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Sof Tlab: The Latest Architecture and News

How Artificial Intelligence Helped to Create a Gaudí-Inspired Thinking Sculpture

IBM and New-York-based design studio SOFTlab have teamed up to create the first thinking sculpture, inspired by Gaudí and developed with IBM’s Watson cognitive technology for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

In order to help design the sculpture, Watson was taught about the history and style of Gaudí and the architecture of Barcelona through volumes of images, literary works, articles, and even music. From these references, Watson helped to uncover critical insights on patterns in Gaudí's work—like crabs, spiders, and color palettes—that the design team didn't initially associate with Gaudí. The resulting four-meter-tall sculpture features a structural surface made of over 1200 unique aluminum parts, and is unmistakably reminiscent of Gaudí’s work both in look and feel, yet entirely distinct.

The sculpture was on display from February 27 to March 2 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where it interacted with visitors by changing shape in real-time, in response to sentiments from Twitter. To learn more about the sculpture, ArchDaily was given to opportunity to speak with IBM Watson Manager Jonas Nwuke.

Courtesy of IBM Courtesy of IBM Courtesy of IBM Courtesy of IBM + 10

SOFTLab’s “Nova” Transforms Flatiron Public Plaza for the Holiday Season

The Flatiron Public Plaza has unveiled its centerpiece for this year’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” – SOFTLab’s Nova, the winner of a closed-competition hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute. The project will become the center of the neighbourhood’s festivities for the holiday season, as well as “a highly visible landmark” in the heart of New York.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of 3M Courtesy of Van Alen Institute + 16

SOFTlab Wins Second Annual Flatiron Competition in New York

SOFTlab has been chosen as the second annual winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza design competition in New York. Their winning proposal, Nova will open to the public next month on Wednesday, November 18th. Its "crystalline" structure aims to intrigue the passer-by, welcoming them inside for framed views of the Flatiron Building and surrounding landmarks, including the Met Life Tower and Empire State Building.

Boffo Building Fashion Competition Winners

© Boffo Building Fashion - Nicola Formichetti / Gage/Clemenceau Architects
© Boffo Building Fashion - Nicola Formichetti / Gage/Clemenceau Architects

Boffo is a New York City non-profit organization focused on culture and the arts. Through events and exhibitions Boffo draws attention to artists and designers while often giving them an opportunity to display their work. Boffo recently announced the winners of their Boffo Building Fashion competition, an open competition that called for architects to pair with fashion designers to build temporary spaces displaying both talents. Find out who the architects and designers are after the break.