Architecture

A Capsule of Memorabilia

If you are lucky enough to be in Italy this week you might want to take a train to Milan to check out the 2017 Milan Design Week. And if you do happen to stop in at Milan Design Week, be sure and check out the Capsule of Memorabilia from 3M and designer Patricia Urquiola. Based on the photos, it looks pretty spectacular.

Based on the belief that behind every memory, there is a story, and behind every story, there is a memory worth protecting, “A Capsule of Memorabilia” will give designers, creative professionals and thought leaders an experience of protecting memories into the future through a blend of architecture, design and innovative use of materials. 3M Design partnered with Studio Urquiola to bring the protection of memories to life using 3M’s Novec products which are designed to help protect, clean, preserve and cool products in smart, safe and sustainable ways.

Visitors will experience a one-of-a-kind photo booth where they can take photos with friends and colleagues using the components of a camera submerged in Novec fluid. The photos will appear on a screen that is protected by Novec, and then visitors will be given the opportunity to preserve the image and share it digitally through social media.

“It is exciting to be at Milan Design Week to share the magic of 3M material sciences to celebrate design and explore innovative possibilities that make people’s lives better,” said Eric Quint, chief design officer at 3M. “We have partnered with Studio Urquiola for this installation and together explored what’s possible through material science – reminding the world of the importance of protecting our collective memories.”

The inspiration behind the installation is the critical nature of ensuring that our memorabilia, whether physical or digital, will live on into the future – from precious artifacts and irreplaceable works of art, to books in a library that are historical and unique, and data centers across the globe managing the communication and storage, of all the digital artifacts that make up life’s special moments. 3M Novec is the featured material utilized throughout the installation, helping to provide the peace of mind that our collective memories are secured and live on into the future.

“The qualities of the Novec products are fascinating and triggered our collaboration to express a bigger story in an experiential way,” said Patricia Urquiola, founder of Studio Urquiola. “The collaboration with 3M Design was inspiring because we shared similar values and a vision about how design and architecture can amplify the qualities of magic materials, and in this case how they can protect our memories in to the future.”

The “Capsule of Memorabilia” exhibit is located at the Central Plaza of SuperStudio and will be open through April, 9.

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Architecture for the Birds.

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Do you feel that the fine feathered friends building nests in your yard’s trees need something a little nicer? Maybe a nice two bedroom Eichler inspired house, or something a little bit more Frank Lloyd Wright? Well Sourgrassbuilt is here to help you make sure that all the birds in your yard have a modern dwelling to call home. Designed and built by Douglas Barnhard for his company, Sourgrassbuilt, in Santa Cruz California these mid-century modern homes are pretty amazing. The birdhouses are handcrafted from valuable leftover wood and laminates that come from other furniture projects that Barnhard creates for Sourgrassbuilt. One of the really nice touches is the fact that many of the houses have small living garden space to help attract birds as well. Barnhard’s Etsy site says he is still taking orders through December 11 for Christmas delivery, so if you want be Santa to the birds this year, you better hurry.

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The USC Architectural Teaching Slide Collection, A Mid Century Modern Time Capsule.

Tremaine residence, Montecito, Calif., 1949. Richard Neutra, architect

Tremaine residence, Montecito, Calif., 1949. Richard Neutra, architect

Yesterday I was looking for some reference images of mid century modern architecture for an illustration I am working on when I stumbled across the USC Architectural Teaching Slide Collection. This website contains about 1400 images taken between the late 1930’s and late 1960’s. it features the work of American masters like Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, Fritz Block and many more. The site is broken into 4 sections, Pierre Koenig (302 items), Fritz Block: Modern architecture II (The new concept of space) (459 items), Fritz Block: Modern architecture I (248 items). There is also a link to a prototype website that was built back in the late 1990’s with additional information.

If you open an image, there is a large selection of information about each slide. Location of the structure, the year taken, who the photographer is, the architect, publisher etc. The images are scans of slides taken in many cases by the architect, or Block. They are not color corrected, and these are not professional architectural photographs. They do however show what was going on in terms of modern architecture at the time, and in some cases show shots of the buildings being built. There are images of blueprints, and correspondence as well as site drawings, and planning layouts for entire subdivisions.  All the images are available for download, print or sharing.

Complex Meshes.

For Lumiere Durham 2015, England’s largest light festival, French artist Miguel Chevalier has unveiled his latest art installation “Complex Meshes”, at centuries old Durham Cathedral. The cathedral was constructed at the end of the 11th Century and represents one of the most accomplished examples of Norman architecture in Europe. Complex Meshes follows Chevalier’s immersive projections at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, and is a monumental projection mapping project that happens at dusk on the ribbed vault ceiling of the central nave.

Chevalier’s mesh is a projection of a three-dimensional object consisting of vertices, edges and faces which form polygons. The use of numerous wireframe meshes projected onto the ceiling becomes an aesthetic in itself enhancing the original mesh structure of the original Gothic architecture.

Chevalier uses different colored weaving patterns composed of triangles, quadrilaterals and other polygons overlapping and evolving slowly in real time creating a virtual light curtain of diverse and complex shapes. The surface is deformed to generate the abstract landscapes of a living universe which is constantly evolving.

The video below takes a couple of minutes to set up the space before showing the actual projection mapping project.

 

Archiblocks.

Remember the building blocks you played with as a kid? Simple squares, usually with the alphabet painted on them. Well these are not your average building blocks.

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Archiblocks were designed by Laurence Calafat for Cinqpoints. Cinqpoints is a French maker of architectural stationery and toys, and Archiblocks is a beautiful, minimalist set of building blocks designed to encourage kids to create. Cinqpoints mission is to spread the ideals of contemporary architecture. Archiblocks are designed to reflect balance, composition, and modular design. The set contains 16 pieces, all machined from untreated lime-wood. the blocks are smooth to the touch, with each block hand sanded before being sealed and painted. If I had kids, I’d get them a set of these. Actually, I might have to get a set for myself, because they are pretty damn cool.

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SNOW CREEK RD.

If I had an extra $450,000 in cash just laying around I’d be tempted to pull the trigger on this property listed by Paul Kaplan in Palm Springs. Yes this is small at just 756 square feet. Yes it needs a boat load of cosmetic work. That’s why I said $100,000 more than the asking price. But look at how cool this space is and how amazing it could be with a little TLC and a vision to take it back to the year it was built; 1961. I really love the sky light that runs the length of the A-Frame roof line. Try and look past the clutter and the current decor. This could really be an amazing space with less furniture and a bunch of updates.

The editorial below the images is from the listing page.

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“Here is Your Chance to Own a Piece Of Incredible Bohemian History. Snow Creek Village is Nestled in the Beautiful San Jacinto Mountains and less than 10 Miles from the Modernist Center of Palm Springs. 39 Eclectic Homes Dot the Scenic Wilderness. Artists, Writers & Musicians have all called Snow Creek Home. This Unique, one of a kind 1 Bedroom/1Bath hand hewn A-Frame House with Loft was built in 1961. A Stunning Celestial Glass Peak Greets You Inside with Rock and Wood Walls & A Large Granite Fireplace. Detached Studio Space sitting on an Incredible .73 acres with a Rock Stream Koi Pond & An Above Ground Jacuzzi. Mature Eucalyptus, Bamboo & Citrus Trees Abound.”

Interactive Portals at LAX.

Public Art can be a hit or miss endeavor. More often than not it misses the mark for one reason or another, be it budgets, design by committee, to many cooks in the kitchen, what ever. Occasionally though it ends up being pretty impressive and true to the need of the commissioning group and the artists themselves.

Recently Los Angeles International Airport installed a series of large-scale, permanent public multimedia installations in the Tom Bradley terminal. The works were designed to enhance the spacial experience of travelers by bringing the architecture to life through the media features of the installations. Designed by Moment Factory the 16 unique responsive digital artworks are built to react to passenger movements with audio, video, sound effects and music being served up real-time in the space. I can’t wait until I fly in or out of LAX again so I can see these in person.