“We don’t design two dimensionally; we always design three dimensionally,” says San Francisco-based architect and Fletcher Studio principal David Fletcher. Fletcher came to that opinion after seeing the dramatic possibilities of creating architecture through video game engines rather than traditional drafting software. Since developing the island setting in the 2016 game “The Witness," he has never looked back—and he’s not the only designer using video games to draft.
More Efficient Air Conditioning Via the Sky
Air conditioning and refrigeration consume 17% of global electricity and are responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions—numbers that will multiply tenfold by 2050—but one California-based company may have found a way to keep things cool while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. SkyCool Systems has developed a passive, zero-water-loss cooling system that harnesses a previously overlooked natural resource: the sky. By coating roof-mounted panels with an advanced material the team developed that radiates a small percent of infrared light back into outer space through the sky, the team was able to cool the panels to approximately five degrees Celsius below ambient air temperature.
How Design Inspires Creativity in the Workplace
We’re all born with varying degrees of creativity. Companies that want to be competitive and innovative in today’s market are turning to workplace design as a solution to boost creativity. Rapidly, the design community has responded by envisioning projects and products that honor the creative urge in all of us and seek to hone that drive into an even sharper expression of what the contemporary digital workforce is able to accomplish.
Researchers have long tried to make 3-D printed stainless steel with limited success, but they’ve gotten a step closer to bringing this method of manufacturing to the mass market. Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California invented a new technique that uses lasers and a rapid-cooling process, rendering the metal less porous than previous 3-D printed attempts, but three times stronger and just as ductile as conventional stainless steel. The printer and laser are commercially available, meaning that producing prototypes and large batches of small items will become easier in the future for design firms and manufacturers.