Tag Archives: design

“Coffee to go”? Projekt über Englisch im öffentlichen Wiener Raum

“Kaffee zum Mitnehmen” oder “Coffee to go”: Wie “englisch” ist Wien im Zeitalter der Globalisierung wirklich? Das erforscht die Sprachwissenschaftlerin Barbara Soukup vom Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik der Universität Wien. Werbeplakate, Geschäftsschilder und Hinweistafeln mehrerer Wiener Straßenzüge werden auf ihren Sprachgebrauch untersucht und sollen Aufschluss darüber geben, wie Englisch in der Wiener Öffentlichkeit präsent ist.

Die Erforschung von Sprachverwendung im öffentlichen Raum ist ein Bereich der angewandten Sprachwissenschaft, der seit den 1990er Jahren stark im Aufschwung ist. Das Forschungsobjekt wird dabei meistens als “Sprachlandschaft” (“linguistic landscape”) bezeichnet. Ein zentrales Interesse gilt der Rolle, die offizielle und inoffizielle Sprachpolitiken und -ideologien in diesem Zusammenhang spielen. Oftmals wird speziell die Präsenz von Minderheitensprachen erforscht; es wurden aber auch schon Zusammenhänge zu eher unbewusstem Fremdsprachenlernen hergestellt. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Anna Troupe, Creative Designer and Social Thinker

Anna Marie Troupe was born in Mississippi in 1977 and grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. The fifth daughter of a mechanical engineer and an administrative assistant, Anna made a point of pushing the boundaries of her creativity. She studied furniture design at Savannah College of Art and Design and had the honor of exhibiting a chair at the Salone del Mobila in Milan, Italy. Her work was also published in a book called, “Creative Solutions for Unusual Projects.”

Anna began blogging about humanitarian design in 2008 as the social design movement was just gaining steam. In 2011, she won a fabric design competition that was created to support the weaving communities of Bangladesh and preserve their traditional craft. Upon discovering that she lived near the top-ranking textile program in the world, Anna entered NCSU’s College of Textiles and was hired to study sustainability. An invitation to present on the United Nations’ Agenda 21 guided her research towards sustainable development, as did the recent industry disasters occurring in Bangladesh. Anna graduated in July 2014 and continues to pursue her ideas for helping the textiles and clothing industry become ethical and beneficial to society.

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Anna Troupe:  I’m very interested in sustainable development, particularly social equality. The global textiles and clothing industry is fundamental to the development of nations and has an enormous impact socially, environmentally and economically. So my research addresses the social challenges in this sector which include creating humane workplaces, increasing the industry’s awareness of and commitment to sustainable development, and improving the integrity and efficiency of its manufacturing model. (more…)

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The 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe: Brown/RISD/Erfurt team designs Techstyle Haus

Students at Brown, RISD, and the University of Erfurt are tackling a great challenge: Build a house that uses 90 percent less energy than a typical house, make it liveable, flexible, durable, and lightweight enough to be shipped from Providence to France — and design it better than 19 other top teams from around the world. That’s the Solar Decathlon. The Brown-RISD-Erfurt team calls its entry the “Techstyle Haus.”

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — For two weeks next July, the grounds of France’s Palace of Versailles will be transformed into a solar-powered village, showcasing sustainable homes built by college students from around the world. Among them will be a house like no other, with a roof and walls made not of wood or metal, but almost entirely of durable, highly insulated textiles. (more…)

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Bing discusses design and technology in NYC

Bing brings together tastemakers and experts to share insight on the intersection of beauty and functionality and how technology plays a role in modern design.

NEW YORK — Earlier this week, Bing gathered together a variety of taste makers and journalists at an intimate and interactive panel to discuss the convergence of design and technology. Moderated by Scott Erickson, senior director for Bing, we heard from panelists designer Jonathan Adler, HGTV personality David Bromstad, fashion designer Cesar Galindo, ELLE Décor senior editor Ingrid Abramovitch, and Michael Kroll from the Bing team. (more…)

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Moth-Inspired Nanostructures Take the Color Out of Thin Films

Inspired by the structure of moth eyes, researchers at North Carolina State University have developed nanostructures that limit reflection at the interfaces where two thin films meet, suppressing the “thin-film interference” phenomenon commonly observed in nature. This can potentially improve the efficiency of thin-film solar cells and other optoelectronic devices.

Thin-film interference occurs when a thin film of one substance lies on top of a second substance. For example, thin-film interference is what causes the rainbow sheen we see when there is gasoline in a puddle of water. (more…)

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Getting to the heart of disease

Scientist works toward molecular therapies for cardiovascular diseases

Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, to Jewish parents before the fall of the Soviet Union, Michael Simons, M.D., says a medical career was “sort of a default.” Anti-Semitism barred Jews from many scientific pursuits, so his parents, both doctors, encouraged his interest in medicine as the basis for a strong natural science education.

Simons’ family immigrated to Boston in 1978. Simons had begun a 6-year medical program immediately after high school in Russia, so he was admitted to Boston University School of Medicine as a third-year student, but he chose instead to start anew, as an undergraduate. “I thought, if I continue in a medical program, I’ll forever have an inadequate undergraduate education,” he says, speaking with a mild accent and an understated intensity. (more…)

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Brown Researchers Build Robotic Bat Wing

The strong, flapping flight of bats offers great possibilities for the design of small aircraft, among other applications. By building a robotic bat wing, Brown researchers have uncovered flight secrets of real bats: the function of ligaments, the elasticity of skin, the structural support of musculature, skeletal flexibility, upstroke, downstroke.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Researchers at Brown University have developed a robotic bat wing that is providing valuable new information about dynamics of flapping flight in real bats. (more…)

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Latest JBEI Startup to Speed Up Biotech Industry

TeselaGen’s DNA construction technology makes genetic engineering cheaper and faster.

Sequencing, splicing and expressing DNA may seem to be the quintessence of cutting-edge science—indeed DNA manipulation has revolutionized fields such as biofuels, chemicals and medicine. But in fact, the actual process can still be tedious and labor-intensive, something Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Nathan Hillson learned the hard way.

After struggling for two days to design a protocol to put together a genetic circuit with 10 pieces of DNA—using a spreadsheet as his primary tool—he was dismayed to discover that an outside company could have done the whole thing, including parts and labor, for lower cost than him ordering the oligonucleotides himself. “I learned two things: one, I never wanted to go through that process again, and two, it’s extremely important to do the cost-effectiveness calculation,” said Hillson, a biochemist who also directs the synthetic biology program at the Berkeley Lab-led Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). “So that was the genesis of the j5 software. This is the perfect thing to teach a computer to do.” (more…)

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