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What is Biomass Energy?

February 5, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

With growing awareness of the impact of fossil fuels on the natural environment and their common usage in buildings, architects are increasingly required to specify and accommodate alternative energy sources in their design approaches. Included in this portfolio of progressive energy sources is biomass, a scalable system that combines the usage of raw, sustainable materials with a lower resulting emission of CO2. As a method often heralded as the most transferable alternative to gas and coal, we answer a simple question: what is biomass energy?

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The Beauty of Barn Architecture in 15 Projects

January 31, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

The barnyard typology is an endearing staple of rural architecture. Simple in construction, and traditionally shaped from necessity rather than aesthetic, barns have nonetheless continued to spark the imaginations of those seeking a contrast to the fast-paced, dense, globalized reality of urban life. They also spark the intrigue of designers. Whether it is refurbishing historic farms for modern use, or constructing an entirely new addition to the countryside, architects have drawn inspiration from the industrial origins of traditional barnyards to reinterpret elements such as modularity, timber expression, and refined ornamentation.

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The Curious History and Beauty of Shenzhen’s Urban Villages

January 29, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

The Chinese megacity of Shenzhen bares all the hallmarks of a surging modern metropolis. Busy (and loud) five-lane motorways weave through islands of glittering glass skyscrapers, rising from podiums filled with designer shops, fronting vast squares and plazas, activated by screen-savvy young professionals fueling the city’s booming tech economy. Such a scene is truly remarkable considering that before 1980, Shenzhen was nothing more than a provincial fishing town of 60,000 people. Today, that figure has risen to 13 million.

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The Powerful New Architecture of Clean Energy

January 27, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

Energy infrastructure has historically been met with a “Not in My Back Yard” response from policymakers and the public alike. Aside from the clear human health implications of coal plants and natural gas stations, the architecture of energy infrastructure has traditionally been driven by raw economy and feasibility, with isolated locations creating little need for architectural beauty. However, modern ideological and urban shifts are powering a new approach. 

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How the Dutch Use Architecture to Feed the World

January 24, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

The Netherlands is the world’s second-biggest exporter of agricultural products. This is remarkable when one considers that the only country which tops the Netherlands, the United States, is 237 times bigger in land area. Nevertheless, the Netherlands exported almost $100 billion in agricultural goods in 2017 alone, as well as $10 billion in agriculture-related products. The secret to the Netherlands’ success lies in the use of architectural innovation to reimagine what an agricultural landscape can look like.

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Should Cities Make Public Transport Free?

January 20, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

Around the world, cities are the “ground zero” of inequality and unsustainability. The two largest cities in the United States, New York City and Los Angeles, are also the two most unequal cities, and one-third of the United Kingdom’s poorest 10% of families live in London. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the world’s energy and 70% of global carbon emissions are attributed to cities. This leads to the question of how the evolution of public policy, and urban design, can strategically combat these two growing issues. Around the world, cities are looking to mobility as part of the solution, and in particular, asking a simple question: what if public transport was free?

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Comparing Social Housing in Countries Around the World

January 17, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

The security and dignity of a good-quality home is one of the most important and liberating qualities in society. For people experiencing financial or social pressures, many countries offer some form of public or social housing system. While there is no fixed definition for social housing, it often involves the design, construction, and allocation of housing by government authorities, or non-profit organizations.

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20 Free Resources for Photoshop Brushes

January 15, 2020 Niall Patrick Walsh 0

Photoshop is one of the most universal, enduring, and valuable programs in the designer’s taskbar. The go-to tool for students and architects for image-based editing, collages, and rendering, the popularity of Photoshop has given rise to countless online tutorials, tips, and resources. As we demonstrated over a year ago with our extensive library of 100 Photoshop textures, there is great value for designers in having a single, collated, one-stop service for quickly accessing the multitude of free resources available online.