Elevator-Pitch Competition

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) announced the winners of the Elevate Your Pitch competition.

The elevator-pitch competition, judged by members of Schindler Elevator Corporation, was based on the premise of giving a quick description of a business and/or idea in the time it would take to ride up an elevator (about 60 s), AIAS said in a press release.

The competition, which ran from February-June 2019, gave students the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win one of three cash prizes. The panel of judges chose the top three entries to compete in the finals at the AIAS Grassroots Leadership Conference on July 18-21, 2019.

The winners of the competition were:

First Place | $2,500

The Supply Machine, submitted by Joey Sandoval and Ethan Herrold of the University of Colorado Boulder, is a conveniently located pop-up style vending machine for essential, must-have design materials.

Second Place | $1,000

The Patch Wand, submitted by Joshua Greene of California Baptist University, is a handheld scanner designed to repair objects and reduce waste by enabling clients to 3D print “patches.”

Third Place | $500

Sum of its Parts, submitted by Randa Malkawi and Luke Rumage of the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center of Virginia Tech, is a series of unique outdoor furniture that invites everyone to interact with it and create their own space.

For more information on the competition, visit aias.org/pitch.

New Ultra-Strong Fiber Could Make the Space Elevator a Reality

A new fiber, developed by a research team in Beijing, China could be strong enough to make a space elevator possible.

A theory for how a space elevator would work; courtesy of South China Morning Post

According to South China Morning Post, the team from Tsinghua University built a fiber from carbon nanotube that they say is “stronger than anything seen before.” They say 1 cm3 of the fiber wouldn’t break under the weight of 160 elephants (more than 800 t). In addition to being strong, a piece of cable that size would only weigh 1.6 g.

Ideas for a space elevator have been floating around for more than a century but the idea has never made it past physical and mathematical models because no material has been found that is strong enough to build the unit.

One of the main theories for a space elevator would involve sending a large satellite into orbit that would lower a cable to the ground and be anchored. Another cable would go in the opposite direction to serve as a counterweight. The lift would then, theoretically, be suspended between the two cables, pulled taut by gravity and centrifugal force.

The new fiber is the first that may be strong enough to make the space elevator a reality, but for now, it’s too soon to tell.

Reading and Riding

Transport for London escalators now feature ads that can follow you. Exterion Media photo

Hundreds of HD screens have been installed across five different high-traffic tube stations in London. According to a report from The Drum, Exterion Media and Transport for London are doing this as a part of a “network-wide digital, out-of-home upgrade.”

The Waterloo and Oxford Street stations now have full-motion “Digital Ribbons” installed along the escalators. According to the article, the ribbons let ad campaigns flow along the length of the escalators without any breaks.

In addition to the ribbons, the first Digital Gateway superscreen was installed at Bank Station above the escalators. This screen can reportedly update with real-time data like weather or the economy.

“With our new Digital Ribbons screens, Digital Gateway at London Bridge and DEPs, we’re offering big impact for brands in an environment where commuters are very receptive to advertisements and are looking to be engaged and entertained,” Nigel Clarkson, chief revenue officer of Exerion Media said in the article. “The dynamic capabilities of these full-motion formats offer advertisers a stand-out creative canvas that will engage London commuters on a whole new scale.”