Last month Google announced a digital tool for determining the energy-cost savings of adding photovoltaics to commercial and residential rooftops. The Web-based app, Project Sunroof, rolled out in Boston, Fresno, Calif., and the San Francisco Bay Area. Shortly after, MIT offshoot Mapdwell made its move, naming New York City the ninth market for which its tool, Solar System, is available. This week, the startup struck again, adding San Francisco to the lineup as No. 10. Mapdwell says its system has the potential to generate 3 gigawatts of high-yield solar energy across 160,000 of the city's buildings, resulting in 4 million megawatt-hours of electricity produced annually. Developed by MIT’s Sustainable Design Lab in 2013, Mapdwell is now available in Boston, Washington, D.C., Washington County, Ore., and Lo Barnachea and Vitacura, both in Chile, as well as in New York City and San Francisco. With Mapdwell and Google now operating on some of the same turf—and in the tech giant’s hometown—we’re keen to see how competition will fuel consumer interest and, ultimately, adoption. [Mapdwell]

ICYMI: What do you get when you combine motion-sensing LED light-bands with a Taylor Swift concert? A new way to shake it off, shake it off … [Architectural Lighting]

W.W. Norton & Co.

As technological development across all industries went into overdrive during the 20th century, artists were called upon to help communicate the rapid advancements to a public sometimes wary of change. A new book (left) by San Francisco–based cultural historian Megan Prelinger aggregates those ephemera—magazines, advertisements, and other marketing collateral—to show how graphic design has long been mobilized to shape public opinion. [Fast Company’s Co.Design]

When they’re not chewing away at your foundation, termites are providing bio-inspiration for passive design. As researchers at MIT and Harvard University recently observed, the termites outfit their signature mounds with a combination of conduits and buttresses to create a closed-convection cell that cools the space by day and expels carbon-dioxide buildup at night. [Science]

CAD and BIM software developer Nemetschek Vectorworks and cloud-based object catalog BIMobject AB are teaming up to support each other’s platforms—that includes BIMobject hosting Vectorworks’ native file formats and the pair helping manufacturers develop BIM objects for their products. [BIMobject AB]

The stable form of an inverted takeout coffee cup is the model for Exo (shown in the video below), a new emergency shelter from Austin, Texas–based startup Reaction Housing. It's the latest in a slew of enclosures designed in response to the heightened awareness of climate-related disasters, and it's also one of the simplest, Wired explains. Weighing in at 725 pounds, the pods can be trucked to a site in stacks and sleep up to four people each. [Wired]