Monday, February 17, 2014

Radical Shift: homeotypic mutants

first a crack, then the failing remnant of architecture out of energy, unable to contain the forces of an ever shifting ground that is its own urban territory, erupting with the influx of individuals perpetuating their own fingerprint. the collective must again find harmony through the honest assertion that there is no harmony here. the mutant, if it wishes to survive, must seek a helping hand and accept instability as ally, for its static, brittle shell could only hold on for so long...

Bridges to airdocks, baby. Oh yeah.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Look Toward 2014

More humanism in design? Sure. Advancements in automation for the end user? Probably. More voices than ever before? Always. 

It can be hard to think of new surprises for the near-now, but if remix culture has taught us anything, it's that novelty often extends from trying on a new lens, or 13

1. On new physical tokens to act with digital interface:
2013 showed us grasping at straws from comically misplaced energy in watches to virtually-there presence through physical armatures (like this). For 2014, we can all agree that hardware will continue its step down and software its rise while we (hopefully) return to the experiment phase that began with the ubiquitous glass brick. Now that we've mastered a million ways to post selfies, it's time to continue to unlock the true power of all this hardware in our pocket. Full room computing is a good start.

Thanks frog and GawkerMedia!

2. That same Heads Up Display on-demand approach will apply to our attitudes to permanence in environment as well. Like our grandparents know to never touch and smudge the glass, we've learned to always touch the glass, because, usually, it makes something magic happen. In 2014, look for our hard-edged, permanent physical barriers to be dynamic in the information they provide and the linkages they create to surrounding and remote zones. Digitally hail a taxi from any concrete curb? Yes, please get me our of the pouring rain!

3. Lastly, the joint concepts of ownership and sharing will continue to fall into question. Digital content licenses and streaming content set up a world where we rent our content and buy a temporary holding vessel to access it. There's already been attempt and backlash to this idea, like the Xbox One strategy (this video sums it up nicely), but early adopters will eventually influence the market and solidify the digital licensing puzzle. All of it is way out of my area of expertise, though, so I'll say as designers, it's time to look into the advantages of the system. We certainly like de-cluttering. And what about that hardware? Why bother collecting logo'd boxes for generations of the same device? Let's face it - we've been collecting obsolete 'stuff' for years. Isn't it time we figure a way to keep the closets clean? Watch those pitchforks come out when the proposal to rent hardware starts rolling (I'd expect from credit card companies most of all).

Those are my sweeping declarations common to this time of year. What's on your horizon? 

Cheers to the New Year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Environment: Like any confine, only perceived

"A waterfall is not a 'thing,' nor is a flame of burning gas // both are, rather, a stable pattern of energy determining the boundaries of a characteristic sensible 'shape' in space and time. The waterfall I present to consciousness only so long as water flows through it, and the flame, only so long as the gas continues to burn."

Quote: Architectural critic, Reyner Banham
Drawing: me

What if your space grew to how you actually used it? What does group mass-customization look like? A bit like the above from studying a government building's lobby in Brasil. 

Bon sui-

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Resiliance of the Strand

Gotfried Semper announces his third of The Four Elements of Architecture, enclosure, as enabled through weaving - the first creation of surface, thus the first to grow in scale to divide space.

I've spent time adapting this idea to 3 and 4 dimensions as in the coded experiment in the above image: A snap shot from my bio-weaving thesis, which can read more about here. The main relevance is in the idea of taking strand-based materials, training bacteria to weave them in to various forms and densities at the molecular scale, and therefore re-adapt broken architecture into usefulness once again. 

Now that is both en vogue and notably beneficial to develop structural form with woven tensioned bits, such as the luscious and sought-after Nike Flyknit , it must now be wondered, are we in the position to push the technology to tighter tolerances and drive our built environment full circle? 

Will your next (maybe one after that) be woven instead of predictably 3d printed? Carbon fiber is the couple-decades old awareness builder in this category - no? One can hope, just as I can hope to find the right outlet for this experiment, maybe in a non-weather tight scenario. 

Cheers, and do good work.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The View Onward

Has it been since January? Ridiculous. Let's get things warmed back up with a bit of a refresher in my madness. We'll be trying out fewer essays and more quick whits to keep things moving forward while attempting to not stall out all over again. Ready? Go.

Lead image: from graphic novel by Jean-Claude Mezieres.

Many elements of the science fiction future are no longer relevant as societal goals. For example, the flying car is obsolete, giving way for our emphasis on communication technologies, which can provide more efficient roads through autonomous cars. An urban evolutionary curve ball.

See below on clear trends throughout history toward that conclusion, beginning with ancient man's stone sat nav.

*note: driverless cars are obvious now, and neatly on the near horizon. These works date to near 5-years ago. Pretty keen - no? My obvious mistake? I put the mass production and adoption of driverless cars way off in the future (ad2043), when, really, we can expect to buy one in probably less than 5.

Talk soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Physical Tactility from a Digital World: Firewall by Aaron Sherwood + Mike Allison

Find the original designboom post here:

This piece of awesome must be noted for it's relation to developing an interactive multi-media experience with physical controls, operating in digital space. It's use as part of the performance piece, "Mizalu" to premiere in June of 2013, hits home for me as a logical step in the growing digital influence on high art, including spatial design, audience engagement, and increasing permanence in architecture. Once again, we see further achievement the use of affordable, available tools in making novel experience, and very close resemblance to the oft mentioned dream sketch my programming-inabilities won't yet let me achieve, Monster: The Entertainer's Guide.

Watch it work:

I'll be the first to point out the light connection between music change and users' touch, but this being a result of visual input (the Kinect sensor monitoring the extent of spandex beyond its frame), this lower resolution is to be expected. The project stands as metaphor for the barriers of unknowing the relation of life and death, and I hope, as well as near-future of nextgeneration multi-reality interactive environments. Cheers to 2013!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Lighter Side of Lights

The aim: to create a series of go-together lighting solutions in some commonly used areas with easily available materials at a reasonable cost, starting with the austere, minimalistic Modern form-meets-function aesthetic, then screwing it all up with red power cords looking like they were drawn on by your 3 yr old nephew. Boom. The result is lighting with great personality without drastic steps in the addition of superfluous ornament. Basic functional pieces are toyed with: power cord being used as structure in truss-like tension, standard steel bases and rods used as balancing elements, table lamp being used as a crane to hoist a pendant, keeping in the family of the others.

My personal catalyst? I needed something that could be easily applied to my rental without making any changes to the way existing features hang. Thus, I get loads of visual interest without any generic stuff from the big boxes. I am cheap. My cost to put these together is low.

There are a couple RFPs out there targeting affordable lighting, but adding the widely performed social responsibility of eco-consciousness. I DO have a vested interest in cork reforming, as it can cast over and over, and is more than readily available in disposed-wine cork form. Grind it up, heat in your mold at 500deg for some time, and a beautiful, smooth, finished looking shape emerges. If you look at my past example of making liquid-organic shapes from rigid materials, you'll get an idea for what kind of molded-cork aesthetic I'd be seeking. More on that as the experiments continue.

*note: scanner works now, and it turns out it's terrible (i.e. gray patches on the left not part of my original, CLEAN sketch).

Monday, November 5, 2012

On Space Time Foam: Interactive perception altering installation

Courtesy of:
A wonderful example of cybermimetics, Tomรกs Saraceno demonstrates his ability to erase boundaries of geographical, physical, behavioral, and social (rough Italian translation) natures by active participation with the physical environment in a perception altering grouping of bubbles at various levels. The installation instructions tell to refrain from using the top level if faint of heart.

I'll have to add this to the list of works I believe would benefit from the use of projection to aid in perception of materiality and other-worldliness. Maybe even as far as changing the scenery dependent on accomplishing shapes of the surface or position within the space.

Find the Original Post here, and watch the vid for some artist-process insight.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chase Jarvis on Paradigm Shifts in... construction.

Photo curtousy of

Chase Jarvis, notable Seattle-based photographer, recently made this post on a new residential construction project by 1:1 Arkitektur, wherein they deploy CNC milling efficiency to piece together a fully assembled home, free of traditional connectors such as nails. It is made of 100% wood, facilitated by the automated flexibility in creating complex, puzzle-like shapes for each element to fit together using our industry's latest cutting tool.

I'd especially like to point this project out as a common proponent of seemingly-far fetched methods in design and construction, and for you, as a reader and potential client to these new methodologies, to consider the implication of truly sustainable operations, fueled by emerging technology, as a practical and ideal means to an environmentally-feasible and cost-effective end. 

The original post here:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Techno-round up: physical pixels and digital buildings

Well here we are with some cybermimetic examples from opposite spectra. The first is a physical manifestation of the most fundamental digital unit: the pixel. Installed at the 2012 Hyundai Motor Group Exhibition, the South Korean media arts group Jonpasang used many, many lightweight cubes (approx. 12"x12") controlled by a large artifice at each wall composed of steel grid and stepper motors. The liquidity of the pixel is transformed as texture, image, and sequence IRL. Admittedly due to the bias of my interest in melding physical with virtual simultaneously, I do believe there is a missed opportunity to incorporate digital imagery on the scene in the form of projection or the like. Read more here: Architect's Newspaper via University of Michigan TCAUP

And in honorable mention, not for its provocation in spatial awareness, but for it's practical application in life saving tech, this is MS Kinect sensor adapted for rescuers to wear on their chests in order to develop accurate digital floor plans as they run through! I have a soft spot for Kinect hacking, but this is nonetheless a very exciting prospect. Read more here: Gizmodo via MIT