Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Monday Pin-up – Zaha Hadid

02/09/2009

Well, not Zaha, haha, but

A water faucet she has designed.

Cold War Modern

10/10/2008

The Messerschmitt Kabinenroller, 1955
Now parked in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

as part of

Cold War Modern: Design 1945 – 1970

The 300 objects on display range from terrific toys — such as the three-wheeled micro car above. Plus a shiny Vespa motor scooter, an even shinier Sputnik and some Apollo space suits showing signs of wear — to futuristic frocks by designers such as Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin.

There are Eames chairs and Dieter Ram radios, and Raymond Loewy’s drawings for the interiors of spacecraft…. Robert Rauschenberg’s 1963 painting “Kite,” with its menacing military imagery, contrasts with the near-primitive Socialist-Realist pathos of a 1950 tapestry woven by Polish art students.

The show starts with the startlingly differing hopes for the reconstruction of Berlin in the architectural plans for the old-fashioned classical buildings on Stalinallee in the East, and the Modernist housing schemes in West Berlin by the Interbau team that included Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Arne Jacobsen.”

If you can’t make it to London, visit the show’s excellent website here.

And you can watch these videos related to the exhibition, such as the climax of Dr. Strangelove, to the song “We’ll Meet Again”

And then what to do in case of attack (“Send your young children to the fallout room…..”) in “Protect and Survive”

Top photo: Die Neue Sammlung, A. Laurenzo

Planes, trains of thought and peace

09/03/2008

The New York Times story on the retro-futurist design of the interior of the new Airbus A380 double-deck superjumbo jet for the Australian airline Qantas


reminded me of this timeless, unforgettable form follows function; beauty in structure shed designed by the late Chicago architect Myron Goldsmith.


What a perfect fit! Excitement when that beautiful plane enters that shed. A sense of completion. The shed’s straight lines contrasting with the curves and angles of the aerodynamic plane. To welcome the plane back home. To rest, before it takes off again.

It also reminds me that architect Norman Foster famously said,

when asked to make a film for the TV series Building Sights about his favourite building, Foster chose a Boeing 747. This was a homage not just to the aerospace industry that has so inspired him, but to the big-spiritedness of US design, the American belief in getting things up and flying, of taking on daunting challenges in the belief that they will succeed.

Ah yes, Boeing. They have their own Dreamliner coming out soon. Airbus has raised the stakes for design as a competitive tool and Boeing has understood. The 787 should be gorgeous.



Look at that. All curves inside. That’s calming too. As is the lighting. As in the A380 LEDs in the ceiling will give a sense of daylight or of a beautiful night sky.

The L.E.D.’s that illuminate the cabin are programmed to wash the interior with colors that change subtly throughout the flight. Each shade is selected to create the ideal mood for a particular activity, like sleeping, waking or eating, regardless of time zone.

Boeing thinks about these things, “Blue/green is nearly unanimously associated with peace,” it says in a Boeing article called, “The Psychology of Comfort in Airplane Interior Design – Shape, color, patterns and lighting influence how travelers feel.”

I would feel peaceful too, watching a jumbo jet pull into Myron Goldsmith’s shed at San Francisco International airport. Like finding the perfect puzzle piece. Modernist perfection it is. Too bad it was demolished in 1996. I guess its perfect shape for 1958, when built, would hardly fit today’s larger aircraft anyway. What we build today is often too big.

But I do find the new jets and their interior cabins thrilling.

A380 photo: Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images via the New York Times
Boeing photo: Boeingmedia.com

BLDGBLOG wonders too about “the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, here transformed into a total environment sent aloft into the sky.”
.

02/02/2007

Bruce Mau moving closer to Chicago’s Jolly Green Mayor! That’s the plan?

We had this back in November.
At the time Bruce Mau Design’s VP for Development commented,

Just a rumour, but we can’t deny that we’re looking to expand in the US imminently and that, yes, Chicago is a logical outpost, for five million reasons.
Great blog by the way.

Jim Shedden
VP, Development
Bruce Mau Design

And now it can be told. The Toronto Star reports that Bruce Mau Design will open a Chicago office before the end of June. [via] Interesting article for many reasons.

“Sources say there are other factors that make Chicago attractive. Increasingly since 9/11 high-end clients and partners prefer not to cross the border for a meeting. And Mau was seduced when Chicago, unlike his hometown, embraced Massive Change during its run at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art last year.

“The light went on for both of us when we saw how everyone in Chicago, including the mayor, the artists and senior management teams, embraced Bruce,” says Mau’s business partner, Miles Nadal.
Mau and his wife, Aiyemobisi Williams, have told friends they are shopping for a house in Chicago and looking for schools for their three children.

According to Joanne Balles Crosbie, president of Bruce Mau Design, the idea of moving his family to Chicago is under consideration but has not been finalized. And the firm will keep its Toronto office open even if Mau does not reside here.”

And the word is his firm will work with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley on the 2009 centennial celebration of the publication of Daniel Burnham‘s “The Plan of Chicago.”

Lynn gets it right, as usual,

“If Mau is expecting the type of fawning he received here to continue in perpetuity, he’ll be in for rude awakening. Chicago, ultimately, is a tough town, with an allergy for puffery no matter how well intentioned. Massive Change was Mau’s Chicago romantic courtship. …

Still, Chicago was built by people who grew tired of where they came from and fell in love with the city, in all its contradictions. Think Sullivan, Mies, Daniel Burnham. If Mau can disenthrall himself from the flatterers – sycophancy is one of Chicago’s baser failings – and really engage the city, warts and all, he could be the next name in that line.”

I know we’re going to see “green” sprout all over here. So the time is right for Mau, now. Daley‘s Dad, Richard I, was content to just

turn the river green once a year and talk about workers downtown one day fishing in it for their lunches. That hasn’t quite happened yet, but, his son the current Mayor wants to turn the whole city green!


Not like this, I mean as in sustainable architecture….
(You know he’s Irish-American, born on Arbor Day – Richard M. Daley)

Good idea. And Mau has a few good ideas too.

-Edwardo

02/02/2007

Bruce Mau moving closer to Chicago’s Jolly Green Mayor! That’s the plan?

We had this back in November.
At the time Bruce Mau Design’s VP for Development commented,

Just a rumour, but we can’t deny that we’re looking to expand in the US imminently and that, yes, Chicago is a logical outpost, for five million reasons.
Great blog by the way.

Jim Shedden
VP, Development
Bruce Mau Design

And now it can be told. The Toronto Star reports that Bruce Mau Design will open a Chicago office before the end of June. [via] Interesting article for many reasons.

“Sources say there are other factors that make Chicago attractive. Increasingly since 9/11 high-end clients and partners prefer not to cross the border for a meeting. And Mau was seduced when Chicago, unlike his hometown, embraced Massive Change during its run at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art last year.

“The light went on for both of us when we saw how everyone in Chicago, including the mayor, the artists and senior management teams, embraced Bruce,” says Mau’s business partner, Miles Nadal.
Mau and his wife, Aiyemobisi Williams, have told friends they are shopping for a house in Chicago and looking for schools for their three children.

According to Joanne Balles Crosbie, president of Bruce Mau Design, the idea of moving his family to Chicago is under consideration but has not been finalized. And the firm will keep its Toronto office open even if Mau does not reside here.”

And the word is his firm will work with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley on the 2009 centennial celebration of the publication of Daniel Burnham‘s “The Plan of Chicago.”

Lynn gets it right, as usual,

“If Mau is expecting the type of fawning he received here to continue in perpetuity, he’ll be in for rude awakening. Chicago, ultimately, is a tough town, with an allergy for puffery no matter how well intentioned. Massive Change was Mau’s Chicago romantic courtship. …

Still, Chicago was built by people who grew tired of where they came from and fell in love with the city, in all its contradictions. Think Sullivan, Mies, Daniel Burnham. If Mau can disenthrall himself from the flatterers – sycophancy is one of Chicago’s baser failings – and really engage the city, warts and all, he could be the next name in that line.”

I know we’re going to see “green” sprout all over here. So the time is right for Mau, now. Daley‘s Dad, Richard I, was content to just

turn the river green once a year and talk about workers downtown one day fishing in it for their lunches. That hasn’t quite happened yet, but, his son the current Mayor wants to turn the whole city green!


Not like this, I mean as in sustainable architecture….
(You know he’s Irish-American, born on Arbor Day – Richard M. Daley)

Good idea. And Mau has a few good ideas too.

-Edwardo

01/11/2007

The Bic Ballpoint Pen chandelier!

Good cheap ‘green’ design! Made with recycled pens. But only 30 chandeliers have been made. I bet you could make your own if you really wanted one. How much would the pens cost, $20? Nice.
The pro model costs a grand and comes in orange or clear.
More on it at this annoyingly slow site.

The pen is mightier than the…. ?
-Edward

01/11/2007

The Bic Ballpoint Pen chandelier!

Good cheap ‘green’ design! Made with recycled pens. But only 30 chandeliers have been made. I bet you could make your own if you really wanted one. How much would the pens cost, $20? Nice.
The pro model costs a grand and comes in orange or clear.
More on it at this annoyingly slow site.

The pen is mightier than the…. ?
-Edward

01/11/2007

The Bic Ballpoint Pen chandelier!

Good cheap ‘green’ design! Made with recycled pens. But only 30 chandeliers have been made. I bet you could make your own if you really wanted one. How much would the pens cost, $20? Nice.
The pro model costs a grand and comes in orange or clear.
More on it at this annoyingly slow site.

The pen is mightier than the…. ?
-Edward

The Oath for Architects

02/20/2006

—————-=-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=—————-


I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won gains of those great architects in whose steps I walk.
I will apply, for the benefit of all, all measures which are required, avoiding the traps of overbuilding and blocking too much sunlight and fresh air.

I will remember that there is art to architecture and cities, as well as profit,
and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh an extra story or two in a project.

I will insist on using quality materials and seek quality craftmanship, I build for the ages.

Most especially must I tread with care in matters of tall buildings, for these have great effect and are seen by all; and in civic buildings, for these are for all the people.

I will not be ashamed to say “I don’t think we should build there,” or “I don’t think we should tear that down,” or, “wouldn’t that be better as a public square or a park?,” nor will I fail to call my colleagues on the carpet when they accept a commission that shows disrespect to tradition or to the citizenry.

I will not fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a project.

If I’ve not clear ideas or strong talents, let me not obfuscate truth with “archi-speak.” Those who do should only teach, and never build.

If it is given me to build a private residence for a wealthy person, all thanks, may I resist the urge to soak ’em. May I also resist the urge to involve my friends in the profits.

It may also be within my power to help the less fortunate. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those of pure mind and body as well as those with political connections.

Above all, I must not do like many in my profession – you’ve seen the Modernists? the Brutalists? Do not play at god!

May I resist temptation to design or put my name on, tea-kettles, bird houses, and pasta spoons.

I will remember that I do not build a single building, but that the landscape and the lighting and the space around the building, indeed the polis as a whole – is connected. My responsibility includes all related issues, such as transportation, and sustainability, if I am to care adequately for the population.

I will preserve and ennoble nature whenever I can, for I think that I shall never see a steel and glass skyscraper lovely as a tree.

May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of those in my buildings, even when they can’t find parking nearby, or the elevators break, the plumbing leaks, property taxes or heating costs go up, or an esteemed colleague builds something next door and blocks their beautiful view.

May I have the right to not have to live in one of my own buildings.

Were I given good fortune to live to 98 years, may I know when to stop designing.

If I do not violate this oath, may I be respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I design my own tomb (if no one else will.)

Until then, may I enjoy life, art, dry martinis, designer eyeglasses and Italian shoes.

—————-=-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=—————-

All rights reserved. Copyright 2006 Edward Lifson