August 20, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM
Chinese developers unveiled the world's first full-permanent magnetic levitation (Maglev) wind power generator at the Wind Power Asia Exhibition 2006 held June 28 in Beijing. Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an object is suspended above another object with no support other than magnetic fields. The electromagnetic force is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational force.
Regarded as a key breakthrough in the evolution of global wind power technology — and a notable advance in independent intellectual property rights in China—the generator was jointly developed by Guangzhou Energy Research Institute under China’s Academy of Sciences and by Guangzhou Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Science & Technology Co., Ltd. The Maglev generator is expected to boost wind energy generating capacity by as much as 20 percent over traditional wind turbines. This would effectively cut the operational expenses of wind farms by up to half, keeping the overall cost of wind power under 0.4 yuan ($US 5 cents), according to Guokun Li, the chief scientific developer of the new technology. Further, the Maglev is able to utilize winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s), and cut-in speeds of 3 m/s, the chief of Zhongke Energy was quoted as saying at the exhibition. When compared with the operational hours of existing wind turbines, the new technology will add an additional 1,000 hours of operation annually to wind power plants in areas with an average wind speed of 3 m/s.
Photo Caption/Credit: Using magnetic levitation for a frictionless air bearing READ MORE »
August 19, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM
George is active in using rapid prototyping (RP) technology for a range of purposes, including art, math, and education.
His web page collects in one place some of the models he has designed, with links to papers that have further information about the algorithms, etc. Files for most of these models are provided, which are available for free download so that you can replicate these intricate geometric forms on your own RP machine, as long as you give George design credit when displaying them.
As former artist in residence at MIT, George is also a gifted educator working all over the world and at the leading edge of where mathematics and art intersect. A tour of his website will undoubtedly amaze and inspire all who have interest in this vital subject.
August 12, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM
The stunning Climatron® conservatory has become a symbol of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The geodesic dome was inspired by the design of R. Buckminster Fuller.
Covering over a half-acre, the Climatron houses some 1,200 species of plants in a natural, tropical setting. Visitors enjoy bananas, cacao, and coffee trees, plus a collection of orchids and epiphytes. The Climatron is also home to a variety of animals, including tropical birds. Several pools and waterfalls give a sense of lushness, as if visitors were within a true tropical rainforest. The Climatron is ever-changing and is an impressive display throughout the year. Learn about plants and their roles in global and regional ecosystems with computerized, interactive exhibits in the attached Brookings Interpretive Center.
For more info: desertnews.com article
August 09, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM
With its great arching dome and its semi-circular office building, the ASM International Headquarters conveys the imaginative force that marks ASM.
Started in 1958, completed in 1959 and formally dedicated in 1960, one outstanding feature of the building is the geodesic dome or "space lattice" designed by R. Buckminster Fuller. A symbol of man’s mastery of his metal resources, the open-work dome made of extruded aluminum stands 103 feet high and 250 feet in diameter, weighs 80 tons and contains more than 65,000 parts. The dome is ornamental and open, honeycomb-like, and stands on five pylons, two of which rise up from courtyards set into the building.
August 07, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM
Hans Rosling's nonprofit called Gapminder, uses animated interactive design to make global statistics understandable.
Gapminder is a non-profit venture for development and provision of free software that visualise human development. This is done in collaboration with universities, UN organisations, public agencies and non-governmental organisations. Gapminder is a Foundation registered at Stockholm county administration board (Länstyrelsen) (reg. nr. 802424-7721). It was founded by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling on 25 February 2005, in Stockholm. Gapminder Foundation will advance software development that have been done earlier by the non-profit company Gapminder Ltd. Funding has been and is mainly by grants from Sida for the Trendalyzer project. Being a producer of global public goods Gapminder benefit from free and creative inputs from pilot-testers and other end-users in many institutions and organisations.
August 04, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM
From Architecture to Artful Furniture Design: Designers innovative pieces are informed by the works by Fuller, Safdie, and Van Der Rohe. by Staff | Interior Design | August 2, 2006
In the 19th century, Chicago architect Louis Sullivan coined the phrase "form follows function." Today, the Chicago Furniture Designers Association borrows the still-relevant words to dub its latest exhibit. "Form Follows Form, Architecturally Inspired Furniture," which will be held September 21—October 28, presents the creations of Chicago designers that honor the tradition and the institution of architecture itself. Suddenly, the act of building furniture takes on a whole new meaning, as designers integrate architectural concepts into their pieces. The show will be held in the Upper Level Sculpture Gallery in the Paul V. Galvin Library at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Entries are still be entered for the juried show, but some designs of note are already in the lineup, including a Buckminster Fuller-inspired chair by John Kriegshauser that is so structurally efficient, it weighs less than 3 pounds but can support a large man; a infinitely reconfigurable coffee table by Robert Frazier that takes it cues from Moshe Safdie; Dolly Spragins's whimsical "Windy City," inspired by the elasticity of skyscrapers; and Lisa Elkins's coffee table, which references Mies Van Der Rohe's Crown Hall. READ MORE »