What we've watched
Recreating the sun - Nuclear fusion is progressing with the Wendelstein 7X stellarator testing longer and longer plasma runs which gets closer to the behaviour of a commercial reactor.
Stellarators hold super heated gas in a cage of powerful magnetic fields. The spiralling design of this reactor has been optimized by a super computer to produce the best possible magnetic cage.
The design is obviously incredibly complex, yet the outcome is really quite sculptural. Form following function arguably creating something far more interesting than a pre-conceived shape.
Nuclear fusion, when we get there, will revolutionise the world we live in with free, safe and unlimited energy for everyone. What is nuclear fusion?
More information on the Wendelstein concept and an incridble BIM model here
What we've found:
Reform your IKEA kitchen! Kitchens, according to Reform are one of the most important rooms in the home which we'd agree with. That why its great that they have teamed up with some great architects to create beautiful kitchens at affordable prices right over the top of your IKEA cupboards behind. Our favourite is the Basis kitchen in the image above.
What we've listened to:
We're still catching up on some of the episodes from the Virgin Podcast. An episode from December 2015 is the interview of Rohan Silva from Second Home who thinks that the housing crisis in London is largely the fault of a small number of large volume house builders that build most of the homes constructed in London and their influence on planning policy and government.
The government he argues listens to the volume house builders as it believes they are the only ones with the expertise and technology to solve the problem and therefore it is they that benefit from any change in policy – for example; if the first time buyer is unable to afford one of their new homes then the government should assist financially and so prolong and exacerbate the problem as prices continue to stay where they are.
He says that the planning system is so regulatory that the amount of energy required to get schemes through makes it impossible for smaller developers to come forward due to the risk of failure to get permission. The volume builder’s advantage is that they have the capacity to work on 30 project any one time with the knowledge that 10 will get built and they make their profit from those.
He concludes that we need a less regulated, more decentralized planning system and that we have to find the courage to believe in the collective intelligence of millions of people rather than a closed cartel.
This is an interesting approach and we will be on the lookout for any policy change that empowers the smaller house builder to build better quality and more contextually appropriate homes and at the desired speed. We also liked the idea that we should all swear an oath to leave London more beautiful than you found it!
Another thing we've listened to:
No one does electronic misery like James Blake according to the Telegraph. His new album is great for working to though - we seem to have it on loop.
What we've read:
Dezeen article on MVRDVs temporary scaffolding stair in Rotterdam city. What we like about this is that it completely disorientates the buildings original way finding as it boards the roof like a pirate ship. The focus of the rather imposing looking looking office building is suddenly turned on its head and the roof is opened up to the public as a new city amenity.