Joshua Prince-Ramus, an architect, gives a talk at TED. He starts by talking about the control that architects have forfeited over the last 50 or so years because they have been unwilling to deal with the liability that goes with being involved in the construction process. To paraphrase his great insight, "where there is liability there is power."
$25 balloon goes 70K feet up. I really like these DIY projects that take cool photos. One of the more interesting ones was that kid and his dad who built radio controlled units that attached to a kite so they could take photos from above.
This is R128, that same home I keep talking about by Werner Sobeck (who teaches at IIT). It seems that if someone builds something which in many ways induces negative externalities on society unwittingly, perhaps it should be required that buildings produce a certain amount of their own energy themselves and can be recycled. It just seems logical that you should be responsible for that which you bring about. I'm aware that legislating such things would be difficult and there would be loop-holes, corruption, and the like and it would also mean that many people could not afford homes. But really, aren't we fooling ourselves when we build these little shanties with poor insulation, ventilation, longevity, and light penetration? It's essentially like a credit card; available to anyone, good times now in exchange for a high maintenance rate for its duration, and in the end you are worse off for it.
Interesting Wikipedia entry: Avicenna, kind of like a Persian version of Da Vinci.
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