The Free Universal Construction Kit

Via Free Art and Technology [F.A.T.
Whether you would like to admit it or not, most of us share a similar fetish for Legos, Tinkertoys and any other awesome “childrens” toy that most likely helped us create our first “masterpiece”. Well, you will pleased to know that F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab have created the Free Universal Construction Kit: a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of connections between otherwise closed systems – enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet—or unmeetable—by corporate interests.

The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between ®, Duplo®, Fischertechnik®, Gears! Gears! Gears!®, K’Nex®, Krinkles®, Bristle Blocks®, Lincoln Logs®, Tinkertoys®, Zome®, ZomeTool® and Zoob®. Adapters can be downloaded from Thingiverse.com and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer).

While we are at it, don’t forget to try and win Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House from LEGO® Architecture! The giveaway closes Sunday, March 25th at 11:59 EST. (more…)

Warming Huts v.2012 Proposal / Mjölk Architects

© Tomas Tesar

Mjölk Architects shared with us their winning entry, titled ‘Polar Hen’, to an international arts and architecture competition in , MB, . Their design consists of a pump with a sprinkler connected to a compressor and a generator creating a very fearsome creature which lays ‘ice eggs’. The Warming Huts v.2012 was an open competition endorsed by the Manitoba Association of Architects. More images and brief architects’ description after the break. (more…)

Origami Coop / Chris Mullaney

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Chris Mullaney shared with us a project he designed for his parent’s house in on a relatively small budget. Through working with form and construction and a chance to put academic work into practice, the Origami Coop sees the ubiquitous chicken coop as an opportunity for experiment. More images and Mullaney’s description after the break.

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Arctic Research Facility / Polar Ants

Polar Ants, a collaboration between Lukasz Szlachcic, Anais Mikaelian, Laila Selim, Bita Mohamadi, shared with us their project, Arctic Research Facility which is an experimental, architectural project within the framework of the Design Research Lab at the Architectural Association. They propose a living architecture, and challenges the classical modernist notions of permanence and stability. The theme of this proposal, ‘materializing behavior’, necessitates an equally responsive environment. More images and the team’s description after the break. (more…)

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Winning Proposal: Plug + Play / Arcollab

Courtesy of 

The first prize in the DesignByMany competition for the Electric Vehicle Charging Station was recently awarded to Arcollab for their Plug + Play proposal. Their design functions as a visual meter of the substantial gap between the production and consumption of energy. This generates a renewed consciousness of energy use in our modern lives. More images and architects’ description after the break. (more…)

LEGO® Architecture Series: Sydney Opera House by Jørn Utzon

® Architecture Series: Opera House

LEGO® has just announced the newest building in their Architecture series, the iconic Sydney Opera House designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

Sydney Opera House is not only a building with great beauty but it has also become known throughout the world as a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country.

The LEGO version of the Sydney Opera House seeks to capture the essence of this grand building in a small scale. Like the other models in the series it was created by Adam Reed-Tucker.

The set will be available in stores on March 1st at a suggested price of $39.99. More images after the break:

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How Would You Like Your Architecture?

Via arthitectural

We found this Venn diagram on arthitectural. This illustration was originally created by Colin Harman in regards to graphic design. However, there is no doubt this logic can apply to architecture, or any other design profession.

Via arthitectural.com, Web Urbanist

Video: Swarming Nano Quadrotors Fly in Formation

You may remember our coverage on the Flight Assembled Architecture exhibit by Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea, in collaboration with ETH Zurich, that featured a team of flying drones constructing an architectural structure at the scale of a 600m high “vertical village” out of foam blocks. Well, check this out! Roboticists at the ’s GRASP Lab, along with developer Kmel Robotics, have created these autonomous Nano Quadrotors capable of flying in formation and flawlessly performing complex maneuvers. Imagine the possibilities!

Reference: Wired, GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania

Iconic Houses by Grant Snider

© Grant Snider, 2012

Curbed lead us to Colorado-based webcomic Grant Snider and his clever blog Incidental Comics. Snider uses the classic “glass houses” proverb in his own unique depiction of midcentury “Iconic Houses”, highlighting The Glass House by Philip Johnson, Farnsworth House by Mies Van der Rohe, Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier and Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Curious about the red beavers gnawing at the Farnsworth House? Snider clears up the confusion stating, “In an earlier draft of this comic, it appeared the Farnsworth house was being gnawed by ordinary beavers. My architect brother informed me that was known for his innovations in steel and glass, not wood. So just to clarify: those are MUTANT beavers.”

Hong Kong Car Park Proposal / Interface Studio Architects

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Interface Studio Architects shared with us their proposal for the Car Parc competition, which aims at romanticizing the car as an active urban object while simultaneously implementing sustainable strategies. In addition to including parking spaces in the rotational design, shopping, food and landscaping aspects are also included in the program. More images and architects’ description after the break. (more…)

Call for Papers: 5th issue of HORIZONTE

Cover - Issue #4

HORIZONTE, a journal for architectural discourse just announced its latest Call for Papers for their 5th issue dealing with the topic “Fetish”. The journal is an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort of students from the School of Architecture, the School of Design and the School of Media Studies and is an independent student organization at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany. For more information, please visit their website here.

The Psychology of Home

© www.wikimedia.org / Tysto

The psychology behind what we consider or value to be our homes presents some interesting concepts. While it is easy to answer the question “Where are you from?” when someone is asked “Where is for you?” the resulting answer may be influenced by a variety of perceptions of what really is. A recent article entitled The Psychology of Home: Why Where You Live Means So Much discusses such implications. Read more after the break. (more…)

PLAT Journal 3.0 / Rice University School of Architecture

From unforeseen endings come dramatic beginnings. Plat 3.0, an independent architectural journal published by students at Rice School of Architecture, invites projects, images, essays, and manifestos, which explore the discursive opportunities that emerge in the wake of collective disruption. In a time characterized by rapidly shifting conditions and perpetual crises, contingencies and opportunities to innovate emerge.

Such moments lay the ground for radical change. Free from the constraints of the established doctrine, architectural and urban practice find new frontiers where experimentation is not only allowed, but demanded—where temporary breakdown establishes new, lasting thresholds for design and research. More information after the break. (more…)

Playhouses by SmartPlayhouse

Courtesy of

The SmartPlayhouse children`s houses are authentic pieces of design work inspired by contemporary architecture. A modern and comfortable space that provides the children with their own private and safe place to play, developing their creativity and ability to share. Built with the highest quality materials and very resistant to rough weather conditions, they give children their own place to play, organize themselves and invite friends over. It`s a place where they can socialize, share with others, express their creativity, mature and have great experiences. It makes a great gift for the holiday season! Check them out here. More images of playhouses can be seen after the break. (more…)

Video: Skyline / Melissa Godoy Nieto

Melissa Godoy Nieto transforms this interior space with a series of city skylines installations made from hand-dyed yarn. This first installation represents the skyline. Melissa Godoy Nieto is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She has a BA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institued and is co-founder of The Poetry Club Art Space.

Help MASS Build Capacity

Courtesy of

MASS Design Group is encourage everyone to help, in any way, in their efforts to design, build, and advocate for buildings that improve health and strengthen communities. Architects have a unique ability to affect change by producing Well-Built Environments, those that are efficient, effective, and empowering. By applying architectural thinking to the full project delivery process we can engender social and political affects that help fight social inequity. For more information and to find out ways you can help, please visit their website here.

An Architectural Christmas

Vitra, Ginger bread Vitra Haus

During these days we have received close to a thousand seasonal greetings from architects, photographers and editorials around the world. We are very grateful to have collaborated with an amazing group of professionals, who mixed creativity and humor on their e-cards.

Enjoy a selection of these e-cards, including this nice Ginger Bread Vitra Haus, along with Snøhetta, SOM, , BIG, CEBRA, and more!

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Trees of the Architects

Via The All Nighter

We found this great image from The All Nighter – a tumblr dedicated to students who want to share and prospective students who would like to know about the architecture studio experience. The ArchDaily team would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!