, windswept form. The metal is either 3D-printed or a mold is 3D-printed and the metal is cast inside.

Source: Dezeen

Snøhetta’s Ship Tunnel

Image Credit: Archdaily

Image Credit: Archdaily

The Norwegian Coastal Administration asked Snøhetta to produce renderings for the conceptual design of a long tunnel underneath the Stad peninsula to connect between two fjords. It is estimated that “between 70 and 120 ships” would pass through this mile-long tunnel daily. This construction has been considered for many, many years. “Historians have even discovered that Vikings often preferred to portage their ships” over this distance than to endure the ship ride all the way around the peninsula.

Source: Archdaily

A Robot-Woven Pavilion

Image Credit: Dezeen

Image Credit: Dezeen

The University of Stuttgart has employed robot arms and drones to install a woven pavilion. The “lightweight fibre composites” in the project serve to easily achieve the span of the built work. Because former design teams from this institution had been restrained by the length of the robot arms they were employing, the drones were used to allow them to fabricate something of a larger scale.

Source: Dezeen

Drawing Post-Digitally

In an article for Metropolis, Sam Jacob explains that the proliferation of photo-realistic renderings has brought about a resurgence in drawing. He argues that today’s architects who have been raised in a digital world are fascinated with “the super-collage possibilities of Photoshop and the extreme flatness of Illustrator that established a different kind of image discourse: one that considered other types of digital space, other forms of graphic quality, and simultaneously a set of alternative architectural propositions.” It seems that the envisioned all-digital future of architecture may appear the way we foresaw.

Source: Metropolis

Meet Kuri, the Home Robot

Image Credit: Dezeen

Image Credit: Dezeen

Kuri is a home robot that promises to improve a person’s living space in a wide variety of ways. Whether by monitoring one’s house while away or acting as a mobile speaker device that follows you from room to room, Kuri seems to fit the role of an active helper and, perhaps, even a family member. Kuri, the “real live robot,” avoids the realm of “uncanny valley” by possessing certain anthropomorphic features such as eyes that blink and a glowing heart. The coming months will tell whether such an invention will be successfully absorbed into the lives of the people of the 21st century.

Source: heykuri.com

Stair-Treading Wheelchair

Image Source: Scewo via Designboom

Image Source: Scewo via Designboom

The Scewo stair-treading wheelchair represents a major advancement in electric wheelchair technology. This chair has two elements that have been added to it: rubber tracks that allow the bottom surface of the chair to cling to steps and a pair of small, retractable wheels that prop the chair up. The success of such a chair is particularly relevant to the way in which architects will design ground surfaces in the future.

Source: Designboom

BUILD: A Real-Life, Physical Design Space by Autodesk

On October 5, 2016, Autodesk announced “the opening of its Boston-based Autodesk Building, Innovation, Learning and Design (BUILD) Space, a unique industrial workshop and innovation studio focused on the future of making things in the built environment.” The space allows designers to utilize specialty equipment such as waterjet cutters, robots, routers, and a 5-ton crane. There is a “BUILDers in Residence program” for which project teams may apply and, once admitted, may participate free of charge as long as the team provides its own materials.

Source: Autodesk BUILD Space