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— Architecture

Hiroshima's Optical Glass House constructed using 6,000 glass bricks

Architecture studio Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP has designed the “Optical Glass House” in Hiroshima, Japan, that aims to acoustically protect residents from the main road outside, whilst providing light and views for the residents within. The delicate glass blocks belie the structure and a complex casting process is employed to create the 13 ton (11.7 tonne) facade that shows-off the buildings tree-filled courtyard and looks like a shimmering waterfall to the outside world. Read More
— Architecture

MVRDV's spectral Glass Farm echoes traditional local architecture

When I first glimpsed the photos of MVRDV's Glass Farm, I misapprehended it. I assumed I was looking at an ordinary brick building which, in an act of willful capriciousness (you know how architects can be), had been entirely encased in a glass outer shell. The truth, it turns out, is simultaneously more logical and more imaginative. Completed January 17, Glass Farm is a spectral monument to traditional local architecture, and without a brick in sight (not a real one, at least). Read More
— Robotics

Ecovacs Winbot 7 robot cleans windows with sticktoitiveness

Window cleaning robots aren't that new, but most of them, like the Windoro, rely on magnets to stay vertical. This requires the robot to be built in two parts and sets a limit on how thick the window glass can be. Ecovacs' Winbot 7, which was on display at CES, uses a pair of concentric suction rings to adhere to the glass, so is claimed to work on any thickness of window. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Corning announces stronger, more scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3

Few things are more frustrating than scratching the display of your expensive smartphone or tablet. The rest of the device could be banged and bruised, but a blemish on its screen changes everything. The window to your apps, videos, and books is suddenly tarnished. Corning is moving one step closer to solving this problem, with a new and improved version of its Gorilla Glass. Read More

Asahi's auto glass blocks UV, filters out IR rays

As prolonged exposure to sunlight increasingly becomes a health hazard, causing skin problems and even cancer, automakers have started to incorporate glass that blocks harmful ultraviolet light. Japan's Asahi Glass Co (AGC) has added to its portfolio a new line of tempered front window glass called UV Verre Premium Cool on, which it says is the first of its kind to block about 99 percent of ultraviolet radiation, along with infrared (IR) rays. Read More
— Architecture

The adventures of tinting: Intelligent glass spells darker future for US hotel

The lounges and lobbies of San Francisco's W Hotel have taken a turn for the futuristic, incorporating variable tint "dynamic glass" courtesy of California-based start-up View. View Dynamic Glass, as the company calls its particular brand, alters in tint to reduce the amount of heat and light passing through. Tint can be changed on demand (with an iPhone app, if you like, GigaOM reports); or the process can be automated – allowing View to dub its technology an "intelligent glass system." Read More
— Science

Hitachi develops "incorruptible" glass-based data storage technique

Back when compact discs were first coming out, they were touted as being able to store data “forever.” As it turns out, given no more than a decade or so, they can and do degrade. According to an AFP report, Hitachi has unveiled a system that really may allow data to last forever – or at least, for several hundred million years. It involves forming microscopic dots within a piece of quartz glass, those dots serving as binary code. Read More
— Architecture

Santambrogio glass house not for shy, retiring types

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," is a proverb not usually taken literally, but anyone brave enough to live in architect Carlo Santambrogio's glass house (designed by Ennio Arosio) may want to do so. They'll also need to not be the shy and retiring type, have a fair amount of money in the bank, and own a plot of land with no close neighbors or easy points of access. Not for the faint-hearted then, but a property we can all aspire to one day live in ... if we ignore the obvious practical concerns. Read More