New York City produces almost four million tons of waste every year, almost a third of which is food waste.
Over the past few years, the Kartik Chandran laboratories at Columbia University have been trialling ways to turn food waste into high-value end-products, resulting in a de-centralised urban biorefinery. Working with high-concentration feedstock (products undiluted by water), the bio-refinery converts the organic carbon in the feedstock into products such as biodiesel, lipids and bioplastics. Anaerobic fermentation is used to produce aqueous chemical monomers as opposed to gaseous biogas, meaning that the end product can be further converted into a wide spectrum of household chemicals and fuels, creating a higher economic and energy value.
Stories of men building women have been a recurring trope from ancient myths to modern science fiction. With the dream of man-made, artificial life on the brink of becoming true, it seems an important moment to question this narrative before it becomes a reality.
A male-dominated tech industry has produced both female sex robots and feminine AI voice assistants, but what is the role of gender in a technological landscape divorced from biology? Immaterial Girls is a digital publication about these artificial women, trying to make sense of their existence and inviting speculation as to their futures. Why do they look the way they do, why do they need a gender, and why does their appearance and behaviour have to match ours? Most importantly, what values do we, as humans, want to keep in mind when creating an artificial intelligence that may equal ours within a lifetime?
Elevators take up a remarkable amount of space in buildings.
This is especially true for high-rise buildings, as the cable system means that only one elevator car can be used per shaft, effectively allocating a huge amount of floor space to one elevator car. Freelevator seeks to address this issue by providing a cable-free elevator, allowing multiple cars to operate across one shaft. It operates on Mecanum wheels to get traction from the shaft walls, and is able to move both vertically and horizontally. The absence of cables also allows the elevator to travel the full length of a building regardless of its height and breadth.
A central venous catheter is a catheter which is placed into a patient’s large vein.
Since the body responds very quickly to medication given by central venous catheters, this type of catheterisation could be lifesaving during emergencies as it allows medication to be rapidly administered and absorbed by the patient. However, placing a catheter during emergencies can be challenging, and the procedure is not currently used by paramedics. Cevec responds to this issue by providing an easy to use catheter that can be safely administered in an emergency situation. It considers specific conditions such as unsteady surroundings, untrained users and time pressure and reduces the necessary steps and tools to a minimum, ensuring a fast application.
The Ministry of Native Land Titles is a proposal for a new government building in Canberra, designed to host the country’s native claims courts.
Envisioned as part of a broader scheme to de-colonise government buildings in Australia, the Ministry consists of three court rooms, a ceremonial space and accommodation for visiting elders, as well as administrative offices. The cladding of the building is made from a mixed body clay, produced by mixing soil from all of the Indigenous clans of Australia, creating a distinctly Indigenous aesthetic without the overt use of Indigenous iconography.
Mexican cities today exhibit a high degree of socio-economic inequality.
This is most apparent in the eruption of gated communities, as private developers begin to develop housing for affluent families within areas of the city previously associated with low socioeconomic factors. High and low income groups are set side by side in an atmosphere of fear and mutual distrust, creating a sense of dislocation within the fabric of the city. La Loma Larga seeks to question this development process, using the industrial city of Monterrey as a case study. Using a parametric process to handle large amounts of data, alternatives developments of the city are mapped out, in which the city is allowed to evolve without hard borders or segregation.
First experienced by the crew members of Apollo 8, and popularised through the iconic front cover of the Whole Earth catalogue, the ‘Overview Effect’ is a psychological shift in perspective triggered by seeing our planet in its entirety, in all of its uniqueness and fragility.
Overview acts as a democratic alternative to elite space tourism, offering members of the public the transformative experience of seeing our home planet from afar without leaving the ground. By launching a high altitude balloon up to the edge of space, independent footage was gathered and turned into an immersive experience, allowing everybody to share this inspiring and humbling journey.
Shift, Command and Alt is a series of three flat-pack office chairs made of solid bamboo.
Bamboo is a sustainable and economic material that can be grown extremely quickly with little to no harmful waste. Its flexibility and tensile strength make it ideally suited for use in furniture, creating a product that is lightweight but strong. The innovation in this design is to have produced three standardised chair designs that can easily be packaged down and transported, allowing for industrial production and widespread use.
Multigeneration Vertical Freej is a flexible housing development that caters to the needs and opportunities of the UAE’s ageing population.
As the average life expectancy continues to increase, new forms of housing are needed to cater to this important segment of society. The concept was developed by considering the three social scales that form a natural system in Emirati neighbourhoods, and integrating them into a vertical development. The project considers the community as a whole by designing shared common areas such as majlis, courtyards and dining areas to maximise opportunities for social interactions, increasing social capital while also promoting a positive attitude towards ageing.
Mexico Paralelo is a data graphics device that demonstrates the consequences of urban development in Mexico City.
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world, with a metropolitan area of some 21.2 million people. Water scarcity is a critical issue, restricting future development and calling for a radical rethinking of the city’s infrastructure. The device rotates at one revolution per day, using real data and speculative algorithms to illustrate three variables and their impact on the city: traffic level, CO2 levels and ambient temperature.