Big Data & the Technologist

by scays on 19/12/2014

Standing outside Starbucks - #2Quite a while ago, I listed a new section within my CPD, I wanted to get into and understand how Big data would affect not only me as a person, but also my profession, and how I might teach detailing in the future.

Like many projects it got side lined as personal problems like taking up teaching, in a more serious way, my Professorship, which I take very seriously, and business got in the way. But as they say, I’m back, and have started to read more on the subject. I have started by the usual search on Google, and adding the results to my Evernote collection, tagging as I go, with items all linked with a single tag of “big data” then I have added separate tags to identify how I want to see it and whether or not is to be read, the obvious tag of “Read” comes in handy here.

I wrote about this a long while ago, after looking at a couple of IBM videos on Youtube, most of the information available looks at the way big data affects things like transport, improved capacity, the traveller experience, but my interest is how it will affect the design of buildings, or even the need for certain buildings.

Take for instance the way the car is used, I have a garage and a car, in fact we have two garages, and two cars, yet only one car gets put away, mine tends to stay out in all weather, and my half of the double garage gets used for storage and some form of workshop. thats fine, but what happens if the new driverless taxi takes of, do I need a car, and will new house designs need a garage.

Take the idea a little forward, perhaps I might get a better rate if I let the driverless taxi refuel, or plug in at my home, whilst it waits for a call. The point is, will big data and the way its affecting life change the way we design and detail.

Thats my interest, do I need to forget the garage, will planners need to re establish the local road structure and guide lines on house design.As soon as you look into the subject of Big Data, it becomes so clear that the smart house, is intrinsically embedded into the subject matter, and this is a subject I have been looking at over the years.

About a year ago, I started to look at the way, global warming would affect, my detailing, I was concerned that the condensation point for almost any structure might be affected, simply because we design for a singular thermal gradient, in that energy flows predominately out of the building, in fact we detail primarily to stop this happening, but as global warming takes over this might well be reversed, and the condensation point forced to move within the building towards the inside, causing mould and all sorts of rot problems.

Next comes along the new Nest products, the home automation, which will switch on a house heating just in time for your home coming, I am aghast at this, it seems to me, this will cause even more problems with housing, with heating of cooling being switched on just because its needed by the occupant, I want the home automation hub, to look at local big data and decide if its right to switch on, will there be enough sun to power the system, and is there a weather front heading towards the house that might affect the way it will work, and best of all, will switching on the cooling system cause condensation in the wrong place.

This brings in immediate local sensors embedded within the structure, and community sensors within a small radius broadcasting open free data on say temperature, wind speed, humidity, and cloud cover and cloud movement or direction, which might be stored on say local lighting poles of local buildings, again powered by solar.

So much to think of and so much to research, my note book is going to get filled, and Evernote will be working overtime to store it all, but most of all, will I be able to use it in my practice.

 

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10″ Roll Detail Paper

by scays on 18/12/2014

10" RollFor over 40 years, I have made use of this classic method of designing, and detailing, using rolls of tracing paper to overlay, trace and outline my detailing and design work.

I all started way back in junior school, when we as a class raided the toilets to get the see through toilet rolls paper to trace over some map or picture to use within some project, little did I realise that it would become an almost daily process for the next 40 odd years.

When I first started work there was no specific Architects detail paper rolls, we purchased an A0 roll of tracing paper and used a saw to cut it into lengths, but I am so glad to say, the market has woken up to this and we now get all sorts of suppliers, offering not just the classic roll but all sorts of paper weights, and colours.

Todays photo is one I took to show, introduce, my students into this method of working, I am so pleased to tel you that almost all have purchased rolls from the Internet and use it constantly in my lessons. More of the same can be found on mt Flickr site

I promote the idea of using both pencil and coloured felt tips to layer floors the picture today shows this on a survey we did of a Masonic Building in Severn Street, Birmingham.

The idea is not to throw away details or designs, but keep them, number and date them, add them to your design diary, go back and review if neccasary, but do not throw away the scraps of roll, add notes, scan them if you must, I actually do this with Evernote, making sure I tag the file and show where and what project they come from.

I use both a very lightweight canary Yellow roll, and a heavy weight course grain white roll which I lie to use fr pencil work only.

 

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Guédelon A Castle in the Making

by scays on 16/12/2014

1299786143_DR Guedelon vue aerienne 2010I have been watching the very excellent program on BBC 2 re the rebuilding of a castle in the middle of France, a place called Guédelon using all construction, materials and methods of the time C 1200

Its interesting to see how and why certain things were done, plus, the tools they used to get such an accurate build. My students struggle with the Dumpy Level and Total Station, yet here they we’re building in stone with little more than a triangle of wood, with a plumb bob hanging to set level.

Well worth the CPD time to read through the site, and try and catch some of the shows on iPlayer.

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germany-solar-record-sonnenschiff-537x357The very excellent article on the  Inhabitat site shows that Germany has yet again set Solar record, this time meeting nearly half the countries weekend power demand.

The article is an impressive read, not just because of Germany’s ability to shut down eight Nuclear power plants and concentrate of Solar, but because they are leading the way ahead in designing new and better solar products,

We as Technologists should be beating a path to Germany to read and look at the products that are using, I am taking a trip in June to Europe, and part of it will be to inspect this revolution.

We should not be putting panels onto roofs, the roof should be the panel, Houses should be orientated to the sun, and a small set of the panels should be set to catch the full mid day and some to the early morning sun, I have talked about this before with Sun path tracking software. This site has some great follow up with its article on Sunflowers and their ability to track the sun, play the small movie it shows the plant tracking the sun.

 

 

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Think like an Architect – or not

11 December 2014

The following videos, I find interesting, Although I am by heart a Technologist, I have rubbed shoulders with Architects for so long, I tend to wonder, do I now think like a technologist, or Architect. The answer is a little in the middle, students come to me and ask, why we teach design, my answer […]

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Google Mapping – updates and alteration methods

10 December 2014

I am an Apple user, but for the large portion of my work output, I use Google, and that extends to Google Maps, they are very good, and far better than Apples maps. For business, I use then to both locate the site, see the site, and view the plot in satellite mode. The video […]

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Google Drive

7 December 2014

As both a teaching medium, and as my primary writing, spreadsheet, and photo store ( next to Flickr ), Google Drive is farley important to me, I use it daily, and link to the various docs, presentations, and spreadsheets, quite a lot. So I tend to try and keep up with any tutorials, and one […]

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Academic Papers

7 December 2014

I am placed in a unique position as a Professor, I get to read a lot of papers, not just student papers but all sorts of academic papers written by some very intelligent people. This comes from in part researching my own papers, and in part following up lines of research for construction techniques, materials, […]

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Albert Einstein

7 December 2014

Last week, there was a note on the Zite digital magazine announcing that all, and I must say, it looks like all, the documents written by Albert Einstein, have been loaded onto a web site hosted by Priceston University where he worked in the later years, all his work. Some of it is in his […]

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Vertical Cities

6 December 2014

For me, I love the idea of vertical cities, the idea of the multiple floors forming all sorts of areas and ideas, all within the idea of a thin vertical all be it very high building. The article on the RIBA journal site expands a lot on this subject and is well worth reading, and […]

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