© Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) revealed two concept designs this week for energy company Ecotricity's Green Technology Hub at Eco Park in Gloucestershire, England. Intended to be "a place where green businesses and technology companies come together and share ideas" according to the Ecotricity website, the 100-acre development will include the new Forest Green Rovers football stadium made almost entirely of wood, as well as a footbridge connecting the two sides of the park. "The Eco Park bridge is designed as a single, fluid form by fusing together individual timber elements," ZHA wrote on its website. "This important, unifying gesture builds connections for the community, conveying Eco Park as a facility for all.” Ultimately, Ecotricity hopes the tech hub will create more than 4,000 jobs in the green economy. [ARCHITECT]

An international research team—led by professor Bao-Lian Su of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Wuhan University of Technology in China, and the University of Namur in Belgium—have created a porous material that mimics the vascular structure of a leaf that could make energy transfers more efficient. Zinc oxide nanoparticles form the foundation of the substance that the team has named "Murray material" after the biological system Murray's Law. [University of Cambridge News]

ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2016-17 from ICD on Vimeo.

ICYMI: Led by Institute for Computational Design and Construction director and professor Achim Menges and Institute of Building Structure at Structural Design professor Jan Knippers, an interdisciplinary research team studied the silk “hammocks” created by the larvae of leaf miner moths to look for new methods for architectural applications of composite fiber materials. [ARCHITECT]

Though silicon has better semiconductor capabilities than the polymer materials that most flexible electronics are made up of today, scientists had failed to create a silicon resilient but thin enough for electronic applications until now. In a new study, researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, have developed a method for creating stretchable and foldable silicon-based electronics by connecting silicon "islands" with silicon springs. The final product can be stretched to more than five times the original area and is compatible with current semiconductor fabrication technologies. According to the study, potential applications include wearable electronics, solar cells that conform to curved surfaces, tactile displays that fold like origami, and 3D stacking of integrated circuits. [Phys.org]

Dutch designers Valentijn Rieb and Andrea Schimmer collaborated to interpret and build a classic Chesterfield bench with a few twists. The Chester-Block-Hoster bench—on display at Milan Design Week—is actually made of hand-shaped, CNC-milled wood blocks that sit atop individual springs to give the wooden seat the same bounce as a leather or fabric bench. Inspired to completely reimagine the elements of a Chesterfield bench, the designers opted to upholster the legs in leather. [Inhabitat]

ICYMI: New York–based architecture-and-software-development Morpholio has released Ava, a digital assistant for architects and interior designers. Used with the company's Board Pro app, the new tool generates cut sheets and purchasing lists from design-inspiration boards. [ARCHITECT]

Courtesy Jim Schafer

Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG) has been announced as the first official sponsor for the Living Product Hub in Pittsburgh. Created by the International Living Future Institute and Pittsburgh's Green Building Alliance, the hub will host professionals and students who will research and develop new materials and processes for regenerative buildings and manufacturing. It is set to open April 18. [Vitro]

Courtesy Gabi Klein, INM

Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (LINM), in Saarbrücken, Germany, have developed a new technique to create conductor paths on flexible substrates, which will enable the production of curved touchscreens. The scientists first coated pliable foils with a photoactive layer of metal oxide nanoparticles. Then "the silver compound disintegrates on the photoactive layer and the silver ions are reduced to form metallic, electrically conductive silver," according to LINM. The researchers argue that this new technique is quick, relatively inexpensive, and environmentally friendly. [LINM]