Tag Archives: Design

Walter Segal Video

Segal Close and Walters WayIt might come as no surprise to any one who reads this blog, I am a fan of Walter Segal, I never got the chance to meet him, but I did get involved in one or two projects using the construction methods he outlined, so when I saw this Walter Segal vide0, I have never seen before, I was all over it.

For students you might well want to take a look at my other article on Walter Segal, do a search in the bar above to see all I have collected and the AJ article I still send out.

As always, I wrote this post, then found another video I want to share,,,,,


It’s not just Solar power

Colector SolarIt’s not just Solar power now, there are many types of solar power collectors, all making use of the suns free energy, and as time goes on, we see leaps and bounds in product innovation, helped so much by the battery storage innovations we see from Tesla.

So is it just solar panels, hell no, there are at least a dozen different methods, this article on Wiki, is probably the best I have seen so far, and is well worth the time to read, and follow up on the links and references.

I particularly like the way steam power is making a come back, all be it in a very different form, and the way the suns power is being collected and amplified by mirrors.and lenses, known as Concentrated solar power.

So far this is large scale but it should not be long before simple domestic models are available or at least local communes of houses, each sharing a small collector array.

There are problems the further north or south of the equator, the less sun and more cloud, so no power, but watch and see, battery technology, and increased equipment efficiency, with better building design could over come this. Oh and taking the human out of the control loop for heating, and letting the house run things.

How Cheap Can Solar Get

noneThis article on Ramez Naam, show exactly why, we as Architectural Technologists should get into Solar in every way possible, from its design, installation, and use. The title I have used today says it all, which is why I have also used it, How cheap can solar get.

Lets get this straight, we need energy, the whole planet the way we live, talk, travel, communicate, is all based on power. The use of fossil fuels is not endless, its limited at best, and its continued use affects the very nature of the planet earths well being, solar on the other hand is endless, well mostly is you consider the life span of the sun as being a few billion years.

Apart from the way panels are made, and the small footprint that leave behind, solar just sites there and works, no pollutant of any kind, it does not spin whine, or leave residue on the ground it just works…….. mostly, the high end solar farms, I must take time to study, but on the whole I think they are better than nuclear reactors and coal fired station, even gas fired plants.

One are of all this I have not really covered in any of my blog posts, is the way we can design new materials that absorb small amounts of energy and store it ready for the evening pulse of activity, or charging my car, yes I will go Tesla just as soon as I can.

Staying with the theme of material design, this is probably the biggest area that we as technologists can influence change, designing construction methods that utilise these ideas and new materials, adding space that will allow battery storage, exploring the concept of small neighbourhood collectives that share energy, which nicely opens up the debate on AC or DC.



CIAT Article on the Tesla Powerwall & how it is set to revolutionise

tesla solarThis article appeared in the latest CIAT weekly bulletin, its so good to see CIAT get a UK first in such a global revolutionary technology. I know I mentioned it recently, but this article has and says it all.

I am pleased that CIAT gave me permission to reproduce the article.

A revolutionary battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels is making its first UK appearance today at a CIAT event in Bristol.

The Tesla Powerwall is set to revolutionise how buildings use energy as it will allow homes to store solar energy generated during the day so that it can be used later in the evening when it’s needed, rather than homeowners having to sell their excess solar energy back to their utility company.

The battery will be on display at the Wessex Region celebratory event in Bristol marking the  Institute’s 50th Anniversary.

Wiltshire-based TH White, which advises on and provides a wide range of specialist buildings services products to the construction industry, is the main sponsor for this event and is working with the solar energy division of Austrian technology company Fronius to bring the Tesla Powerwall to the event.

The event will be an opportunity for the industry to find out more about leading renewable technologies.

President Karl Grace said: ‘This is a year-long celebration with events across the Institute’s Regions and Centres and we are looking forward to this event hosted by our Wessex Region as we will be able to show our guests some of the most exciting technology in the world which could change the way buildings are designed for years to come, to enhance the community and environment for those living within it.’

The event will start with a tour of Bristol’s Floating Harbour and its buildings on The Matthew before moving to the M Shed where TH White’s technology zone will be displayed. Guests will be treated to a range of entertainment throughout the evening, a summer BBQ as well as a view of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta’s fireworks from the M Shed terrace.

Alex Lockton, general manager for TH White’s Energy, Fire and Security divisions, said: ‘…Tesla Powerwall technology is set to change the world of energy. It isn’t on sale yet here in the UK so this appearance at CIAT’s event is a real coup and, as European Green Capital 2015, Bristol is the perfect host for showcasing this revolutionary green technology.’

For more information on TH White, click here.

The Dark Side of the Moon

Freddy M -MontreuxI saw this video today looking at the Dark Side of the Moon today, and you know what its like, the mind wonders, I started thinking about music and Genesis, all the moon shots, teaching, and finally ended up thinking how I could use this in one of my lectures, does it really matter to the Architectural Technologist, simple answer is yes, we should try to understand what makes the earth tick.

The moon has such an effect on us, from simply being there, to stopping the earth wobble, to affecting out tides, and hence the weather, to being to subject of so many poems and songs.

But most, it is the training ground for our eventual exit from this earth, but back to today, I think this leads nicely into some of my lectures on the way we navigate, the need to understand how we perceive shadow, the constant motion of shadow and its effect on colour, and texture. I told you many times, my mind wonders, all sorts of things came up watching this video, I so often make notes in my moleskin, and this was a beauty, lists of things as they sprang into mind, link lines sketches and abstract thoughts.

If your one of my students, then as you start using your day book and project books, this is what I am looking for, thought process, ideas, argument right or wrong, concepts, strange links.

Todays photo is the statue of Freddy Mercury on the lakeside Montreux, Switzerland, taken a few weeks ago as we walked to lake, no real link to the Dark side of the moon, but it’s what came into mind,,,,,

3D Printing and the Technologist

IMG_99923D printing and the Technologist within Architecture, its a subject we see in the press, we hear how items can be made, but as yet I have not seen a real proof that it can be or is being done, yet this video on the 3D Print site, says otherwise, and I think its turning a corner. We can print joints, couplings, and small items, we can even scale up to decent sized objects, but build a bridge, thats the turning point, its the days you can look aback at and say, thats the change point.

The problem is can we as technologists change our ways and detailing to accommodate this new way of building. No more just pick a material, its can I make it better, can I redefine the internal structure, lessen the load, and strengthen the product.

We have to think out side of the box to rethink structures, weather proofing and thermal performance. Can we now see robots printing materials all day and night, specific to the site, doors being built up already in a frame, using all sorts of new materials or waste materials recycled.


Summer Study

Poppy at lastAs we approach the end of the academic year, my attention is drawn to the simple fact, what shall I do till September, well the answer is where to start, I have research to do, summer study,  lectures to write and so much more domestic stuff, its hard to think what I should be doing and what not.

I want to be able to do more than one thing at a time, and I used to think studying was a singular occupation, not any more, I now listen to lectures and presentations whilst I do so many other things, gardening, walking, travelling, its so easy to pick up lectures from iTunes or in my case so often these days, Google play, plug in and away i go.

For pleasure I so often download good books I want to read on my Kindle, and for that matter, articles and academic papers in PDF format to, its so easy to upload them and whilst I travel on the train I can read.

I also have an Audible account, so I can listen to a good book as well as read it. Amazons Audiable.co.uk system is so good for this, see the link banner at the bottom. They have a deal on, 30 free trial and you get one free book, set it up for your holidays.

I also use my evernote account for papers and web pages I have seen and want to keep, Evernote is so good for this, I can also add notes and links as I read, although I can do this in Kindle, but its not so easy to retrieve the text, Evernote makes this so easy.

Todays photo is just a capture of a poppy we have in the garden, its never really done any good, till this year and we had 9 flowers out at once,