Photokina 2014 highlights

Earthquake

Double story container site disguises a modern office space designed by Japanese architect...

Located on the corner of a small alley in Torigoe, Tokyo, one can find two shipping containers that appear to have been carelessly stacked on top of one another. On closer inspection, however, a large rear door opens to reveal a modern office and gallery space that stretches over two levels.  Read More

The Bloom helmet from Toyo Safety looks like any other safety helmet, but folds down for s...

Natural disasters can strike at any moment, and often with little, if any, warning. This is especially true in countries located along fault lines, which can experience sudden and devastating earthquakes. Though countries such as Japan have measures in place designed to warn of earthquakes, the risk still exists. Which is where the Bloom from Toyo Safety could prove its worth.  Read More

Google Maps recently added the evacuated town of Namie-machi to Street View as part of a l...

It's been over two years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami hit the nation's northeastern coast, devastating the population and creating a nuclear incident at the Fukushima power plant. Despite concentrated efforts to repair the damage though, there are still areas that remain vacant and almost untouched since – but that doesn't mean you can't still explore these places yourself. Google Maps recently added the evacuated town of Namie-machi to Street View as part of a larger project to document the destruction and restoration of areas affected by the earthquake.  Read More

The five meter-long GOCE satellite has been found to have detected the 2011 Tohoku earthqu...

The European Space Agency’s Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite was launched on March 17, 2009, as the first of a series of Earth Explorer satellites. Its mission is to capture high-resolution gravity measurements and produce an accurate gravity map – or geoid – of Earth. To increase the resolution of its measurements, GOCE was put into an unusually low orbit, which has also helped it to become the first satellite to sense sound waves from an earthquake from space.  Read More

The Italian city of Trento donated this colorful auditorium to earthquake-affected Aquila ...

In April 2009, the historic Italian city of Aquila was affected by a devastating earthquake and has since been struggling to recover from the estimated 10 billion euros in damage. In an effort to raise community spirit and further aid the disaster recovery, late last year the Northern Italian city of Trento donated this colorful auditorium designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.  Read More

Sisma Calce being applied to a building exterior

Changing building codes to ensure that new structures are less vulnerable to earthquakes is all well and good, but what about older buildings? If someone told you that the answer was wallpaper, you’d think they were crazy, but a team from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany has developed a fabric to reinforce older walls. Marketed as “Sisma Calce,” the low-cost seismic fabric is designed to be plastered on walls to reduce earthquake damage or to at least give survivors a better chance of escape from falling debris.  Read More

Wood Luck is an earthquake resistant bed that can withstand up to 65 tons of falling debri...

Following the lead of the Earthquake-proof school desk, Wood Luck is an earthquake resistant bed that can withstand up to 65 short tons (59 metric tonnes) of falling debris. Designed by Shinko Industries, the bed has been built to give users some “good luck” protection during an earthquake. And with the ability to withstand 65 tons of tumbling detritus, it may just become a lifesaving piece of furniture during an emergency situation.  Read More

A new school desk has been designed to protect students during an earthquake by absorbing ...

Anyone who has been through earthquake drills in school knows the standard defense against falling debris is for students to crawl under their desks. Unfortunately, while this might block a few pieces of stray drywall and glass, a wooden desk isn't going to withstand the crushing weight from large chunks of concrete or steel. In fact, people hiding under their desks could very likely become trapped with no way out. That's why two designers have developed an "earthquake-proof" desk that can absorb the impact of up to a ton of weight and even provide emergency routes for rescue crews to reach trapped students.  Read More

A model of the planned Christchurch Cathedral (Image: Shigeru Ban)

Early on the morning of September 4, 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand causing widespread damage. This was followed by a 6.3 magnitude quake on February 22, 2011 that was much shallower and devastated the city of Christchurch – NZ's second-largest city - resulting in the loss of 185 lives. Among a considerable number of building collapses was the historic Anglican Cathedral, which sustained sufficient damage that it had to be demolished. Work has now begun on a temporary cathedral, intended to serve the needs of the community until sufficient funds are acquired to build a permanent replacement. Oddly, the architects decided to make the replacement of cardboard!  Read More

Air Danshin's seismic isolation system airlifts homes to protect them during earthquakes

When you live in a country as seismically active as Japan, thinking about earthquakes (and tsunamis) probably occupies a good deal of your time. Inventor Shoichi Sakamoto took it a step further. He decided to do something about it and invented a technology, remarkably simple in concept, to protect homes from the devastating shaking - an airlift system capable of automatically raising and isolating the whole house until the temblor stops.  Read More

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