The Ups & Downs of Drones

The Ups & Downs of Drones

Drones are expected have big impacts on a range of  industries, but also represent new security risks. In response, London Police are training eagles to handle this high-tech security headache, another example of the reapplication of ancient technology, while  Michigan Tech created a robotic drone catcher. Conversely, the FDA  recently loosened restrictions on “micro” drones, as Amazon moves full speed ahead with its own project. What creative ideas and/or concerns about the spreading drones do you have?

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A Networked Future

A Networked Future

Digital technology is becoming ever-more pervasive and the world is increasingly urban. The simultaneous rise of these trends find us at a unique intersection in space and time. In a reflective interview with Smart Circle that ranges from urban mobility and citizen participation to cyber terrorism and the future of sharing, Carlo Ratti, director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab aims to make sense of these changes. It’s a worthwhile read, particularly for those seeking to connect the “smart” city with it’s citizens.

The City as an R&D Lab

The City as an R&D Lab

The evolution of cities as labs is clear in a Fast Company interview with Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, a Google startup company. They discuss the opportunity technology presents to solve big urban challenges, the need for scalable solutions and a fourth technology revolution in modern cities. Perhaps most interestingly, Doctoroff emphasizes the need for new technologies to benefit the triple-helix of urban stakeholders: the City, the public and the private sector. A shift towards a kinder, gentler smart city?

Gaming & the City

Gaming & the City

It’s been more than two decades since Sim City was first released. During the interim, city-making games have become more popular and nuanced, reflecting a growing public interest in urbanism. More than just fun, these games can teach planners valuable lessons about how we plan and how we envision the idealized city. Games can also be used as valuable engagement tools and to re-imagine the places we call home. Could the games of today lead to the self-building cities of tomorrow?

An Analog Turn in Architecture?

An Analog Turn in Architecture?

A subtle but important shift may be taking place in leading architectural circles. As Intelligent Life writes, longstanding starchitects with a penchant for parametric architecture appear to be losing favour to more restrained approaches. Programs to create slick digital designs and imagery are now standard tools, ones that architects are increasingly interested in combining with traditional styles for a fresh look. Perhaps more importantly, this shift includes greater focus on urban context and a holistic view of the city. Important steps in the pursuit of holistic city-making.

What Would You do with a Magic Wand?

What Would You do with a Magic Wand?

With the Internet of Things, controlling objects daily is becoming real. Valentin Heun at MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Lab introduced an app, Reality Editor, aiming to empower users to have more control over their smart tools. When you connect dots on your finger tip featuring the app, smart objects in a room start communicating each other. Combination of individual’s creativity and Reality Editor could bring interesting results to human interactions and physical environment outside of a room.

 

Injecting New Energy into Architecture Debates

Injecting New Energy into Architecture Debates

Bored of traditional architectural debates, Turncoats aims to shake up the establishment provoke real discussions about architecture. Harnessing the free independent journalist approach of Dezeen, Architecture Foundation and Failed Architecture, the “conspirators” want to burst the bubbles around mainstream architectural discussion. Turncoats’ sold-out open conversation will prohibit recording devices during the discussion, focusing instead on the here-and-now. Open your mind and witness an alternative participatory process and subsequent outcomes.