Photo by Glenn Halvorson for Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Frank Gehry with his lead-scaled fish sculpture at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Lead: Why do architects and designers still specify dangerous substances?

And what can be done when public health safety requires their removal? Blaine Brownell explores. By Blaine Brownell When I was an undergraduate student in architecture, one of my classmates built a model out of lead. He obsessed over the material, which was heavy yet soft and...
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Prices for Wood, Other Construction Materials far Outpace Other Commodities, BLS Says

Government’s latest PPI report shows annual price hikes of as much as 27% By Craig Webb Wholesale prices for construction products–particularly wood–have risen several times faster than for wholesale goods overall, today’s Producer Price Index report...
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Courtesy Wood Skin Fold panels by Wood Skin (available via Robin Reigi)

Alternative Wood Products and Processing Methods to Watch

Blaine Brownell highlights several readily available, experimental, and speculative products and innovations. By Blaine Brownell The AEC industry recently has a newfound appreciation for wood and its applications in tall and mass timber construction. But the material’s...
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Courtesy Jnzl's Photos via Flickr Commercial Commons Hempcrete

Dazed and … Constructed? How Hemp Could Alter Material Selections in Architecture

Blaine Brownell explores uses of the plant-based alternative in concrete, textiles, varnish, and other building products. By Blaine Brownell As more states approve the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, the building industry is taking note. A strain of the Cannabis...
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Courtesy Algix Solaplast plastic resin

Material Trends to Watch in 2018

From algae-derived plastics to biomimetic insulation, these materials will likely make a splash in design and construction this year. By Blaine Brownell “Creativity is the unique and defining trait of our species,” writes biologist E.O. Wilson in The Origins of Creativity...
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Top Building Product Brands Specified by Architects

A survey conducted by ARCHITECT’s publisher, Hanley Wood, reveals the most popular brands used by architects—and why. By Selin Ashaboglu In an industry brimming with products, architects have a wealth of manufacturers and brands to specify in their projects. How do design...
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Robotic 3D printers create terrazzo floors in any pattern

Amy Frearson A Dutch company has developed technology for 3D printing floors in an endless variety of colours and patterns.Aectual uses huge robotic 3D printers to create the framework for its sustainable floors, which it infills with terrazzo. As a result, these floors can be...
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Courtesy Blaine Brownell

How Material Experimentation Can Go Well and Go Wrong | Architect Magazine

The recent exhibition “Designing Material Innovation” at the the California College of the Arts explores just that. By Blaine Brownell Visitors to the Back Lot—a parking lot turned multipurpose outdoor studio—at the California College of the Arts (CCA), in Oakland,...
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Courtesy Imperial College London

Bacteria-Activated Wallpaper that Generates Electricity | Architect Magazine

U.K. researchers printed microorganisms onto paper to create a wall finish as well as a solar bio-battery. By Katharine Keane Researchers from Imperial College London (ICL), the University of Cambridge, and Central Saint Martins have successfully created a wallpaper-like covering...
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Courtesy University of British Columbia

This Week in Tech: Earthquake-Resistant Concrete Shakes Up the Industry | Arch Mag

Plus, a battery that inhales and exhales oxygen, an interactive pedestrian crossing system in London, and more design-tech news from around the internet. By ARCHITECT Staff Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have created eco-friendly ductile cementitious...
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