LuxeLife

Old Power Station Returns as Functioning Art

 

For over 60 years a power station in Luckenwalde, Germany produced and supplied coal-powered energy to its city and beyond. Under extreme political upheaval, after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, E-WERK ceased producing power and closed. Now, nearly 30 years since the plant’s closing it is coming back to life. This time, however, instead of coal, E-WERK Luckenwalde will be powered by spruce pine woodchips provided by the leftovers from a wooden cable drum factory nearby. Besides becoming carbon neutral, it will be simultaneously turned into an art center, presenting a dynamic contemporary art program of commissions, exhibitions, performances and events.

 

As a functioning sculpture, multipurpose tool and dynamic site of production, E-WERK Luckenwalde plans on producing new forms of energy. It will open on September 14, 2019 with a quarter of the station turned on in its first month, starting with 40 kilowatts an hour (enough to power 200 homes) then gradually increase production. The initial art exhibition will bring 11 international artists together to reflect on the utopian possibilities of energy and run through March of 2020.

 

 

 

source: kunststrom

LEDs with Firefly-Inspired Surfaces

 

Penn State researchers are suggesting that firefly-like structures could improve the efficiency of LEDs. Fireflies and LEDs both have similar obstacles in having produced light reflecting backwards and getting lost. By texturing the surface with microstructures — microscopic projections — more light is able to escape. In most LEDs these projections are symmetrical, with identical slopes on each side. Fireflies’ lanterns also have these microstructures, but the researchers noticed that the microstructures on firefly lanterns were asymmetric. The sides slanted at different angles, giving a lopsided appearance.

 

Using asymmetrical pyramids to create microstructured surfaces, the team found that they could improve light extraction efficiency to around 90 percent. The asymmetrical microstructures increase light extraction in two ways. First, the greater surface area of the asymmetric pyramids allows greater interaction of light with the surface, so that less light is trapped. Second, when light hits the two different slopes of the asymmetric pyramids there is a greater randomization effect of the reflections and light is given a second chance to escape.

 

In conventional LEDs, the production process usually produces symmetrical pyramids because of the orientation of the sapphire crystals. The team discovered that if they cut the block of sapphire at a tilted angle, the same process would create the lopsided pyramids. By altering just one part of the production process, they believe their approach could easily be applied to commercial manufacture of LEDs. The researchers have filed for a patent on this research.

 

 

source: penn state

San Francisco’s Gregangelo Museum

 

The Gregangelo Museum is a work of installation art located in a Mediterranean-style house originally built in the early 1920s in the St. Francis Wood district of San Francisco. The house was converted into an art project during the 1980s. Though most of the twenty-seven rooms in the house have been significantly remodeled, the original 1920s architecture was intentionally salvaged. The founder, Gregangelo Herrera, owns a circus troupe and arts and entertainment company. The Gregangelo Museum was featured on HGTV in 2012, and has been cited in interior design books and television networks. Recent features of the house include Voltage TV’s World’s Weirdest Homes and Netflix’s Amazing Interiors.

 

Egyptian and Middle Eastern themed installations, mosaics, and paintings are some of the main features of the museum. The Gregangelo Museum generates its revenue by offering tours of the home to the general public. The tour starts outside of the house, and gradually makes its way up onto the second floor. On the second floor is a hidden second half of the museum called The Labyrinth, which is a series of maze-like crawl spaces. The philosophy of the house follows that each portal will bring visitors into a different existence, universe, and head-space.

 

 

 

 

source: wikipedia

New Orleans Sculpture Garden Expansion Now Open

 

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has opened its newly expanded Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden after 18 months in construction. The six-acre addition builds on the existing five-acre garden within New Orleans City Park and includes innovative architectural elements and showcases 27 new, recent, and commissioned large-scale sculptures.

 

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden occupies approximately eleven acres in City Park adjacent to the museum. Atypical of most sculpture gardens, this garden is located within a mature existing landscape of pines, magnolias and live oaks surrounding two lagoons. The garden design creates outdoor viewing spaces within this picturesque landscape. Conceived in 2003, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden has doubled in size in 2019 and has grown to now include more than 90 sculptures.

 

 

 

source: noma

Largest Permanent Kinetic Light Installation in the US

 

Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is set to debut the largest permanent kinetic light installation in the United States. The multimillion-dollar 30-foot sculpture is made of 57, 4-foot seamless and sculptural triangles that combine to form a 30-foot showpiece. Connected via 169 high-precision winches, the centerpiece can transform with the nightclub’s musical landscape into infinite shapes and colors above the dance floor. Each triangle was custom-designed and 3D-printed with premium materials from the brand KINETIC LIGHTS located in Berlin, Germany and features pixel-mapping and color-mixing technologies, making the grid the only structure of its kind that allows fully-customized images and patterns to flow seamlessly across all of the triangles both individually and collectively.

 

The installation is to be unveiled during the week of Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas in May.

 

source: hakkasangroup

The Tulip to be London’s 2nd Tallest Building


London’s city’s planning and transportation committee has just approved The Tulip. The 305-meter observation tower is to be constructed on 20 Bury Street, adjacent to 30 St Mary Axe, informally known as the Gherkin. The Tulip is designed by Foster + Partners, a British international studio for architecture and integrated design which is known for many high-profile glass-and-steel buildings. The tower will be a visitor attraction without any office space and will be London’s second tallest building. Work could start as early as 2020 with a scheduled completion date of 2025.

 

A survey completed by Londoners in December 2018 suggested that two-thirds believed the tower would be “an attractive addition to the London skyline,” but the tower has been opposed by Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces, and the Greater London Authority. Following the approval, chief executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, said he was disappointed with the decision and that the construction “would damage the very thing its developers claim they will deliver – tourism and views of London’s extraordinary heritage.” London airport officials also opposed the decision, claiming that the tower would be an obstruction for the air traffic control.

 

source: wikipedia

Rays of Light – Shaping Objects

 

UC Berkeley researchers have discovered a new light-based 3D printing technique that has the potential to transform how products from prosthetics to eyeglass lenses are designed and manufactured. Using light, the 3D printer transforms liquids into complex solid objects in only a matter of minutes. Nicknamed the “replicator” by the inventors — after the Star Trek device that can materialize any object on demand — the 3D printer can create objects that are smoother, more flexible and more complex than what is possible with traditional 3D printers. It can also encase an already existing object with new materials — for instance, adding a handle to a metal screwdriver shaft — which current printers struggle to do.

 

Most 3D printers, including other light-based techniques, build up 3D objects layer by layer.  This leads to a “stair-step” effect along the edges. They also have difficulties creating flexible objects because bendable materials could deform during the printing process, and supports are required to print objects of certain shapes, like arches. The new printer relies on a viscous liquid that reacts to form a solid when exposed to a certain threshold of light. Projecting carefully crafted patterns of light — essentially “movies” — onto a rotating cylinder of liquid solidifies the desired shape “all at once.”

 

The new printer was inspired by the computed tomography (CT) scans that can help doctors locate tumors and fractures within the body. CT scans project X-rays or other types of electromagnetic radiation into the body from all different angles. Analyzing the patterns of transmitted energy reveals the geometry of the object.

 

Besides patterning the light, which requires complex calculations to get the exact shapes and intensities right, the other major challenge faced by the researchers was how to formulate a material that stays liquid when exposed to a little bit of light, but reacts to form a solid when exposed to a lot of light.

 

The 3D printing resin is composed of liquid polymers mixed with photosensitive molecules and dissolved oxygen. Light activates the photosensitive compound which depletes the oxygen. Only in those 3D regions where all the oxygen has been used up do the polymers form the “cross-links” that transform the resin from a liquid to a solid. The objects also don’t have to be transparent. The researchers printed objects that appear to be opaque using a dye that transmits light at the curing wavelength but absorbs most other wavelengths.

 

This work was supported by UC Berkeley faculty startup funds and by Laboratory-Directed Research and Development funds from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The team has filed a patent application on the technique.

 

 

 

source: berkeley

Dynamic City Streets of the Future

 

Imagine a city street, nestled between buildings with mostly foot and bicycle traffic. During the morning and evening hours, there might be a steady stream of commuters heading to work. In the middle of the day and the evening, families might use the street as a play space. And on the weekend, the street could be cleared for a block party or a basketball game.

 

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs in Toronto along with the International design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati has worked to design The Dynamic Street, a prototype of a modular and reconfigurable paving system that hints at the possibility of the streetscape seamlessly adapting to people’s needs. The project is based on Sidewalk Labs’ extensive experience and research into street design, and affords visitors the ability to engage with up-and-coming technology concepts.

 

The Dynamic Street features a series of hexagonal modular pavers which can be picked up and replaced within hours or even minutes in order to swiftly change the function of the road without creating disruptions on the street.  This system is inspired by French research group IFSTTAR’s pilot project on removable urban pavement underway in Nantes.

 

The project explores the different patterns that can be created on the hexagonal grid as well as the integration of lights into individual pavers. Each paver can also potentially host a plug and play element – that is, vertical structures such as poles, bollards or even basketball hoops.

 

“The Dynamic Street creates a space for urban experimentation: with this project, we aim to create a streetscape that responds to citizens’ ever-changing needs,” says Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA practice and Director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): “As autonomous vehicles are likely to start running on streets soon, we can start to imagine a more adaptable road infrastructure.”

 

 

 

source: carloratti

Student-Developed Moon Base

 

Angelus Chrysovalantis Alfatzis, an architectural engineering student at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece has gained attention for his idea for a moon base. He is one of several young researchers based at European Space Agency’s (ESA) astronaut center in Cologne, Germany, investigating Moon-related concepts as Europe prepares for future missions.

 

Alfatzis describes his architectural approach as “hyperlocal” and is drawn to extreme environments in remote places and believes that sourcing or producing materials on the Moon itself will be vital to building a sustainable lunar habitat – a view that ESA shares. “I always strive to find material and structural solutions in accordance with the resources available on-site,” he explains. “At the moment, my focus is on using unprocessed lunar soil for construction and the architectural applications of this. Our idea is to transport inflatable modules to the base of a small crater on the South Polar Region of the Moon, and then gradually fill the cavity with lunar soil, until the modules are effectively buried. Meters of shielding will protect those inside from radiation. Building inside a crater will also help insulate due to the stable temperature of the Moon’s underground environment and provides cover from the threat of micrometeoroids.”

 

Like construction on Earth, Angelus says the main purpose of lunar buildings will be to protect inhabitants from external conditions that could otherwise pose harm, and create a habitat that supports human life. But there are special considerations that must be factored into planning. Sunlight, changes in temperature, the type of terrain and the level of gravity all play a role in designing a suitable concept. Due to lack of a protective atmosphere or magnetic field, any lunar base must also protect its inhabitants from radiation and tiny meteorites that rain down overhead.

source: esa

A Walking Car

 

Hyundai wowed the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas with their new vehicle, “Elevate.” Like something out of Star Wars, wheels with robotic legs allow users to drive, walk or even climb over the most treacherous terrain.

 

In times of disaster, those first 72 hours are of upmost importance. Often the search-and-rescue missions are impeded due to the disaster . . . which led Hyundai to develop the first-ever vehicle with movable legs.

 

The design is capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction. The legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut, and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency. This allows Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle. But no other can climb a five foot wall, step over a five foot gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15 foot wide track width, all while keeping its body and passengers completely level.

 

Design Manager, David Byron, offered a real-life scenario: “Imagine a car stranded in a snow ditch just 10 feet off the highway being able to walk or climb over the treacherous terrain, back to the road potentially saving its injured passengers – this is the future of vehicular mobility.”

 

 

 

source: hyundainews