Modular construction: Using Lego-like blocks to build structures of the future

Buildings don't have to be permanent — modular construction can make them modifiable and relocatable.

Freethink
  • Modular construction involves building the components of a habitable structure in a factory, and then assembling those components on-site.
  • The history of modular construction stretches back centuries, and it became briefly popular in the U.S. after World War II, but it's never quite caught on.
  • Construction firms like iMod Structures, which constructs buildings that can be modified and relocated, may soon change that.
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In this Dutch town, the euro’s fictional bridges are now real

The European currency features buildings that didn't exist, until Spijkenisse made them in concrete

Credit: Google Maps, ECB (Graphics: Ruland Kolen)
  • The euro banknotes feature seven different bridges – all of them fictional.
  • They represent periods instead of places, so as not to offend anyone.
  • But one Dutch town has turned monetary fiction into monumental fact.
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How art and design can rebuild a community

MIT professor Azra Akšamija creates works of cultural resilience in the face of social conflict.

Credit: Memory Matrix
In the spring of 2016, a striking art installation was constructed outside MIT's building E15.
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Is it possible to build a mile-high skyscraper?

A mile-high tower would not just be a new structure, but a new technology.

Courtesy of Neomam Studio
  • Frank Lloyd Wright originally proposed The Mile-High Illinois in the 1950s.
  • Innovations in construction materials and elevators are necessary to reach the one mile height and beyond.
  • We may see the first mile-high skyscraper by the middle of the 21st century.
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How COVID-19 will change the way we design our homes

Pandemic-inspired housing innovation will collide with techno-acceleration.

Maja Hitij/Getty Images
COVID-19 is confounding planning for basic human needs, including shelter.
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