More stories about COMMENTARY

  • Strongest Silica Nanofibers Yet Made in England

    Scientists in the UK have developed what may be the strongest silica nanofibers known, Blaine Brownell reports, with potential uses in the marine, aviation, and security industries.

  • The Superomniphobic Surface

    One of the most intriguing areas of innovation in materials science concerns the development of high-performance coatings. A new coating from the University of Michigan can repel water and harmful chemicals, Blaine Brownell reports.

  • New Nanocomposite Acts as a Super Light Absorber

    One of the most intriguing dimensions of nanoscale research concerns the blurring between matter and energy, says Blaine Brownell. A new super light absorber could be applied to energy-harvesting and sensing techniques.

  • Study Reveals Design's Influence on Student Performance

    A UK university and architecture firm research the effects of classroom design on academic performance to help demonstrate the correlation between good design and human performance.

  • Biological Concrete for Living Façades

    The Structural Technology Group at the Universitat Politèctica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona is developing a multilayered concrete panel system designed to support the growth of mosses, fungi, and lichens.

  • Energy Ratings Elevate Older Buildings

    An article in The New York Times reported the discovery that older structures typically outperform new ones in conserving energy, to the shock of many in New York, Blaine Brownell writes.

  • Nano-Engineered Polymers Simulate Sunlight

    In the last 10 years, light-emitting diode lighting has dramatically transformed the field of lighting design. What's next? Field-induced polymer electroluminescence, says Blaine Brownell.

  • Fighting Disease with Molecular CAD/CAM

    The tools used for architecture and construction, from CAD to 3D printing, are now also being used to design disease-fighting DNA.

  • New Composite Greatly Increases Solar Conversion Efficiency

    A new composite made by Princeton University researchers may increase solar cell efficiency.

  • Light as Sculpture in Asif Khan's Parhelia Pavilion

    Asif Khan's pavilion for Art Basel, commissioned by Swarovski and using 1.5 million crystals, captures the light phenomenon parhelia, but disappoints architecturally.