Courtesy Phys.org

A scientist at Arizona State University's (ASU) Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational, and Modeling Sciences Center has discovered that the ancient Southwestern Pueblo people—who were once settled in what is now Mesa Verde National Park, in Colorado—used complex geometry in their architecture, despite having no written language or numeric system. Built in 1200 A.D., the Sun Temple comprises geometric shapes abundantly used by ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Mayan architects. The Pythagorean triangle, golden rectangle, and 30-60-90 right triangle are all used in the site—an impressive feat considering the ancient Pueblo people supposedly did not have a written way to aid in or track their calculations. "The genius of the site's architects cannot be underestimated," says ASU professor Sherry Towers. "If you asked someone today to try to reconstruct this site and achieve the same precision that they had using just a stick and a piece of cord, it's highly unlikely they'd be able to do it, especially if they couldn't write anything down as they were working." [Phys.org]

President Trump has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to halt the posting or publishing of any research on public-facing platforms, as well as prohibited the awarding of new grants or contracts. [Los Angeles Times]

San Francisco–based studio NewDealDesign (known for designing the Fitbit) has come up with a concept called Autonomics: autonomous vehicles that could change both urban and suburban lifestyles by bringing delivery services to cars instead of residences. The idea proposes that drones and buses, dubbed "Leechbots," deliver food and more to your moving car, and "ZoomRooms" to attach themselves to other buses in order to assemble a makeshift village on-the-go. "The only cost seems to be energy," says Fast Co. Design writer Mark Wilson. "Autonomics really only makes sense if these electric machines are powered by unlimited free solar." [Fast Co. Design]

ICYMI: The California College of the Arts' exhibition "Drawing Codes: Experimental Protocols of Architectural Representation" demonstrates the vast capabilities of parametric design technology. The show features 22 commissioned works that explore a range of possibilities enabled by computational tools without style constraints. [ARCHITECT]

A team of scientists argue that urban density could be the solution for lower energy consumption in buildings. [Vox]

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has seemingly announced plans to start digging a traffic tunnel in Crenshaw, Calif., through his Twitter account. The tunnel would help alleviate traffic in the city, infamous for its long commutes. [Business Insider]

ICYMI: Specification expertise group ARCOM has purchased InterSpec, a software tool that integrates specification-writing services with the development of BIM models. The merger will allow architects, engineers, and the construction industry to access leading specification content and technology tools. [ARCHITECT]

Rising sea levels motivate architects and urban planners to build upwards in order to create safer cities. [The New York Times]

New York–based experimental design studio and architecture firm Marc Fornes & TheVeryMany has created "Under Magnitude," a permanent structure in the Orlando Orange County Convention Center. Inspired by German architect and 2015 Pritzker Prize winner Frei Otto, the installation exaggerates curves and looks like a network of mesh neurons. [THEVERYMANY]

The Origin of Stripes from MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY on Vimeo.


A new report by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat suggests that 2016 was a big year for skyscrapers. The 128 buildings constructed surpassed that of 2015's still-impressive 114 buildings. [Bisnow]

Amid the Trump administration's move to pull scientific information and data from government websites, collaborative projects such as DataRefuge and the Environmental Data Governance Initiative aim to provide the public with free access to federal climate and environmental data. [Gizmodo]

The Institute for Advanced Architecture in Catalonia, Spain, has built the first 3D printed bridge in the world in Castilla-La Mancha, an urban park in Alcobendas, Madrid. [The Institute for Advanced Architecture in Catalonia]