Ask the Architect: How Will Technology Change the Way We Live in the Future? #ILMA #Architecture #Ideas #Design #PlanningPosted: November 12, 2019
What are some predictions about technologies that will shape our lives in the next 15-20 years?
- High-rise farms
- Lab-grown meats
- Space tourism
- The colonization of other planets
- Robots in space and in the workplace
- Electric vehicles and self-driving cars
- Robot butlers
- Roads over rivers
- Flying cars
- Solar panel technology
- Hyper-fast trains
- Augmented/Mixed Reality
- Gesture-based computing
- Wearable screens
- Driverless Trucks
- 3D printed food
- 3D printed metal
- Fridges and appliances that order for you
- Smart toothbrushes that send data to your dentist
- Smart mirrors that check your health
- A toilet that analyses your deposits
- 5G mobile connectivity
- Light Fidelity runs wireless communications that travel at very high speeds. With Li-Fi, your light blub is essentially your router.
- Recycling and re-engineering
- Artificial Intelligence
- Robot soldiers
- Healthcare Nanobots
- Cloud gaming without machines
Production & Productivity: Part 4/12 of the 12 P’s–– A Guideline of Design for Architects and Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect #ilmaBlog #ArchitecturePosted: November 9, 2019
A 12 part series on the 12 P’s Doctrine: A Guideline of Design for Architects & Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect; developed by Frank Cunha III, AIA, NCARB, MBA.
Project Resource Allocation and Resource Management
The resources of an organization consist of people, materials, equipment, knowledge and time. Organizations typically have limited resources; therefore, tradeoffs on what project resources are expended and when are made every day within organizations. A resource allocation plan is an important tool in effective management of scarce resources. The timing of the need of those resources can be and should be determined within the project schedules. A resource plan, which describes the type of resource needed and the timing of that need, is critical to effective resource management. As the project schedule changes, the resource plan must also be flexible enough to adjust as these changes occur.
Production – During Design
Construction drawings are produced by the design team, and go through several drafts during the design phase before the final draft becomes part of the contract, which is then sent out to be bid on by contractors. The winning contractor is bound by all of the contract documentation, including the construction drawings (click here for more information).
- Represent the building as a whole as designed
- Are produced by the design team
- In a traditional construction environment, are created before the project is bid on
- Are official contract documents
- Are subject to mark-ups, change orders, and redlining throughout the project
- Represent building components as designed
- Are produced by the contractor and subcontractors
- In a traditional construction environment, are created after the project is awarded and before construction begins
- Are not usually official contract documents
- May be subject to mark-ups, change orders, and redlining
- Represent the building as a whole and all its components as actually constructed
- Are produced by the contractor and subcontractors
- Are produced after the project is complete
- Are sometimes mandated by the contract but are not part of the contract documents
- May be subject to change during later renovations, but represent the final documents upon completion of initial construction
Production – During Construction
Lean Project Delivery
- Lean construction is a method of production aimed at reducing costs, materials, time and effort.
- Minimize the bad and maximize the good.
- The desired outcome would be to maximize the value and output of a project while minimizing wasteful aspects and time delay.
- Beneficial for general and subcontractors
- Communication drives the project
- What goals should the project team be working toward?
- What goals can be achieved reasonably?
- What commitments has each last planner made?
- Has each contractor or supplier met their schedule promises?
- How has each company performed, and what could be changed or improved if any member of the project team fails to meet a milestone?
- Material Management and Installation
- Formal Quality Program
- Efficient Coordination of Work
- Diligent Supervision of Work
- Standardized Internal Inspection and Tests
- Third Party and Consultant Reviews
- Improved Communications
- Experienced Teams and Worker Skills
- Quality Culture
- Prefab rooms allow for simultaneous progress
- Easy assembly for large projects
- Streamlining onsite labor processes
Types of Prefab:
- Panelized Wood Framing
- Timber Framing
- Concrete Systems
- Steel Framing
- Modular Systems
Benefits of Prefab
- Financial Savings
- Consistent Quality
- Reduced Site Disruption
- Shorter Construction Time
Technology and Automation
- Software & Mobile Apps
- Offsite Construction
- AI & Machine Learning (click here for more information)
- Safety & Training (click here for more information)
- Augmented & Virtual Reality (click here)
- Site Sensors
- Labor Shortages
- Drones (click here)
- Robots (click here)
- Autonomous Heavy Equipment (click here)
- Mobile Technology
- BIM (click here)
Subscribe to our blog for updates on each of the 12 doctrines established by Frank CunhaIII, AIA, NCARB, MBA.
- Belém Tower, Lisbon, Portugal #ilmaBlog #European #History #Architecture
- Basilica of San Lorenzo By Filippo Brunelleschi #ilmaBlog #Architecture #History
- ILMA of the Week: Antoni Gaudí
- The 10 Most Important Things I Learned from My Parents and Hope to Teach My Kids
- ILMA of the Week: Thomas Jefferson
The Principles of Architecture: Part 1/12 of the 12 P’s–– A Guideline of Design for Architects and Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect #ilmaBlog #ArchitecturePosted: September 2, 2019
A 12 part series on the 12 P’s Doctrine: A Guideline of Design for Architects & Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect; developed by Frank Cunha III, AIA, NCARB, MBA.
First, we start with the solid foundation and the importance of “Principles” in the practice of Architecture.
The Principles of Architecture
For someone to begin to think like an Architect or become an Architect there must be some knowledge of the principles of Architecture. The knowledge gained is not something that can be grasped in a course or in one year, but it is something that requires a life time. That is why an Architecture office is called a practice because the architects are practicing a craft. There is so much to learn about so many different things. Alas, we must start someplace and start building a solid foundation of knowledge about the topic we love. As we learn, make (small) mistakes and adjustments we are able to hone our craft and get better with time and experience. Having a solid foundation of knowledge and precedents will help you become a better designer.
It has been generally assumed that a complete theory of architecture is always concerned essentially in some way or another with these three interrelated terms, which, in Marcus Vitruvius Pollio’s Latin text (De Architectura (On Architecture), a handbook for Roman architects), are given as:
- Firmatis (Durability) – It should stand up robustly and remain in good condition.
- Utilitas (Utility) – It should be useful and function well for the people using it.
- Venustatis (Beauty) – It should delight people and raise their spirits.
Nevertheless, a number of influential theorists after 1750 sought to make modifications to this traditional triad. Architects will always tend to argue, evolve, adapt and create more concepts and principles, however, these fundamental themes are a great starting point to start to build knowledge.
Other concepts to consider as guiding principles of good architectural design:
- BALANCE – Balance in design is similar to balance in physics. A large shape close to the center can be balanced by a small shape close to the edge. Balance provides stability and structure to a design. It’s the weight distributed in the design by the placement of your elements.
- PROXIMITY – Proximity creates relationship between elements. It provides a focal point. Proximity doesn’t mean that elements have to be placed together, it means they should be visually connected in some way.
- ALIGNMENT – Allows us to create order and organization. Aligning elements allows them to create a visual connection with each other.
- REPETITION – Repetition strengthens a design by tying together individual elements. It helps to create association and consistency. Repetition can create rhythm (a feeling of organized movement).
- CONTRAST – Contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements (opposite colors on the color wheel, or value light / dark, or direction – horizontal / vertical). Contrast allows us to emphasize or highlight key elements in your design.
- SPACE – Space in art refers to the distance or area between, around, above, below, or within elements. Both positive and negative space are important factors to be considered in every design.
Subscribe to our blog for updates on each of the 12 doctrines.
Some Ideas to Help Aruba Become the Greenest and Happiest Island #Sustainability #Planning #Architect #Island #Eco #Green #ilmaBlogPosted: August 3, 2019
Having recently visited Aruba earlier this year, and have fallen in love with the island, I would like to take this moment to reflect on ways that the little island nation can achieve its sustainability goals over the next several years. Over the past few years it has come a long way but there are still many things left to be addressed if it is to be the greenest happiest little island in the Caribbean as it has set out to do.
One Happy Island
Some background information before we begin — Aruba contains 70 square miles (178.91 square kilometers) of happiness and a population of 116,600 (as of July 2018).
The tiny island gem is nestled in the warm southern Caribbean with nearly 100 different nationalities happily living together. We welcome all visitors with sunny smiles and a warm embrace.
Aruba is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea, located about 990 miles (1,600 kilometers) west of the main part of the Lesser Antilles and 18 miles (29 kilometers) north of the coast of Venezuela. It measures 20 miles (32 kilometers) long from its northwestern to its southeastern end and 6 miles (10 kilometers) across at its widest point.
Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms a group referred to as the ABC islands. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean. Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Saint Maarten; the citizens of these countries are all Dutch nationals. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad. Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. Fortunately, it lies outside Hurricane Alley.
Aruba’s economy is based largely on tourism with nearly 1.5 million visitors per year, which has contributed to Aruba’s high population density.
Despite having one of the world’s smallest populations, Aruba does have a high population density at 1,490 per square mile (575 people per square kilometer), which is more than New York state.
During the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, the island announced it aim to cover its electricity demand by 100% renewable sources by 2020. In the same year, Aruba together with other Caribbean islands became member of the Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge, an initiative launched at the Rio +20 Conference aiming for islands to shift towards 100% renewable energy. The benefits of becoming 100% renewable for Aruba include: reducing its heavy dependency on fossil fuel, thus making it less vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations, drastically reducing CO2 emissions, and preserving its natural environment.
Some of the areas where Aruba seems to be excelling includes their recent ramp up of wind power – capitalizing on the constant wind that keep the tiny island habitable.
Other areas that they can improve on include the following:
A whopping 87 percent of the entire power generation in the Caribbean comes from imported fossil fuels, and because so much of the region’s fuel comes from faraway sources, electricity costs are four times higher than they are in the United States. The economies of these islands are basically at the whim of global oil prices
The Caribbean has some other reasons to be enthusiastic about electric cars powered by a solar electric grid. The islands, on the whole, are small and low in elevation. The vast majority of islands in the Caribbean are smaller than 250 square miles and are fairly flat, with isolated peaks at most.
This combination makes them ideal for electric vehicles in ways that, just for example, the U.S. is not. Most electric vehicles have limited ranges, with some only offering a hundred miles or less per charge. The higher-end vehicles can go further; the Nissan Leaf boasts 151 miles per charge, the Chevy Bolt 238 miles, and the Tesla Model S 315, but with still-long waiting times for a full charge, that’s about all you’re getting in an individual trip. That’s not great for hour-plus-long commutes from American suburbs, but for smaller islands with fewer hills to climb, that sort of range is just fine.
Customers who drive electric experience common benefits.
- Charging up with electricity will cost you less than filling your tank with gas. Clients are experiencing savings of up to 50 percent on fuel costs and very low cost of maintenance.
- Produce no-to-low tailpipe emissions. Even when upstream power plant emissions are considered, electric vehicles are 70 percent cleaner than gas-powered vehicles.
- “Fuel” up with clean, Aruban-produced electricity and help our island achieve more energy diversity.
- Drivers enjoy electric vehicles’ silent motor, powerful torque and smooth acceleration.
Although “solar” vehicles would be even better for this region, the ability for the island to “leap frog” ahead of other counties by building in an electric fueling infrastructure would help set it apart from other island nations.
Although solar has come down over the past decade I was surprised that not more individuals capitalize on the sunny region with solar roof panels.
The recently constructed government building, Cocolishi, is one of the first buildings on Aruba with a solar roof. The solar panels provide 30 kW of renewable energy.
On the rooftops of the Multifunctional Accommodation Offices (MFA) in Noord and Paradera solar panels are installed. The MFA in Noord is an energy neutral building, this means it produces the same amount of energy as it consumes. The surplus during sunny days will be added to the grid.
Previously, solar panels were installed on the Kudawecha elementary school. These panels produce 175.5 kW solar energy.
The largest school solar rooftop project is installed on the Abramham de Veer School elementary school. This rooftop project produces 976 kW renewable energy.
The Caribbean’s first solar park opened in 2015 over the parking lot of the airport in Aruba. This solar park provide 3.5 MW solar energy and is one of the first renewable energy projects making use of the Free Zone of Aruba.
In Juana Morto, a residential area complex, solar panels are installed on the rooftops of different houses. Together the solar panels generate 13 kW of green energy.
Elmar, the electricity provider of Aruba, installed solar panels on the roofs of their offices. These buildings together provide 9.8 kW solar energy.
There are different decentralized solar projects on Aruba. Together they consist of 5 MW solar PV part and 3 MW rooftop schools & public buildings PV systems. Once built per the 2017 plan, the installation will provide an additional 13.5 MW providing power for approximately 3,000 households.
Given the amount of sunshine this island receives, expanding their solar portfolio seems prudent.
Wind Park ‘Vader Piet’ is located on Aruba’s east coast in the Dutch Caribbean, this wind farm consists of 10 turbines with an actual capacity of 30 megawatts (MW). Aruba’s current wind power production represents about 15-20 percent of its total consumption, which places it fourth globally and still some way behind Denmark, the current global leader, which produces 26 percent of its power from wind. But today, with a second wind farm about to be deployed, Aruba is set to double its wind energy output, placing it firmly in first place.
It’s hard to believe that just a few windmills are able to produce an output of 30 megawatts of energy, suppling 126,000 MWh of electricity to the national grid each year, displacing fossil fuel-generated energy and supporting the island’s transition towards renewable energy sources.
Given that the wind is a constant, exploiting this resource seems like a profitable and intelligent thing to do.
I love that the island has embraced off-road vehicles (ORV); it is a great way to experience the beauty around us in a challenging and fun way adding to the experience. However, it would be very wise to develop designated areas for off-road vehicles to eliminate (or at least minimize) the human impact on the beauty of this island. Because it’s greatest commodity is the natural beauty – Sun, ocean, nature and wildlife; Aruba (and other island nations) need to consider how to balance the fun aspect with some regulations that will preserve the beauty of the natural world for future generations.
As you may already know, the use ORV’s on coastal beaches is an activity that attracts considerable controversy amongst beach users.
ORV driving is considered as main contributor to land degradation in arid regions.
The most obvious physical impacts of ORV on vegetation include plant crushing, shearing, and uprooting. Such destruction of vegetation in arid ecosystems can lead to land degradation and desertification. Desert plant species exhibit varying degrees of vulnerability to vehicle use intensity, which results in changes in vegetation composition, height, biomass, reproductive structures, cover and seedbank.
I also notice that many locals and tourists park their vehicles on the shorelines which are inhabited by indigenous plants and animals of all varieties. This too should be lightly regulated through education or ordinances so that leaky old (or new) vehicles do not stain the natural shorelines that not only belong to us but to our grandchildren’s grandchildren as well. We need to educate people to be more responsible and not disrupt the natural world with our cars , especially when it can be easily avoided with very little cost impact to the planning of the island.
Following up on vehicle management along the shorelines, another thing I noticed was stormwater runoff; which is not much but should be managed now to avoid a small accumulation over time. It is still early enough to employ best practices and manage any future problems by building a robust infrastructure now before things get worse. Because the island is so small it looks like much of the run off drains directly into the ocean. Following best practices will ensure that the clear waters stay that way long into the future for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
Circumstances alone should prompt islanders to manage stormwater runoff:
- Traditional community boundaries often centered on natural drainages (e.g., Hawaiian ahupua’a and Samoan village structure), so residents are aware of how land use changes can affect watershed hydrology.
- Local economies rely on clear waters, healthy reefs, and robust fisheries; thus, BMPs designed to eliminate sediment plumes offer immediate, visible results to resource users.
- In some locations, rainfall is the primary source of freshwater, so using BMPs like cisterns or storage chambers to collect runoff for potable and non-potable reuse makes water supply sense.
- Tropical vegetation is fast-growing and plays a huge part in the water cycle, so stormwater management approaches that take advantage of canopy interception and evapotranspiration to reduce runoff have a high chance of success.
- Island infrastructure is subject to big storms, rising seas, and tsunamis; therefore redundancy within the stormwater system improves resiliency.
Things that should be considered as the island faces increased development includes the engagement of “low impact development” which is an approach to land development that meets the following conditions:
- Avoids disturbance of existing vegetation, valuable soils, and wetlands to the maximum extent possible (e.g., minimizing site disturbance and maintaining vegetated buffers along waterways);
- Reduces the amount of impervious cover and, thus, stormwater runoff generated on a site through careful site planning and design techniques; and
- Manages runoff that is generated through structural and non-structural practices that filter, recharge, reuse, or otherwise reduce runoff from the site.
Tasked with providing water for a population which more than quadruples with tourists throughout the year, the Caribbean island of Aruba is building a new 24,000 m3/day (6,340,130 gallons) desalination facility to process seawater from beach wells. Paul Choules & Ron Sebek discuss technical details of the installation, set to replace older thermal desalination units.
This is so awesome and could become a really great way for Aruba to expand its market into other emerging countries that are facing water issues. Abruba could use its extensive knowledge to help other arid climates deal with lack of drinking water, taking Aruba to the next level as a global leader in this realm.
Cogeneration of Power
Justin Locke is director of the island energy program at the Carbon War Room, an international nonprofit. He said it makes sense for islands to switch to clean power.
“Islands currently pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world. At the same time, they also have some of the best renewable energy resources,” added Locke. Aruba’s plan includes building new solar and wind farms, converting waste to energy, and working to increase energy efficiency.
Aruba has set the ambitious goal of becoming the first green economy by transitioning to 100% renewable energy use. Currently, Aruba is at 20% renewable energy use.
Aruba is known for being sunny all year long and its cooling trade winds. By capitalizing on these natural resources, the island can generate renewable energy. The island is lowering its dependence on heavy fuel oil, lowering CO2 emissions, and reducing environmental pollution.
By steadily continuing its momentum with its green movement and implementing cogeneration of power production it will help the island become sustainable and resilient.
Although Aruba has promised to become green it is not absolutely clear that it will be able to achieve its aggressive 2020 goals. However, the future is bright if Aruba is able to continue on its path and starts to take these issues into greater consideration making it a premier destination for people to enjoy. Becoming the world’s greenest island will ensure that tourism continues to flourish and that the country will continue to thrive in an environmentally-friendly way that will help restore and maintain the attributes that has made it what it has become famous for – a place for people from all over the world to come and enjoy the natural world away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience the world in a way that seems to be reminiscent of a simpler time and offers us a chance to connect with something much larger than ourselves. As temporary stewards for the environment it is up to us to protect that which does not belong to us so that future generations can also appreciate these valuable experiences.
Ask the Architect: Why Does Indoor Air Quality Matter?#LEED #WELL #Health #Wellness #Safety #Architect #ilmaBlogPosted: May 7, 2019
Simply put, indoor air quality matters because human beings are spending more and more time indoors. It is becoming more important than ever to make sure that the buildings that we design, construct and occupy are suitable and safe for the occupants. The following article will draw on both research and experience in the design and construction of high performance buildings to help elaborate on this simple response.
Interesting Facts To Consider About Indoor Air Quality:
- Indoor air often contains 4X to 10X the amount of pollutants of outdoor air.
- Many studies have linked exposure to small particles (PM 2.5—defined as airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns) with heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmias, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, worsened symptoms of asthma, and an increased risk of respiratory illness.
- The World Health Organization says that particulate matter contributes to about 800,000 premature deaths each year, making it the 13th leading cause of death worldwide.
The built environment around us plays a fundamental role in our overall well-being, particularly the indoor spaces that we inhabit to live, work, learn, play and pray, since most of us spend about 90% of our time indoors. The buildings that we as Architects design and construct have a distinctive capability to positively or negatively impact our health and wellbeing. The air that we breathe inside a building can have a greater consequence on our health. Unfortunately, many contaminants are not visible in the air, so we might not know that they are there. Inhaling air or poor quality can lead to a number of health conditions, including but not limited to: allergies, respiratory disorders, headaches, sore throat, lethargy and nausea.
Sick Building Syndrome
According to the EPA, sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or cause can be identified. The complainants may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building.
As more buildings are LEED certified, here are some things to consider about your next project:
To contribute to the comfort and well-being of building occupants by establishing minimum standards for indoor air quality (IAQ) after construction and during occupancy, USGBC LEED v4 requires that the project meet one of the following:
- Minimum indoor air quality performance: Option 1. ASHRAE Standard 62.1–2010 or Option 2. CEN Standards EN 15251–2007 and EN 13779–2007.
- Indoor air quality assessment: Path 1 Option 1. Flush-out, or Path 2. Option 1. During occupancy, or Path 2. Option 2. Air testing – Note: these cannot be combined.
Occupants are increasingly paying more attention to the conditions of their work environment as it relates to health and wellness. This is especially the case for researchers and their lab environments. We see surging growth in universities adopting lab design programs such as Smart Labs which places an emphasis in the indoor environment quality of the lab and through certification programs as:
We need to have a real-time measurement of the all contaminants of inside air and match that with real time control of the outside air coming into the environment. Ideally, we need to design and build facilities that:
- Bring in lots of outside air—but only exactly where and when we need it.
- Measures and controls more than just temperature and CO2.
- Displays the ventilation performance for the building’s occupants.
Health and Cognitive FunctionPerformance Enhancements
Cognitive functions encompass reasoning, memory, attention, and language and lead directly to the attainment of information and, thus, knowledge. United Technologies and The Harvard School of Public Health prepared a study that was designed to simulate indoor environmental quality conditions in green and conventional buildings and evaluate the impacts on an objective measure of human performance—cognitive function. The findings of the report concluded that the impact of the indoor air quality on the productivity of the occupants which revealed the following benefits:
- Lowering the levels of CO2 and VOCs resulted in their participants scoring 61% higher on cognitive function tests compared with those in conventional offices.
- There was a 101% improvement on their cognitive function tests when the ventilation levels were doubled above the standard ASHRAE prescribed levels.
- Information usage scores were 299% higher than conventional offices when the ventilation rates were doubled.
The conclusion of this study is very clear: verified ventilation performance will increase employee and student performance.
Sources & References:
We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!
For More Questions and Answers please check out:
Architects @WJMArchitect And @FrankCunhaIII Respond to ILMA Fan’s Questions “ASK THE ARCHITECT”
The Allegory of the Cave is a story from Book VII in the Greek philosopher Plato‘s masterpiece The Republic, written in 517 BCE. It is probably Plato’s best-known story, and its placement in The Republic is significant, because The Republic is the centerpiece of Plato’s philosophy, and centrally concerned with how people acquire knowledge about beauty, justice, and good. The Allegory of the Cave uses a metaphor of prisoners kept chained in the dark to explain the difficulties of reaching and sustaining a just and intellectual spirit.
The ‘Allegory Of The Cave‘ is a theory put forward by Plato, concerning human perception. Plato claimed that knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion and that, in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning.
Plato’s “The Republic Book 7” ‘On Shadows and Realities in Education’
As our interaction with technology accounts for more of each day, I cannot help but wonder if our perceptions of reality will shift as a civilization. What is real and what is an illusion?
Frans Johansson is an innovation expert and author of The Medici Effect. As CEO of The Medici Group, he leads a team which helps clients improve their innovation efforts through an approach they call Intersectional Thinking.
In the following video Frans Johansson illustrates how relentless trial-and-error – coming up with an idea, executing it on a small scale, and then refining it – is THE distinguishing characteristic of the greatest artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Why? Because humans are not very good at predicting which ideas are going to be a success. Thus, nearly every major breakthrough innovation has been preceded by a string of failed or misguided executions. So, as Frans says quoting Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
The idea for the book “The Medici Effect” is based on intersection. The best way to come up with groundbreaking ideas is to combine very different ideas – like termites and architecture; ice and beds; and bikinis and burqas. Diversity drives innovation.
What Drives Innovation?
We innovate best when we connect with others and share new ideas/perspectives. The key is to connect across our differences.
Technology increasingly drives new operational and business models.
He created a magazine “Catalyst” to bring stuff together, started a software company that “went really well until it didn’t.”.
He investigates how intersections lead to innovations.
We have the best chance to innovate when we connect across our differences.
Innovation is important because the world is changing very quickly.
Example: Spanish fashion company Zara can go from design to selling a dress across the world in 7 days.
A more sobering example; only 68% of recent law school graduates are working in a job that requires a J.D.
Yet our ability to innovate constricts as our firms get larger. Innovation tends to come from newcomers, upstarts.
One reason is that we tend to use logic as the only guidance for reaching success. For instance, Audi and Volvo might both to decide to address their minor deficiencies, then end up with cars that look quite similar.
Why is it Necessary to Innovate Quickly?
If you want to keep your competitive advantage, you have to keep innovating because there has been a stunning drop in the amount of time it takes for your competitors to catch up with you.
Why is it so Hard to Innovate?
Because change is difficult and intimidating, we tend to settle for tweaking things around the edges rather than making a comprehensive change. The impact of this is adding more widgets to a Yahoo search engine until the clutter is overcome by the spare and elegant design of a Google search engine.
New Ideas Are Combinations of Other
Johansson proposes that all new ideas are combinations of existing ideas. But not all combinations of ideas are created equal.
Most truly stunning innovations result from combination two different ideas. The greater the number of ideas that you generate and implement, the greater your chance of a breakthrough. You need to try many things because humans are very bad at predicting what will work. The key is to keep trying until you perfect your execution. When your first idea doesn’t work, you have to try again. Diverse teams can unleash an explosion of new ideas. You end up with an exponential increase in new ideas that leads to more opportunities for innovation.
Create the Environment Necessary to Foster Innovation
We can help organize our firms to foster innovation. This ranges from seating people within your department in such a way that they can’t help be exposed to new ideas and new ways of working. Individually, you also can ensure that you personally make connections with people within the firm who are in different disciplines or from different backgrounds or have different interests.
Don’t Give Up! Innovators Fail More Often
We are horrible at predicting what will work. We don’t often hear the tales of the bad ideas only the heroic ending of how someone became successful with their one brilliant idea and how they were able to envision a new future and make that future a reality.
What is the Most Effective Way to Execute?
Directional ideas often are executed in step-by-step fashion. More innovative ideas can take longer and get developed less directly.
We use up energy, money, and reputation in getting to a goal. So start by taking the first step; an easy manageable step.
Start with a good idea. And then act on it. Johansson calls this the “smallest executable step.” It’s not about going directly to the desired Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Rather, execute the first step; adjust based on results; execute again. The key is to iterate your way to success.
Some examples provided by Johansson:
ANTS & TRUCK DRIVERS
The example of ants and truck drivers, which I talk about in one of the chapters. So there is this telecommunications engineer that has been is trying to figure out how to efficiently route telecom messages through a haphazard routing system. And one day the communications engineer met an ecologist, who studies social insects, like wasps and ants. And they started talking, and the ecologist described how ants search for food. As it turned out, the ant’s search strategy turned out to be very applicable to the routing of telecom message packets. Once the engineer realized this, he decided to explore this particular intersection between ant ecology and computer search algorithms, so he spent three years looking at the connection between the way social insects behave and the way you can use computers to optimize particular types of search algorithms. And that has now lead to an entirely new field called swarm intelligence, which essentially came out of the intersection of the study of social insects and computer search algorithms. This methodology has been used in everything from helping truck drivers find their way around the Swiss Alps to helping unmanned aerial vehicles search for terrorists in Afghanistan.
TERMITES & ARCHITECTURE
A man was commissioned to build the largest office building complex in Harare, Zimbabwe without air conditioning.
He did it by combining the ideas of architecture and termite houses.
Termite houses open and close vents to regulate heat and cold. He combined ideas from these two fields to break new ground and build an energy efficient office complex that was able to maintain a comfortable temperature.
At the intersections of different ideas and cultures, the Medici effect happens.
For example, if you wanted to come up with a new, creative idea for swimwear, usually you would combine swimwear with the beach. But what if you combined swimwear with the idea of a burqa?
A lady moved to Australia where the normal female swimwear was bikinis. Many traditional Moslem women go swimming in their burqas. She combined the ideas of bikinis and burqas – and made a burqa out of bikini material.
After the fact, an innovative idea seems somewhat obvious.
People that change the world try far more ideas than others because we are horrible at predicting what ideas will work. Einstein published over 240 papers, many of which not a single person referenced. Google has launched hundreds of products. Picasso painted lots of paintings to figure out what paintings did work.
To be successful, you have to take this notion into account – that you won’t always be successful.
Take Wikipedia, for example. We may have thought – is that even possible? Creating Wikipedia takes understanding the altruistic nature of people and understanding the Internet. Before he launched
Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales launched Newspedia and asked experts to contribute to it. After six months, there were only twenty posts. Jimmy’s new idea was to allow anyone to make posts. Wikipedia has been one of the most successful Internet projects. Jimmy Wales kept trying.
How does this play out? Maybe you have an idea. Often from an idea you create a large goal and then you use 100% of your resources (your money and your reputation) to reach it. After all that work and effort, you now realize how you should have done it. You realize what would have been a better goal or a better way to do it.
ICE & BEDS
For example, a guy in northern Sweden saw a future with the cold and snow. He combined the idea of ice with a hotel. He created a hotel made out of ice. Everything is made out of ice – the beds, walls, tables, etc. It is one of Sweden’s largest tourist attractions. He realized he could do something no one else could do. But it didn’t start with The Ice Hotel.
First, he had an idea to “sell” the winter. His first idea was to fly in some ice sculptures from Japan. He had an ice exhibition. It wasn’t successful because the ice melted.
Next, he tried a snow gallery and had paintings hung in an ice building.
Then he created an event hall with everything made out of ice, including a movie screen. A few backpackers who saw it said they would like to sleep on a bed made of ice. He made a bed of ice and they loved it.
Then he created The Ice Hotel. Within weeks Newsweek named it one of the ten coolest hotels in the world.
You have to start with an idea – a step.
Take your first step to change the world. The best way to come up with this idea is at the intersection of different cultures and ideas. Figure out something you can do and make it happen. The world is connected – there is somebody making those connections and it should be YOU!
Source: The Medici Effect
Source: The Medici Effect
References & Sources:
Author: Taylor Young (December 2017)
Trends in the architecture and design industries can be used as predictors for the future, helping to create forecasts for what homeowners may be looking for in the years to come. Many industry influencers predict several new trends for 2018, including open floor plans, sustainable design, and Smart home features. Including any of these and the following trends into your work in 2018 is sure to have a big impact on client satisfaction.
Eco-friendly design and sustainability have topped most home and business owner lists for the last several years, and forecasts for 2018 predict more of the same. This includes using materials, such as modified wood that are durable, low maintenance, and that have a very minimal impact on the environment.
Modified wood is created using a bio-based liquid on softwoods, rendering them harder and more durable than many popular hardwoods. Because softwoods are faster growing, they create a more sustainable product. And because the resulting material is so low maintenance, it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, which makes it very attractive to busy homeowners who want style, but without the added maintenance costs.
For interiors, engineered hardwood, like that made by Nydree, is proving to be exceptionally popular as well. Engineered hardwoods have a thin, hardwood veneer over several layers of material, each facing a different direction. This layering produces a very stable floor that doesn’t react to moisture or humidity the way that solid hardwood floors do, so the material can be installed below grade, in bathrooms, or in other areas that don’t typically see hardwood.
Nydree takes the process a step further, infusing their floors with acrylic. The result is a beautiful, long lasting floor that doesn’t use as much hardwood as competitors, providing a better, more eco-friendly product that requires less maintenance and care. This meets the needs of two trends at once – the desire for sustainability in building materials, and the low maintenance care that most people want in their homes and offices.
Sustainability in design extends to all areas of the industry, right down to the hardwood used to build cabinets, panels, and furniture. Hardwood plywood, like Columbia Forest Products’ PureBond, contains no added urea-formaldehyde, and meets LEED standards
PureBond is a moisture resistant plywood that can be used anywhere a hardwood veneer is required. As homeowners become more conscious of what goes into their homes, by building with a better quality plywood, you can not only get better results, you can also meet consumer demands at every level.
From a design standpoint, many features that homeowners are looking for include things like open floor plans, and furniture that can have multiple uses and purposes, particularly in smaller spaces. However, there is also an emphasis on quality. Homeowners want pieces for their homes which have history, interest, and depth that goes beyond the way that they look.
This may be why there is a trend toward handmade furniture pieces, such as Amish living room furniture. With classic lines and details, Amish furniture fits into many different styles of décor, including some modern designs. The furniture lines are clean, with little ornate or decorative detailing, which makes them an ideal fit for many homes, particularly in busy households where low maintenance and durability are preferred.
Along with open floor plans, comes the need for a single flooring that can extend from one end of the home to another without interruption. Hardwood is a popular choice for many homes, but in modern and contemporary style settings, there is also a trend toward tile, particularly oversized porcelain tiles in a variety of textures.
Oversized tiles that are larger than 18-inches have fewer grout joints to deal with, which makes less of a grid on the floor. This in turn creates a clean, open appearance that works well with the trend toward open floor plans. Porcelain tile in particular is easy to care for and durable – it doesn’t require special cleaners or sealing and is unlikely to chip or crack. It also comes in a wide range of styles and finishes, including those that mimic the look of metal, glass, and even fabric, so it’s possible to find a tile that will complement any style or design.
Look to the Future with Today’s Trends
Trends help point the way toward what’s going to be popular or sought after in the coming years. That’s why so many industry influencers are careful to broadcast what they see as the next big thing. If you’re looking for ways to increase client satisfaction in the coming year, consider incorporating any of these forecast materials or designs into your work in 2018. Look for sustainable, durable, and low maintenance style and materials to help capture industry ideals today and tomorrow.
In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.
We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook
FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.
The aim of the Earth Pyramid project is to create a monument that every nation and an entire generation of the world’s children can contribute to. With the many issues the world is facing it is now more important than ever for us to start working together to educate and prepare our children for the challenges they will be facing in their lifetimes.
Aided by modern technology the world has never been more connected and it’s a great time in history to try and get the world working together and discussing these issues.
The Earth Pyramid’s mission is to act as a focal point for learning about other countries around the world and to look at how our actions and inactions today will affect the future our children will inherit. By connecting a generation of the world’s children we hope this shared bond will create a greater understanding of other cultures and encourage a generation to be united in tackling and supporting each other in future decision making and actions. If we combine our efforts as a planet it will be amazing to see what the power of a united generation can achieve.
This monument will be a celebration of our world with its many cultures and although it won’t bring about world peace or solve the many issues our planet is facing it will help to educate and give people a chance to connect on a global scale.
(click on an image to view his/her video)
A Few Testimonials
I think your project is interesting and inspiring…………………..
Kaj Leo Johannesen (Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands)
We have found your project very interesting and will be very glad to be a part of it……………….
Rakotozafy Herizo (Political Adviser, Government of Madagascar)
H.E. the President found your idea to be very innovative and interesting and would like Timor Leste to be part of this creative experiment…………………….
Gregório de Sousa (Chief of Staff, Government of Timor Leste)
The aim of the project to strengthen bonds between different cultures and capture some of the history of participating countries is a laudable. We support this project and are happy for the Cayman Islands to participate.
Duncan Taylor (Governor of the Cayman Islands)
We would be delighted for the Isle of Man to be involved in this project……………..
Tony Brown (Chief Minister, Isle of Man)
Your project is a wonderful initiative and we would like to be a part of it………
Jean-Paul Adam (Secretary of State, Republic of Seychelles)
We would love to hear from you on what you think — please leave a comment. If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.
- ARCHITECTURE: FROM THE INSIDE OUT
- I LOVE MY ARCHITECT: I DON’T CARE IF HE/SHE IS INSANE
- ARCHITECTURE ALCHEMY: HOW MATERIALS/TEXTURES AFFECT PERCEPTION OF SPACE
- ARCHITECTURE IN MOTION: HOW TRANSPORTATION IN AMERICA CHANGED THE CITY AND ALTERED OUR ENVIRONMENT
- HOW DO DESIGNERS SEE THE WORLD AROUND THEM: ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONS OF AN ARCHITECT
- LEARNING FROM TWITTER: HOW I DESIGN & CARVE SPACE UTILIZING SOCIAL MEDIA
If you woud like to contribute some text or a quote please contact me by email.
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook
“The only reason I design and construct walls….is to create the space….”
If you like this post please share it.
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook
Most of the following items can be inter-related and juxtaposed. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list or listed in any priority. It is a list of things to think about (and talk about with your designer) when you find yourself designing your next project.
- What are you designing?
- For whom are you designing?
- Are there any important relationships between the various “program” spaces?
- What are the project constraints – cost, site, schedule, users, etc.?
- Is there a defining thought – a certain look, feel, sense of place; that needs to be defined?
- The “space” created for the program informs the Form & Aesthetics of the space as well as the Context where it resides.
- Where is It?
- Think: Location, Location, Location (like City vs Rural).
- Solar Orientation – Where does the sun rise and set? Which way is North?
- What are some the adjacent natural and manmade site features?
- Where do the winds come from, the shade, the sun, water elements/features, are there existing trees and/or vegetation that need to be considered.
- Utilities – How are basic needs met? (Think: water, plumbing, electricity, sanitary waste, domestic waste, and connectivity to outside world, i.e., internet and other telecommunication).
- Scale, Proportion, Order – Thoughtfulness of scale.
- Think outside the plan, elevation, and sections – How does the space look/feel in perspective, the way one moves through the space?
- Think: When you enter a traditional Roman Church the entrance (narthex) is typically low making the entrance into the vaulted nave more dramatic.
- Materials (inside and outside). Local materials indigenous to the project site?
- Texture – The texture and “feel” can define the interior and exterior of a space.
- Color – How does color or lack of color define the space. Is the color applied or is it part of the natural materials?
- Image – What are the defining elements of the design? The façade?
- Structure – How will the space be defined? What type of materials will be used? What type of structure will be used (Bearing Walls vs Columns, etc.).
D.) Other Factors
- The Client – Ultimately (right or wrong) the clients basic needs need to be met (especially if there is a written contract).
- Societal Benefits (Questions like are we doing the right thing are important!!!)
- The Earth/Environment
- How does the program, site/context and Form/Aesthetics impact the local and global environment?
- How do the decisions made above impact the environment?
- Transportation – labor and materials.
- Is there a way to reduce the size of the “space” or “spaces” – Smaller footprints and volumes result in less energy use (Think: HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing services/systems).
Click here for some more ideas on design.