Elaborated compiled with grounded research and creative ideas, the highly expected work:INTAR JOURNAL VOL.5 has finally launched. The main topic of this version is mostly about Resilience and Adaptability. The book launch meeting shortly started with the introduction by the head of interior architecture department Lilian Wong. As the special editor for this book, Damian White (the head of the department of History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences and coordinator of the pilot program in Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies at RISD)  gave a vivid and emotional lecture about Environmental Sociology and Urban Political Ecology.

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Thanks for special guest: Damian White

From Zhuang Tian (Viola)


Students Re-envision a Historic Gem

Students Re-envision a Historic Gem | News | About | RISD.

Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture Markus Berger and his students from RISD’s Masters program in Interior Architecture (Adaptive Reuse) want to broaden our thinking about historic preservation. In a spring studio called past. present. future, they’re exploring the relationship between preservation and design, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate the principles  of adaptive reuse and building interventions through a complex design project.

The class is reimagining Newport’s historic Jane Pickens Theater and Events Center, which was designed by well-known Rhode Island architect Russell Warren and originally built as the Zion Episcopal Church in 1834. Located in Washington Square at the heart of the city, the building was one of Newport’s first Greek revival structures. However, its neoclassical façade – with pediment and columns – was lost when it was transformed into a theater in 1919. In 2004 the Staab family bought the property and has continued to operate it as an art-house theater, attracting loyal audiences from throughout New England.

The students are considering the building as their own ‘canvas,’ working to understand its history and context in the city without curtailing their imagination and exploring the full possibilities of creative intervention. The project is made possible by a grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, which supports “the structural integrity and appropriate adaptive reuse of key historic properties” on Aquidneck Island and in Newport County for the enjoyment of future generations.

Berger is asking students to intervene in ways that will “allow the building to evolve toward the future.” Working with the theater’s owners and the Jane Pickens Friends group, students are researching the structure, brainstorming ways to expand its commercial uses and creating innovative designs to accommodate these new uses. “Our job is to open everyone’s eyes to what the building could be” while at the same time paying homage to its unique history, says Joe Epstein MA 12, one of the students participating in the studio.

Students are considering various ways of transforming the theater into an entertainment hub that would bring in new audiences and help revitalize the area. Monica Alicea Matos MA 12 proposes to create spaces for a children’s theater workshop during the day and a nightclub that attracts young people in the evening, while Aarti Kathuria MA 12 envisions adding high-end residential units on top of the two-story building. Beatriz Cardona Rivera MA 12 is proposing to restore the neoclassical façade while transforming the interior of the building with the inclusion of extra space above for future programs. “In the past, preservationists would have simply restored the façade” and left it at that, Cardona says. “My design would keep the language of the structure but create a completely new experience once you enter it.”

Implementing the principles of adaptive reuse requires “a different approach to conservation than the traditional understanding of ‘historical preservation’,” Berger points out. “In this studio we ask our students to “explore the relationship between preservation and design. With a full understanding of an existing building’s original purpose we propose new uses and approaches that consider its historic context while focusing on its future. Adaptive reuse brings in new design elements that establish an enhanced relationship between old and new.”

Kathy Staab, owner of the Jane Pickens Theater, recently visited the adaptive reuse class at RISD. “It was exciting to see the variety of creative ideas for the building that students had developed,” she notes. “At the JPT we encourage out-of-the-box thinking as a part of our mission and this partnership with RISD has been an interesting way of expanding the possibilities of what might be.”

On May 25 students will present their final designs to the theater owners, members of the community, developers, preservationists and the press at a gathering at the Jane Pickens Theater and Events Center.  The proposals will be on display through May 27 at Newport’s Colony House. Berger expects that the presentation will “engage and continue the conversation on preservation and its potential for Newport and its future. We hope to show the community that preservation and design can come together.”



Yeadon featured in NANO magazine

The current issue of NANO magazine (UK) contains a four-page feature on new material technologies being developed by Martina Decker and Peter Yeadon, at Decker Yeadon LLC. The title of the article is Finding nanotech’s potential for architecture (pp. 16-19). Additionally, there is an article by Sylvia Leydecker in this issue. Leydecker states that innovation-driven materials and products are critical in achieving green construction, which is now at the forefront of much architectural debate. Ms Leydecker believes that nanomaterials have a huge potential in this area, which is yet to be realized, as architects have not yet engaged fully with what is available. As a basic principle, she call for architects, planners and project developers to learn and understand the possibilities offered by nanotech, if they are to meaningfully address sustainability in their work.

40 km solar ribbon for the UAE

Archinect has announced that the very first submission to appear on the Land Art Generator competition website is a flexible photovoltaic ribbon that is 40 kilometers long and features integrated dye-sensitized solar cells. The design, entitled Light Generator : An Empowered Landscape for the United Arab Emirates, was created by Martina Decker and Peter Yeadon, in response to the call for a large public art installation for Dubai that could also generate electricity. Calibrated optimally, the Decker Yeadon installation would use third-generation photovoltaic coatings to generate 4592 megawatt hours (16530 gigajoules) of energy annually.

While the winner of the competition will not be announced until January 2011,  numerous publications and blogs have already been commenting on the Light Sanctuary project, including: TimeOut Dubai, Inhabitat, FastCompany, The National (Abu Dhabi), Design Indaba (South Africa), and others. The project will also be among a selection of entries to be featured in a book that is currently being developed by the competition organizers and a publisher. It will also appear in the October issue of INTÉRIEURS magazine, in an article on five global solar energy initiatives.

Yeadon at the United Nations

Peter Yeadon was recently invited to United Nations Headquarters, in New York, to participate in a two-day work session that focused on “How Creative Economies can lead to a Culture of Peace.” This initiative was part of a consultative process to advance resolution A/64/L.5 article 11 of the United Nations General Assembly. The session was promoted by the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (SU/SSC), UNESCO, and UN-HABITAT, and will be coordinated and implemented by UN’s Culture of Peace Economic Initiative unit.

Three working groups were organized to focus on the creative economy as an engine for global economic growth. The appointed chairs were: Mrs. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, UN Under-Secretary General, UN-HABITAT Executive Director; Mr. John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor, Former President of Ghana (2001-2009); Dr. John Kao, Chairman of the Institute for Large-Scale Innovation (ILSI). Peter was asked to join the working group focusing on sustainable development in cities. By embracing aspects of culture, technology and economics at macro and micro levels, it is thought that the creative economy can open new ways of capitalizing on existing creative capacities of the Global South as a tool for promoting development.

Yeadon buckypaper in Architect magazine

Architect magazine has published an article on new material technologies, which features a nanomaterial that was recently made by Peter Yeadon. Blaine Brownell, author of the well-known Transmaterial books, wrote the essay. Brownell reports on how a thin sheet of carbon nanotubes, called Buckypaper, was synthesized at Peter’s firm in New York City. There is a video of the lab work available on the Decker Yeadon website.

To make the sheet, single walled carbon nanotubes were first dispersed in sodium dodecyl sulfate and deionized water. Because the 1–2 nanometer diameter nanotubes are hydrophobic, the sodium dodecyl sulfate was used as a surfactant that enabled the nanotubes to disperse well in water.

The solution containing the nanotubes was then poured into a vacuum filtration unit, which contained a microporous filtration membrane with 200 nanometer diameter pores. Because each nanotube was just over 20 µm long, the tubes collected on the surface of the membrane as the solution was drawn through its pores, like long noodles collecting on a sieve, leaving behind a “paper” mat that is less than 100 µm thick.

Although Decker Yeadon are the first architects to make Buckypaper, there has been a great deal of interest in the scientific community surrounding Buckypaper research. Like the carbon nanotubes it is made of, Buckypaper has a number of novel properties that could be advantageous for a variety of applications. It is strong, it can filter particles, it can conduct and disperse heat like metals, and it can conduct electricity.

Peter is hopeful that this new Buckypaper can be used as a thin, flexible electrode surface in an artificial muscle for architectural applications. The first prototype of the artificial muscle should be completed and demonstrated later this year, and is being partially funded by a RISD Professional Development Fund grant that he won.

Image courtesy of Decker Yeadon LLC

Yeadon speaks at NYC The Future Metropolis

Peter Yeadon has been invited to speak at the upcoming New York City the Future Metropolis event, to be held on June 10th along the East River of Manhattan. A number of distinguished speakers have been asked to present new technologies, research and development projects, and significant design innovations that will enhance the built environment in the next twenty years. Peter will present the work of his firm, Decker Yeadon, with his partner Martina Decker.

Image courtesy of Decker Yeadon LLC

“New York City The Future Metropolis” will showcase developments in building-integrated technologies such as nanotech, energy monitoring, solar facades, building-integrated farms and tide turbines. Presentations by distinguished speakers will be delivered in PechaKucha format, open to a public audience. To attend, register beforehand ($10,) or purchase tickets at the door ($15.)

Thursday, June 10 from 6-8pm, plus networking
Solar One, 24-20 FDR Drive, Service Road East, New York, NY
(at 23rd Street and the East River)

Yeadon nominated for 2010 World Technology Award

On June 24th and 25th, many of the world’s most visionary thinkers and organizations will come together in New York City for the 9th annual World Technology Summit & Awards. The two-day summit is organized by The World Technology Network (WTN) in association with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Time Magazine, Fortune, CNN, Science Magazine, and others, to celebrate the accomplishments of the world’s great innovators and thought-leaders.

WTN Chairman James P. Clark has formally notified Peter Yeadon that he has been nominated for a 2010 World Technology Award. The nominees for the award were first selected by a large group of WTN founding members and fellows, which includes: Bill Moggridge, Chee Pearlman, Issey Miyake, Karim Rashid, Paola Antonelli, Ron Arad, Ross Lovegrove, Santiago Calatrava, William McDonough, Jonathan Ive, Hiroshi Ishii, Yves Behar, and many more.

Yeadon participates in rebuilding Haiti

Peter Yeadon has been invited to participate in Build.Found.Haiti, a collaborative effort in New York City that has been organized to help rebuild part of devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Peter is one of thirteen professionals from a variety of disciplines that have been asked work on a range of problems, from planning and infrastructure to buildings. Their projects include a few schools, a church, playgrounds, housing and medical facilities.

Beginning with tomorrow’s launch at New York’s Center for Architecture, the team will work on these projects over the next four days (May 14-17). On Monday, the participants will present their results to the design community and general public for comments and critiques. The initiative is being sponsored by The American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute for Architects New York Chapter, Engineers without Borders, Habitat for Humanity International, Partners in Health, Partners in Agriculture, Haiti Outreach Mission, and a growing list of NGOs with on-the-ground presence in Haiti.