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Google Street View Update Allows Walking Tour of Roman Colosseum

As lame as it may be, we occasionally hop on the ol' Google Maps, and meander our ways down scenic city streets from our desks. Paris, New Orleans and Buenos Aires can all be ours, regardless of where we lay our laptops. Thanks to an update from Google, we can now wander off the streets of Rome and into the Colosseum. We'll get some work done next week....

Young Beijing Architect Lives in Mobile Egg House on Sidewalk

Acting on an impulse familiar to many young people these days, Dai Haifei, a 24-year-old architect in Beijing, said to hell with high rents, and built himself a house. The six-foot-tall, solar-powered, egg-shaped abode is made of bamboo, wood and grass seed, and fits easily on a sidewalk. "The seeds will grow in the natural environment and it's cold-proof," Dai told China Daily. He then added tha...

Vegas Sun Turns Mirrored Hotel Vdara Into a Death Ray

You're supposed to be able to trust in your designers and architects. When they tell you to build something a certain way, you listen. After all, they're the ones with the relevant degrees and experience, right? Not true of the Las Vegas strip's newly opened Vdara Hotel, which has earned the nickname "the Vdara Death Ray" thanks to a glaring design flaw (pun intended); it's a giant, curved mirror ...

Sensor-Controlled Tower 'Breathes' to Save Energy, Eliminate Office Tornadoes

A new skyscraper in Frankfurt, Germany has been outfitted with a "pressure ring" façade that, quite literally, allows the building to breathe. Unlike other German towers, which are mandated by law to include windows that open, the KfW Bankengruppe office building doesn't suffer from rip-roaring winds when a casement gets thrown open -- and neither does it endure the energy loss of older ed...

Two Million Lights Illuminate Mecca's New Clock, Puts Big Ben to Shame

Maybe you heard the (literally) big news yesterday that Mecca, the Islamic holy city in Saudi Arabia, has built a clock that will rival Greenwich's classically Euro-imperialist time standard. Putting aside our nation's ad nauseum demagoguery against the 1.57-billion-strong, worldwide faith of Islam, you have to admit that the new clock is quite an awesome achievement. Islam as a religion is a s...

Design Concepts: New Explorations in 3-D

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. We've talked ...

Louvre Adding LED Lights to Pyramid, In a Lazily French Way

Despite the twin facts that most everything closes at 7 p.m. and no one who lives there is ever, ever happy, Paris, for some reason, is still known as the 'City of Lights.' [Ed. Note: We feel like we have to say this every time Amar tackles Paris. He lives there. He is grumpy.] Yet, when all the bars close at midnight, and everyone goes home to the warm bed of someone other than their wife, one hi...

Design Concepts: Cities of Tomorrow

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. Barring a nuc...

'Wing House' Built from a Recycled Boeing 747

Houses built from recycled materials are a popular trend, but the materials for one woman's house came from an unlikely source. According to Treehugger, Francie Rehwald's Malibu Hills, California, home is being partially built with parts from a Boeing 747. Architect David Hertz is charged with converting the 230-foot-long and 63-foot-tall airplane into a house that will sit on 55-acres just outs...

Scientist Uses iPhone to 'Paint' Light on Buildings

In our ongoing look at Tech Art History, we've been examining how technology has revolutionized the ways in which we both create and consume art. And, as we've seen, technology, among other things, has blurred the once impermeable divisions between artist and observer, and between the commercial and the artistic. It's a continuously fluid and evolving paradigm that German researcher Johannes Sch&...

Chin Hua Solar Windows Generate Power, Create Privacy

A new line of 'green' windows could change the way architects design buildings and houses. According to Engadget, Hua Qin recently unveiled its Chin Hua solar glass window at Taipei's International Optoelectronics Week. The slightly opaque window shown in the picture above can generate about 2 watts of clean energy, which is apparently enough to power a mini-fan. But depending on how opaque you w...

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's 'Solar Equation' Brings Out the Sun at Night

As part of the 'Light in Winter' Festival in Melbourne Australia, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has created one of his largest projects ever: a three-dimensional, animated scale model of the Sun, tethered in the sky above Federation Square, called 'Solar Equation.' Lozano-Hemmer employs a giant helium-filled balloon, approximately 47 feet in diameter (100 million times smaller than the real Sun), upon ...

Gory PSAs Make Their Point Well, The Most Frightening Sim City Ever

There's a load of great tech news happening out there every day, and, unfortunately, we just can't cover it all. Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Shock PSAs have their merits. We fully support the decision to put photographs of diseased lungs on cigarette packs (except in the U.S., where Big Tobacco will pay for...

Massive Waterfall Proposed for Rio Olympics, But at What Cost?

The Swiss architecture firm RAFAA must have been inspired by its Danish-Icelandic neighbor Olafur Eliasson when dreaming up this proposal for Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian city was recently selected to host the 2016 Olympics, and RAFAA submitted this enormous sun-powered waterfall, called Solar City Tower, to the Games' International Architecture Competition. While Eliasson's $15.5 million public...

D-Shape Printer Makes Full-Scale Sand Structures

As children building sandcastles on the beach, we often dreamt of what it would be like to inhabit our creations. Perhaps designer Enrico Dini was thinking the same thing when he created his D-Shape printer, which can build full-scale buildings using sand. The gigantic printer alternates sprays of sand and binding glue, the latter of which turns the sand to rock. Slowly, the rock is built up...