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Will Rope-less Elevators Change Building Design?

Germany recently opened it’s highest viewing platform in the country, providing 360 degree views to the Black Forest from 230 metres up. But the significance of this new tower is far greater than just it’s view; the Rottweil Test Tower is a project by ThyssenKrupp to revolutionize…

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Public Art in Augmented Reality

This week Snapchat launched a virtual public art installation in tourist hot spots around the globe. The company has digitized iconic American artist Jeff Koons greatest works and, with help from their location-based 3D augmented reality platform, placed them in the fountains at Toronto’s Roundhouse Park,…

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Connectivity Is Key to a Smart City Foundation

What does it mean to be a Smart City and what infrastructure systems do cities need to improve to use data effectively? How do we begin to master plan connectivity at an urban level? This article, recounting IBI’s work on a project in St. Albert, AB,…

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Train in an underground tunnel

Hyperloop v. High-speed Rail

As Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project moves closer to being a feasible technology, a transportation battle rages on between what will come first to the United States, high-speed rail or the Hyperloop? Which is a better option for North America and which is more likely to be built?…

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Technology Can’t Save The City

Technology can’t save the city because the complexity of the city can’t be translated into formulas. That is the bold argument in a recent piece by Hanna Hurr for Real Life Mag. She makes the argument that it is impossible for “smart city” technologies to accurately…

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How Digital Installations Shape the Future of Public Art

We often talk about the growing role of technology in architecture and modelling, in systems planning and transportation, but it’s also playing a huge role in changing public spaces. Digital art installations are on the rise in cities and they are having huge impacts on…

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The Future is Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) as a concept has been around since the 1950s, but it is only recently that computing power has reached the point where it can deliver a convincing experience. First popularised by the Oculus Rift VR headset, and with investment from tech giants…

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The Future of Architecture in the Digital Age

As I approach twenty years since becoming a qualified architect, and triggered by my attendance at a technology event that presented how ChatBots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) were significantly altering how Social Housing operators were delivering services, it made me think about how far we’ve…

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mobility solution

sAVe: A Citizen-centered Mobility Solution

The following is a project description of IBI’s ‘sAVe’ submission to the NYC Driverless Future Competition. The submission, which was comprised of a multi-disciplinary team across IBI offices is one of four finalists presenting on July 11, 2017. Check out the video submission! The New York…

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central park

17CP: Seventeen Central Parks

The following is a project description of IBI’s ‘17CP’ submission to the NYC Driverless Future Competition. The submission, which was comprised of a multi-disciplinary team across 4 IBI offices finished in the top 10 of over 200 competition submissions. New York City is covered by…

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technology to improve health

Harnessing the Power of Technology to Improve Health

With NHS England rethinking how health can be delivered by launching initiatives such as the Healthy New Towns programme, it is important to recognise the role of digital technology in shaping the future of healthcare. When considering this paradigm shift towards community wellness, it is…

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Technology: What’s Happening in 2017?

The emergence of disruptive technologies shows no signs of slowing in 2017. Rather, innovators are continuing a long tradition of building on previous breakthroughs, finding new applications and combining them with other technologies to create new products and experiences. Frog Design asked 15 innovators for…

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cleantech innovation

Five Cleantech Innovations for a Better World

On November 8, while most eyes were focused on the United States, important news came out of COP22 in Marrakech: 2016 is on track to be the warmest year on record. The outcome of the US election was not a promising step in the fight against…

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driverless car

What Happens When People Control Driverless Cars?

Could driverless cars actually make our streets more dangerous? Using the frightening case of Air France Flight 447, The Guardian outlines how a growing reliance on technology can lead to a shortage of experience when a human controller is needed most. The idea that technology…

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3d model

Predicting the Future

Could urban planners be the 21st century’s clairvoyants? Substitute supernatural abilities with mountains of data and fast computers, and the idea is not that far-fetched. First developed in the 1960s, urban modelling is not new, but two key developments – GIS in the 1990s and…

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IBI Leeds

True BIM…Not Just Revit

Over the past decade, the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has increasingly become industry standard, as opposed to an advanced or elite technology.  BIM’s growing popularity is rooted in its versatility. It can be used for projects both large and small, scaled to meet…

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Drone in flight

Drones: The New Kids on the Block

A new breed of urbanite is beginning to make its way into our cities and no, it’s not the next millennial subculture, I’m referring to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – more commonly known as Drones. Small drones, those weighing under 55 lbs (25 Kg) will soon…

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**Cover image via Tech Radar

Self-Driving Cars: All that Glitters is not Gold

There has been no shortage of articles highlighting the benefits of self-driving cars. While this technology presents opportunities to enhance our cities and urban regions, many of the articles that herald the arrival of autonomous vehicles (AVs) miss the larger picture, especially concerning how the…

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reality editor

What Would You do with a Magic Wand?

With the Internet of Things, controlling objects daily is becoming real. Recognizing that most “smart” objects can’t communicate with each other, and often only serve one function, Valentin Heun at MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Lab introduced an app, Reality Editor, aiming to empower users to integrate their smart tools. When you connect dots…

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Mobility for Better Cities

Mobility Planning that Builds Better Cities

What does the future of transportation in (North) American cities look like? Ecolocalizer tackled this huge question in a recent post. With the average traffic delay per commuter now 42 hours a year, up from 18 hours annually in 1982, the answer to this question is…

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Space Technology for Safer Buildings

NASA scientists aimed to create more stable spaceships, but inadvertently found a way to make buildings safer during earthquakes. In an example of the hummingbird effect, interstellar innovation presents an opportunity to change the way buildings are “earthquake proofed”. While working on stabilizing technology for violently shaking spaceships, the…

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SF Hyperloop by Hyperloop Technologies

Hyperloop: A Revolution in Transport?

Are we witnessing the biggest revolution in transportation since the Wright brothers took flight, more than a century ago? As Fast Company writes, the development of Elon Musk’s brainchild, the Hyperloop, is getting serious. Yesterday, Hyperloop One announced that they had secured $80 million in funding…

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Street Timelapse

The City as an R&D Lab

The evolution of cities as labs is clear in a Fast Company interview with Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, a Google startup company. They discuss the opportunity technology presents to tackle big urban issues such as housing, transportation and the environment, the need for scalable solutions…

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Sunset Smart City

Three Generations of Smart Cities

No longer an emerging concept, the approach and application of the smart city is evolving rapidly. Over at Iambente, Boyd Cohen describes the three generations of smart cities that now exist. Beginning as an industry-led, technology-driven initiative, urban leaders quickly grasped specific applications for this approach, leading…

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Smart Public Space

Public Space & the Smart City

Much has been made of the smart city’s potential to improve technical coordination and efficiency. But where do people fit into this brave new world and how can they be engaged to to shape and take ownership of the public realm? Public space leaders Gehl…

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Stone Age Solutions with a Digital Twist

Facing an unprecedented drought, Los Angeles is turning to an ancient water-management solution, cisterns, combined with new technology, the cloud. As Next City writes, the project, initiated by Tree People, is a small test that is part of a broader effort to retain a quarter of the city’s…

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Decluttering the Internet of Things

Central to the internet of things, the rise of the smart city has been paralleled by the smart home‘s development. These developments present major opportunities to enhance numerous systems, but come with their share of criticism too. Is the smart city secure? Are we creating an Internet of Useless Things?…

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Technology, Stories & Building the Cities of Tomorrow

In an illuminating (and philosophical) article, Digital Tonto makes the  argument that every era is defined by its technology. The article focuses on the important role that storytelling plays in helping us to make sense of technology and its applications. Paraphrasing Martin Heidegger, the author notes that, “to…

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Towards the Self-Driving City

It’s clear that the arrival of the self-driving car is only a matter time. It’s a lot less clear what kind impact it will have on the city. Urban Land Magazine‘s Patrick J. Kiger tackled this question in a recent article, where he interviewed a number of…

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Block Chain City - Pixabay

Disruptive Technology Moves In on the Housing Market

Could the disruptive power of Bitcoin be coming to real estate? Fast Company paints a compelling picture of what that might look like. In the future, houses might have digital addresses, not just physical. This could provide potential home-buyers with a transparent history of the home,…

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Google Embraces the Circular Economy

Joining a number of large corporations and furthering its own recent efforts, Google is making major preparations for the zero-waste, circular economy. Partnering with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the firm intends to embed principles of the circular economy into all aspects of its operations. Beyond being a…

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Uber & Public Transit: It’s Complicated

In the wake of Uber releasing its new Smart Routes feature, which follows up on last year’s launch of UberPool, there has been considerable discussion about the company’s shift towards the realm of public transportation. As Planetizensuccinctly underlines, whether this is good or bad for public…

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Innovation By Design: Urban Solutions

Recognizing the essential roles that cities play in contemporary society, Fast Company includes an Urban Solutions category in its annual Fast Co.Design Innovation By Design Awards. Responding to challenging budgetary situations facing my cities, this year’s winner brings the potential of public-private partnerships to Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in Florida.…

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Disruptive Innovation to Rethink Education

In the digital age, are there better ways for colleges and universities to provide high-quality learning experiences? A restructured college business model that delivers education in a range of ways could enable colleges to lower costs while increasing equality in higher education. An underused college building could become a new public library offering credentialed on-line…

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Google Solar Panels

Interest in renewable energy sources, including solar panels, has grown in recent years, but many people aren’t sure about what to do next. Recognizing how many people googled “solar panels” Google launched Project Sunroof to help home owners decide whether to install them. Currently established for Boston, San…

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The Disruptive Nature of Automated Mobility as a Service

In response to social, demographic and technological changes, the car industry is working around the clock to develop self-driving cars. As companies like Google and Tesla continue to innovate, automated mobility is poised to become a reality. What socioeconomic changes might accompany the rise of autonomous vehicles?…

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