Courtesy Eni

Italian architect and MIT Senseable Cities Lab director Carlo Ratti collaborated with Italian oil and gas company Eni to create the Circular Garden at the 2019 Fuori Salone exhibition. The installation of 60 structures features 13-foot-tall arches made of mycelium, which comes from the fibrous roots of fungi. Inspired by the concept of a circular economy, Ratti and his team spent six weeks "growing" more than half a mile of the substance. Once the exhibition is complete, the components will be returned to the earth as fertilizer. "We are looking at a type of architecture that is halfway between organic and inorganic, so we would like every visitor to go away with a greater awareness of the circular economy," Ratti said in an Eni blog post. "We see so many installations at Fuorisalone that all end up in landfill once design week is over. ... We want to offer a new perspective on the circular processes of transformation and reuse." [Eni]

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., was named the Grand Winner of the 2019 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge, in which student teams design structures powered by renewable energy. The event featured 45 finalist teams representing 37 collegiate institutions from around the world. [Department of Energy]

Anders Sune Berg

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and German architect Sebastian Behmann utilized 3D modeling to engineer the headquarters of Danish investment and holding company Kirk Kapital in the Vejle Harbor in Vejle, Denmark, which features parabolic voids and cylindrical volumes inside and out. Design software was also used to articulate Fjordenhus’ idiosyncratic and intentional patchwork of 800,000 fired bricks, laid in a variety of bond patterns and palettes. [ARCHITECT]

Researchers from UCLA have designed a device that generates electricity from falling snow. Called a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, the system captures energy from an exchange of electrons between positively charged snow and negatively charged silicone. The team claim that the device can be integrated into solar panels to facilitate energy generation even during snowy months. [UCLA]

See the thought leaders who will jury ARCHITECT's 13th annual R+D Awards program—and enter by today to pay the early bird rate! [ARCHITECT]