Saturday, December 31, 2011


“We are here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even we be here?” – Steve Jobs

Innovation differs from Invention in that innovation refers to the use of a new idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself. We can all be innovators in our present realm of business. All entrepreneurs and business owners are innovators to some degree. But, those who truly make “a dent in the universe” are the ones for whom Innovation is way of life.

Innovation can be anything, from creating a new product or system to challenging the status quo. In business and economics, innovation is the catalyst to growth. It is the fodder for both start-ups and established businesses, which strive to satisfy the consumer base by constantly improving quality, durability and service by using advance technologies and strategies.

Innovation Life Cycle

Innovations maybe spread from innovator to other individuals or groups. Companies which innovate keep working on newer and more advanced systems in the way they deliver and improve the quality of what they deliver. Companies which become complacent and try to hang onto what they have (ignoring the importance of innovation) die a slow death.

So this New Year my resolution is to constantly innovate and challenge the status quo – to lead the pack from the front.


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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Form follows ......... emotion

Form follows ......... function is a principle associated with modern architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. It was the late 19th century architect Louis H. Sullivan who coined this phrase “form (ever) follows function” in 1896 in his article The tall office building artistically considered. Sullivan developed the tall steel skyscraper in Chicago during this very time. His assistant Frank Lloyd Wright later adopted the same principle in a slightly different form.

Guggenheim Museum NY by Frank Lloyd Wright

This phrase became a battle-cry of Modernist Architects after 1930s which implied that all decorative elements (ornamental) were superfluous and the building design should be a direct reflection for the function it has been designed, making it simplistic and contemporary to look at. It is a belief very close to “Less is more” and which sheds all elements used for ornamentation of elements.

Nearly a century later Hartmut Esslinger (a German-American industrial designer) on the lines of this famous maxim re-coined it into his design principle “form follows emotion”. Esslinger is known for his ground-breaking designs from Apple, Lufthansa Airlines, Siemens, Motorola and many more. Speaking from a context of product design he says, “brand position is what counts, and brand goes back to the emotional content of products”. The future is in personalization and we as designers get hints on this every day.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao by Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry’s design for Guggenheim museum in Bilbao is a perfect example of form following an individual’s emotion. Every owner or an architect has an emotional connect with its building, so it is natural for a building to be a confluence of the emotions of the architect and owners.

Ultimately a building does reflect the personal taste of the owner and the designer.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Subtle but Bold

Lighting is an integral part of architecture and interior design. Our design firm EDGES recently completed a hotel project in the city of Gurgaon. The design of the lobby level was conceptualized using straight lines and very subtle colors. The result was an amalgamation of interesting surfaces combined with some state of the art lighting.

The multicolored LED lights can be effectively used to set the mood of the area and the red colored lacquered glass has been used to make a bold statement and underline the design.

DuPont Corian has showcased the design in the November issue of their Newsletter.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Simplicity ... design

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - Leonardo Da Vinci

This well known maxim has been the basis of design principles for many successful industrial designers and architects. Simplicity often denotes beauty, purity and clarity (of thought in the design context). Simple buildings are neat and functional, using minimalistic elements which are showcased in their honest form.

Another popular maxim “Less is more” has been the design philosophy of famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. By emphasizing open space and revealing the industrial materials used in construction, he helped define modern architecture. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strived towards an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings "skin and bones" architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design.

Another great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his design for Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture". His simplistic approach can be summarized in a quote by him, “Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interactive Selection of Optimal Fenestration Materials for Schematic Architectural Daylighting Design

Complex fenestration systems, such as prismatic and laser cut panels, are emerging as attractive options in architectural design thanks to their high potential to assist in energy and comfort issues. These systems can be used to redirect intense illumination from the sun but have complex transmissive properties that in turn depend on continuously changing illumination conditions due to the dynamic nature of natural light. The resulting non-intuitive interactions with the built environment make it necessary to develop tools that adequately represent these systems’ behavior to the architect. The method presented in this paper enables simulation of the direct and indirect illumination from the sun and sky throughout each day for different months of the year. The user can interactively explore the high-dimensional configuration space to select optimal materials early in the design process, using both qualitative and quantitative design criteria to make adjustments.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs ... The Legend

On Thursday Morning, October 6, 2011, I woke up to the news of Steve Jobs death due to pancreatic cancer. I sat alone, not stunned, but momentarily paralyzed with the news. Steve Jobs the founder and CEO of one of the most loved technology companies of our times Apple Inc. was a visionary, an entrepreneur, and a greater inventor of our times. He is famously remembered as the creator of iPods and iPhones.

I have never met Steve Jobs or heard him in person, but the news of his passing away has left a void in my and the lives of countless people who were touched by his creations and part of the Apple family in their own small way. Such was the amazing impact of a great personality who was a hero for many first generation entrepreneurs, gizmo geeks and the common man.

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" was the mantra Steve lived by and urged our generation to continue living by. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (and the doctor telling him to get his affairs in order in the next 3-6 months) he underwent a successful surgery and lived to gift us products like the iPhone, Macbook Air and the iPad. These g
reat gifts were an ability to second guess the market and an eye for well designed and innovative products that everyone would buy. He once said, "You can't ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them, by the time you get it built, they would want something new." Such was the conviction of this man who had total belief in his own abilities.

Steve Jobs ...... the world will miss you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Digital Organisms

Digital organisms are computer programs that self-replicate, mutate and adapt by natural selection. They offer an opportunity to test generalizations about living systems that may extend beyond the organic life that biologists usually study.

Here, two classes of digital organisms have been generated: simple programs selected solely for rapid replication, and complex programs selected to perform mathematical operations that accelerate replication, through a set of defined 'metabolic' rewards. To examine the differences in their genetic architecture, millions of single and multiple mutations were introduced into each organism and measured the effects on the organism's fitness. The complex organisms are more robust than the simple ones with respect to the average effects of single mutations.

Interactions among mutations are common and usually yield higher fitness than predicted from the component mutations assuming multiplicative effects; such interactions are especially important in the complex organisms. Frequent interactions among mutations have also been seen in bacteria, fungi and fruit flies. Current findings support the view that interactions are a general feature of genetic systems.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Energy Efficient Buildings Vs Zero Energy Buildings

As we know that in the current time, energy crisis is about to strike the door of almost every nation within a decade or two. Therefore, it becomes quite significant to take care of one of the most energy consuming industry which is construction industry. As, we know that in the domain of AEC industry, the embodied energy involved is comparatively much higher than most of the other industries in the current scenario. Building industry itself, counts for almost 40 % of the total global energy uses.

But one of the major drawbacks of this industry remains the higher magnitude of the inefficiency than its efficiency in the case of the most of its output. Therefore, it becomes quite important to understand that it is very much required that the AEC industry must follow with either energy efficient buildings or zero energy buildings.

In this case it becomes very important to understand that what exactly zero energy building means. Basically zero energy building has been classified under two sections, namely :–

1. Stand Alone Zero Energy Buildings

Stand Alone Zero Energy Buildings basically refers to those buildings which have been designed in such a way that it will be able to meet all of its energy requirements, without interaction of the grid and depending only on the renewable sources of energy. These types of zero energy buildings are better for remote areas where electricity is not frequently available. These are designed for the peak load value of the house which requires a good enough investment.
But, the basic deficiency which follows these types of building is the wastage of energy as it is designed for the maximum load of the house.

Area under blue shade is the magnitude of energy production while under red shade is the energy consumed.Therefore, energy-waste will be given by the difference of these two areas under curve. This means, in the given case, building’s efficiency will be ≤1 under any circumstances.

2. Hybrid Zero Energy Buildings

Hybrid Zero Energy Buildings basically refers to those buildings which have been designed in such a way that it will be able to meet all of the net energy requirements of the building. In these types of building the energy production of the system are designed in such a way that it always remains in between the peak load and average minimum load, but it is exactly decided in such a way that the amount of surplus energy produced should must remain equal to the amount of energy required from the grid. In this case, building remains in Zero energy state, but simultaneously it requires lesser amount of initial investments.

There are few of the basic advantages of using this system because of the fact that those countries where these systems exists, have followed the policy to promote these systems by paying back for the energy supplied to the grid at a higher rate than the energy supplied from the grid. This means that although practically efficiency cannot be one but maximum efficiency can be achieved in this system.

Grid Interactive Energy Efficient Buildings

Grid Interactive Energy Efficient Buildings basically refers to those buildings which have been designed in such a way that it will be able to meet the energy requirement of the home for the average minimum energy load which is generally required in that specific home. But for the remaining energy requirements, it depends upon the power grid supply system. These types of buildings are designed for the average minimum load value of the house which do not requires a good enough investment.

Area under blue shade is the magnitude of energy production and the area under red shade is the magnitude of energy consumed. Therefore, amount of energy required continuously in the given day time is produced by the home of its own using renewable sources of energy. The amount of energy required from the grid will be given by the difference of these two of the areas under curve. This means that in the case of the Grid Interactive Energy Efficient Buildings, efficiency cannot be 1 under any circumstances but it will always be better than the Stand Alone Zero Energy Buildings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eliminating Paper at the Site

How is your company documenting and keeping records in the field? If you are still using paper, you might want to consider an alternative. Writing job information down on paper is not only time consuming, it runs the risk of getting lost—which could add up to big costs if your company ever faces litigation.

One of the tedious jobs a PM (project manager) must complete on the jobsite is the documenting of tasks. However with the risk of legal claims the documentation is also one of the most important elements of a job. This might be a good area to consider the use of technology. With quite a few applications on the market, construction companies have a range of options for field documentation.

One example comes from NoteVault,, San Diego, Calif. With the NoteVault Now Report, project managers can dictate voice notes and NoteVault transcribes the notes. The PM can access these notes in the field, as well as photos and GPS coordinates.

With some extreme conditions at the jobsite, contractors need to make sure the devices they are using are waterproof, scratchproof, dust resistant, and very durable.