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SFMOMA exhibition explores the architectural provocations of Neri Oxman

May 13, 2022 Rima Sabina Aouf 0
Exterior of SFMOMA with work by Neri Oxman

Melanin-enriched building materials and decomposing pavilions are among the pieces on show in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition of Neri Oxman’s work, Nature x Humanity. Curator Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher discusses five key works. An architect, designer and pioneering materials researcher who founded The Mediated Matter Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and

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MIT engineers build load-bearing structures using tree forks instead of steel joints

May 5, 2022 Rima Sabina Aouf 0
Tree forks from the MIT Digital Structures research group

Discarded tree forks could replace load-bearing joints in architecture projects using a construction technique developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The system combines generative design and robotic fabrication to allow tree forks – the pieces of wood where a trunk or branch splits into two – to be used as the Y-shaped

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Smart Circular Bridge built with flax completes in The Netherlands

May 5, 2022 Rima Sabina Aouf 0
Almere flax bridge by Smart Circular Bridge project

The Eindhoven University of Technology has led a project building a bridge that is partly made from flax in The Netherlands, aiming to demonstrate the material’s potential to replace steel in construction. The bridge in the city of Almere is built from flax fibres combined with bio-resin and polyurethane foam blocks, creating a light and

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Dezeen Debate newsletter features 10 new construction materials

March 24, 2022 Karen Anderson 0
3D-printed mycelium Tree Column by Blast Studio with curvy silhouette

The latest edition of Dezeen Debate features 10 promising new construction materials. Following news that hemp could be used as a low-cost, low-carbon way of reinforcing concrete, we have rounded up 10 promising new construction materials, including plastic that’s stronger than steel and 3D-printed mushroom columns. Commenters are amazed. One called the materials “marvellous”. Other

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Ten future materials that could change the way we build

March 17, 2022 Rima Sabina Aouf 0
Made of Air biochar cladding

The race is on to engineer alternatives to traditional building materials. From super-strong plastic to fungus columns and loofah bricks, we’ve rounded up 10 materials that could be the future of construction. 2DPA-1 super-strong plastic Invented by Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemical engineers, 2DPA-1 is light and mouldable like all plastics, while being twice as strong

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Hemp rebar could offer low-cost, low-carbon alternative to steel

March 15, 2022 Rima Sabina Aouf 0
Hemp rebar by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Researchers at the USA’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have invented an alternative to steel rebar made from hemp, which they claim avoids the problem of corrosion while cutting carbon emissions from construction. The hemp rebar could be used to support concrete structures in the same way as steel and other rebars are today, but with a

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ICON and Lake Flato build 3D-printed House Zero in Austin

March 4, 2022 Ben Dreith 0
Lake Flato ICON House Zero 3D printing

Construction technology outfit ICON and architecture studio Lake Flato have completed a 3D-printed, modern ranch-style home in Austin to be displayed during the SXSW festival. ICON, the company to first sell ready-to-own 3D homes in the US, worked with San Antonio and Austin-based architecture studio Lake Flato to design House Zero. The home is sited

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New concrete vaulted floor suggests path to cutting carbon emissions

March 4, 2022 Rima Sabina Aouf 0
Paul Shepherd stands atop the ACORN vaulted concrete floor prototype at the University of Cambridge

A new type of flooring that uses 75 per cent less concrete than the current standard has been invented by researchers at the universities of Bath, Cambridge and Dundee, who say it could make a “major difference” to the construction industry’s carbon footprint. The UK-based researchers from the ACORN project (the name is short for

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Blast Studio 3D prints column from mycelium to make “architecture that could feed people”

January 18, 2022 Jennifer Hahn 0
3D-printed mycelium Tree Column by Blast Studio with curvy silhouette

London practice Blast Studio has developed a method for 3D printing with living mycelium and used it to form a column that could be harvested for mushrooms before serving as a structural building element. The two-metre-high Tree Column has a ridged, undulating structure reminiscent of a tree trunk. Its shape was algorithmically designed to enhance

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ETH Zurich develops formwork from 3D-printed foam to slash concrete use in buildings

January 10, 2022 Jennifer Hahn 0
Close up of precast concrete slab with hollow cells created using 3D-printed FoamWork by ETH Zurich

Researchers at ETH Zurich have used 3D-printed formwork elements made from recyclable mineral foam to create a pre-cast concrete slab, which they say is lighter and better insulated while using 70 per cent less material. The system, known as FoamWork, sees a conventional rectangular mould filled with 24 mineral formwork elements in different shapes and

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