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Design

Hold a building in your hand: augmented reality on a postage stamp

May 12, 2011

Christopher Jobson

For the past several years Chicagoans have been following the debacle of the Chicago Spire, a 150-floor spiraling skyscraper designed by Santiago Calatrava that would have towered above every other building in the Western Hemisphere. Though due to mismanaged finances, an awful housing market, and the overall impact of the 2008 financial crisis the spire was never meant to be and all we got was a glorious 76-foot-deep hole (previously).

Recognizing this global trend of failed/experimental/never-to-be-built architecture, the Netherlands Institute of Architecture has teamed up with the Dutch postal service (TNT Post) to honor these architects and their unrealized designs in an incredible sheet of stamps. But these aren’t your normal postage stamps. Each is printed with a unique QR-code that when placed in front of a webcam erect 3D buildings in the palm of your hand. Via Aaron Betsky:

The postage-stamp-size exhibit consists of five buildings. As a bonus, if you hold up a whole sheet to the camera, you see an image of the NAI itself. Moreover, the stamps are paired with an Augmented Reality App called UAR (Urban Augmented Reality) that lets you place this and other unbuilt structures in meatspace by holding your iPhone up to the site.

I’m not a huge fan of QR codes and in fact I don’t think I’ve ever used one, however this strikes me as a pretty amazing idea. (via notcot)

 

 



Design

Double Happiness Billboard Swing Set

March 18, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Architect Didier Faustino created this epic swing set out of a converted advertising billboard for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Bi-City Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture.

Double Happiness responds to the society of materialism where individual desires seem to be prevailing over all. This nomad piece of urban furniture allows the reactivation of different public spaces and enables inhabitants to reappropriate fragments of their city. They will both escape and dominate public space through a game of equilibrium and desequilibrium. By playing this “risky” game, and testing their own limits, two persons can experience together a new perception of space and recover an awareness of the physical world.

(via brokencitylab)

 

 



Art History

Ramón Espantaleón: First Apple

March 9, 2011

Christopher Jobson

It’s hard to believe that almost ten years now separate us from September 11, 2001, a tragic, world-changing day forever seared in our memories as we watched the attacks unfold on CNN or encountered it firsthand on the streets of New York and elsewhere. As the anniversary approaches and the discussion begins on how best to remember and retell the events of that day artist Ramón Espantaleón has begun work his personal response. A native of Madrid, Espantaleón not only endured 9/11 while living in the United States, but returned home to experience the Madrid train bombings in 2004.

First Apple is an ambitious work that seeks to recreate various scale models of New York City and in some cases to map these three dimensional renderings to the Twin Towers themselves. To create the base Espantaleón painstakingly constructed Manhattan in clay by forming 31,920 volumetric units each representing actual buildings, at a scale of 1/65. These volumes were then used to create pixelated city blocks from which he cast silicon molds that could in turn be used to reproduce each block with epoxy resin and polyurethane. This reproducible method allowed for a potentially unlimited exploration of space, color, material (and in some cases typography) resulting in the varied forms of architectural model pointillism you see above.

In total there are 11 individual artworks soon to be displayed in Madrid and an additional 11 Espantaleón seeks to display in New York. Learn about the project via his web site Landspot. A huge thanks to Ramon for sharing his incredible work with Colossal, and thanks to our mutual friend Jeff for making the introduction!

 

 



Design

Sou Fujimoto: Bricks of paper and ink

March 7, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The latest work from architect Sou Fujimoto who designed this stunning new library for the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. To dramatically emphasize the function of the building, Fujimoto chose to extend the bookshelves beyond the interior with immense external pillars of red cedar shelving covered in structural float glass. (via abitare)

 

 



Art Design

Michael Hansmeyer: A cardboard column with 16 million facets

February 28, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Zurich-based Michael Hansmeyer is a computational architect who examines the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms. His latest project, Subdivided Columns – A New Order is a 9-foot column that weighs nearly 2,000 pounds generated by iterating a subdivision algorithm and then utilizing a laser to delicately slice each segment of cardboard. Via his web site:

A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core.

The calculation of the cutting path for each sheet takes place in several steps. First, the six million faces of the 3D model are intersected with a plane representing the sheet. This step generates a series of individual line segments that are tested for self-intersection and subsequently combined to form polygons. Next, a polygon-in-polygon test deletes interior polygons. A series of filters then ensures that convex polygons with peninsulas maintain a mininimum isthmus width. In a final step, an interior offset is calculated with the aim of hollowing out the slice to reduce weight.

To see more check out the article on Fastco. (thnx, chase!)

 

 



Art

Jie Shen

February 17, 2011

Christopher Jobson

For his graduate work at at Edinburgh University, Jie Shen spent two years researching and designing an adaptable performance space for Constitution Square in Warsaw.

Read the rest of my article on designboom.

Side note: I should probably make a brief announcement. After picking up several items from Colossal I was contacted by designboom to become a guest editor. I’m humbled and thrilled to be contributing to such a fantastic site and I’ll make sure a teaser is posted here on Colossal every time a designboom piece goes live. Exciting!

 

 



Design

The Knit Fort: A Flexible Playspace

February 4, 2011

Christopher Jobson

When I was a kid we were lucky to have a stick, an old car tire, and and on a really good day maybe some mud. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and there’s nothing wrong with this incredible play structure, either. The Knit Fort is a gorgeous playspace created by Matt Ganon Studio. The carefully interlinked walls allow for a flexible, organic form that can be pushed and pulled to create new shapes and spaces.

The assembly technique, similar to knitting, allows the addition or subtraction of columns responding to the site context without altering the design. Depending on the scale, the surface can remain elastic allowing the occupant to manipulate and deform the profile. The shape can be expanded or contracted to alter the apertures of the space. The participatory aspect of the surface prolongs the process of creation and allows fine tuning the boundary of the space.

If I was a kid this would cease being a fort and quickly become a permanent residence. (via ok great)