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Found 5 results

  1. The New York Times July 15, 2008 Country, the City Version: By BINA VENKATARAMAN What if “eating local” in Shanghai or New York meant getting your fresh produce from five blocks away? And what if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food? Dickson Despommier, a professor of public health at Columbia University, hopes to make these zucchini-in-the-sky visions a reality. Dr. Despommier’s pet project is the “vertical farm,” a concept he created in 1999 with graduate students in his class on medical ecology, the study of how the environment and human health interact. The idea, which has captured the imagination of several architects in the United States and Europe in the past several years, just caught the eye of another big city dreamer: Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. When Mr. Stringer heard about the concept in June, he said he immediately pictured a “food farm” addition to the New York City skyline. “Obviously we don’t have vast amounts of vacant land,” he said in a phone interview. “But the sky is the limit in Manhattan.” Mr. Stringer’s office is “sketching out what it would take to pilot a vertical farm,” and plans to pitch a feasibility study to the mayor’s office within the next couple of months, he said. “I think we can really do this,” he added. “We could get the funding.” Dr. Despommier estimates that it would cost $20 million to $30 million to make a prototype of a vertical farm, but hundreds of millions to build one of the 30-story towers that he suggests could feed 50,000 people. “I’m viewed as kind of an outlier because it’s kind of a crazy idea,” Dr. Despommier, 68, said with a chuckle. “You’d think these are mythological creatures.” Dr. Despommier, whose name in French means “of the apple trees,” has been spreading the seeds of his radical idea in lectures and through his Web site. He says his ideas are supported by hydroponic vegetable research done by NASA and are made more feasible by the potential to use sun, wind and wastewater as energy sources. Several observers have said Dr. Despommier’s sky-high dreams need to be brought down to earth. “Why does it have to be 30 stories?” said Jerry Kaufman, professor emeritus of urban and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Why can’t it be six stories? There’s some exciting potential in the concept, but I think he overstates what can be done.” Armando Carbonell, chairman of the department of planning and urban form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass., called the idea “very provocative.” But it requires a rigorous economic analysis, he added. “Would a tomato in lower Manhattan be able to outbid an investment banker for space in a high-rise? My bet is that the investment banker will pay more.” Mr. Carbonell questions if a vertical farm could deliver the energy savings its supporters promise. “There’s embodied energy in the concrete and steel and in construction,” he said, adding that the price of land in the city would still outweigh any savings from not having to transport food from afar. “I believe that this general relationship is going to hold, even as transportation costs go up and carbon costs get incorporated into the economic system.” Some criticism is quite helpful. Stephen Colbert jokingly asserted that vertical farming was elitist when Dr. Despommier appeared in June on “The Colbert Report,” a visit that led to a jump in hits to the project’s Web site from an average of 400 daily to 400,000 the day after the show. Dr. Despommier agrees that more research is needed, and calls the energy calculations his students made for the farms, which would rely solely on alternative energy, “a little bit too optimistic.” He added, “I’m a biologist swimming in very deep water right now.” “If I were to set myself as a certifier of vertical farms, I would begin with security,” he said. “How do you keep insects and bacteria from invading your crops?” He says growing food in climate-controlled skyscrapers would also protect against hail and other weather-related hazards, ensuring a higher quality food supply for a city, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Architects’ renderings of vertical farms — hybrids of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Biosphere 2 with SimCity appeal — seem to be stirring interest. “It also has to be stunning in terms of the architecture, because it needs to work in terms of social marketing,” Dr. Despommier said. “You want people to say, ‘I want that in my backyard.’ ” Augustin Rosenstiehl, a French architect who worked with Dr. Despommier to design a template “living tower,” said he thought that any vertical farm proposal needed to be adapted to a specific place. Mr. Rosenstiehl, principal architect for Atelier SOA in Paris, said: “We cannot do a project without knowing where and why and what we are going to cultivate. For example, in Paris, if you grow some wheat, it’s stupid because we have big fields all around the city and lots of wheat and it’s good wheat. There’s no reason to build towers that are very expensive.” Despite its potential problems, the idea of bringing food closer to the city is gaining traction among pragmatists and dreamers alike. A smaller-scale design of a vertical farm for downtown Seattle won a regional green building contest in 2007 and has piqued the interest of officials in Portland, Ore. The building, a Center for Urban Agriculture designed by architects at Mithun, would supply about a third of the food needed for the 400 people who would live there. In June at P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, a husband-wife architect team built a solar-powered outdoor farm out of stacked rows of cardboard tube planters — one that would not meet Dr. Despommier’s security requirements — with chicken coops for egg collection and an array of fruits and vegetables. For Dr. Despommier, the high-rise version is on the horizon. “It’s very idealistic and ivory tower and all of that,” he said. “But there’s a real desire to make this happen.” ---------------- Peut-être pour Dubai en premier? Et le silo no.5, un de ses jours?
  2. After the kingsized London version now this one:
  3. Canon EOS 5D Mark II Hands-on Preview September 2008, Phil Askey and Richard Butler Preview based on a pre-production EOS 5D Mark II Back in August 2005 Canon 'defined a new DSLR category' (their words) with the EOS 5D. Unlike any previous 'full frame' sensor camera, the 5D was the first with a compact body (i.e. not having an integral vertical grip) and has since then proved to be very popular, perhaps because if you wanted a full frame DSLR to use with your Canon lenses and you didn't want the chunky EOS-1D style body then the EOS 5D has been your only choice. Three years on and two competitors have turned up in the shape of the Nikon D700 and Sony DSLR-A900, and Canon clearly believes it's time for a refresh. So here is the 5D Mark II, which punches high in terms of both resolution and features, headlining: 21 megapixels, 1080p video, 3.0" VGA LCD, Live view, higher capacity battery. In other words, a camera that aims to leapfrog both its direct rivals, either in terms of resolution (in the case of the D700) or features (in the case of the DSLR-A900). Full detail below. Key features / improvements 21 megapixel CMOS sensor (very similar to the sensor in the EOS-1Ds Mark III) Sensor dust reduction by vibration of filter ISO 100 - 6400 calibrated range, ISO 50 - 25600 expansion (1Ds Mark III & 5D max ISO 3200) Auto ISO (100 - 3200) in all modes except manual 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting DIGIC 4 processor, new menus / interface as per the EOS 50D Image processing features: Highlight tone priority Auto lighting optimizer (4 levels) High ISO noise reduction (4 levels) Lens peripheral illumination correction (vignetting correction) [*]RAW and SRAW1 (10 MP) / SRAW2 (5 MP) [*]RAW / JPEG selection made separately [*]Permanent display of ISO on both top plate and viewfinder displays [*]AF microadjustment (up to 20 lenses individually) [*]Three custom modes on command dial, Creative Auto mode [*]Image copyright metadata support [*]98% coverage viewfinder (0.71x magnification) [*]3.0" 920,000 dot LCD monitor with 'Clear View' cover / coatings, 170° viewing angle [*]Automatic LCD brightness adjustment (ambient light sensor) [*]Live view with three mode auto-focus (including face detection) [*]No mirror-flip for exposures in Live View if contrast detect AF selected [*]Movie recording in live view (1080p H.264 up to 12 minutes, VGA H.264 up to 24 mins per clip) [*]Two mode silent shooting (in live view) [*]New jump options in play mode [*]HDMI and standard composite (AV) video out [*]Full audio support: built-in mic and speaker, mic-in socket, audio-out over AV (although not HDMI) [*]IrPort (supports IR remote shutter release using optional RC1 / RC5 controllers) [*]UDMA CompactFlash support [*]New 1800 mAh battery with improved battery information / logging [*]New optional WFT-E4 WiFi / LAN / USB vertical grip [*]Water resistance: 10 mm rain in 3 minutes
  4. Dragonfly concept aims for ecological self-sufficiency in New York The latest concept design from Vincent Callebaut Architects – the Dragonfly – has been designed with the intention of easing the ever-increasing need for ecological and environmental self-sufficiency in the urban cityscape. The proposed development, designed around the Southern bank of Roosevelt Island in New York, follows a vertical farm design which, it is hoped, would cultivate food, agriculture, farming and renewable energy in an urban setting. The unique 128 floor, 700m concept design is spread over two oblong towers and suggests building a prototype of an urban farm in which a mixed programme of housing, offices, laboratories and farming spaces are vertically laid out over several floors and cultivated by its inhabitants. The architecture of the design proposes reinventing the vertical building, so associated with the New York skyline of the 19th and 20th centuries, both structurally and functionally as well as ecologically. The functional organisation of the design is arranged around two 600m towers, symmetrically arranged around a huge climactic greenhouse that links them, and constructed of glass and steel. This greenhouse, which defines the shape of the design, supports the load of the building and is directly inspired by the structural exoskeleton of dragonfly wings. Two inhabited rings buttress around the ‘wings,’ and along the exterior of these are solar panels, which will provide up to half the buildings electricity, with the rest being supplied by three wind machines along the vertical axes of the building. While most would argue that the unconventional design of Dragonfly would be more suited to Dubailand than New York, the conceptual design tackles the contemporary dilemma of food production and agriculture in a city sorely lacking in the horizontal space required to do so, as well as attempting to achieve this in an ecologically sound and renewable way by merging production and consumption in the heart of the city. John Edwards Reporter http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11599
  5. http://www.dezeen.com/2016/01/18/british-airways-i360-marks-barfield-architects-brighton-east-sussex-vertical-cable-car/
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