Pylons of the Future

More multifunctional infrastructure that transcends into art with several design proposals for the electrical transmission pylon of the future. Not to say that fractal triangulations of most transmission towers don’t have an inherent beauty, but most are engineered only for cost, durability, and installation ease – not aesthetics. There have been several notable design competitions around the world, from Iceland to the UK.

the RIBA / DECC/ National Grid Pylon Design Competition

Winners were announced Sept 14th, 2011,  it’s worth looking through the entire competition gallery or visiting the exhibit on view at the V&A Museum until Wednesday 05 October 2011.

Gustafson Porter with Atelier One and Pfisterer

Plexus (Al-A with Arup), UK

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Infographic of the Day – Oil Age Poster

From comes this comprehensive look at global oil consumption & production…

Since I’m teaching a studio about the post-oil urbanism this fall, seemed like a good time to share this infrographic. There is supposed to be an updated version available of the poster.

shifting seascape of wind

Good showcases some of the newest ideas in offshore wind turbines that seem inspired by NIMBYism or maybe not-within-my-horizon ism. Some of these ideas are don’t seem very grounded in reality, but at least they’re being floating out there (pun intended).

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death of the parking meter

The NYTimes reports on the decommissioning of the old style single-space parking meters.

The old-fashioned, pole-mounted meter will now yield to the robotlike Meter of Tomorrow: a solar-powered box, equipped with Wi-Fi, that can handle eight parking spaces at once and can shut itself down on free-parking Sundays...

I think they’re beautiful,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner, said of the new devices, which feature digital screens and colorful buttons. She laughed: “I mean, maybe I’m just a transportation expert at this point, but I think they’re sleek.”

At 69 inches tall, the new meters “are designed with the environment in mind,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said. A solar panel sits atop their blue head. With no moving parts, there are fewer chances for malfunction, and the Wi-Fi connection allows the city to remotely set special rates and times.