Bell Nexus air taxi
Courtesy Bell Bell Nexus air taxi

This week, aircraft technology company Bell unveiled a full-scale model of its Bell Nexus air taxi at CES, the nation's largest consumer electronics show hosted in Las Vegas. Powered by a "hybrid-electric propulsion system," the vehicle features six tilting ducted fans to help it navigate through the air. Uber has confirmed in a tweet that the the air taxis will be available by the mid-2020s as part of an effort to reduce street congestion. "As space at the ground level becomes limited, we must solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension," Bell CEO Mitch Snyder said in a release. "That’s where Bell’s on-demand mobility vision takes hold." [Bell]

Announced in a company blog post on Tuesday, WeWork has changed its name to the We Company. Founded as a coworking startup in 2009, the business, valued by some at $40 billion, has expanded its offerings to include co-living communities and educational programs, including an elementary school and coding academy. The company believes that this new name will "[bring] all of our business ambitions together to operate in service of how we work, how we live, and how we grow." [The We Company]

In the 2019 edition of his "Materials to Watch" article, ARCHITECT contributor Blaine Brownell, AIA, details innovative products and systems that aim to reduce our carbon footprint. [ARCHITECT]

The California Mass Timber Building Competition, which awards $500,000 in grants to teams "that present viable and repeatable mass timber solutions for commercial or multi-family projects in California," will begin accepting submissions on Jan. 15, according to a press release. Winners will be selected in May. [California Government Operations Agency]

Mulit-user experience with Visual Vocal
Sean Airhart / Courtesy NBBJ Mulit-user experience with Visual Vocal

Design and practice leaders from nine digitally savvy, tech-forward firms share their insights and to-do items for the new year. It may be wise to take note. [ARCHITECT]

Researchers from the University of Delaware and the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colo., have developed a system that improves the efficiency of thin photovoltaic films at a reduced cost. [University of Delaware]