Live/Work- Eric Laine, Suzanne Steelman- Clemson University

This project from Eric and Suzanne at Clemson was chosen as this years winner of the Design to Zero competition.  Tasked with designing energy efficient, affordable and high performing homes, the pair decided to incorporate many different strategies, as well as combining retail and commercial space with the home, ensuring efficient use of energy 24 hours a day.

STUDENTS: Eric Laine & Suzanne Steelman
SCHOOL: Clemson University
COURSE: Design to Zero – Dow Solar
YEAR: 2011

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RPI & SOM Center for Architecture Science & Ecology (CASE)

We thought we’d showcase another one of the programs that we think is a pretty great idea; involving one of the world’s largest architecture firms doesn’t hurt either.  The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE), a partnership between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Skidmore Owings and Merrill, focuses on creating ecological solutions to problems posed by our built environment.  Through research, green technologies are integrated into different phases of the building process, from preliminary design strategies, new material creation, or smart wall systems.  The co-op has won multiple awards for innovations in ecological thinking and design.  Check out a few of their best projects.


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Big Shed – The AA Summer Build

Here’s a pretty amazing project from the Diploma Unit 19 over at the AA.  Designed as a transformable structure, the Big Shed is a design/build project for Hooke Park, in the southwest of England.  Hooke Park is part of the AA, and acts as a space for students to learn ” rural architectures, the crafts of construction, and sustainable timber technologies.”  The Big Shed is part of the expansion of the operations of the park. 

SCHOOL: The Architectural Association
STUDENTS: Diploma Unit 19

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Bricole-age – Seth Denizen, University of Virginia

Here’s a project from Seth at University of Virginia, that is pretty abnormal in architecture projects.  The project deals with something you don’t normally notice, or interact with.  Instead, it’s a new idea for the constant replacement of bricole (wooden posts) that mark Venice’s canals.  Designed to use left over bottles from everyone’s favorite Italian drink, wine!  

STUDENT: Seth Denizen
SCHOOL: University of Virginia
PROFESSOR: Jorg Sieweke
SEMESTER: Spring 2011   Continue reading

High Performance Center – Ryan Harborth, University of KwaZulu-Natal

High Performance Center

Today’s project is from Ryan at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a school in South Africa.  That’s right, Futures Plus is going global!  Anyway, check out his project, a sports complex designed for the 2020 Olympic bid for the city of Durban in South Africa.  With a goal of sustainability and use beyond the Olympics, the project revitalizes previous “lost space.”

: Ryan Harborth
SCHOOL: University of KwaZulu-Natal
CLASS: Masters Thesis

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NATURE|MAN|MACHINE – Thesis Project by Benjamin Badeau – RPI 2010

...also a perfect platform for Base Jumping

Benjamin Badeau envisions a future where Man, Machine and Nature can Coexist

Futures + brings you a Thesis Project which looks at a possible dystopian future in which mankind has all but depleted earth’s resources.  By utilizing architecture as a vehicle for sustainability and self-sufficiency, Benjamin Badeau (RPI class of 2010) proposes a built scenario in which the urban and natural landscapes are physically separated, yet functionally united.  Breaking far beyond the norm, Ben brings a fresh look into refocusing the design of the cityscape and encompassing green technologies into an array of eye-opening renderings, models, and diagrams.  This 5th year thesis project is the product of yet another recent R.P.I. graduate; his passion for design, theory and vision clearly visible in how they are orchestrated in this thesis.

STUDENT: Ben Badeau
SCHOOL: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
CLASS: 5th Year Final Thesis
PROFESSORS: Chris Perry, Michael Oatman
PROGRAMS USED: V-Ray, Rhino, Adobe CS4 Continue reading