Archive for May 9th, 2010

There is nothing like listening to Futurists. Established conventions of what must be are shattered, obliterated, forgotten.  This doesn’t mean that everything Futurists propose is immediately practical.  I’m still waiting for Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons (not to mention a car that folds up into my briefcase).

Despite all the talk about sustainability, one has seen very little Futurist proposals.  You can imagine my delight when I came across this concept of a future city in Busan Korea.

The concept: what would happen if we applied Moore’s Law to sustainable technology?  They started with existing materials and concepts.  One of the materials (still cutting edge) is ETFE foil.

I don’t know much about the material.  First learned about it in a vertical farming presentation. Prof. Despommier (Columbia Univ. microbiologist). Most of what he told us is contained here http://www.verticalfarm.com/presentations.html

I wrote down that it is as refractive as water, self cleaning, clear enough for astronomy observations without causing distortion, and insulating.

Here are applications

The Eden Project (southern England)

Eurofresh Farms (Wilcox, AZ)

ETFE specs http://www.k-mac-plastics.net/etfe-sheets-film.htm

The concept of movable buildings is not new. Tents are movable buildings. In a very different manner so are cruise ships. So why am I so excited? This concept proposal suggests we create buildings that move around in order to maximize solar energy during the day and conserve energy at night.

Yes there are practical reasons we don’t want our buildings moving about – mostly because we don’t want the pounds of stuff we keep in them moving about. However, what if the building could move without any internal vibration?

Also, we are currently obsessed with the equipment we use. We search for energy efficient light bulbs, low energy appliances, etc. What about thinking of a building like a mini-cell eco-system? An eco-system in which everything including the exterior membrane modulates and adjusts to conserve resources. Right now we use building exteriors as insulation but what if they could be generators as well?

As for The Jetsons, well, take a look at the video and perhaps your faith will be restored…


Read Full Post »