Each month RECORD reviews building product related web sites and blogs that might be of interest to our readership. We visit each site, kick the tires a bit, and share what it is about and how it functions. Please let us know if there is a site you've found particularly useful, well-designed, or easy to navigate. — Rita Catinella Orrell


The tech website robaid.com, launched two years to serve experts and lay readers alike, covers news and new toys under the categories of robotics, gadgets, tech, bionics, and architecture (“sustainable and green”). In the architecture category, green projects – from houses, spas, and civic buildings to museums – roll out at a rate of about one per week. For architects and designers interested in the green scene, this should be another site to check semi-regularly to keep up on the latest. Other sections that are interesting, if not directly relevant to architects, include posts on biomimicry that will speak to designers doing experimental work or research on materials.  


Barcelona-based furniture brand Kettal has launched a new section website section for architects and designers, but there are some unfortunate roadblocks to using it. It takes digging to find the new “Architect Section” - the third drop-down option under the “More” heading on the homepage - with no hints or promotion to show users where it lives. Once there, you need to sign up with an active email address and password. It took a couple days for a password to be approved. As long as you don’t need instant access, it’s a neat tool. Kettal provides images of their collection in Adobe Illustrator files or .3DS files, perfect for Autodesk, TurboCAD, Google SketchUp, and other similar programs. Pick and choose products from various Kettal collections, or download a folder with an entire collection. Fabrics and finishes are also available for download.