Monday, April 03, 2006

ACDC 2006 - Day 2 (3/24): Vehicle Craft

Erica Clark, SVP, Art Center

!Brought our attention to the definition of Radical - "root, basis" (not just the defn we're used to)

Radical Kraft

John Hockenberry, Conference Moderator
- great, funny, energetic presenter
- Parody PPT brought the house down
- Radical Kraft (Velveeta): "After a few days under the spotlights, it'll get really radical"

!"Every end is a beginning ..." T.S. Eliot poem


Dan Neil: Recrafting the Car - An Industry Critique

LA Times automotive journalist (only Pulitzer Prize-winning auto journalist)

Craftwerks - the automotive bureaucracy and the genius in the garage

Wanted to convert MG to electric power, wrote about it, lots of tinkerers responded that they'd done it

!Progress in auto industry is dialectical
- orthodoxy vs unorthodox

!Automotive craft = power to subvert

Morbid disconnect between vehicles we need vs vehicles we have
- the free mkt is not working well

Radical craft:

Jet-powered Beetle!


Plug-in hybrids!
- Felix Kramer, exploit Prius creep-home mode to make care more electric -> Plug-in Prius
- Toyota fought this all the way
- 3 yrs later, proposed by GWB (cut fuel addiction)
- Toyota now has plug-in hybrid demo (PHEV)

Bruce Crowser's six-cycle engine
- hot-rodder, famous drag racer, built camshaft co., retired, 75 y.o.
- Most power that goes into engine (75%) lost as heat
- 4-stroke: "suck, squeeze, bang, blow"
- steam-gas hybrid engine: don't need radiator! Water-flash to steam
- VW has something like this

David Ramey butanol instead of ethanol
- chemist from OH
- ethanol has bad energy budget (grow corn, fertilizer, etc.)
- use bacterial agent to break down biomass (e.g, grass) to get butanol
- 42% more energy per unit of feedstock
- drove OH to CA and back to publicize this
!- You can't mass produce SINCERITY!

Steve Fambro Aptera Hybrid
- 330mpg, 850lbs, $20K
- garage project, electrical engineer
- co: Accelerated Composites
- carbon-fiber body (like race cars)
- we need lighter cars for more fuel efficiency but CAPFA (Consumer protection) regulations require heavy cars for safety even though lightweight cars are not dangerous to people

X Prize for 250 mpg car

XPrize for autos!
- $25m, 250 mpg, 10K manufactured
- huge capex

With increasing user operability on modular auto components, is there room for a Jobs/Wozniak model to contest auto industry
- still high cap costs, and auto co.s can just buy you out

GM is a decade late in downsizing, heading toward bankruptcy
- what kind of GM comes out at the other end?

The radical craft in auto industry: Connecting pockets of expertise w/ new forms of capital

Barriers: Cost of entry, protectionist regulations ("you can't build light cars, it's dangerous")

Constance Adams, Spaceship Architect

Constance Adams: Space Architecture - Crafting the Mothership
- trained as architect, urban planner
- designing human habitable spaces that can function anywhere in the universe
-, The Journal of AeroSpace Architecture

Technology = technae (craft) + logos (knowledge)

Does Earth propagate its genome?
- mothership idea, zygote

Our spacecraft need to be symbiome for human (zygote, seed)

Hydrogen is the principal element that can shield against any radiation
- water womb

Power, water, air
- recycling water w/ concentrated bacteria - minimizing the natural loop
- miniaturization of plants for agriculture

Buffer size
- how much extra room needed before you hit the wall of what you can do
- air cleansed by wheat chamber
- four T-shirts sent in w/ iron transfers had enough formaldehyde from "off-gassing" to kill, overwhelmed buffer, shut down the shuttle-living experiment (PBC has got to go!)

- innovation always has a price, we must be prepared to pay it
- what happens w/o gravity

- communications issues
- phase-shift (39 mins longer days in Mars)
- astronauts can use ham radio (low tech) for constant comm

Mars next target for seeding the mothership

Designers working w/ engineers
- "profound schism"
!- holistic system relies on human interface

What Earthlings need: a sense of time, place, wellness

Process: turning aesthetics into numbers

! See progression from what we have now to where we want to go
- humility, get humble

Chinese prisoners may make cheaper CO2 cars but they contribute to destabilization of the mothership

Think: minimal waste, sustainability is economical, multiple-use components
- multi-use chair: lunchtime, TV time, hospital bed, wheelchair
- same principles for space design apply down here on Earth!

Mitigate the risk in the human system

Design work environment
- choreograph the process (e.g., how do you turn a screwdriver in zero gravity with no surface to brace against - choose one screwdriver!)

Spacesuit is the smallest spaceship ever

Sees her role as Cathedral builder
- "lay as usable a foundation as possible for those that come before me"

Structural challenge: How to pursue grand projects in a democracy?

David Gallo, Oceanographer, Woods Hole

David Gallo: Designing the Deepest Diving Robot

- oceanographer Woods Hole, deep ocean exploration

- we've hardly explored the ocean (only 2%)]

- deep sea: no light, no radio communication

- here to bottom of sea = 1000 atm = ~1600psi
- here to Mars = 1 atm
- depth = avg 2 mi - 7 mi

!For radical craft to make a difference, it has to be routine
- think practical rather than radical
- he was talking about craft being small and light to be easily transportable

- autonomous underwater vehicle, for mapping
- sensors: sound, salinity, temperature, pictures

Titanic exploration was testbed for deep sea vessels

Heat vents from deep, no sunlight
- Energy from inside out (rather than the sun, outside in)
- "Oven" cooks ingredients for life
- Life is tenacious

! We're not killing the Earth, we're making it impossible for organisms like ourselves to live here

We're water-stressed
- 1 bil w/o clean water
- rainfall patterns changing