The Create the Future Design Competition always attracts the strange and wonderful ideas from around the world. Some are bizarre (my favorite this year is Alex Langensiepen's How to 3D Print a Sun, shown above, and others are totally impossible, like Roderich Graeff's Gravity Machine.
The winner this year was Behrokh Khoshnevis and his Robotic Building Construction By Contour Crafting, which is surprising, as it certainly isn't new (We first showed it in 2007) and isn't really "the first and only large-scale 3D printing technology that can rapidly construct complete buildings" as he describes it; WinSun is doing it in China.
There are hundreds of entries, so I stuck to the Sustainable Technologies category to see what's really interesting and new. There's Henry Levy's Color Shifting Energy Conservation Houses, which takes advantage of the change in the angle of the sun between summer and winter, to change the way a house absorbs or reflects heat according to the season.
The sun generally has a lower angle in the sky during the winter, than in the summer. The sun, if it were a person, while looking at a house painted with color shifting paint, would see it look black (or dark colored) in the winter absorbing its radiation, and white (or light colored) in the summer, reflecting both its visible and infrared radiation, if the paint is aligned properly. Therefore, when the house reflects the sunlight in the summer, it is cooler and less heated by the sun, saving money on air conditioning. And in the winter, when you want to save money on heating bills, the house absorbs the sun’s radiation.
The paint is made with flakes made with " thin-film technology. Such flakes appear to exhibit a wide range of colors depending on the angle at which you view them and the angle of incidence of light that strikes them."
Or, you could plant vines.
Then there is Somshekhar Mohanty's Zero Consumption Zero Discharge Techno-Green Edifice which should win just for having the greatest name for a building ever.
Terrace gardening uses atrium evaporative vegetations and green buffer spaces enhancing aesthetic value of building promoting green standards. The use of building integrated photovoltaics and 3-D solar cells can meet the energy requirements of inhabitants in any possible circumstances. Minimization of energy using solar updraft core solves night and low illumination tribulations whereas optofluid switch and fiber optic illuminator with prismatic skylights provides solution for day-lighting.
Giorgio Gaviraghi offers the Air Furniture System , a breakthrough in furniture design using recycled PET bottles and 3D printing to make inexpensive furniture.
3d printing, nanotech, environmental concerns, cost affordability and global diffusion are only some of the new parameters that should be considered while designing a new product.. The old karma "form follows function" is obsolete.
Sumit Kumar is really on to something with MEch Ur City, where he goes for serious energy harvesting.
OMG ! I have created an ample amount of electrical energy to run my bulbs, mixer grinder and the other electrical equipment at my home and that is all due to my daily works” Be it walking, running, jogging, sleeping, opening the door, driving the vehicle in the city.... I have an idea of developing an E city /township in which every possible means of mechanical work results in electricity. The jogging path, city roads are made with the tiles that are specifically designed so that mechanical energy is converted to electrical energy.
Finally, we have B Prashanth Kumar and his Dynamo High-Tech Highways where the draft from passing trucks and cars spins turbines in the medians of the road. The benefits are many:
*No need of external fuel energy source as in thermal power plants to provide the electricity for street lights or lighting required on highways roads at nights.
*Large amount of power generation without polluting atmosphere (Free of cost as, it is wind energy).
See them all at the Create the Future contest.