Taking full advantage of the density of the towers, Chocron set up multiple cameras at various angles in order to shoot a sequence of time lapse videos from sundown to sunup. What looks like an intricately choreographed light show, is cleverly composited in post-production. Predictably, in the evening residents turned their lights on, and as the evening progressed turned them off. In order to create the dance of lights in similar effect to that of an equalizer, Chocron switches between the illuminated and darkened states in concert with the choreography of the song. The end result is an intriguing audiovisual composition.
A renaissance through architecture has been unfolding throughout the past several years in Colombia’s second largest city – Medellin. Home to 3.5 million inhabitants it was plagued by violence in the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, through an ambitious plan headed by former mayor Sergio Fajardo, the cityscape has undergone a dramatic shift since his election in 2003. One of the defining principles of this initiative that invested millions into civic architecture and public infrastructure was to build in some of the roughest districts of the city. More details after the break.
The Y.S Sun Green Building Research Center at National Kung University in Taiwan has recently been awarded top honors by the USGBC, in addition to receiving the Taiwan Ecology, Waste Reduction and Health Diamond Certification from the Ministry of Interior. The three-story 4800 square meter building utilizes 13 different sustainable building techniques in order to achieve a 65% energy savings and a 50% water savings over typical office buildings.
Herman Miller has recently unveiled their new Envelop Desk. Aimed at the individual who is constantly working in front of a computer screen, it addresses ergonomics in a clean and modern aesthetic. Designed by Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber, it features a molded urethane surface that tilts up to 7 degrees in order to maintain sightline with a computer monitor or laptop. A flat surface at the rear provides ample horizontal space. The desk can be complemented with the matching Embody Chair, also designed by Stumpf and Weber.
Forrest Jessee has recently unveiled his Sleep Suit inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s practice of Dymaxion Sleeping – 30-minute naps over 24 hours – while simultaneously exploring the materiality requirements to accommodate such a function. Interaction between the human body and the suit is the form generator as well as the threshold medium between the internalized occupant and their immediate surroundings.
Yemen is a country rich with history. Its cities are full of architectural monuments that are constructed with a craft that often goes overlooked. These cities merge seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, contextually complementing each other.
Al Hajjara is one such village that warrants a closer look. Built on the precipice of a mountain, the architecture clings to the sides of the cliffs. Multi-story buildings rise up out of the ground and step their way to the top. It is quite amazing given the fact that these buildings were constructed hundreds of years ago, and are still standing.
Brooklyn based interaction designer Cooper Smith has created an amazing series of videos documenting pedestrian travel within Manhattan. By tracking the paths of 1000 Nike Plus (Nike’s new smart running shoe) runs, he was able to produce and distill a wide variety of data. The results are quite elegant in terms of graphics, and offer insight into the patterns of urban travel. For more videos visit Cooper’s website.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego are investigating how our brains respond to various spatial environments. Dr. Eve Edelstein, a neuroscientist, is researching how architectural designs can be manipulated through data gleaned from measurements taken from users while they experience different spatial environments in ‘The Cave’ – a controlled laboratory.
The evidence is enlightening, as it clearly shows how our brains respond to light, space, and even ceiling height. What may be intuitive for architects, Dr. Edelstein is attempting to quantify in an empirical manner in order to understand how and why these elements affect our brains, body, and behavior.
It would be interesting if we could all upload our designs and experience them in the design development stages from this academic perspective.
Local New York architect Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects recently gave a speech at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Teachers Seminar 2011. He addresses numerous issues that are currently being debated within the profession where the theme of the three-day seminar was “Performative Practices.” The roles of the architect and builder, the architect and engineer, etc. The roles of architects as instruction makers who outsource to specialists in façade or fabrication may not be as clear as in previous generations. His own firm is prime example of the shifting of roles. SHoP has branched off with its own SHoP Construction subsidiary that is managing the fabrication of their design for the new Barclays Center rusted steel skin. More details after the break.
The U.S. Green Building Council has recently announced that Harvard University has achieved a worldwide first – the construction and completion of 50 LEED certified buildings. It is also a great feat for an institution as large as Harvard. They were able to successfully coordinate a decentralized campus with separate buildings that each have their own organizational structures. Read more about the five lessons they learned along the way after the break.
German artist EVOL recently completed an interesting interactive installation just outside of Hamburg, Germany for the MS Dockville music and art festival. The ‘Rural City’ is comprised of thin trenches about 1.5 meters deep in an ‘X’ shape that were dug out over the course of 8 days. Earth is held back with retaining boards made of Eternit and spray painted to resemble the facades of skyscrapers. More photos after the break.
The traditional wooden construction of Japanese architecture is extremely detailed. Its exacting precision and craftsmanship has stood the test of time for centuries. However, the process of handcrafting each wooden beam with mortises and tenons is quite labor intensive, and with an aging workforce, automation of the production process is key to continuing the tradition.
Back in 2008, a rash of falsified concrete testing reports on major projects in New York including the Yankee Stadium and the Second Avenue subway station had construction executives scrambling to find replacements. American Standard Testing and Consulting Laboratories were selected as the replacement company. However, the owner and five other employees have currently been arraigned on charges stemming from exactly the same things they were hired to rectify.
Imagine taking your Google Sketchup creation for a house and having it milled out and assembled all within 24 hours. WikiHouse, an Open Community project that puts you in the driver’s seat of design and construction has recently unleashed the opportunity for anyone to realize their own vision of architecture.
A new set of tools have been developed by researchers at MIT in collaboration with China’s Tsinghua University that will evaluate the performance and energy consumption of large-scale projects. Led by Dennis Frenchman and Christopher Zegras from MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning, these new set of guidelines and tools are a proactive response to the rapid urbanization of China and its ever-increasing development and infrastructure projects. The main goal is to introduce sustainable methods of implementation and construction, and responsible energy patterns one neighborhood at a time.
The work of Ai Weiwei was recently showcased at the Kunsthaus by Peter Zumthor in Bregenz, Austria. His collaborative work within the architectural arena was the main focus, filling all 3 floors with various projects. More after the break.
The first floor of the exhibition starts with a very grounded presentation of architectural projects with displays ranging from architectural models, plans, photos, and video documentation of his various collaborative efforts – most notably the Bird’s Nest with renowned architects Herzog and de Meuron. The 2nd floor features the works of the 2011 Ordos 100 projects, followed by the 3rd floor exhibition with abstract and minimal architectural works such as the Moon Chest.