Monthly Archives: January 2014

Coffee Break Bridge Visualization

Coffee Break visualization, just playing around.

I was in a hurry with this one so the light is not quite right in the final image. Got the image from Wikipedia and modified it in sketchup and Gimp.

A quick photo exchange with some odd bridge in England….

Hey Trimble when are you going to start sponsoring this blog!

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bridge visualization London bridge final

bridge visualization London bridge

Monday Bridge Concept Rewind

Hey it is good to have the Happy Pontist back from where he or she went for the last month. Go to his site and check out his latest review of a modern pedestrian bridge.

I always look at the proposed bridges with an eye towards immortality. Will the new bridge become an icon for the ages or will it slowly sink into obscurity? (Hopefully it doesn’t literally sink or it will become famous as a bridge disaster. )

With the amount if money involved it better be the former. ….

And now onto to the Bridge Concept rewind. With all the new wave bridges being built I thought I would post my spoon bridge from two years ago.

Go to the Happy Pontist and then come back and say my idea is unreasonable……. All I need is a crazy Mayor with deep pockets.

steel spoon bridge concept side view

steel spoon bridge concept too view

A Colossal Bridge Will Rise Across the Hudson

From the New York Times on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. (Mobile link, thanks David)

I’m not a fan of the proposed bridge.

For those who like to keep track of bridge terminology, the current Tappan Zee is a cantilever truss bridge; the new bridge will be a “cable stay” bridge: Cables anchored by midriver towers will support the weight of the roadway rather than cables anchored to land on both ends.

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Monday Flashback – Sketchup Fish

I posted these fish images about three years ago. I made them in Google Sketchup (pre Trimble Sketchup) and rendered them in Kerkythea.

Not bridge related but amazing what you can do with free software. (Well amazing to me.).

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sketchup fish rendered with Kerkythea.jpg

fish designed in sketchup.jpg

Author Vaclav Smil tackles the big problems facing America and the world.

The hard truth but will people care? Link.

Let’s talk about manufacturing. You say a country that stops doing mass manufacturing falls apart. Why?

In every society, manufacturing builds the lower middle class. If you give up manufacturing, you end up with haves and have-nots and you get social polarization. The whole lower middle class sinks.

But Apple is supposed to be a giant innovator.

Apple! Boy, what a story. No taxes paid, everything made abroad—yet everyone worships them. This new iPhone, there’s nothing new in it. Just a golden color. What the hell, right? When people start playing with color, you know they’re played out.

Bridge of the Constitution

Calatrava’s bridge in Venice May be the subject of a lawsuit (hattip David)

From the Independent, link.

Italians – and Venetians –have never shown much gratitude, however. After endless criticism over its aesthetic, its durability and even its accessibility for the disabled, the “starchitect” now faces legal action as a result of alleged deficiencies in the construction.

In the latest development, it’s emerged that the city council is suing him for the €463,000 (£384,000) that the controversial structure has already cost it in necessary repairs and improvements since the original plans were presented.

Here is a news story about the pod added to the bridge.

The pod, which for years has sat idle, was inaugurated without fanfare, similar to when the bridge itself was unveiled in 2008. At the time, the bridge was opened in the dead of night after the city council canceled its official inauguration over protests from local politicians.

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So what kind of Team player are you?

According to Dr. Belbin, teams should have different personalities on them to make them work. I think this is a good idea but labeling my role on a team might be a step too far?

From MindTools, link.

Belbin suggests that, by understanding your role within a particular team, you can develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses as a team member, and so improve how you contribute to the team.

Team leaders and team development practitioners often use the Belbin model to help create more balanced teams.

Teams can become unbalanced if all team members have similar styles of behavior or team roles. If team members have similar weakness, the team as a whole may tend to have that weakness. If team members have similar team-work strengths, they may tend to compete (rather than co-operate) for the team tasks and responsibilities that best suit their natural styles.

Knowing this, you can use the model with your team to help ensure that necessary team roles are covered, and that potential behavioral tensions or weaknesses among the team member are addressed.

I want to be a “Plant”!

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Building a better world: can architecture shape behaviour?

Link

Frank Lloyd Wright, the US architect who designed one of the most famous buildings in America, Fallingwater, similarly believed appropriate architecture would save the US from corruption and turn people back to wholesome endeavours.

British author and thinker Ebenezer Howard believed companies would be more efficient if their employees lived in village-like garden communities.

Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier made claims about how his Villa Savoye building in France would heal the sick – and when it did just the opposite, he only avoided court because of the commencement of the second world war.

We need to talk about TED

TED talks come under fire. Link guardian

I have to admit, the talks make a number of good points but do they actually change anything?

Instead of our designers prototyping the same “change agent for good” projects over and over again, and then wondering why they don’t get implemented at scale, perhaps we should resolve that design is not some magic answer. Design matters a lot, but for very different reasons. It’s easy to get enthusiastic about design because, like talking about the future, it is more polite than referring to white elephants in the room.