When it was completed in 1931, the Empire State Building showed steel’s potential to bring cities, quite literally, to new heights. Fast forward more than eight decades and it’s possible that the same, 102-story structure could be realized using wood. That’s according to a new case study from Canadian architect Michael Green, a longtime proponent for the construction of tall wooden buildings, and Finnish engineered-wood supplier Metsä Wood. The report currently covers concept design, with technical and design and construction reviews also planned. [Metsä Wood]

Finalists in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge battled it out last weekend to determine their ability to serve as first responders in a disaster situation—in this case, an obstacle course that tested perception, dexterity, strength, and decision-making, among other skills. See how they fared. [Washington Post]

Self-healing concrete developed by researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands goes to market this year after being tested at a lifeguard station since 2011. [Smithsonian.com]


A new glazing film (above) aims to give building occupants control over the brightness, opacity, and color temperature of transmitted daylight. Developed by a team comprising researchers from the University of Cincinnati, Hewlett Packard, Merck, and the National Taiwan University, the tunable technology can be applied to new windows or atop existing ones and adjusts much like an e-paper device. [Gizmag]

Multiple steel anchor rods in San Francisco’s new Bay Bridge failed earthquake inspections due to corrosion, raising questions as to whether the bridge can stand up to the region’s next earthquake. [Wired]

The sixth-century Buddhas of Bamiyan, in Afghanistan, were temporarily resurrected as holograms (above) last weekend following their destruction in 2001 by the Taliban. [The Atlantic]

Researchers at MIT used two types of polymers to 3D print a “soft” material that changes from a smooth surface to one with a pre-determined pattern when pressure is applied. [Phys.org]


South Korean studio Kimchi and Chips pairs concave mirrors and projected light in a dynamic installation (above) for the STRP Biennial 2015 in the Netherlands. [Kimchi and Chips]


Homepage image courtesy Flickr user John St John via Creative Commons.