Access to natural daylight has long been one of the biggest limiting factors in building design – some solutions involve reflecting real daylight from the outdoors, but until now no solution has been able to mimic natural refraction processes and fool our minds into thinking we are surrounded by actual sunlight.
Developed by CoeLux in Italy, this new form of artificial light is able to dupe humans, cameras and computers alike using a thin coating of nanoparticules to simulate Rayleigh scattering, a natural process that takes place in Earth’s atmosphere causing diffuse sky radiation. Far beyond simply making lights brighter or bluer, this approach accurately replicates how miles of atmosphere transform light within just a few millimeters of surface space. Professor Paolo Di Trapani of Italy’s University of Insubria has so far spent over 10 years working on this system.
The source of illumination is an LED projector that emits white light in a spectrum that mimics rays of sunlight – meanwhile, a sophisticated optical system creates the sensation of the distance between the sky and the sun. Though the images shown here are all real and unedited, extensive 3D modeling preceded physical tests, prototypes, live demos and, finally, the finished product. “The objective included further developments of the existing Maxwell Render software functionality to include light scattering properties, light polarization effects, custom spectrum data (through spectrum curves or raw data) and light spectrum measurements, by including a virtual spectrophotometer,” explains the inventor.
An ordinary-looking trailer has been transformed into a mobile design studio by XS-Land. Designed to be towed to any space that can offer inspiration, the studio includes a drafting table, library, solar power and wifi. “The studio is particularly useful during the concept design stages, when a deep understanding of the site is required to craft a sensitive design and during the construction phase, when we spend substantial time on the site.”
Observatory Modern Artist Residence
These mobile ‘observatory’ studios are perfect for creative work with their massive glazed walls opening up to whatever landscape is deemed desirable for the work at hand. Designed by four graduate students from the English design firm Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, these two small timber structures sit on prefabricated swiveling bases so they can be moved even once they’re transported via flat-bed truck to their destination.
Volkswagen T6 Mobile Office
Volkswagen’s bizarre-looking T6 is a mobile office in the most literal sense – it’s a van and workspace in one. The idea is that you wouldn’t have to miss a moment of work time while commuting, but this design – which features a meeting area as well as a personal cubicle – might be even better suited to parking somewhere pretty and enjoying the view out of those big round windows.
This is an artist’s conception of Scholz’s star and its brown dwarf companion (foreground) during its flyby of the solar system 70,000 years ago. The Sun (left, background) would have appeared as a brilliant star. The pair is now about 20 light years away. Credit: Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester
A group of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that 70,000 years ago a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system’s distant cloud of comets, the Oort Cloud. No other star is known to have ever approached our solar system this close – five times closer than the current closest star, Proxima Centauri. (more…)
Mysterious plumes over 150 miles high have been recorded erupting on Mars by amateur astronomers – and the strange discovery has scientists stumped.
The bright flares have now died away, but they were spotted on two occasions – lasting for 10 days each time – by amateur astronomers in 2012. The dusty plumes were seen rising to altitudes of 155 miles (250km) and spread out over a region measuring 300-600 miles wide. (more…)
This week thousands of Polish family farmers turned out to protest in over 50 locations across the country. Over 150 tractors blockaded the A2 motorway into Warsaw on the 3rd February and hundreds more continue to close major roads and picket government offices in other regions. The farmers are vowing to continue the struggle until the government agrees to enter talks with the unions and commits to addressing what the farmers see as a crisis in Polish agriculture. (more…)
From crispy pancakes to fish fingers and potato waffles, freezer food definitely has an image problem. Besides viewing it as unhealthy, proud home cooks often sniff at the idea of rummaging in the freezer for a quick-fix family meal.
Now Sainsbury’s is trying to change frozen food’s battered reputation. The Love Your Freezer campaign is aimed at promoting its benefits while also broadening what’s on offer. Frozen herbs, chargrilled vegetables, berries and scallops now jostle for space with the Neapolitan ice cream. (more…)