Plus, the Indigenized Energy Initiative relaunches, the UN reports that the world is on track for its seven warmest years on record, and more design-tech news from the week.
Branch Technology, a design and 3D printing startup based in Chattanooga, Tenn., has completed a 16-foot-tall sculpture dubbed The Climbs in the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport. Designed to reference the area’s rock formations, the vivid blue installation comprises six separate parts totaling 90 cubic feet, all stabilized with a 300-pound base.
Branch Technology created the towering sculpture using its “cellular fabrication” 3D printing process, which free-form printed the lattice components using a carbon fiber–reinforced polymer extruded from industrial-sized robotic arms, according to the company. The unique process also required 20 times less material than traditional layered printing methods while “still enabling remarkable strength-to-weight ratios,” states a press release from the Chattanooga Chamber’s communications team.
Branch Technology printed the individual elements of The Climbs over the summer, installing the vertical sculpture within one day, Oct. 5. The next day, the firm installed a wood-topped bench curving around the piece, allowing The Climbs to provide travelers an opportunity for respite. [Chattanooga Chamber]
At the COP26 summit, which opened Oct. 31 in Glasgow, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization released a report finding that the past seven years are on track to be the warmest on record and that global sea level rise has reached a new high in 2021. “Extreme events are the new norm,” said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas in the report. “There is mounting scientific evidence that some of these bear the footprint of human-induced climate change.”
Architects need to go beyond listening and connect with their communities to progress towards environmental justice, writes Phyllis Kim in an op-ed for ARCHITECT. “Even if it seems awkward at first, architects wanting to strengthen their relationships with communities will have to continue putting themselves out there,” writes Kim, a Pittsburgh-based architect at GBBN. [ARCHITECT]