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March 10th, 2008
Blogedanken: The Wishlist
Brendan in Where
Strange title, no? To explain: the term "blogedanken" is a portmanteau of "blog" and "gedanken," a German word that translates, roughly, to "thought experiment." Tonight, a blogedanken for your entertainment and mental exercise. After the first part, you'll need to highlight the text to see the next three. Resist the urge to look ahead -- go one at a time, or it won't be any fun. 1.) Spend ten minutes brainstorming every bit of urban designery that would be on your ultimate wishlist for your city. Does your city need a more efficient subway? Better street life? A giant sculpture of Chuck Norris? Go crazy. Get creative. This is the easy part. (Here's a great example featured in Weekend Reading two weeks ago, in case you need inspiration).
James Law Cybertecture’s ‘Pixel Tower’
I feel as if it’s been far too long since we had a real ‘my ninja, PLEASE‘ moment here on ArchitectureMNP - so when I saw that the ‘cybertects’ over at James Law Cybertecture, designers of the iPad Tower [I mean, they call it ‘cybertecture’, so they must be ‘cybertects’, right?] have designed another tower in Dubai - the Pixel Tower - I just couldn’t help myself. What exactly makes this ‘cybertecture’, I wonder? The neon-looking lights?
Weekly Architecture Film, Part 7, Barbapapas.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
When I was a kid I used to love the Barbapapas: the characters of the series were designed in the 1970s by Annette Tison (she studied architecture in Paris) and Talus Taylor long before the popularity of the so-called "blob architecture". The blob-like Barbapaps can easily change their shape by saying "Clickety Click—Barba Trick". Isn't the Barbapapas' house a brilliant homage to Friedrich Kiesler?
Rem Koolhaas’ Ras Al Khaimah’s Eco City to rival Masdar
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Just when you thought development in the United Arab Emirates couldn’t get any crazier, here comes a new UAE eco-city to rival Masdar. Intended to be entirely sustainable and cater to residents’ every conceivable whim within its four walls, the new Ras al Khaimah eco city development in the United Arab Emirates, design by Rem Koolhaas’s OMA office, is often likened to that of the zero-carbon, zero-waste Masdar. Cutting-edge solar technology will power the 1.2 million square meter city, built using locally-sourced Arabian materials and aesthetic styles to support the city’s overall ethos of sustainability. Leave it to Rem to design something so grand it could possibly upstage Masdar- we’ll see how it unfolds!
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
The time has come to reconcile ourselves with a fundamental truth. Most of us were already alive when humanity went into overshoot and (sometime in the late 80's) began using up the planet faster than the planet could replenish itself. And many of us will still be alive, when, by mid-century at the latest, we have returned again to being a sustainable, one-planet civilization. Of course, we may prove ourselves to be an evil and criminally shortsighted generation. We may melt the 'caps, log the Congo, burn the Amazon, slushie the tundra, acidify the ocean, drive half of all life into extinction and needlessly cause the deaths of billions of our fellow human beings. But I don't think we will. I think enough of us are better than that, braver than that and bolder than that.
BLOXES! Modular Cardboard Building System
Emily Pilloton in Inhabitat
One part origami, one part architecture, pure genius, the brand new Bloxes system makes 2-dimensional pieces of interlocking cardboard come to life as expandable and continually adaptable structures. Because they’re so masterfully designed, Bloxes create structures strong enough to stand on, all assembled without tools. So they’re not just for room separating anymore- build a bench, a table, a wall, or even a full room!
Concourse E Projects, Super Modern and Green [ATL]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Concourse E broke ground on two super green projects last December in Atlanta that intend to move beyond LEED and into a greener realm of living. Committed to the Architecture 2030 Challenge, Concourse E homes will consume roughly 60-90% less energy than comparable sized conventional homes. Concourse E owner Jeff Demetriou instilled the company with the idea that a modern home is not truly modern unless it takes the environment into account. Hence, Concourse E uses its own green building classification system called Greensphere. The company rating system has three levels, 1-3, with 3 being the best. Both of the projects you see below have descriptions from the website and are Greensphere 3 rated projects.
casa em arruda dos vinhos, plano b arquitectura
Justin in materialicious
House in Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal. Ongoing. A tiny vineyard eco-dwelling made from eucalyptus, bamboo, adobe and polycarbonate.
Radiant Dark: Part 3
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
More spectacular pieces featured at Radiant Dark in Toronto included the Strand Chandelier by Jennifer Graham and the Origami Light-Works by Andrew Ooi. The usually peace-loving Canadians showed a darker side with Grenade Bookends by Stuart MacQuarrie and This Is A Vase by Joy Charbonneau, not to mention the mix of squirrels and axes as a motif on the Patterned Wall Panels by Andrée Wejsmann. There was a bit of flash in the Vegas Mirror by Derek McLeod Design, not to mention more oil themes in the Black Gold Coffee Table by Andrea Chin & Amrita Takhar for Standard Issue .
Anti-Smog Design with Solar Drop + Wind Tower [S2]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Anti-Smog is a prototype project envisioned for a post-industrial area of Paris that aims to invent a new architecture -- auto-sufficient, depolluting architecture, reactive to its environment. The Vincent Callebaut Architectures prototype relies heavily on building-integrated, green innovation such as vertical axis wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, and living walls and greenergy. The result is a design that not only borders on positive energy as a self-sufficient structure, but one that moves into a refreshing realm of natural architecture that can clean and replenish the surrounding air.
A Tale of Two Roofs
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
As was to be expected for an architect at the peak of his fame. power and influence, he's now getting a bit of pushback. Last month, James S. Russell led off with Renzo Piano, Favored Museum Designer, Wears Out His Welcome, where the Bloomberg architecture critic claimed that "Piano has benefited from a trend away from sculpturally expressive museums to bland designs that are invariably described as `architecture serving art.'' Now, fresh off an article in the Architectural Record on Debunking a myth about museums that pay for themselves, New York Review of Books architecture critic Martin Filler follows up with Broad-Minded Museum, a detailed account of the tangled web, and mixed results, behind Piano's new Broad Museum of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was built to house the 1,800 piece collection of real estate tycoon Eli Board and his Broad Foundation, valued at $2.5 billion.
March 8th and 9th, 2008
AE2: Highway Noise Barrier
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
One product of the two main components of sprawl -- dispersed living patterns and the high-speed roads that allow access to them -- is all too often relegated to engineers and manufacturers instead of designers, and therefore is all too often an eyesore. I'm talking about highway noise barriers, those walls erected along the sides of highways where development occurs, and where those in the development do not want to hear (or see) the cars speeding by.
Andy in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
A minimalist design hotel parked on Thailand’s Koh Samui island, The Library stole my attention as I wandered down Chewang Beach at sunset. It wasn’t the red pool contrasted with the white minimalist studios that held my gaze, but the rather well-stocked design library brimming with Warhol and architecture titles from across the globe. A collection of slick iMacs wait patiently beside the bookshelves, and minimalist lounges encourage readers to stay a while and learn the history of design. While it’s a little beyond the reach of this hostel-dwelling backpacker, The Library promises a stimulating stay for those with an appreciation of aesthetics.
Blaine Brownell @ Pop!Tech
Mr. Brownell talks about hi interest in new + emerging materials at Pop!Tech. For those of you who don’t know, here’s a little bit about Pop!Tech:
Every October, in the beautiful seaside village of Camden, Maine, at the height of the fall foliage season, there is a one-of-a-kind conference called Pop!Tech. Held in a beautifully restored, 19th-century opera house, this three-day summit explores the cutting-edge ideas, emerging technologies and new forces of change that are shaping our collective future. The conference brings together 500 visionary thinkers in the sciences, technology, business, design, the arts, education, government and culture.
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Above: Talo Mini, Perch Hans Wall Sconce, El Ultimo Grito, and Lights Up! Rex. I'm having a very difficult time finding some modern, yet affordable bathroom lighting. Most of the fixtures that I like are a bit out of my price range, but I don't really want to stoop down to IKEA lighting, not because I'm particularly against IKEA, but because I don't particularly like their bathroom lighting. Besides, we are using IKEA for a fair amount of other items in the house, and I'd rather the result didn't look like a page out of their catalog. I know that Habitat in the UK also has some interesting (and relatively moderately priced fixtures), but there are no shops in the US, and they don't seem to sell their fixtures online. So, if anyone has any suggestions for great lighting, I'm all ears. I could even travel to Vancouver BC, if need be...
Blaine Brownell: Transmaterial 2
Blaine Brownell is an architect geeked off new + emerging materials. His interest in the study of these new materials stems from his self described lack of knowledge of materials outside of an architect’s standard palette [wood, metal, glass, etc] - which pushed him to investigate the various options that designers have - and will have - in the near future. This led to a weekly newsletter [subscribe here - it’s great] featuring a different material each week, delivered to your in-box. Somewhere along the way, after amassing a collection of new + innovative materials, Blaine was given the opportunity to compile a number of his favorites [something like 200 materials] into a catalog/book entitled Transmaterial - published by Princeton Architectural Press [see inside the book, thanks to google, here]. Now, roughly two years later, Brownell has published a second book continuing the Transmaterial series - Transmaterial 2.
NAUTILUS Eco-Friendly Flat-Pack Hanging Lamp
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
This eco-chic hanging lamp is more than an expression of good taste. Aptly named the Nautilus, the design recently emerged from the hands of Rebecca Asquith of the sustainability-driven New Zealand outlet Unless. This whimsical fixture illuminates interiors with style and an awareness of how good design can coexist with principles of good environmental stewardship.
Hidden Valley Cabins: Australia’s First Carbon Neutral Resort That Runs on Solar Power
Mahesh Basantani in Inhabitat
Welcome to Hidden Valley Cabins! This eco friendly resort and tour operator is Australia’s first carbon neutral accommodation and tour company.