The Design blog

The Design blog


Futuristic learning spaces to surpass limitations of walls

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 05:26 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The concept

Due to ever shrinking school budgets, limited capital funding aging infrastructure and overcrowded schools that must respond to shifting populations, school districts prefer to invest in relocatable classrooms since future increase in student enrollment cannot always be accurately judged when permanent classrooms and buildings are being planned and constructed. In remote communities, places dealing with natural disasters or school districts dealing with higher student enrollment, modular classrooms can help schools best utilize their budget. With once-futuristic technology like 3D displays becoming more cost effective and commonplace now, relocatable classrooms of the future can be pre-fitted with cutting edge technologies that would make relocatable classrooms less expensive than traditional additions to schools.

Futuristic Classroom
Futuristic Classroom

The Inspiration

In the past few decades, relocatable classrooms have become fairly commonplace for communities coping with natural disasters, remote communities or regions that need quick-to-install facilities to provide classrooms for a lot of children within a short period of time. These relocatable classrooms, so far, have been fairly basic setups that provide children with a make-shift classroom but recent developments in the field promises to make relocatable classrooms of the future more stimulating and exciting for both educators as well as the students. Thanks to developments in telepresence and relocatable classroom technologies, children living in areas coping with natural disasters or those living in remote areas of the world no longer have to miss their school terms. These innovative solutions for education and schooling have led to the development of the next generation of relocatable classrooms that give us a peek into what schools of the future could look like.

What makes them stand out?

Most of the modern modular and relocatable classrooms are designed around systems that enhance portability without adversely affecting their functionality. Since new research has shown how natural light and outdoor environment positively impact students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and promote learning of new languages, classrooms that can adjust to different climatic conditions, site topographies and different curriculum and student needs can enhance students' productivity a lot. Some of the newer modular relocatable classroom designs also place a great emphasis on incorporating sustainable elements like water harvesting, recycling and solar and wind-energy harvesting that can potentially allow some of these unit to be set up in remote. Disaster struck areas with no access to grid power or water supply.

Eco Credentials:

Since relocatable classroom designs have to be modular, they can be easily fashioned out of prefabricated and recycled materials. Modular components made from recycled polystyrene make it easier to transport and once on site, these components can be assembled using local soil and plants. Thanks to an easy-to-dismantle structure, these classrooms can be setup an angle to capture maximum sunlight and even moved around to correspond to the shifting position of the sun during the year. The use of flexible components allows these classrooms to incorporate rainwater harvesting systems during the rainy season which can later be taken out and replaced with PV panels. Apart from being easily transportable, these small lightweight modular elements also allow the structure of these relocatable classrooms to make the best of changing climatic situations as well.

Feasibility

Most of the technology required to make these classrooms more readily available in the market currently exists so it's only a matter of time before "ordering" one for a school district would only require school administrators to fill in the necessary paperwork. Given the low set up cost and the fact that most of these structures would be made from recycled materials, prefab classrooms would only need the expertise of local construction agencies to set it up.

Related Trends:

1. eMod concept

eMOD concept
eMOD concept

A building solution that can be adapted to specific needs such as learning outcomes, climatic conditions and site requirements, the eMOD (Educational Modular Offsite Design) is a great new configurable modular design system for relocatable and expandable classroom designs. The concept links the requirements of 21st century learning with the demands out on limited space allocated for schools and offers a solution in the form of a transportable and adaptable space that is simple enough to install yet sophisticated enough to sustain futuristic learning environments.

2. MODUPOD concept

MODUPOD Concept
MODUPOD Concept

To promote critical thinking for students and enhance interaction, NBRS+PARTNERS' MODUPOD concept envisions classrooms of the year 2025 to incorporate 3D text books and a radical learning environment. To make the learning experience more effective for teachers and students the concept uses flexible PODS, smart interiors and a fast assembly design with a permeable student resource center at its heart and clusters of dynamic multi-modal rooms around it. This central core can be used to display student work, technological innovation and environmental facts as well as energy consumption of the building and school news, via multimedia screens. To give students the opportunity to learn from nature, the structure features Outdoor Spaces. To showcase interactive learning and to offer students the opportunity to collaborate and gather, the design features a Social Pod. A Breakout Pod with transparent walls helps students be resourceful and observe while the Project Pod helps them learn on their own view interactive methods.

3. Studioquint's Concept

Studioquint's Concept
Studioquint's Concept

Made to be both place specific as well as spatial, the rational classroom concept by Studioquint uses 3D origami inspired scale on the external and internal walls. The scales help the concept achieve occupiable three dimensional spaces internally while they respond to the context, outlook and orientation on the outside. As a part of the concept's transportable form, the local contextual landscape is incorporated within the rooftop of the design. Recycled polystyrene components offer the design great sustainability functions while a high rate of sun shielding is provided via photovoltaic panels that are set at an angle of 20 degrees. Reservoirs for rainwater are an important part of the design and the building uses local soil and plants to add to the thermal building mass.

4. LAVA's Design Concept

LAVA's Design Concept
LAVA's Design Concept

Made of easily transportable and lightweight small modular elements, the relocatable school from LAVA features a repeatable and symmetrical geometry and uses eco materials and prefabrication techniques to come up with a sustainable design for the learning space for the future. To create more light or shade, the structure uses a flexible system with a manually operable modular facade system integrated in it. To make the design more adaptable to future learning methods, learning clusters and changing class sizes, the design allows various configurations to be interlocked via a “triple axis” geometry design.


Kratos M1 military exoskeleton turns ordinary soldiers into great warriors

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 04:31 AM PST

Rohit Ram Singh:

Physical strength of soldiers is the resource we look up to during wars and law enforcements. But sometimes physical limitations can restrict human strength and endurance and might stand in the way of victory.If there was something that could help soldiers make movements using lesser energy it would be really beneficial. Keeping this in mind Australian Industrial designer Dene Huntley has come up with a full scale design of military powered exoskeleton called "The Kratos M1." Kratos means strength in Greek and the suit would help soldiers to go beyond human capabilities.

KratosM1
KratosM1

Several advanced technologies would be interacting together through this augmented suit. The applications of this suit could also include situations like law enforcements, constructions, emergency and catastrophic state of affairs. The Kratos M1 suit would allow the user to lift massive weight of scale around 200kgs for long time. This could also allow soldiers to move faster for longer period of time. This is achieved through hydraulic systems that sense muscle movements and help by sharing the load. Kratos has sensors all along the suit that respond to changes in pressure and neurological impulses precisely. This precision in sensing helps in making movements effortless and natural.

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KratosM1
KratosM1 Military Powered Exoskeleton by Dene Huntley

The suit is made of high strength composite materials just like a stealth fighter plane. The material used for construction is G5 aerospace grade titanium alloy combined with carbon fiber. The structure is then toughened with the help of polymer Kevlar composite. It is obvious that the skeleton has to be very strong to be able to assist a soldier in high strength activities for longer period of time. These materials are very light and durable. These characteristics are very desirable when we are talking about a combat suit. This would provide unbreakable protection to the soldiers in time of a battle.

Various joints like shoulder joints, hip joints, knee joints, etc. are provided in the suit to ensure maximum flexibility for the soldiers. The 360 degree flexibility in the shoulder is achieved through three pivot points that are powered by servo actuators. The hip servo in the suit is responsible for walking and running. This section is equipped with high pressure hydraulics to facilitate lifting massive weight. The knee joint features hybrid drive system and hydraulics combined together. This would allow the soldier to run faster than humans for a longer duration.

The designer has tried to make the suit very minimalistic so that it could be slim and portable. The suit can easily fit in the soldier's backpack. The suit would fit anyone between 155cms to 195cms with the help of adjustable limb segments. The hands and legs can be extended up to 20cms and 40cms respectively. With the help of advanced power unit this suit would run for five straight days. All of this looks promising and would definitely aid soldiers for better performance without exerting as much as they do now. The soldiers can remain under missions for longer time and accomplish task in lesser time. With all this they have no or very slim chances of failing.

Source: Denehuntley


Emotion Collector revives good old memories to mend present grudges

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 04:14 AM PST

Rohit Ram Singh:

Do you think those periodic quarrels between you and your partner make you doubt the credibility of your relationship? And most of the times neither of you is responsible for such quarrels but mostly the fast paced high pressure life. To be honest no one really wants to end up the relationship. Now there is a device that would help you patch up without even talking. This may sound vague and theoretical but it's true. The design has been made by Yicong Li, graduated from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

Emotion Collector
Emotion Collector

The device is called as Emotion Collector and it is a concept design for iPad 2. The device has three major parts: the video recording band called Emotion Recorder, the storage device and the docking board called emotion collector and two iPads. The collected data from the band in form of videos and pictures are transferred to a 1Tb hard drive where data is converted. The hard drive can be used by both the iPads simultaneously to share sweet memories.

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Emotion Collector
Emotion Collector by Yicong Li

The wristband has silica gel lining inside, an OLED clock display and a microphone. The band has Bluetooth that can be used to transfer videos and photos to the iPad. It has an 8-megapixel camera, which can be initiated to record using the shutter button in the band itself. The silica layer illuminates while the video is being recorded. The apple style smart button is situated in the inner side of band to avoid accidental operation. The most fascinating thing about the band is the wireless charging technology that uses the concept of electromagnetic induction. So you just have to keep the band in the board and the band would recharge.

The board has HDMI port to hook up a screen to watch high resolution videos. Further it has an USB hub, SDHC card reader and a power line socket. The on/off indicator shows if the device is powered on or off (light appears while the device is on). So if you had a bad fight and now you are not talking to each other due to a cold war of silence, you can find a lot of sweet memories in the database. Then you can use the emotion recorder to record and convey your words secretly. Also when you keep both the bands on the board it forms reflection of a heart. It's a device made to bring hearts closer than ever before.

[Cheers Yicong]


Intelligent Iron comes with charging pad to avoid messy wires

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 04:07 AM PST

Shallu Sharma:

Who knew that someday the desire to have a smooth tidy sweep of iron over your clothes without getting messed up with intertwined wires would make the design of Intelligent Iron possible? This easy-to-use device, designed in Forma Studio situated in Copenhagen, operates wirelessly without the use of messy charging wire. It comes with the feature of built-in steam and you just have to activate the feature by pressing the iron. The iron has been designed using induction coil charging technology.

Intelligent iron
Intelligent iron

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Intelligent iron
Intelligent iron by Mads Hindhede Svanegaard

The design has been created keeping male users in mind. It is quite handy and could be heat adjusted without making much effort. You simply have to select the preferred clothing type and it automatically detects fabric consistency. Transparent side of the iron helps to check out water level inside the built-in water tank. Steam vents are spread uniformly all over the surface of the iron and you just have to press the sides to make it steam. Its plain design makes it uncomplicated to use.

It comes with a charging pad that works with induction coil technology and uses electromagnetic field to transfer energy without the need of providing fussy wires with the iron. You just have to place iron on this induction pad to charge it. For easy use, its smart knob features shirt, boxers, t-shirt, silk, wool, synthetic written on it, so that even if you do not know about the fabric used, you can still manage to iron your clothes.

Source: Forma Studio


Artifact watch tells time the alien way

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 03:07 AM PST

Rohit Ram Singh:

Artifact is a unique watch designed by Peter from UK. Looking at the design one can easily say that it does not belong to this planet. Named “Artifact,” the designer has chosen the alien theme for the futuristic design. The idea of design is to make it look like a watch found from alien ruins of some other planet.

Artifact LED watch
Artifact LED watch

The watch fulfills the basic purpose of telling time with the help of its two triangular displays which could be either back lit LCD or LED. The first screen tells the hours in a digital analogue fashion. At the center of this screen it denotes PM. The second display shows minutes in similar manner.

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Artifact LED watch
Artifact LED watch is of alien origin by Peter

There is a touch sensitive control area on the watch that could be touched to activate the screens. To understand and figure out what changes would it bring to our lifestyle, we need human testing. But it is certain that people who like alien technology and concept are going to adore it. The time format is very easy to understand, yet stylish and unique. The designer has made the simple format look futuristic with the dual screen. A person can understand the format in a single look.

The only thing that stands between is the cost of manufacturing such high technology device. Another matter of concern is if people are going to buy it? And if yes then how big are the sales going to be? There has to be some working prototypes to test the effectiveness of the gadget in terms of utility and style. There has to be something great in the watch for people to prefer it over conventional time telling machines.

Via: Tokyo Flash


PixlClock keeps you connected to your Twitter account

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 02:38 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The PixlClock is a wall-mounting timepiece that responds to the changing lifestyle of the modern user. Though most of us tend to rely on the clocks on our cellphones or electronic devices or wristwatches to tell the time, there are a select few who still like the comforting presence of the wall clock. The PixlClock by designer Eliel Cabrera however, presents the same old wall clock in a whole new multifunctional avatar that allows consumers to not only customize the look of the clock to their own personal tastes, but also allows them to use the timepiece for staying connected to the Twitterverse.

PixlClock
PixlClock

The PixlClock comes pre-fitted with a 21×21 arrangement of multicolored LEDs that can be preset into a range of exciting colors as well as pixilated clock faces. Using the menu bar located at the side of the clock, users can set the clock to feature a background in a certain color or choose from a range of clock faces to view the time in digital or analog formats as well as classic mode, QR Code or binary code time mode or modern style.

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PixlClock
PixlClock by Eliel Cabrera

What makes the PixlClock really innovative for the user however is the fact that is can be used to leave messages to one self or to others as well. The touch enabled setting bar at the side of the clock allows users to leave a reminder with an alarm. Users can leave messages and notes on the clock via a smartphone app or even by manipulating the control settings on the clock itself. This tool can be really helpful for people who do not want to carry their smartphones with them while working around the house or office but would still like to be able to hear and see notes, to-do lists and reminders.

The PixlClock also allows users to send messages and notes to it via email, which can be used by people outside the home or workplace to communicate with a group of people without sending out individual messages. One can even leave themselves a message with this service in less than 160 characters. The tech friendly clock also allows users to stay connected to the Twitterverse. Users can sync their twitter accounts with the clock and every time their name is mentioned by someone on twitter, a notification will appear on the panel. Similar notifications can also be setup for emails received, messages received and other Twitter account activities.

[Cheers Eliel]


Virtual Water collects, cleans and conserves rainwater

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 02:20 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Clean water is precious and its scarcity can lead to a lot of trouble as it does not only help quench thirst, but is used for various other purposes like bathing and washing clothes. Every year a lot of water goes down the drain, in the form of rainfall, which if conserved can be used for various activities. Keeping this in mind, UrbanLab, Method Design and enderstudio, came up with an awe-inspiring design that will make good use of thousands of gallons of rainwater collected during summertime.

Virtual Water
Virtual Water

Christened the Virtual Water, it was conceived as a part of the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program or YAP for the year 2012. The structure stands out and will help solve water crisis to a great extent. The modern era has made it possible for people to live in a virtual world, which gets extended to water as well through this brilliantly designed structure. There is water hidden in each everyday product, which we don't even see. Every product has a Virtual Water footprint that may get stretched to thousands of gallons. Even a humble pair of plain looking denims has a Virtual Water footprint of 3000 gallons used during its products, which may range from growing cotton to dying the fabric. Similarly, each and every building also has a Virtual Water footprint, which most of times comprise of water based process like rain.

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Virtual Water
Virtual Water refers to water hidden in everyday products

Living spaces are made in such a way that they protect us from rain, and hence all the water that falls down to the earth is diverted to the underground sewer. This is where the Virtual Water project will come into play, as it will collect, clean and at the same time conserve rainwater for further use. The structure comprises of canopies that are conical in shape. These give birth to six truly distinctive atmospheres that are water based as rainwater flows between and over them after it has been cleansed. The water based unique environment comprises of a Stream or living machine, a Waterfall Fish Pond, a Splash Pool, an active Mist/Sprinkler environment, a Drip Rain Puddle and a Reflecting Pool Lounge. These serve various purposes and perform a variety of functions that makes rainwater accessible for further use.

Rainwater is collected and cleaned with the help of plants by a Stream or Living Machine, which is a clear example of the power of nature to clean water that too without using additional energy. Vital nutrients are provided to the plants that are a part of the Living Machine by a Waterfall Fish Pond, which helps clean water because of the relation between fish and their environment. Shallow bio filtered water is present in a Splash Pool which can be used by visitors for recreation purposes and playing. When it gets hot outside, an active Mist/Sprinkler will help cool people as it sprays water all around. If you love the sound produced by dripping water, then a Drip Rain Puddle will make sure you savor the mystic voice that it will create after it rains.

Virtual water is a clear way of putting forward the amount of water hidden as the water splatters, shines, drips, flows and takes many forms in the PS1 courtyard.

Via: Archdaily


Captivating patio design ideas

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 01:35 AM PST

Brown Bear:

A popular belief is that there are as many interior decoration styles in the world as there are people. Depending on one’s preferences and styles, a host of patio design ideas are available. They range from simple to complex and from miniature forms to really spacious landscaping. One thing is for sure that there is a patio for everyone out there! Here are 10 captivating patio design ideas that could inspire the special patio for your home.


Smart office interior design ideas to perk up your workplace

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 01:31 AM PST

Tania Ghosh:

Companies these days are looking for workplaces that give creative freedom and optimized results. Since we spend a major portion of our existence in the office environment, apt designing of office interiors is as important as that of our home. Keeping this in mind, the list below brings to you the latest office interior designs that will energize the air and motivate the employees to work better.


Small garden design ideas for compact homes

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 01:22 AM PST

Nidhi Sinha:

Garden landscaping often comes out as a challenge, especially when you are planning to grow some exquisite flowers and plants in a limited gardening space. A big gardening space works wonders for designing your garden more intricately, but having little space or no space should not act as a constraint to a passionate gardener. If you plan it right, you can make an evergreen garden out of a super small yard space or even a narrow strip of sideways gravels. From incredible container garden to beautiful patio garden, here are some scintillating garden design ideas to welcome some greenery in your house.


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