This moon village plans to harness solar energy to sustain tourism in the future!

In the south polar region of the Moon, architects at SOM–Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have envisioned a Moon Village. In collaboration with ESA–European Space Agency and MIT–Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the debut of Moon Village at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia kicked off an initiative of returning to the Moon five decades after humans first set foot on its surface. Visualized on the rim of the Moon’s Shackleton Crater, the location was chosen with consideration for the near-continuous daylight it receives throughout the lunar year.

Primarily conceived of as a cluster of research stations, Moon Village would host an array of functions spanning from sustainability research opportunities to the future prospect of Moon tourism. The south polar region of the Moon supports the possibility of a self-sufficient settlement, receiving near eternal sunlight that could be harnessed and stored for energy. This part of the Moon also hosts a variety of untouched matter that could offer insight into the Solar System’s early history as well as the general emergence of our larger universe.

Above all else, the structure of each individual hub comprises a modular frame and protective exterior to cater to the varied projects taking place inside. Most of the action would be taking place in each structure’s open centralized space, leaving room for the supportive framework, made from titanium alloy to be built into each building’s perimeter. Describing the structure’s blueprint, the architects at SOM say, “The innovative structural design of the modules is a hybrid rigid-soft system, made of two key elements: a rigid composite perimeter frame and an inflatable structural shell that integrates a multi-layer assembly with an environmental protection system.”

SOM decided on an inflatable shell and rigid, if not a minimal internal framework to easily transport each structure’s building materials by rocket. The combination of a rigid framework and inflatable structural shell, made from open-foam polyurethane and double-aluminized Mylar for insulation, was also chosen by SOM to adapt to internal and external environmental conditions, optimize airflow, and maintain transparent working spaces, while the free centralized volume promotes efficiency and mobility for research projects.

Designer: SOM–Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Located in the south polar region of the Moon, SOM’s Moon Village would harness energy from the sun to generate their research facilities.

Comprising a cluster of Moon Villages, SOM intended for a human-centric design when developing Moon Village.

SOM envisions solar towers to form grids around Shackleton Crater and harness the sunlight’s energy.

Inside, an open centralized volume will leave plenty of room for efficient working and unrestricted mobility.

The main internal structure will be located in the perimeter of each structure.

An external, inflatable structural shell will protect Moon Village hubs from micrometeorites.

The internal framework of Moon Village’s research hubs will ensure the structure’s stability and soundness.

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia hosted Moon Village’s model debut.

MIT scientist weaves smart fabric with electrical signal to monitor health and store digital memory!

MIT scientist Yoel Fink has worked on developing smart fabrics for longer than a decade. In 2010, Fink and some of his colleagues produced fibers that could detect audio. A first for smart fabric developments, the fiber could be woven into a fabric, which transformed it into a needle-thin, working microphone. Today, the team of scientists continues work on spinning fibers into the smart fabric but moves past analog capabilities towards a digital future, weaving fibers that carry continuous electrical signals into a piece of wearable smart fabric.

Published in a Nature Communications academic journal, Fink’s research suggests that the fibers carrying electrical signals could be woven into the wearable smart fabric for “applications in physiological monitoring, human-computer interfaces, and on-body machine-learning.” Incorporating those capabilities into smart fabric required first embedding hundreds of silicon digital chips into casting pre-forms before spinning that into a piece of wearable fabric.

Each string of flexible fiber reaches tens of meters in length, containing hundreds of intertwined, digital sensors that monitor temperature changes and store memory. Each digital fiber, for instance, can collect and store information on changing body temperatures, garnering real-time inference for the wearer’s activity throughout the day. In addition to tracking and collecting data on physiological measures, the smart fabric retains the information gathered and “harbors the neural pathways” necessary to understand that data and infer the future activity of the wearer.

Thin enough to slide through the eye of a needle, the smart fabric is woven with hundreds of laced digital chips that still remain undetectable to the wearer. Forming a continuous electrical connection, the textile fiber also weaves a neural network made up of 1,650 AI connections into the smart fabric, pushing the new development even further. Capable of collecting 270 minutes worth of changing body temperatures and storing a 767-kilobit full-color short film as well as a 0.48-megabyte music file, the smart fabric can retain all of this and store it for two months at a time without power.

Designer: Yoel Fink

Each string of fabric is intertwined with fibers that contain hundreds of digital chips to monitor body temperature and track memory devices.

When woven together, the fibers form a string of fabric thin enough to pass through the eye of a needle.

The fabric is thin enough that Gabriel Loke,  a Ph.D. student at MIT says, “When you put it into a shirt, you can’t feel it at all. You wouldn’t know it was there.”

This origami-inspired medical patch when applied to internal injuries biodegrades on its own

A century ago not a soul would have imagined the advances in medical science we have achieved. Taking the evolution of medical surgeries a step further MIT engineers have crafted an origami-inspired medical patch that can be applied to internal organs with the utmost ease. Pretty useful in application to internal injuries or sensitive parts of the internal organs – airways, intestines, or hard to reach spaces. Looking at nothing more than a foldable piece of paper, the patch comes in contact with the tissues and organs. Thereafter it morphs into a thick gel that stays firmly on the injured area until it heals. The patch is made from three layers – the top layer is elastomer film consisting of zwitterionic polymers that become a water-based skin-like barrier. The middle layer is the bio-adhesive hydrogel having the compound NHS esters to form a strong bond with the tissue surface. The bottom layer is made up of silicone oil to prevent it from sticking to the body surface before reaching the intended target.

As compared to the adhesive tapes currently used, the MIT’s solution does not contaminate and also resists the growth of bacteria and body fluids. The newly developed patch will come in very handy in case of invasive procedures where small cameras and surgical tools are inserted inside the body. To bind the internal wounds and tears, this medical patch will be a god sent aid for the surgeons as well as the recovering patient. Currently, the team at MIT is working with doctors and surgeons to fine-tune the design of the patch so that it can be easily applied via invasive surgical tools – either by the surgeon or using medical robots. According to Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at MIT, “Minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery are being increasingly adopted, as they decrease trauma and hasten recovery related to open surgery. However, the sealing of internal wounds is challenging in these surgeries.”

Adding to this co-author Christoph Nabzdyk, a cardiac anesthesiologist and critical care physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota said that this new development could be really useful for repairing a perforation from a colposcopy or to tend the solid organs and blood vessels after surgery. This will eliminate the need to perform open surgery and the patch can be delivered to seal the wound and once the injury heals it biodegrades on its own leaving behind no residue. Clearly, the medical patch will change the medical surgeries in a big way and also speed up the healing process which is great for the patients.

Designer: MIT

MIT researchers have built the most precise atomic clock to date

MIT researchers have built what they say is the most precise atomic clock to date. Their approach could help scientists explore questions such as the effect of gravity on the passage of time and whether time changes as the universe gets older. More a...

Carlo Ratti’s latest architectural feat is 8 tennis courts stacked in a 300ft tower!

Carlo Ratti has done it again with the Playscaper – a 300 ft tall tower that stacks eight tennis courts! In collaboration with Italo the ambitious concept makes tennis courts more accessible in urban areas where space is often an issue. What makes this more interesting is its flexible nature, Playscraper can be quickly assembled and disassembled which makes it easier to host competitions around the world while reducing construction costs and not requiring a large area.

Playscaper will provide 60,000 ft2 (5,500 m2) of total playing space with its vertically layered courts. The tower’s structure will be made using lightweight stainless-steel which is inspired by the outer shell of a spacecraft and developed by Broad Sustainable Building. “This project would not just create a new icon for sports lovers. It also experiments with a new type of public space, extending vertically instead of horizontally. The tower is easy to install and dismantle and can be easily moved. This flexible approach fits the circular nature of today’s sports competitions, which move from location to location throughout the year,” says architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.

Designed not just for the players on the court, the long sides of each ‘box’ incorporate an electronic façade that can stream sports matches and other digital content. While on the short sides, transparent walls offer panoramic views of the outdoors. The project has been developed for rcs sport, the sport and media branch of the leading European multimedia publishing group rcs mediagroup. Carlo Ratti Associati worked on the design as part of a larger team of engineers and technical consultants.

Designer: Carlo Ratti Associati

MIT’s Pandemic Response Design Challenge winner is a mask that actively scans the air for germs

A winner of the MIT Pandemic Response CoLab #ReimagineMask Challenge, the Social Mask doesn’t just stop microparticles and microorganisms from entering your respiratory system… it alerts you of their presence too.

The mask comes with a transparent design, which seems fitting since it focuses on data transparency too. The mask sports a 3D-printed frame that houses filters along with a biosensor that actively monitors the air you breathe. Air quality metrics are sent to your phone, capturing not just pollution levels but the presence of germs too. The sensor detects the presence of air-borne pathogens, alerting you if there’s something hazardous in the air. Data transparency goes both ways too, with a temperature sensor built into the cheek-area of the polycarbonate frame, allowing people around you to know your own body temperature… a feature that lets others know if you’re healthy or feeling feverish.

The Social Mask flips the contact-tracing argument by just tracing the air instead. More than just filtering the air you breathe of contaminants, the Social Mask lets you know if they’re there in the first place, and works to create a map of the places you visit, actively giving you stats of what the air was like when you were there. Pretty neat, eh?!

Designer: Burzo Ciprian