AA Inter 3

“How buildings could come to life” by tthpk
May 8, 2012, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Terence

“The buildings in our cities could quite literally come alive in the decades ahead. Spencer Kelly looks at a series of projects that will allow buildings and even the furniture in them to be able to sense how they are being used and adapt to changes in the environment around them.

It opens the way for chairs to know who is sitting on them so they can become more comfortable and buildings to change their own heating and lighting without human intervention.”


Celebrating Death – a post by Lebbeus Woods by Smart Home Development SRL
May 3, 2012, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Leni

Whilst browsing around for inspiration I came across this article on Lebbeus Wood’s blog, about an exhibition in Hangar 17 at JFK Airport commemorating the 9/11 attacks by displaying objects and materials found at the World Trade Center site.

He raises a few brief but interesting questions about the point and use of a memorial, and makes a valuable statement: ‘But the important point here, I believe, is that memorials cannot any longer commemorate death and destruction in the name of noble causes, but must somehow affirm the ultimate value of human life, under whatever name it goes.’

The article and photographs of the exhibition are here.

Drawing Reference by xuanyuan7dai
April 29, 2012, 12:54 pm
Filed under: Nicole

A friend of mine gave me this nice website with architectural drawings that its blogger collects: Drawing Architecture

Combined and Uneven Apocalypse by xuanyuan7dai
April 27, 2012, 12:08 pm
Filed under: Nicole

An interesting theoretical/commentary political book that I gained reference recently: Combined and Uneven Apocalypse by Evan Calder Williams.

Here’s a brief introduction to the book:

From the repurposed rubble of salvagepunk to undead hordes banging on shopping mall doors, from empty waste zones to teeming plagued cities, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse grapples with the apocalyptic fantasies of our collapsing era. Moving through the films, political tendencies, and recurrent crises of late capitalism, Evan Calder Williams paints a black toned portrait of the dream  and nightmare  images of a global order gone very, very wrong. Situating itself in the defaulting financial markets of the present, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse glances back toward a messy history of zombies, car wrecks, tidal waves, extinction, trash heaps, labour, pandemics, wolves, cannibalism, and general nastiness that populate the underside of our cultural imagination. Every age may dream the end of the world to follow, but these scattered nightmare figures are a skewed refraction of the normal hell of capitalism. The apocalypse isn’t something that will happen one day: it’s just the slow unveiling of the catastrophe we’ve been living through for centuries. Against any fantasies of progress, return, or reconciliation, Williams launches a loathing critique of the bleak present and offers a graveside smile for our necessary battles to come.

This author is also writing his blog “Socialism and/or Babarism“, which he wrote on in parallel prior to the publication of this book (he posts new blogs in commenting on current events as well), also interesting to take a look at.

Designing Kronus? by tutor
April 27, 2012, 10:53 am
Filed under: 2011-12, reading

Kronus by MPC on Wrath of the Titans film

Kronus, the mythological Greek Titan, form was designed for the film ‘Wrath of the Titans’ by VFX company MPC (The Moving Picture Company) using several 3D iterations to catch the flavour of Zeus father. As described in the CGSociety website they used Zbrush sculpting software to developed Kronus concept design. As explained by Anders Langlands, MPC’s CG Supervisor: “We tried to keep that idea that there was a constantly moving molten lava layer shifting underneath his skin,”; “Then on top of that would be these black plates of rocks like tectonic plates shifting around on the earth.”

The impressive special effects make one think also about the post effects of Kronus as the volcano dries while the lava spilled ‘refill’ mineral resource in the new created/destroyed landscape. Analogically one is reminded by the tour de force book by British writer Olaf Stapledon Last and First Men where he investigated not Kronus and Gaia mythical genealogy of the past but the near and far future landscape transformations impulsed by the age of ‘men’. In three hundred pages Stapledon covers two billion years and the transformation of mankind in eighteen iterations. From ultra-industrialized cities, to proto-caveman futures and scattered hunter-gathering far future tribes the book describes the environment and its slow but brutal transformation during this period.

It would be interesting to imagine the crossbreed of myth tempestuous Kronus and the radical tales of near future sustainability. As, for example, lava not only destroys it ‘recreates’ depleted mineral resources through centuries of lava flow and sedimentation. As fictionally depicted by Stapledon the issue is not that humanity would not adapt to massive change, but instead the soul price paid for such adaptation. As people may adapt to live in prison, not every adaptation seems to be a bright bargain. In this scenario story telling becomes a crucial way to in-form our future steps. What could be our near future Kronus?

For the full CG article please check CGSociety website

“Demolition Robots Deployed in Japan Danger Zone” by xuanyuan7dai
April 16, 2012, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Nicole

“The robots built by Swedish company Husqvarna are remote-controlled  demolition vehicles capable of ascending stairs and operating and  heavily radiated areas. Both models involved, the DXR-140 and DXR-310  (pictured above) are to be used in the prolonged clean up in the fourth  reactor.”



Design Museum Exhibition by xuanyuan7dai
April 11, 2012, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Nicole

The Design Museum is currently running 3 exhibitions including the:

– Terrence Coran (habitat furniture shop) on first floor;

– the Happiness and Other Survival Techniques on the second and;

– the Design of Year 2012 on the top floor.


The Happiness and Other Survival Techniques features guides to many peculiar things such as how to dress yourself as a chair in order to smuggle yourself, how to laugh, information about turning bio-waste into energy… Full of D.I.Y. gadgets and interesting ideas. You may find it very familiar visiting this exhibition for its presentation style is also quite AA.


Exhibition link: http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2012/happiness-and-other-survival-techniques

(I just realized this one ends this Friday 13th of April, sorry for posting late)

Gravity Stool by Jólan van der Wiel by christina v
April 4, 2012, 11:50 pm
Filed under: 2011-12, reading

While researching for ts, I run into this amazing project. I don’t know how many of you know about it, but I think the way it is partly self-formed, partly controlled by the designer is really cool…

The Gravity Stool thanks its unique shape to the cooperation between magnetic fields and the power of gravity.

Departing from the idea that everything is influenced by gravitation, a force that has a strongly shaping effect, Jólan intended to manipulate this natural phenomenon by exploiting its own power: magnetism. The positioning of the magnetic fields in the machine, opposing each other, has largely determined the final shape of the Gravity Stool.

It is the combination of the magnet machine with the plastic material, developed especially for this purpose, that enabled Jólan to start a small but efficient chain of production. The forms and products are characterized by the freakish and organic shapes that are so typical of nature itself.

You can see more on how it is made on the artists website here

Hope everyone is having a good time!

Interactive plants? Yep…kind of by tutor
April 4, 2012, 1:59 pm
Filed under: 2011-12, reading

Following our interest in the sentient enviroment we just came across a post on the-creators-project website about Interactive plants. The project has some of the macabre, a bit of the emotional and a lot of the Japanese.

In a way it reminds us of one of our favourite comics by Alan Moore ‘The Swamp Thing’ saga. It conveys a story when the force of nature is embedded with ambiguous emotions of human spirit. The series is a tour the force about the connection between the invisible and the natural and it’s a great piece of literary writing.

The series explores the ‘avatar-like’ connection between human spirit and fluid network of living things without going too esoterical. It would be interesting to know what the designers above would do if they could collaborate with The Swamp Thing and his unconventional emotions…

The Swamp Thing by Alan Moore and John Totleben

3/11 effects on Japanese society by mcasselbrant
March 30, 2012, 8:58 pm
Filed under: 2011-12

This is a super interesting documentary about how the Japanese society has been effected by the disaster last year, and how radioactivity has been a part of the mentality since WWII.

Some of the things they talk about/interview people about are:

  • Radioactivity is the greatest power, it effects everyone, no matter what political party, race, age, nationality you belong to.
  • Government did not tell the whole truth, and have never really considered effects of an accident seriously enough. Economical growth has been too important and dependent on nuclear power.
  • Tepco is a super powerful company, investing 700 million pounds a year on advertisement. Radio and TV does not really want to be too critical towards Tepco for this reason, it’s very difficult to fund critical documentaries about the accident with Japanese money, and most funding is found in Europe or USA.
  • Japanese women protest more than men. In one city there has been more than 1000 protests the last 20 years against nuclear power.
  • Cultural references like Godzilla (relation to American test of hydrogen bomb), Akira (government trying to control an immense power), and Dreams by Kurosawa (actual nuclear power plant disaster scenario)
  • Music and concerts have become faster and more intense (“We fucking have to live hard and fast to get the most out of our lives”). Young people have an urge to distract themselves from the effects of the disaster.
  • An artist’s mapping of all nuclear bomb tests throughout history, making “boring” info graphically interesting.

This is my favorite documentary show on Swedish television, and it’s really nicely done visually, there’s a lot of nice footage. I strongly recommend watching it, the only problem is that… it’s. in. Swedish… but all interviews are in English! So actually about 50% is English. If you want to know more about some specific part, let me know and I will translate!

Watch it here

And have a nice holiday!