2008 R+D Awards

The Jury (left to right): Chris Genik - A co-founder of Daly Genik Architects in Santa Monica, Calif., Genik has taught at institutions including the Art Center College of Design and the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where he is undergraduate program director; Blaine Brownell - A visiting professor in sustainable design at the University of Michigan, Brownell is also the founder of Transstudio, a firm devoted to materials reearch and awareness. He is the author of 'Transmaterial' and 'Transmaterial 2' (Princeton Architectural Press); Andres Lepik - Curator of contemporary architecture at New York's Museum of Modern Art, Lepik has written and edited several books, including 'Skyscrapers' (Prestel) and a monograph of Berlin-based Barkow Leibinger Architects (Hatje Cantz Verlag)

Second Annual R+D Awards

Architecture has evolved, judging from the winners of our second annual R+D Awards. Witness a façade that breathes, a recycling network based on the human intestinal tract, an exterior lighting system inspired by photosynthesis, and other such wonders. If


The system is designed so that pedestrians can drop recyclables into a receptacle at street level that connects directly to the tunnels, which move the items through the city to predetermined exit points.

Denver Filter

What began as an exercise in designing a new recycling kiosk for downtown Denver became a larger meditation on the solid waste collection systems of modern cities, resulting in the design of a large-scale system for moving waste.

Carbon Fiber Grid Reinforced Precast Concrete Panel

By using a carbon fiber grid instead of steel rebar as support for its precast panels, AltusGroup is able to manufacture a lighter and thinner panel than those made of traditional precast concrete.

Carbon Fiber Grid Reinforced Precast Concrete

The problem of corrosion in precast concrete is often attributed to the steel rebar reinforcement; steel being a corrodible material, it is especially vulnerable during the curing and drying process, when it is locked into an environment that is very wet.

The process of manufacturing and assembling the east wall (at left) is highlighted by the adjacent wall panels (at right), which display the tooling paths for each MDF piece used in the east wall's fabrication.

Citation: Slide Library, Columbia University

One of Columbia University's newest facilities has a very specialized purpose: the storage and conservation of projection slides, a staple of art history and archaeology instruction. In this project, architects Marble Fairbanks created an enclosure for th

An archival photograph shows an interior of the Inland Steel Building not long after it was completed in the 1950s.

Inland Steel Restoration

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is revisiting one of its seminal projects of the 1950s, the Inland Steel Building. The firm has been asked to renovate the Chicago landmark into an office hotel, a building type that offers potential tenants a sustainable and fu


Each cell is formed from coated nylon ripstop fabric rimmed with flexible PV cells at the larger, skyoriented opening. A rope of LED lights is suspended in the fabric at the base, generating light that diffuses along the nylon, creating a luminous effect.


Designed as a temporary canopy for the DesCours festival, an annual weeklong celebration of design sponsored by AIA New Orleans, Hover is a luminous canopy featuring both LEDs and photovoltaic cells that power them. Höweler + Yoon designed Hover—an entire

The concept behind Living City is that a building-through a variety of sensors-can gather information about air quality, temperature, and other environmental factors, and then wirelessly share that information with other buildings on a dedicated network.

Living City

Living City explores the notion that building façades and access to fresh air are the frontiers of public space in urban areas—that in the future, façades will belong to and serve residents as streets and parks do today. To that end, architects David Benj

The pattern for the metal mesh net is tailored to fit the exact shape of the Hotel Forest in Barcelona, including terraces and outcroppings. The net has the appearance of being draped loosely, and extends farther out from the building as it nears street level, creating a canopy over pedestrians walking around the building's base.

Artificial Leaf

Set to be deployed as a nontraditional façade for the planned Hotel Forest in Barcelona, the Artificial Leaf is a draping system of light-emitting modules suspended on steel mesh. The scheme is based on the analogy that if a city is a forest, each buildin

A rendering of the courtyard at Nike's Los Angeles offices demonstrates how sunlight coming through a glass atrium and through the glass tubes will illuminate the enclosed space while adding a texturizing shadow pattern to the environment.

A Surface of Points

Architect Eric Owen Moss uses glass rods not just for their formal properties, but as structural components. The result is A Surface of Points, a system of deep cable trusses that incorporate glass tubes as compression members.

In the Drape Wall system, vacuum-formed plastic bricks snap together on an aluminum frame, creating the rainscreen exterior of this housing prototype.

Drape Wall / Cloak Wall

Two discrete wall systems based on the same concept of modularity, Drape Wall and Cloak Wall both provide alternatives to stick construction for single-family homes.

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