May 16, 2020

Fabric-cast concrete to support future construction methods

UCLA Suprastudio in California
Joseph Sarafian
Ron Culver
architect Julia Koerner
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Fabric-cast concrete to support future construction methods
The use of concrete within building has been utilised for over 10,000 years and has increasingly become one of the most applied materials within constru...

The use of concrete within building has been utilised for over 10,000 years and has increasingly become one of the most applied materials within construction. Once cement is dried, concrete provides solid, permanent structures which are durable, weather resistant and reliable.  

Whilst studying at UCLA Suprastudio in California, Designers Joseph Sarafian and Ron Culver were asked, “how can motion be integrated into the traditionally stagnant casting process?" by renowned architect Julia Koerner.

Eager to create a method in which concrete could be used to create innovative and flexible designs, the duo began a project as an independent study which would see them robotically manipulate fabric into various shapes. These early experiments were encouraged with the support of Peter Vikar, Shobitha Jacob, Oscar Li and Qi Zhang.

The duo’s aim to create a new method in providing flexibility within a material known for its rigidity, in order to incorporate larger architectural forms would therefore enable architects and designers to build a variety of structures and provide increased freedom.  

Through the use of parametric design, which Sarafian explains is “both a movement and a methodology for designing intelligent controls for manipulating and deriving new geometry in 3D software”, sewn lycra sleeves are attached to “6-Axis Kuka robots and stretched into position. Concrete with a fiber admixture is then poured into the sleeves and hardens. The fabric is stripped away with minimal waste, the robots re-position themselves and a new piece is cast”, providing unique fabric forms or shapes.

Read the rest of this article in the December issue of Construction Global

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Jul 29, 2021

BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership

Dominic Ellis
3 min
BT and Microsoft launch strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services

BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.

BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth. 

The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.

Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.

“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”

Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”

Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.

Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:

  • Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
  • Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
  • Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%

For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.

“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”

In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".

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