Known for its sleek and modern designs, Scandinavian furniture manufacturer IKEA is partnering with Israeli nonprofits Milbat and Access Israel to develop accessories that make its products more accessible for people with disabilities. As part of a campaign called This Ables, the team has published design files for 13 different interventions that users can download, 3D print, and install in their homes. Examples include a bumper to protect dresser glass panes in case of collision, an oversized lamp button that eliminates the need for precise finger movements for small on/off switches, and couch lifts that help users to get up and sit down easier. [This Ables]

With an assist from Apple’s ARKit 2 release, the New York–based designers and software developer Morpholio announced the release of AR SketchWalk, a feature in its increasingly capable app Morpholio Trace (iOS 12, $19.99 per year for the requisite TracePro subscription). The new tool can create near-instantaneous AR experiences using any floor plan, sketch, or diagram created in a file format compatible with Trace, such as an imported PDF or a Trace-native drawing. [ARCHITECT]

A team from from Boston University has developed a 3D printed acoustic metamaterial that can block 94 percent of sound but still allows for the passage of air in open spaces. "Our structure is super lightweight, open, and beautiful," explain researchers Reza Ghaffarivardavagh and Xin Zhang. "Each piece could be used as a tile or brick to scale up and build a sound-canceling, permeable wall." [Boston University]

Katerra window configurations
Courtesy Katerra Katerra window configurations

ARCHITECT interviews Katerra chairman and co-founder Michael Marks on the Silicon Valley tech company's expanded portfolio of products, from software and design services to M/E/P systems and bathroom fixtures, and his strategy for vertically integrating the construction sector from end to end. [ARCHITECT]

Behind stainless steel cladding, custom knuckles made of structural steel join four incoming diagonal members.
Connie Zhou/OTTO Behind stainless steel cladding, custom knuckles made of structural steel join four incoming diagonal members.

The Mark, a faceted 48-story hotel and office tower in Seattle designed by ZGF Architects, creates additional square footage on its floor plates with help from an innovative diagonal mega-brace system. The X-shaped intersections created where the diagonal braces meet—dubbed “knuckles” by the design team—were among the hardest to detail. Read how the firm did it. [ARCHITECT]

The 13th iteration of ARCHITECT's R+D Awards program is now open for submissions! [ARCHITECT]