ArchiWEB Explorer: The Guardian

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Architecture is a Corporate Product - and We're All Buying

Google Dublin. Image © Peter Wurmli Google Dublin. Image © Peter Wurmli

Architecture, unlike other aspects of culture (such as fashion or music), can only really be experienced and understood in person. For highly branded companies, designing a new building can be a prime opportunity to signal taste and values - but also creates an interesting architectural conundrum. While the buildings will be inhabited (nearly 24/7) by company employees, they’re also very much populated by the imaginations of people across the globe. What is it like to be in these places?

¿Son las plantas libres la mejor opción para un buen ambiente de trabajo?

One Workplace por Design Blitz. Imagen © Bruce Damonte

El concepto de planta libre revolucionó la arquitectura – la promesa de la luz, espacio y la colaboración sin esfuerzo alguno (ni hablar de la rentabilidad que significa poder ubicar a grandes grupos de personas en un mismo lugar). Hoy en día es prácticamente un estándar de diseño, pero ¿bajo qué costo?

Un nuevo informe de los investigadores Jungsoo Kim y Richard de Dear, publicado en el Journal of Environmental Psychology (Revista de Psicología Ambiental), concluye que la planta libre trae consigo graves daños colaterales, como por ejemplo, la falta de “privacidad de sonido”, que superan sus cualidades positivas. Más aún, de acuerdo con los resultados, la planta libre no cuenta en lo absoluto con una considerable mejora en la comunicación.

A good week for women in architecture

Writing for the The Guardian, Steve Rose notes “[i]t's been a good week for women in architecture in general, except for one female architect in particular.” With the announcement of the Architect’s Journal’s first inaugural Women in Architecture Awards, a number of women architects have come up for special (and deserved) recognition, even as women’s participation in the field of architecture in the U.K. has plummeted.

Monsanto Wins $84,456 in US Supreme Court Case Against an Indiana Farmer

Monsanto, Supreme Court agriculture case, Indiana Farmer loses to Monsanto, US seed patenting, roundup ready, genetically modified organisms, GMO, Indiana farmer, patent exhaustion, environment, news, farming

The United States Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of Monsanto in a seed patenting case against an Indiana farmer that some had hoped would break the company’s monopoly on modern agriculture. Monsanto sued Vernon Bowman after he purchased their Roundup Ready Soybeans from a grain elevator to plant a late second crop, The Guardian reports. Bowman argued that the patent was exhausted since he bought the seeds from a third party, but the corporate giant said he had agreed not to save any of the harvest for replanting when he entered into a contract to purchase their seeds. Justice Elena Kagan agreed that patent exhaustion did not apply in this case and the court ordered Bowman to pay $84,456.

Fracking Dries Out Texas Town’s Water Supply

environmental destruction, fracking, oil industry, texas oil, texas town dries up, texas fracking, fossil fuel extraction, drought, water issues, Barnhart Texas, Texas is drying up

A small town in Texas has run out of water, and local residents are blaming shale gas fracking as the culprit. Barnhart, a town in Irion county, was already suffering after three years of drought, The Guardian reports, but it wasn’t until contractors started drilling wells to supply water for shale gas fracking that the real problems began.

Scientists Discover New Greenhouse Gas 7,000 Times More Potent than CO2

hurricane rita, noaa, satellite, storm

If you thought CO2 and methane were contenders for the most destructive greenhouse gases on the planet, then you will be shocked to learn that researchers have discovered another chemical that is considerably more damaging. Scientists at the University of Toronto say that a gas called perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) is 7,000 times more potent than CO2 over a 100-year time period. Used in the electrical industry, each PFTBA molecule has a lifespan of 500 years and no known method of sequestration.