Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

China

The Su Rui can be controlled at distances of up to 10 m (33 ft) using a remote control

When we think of remote control cars, we generally think of scaled-down vehicles that can easily get caught up underfoot. Not so Chinese automaker BYD, which has upsized the remote control car with the release of its Su Rui model in China. The mid-size family saloon that seats five includes Remote Driving Control technology that allows the driver to get out of the car and drive it using the included remote control “key.”  Read More

Illuminated model of John Lin's Chinese House-for-all-Seasons (Photo: John Lin)

China has set itself the goal of transforming half of its rural population of 700 million people into productive, comfortable members of urban conglomerations in the next three decades. Thus far, the process has moved along with a great deal of work for civil and mechanical engineers and the construction industry, but very little role for architects in the generically styled concrete and brick urban buildings. Award-winning architect at the University of Hong Kong John Lin and his associates believe that this process of urbanization also calls for a flexible approach to house design in rural areas. The result is a project that looks at the role of the stereotypic village house and attempts to propose a prototype which reaches toward contemporary living styles while respecting the functionality and traditions of the past.  Read More

The Xiaomi Phone 2 has a spec list that rivals Samsung and HTC's flagship devices

The Xiaomi Phone 2, a high-end smartphone that aims to challenge the iPhone’s market share in China, was announced in Beijing today. Aesthetically similar to HTC's One X, the device features a quad-core chip, 2 GB RAM, and a 4.3-inch 720p IPS display, all at a compellingly low price point.  Read More

Sinus Iridum as seen from NASA's Clementine probe, where China plans to land a lunar rover...

The Chinese news agency Xinhua announced on July 31 that China will be sending its first unmanned lander to the Moon in the second half of 2013. Chang’e-3 will be the third lunar probe launched by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the first attempt at a landing. The lander/rover combination will launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China’s Sichuan province as part of China’s continuing Lunar Exploration program.  Read More

Chinese construction company Broad Group has announced ambitious plans to construct the wo...

Chinese construction company Broad Group has announced ambitious plans to construct the world's tallest skyscraper in an implausibly swift 90 days. If the target is met, the 838-meter (2,750-ft) "Sky City One" will take only a twentieth of the time that the Burj Khalifa, the world's current tallest building, took to build, and standing 10 meters (33 feet) taller upon completion. The secret to the rapid construction is prefabrication. Around 95 percent of the building will have been put together in modular form before work commences on site.  Read More

Sity - Shanghai city architectural concept designed to resemble a Chinese dragon

Architecture has the power to completely change its surroundings, creating a focal point which influences an area much larger than that which it inhabits. This means that when it comes to rebuilding a locale from the ground up, a bold new approach is needed, one which looks to the future while tapping into the past. Bulgarian firm Sonik Module believes it has accomplished this tricky balancing act with Sity, a conceptual design envisioned as the centerpiece for the redevelopment of an area along the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai.  Read More

CCTV's Beijing headquarters (Photo: OMA / Iwan Baan)

Office buildings have traditionally been so staid that whimsical departures from the norm still trigger a strong response, both good and bad. The latest member of the avant-garde architecture club, the estimated US$1.08 billion, 44-floor, 768 ft (234 m) CCTV headquarters building in Beijing (already so iconic it's part of a board game for architecture groupies) is now finally complete - after nearly eight years of construction.  Read More

As car ownership grows, congestion grows and parking in city centers becomes more expensiv...

Auto China is probably the most influential automobile show in the world at present. China now produces and consumes more cars than any other nation, so its needs will heavily influence personal transport globally in coming decades. Some early trends are emerging as to what we'll see, and as congestion in China increases and parking centrally becomes prohibitively expensive, a car will increasingly only get you part of the way to your destination. Geely and BMW both showed cars with inclusive last-mile transport at Auto China, but the number of last mile Transportation Appliance options under development by auto manufacturers is growing rapidly.  Read More

An example of one of the 3D models created from the arteficts on display at the Palace Mus...

We’ve already seen the 3D printing technology that promises to turn a household desk into a mini manufacturing plant used by the Smithsonian Institution to produce replicas of key models for display and traveling exhibitions. Now a 3D printing process is being used to help restore ancient artifacts from China’s Forbidden City.  Read More

The Citroen Numéro 9 concept

Legendary French automaker Citroen began resurrecting its venerable DS series a few years ago - the original line debuted in the 1950s, had a two-decade-long run, and was once voted "the most beautiful car of all time" - and is now introducing three more new takes on the DS into China, one of the largest and fastest-growing markets ever. The second coming of the DS began in 2009 with the DS3 and has since been followed by the DS4 and DS5. Now, three more models in the line will be launched later this year, and Citroen will be marking the event by unveiling its Numéro 9 concept at the Beijing Motor Show later this month.  Read More

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