Tuesday, April 18. 2017
Note: following the post about the conference at Bartlett about game design and architecture, I also post this link (show reel) regarding the recent set & prop design for the movie Ghost in the Shell.
We can certainly discuss the quality of the movie indeed, or rather its necessity compared to the original japan anime (a funny remark about it though: if you have the questionable chance to be "reborned" or "ghosted" like the major in the remade movie, you'll transform from asian to caucasian white ... Which is the same fate as the movie in fact, if you have the chance to be "redone", you'll go from japan anime to Hollywood pimped movie...), but we can all agree about the quality of the environment and character design nonetheless. Even if conceptually, this future looks a lot like an "hyper-present" (more networks, more media, more digital, more robots, cyborgs and viruses, more hackers, etc. - that will not happen therefore).
In particular for architects, the urban design of the "Hong Kong++" (or "Blade Runner++" ) style city, full of skyscrapers sized holograms, mostly publicities. A design in a kind of strange and brutal mish-mash with more regular yet buildings. This is the quite 3d graphical work ofAsh Thorp that i link below.
Considering these different exemples, we could wonder why architectural schools don't take more into consideration these kind of works? So as the ones present in literature. Couldn't we start thinking that architecture is a field that indeed and of course, build physical spaces and cities, but not only.
So, it should also take its part in the conceptualization and design of "networked", "virtual" or rather "mixed realities" (whatever further necessary debates we could have about the understanding of those words), environments for games and movies? Possibly also by extension non material spaces in general? And of course, all the probably more interesting "in betweens"? I truly believe architectural discourse could easily consider all these aspects of architecture and widen a bit its educational scope.
But I don't see this coming so much. Do you? (there are some discussion forums on Archinect for example)
Some additionnal information about the conceptual work on the movie.
Another interesting and quite "space-graphical" short anime by Ash Thorp, "Epoch" - in a slightly "2001" style-, can be accessed on his site as well. And interestingly for 3d designers, he has created with fellow industry-artists a teaching platform led by professionals: Learn Squared (they are hosting a talk about the set design on Twitch next Wednesday btw). There can you learn "UI and Data Design for Film", "3D Concept Design", "Motion Design", etc.
Monday, April 10. 2017
How does one design against "magic" used to trap self-driving cars? | #physicalhacks #autonomous #smart?
Note: this "car action" by James Bridle was largely reposted recently. Here comes an additionnal one...
Yet, in the context of this blog, it interests us because it underlines the possibilities of physical (or analog) hacks linked to digital devices that can see, touch, listen or produce sound, etc.
And they are several existing examples of "physical bugs" that come to mind: "Echo" recently tried to order cookies after listening and misunderstanding a american TV ad (it wasn't on Fox news though). A 3d print could be reproduced by listening and duplicating the sound of its printer, and we can now think about self-driving cars that could be tricked as well, mainly by twisting the elements upon which they base their understanding of the environment.
Interesting error potential...
James Bridle entraps a self-driving car in a "magic" salt circle. Image: Still from Vimeo, "Autonomous Trap 001."
As if the challenges of politics, engineering, and weather weren't enough, now self-driving cars face another obstacle: purposeful visual sabotage, in the form of specially painted traffic lines that entice the car in before trapping it in an endless loop. As profiled in Vice, the artist behind "Autonomous Trip 001," James Bridle, is demonstrating an unforeseen hazard of automation: those forces which, for whatever reason, want to mess it all up. Which raises the question: how does one effectively design for an impish sense of humor, or a deadly series of misleading markings?
Monday, March 27. 2017
Note: in direct link with the previous post about vr, this interesting evening discussion next April at the Bartlett School of Architecture about the relation between architecture and videogames (by extension, the architecture of videogames? and/or the architecture in videogames?
And maybe even the architecture of fictional environments (BLDGBLOG), if we think about Inception movie or even the recent Dr Strange, with quite surprizing "architecture effects" related to the idea of "bending reality".
Or If we go for older references in our own work, this reminds me of projects in which we explored this relation between architecture and artificial environments of games or interactive 3d spaces, like for exemple the MIX-m project (2005) or even La_Fabrique (1999 (!))... Hum.
REALMS is an evening discussion on the relationship between video games and architecture held at the Bartlett School of Architecture as part of the London Games Festival 2017. As games become ever more complex and immersive, and architects increasingly adopt game technologies for visualizing and exploring their design ideas, Realms asks what the shared future of the two mediums may be. Might architects turn towards realizing ideas in virtual realms in the face of financial pressures, and what can we learn from the weird and wonderful spatial experiences that games can offer us?
REALMS is an evening of informal talks from architects, writers and game developers followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A. It will provide a platform for the free discussion of how architecture and video games may develop together both technologically and culturally. As part of Realms we will also showcase architecture student work from the Bartlett that deals with the relationship between architecture and video game space.
The panel of speakers for REALMS is:
Darran Anderson - author of Imaginary Cities, and writer for Killscreen/Versions. @oniropolis
James Delaney - founder of Blockworks, one of the world's leading Minecraft builders. @BlockWorksYT
Catrina Stewart - architect and founder of Office S&M and architectural designer on BAFTA award winning Lumino City. @CatrinaLStewart
Maciek Strychalski - game developer and founder of SMAC Games releasing the upcoming Tokyo 42. @Tokyo42Game
Philippa Warr - writer and author, currently working at Rock Paper Shotgun. @philippawarr
Entry is free on a first come first seated basis.
Refreshments will be provided.
Realms is supported by the Architecture Projects Fund of the Bartlett, UCL.
Wednesday, September 21. 2016
Note: I would definitely like to do the same (or a bit differently with I-Weather --we almost did back in 2012 during 01SJ in San Francisco in fact, but we were missing a bit of light strength compared to the space--)!
The artist Liz West continues inventing original and psychedelic installations, this time as part of the Bristol Biennal. Her project Our Colour is composed of filters that allow the lights to change and is a good way to study the reactions of the human brain when confronted to certain luminous atmospheres. After travelling through all the shades, each person usually ends up enjoying his or her favorite one.
Tuesday, August 02. 2016
By fabric | ch
As we continue to lack a decent search engine on this blog and as we don't use a "tag cloud" ... This post could help navigate through the updated content on | rblg (as of 07.2016), via all its tags!
HERE ARE ALL THE CURRENT TAGS TO NAVIGATE ON | RBLG BLOG:
(to be seen just below if you're navigating on the blog's page or here for rss readers)
Posted by Patrick Keller in fabric | ch at 16:58
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Thursday, August 06. 2015
Note: we remain in history for a little more time... It's now Ken Isaacs' turn to be praised for his work around micro inhabitable spaces and living structures! I post this with the iodea in mind that his work could serve as reference for a future workshop next November at ECAL, probably with rAndom International as guests and when we'll continue to work around "cloud computing" and its infrastructure (datacenter), looking for counter-proposals or rather "counter-designs".
Via Object Guerilla
This week at work I picked up an old book, How to Build Your Own Living Structures, by Ken Isaacs, to read at lunch. I didn't finish it, so I brought it home. A little internet-ing revealed this book was out-of-print, rare, and selling for a good bit at various outlets. However, I think the copyright has lapsed, because it is available online as a PDF.
Isaacs was born in 1927 in Peoria, Illinois, and served in the military as a young man. After Korea, he studied architecture, and then began to craft a career as a designer, architect, and educator. In the late fifties, he became Head of Design at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts, birthplace of much notable mid-century modernism, including Eliel and Eero Saarinen Charles and Ray Eames, and Harry Weese. He also spent some time teaching at the Illinois Institute of Technology, founded by Mies van der Rohe as a sort of Bauhaus West.
Cover, via Pop-Up City.
Matrix-based "super chair." Nowadays, most of that stuff can be replaced with an iPad... The next iterative leap in the Matrix was to do away with the framing altogether. Isaacs developed rigid stress-skin structures, using plywood and "L" brackets to make cubes. The cubes were built in modules: 16", 24", and eventually, 48". Smaller units were used for storage; mid-size ones could serve as desks and chairs; and the large units became the first Micro-Houses.
The Micro-House, circa late 60s, via Pop-Up City. Isaacs had the same idea, but he designed a modular, flat-pack, lightweight, re-configurable system. Combining the original beam-based Matrix and the stud-less panel structures, he built 8-foot modules out of 1" steel pipe and inserted plywood volumes into the matrix. Taking the classic modernist approach -- divorcing structure and skin -- he came up with a cheap, versatile house. The First Microhouse, built with a Graham Foundation grant in Groveland, Illinois, (near Carbondale, home of fellow light structure pioneer Buckminster Fuller), looks dated in the photos, but also startlingly fresh. I love the raw, stark geometry of it, everything stripped down to the margins.
Another variation on the Microhouse -- it is infinitely reconfigurable. His 8' Microhouse is very of its era, but has nonetheless managed to inspire at least one modern imitator, in Glasgow. It creates an 8' volume based on a matrix of eight 4' volumes bolted together. The canted sides, tetrahedral feet, and hatch doors give it a real Apollo feel, minus the silvery skin.
The plywood stress-skin Microhouse. Throughout, wrapped in some seventies slang and general architectural hooliganism, Isaacs stresses pre-fabrication, modularity, simplicity, and off-the-shelf parts. None of the projects are particularly difficult to make with simple tools(a little time-consuming, perhaps). The book itself is a bit shambling, combining personal narrative, philosophical inquiry, and DIY instructions. In many ways, it seems like a blog, written with no caps and little editing. Some of the book sale listings I found online show the original as spiral-bound, in keeping with its guerilla nature.
They were eventually able to replace the department-store albatross with this number.
Thursday, July 31. 2014
Scientists have discovered that scorpions design their burrows to include both hot and cold spots. A long platform provides a sunny place to warm up before they hunt, whilst a humid chamber acts as a cool refuge during the heat of the day.
This recent discovery of scorpion architecture adds to a sizeable list of impressive non-human architecture.
Anthills consist of a complex network of paths. Comparative to the size of an individual ant, these structures are mega-skyscrapers.
Likewise, termites build huge structures that have been dubbed "cathedrals." Reaching up to 6m high or more, termite cathedrals are clustered in large arrays that cover whole landscapes.
This complex web of branches was built by the vogelkop gardener bowerbird. In direct refutation of the "less is more" aesthetic exemplified by both ants and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, these birds embellish their structures with any bright things they can find.
Primates, including humans, are probably the most avid builders. For example, from an early age, orangutans learn to design and construct elaborately woven nests high in trees.
Far from trivial – and humor aside –, studying animal architectures helps destabilize the normative understanding of architecture as a strictly human domain of activity. Certain studios – like Animal Architecture – both draw inspiration from non-human design and develop collaborative practices with non-humans. Decentering the human as the center of architectural thinking is a necessary step in fostering a deeper understanding of the complex mesh of interconnectedness that is ecology. Without this step, humans will continue to practice architecture without regard for a larger context, which is why the profession already accounts for nearly half of US carbon emissions.
Wednesday, March 12. 2014
Le Corbusier et Iannis Xenakis, Plan du Pavillon Philips à l’exposition universelle de Bruxelles, 1958 (indications des sources lumineuses)
Tuesday, March 11. 2014
Day-in-the-life movie follows the resident of an apartment with moving walls and secret furniture | #housing
Note: a low-fi, unautomated responsive house, where residents still have to take actions, make decisions that are not delagated to a badly designed algorithm... When it comes (or will soon come) to smart houses, smart cities, etc., we (designers, architects, ...) will have to design algorithms and behaviors that matters and that continue to trigger decisions among people. This is obviously not only an engineer's job. It also is (profund respect), just not only. So, do they teach algorithms and processes design (which remains different than "generative design" commonly taught) in architecture schools? Rarely, I'm afraid...
Designed by Spanish studio Elii Architects, the Didomestic apartment occupies the loft of an old building, so it was designed to make optimal use of space by creating flexible rooms that can be adapted for different activities.
Sliding pink partitions allow the main floor to be either opened up or divided into a series of smaller spaces, while a new mezzanine loft provides a bedroom where floor panels hinge open to reveal a vanity mirror, toiletry storage and a tea station.
The architects also added several fun elements to tailor the space to the resident's lifestyle; a hammock, playground swing and disco ball all fold down from the ceiling, while a folding surface serves as a cocktail bar or ironing board.
"Every house is a theatre," explained the architects. "Your house can be a dance floor one day and a tea room the next."
The movie imagines a complete day in the life of the apartment's inhabitant, from the moment she wakes up in the morning to the end of an evening spent with a friend.
"The idea was to show all the different spaces and mechanisms in a narrative way," said De Guzmán.
Getting dressed in the morning, the resident reveals wardrobes built into one of the walls. Later, she invites a friend round for a meal and they dine at a picnic table that lowers down from the kitchen ceiling.
A rotating handle on the wall controls the pulleys needed to bring this furniture down from overhead, while other handles can be used to reveal shelving and fans.
A metal staircase connecting the two levels is contained within a core at the centre of the apartment and is coloured in a vivid shade of turquoise.
A shower room lined with small hexagonal tiles is located to the rear of the kitchen, plus there's a bathroom on the mezzanine floor directly above.
Photography is also by Miguel de Guzmán.
More about if HERE.
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fabric | rblg
This blog is the survey website of fabric | ch - studio for architecture, interaction and research.
We curate and reblog articles, researches, writings, exhibitions and projects that we notice and find interesting during our everyday practice and readings.
Most articles concern the intertwined fields of architecture, territory, art, interaction design, thinking and science. From time to time, we also publish documentation about our own work and research, immersed among these related resources and inspirations.
This website is used by fabric | ch as archive, references and resources. It is shared with all those interested in the same topics as we are, in the hope that they will also find valuable references and content in it.
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