Mind & Matter


Blaine Brownell


Blaine Brownell's Latest Posts

  • Tikal, Guatemala: Where Ancient History Continues to Reveal Its Secrets

    The centuries-old Maya metropolis continues to surprise.

    Columnist Blaine Brownell visits the great plaza in Tikal National Park, where ongoing archaeological research is evolving contemporary understanding of the Maya civilization.

    ARCHITECT October 22, 2014

  • Efraín Recinos' Teatro Nacional and the Search for Cultural Expression

    The cultural project represents contemporary architecture that celebrates its local context.

    The 1978 civic project in Guatemala City is an example of architecture whose forms reflect and celebrate local history.

    ARCHITECT October 20, 2014

  • University of Alabama Researchers Electrify Cotton and Wool

    The process of strengthening the natural fibers makes them suitable for use as conductors in smart textiles.

    A newly patented method of strengthening natural fibers opens up new materials as electrical conductors in smart textiles.

    ARCHITECT October 15, 2014

  • In Denmark, Researchers Clean Water with Recycled Concrete

    Gabions filled with crushed concrete could reverse the effects of fertilizer runoff on water bodies.

    Passing water through a filter of crushed concrete removes excess phosphorus and prevents the growth of unwanted plant life and algae, say researchers at the University of Southern Denmark.

    ARCHITECT October 13, 2014

  • This Kickstarter-Backed Fan Reduces the Energy Needed to Heat Buildings

    Hot-Tubes are designed to improve warm-air circulation in high-ceiling spaces.

    Hot-Tubes, the project of a Portland, Maine–based inventor, circulates warm air more efficiently in high-ceiling spaces.

    ARCHITECT October 08, 2014

  • Rice University Researchers Use Graphene as a De-Icing Agent for Glass

    Light and radio waves can pass through this coating, bringing wireless capabilities further indoors.

    A polyurethane paint infused with the ultra-strong nanomaterial lets both light and radio waves permeate glass coated with the novel finish.

    ARCHITECT September 29, 2014


About the Author

Blaine Brownell

Blaine Brownell

Architect and materials researcher Blaine Brownell, AIA, is the author of the three Transmaterial books (2006, 2008, 2010), which provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century, high-tech Grammar of Ornament. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, Blaine researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.



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