Qatar artificial clouds

What are they? A fleet of airborne drones designed by Dr. Saud Abdul Ghani and his team from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department at Qatar University to provide shade over soccer stadia during the 2022 World Cup, to be hosted by Qatar. Being designed in response to a requirement of the World Cup selection... Continue Reading →

Modular refugee shelter

What is it? Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, has spent many years investigating the potential of cardboard construction in his work. His most recent project is a small-scale, modular refugee shelter originally developed after the Niigata earthquake in 2004 and now being deployed in gymnasiums across the Tohoku region for families displaced by earthquake, tsunami or... Continue Reading →

Radiation chart

What is it? The comic genius behind XKCD, Randall Munroe, has put together this chart comparing the radiation doses received from various activities, giving graphical measurements in sieverts, the unit that quantifies the affect ionising radiation has on the human body: We receive 0.1 microsieverts of radiation from eating a banana. We received 0.05 microsieverts... Continue Reading →

The Art of Disney

What is it? An exhibition currently showing at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), running until the 26th of April, that celebrates 70-odd years of the art of Disney. It provides a broad overview of the history of the animation company, centred around the showcase of 9 key feature films, from Snow White... Continue Reading →

Going nuclear

The recent earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks that have (and are continuing to) hit Japan are tragedies surpassed only by what now appears to be the real possibility of a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Images of containment chambers on fire, video footage of radioactive water vapour pouring into the atmosphere and discussion of... Continue Reading →

The opposite of graffiti

What is it? As graffiti is commonly understood to involve the addition of paint or other markings to bare public surfaces, its opposite would be the removal of such markings. Or, as in the case of the Ossario project by Brazilian artist, Alexandre Orion, it is the selective removal of dirt and grime to reveal... Continue Reading →

Pixel building

What is it? An experimental green building completed late last year by builder-developer Grocon, architecture studio Studio 505 and sustainability consultancy Umow Lai on the Carlton United Brewery site in Carlton. It is being used as the site office for a major development on the site as well as acting as a showcase and testing ground for new... Continue Reading →

No grounds for dismissal

Once upon a time, many years ago, the town planning process in Victoria was treated like every other legal proceeding - planning applications were submitted for approval, planning departments had sufficient autonomy to make decisions without referring to elected officials, and objections were only permitted if they could point to areas in which an application... Continue Reading →

The heritage B-list

What is it? A recent article in the Saturday Age by Julie Szego on the proposed demolition of Ampol House, "Stripping the glitter from architecture's 'golden' oldies", offers an insightful observation into the nature of heritage and the planning policies that protect it. Ampol House, a kooky old gasoline company headquarters on the corners of... Continue Reading →

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