"Buildings originally designed for earthquake and emergency zones in Asia and Africa are now being erected in London playgrounds to shield schoolchildren from the noise of aircraft landing at Heathrow. ...
The superadobe design was an invention of the Iranian architect Nader Khalili, originally with a view to lunar settlements but first employed in a refugee crisis after the 1990-91 Gulf war, before answering the needs of west London's noise-afflicted schoolchildren. The buildings can withstand tremors with a magnitude of up to 5.7. Their domes are also immune to the damage occasionally wrought on local homes' tiled roofs by vortices from incoming jets.
The headteacher, Kathryn Harper-Quinn, estimates that when outside, teachers are rendered inaudible to pupils for 25 seconds in every 90. 'I've been very concerned about the effects of the noise on the children's learning,' she said.
In the huts, she added, 'you can still hear the planes but you can also hear your own voice'. She said that as outdoor learning was both valued by teachers and a statutory part of the curriculum, staff had developed strategies to deal with aircraft noise, including the use of whistles to alert children who could not hear when teachers were speaking.
She said it was also important that the adobe structures were a refuge for children outside lesson times. 'When kids are playing they are also developing their language skills, and in the playground again they're being interrupted.'"
(Gwyn Topham, 22 April 2013, The Guardian)
"Lebbeus Woods, Architect", February 16 - June 02, 2013, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
"Architect Lebbeus Woods (1940-2012) dedicated his career to probing architecture's potential to transform the individual and the collective. His visionary drawings depict places of free thought, sometimes in identifiable locations destroyed by war or natural disaster, but often in future cities. Woods, who sadly passed away last year as planning for this exhibition was under way, had an enormous influence on the field of architecture over the past three decades, and yet the built structures to his name are few. The extensive drawings and models on view present an original perspective on the built environment - one that holds high regard for humanity's ability to resist, respond, and create in adverse conditions. 'Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules,' he once said. SFMOMA has collected Woods's work since the mid-1990s, amassing the broadest collection of his work anywhere; the exhibition will feature these holdings, as well as a selection of loans from institutional and private collections."
(San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
"CityViewAR is a mobile Augmented Reality application that allows people to see how the city was before the earthquakes and building demolitions. Using an Android mobile phone people can walk around the city and see life-sized virtual models of what the buildings looked like on site before they were demolished, and see pictures and written information. Hundreds of 3D models of key city buildings have been made available from architect Jason Mill of ZNO, while the Christchurch City Council and Historic Places Trust have provided photographs and building histories.
CityViewAR is based on the HIT Lab NZ Android AR platform which uses the GPS and compass sensors of mobile phones to enable virtual information to be overlaid on live video of the real world. Android AR makes it easy for Android developers to build their own outdoor AR applications. The software was previously used for showing individual buildings, but this is the first time that it has been used to show dozens of buildings at once, and the first time in world that mobile phone AR has been used for earthquake reconstruction."
(HIT Lab NZ, 2011)
"OpenUrban is the first open source user-generated web map and forum focusing on current and proposed urban development. It is a web platform for civic collaboration, a venue for debate, and an outlet and archive for information on urban development. We embrace crowd sourcing technology as a means to inform and empower. By combining written media with spatial information OpenUrban creates a powerful tool for people to understand how their cities are changing and supports their active participation in that change."
"Thursday, 28 June 2012, 09.00 am - 17.30 pm, Exhibition-Newton Central Gallery, Conference-Newton LT3, LT37, LT33 and LT32, Welcome 9 am - 9.30 am in Newton Central Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.
All University staff, students and guests are invited to come along to this exciting research conference and festival. The conference has a series of parallel sessions of papers organised round research groups, as well as an exhibition.
This year's innovations will include workshop sessions on the seven candidate REF impact case studies, as well as the involvement of the Future Factory. Video art, production engineering, sustainable consumption, C18 textiles, concrete, knitting - all these and more will be the origin of papers in this year's Art and Design and Built Environment College Research Conference and Festival. This rich collection of research has a common concern to understand and shape our relationship to the material world; physically, socially and philosophically."
(Nottingham Trent University)