Trend Watch May 2022

Rise of the metaverse:

‘Metaverse,’ a term from the 1992 novel Snow Crash, in which people live as avatars in a three dimensional world, has recently hit the zeitgeist referring to virtual worlds in a burgeoning next phase of the internet.

Architects, writes Chloe Sun for ArchDaily, could be facing crises in the physical world due to constraints of factors such as structure, and management, that limit the possibility of the discipline. The wake of COVID-19, she says, may further catalyse the rise of the digital alternatives to brick-and-mortar shops, houses and offices.

The NFT industry also is rapidly growing, and unique digital creations, Sun says, are not limited to traditional visual art, but include digital architecture and landscape architecture.

“Toronto-based artist Krista Kim has sold the first NFT-backed digital home for over half a million dollars,” Sun said.

Virtual real estate is surging in popularity, offering “an interesting and possibly lucrative domain for designers to leverage their design skills in the physical world and to extend that into the virtual world.”

The metaverse could offer the chance for architects and place designers to follow game designers and evolve their service to be scalable “solutions that can be reused and can benefit millions of users, not just one client.”

Read the full story at ArchDaily.

Image: Mars House.

Amsterdam plans its first modern-day timber neighbourhood:

The city of Amsterdam has confirmed an ambitious plan to build a neighbourhood entirely out of wood, writes Feargus O’Sullivan for Bloomberg CityLab.

The project reflects a move towards renewable materials by the city’s construction industry and a commitment from the municipalities of Greater Amsterdam to “ensure that at least 20% of new construction uses wood as its primary material by 2025.”

Timber is valuable in reducing the carbon footprint of construction as trees can not only be replanted, but also sequester carbon. The material requires less finishing and masonry, further reducing the use of resources and emissions.

O’Sullivan refers to a 2020 Finnish study that estimates “if 80% of Europe’s construction switched to wood as its primary material, the amount of carbon sequestered would be equivalent to 47% of the emissions from the continent’s concrete industry.”

The new neighbourhood, the Mandela Buurt, will be located in the city’s south, and offer affordable housing. “It will contain ten new apartment blocks, a primary school and social facilities, housing an estimated 2,100 residents in 700 new apartments.”

Construction of the Mandela Buurt neighbourhood is anticipated to begin in 2025, for completion in 2026. Read the full article here.

Image: Municipality of Amsterdam


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Join Us For Tea Time (via Zoom or Teams)

Take a quick (and educational) tea break with us! Customers are invited to book in a 10-minute Zoom or Microsoft Teams chat to learn about new products. Presentations are guaranteed no longer than 10-minutes plus Q&A. Choose from: ChillOUT Tree (recommended) Latest Linea additions. Wood Without Worry. Or request a custom presentation. Each participant will receive a T2 gift box (optional). Book by contacting us on teatime@streetfurniture.com, or via the button below. Win one of three BLUNT umbrellas Tea Time bookings for Australian customers during August and September will go into a draw for a chance to win one of three BLUNT umbrellas, valued at up to $159. Winners will be notified on 1st October 2022. Image: BLUNT.

  • 25 sep 2020
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Request a Factory Tour

The Street Furniture Australia factory, in Western Sydney, is both a manufacturing hub and R&D studio for our Australian-designed and made street furniture products. Recently we welcomed Tract Consultants to view the factory and meet our team. Director Julie Lee said: “It was a great opportunity for our team to look behind the scenes and understand the innovation, research and climate positive outcomes Street Furniture Australia is focusing on. Thank you for having us!” Clients are now invited to register for a fun and informative group event to see how products are designed, tested and built, and hear about latest products and projects. Your 2-hour tour (plus travel) includes: Transport to and from your office (within Sydney). Refreshments, with breakfast or afternoon tea. Factory tour. Meet our production team and …

  • 18 aug 2022
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Linea on show in San Diego with Spruce & Gander

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Trend Watch April 2022

‘I wanted that self-reliance back’ – disabled hikers forge a new path: A growing movement of disabled people are taking steps to enable independent access to the natural world, writes Amanda Morris for the NY Times.  The pandemic has brought a rise in outdoor recreation, with growing visitation numbers for national parks, however not all are equipped for accessibility. Disabled people are taking initiatives to improve independent access, including “publishing trail guides, establishing nonprofits to empower others through equipment, advocacy and training, and testifying before congress,” says Morris. In the United States in April 2021, “disability activists testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill, in front of members of the House National Resources Committee, which oversees the Park Service, to push for greater accessibility in outdoor spaces and call attention to …

  • 7 apr 2022
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Trend Watch March 2022

Street trees and addressing liveability inequity: Street trees have the capacity to impact the liveability of suburbs, should community members be included in the design and planning of urban greening, say Melanie Davern, Dave Kendal and Camilo Ordonez Barona in an article for Cities People Love.  The RMIT, University of Tasmania and University of Toronto researchers write that “street trees and urban forestry provide a great example of a ‘nature-based solution’ to building environmentally sustainable liveable cities that provide multiple benefits.” Although the benefits of urban greening are well known, there is inequity in the distribution of street trees. “Disadvantaged communities in cities characterised by a lower level of income and education, and, in some cases, higher percentages of minority populations, tend to have less street tree cover and less …

  • 14 mar 2022
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Trend Watch February 2022

Paris has plans to make the Seine swimmable by 2024: by Feargus O’Sullivan The City of Paris is undertaking a new project, ‘Projet Life Adsorb,’ which may soon make Paris’s river Seine clean enough to swim in. Various attempts have been made to make the Seine swimmable, the first in 1988. Most recently, in 2017, swimming pools opened along Canal Saint Martin, a more sheltered waterway in the city’s east. Unfortunately high bacteria levels regularly force swimmers out of the pools. The new plan, which is being designed and implemented by a team of experts overseen by the City of Paris, “might be able to curb pollution more permanently, making it swimmable –  and usable as a competition venue – in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics,” writes Bloomberg’s Feargus …

  • 14 feb 2022
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