Todd Fix

Boston- and Bangkok–based architectural designer Todd Fix wanted a structure that could change with the seasons. The result is Motus, a concept house featuring a dynamic envelope whose composition can be automatically or manually adjusted based out outdoor conditions and occupant preference; for example, glazing could be covered screens or an additional insulated shell could slide in, all on linear tracks. Solar panels power the house while a micro-climate pool under it provides cooling. With an estimated construction cost of up to $5 million, however, its more likely that the project will be used to inform other envelope designs than come to fruition itself. [Fast Company’s Co.Exist]

This glove allows its wearer to sculpt wood with their hands. Literally. [Dezeen]

Michael Debije via Wired

Solar panels have become increasingly efficient, but their look hasn't dramatically improved. Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology, in the Netherlands, with Dutch construction company Heijmans, want to brighten them up. Their prototype panels, which are being tested along a highway, are translucent plastic, colorful, and can help reduce noise. While the panels offer up to 8 percent efficiency compared to the 13 percent to 15 percent of typical silicon panels, their vivid appearance could encourage broader use, allowing increased adoption to spur improved performance. [Wired]

California building-products startup Watershed Materials found a way to make water-resistant and high-compressive masonry units with a concrete alternative derived from naturally occurring, mineral-based geopolymers in locally sourced clay. [Designboom]

Electrochromic technology is turning glazing—that is, any glazing—into a smart skin. Applied films, in particular, offer a more economical opportunity than the high-tech glass product. One example, developed at the University of Texas at Austin, of a film applied to glazing that uses the technology to block heat and visible light is stepping out of the lab and into a prototype product line as startup Heliotrope Technologies. [MIT Technology Review]