Drawing Post-Digitally

In an article for Metropolis, Sam Jacob explains that the proliferation of photo-realistic renderings has brought about a resurgence in drawing. He argues that today’s architects who have been raised in a digital world are fascinated with “the super-collage possibilities of Photoshop and the extreme flatness of Illustrator that established a different kind of image discourse: one that considered other types of digital space, other forms of graphic quality, and simultaneously a set of alternative architectural propositions.” It seems that the envisioned all-digital future of architecture may appear the way we foresaw.

Source: Metropolis

Meet Kuri, the Home Robot

Image Credit: Dezeen

Image Credit: Dezeen

Kuri is a home robot that promises to improve a person’s living space in a wide variety of ways. Whether by monitoring one’s house while away or acting as a mobile speaker device that follows you from room to room, Kuri seems to fit the role of an active helper and, perhaps, even a family member. Kuri, the “real live robot,” avoids the realm of “uncanny valley” by possessing certain anthropomorphic features such as eyes that blink and a glowing heart. The coming months will tell whether such an invention will be successfully absorbed into the lives of the people of the 21st century.

Source: heykuri.com

Stair-Treading Wheelchair

Image Source: Scewo via Designboom

Image Source: Scewo via Designboom

The Scewo stair-treading wheelchair represents a major advancement in electric wheelchair technology. This chair has two elements that have been added to it: rubber tracks that allow the bottom surface of the chair to cling to steps and a pair of small, retractable wheels that prop the chair up. The success of such a chair is particularly relevant to the way in which architects will design ground surfaces in the future.

Source: Designboom

BUILD: A Real-Life, Physical Design Space by Autodesk

On October 5, 2016, Autodesk announced “the opening of its Boston-based Autodesk Building, Innovation, Learning and Design (BUILD) Space, a unique industrial workshop and innovation studio focused on the future of making things in the built environment.” The space allows designers to utilize specialty equipment such as waterjet cutters, robots, routers, and a 5-ton crane. There is a “BUILDers in Residence program” for which project teams may apply and, once admitted, may participate free of charge as long as the team provides its own materials.

Source: Autodesk BUILD Space

Neo-Neon: Materials Lab Installation at 2017 Fusebox Festival

Image Credit: Fusebox

Image Credit: Fusebox

The Materials Lab fabricated an installation for this year’s Fusebox Festival, taking place this Wednesday through Sunday (04/12-04/16). The piece, called Neo-Neon, incorporates a variety of materials to manipulate light in unique ways. This is an opportunity for UTSOA’s visibility to grow in Austin’s art community and for UTSOA students to become immersed in Austin’s vibrant art scene.

Source: Fusebox

Interview Reveals the Origins of Comic Sans

Image credit: The Guardian

Image credit: The Guardian

Typeface Comic Sans—created in 1994—has generated more controversy than perhaps any other typeface. Vincent Connare, who developed the typeface while working for Microsoft’s typography team, explains the origins of Comic Sans in a new interview. Connare was attempting to develop a typeface suitable for Microsoft Bob, a software meant to help children learn computer skills. Microsoft Bob’s speech was written in Times New Roman, which Connare found inappropriate for a children’s software. Although he has only used Comic Sans once, Connare finds the backlash to the font “…just amazing—and quite frankly funny.” Read the full interview at The Guardian.

Source: The Guardian

Lives of Redwoods Revealed in New Installation

Treehugger: Wahoma is a new installation that combines data visualization and virtual reality to allow viewers to explore the nervous system of a 3,500 year old redwood tree. The installation, by creative studio Marshmallow Laser Feast, was on display at London’s Southbank Centre in December. Participants donned VR headsets after entering the space, allowing the data visualization of the sequioa’s nervous system to come to life. Marshmallow Laser Feast creative director Ersinhan Ersin claims that the installation is “…trying to give people a new perception of trees as creatures just a vibrant and alive as we are.”

Source: Visual News

Germany Reuses Coal Mine as Giant Battery for Renewable Energy

The Prosper-Haniel coal mine will soon stop production for the first time since it opened in 1974—but that doesn’t mean miners will lose their jobs. Instead, many of the workers at the mine will be employed at the same site, which will become a massive storage facility for renewable energy. The mine will be transformed into a giant battery that stores energy by pumping water between two chambers connected via pipes with turbines. The storage facility will hold enough energy to power 400,000 houses, allowing Germany to further rely on renewable energy rather than carbon-producing fossil fuels. The mine is set to close in 2018.

Source: Inhabitat

Build Lego Buildings Anywhere with Startup’s Newest Creation

Image credit: Dezeen

Image credit: Dezeen

Do you want your Lego creations to defy gravity? Cape Town-based designers Anine Kirsten and Max Basler have developed Nimuno Loops, a studded tape that allows users to create buildings that do just that. The tape has a reusable adhesive on one side and small studs that fit into Lego blocks on the other side, allowing Lego structures to be built on any surface. Currently, Kirsten and Basler have crowdfunded nearly $1 million to develop their prototype into a distributed product.

Source: Dezeen

SXSW ‘Infinity’ Installation Alters Your Perception of Space

Image credit: DesignBoom

Image credit: DesignBoom

Artist Refik Anadol has created an immersive light-filled installation that alters visitors’ perception of space and time. The mirrored chamber, which was showcased at the 2017 SXSW festival, surrounds participants with a programmed light show that features psychedelic patterns and disorienting shapes. Anadol describes the project as something that “…facilitates a temporary release from our habitual perceptions and culturally biased assumptions about being in the world, to enable us—however momentarily—to perceive ourselves and the world around us freshly.”

Source: DesignBoom

Photographer Documents the Same Buildings Year After Year

Image Credit: Camilo Jose Vergara

Image Credit: Camilo Jose Vergara

Photographer Camilo Jose Vergara has spent the past forty years photographing decaying buildings in low-income American neighborhoods in his project titled “Tracking Time.” Vergara’s image sets reveal the life span of several buildings as they decline, are demolished, or are restored. The photographs reveal both gradual and drastic changes in the built environment, showing how social and economic factors impact the world we live in. In some cases, Vergara documented entire streetscapes, illustrating the loss and change low income communities face.

Source: Messy Nessy

Massive JFK Sculpture Sits in a Hidden Desert Bunker

Image credit: Lance Gerber

Image credit: Lance Gerber

As part of Desert X, a showcase of site-specific artwork taking place in the Coachella Valley, artist Will Boone has buried a larger-than-life sculpture of John F. Kennedy in the same kind of underground bunker he would have used in case of a nuclear attack. Boone’s work was influenced by his emotional connection to Kennedy’s assassination as a native Texan. He hopes that the installation ‘speaks not just to all those things that have been driven underground since the extinguished optimism of the sixties but to those same fears – nuclear attack at the invasion of the other – that have been so vividly resurrected in recent times.’

Source: DesignBoom