RP FLIP, the Strangest Ship in the World

The U.S. Office of Naval Research owns a very strange piece of oceanographic equipment. It’s called the FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP), conceived and developed by the Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California. FLIP isn’t a ship, even though researchers live and work on it for weeks at a time while they conduct scientific studies in the open ocean. It is actually a huge specialized buoy. The most unusual thing about this ship is it really flips.

FLIP is 355 feet (108 meters) long with small quarters at the front and a long hollow ballast at the end. When the tanks are filled with air, FLIP floats in its horizontal position. But when they are filled with seawater the lower 300 feet of FLIP sinks under the water and the lighter end rises. When flipped, most of the buoyancy for the platform is provided by water at depths below the influence of surface waves, hence FLIP is a stable platform mostly immune to wave action. At the end of a mission, compressed air is pumped into the ballast tanks in the flooded section and the vessel returns to its horizontal position so it can be towed to a new location.

Source: http://sio.ucsd.edu/voyager/flip/index.html


Solar Sinter (Solar 3D-printer)

By using the sun’s rays instead of a laser and sand instead of resins used in modern 3D printers, Markus had the basis of an entirely new solar-powered machine and production process for making glass objects that taps into the abundant supplies of sun and sand to be found in the deserts of the world.

Source: http://www.creativeapplications.net/objects/solar-sinter-objects/


Numen creates large scale interactive sculptures made predominantly from tape. the austrian-croatian studio’s latest work is ‘tuft pula’,
whereby the adhesive material is used to form the structural framework of the organically shaped habitable space.
the interior of the piece is precisely lined with carpet, achieved through the division of the floor covering into two-dimensional segments.
executed using traditional tufting technology, the development and production was executed in a croatian factory, regenarcija.
the backside of the carpet is deliberately exposed, its rough and industrial surface acting as a contrast to the warmth and softness
projected by the red rug which creates an almost womb-like effect from within. situated within a former church in pula, croatia,
‘tuft pula’ hangs at a heigh of 4 meters above ground level, enhancing the tension and sensory perception of the visitor.

source: www.numen.eu

Philip Beesley

The work spans three stories and is made of hundreds of thousands of lightweight digitally fabricated components fitted with microprocessors and sensors. The glass-like fragility of this artificial forest is created by an intricate lattice of small transparent acrylic meshwork links, covered with a network of interactive mechanical fronds, filters, and proximity sensors. Alongside mechanized component systems, a liquid system has been introduced into the environment, supporting simple chemical exchanges that share some of the properties of living organisms. This system is based on ‘protocells’, prototype cells that use inorganic ingredients combined into cell-like forms.

source: http://www.philipbeesleyarchitect.com/index.html

Architecture that repairs itself?

Venice is sinking. To save it, Rachel Armstrong says we need to outgrow architecture made of inert materials and, well, make architecture that grows itself. She proposes a not-quite-alive material that does its own repairs and sequesters carbon, too.

TED Fellow Rachel Armstrong is a sustainability innovator who creates new materials that possess some of the properties of living systems, and can be manipulated to “grow” architecture

Source: TED-talks


"Flight Assembled Architecture" by Gramazio & Kohler

Semi-autonomous flying robots programmed by Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler“will lift, transport and assemble 1500 polystyrene foam bricks” next month—starting 2 December 2011—at the FRAC Center in France. The result, they hope, will be a “3.5 meter wide structure.”

"Flight Assembled Architecture" by Gramazio & Kohler

According to the architects, this will serve as an experimental test-run for the construction of a hypothetical future megastructure—presumably requiring full-scale, autonomous, GPS-stabilized helicopters. However, I’d think that even a small insectile swarm of robot bricklayers piecing together a new low-rise condominium somewhere—its walls slowly materializing out of a cloud of rotors and drones—would be just as compelling.