MAD Architects

This week, Beijing-based MAD Architects revealed designs for an elevated infrastructure system for Playa Vista, Calif.–based transit research company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Conceived for installation across various environments, including city centers, rural areas, and deserts, the transit tunnels are fitted with bendable solar panels that power the Hyperloop trains. "Forests" of bladeless wind turbines installed at specific points along the routes also generate power for the system. "While providing enhanced connectivity between cities and people, the transportation system will also establish a renewed connection between people and their city through car-free raised green walkways along the roof of the tunnels, and activation spaces below in the form of parks and recreation areas," the firm writes in a project description. [MAD Architects]

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have devised a system in which reprogrammable ink changes colors when exposed to ultraviolet light. Made of a mixture of photochromic dyes, the PhotoChromeleon system can be sprayed or painted onto any surface. “This special type of dye could enable a whole myriad of customization options that could improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce overall waste,” said lead researcher Yuhua Jin in a university press release. “Users could personalize their belongings and appearance on a daily basis, without the need to buy the same object multiple times in different colors and styles.” [MIT]

As WeWork continues to barrel toward a reported IPO, questions over the co-working giant's profitability have leaders and investors buzzing about a path forward. According to a recent Bloomberg report, co-founder Adam Neumann is still adamant about an IPO and has traveled around the country asking investors to add on to the $12 billion he has already raised. However, with certain projections predicting an initial valuation of just $15 billion—down from $47 billion in January—shareholders are less optimistic about going public. [Bloomberg]

Sept. 13 update: The We Co., parent company of WeWork, will list its shares on Nasdaq and begin public trading the week of Sept. 23, following several adjustments to its corporate governance, reports The Wall Street Journal. [WSJ]

Vectorworks announced the 2020 release of its design and BIM software Vectorworks Architects, as well as complementary programs Landmark, Spotlight, Designer, Fundamentals, Vision, and Braceworks. According to a press release by the Columbia, Md.–based company, the latest versions feature “improved software performance, quality enhancements, and new data-driven workflows.” [ARCHITECT]

Construction on the first multi-story office building in North America built using dowel laminated timber (DLT) is nearing completion in Des Moines, Iowa. Designed by local firm Neumann Monson Architects, the 65,000-square-foot structure features a precast concrete service core, spruce glulam beams and columns, and DLT panels. [Neumann Monson Architects]

Blaine Brownell explores haptic technology's evolution and potential applications in the built environment in his latest Mind & Matter column. [ARCHITECT]