Tag Archives: Economics

Elements of Culture

As mentioned before, as the description of culture gets broader, the more accurate it becomes. The definition of culture is therefore better understood when the different variables that define it are studied. In order to get a better resolution on what culture really stands for, it is important to understand the ingredients/ elements that contribute to a culture. Some of these elements include Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Architecture, Climatic Conditions, Philosophy, Technology, Economics, Religion, Literature, Politics, Tradition, Ritual, Custom, Human Biology, Physiological Differences and Natural Resources. Lighting solutions in different cultures carry certain unifying elements, and then there are local variations that may arise due to any of the reasons listed above. To begin by establishing a metaphor for our theory of cultural lighting adaptations, we can take the example of the McDonald’s fast food chain and the many iterations of its standard menu that appear around the world.  While the McDonald’s brand and the connection to its standard American menu is maintained in the style of presentation and with the continuation of certain standard items, regional variations are frequently taken into account in order to make McDonald’s more accessible to cultures with specific dietary requirements and restrictions. 

The signature Big Mac burger, well-known to Americans since 1968, has become a veritable symbol of capitalism, used by The Economist as a gauge of purchasing power parity between currencies in what is termed the ‘Big Mac Index’. A standard Big Mac includes a three-part bun (including the middle ‘club’ bun layer), double beef patties, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, and special sauce.  In India, however, you will find the Maharajah Mac, or perhaps a Chicken Tikka Burger, instead.  Since local custom prohibits eating beef, both versions of the Mac here have incorporated lamb or chicken in deference to the local population.  In Pakistan, you would likely find a McChutney Burger, developed using a popular regional type of condiment.  In Japan, a Tsukimi Burger (Moon-Viewing Burger) co-opts the appeal of the yearly autumn tradition of moon-viewing and incorporates a fried egg, which resembles the full moon.  Israel’s McShawarma substitutes the commonly found shaved meat composite for beef patties and is served on local flatbread, rather than a sesame-seed bun.  In some cases, the Mac varies so much that it little resembles the American prototype, but adaptations to the local context make the product more familiar and appropriate, while retaining the brand ‘aura’ of the original.

  • Belgium:   Croque McDo
  • France:   French fries are fried potatoes
  • Hong Kong:  Rice-Fan-Tastic, McRice
  • India:   Maharajah Mac, chicken tikka burger, veg burger (no beef)
  • Israel:   McShawarma, barbecued vs. fried beef patties
  • Japan:   Tsukimi Burger (Moon-Viewing Burger!)
  • Pakistan:  McKofta, McChutney Burger
  • South Korea: McBingsoo (Korean shaved ice)
  • USA:  Super-Sizing

What is Culture?

The definition of culture is better understood when the different variables that define it are studied. In order to get a better resolution on what culture really stands for, it is important to understand the ingredients/ elements that contribute to a culture. Some of these elements are listed below:

  • Arts and architecture
  • Technology
  • Economics
  • Religion
  • Literature
  • Politics
  • Tradition and Ritual
  • Human Physiology
  • Context / Climate

Lighting solutions in different cultures carry certain unifying elements, and then there are local variations that may arise due to any of the reasons listed above. We use the McDonald’s metaphor to explain the local variations. The following is a listing of the different McDonald staples internationally:

  • Belgium:  Croque McDo
  • France:  French fries are fried potatoes
  • Hong Kong:  Rice-Fan-Tastic, McRice
  • India:   Maharajah Mac, chicken tikka burger, veg burger (no beef)
  • Israel:   McShawarma, barbecued vs. fried beef patties
  • Japan:   Tsukimi Burger (Moon-Viewing Burger!)
  • Pakistan:  McKofta, McChutney Burger
  • South Korea: McBingsoo (Korean shaved ice)
  • USA:  Super-Sizing

Society of Indo-American Engineers & Architects (SIAEA) Names Abhay Wadhwa a 2014 Honoree

Abhay Wadhwa was recently named a 2014 Honoree by the Society of Indio-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA). The 34th Annual Gala was held at the Grand Hyatt, Grand Central Station, in New York City. Among the special guests was Honorable Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay the Consulate General if India, New York and the Honorable Bill De Blasio the Mayor of New York City. 

 

SIAEA 34th Annual Gala inviation

SIAEA 34th Annual Gala invitation

UN Global Efficient Lighting Forum held in Beijing

Beijing hosted a global energy-saving forum from Monday to Tuesday, bringing together governments, the private sector, financial institutions and international agencies to reaffirm their commitment to implementing a worldwide transition to energy efficient lighting.

The Global Efficient Lighting Forum was spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and inspired by the United Nations Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative, which prioritized lighting as one of its five energy efficiency accelerators. Among the various measures, investing in efficient lighting instead of building new power plants is the cleanest, fastest and most cost-effective way to reduce climate change, the UNEP said.

UNEP estimates that replacing all inefficient on-grid lighting globally with innovative, energy-efficient alternatives would result in over 1,000 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity savings annually, which is equivalent to the annual use of India and the United Kingdom combined. This electricity savings is equivalent to over 120 billion U.S dollars in avoided electricity bills and the reduction of over 530 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

LED lighting and digital control systems are revolutionizing lighting services by delivering improved levels of energy efficiency to all sectors. If there were a global transition to LED, it would reduce electricity consumption by 1550 TWh worldwide, which could provide 1.5 billion household with electricity. Representatives attending the forum have reached an agreement to double the global rate of energy efficiency and make sustainable energy for all a reality by 2030.

The forum was hosted by the Global Efficient Lighting Centre (GELC)-UNEP Collaborating Centre, with support from China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Industry and Information Technology Ministry, and the government of Beijing Municipality.

Click HERE read the original article

Article Editor by: Du Mingming、Yao Chun

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Global Environment Facility (GEF): Website

Source: People’s Daily

Light Matters: 7 Ways Daylight Can Make Design More Sustainable

Maritime and Beachcombers Museum by Kaap Skil

Maritime and Beachcombers Museum by Kaap Skil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daylight is a highly cost-effective means of reducing the energy for electrical lighting and cooling. But architectural education often reduces the aspect of daylight to eye-catching effects on facades and scarcely discusses its potential effects – not just on cost, but on health, well-being and energy.

This Light Matters explores the often unexplored aspects of daylight and introduces key strategies for you to better incorporate daylight into design: from optimizing building orientations to choosing interior surface qualities that achieve the right reflectance. These steps can significantly reduce your investment as well as operating costs. And while these strategies will certainly catch the interest of economically orientated clients, you will soon discover that daylight can do so much more.

Click HERE to read the full article

Image courtesy of:  Mecanoo Architecten

Written By: Thomas Schielke

Source: ArchDaily

Bamboo: A Viable Alternative to Steel Reinforcement?

Bamboo reinforced concrete

Bamboo reinforced concrete

 

Developing countries have the highest demand for steel-reinforced concrete, but often do not have the means to produce the steel to meet that demand. Rather than put themselves at the mercy of a global market dominated by developed countries, Singapore’s Future Cities Laboratory suggests an alternative to this manufactured rarity: bamboo. Abundant, sustainable, and extremely resilient, bamboo has potential in the future to become an ideal replacement in places where steel cannot easily be produced.  

 

 
Click HERE to read the full article

Image courtesy of: FCL Singapore

Written By: Connor Walker

Source: ArchDaily

Next Leap in Mobility

AUDI urban future award 2014 science slam

AUDI urban future award 2014 science slam

‘The Next Leap in Mobility’ is the motto of the 2014 AUDI urban future award. This year, the initiative invited four international multidisciplinary teams composed of ethnographers, IT specialists, product designers, urban planners, natural scientists, sociologists, etc. – from Berlin, Boston, Mexico City and Seoul –to research and develop schemes responding to problems related to transportation in cities. The four proposals were first presented in Berlin in April. Though distinct in their own rights, reacting to four diverse parts of the world, they all express one underlying commonality: to improve mobility in large, densely developed areas and enhance residents’ quality of life.

Click HERE to read full article with videos and images

Image courtesy of AUDI urban future award

Written By: Andrea Chin

Source: Designboom

The Rio + 20 Conference was a wonderful Global Initiative for the Future Development of our Planet

The Rio + 20 Conference was held in Brazil from June 20-22 and was an amazing opportunity for participants from Governments, the private sector, NGO’s, and many other groups to meet, discuss, and provide ideas for how we can reduce poverty globally, as well as ensure environmental sustainability in the coming future. The conference had speakers from a very broad range of disciplines, and focused on a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Here is a link to the Rio + 20 web page

More Efficient Lighting Could Save the US $10 Billion

Lighting is the single largest consumer of electricity in the U.S. According to a study commissioned by the Department of Energy back in 2002, lighting consumed about 22% of the total electricity generated in the U.S. That same study revealed that lighting constituted 30.3% of total building electricity use.

Click here to read the full article

Written by: Carin Hall

Source: Energy Digital

Evaluating the ROI in Going ‘Green’

When the environmental movement of this century began to really gain steam a few years ago, many companies decided to “go green” in a variety of ways. While some companies implemented recycling programs to reduce waste, others installed energy saving appliances and re-designed offices to include more environmentally-friendly materials as well as to take better advantage of natural lighting. The environmental benefits of these actions are readily apparent: the U.S. Green Building Council reports that on average, “green” buildings experience 30-50 percent reduced energy use, 35 percent reduced carbon emissions, 40 percent reduced water use, and 70 percent reduced solid waste. However, aside from its obviously positive impact on environment and its connection to good corporate citizenship standing, becoming more sustainable can also have a number of other benefits for companies.

Click here to read the full article.

Written by: Tom Bruursema

Source: Environmental Leader

Date: June 19 2012