Posts Tagged ‘Liz Stinson’

Liz Stinson writes at Wired magazine about a bike lane in the Netherlands created to evoke Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night.

“If you happen to be near Eindhoven in the Netherlands, you can walk or bike down a glowing path modeled after Van Gogh’s masterpiece. The one kilometer lane is the work of Daan Roosegaarde …

“The Van Gogh-Rooosegaarde bike path (located near where Van Gogh himself lived from 1883-1885) uses a luminescent material that charges during the day and glows at night. These glowing bits look like little pebbles, but they’re actually not rocks at all. Using the smart coating material developed with Dutch infrastructure company Heijmans, Roosegaarde was able to create 50,000 fluorescent ‘rocks’ that he then embedded into wet concrete in a swirling, pointillism pattern reminiscent of Starry Night. …

“The big goal is to make the coating as dynamic as possible—shifting colors, markings or appearing and disappearing altogether—to account for our ever-changing urban spaces. …

“The designer suspects the path’s real draw will change from person to person. ‘Some people will come because they’re interested in safety and energy-friendly landscapes, others will come because they want to experience art and science,’ he says.”

More here.

Photo: Studio Roosegaarde
Daan Roosegaarde created a glowing bike path in the Netherlands based on Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night.

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I saved up this one until it was cool enough outside to talk about heating systems.

Liz Stinson writes at Wired, “Commercial buildings account for 20 percent of the national energy consumption—a big number on its own, but stunning when you consider that often, those buildings are half empty.

“A new project from MIT’s Senseable City Lab is looking to decrease the amount of wasted energy by creating hyper-localized beams of heat. Called Local Warming, the prototype system uses LED bulbs to beam direct rays of infrared light onto people. This is in direct contrast to HVAC systems, which blanket entire spaces with hot or cool air, regardless of how many people are present.

“MIT’s system is rigged to the ceiling, like highly-efficient track lighting. Using a WiFi-enabled tracking system, the lights can sense when a human is present and will beam infrared heat down like a spotlight. ‘It’s almost like having a your personal sun,’ says Carlo Ratti, a professor in the Senseable City Lab.

“The current prototype is on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale until November. It features a large infrared bulb surrounded by rotating mirrors that can direct the light in a focused beam. It’s bulky—hardly the type of thing you’d like in your home—but Ratti envisions future prototypes will use smaller LEDs for a more compact aesthetic.”

Read more at Wired

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One of the biggest challenges for biking in cities is the intersection.

Liz Stinson writes at Wired, “Biking through a city can feel like navigating a video game staked upon your life. You’re avoiding pedestrians and potholes all the while making sure cars don’t run into you. …

“Even protected bike lanes have an Achilles heel: the intersection. Most protected bike lanes — lanes that have a physical barrier between bicyclists and drivers — end just before the intersection, leaving bicyclists and pedestrians vulnerable to turning vehicles.

“Nick Falbo, an urban planner and designer from Portland (one of the most bike friendly cities in the nation), is proposing a new protected intersection design that would make intersections safer and less stressful than they are today. Falbo’s design is taken from the Dutch way of doing things. … Falbo’s adapted design has four main components.”

They are the corner refuge island, the forward stop bar, the setback crossing, and bicycle-friendly signal phasing. Read what they are here.

“ ‘This design requires you to have a much tighter corner radius,’ says Falbo. ‘These large truck operators, they are professional drivers they can actually make tighter turns than these standards normally say they would. The real answer is that I think you’re going to have to be a little stricter on your trucks in any number of ways.’

“It’s a battle, but Falbo thinks implementing these bike lanes are totally possible, pointing out that protected bike lanes are just now gaining support across the country. …

“‘We’re trying to attract more riders,’ he says. ‘Some of these conventional facilities, they work and they’re safe, but they’re stressful and that level of stress and lack of comfort is what will keep the average American from feeling like they can ride.’ ”

Image: Nick Falbo
Nick Falbo designed a type of bike lane that addresses dangerous intersections.

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I can think of a few people I know who would love to conduct an orchestra just once.

A couple years ago, I was telling Suzanne and Erik how the Melrose Symphony Orchestra had a drawing at the Holiday Pops concert for an audience member to conduct the last number, and Erik said he would really love to do that. Given that he won a business-plan competition yesterday, he might feel like conducting an orchestra right now. Since there’s no orchestra handy, the next best thing might be an electronic simulator.

Writes Liz Stinson for Wired, “Most of us will never get the chance to conduct a real symphony orchestra, and that’s probably for the best. But a fake symphony orchestra made up of towering speakers, motion controllers, and touchscreens? Totally doable.

“A new installation at the Mendelssohn Museum in Leipzig, Germany lets you do exactly that, no music school required. The Mendelssohn Effektorium, by design studio WhiteVOID, is an interactive installation that allows you to have complete control over a virtual symphony. In this world you’re Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, and your instruments come in the form of 13 upright speakers with digital displays on them.

“Each of these speakers corresponds to a certain instrument group: woodwinds, brass, percussion, vocals and so on. It’s up you how much spotlight each instrument gets and how fast the tempo moves.” More at Wired. Be sure to play the video demonstration of someone conducting this way.

Photo: WhiteVOID
A Leap Motion sensor calculates your speed based on the pendulum interval of your movements and adjusts the tempo accordingly.

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Kaili knows how much I want to believe that U.S. manufacturing is not dead. He sent me this example from Wired magazine — a story about the making of Statue of Liberty souvenirs.

Wired‘s Liz Stinson reports that of the many souvenirs you see in New York, most “come from overseas where they’re stamped out on machine-driven assembly lines. But a select batch—the ones you can buy on Ellis Island—were made in the United States, right here in New York City, with actual human hands.

Colbar Art in Long Island City, Queens, creates prototype and custom molds, castings and original artwork, but the factory is most well known for being one of the largest producers of Statue of Liberty figurines in the world, and one of the last in the United States. …

“Ovidiu Colea’s story is the focus of a recent mini-doc made by NYC-based videographer Rebecca Davis.

“Davis, a video journalist at NBC, documented the Colbar Art crew during their daily routine of making statues, and it’s surprisingly fascinating to watch. ‘Growing up, one thing that had a lasting impression on my memory were the Mr. Rogers episodes where they’d go to the crayon factory and show you how the crayons were made,’ she explains. ‘I wanted to see from start to finish how these statues, as New Yorkers we see all over the place, how they come into being.’ ” Me, too.


Rebecca Davis’s charming video, found at http://narrative.ly/meet-your-maker/the-liberty-factory/, captures the Romanian craftsman’s pride in his work and in workers who come from all over the world.

I apologize that the embed code doesn’t work. I wanted to put the video here.


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