Courtesy ICD/ITKE, University of Stuttgart

As part of its annual research demonstrator program, the Institute for Computational Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart revealed its 2018/2019 pavilion inspired by the wings of ladybugs. Made of carbon and fiberglass-reinforced plastic, the structure features two adaptive folding elements and seating modeled from the pattern of the insect's wings. "Many beetle species cover their thin and fragile hind wings with more robust forewings," the team describes in a project description. "Through analysis and mathematical geometric descriptions, it was possible to investigate and abstract the kinematic [behavior], enabling distinct elastic hinge zones to be materialized with specifically programmed material gradients within the fiber-reinforced plastic." Conceptualized by a team of architects, engineers, biologists, and paleontologists, this system is the institute's first effort to incorporate pneumatic components with "industrial tape-laying technology for an automated fabrication of large-scale compliant mechanisms." [University of Stuttgart]

AEC software company Autodesk announced this week that it has integrated BuildingConnected pre-construction software and its PlanGrid technology to help streamline data transfers ahead of construction. BuildingConnected can now send design files directly to PlanGrid, an issue that was previously a "major problem for project managers," according to a press release. "The construction industry has struggled with transferring information from one project to another, and across the different phases of a building project," said Autodesk vice president Dustin DeVan in the same release. "By reducing errors and the need for rework, this integration will help to mitigate overall project risk and help to ensure more predictable outcomes." [Autodesk]

As part of an ongoing partnership between furniture giant IKEA and Sweden-based construction company Skanska, Sweden-based alternative housing company BoKlok is working to redesign its SilviaBo housing units into custom residences for those with dementia. According to a report from CNN, the BoKlok has completed six units outside of Stockholm that do not have mirrors or dark floors, as they are known to trigger confusion in patients. [CNN]

Bleutech Park Las Vegas rendering
Courtesy Bleutech Park Properties Bleutech Park Las Vegas rendering

Real estate investment company Bleutech Park Properties has announced it will break ground on a $7.5 billion smart city in the Las Vegas Valley later this year. With plans to complete the construction in just six years, Bleutech has promised the "digital infrastructure city" will feature net-zero buildings, power generated by solar, wind, water, and kinetic energy, autonomous vehicles, and structures built with self-healing concrete. "It will push the envelope of innovation and bring together technology solutions that once seemed like pure science fiction," said technology lead Mike Grigsby in a press release. "The convergence of the Internet of Things and Smart Cities in a project like this challenges the way we define both of those solutions. It opens our thinking to what is truly possible and reveals just how expansive the connected communities concept really is." [Bleutech Park Properties]

Italian architect Carlo Ratti's spin-off company Scribit has patterned with Danish artist Olafur Eliasson to design a crowdsourced illustration inspired by Eliasson's Little Sun nonprofit. Using a Scribit robot, which can turn any wall into a canvas by traveling vertically and depositing ink, the team hopes to draw attention to climate change with the depiction of a specific position of the sun. The product will be commercially available in November. [Scribit]