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PRIZMA by Biothing, an English Architectural design laboratory, is a fiercely technical attempt at generating an architectural response to the environmental conditions of Budva, Montenegro through the form of high density urban housing. The architectural tectonics of PRIZMA have been designed in order to direct, capture, and maximize environmental elements of the site in an effort to fully utilize the building’s efficiency. The wrinkled, pixelated facade of PRIZMA is designed to increase the square footage of the building’s skin, providing ample surface area for the placement of windows (to maximize views) and solar panels(to collect sunlight). The complex and articulated facade is inspired the architectural fabric of Budva’s Old City, which is largely ad-hoc, small scale, and mixed use, manifesting in an equally complex and pixelated aesthetic. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Phoenix, Arizona-based Blank Studio’s proposal, ‘House in Shadow,’ takes a contemporary approach to the single-family residence set in the countryside. This home, which is located amid pastoral scenes in the rugged mountains around Phoenix, is designed to optimize passive cooling and ventilation. Through the use of a modified brise-soleil and central walkway, the home is able to provide both solar shading and attractive breezeways. The home, whose contents are divided into two simple blocks, are connected by a large, expansive, and gestural roof. This room, whose profile resembles a wave, spans the entire footprint of the house, encompassing both volumes, as well as the central breezeway, in one fell swoop. The peaks in each of the three arched forms that make up the roof dissipate and soften sunlight as it travels through the space, creating both a natural place for hot air to rise to, as well as a soft glow that contrasts with the often harsh beams of light located just outside the exterior walls. These walls themselves are carved with curved formations that reveal the interior of the building to the outside, as well as let light into the structure. Read the rest of this entry »

Panama City’s Museum of Biodiversity, also known as Biomuseo, is designed by American architect Frank Gehry. In attempt to recapture the energy and urban impact of his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Gehry was commissioned to design an iconic urban structure for this burgeoning Central American capital city. The building in question, like Bilbao’s, is meant to act as a distinctive jewel in the city’s skyline, an emblematic structure that both houses and acts as art. As its name implies, the museum is meant to catalog the tropical region’s biodiversity, and contains within its walls, a series of rainforest-like gardens and climate controlled-biospheres that were designed by Bruce Mau Design, who helped to articulate the museum’s interior spaces, visitor experience, and the manner in which visitors learn while attending the museum. Read the rest of this entry »

London-based Illustrator and sculptor Arran Gregory’s latest line of creations take the notion of faceted surface and apply that concept to the form of wild animals. In this case, for his exhibition titled ‘Wolf,’ Gregory has sculpted a wolf out of acrylic resin and mineral stone and applied cut, faceted mirrors to every surface along its body. The resulting work is striking, yielding a dramatic form that reflects both light and image.The difficulty of translating the supple, organic lines of a living creature’s body into geometric lines and cut glass only furthers the impact of this aesthetic statement. Gregory often works in natural forms like these, typically employing all manner of fauna in his body of work. In the past, he has sculpted greyhounds, bears, deer, and a rhinoceros. His subjects portray a naturalism of form that is obscured and abstracted through material, sometimes via the faceted glass method, other times left unadorned, showing only the stark white of the cast resin and stone.

This work represents a formalized approach to naturalistic form that uses material and color to interpret and abstract that naturalistic form towards artistic ends. The artist utilizes line and plane to render complex form.

 

Realitat’s Microsonic Landscapes use 3-D printing machinery and algorithmic mapping to arrive at physical manifestations of recorded musical sound. These handheld sculptures are unique amongst one another because each represents the formalization of a different musical recording. In this instance, each recording is actually a full-length album; the albums chosen were picked according to Realitat’s musical tastes. Their self-stated mission, to create “an algorithmic exploration of the music we love,” is successfully completed. Each album is copied onto a program called Processing which maps and extrapolates the sounds on each song into coordinates that the 3-D printer can turn into solid mass. The objects are printed in a series of rings, but aside from that, the form taken can vary wildly, with each record registering unique patterns of height, depth, solid, and void. The process employed here represents a direct and literal translation of sound into form. There are no variables or inputs applied to the algorithms that would manipulate or affect the final form. Read the rest of this entry »

BLOOM is what its designers call an “urban toy.” It is a “distributed social game and collective ‘gardening’ experience that seeks the engagement of people in order to construct fuzzy BLOOM formations.” These formations are aggregate volumes composed of repeated, identical parts, which the designers refer to as “cells.” These “cells” are designed and fabricated by the designers themselves, Alisa Andrasek of Biothing, and Jose Sanchez of Plethora Project, in London. Meant to contribute an air of jovial democratized design in relation to the 2012 London Olympic Games, BLOOM is representative of the artistic, collective act. Each individual component, as the designers explain, can do nothing on its own, but instead, reach their full and limitless potential when arrayed en masse. Read the rest of this entry »

The Taavi Chair, chair designed by Minnesota-based American architect David Salmela and manufactured in Duluth, Minnesota by Loll Designs, is an excellent example of sustainable design. The chair, with its elegant, simple design, is made, on average, from a common household item: milk jugs.  Each chair is made from roughly 256 of these recycled milk jugs. Milk jugs, made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are highly recyclable, with a chemical composition that lends itself to molded, weather-resistant outdoor furniture.Taavi is inspired by low profile lounge chairs of Mid-Century Modern lore, perfectly suited to outdoor contemplation and leisure. This chair, aside from being formally streamlined and minimal, is also inherently sustainable: it is made from recycled materials that can be recycled once again, features interchangeable, replaceable parts, and is fabricated in America. Furthermore, the manufacturing process itself is based on ‘lean manufacturing’ principles, economizing material, labor, and mitigating industrial byproducts. This chair is an example of sustainable, American-made design and manufacturing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Digital Design Ceiling by ABWB & Associates is located on the top floor of the Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects-designed Costanera Center Mall in Santiago, Chile. At 300 meters tall, the Costanera Center is the tallest building in both South America and the Southern Hemisphere. The ceiling covers the mall’s central ‘Food Garden.’

Made up of undulating laser cut steel profiles, the ceiling renders a fluid, wave-like dimension to a normally-flat and boring surface. These digitally-derived profiles echo the geometries and rhythm of the Andes Mountains located just outside Santiago’s city limits, gesturing movement laterally, as well as into the horizon. They oscillate along their vertical axis, returning regularly to the level of the underlying structural fabric, where the tracks these profiles are screwed into, are revealed. Embedded within this matrix of profiles are a myriad of functional systems, including recessed lighting, heating and ventilation ducts, and security sensors and cameras. This elaborate and decorative ceiling system functions exactly like a drop-ceiling, providing both a cavity for functional systems, as well as acoustical interruption for what can often be a loud and bustling space. Read the rest of this entry »

Norwegian Architecture firm Tyin Tegnestue has designed what it dubs a ‘Once and Future Boathouse:’ a hybrid structure that utilizes both ancient wooden elements from an existing boathouse with contemporary methodology, simple design, and construction of fully articulated dock doors. Though boathouses have a long history in Norway, their contemporary usage has changed from that of lore. Boathouses, in the modern, integrated European economy, have been morphed into hybrid spaces, taking on the utilitarian functions of storage- as per tradition- while simultaneously becoming prized for their contemporary leisure and cultural functions. The boathouse in question was built in the mid-1800s and had deteriorated to such a deplorable state as to merit demolition. This structure, with its sensitive site location- on the northwest coast, amid the trees, and just tip-toeing into the water-, simple design, and honest use of local materials, inspired the newer construction’s formal and material expression. Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast New York City is an interactive installation in Midtown Manhattan that both mimics and responds to interactive movement. Located that the intersection of 32nd Street and 6th Avenue, this installation is a revival of an antique sign technology that utilizes over 40,000 metallic spinning dots on a computerized surface to broadcast messages, including scrolling text and images. Because of its analog technology, the mechanism that is analogous to digital pixels, actually mimics the movement and rotation of pistons on a mechanical engine. The dots are either black or white, depending on which side is exposed, creating a binary that, when taken in aggregate and seen from afar, render images and text. This literal movement, however, from black to white, is done so through mechanical means, creating various clicks, like those made on a typewriter. Read the rest of this entry »