Friday, January 26, 2007

solar lunar microwave power

in the may 2002 archives of the american institute of physics
"...many different beams of 12-cm wavelength microwaves would deliver power to receivers at sites located worldwide. Each receiver would supply commercial power to a given region. Such a receiver, called a rectenna, would consist of a large field of small rectifying antennas. A beam with a maximum intensity of less than 20% of noontime sunlight would deliver about 200 W to its local electric grid for every square meter of rectenna area. [italics added] Unlike sunlight, microwaves pass through rain, clouds, dust, and smoke. In both scenarios, power can be supplied to the rectenna at night."
microwaves from the moon?????!!!!!!

here is a follow-up [and a bit more technical] article by the same author david r. criswell:

amazingly enough, this is not a new idea. first know studies of using microwaves from the moon as an energy source were from a hungarian physicist, Zoltan Bay.

here some images and scans of the original notes regarding his studies. another little fact is that he helped develop the tungsten filament for light bulbs. wikipedia entry.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

adjaye: out of the ground

...was driving yesterday along 15th st. near delgany and saw that the MCA was finally getting the steel treatmant, and flying [relatively] high.
some construction photos:

this is an overview shot of the site, taken from across the street

a closer look on the east side, along Delgany street

again on delgany, further around the backside

a closer look

the view below

looking alongside 15th st.

the future entrance ramp location

also-from the MCA website about the new building:

The New MCA, designed by David Adjaye, one of the leading architects in the world today, is at once bold and refined, meeting all the criteria set forth when a permanent home for MCA was first envisioned:
- A DESIGN THAT SUPPORTS RATHER THAN DEFINES THE MUSEUM'S MISSION. The design clearly articulates the Museum's exhibition and program requirements.
- A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE PROJECT. The construction cost for the new building is $11.3 million making the project $418 per square foot.
- AN ENVIRONMENTALLY-EFFICIENT BUILDING. MCA is actively pursuing LEED certification, which would make MCA the first contemporary art museum in the country to achieve such status.

the wesite claims to be constructing a museum at a [fiscally responsible] $418/sf, but looking at the renderings show bare concrete walls and glass. one has to imagine that means the glass is a dual-skin, and the concrete finish will be like butta.
interior renderings:

some more links regarding MCA, adjaye, and other things english:


adjaye associates

making public buildings


fish & chips

pints pub

Thursday, January 11, 2007

best of [my] 2006

alright-a brief recap of 2006

best travel destination:

nova scotia. canada: ghost lab 8

runner up: nyc

best book read [fiction]:

haunted. chuck palahniuk

runner up: house of leaves

best book read [architectural]:

plain modern. malcolm quintrell and brian mackay-lyons

runner up: sean godsell

best new music [album]:

the eraser. thom yorke

runner up: at war with the mystics. the flaming lips

best music [live]:

nine inch nails. red rocks amphitheater. may 31

runners up: sigur ros. paramount theater, february 23; devotchka. boulder theater. october 31; bloc party. ogden theater. march 19

best film:

the fountain. darren aronofsky

runners up: brick; half nelson; the science of sleep

favorite photos of 2006 [personal]:

runner up:

best architectural additions to denver:

highland pedestrian bridge over i-25

photo by
runners up: light rail expansion; hyatt convention center hotel; denver art museum expansion

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

fetish objectification and technological singularity

Scheherazade by EuanUglow
"...we treat people as objects, and objects as people."
- excerpt from the book Haunted by chuck palahniuk

so... there were some cool little toys that came out today to keep all the masses rabid for tech gear and virtual entertainment.
we find it fascinating that the design of certain objects can make them more appealling-even lusted after. while the devices themselves are merely infrastructural nodes for tele-communication, "their" physicality and operation tend to make us personify "them. " think about it one step further: the work of a machine is doing the tasks of 100 people, or in this case let's say one very, very, very talented individual. so instead of the rationale that the computer/monitor in front of you is a souless piece of silicon, we associate it's functions to human qualities for the sake of our psychological health. now think about it another step further: that very, very, very talented personification that sorts your emails, shows you videos, and draws your buildings is actually a person staring right back at you. all the sorting, filing, saving, and deleting are conversations with a colleague.
too far? maybe...
but maybe if we didn't treat these things as people, we would feel more alone than ever, and would go insane.
and then there's the big picture: technological singularity. what does this mean for the future of man and machine. will it be man vs. machine?, man loves machine?, or man-machine?

“Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ’intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.”
can we apply this outlook to our built environment? what kind of structures could exist beyond the event of technological singularity? can they even be labelled as "buildings" after that? and does anyone really give a F?

in the mean time head over to the flckr pool which highlights photos taken of architectural models. then appreciate the craftmanship of the humans that made them, and be glad you haven't been replaced by a machine...yet. luckily, architects still practice in the weirder realm of objectifying ideas as buildings.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

denver channel 8

denver's local tv station, channel 8, has some decent videos of recent public presentations on topics ranging from the mayor's design awards, the clyfford still museum presentations, fastracks, and the civic center alternatives presentation. happy searching. so sorry we weren't able to link you directly to them-you lazy sods!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

steven holl back on track

steven holl's newest addition to the nelson-atkins museum in kansas city, has been lit up for the holidays and causing traffic jams by gawking motorists. an article at the NYT goes deeper into holl's design intent, and his recent false starts with high profile projects including the denver courthouse, cornell school of architecture, the "turbulence house" and of course the controversial MIT dorm. but amidst all the criticism, holl remains ever optimistic and intensely devoted to his approach to ideas with the new addition:
“It’s not an object, “ Mr. Holl said. “You can’t compare it to anything like Bilbao or all the generations of Bilbao’s. The only way to see it is to move through it.”

opening on 06.09.2007, the $196 million overhaul of the 73-year old institution will be a chance for holl to "return to form."