80 posts tagged design
The winners of the 2014 eVolo skyscraper competition were announced in March. Now in its ninth year, the contest aims to recognize outstanding ideas for vertical living. This year’s entries included wooden structures, sky cities and buildings that grow. (via eVolo 2014 Skyscraper Competition winners)
With a projected settlement date of 2025, the Mars One project has received over 200,000 applications for the one way trip to the Red Planet. But creating a living, sustainable community on the distant planet for the select inhabitants will require not only unique technological and engineering solutions, but also novel architectural systems. Bryan Versteeg is a conceptual designer who’s been working with the Mars One team in anticipation of the planet’s eventual colonization. (via SpaceHabs: One man’s architectural vision for colonizing Mars)
Sand Babel is a twisting, solar-powered, 3D-printed skyscraper built from desert sand. Inspired by tornadoes and mushroom rocks found in deserts, the tower was designed with an underground tube network system that combines residential spaces, scientific research facilities and sightseeing platforms. The futuristic, forward-thinking project by Chinese designers earned an honorable mention in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition. (via Sand Babel: Solar-Powered Twisting Skyscrapers 3D-Printed with Desert Sands Sand Babel Solar Powered 3D Printed Tower - Gallery Page 1 – Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building)
A Giant Basket That Uses Condensation to Gather Drinking Water
Around the world, 768 million people don’t have access to safe water, and every day 1,400 children under the age of five die from water-based diseases. Designer Arturo Vittori believes the solution to this catastrophe lies not in high technology, but in sculptures that look like giant-sized objects from the pages of a Pier 1 catalog. His stunning water towers stand nearly 30 feet tall and can collect over 25 gallons of potable water per day by harvesting atmospheric water vapor. Called WarkaWater towers, each pillar is comprised of two sections: a semi-rigid exoskeleton built by tying stalks of juncus or bamboo together and an internal plastic mesh, reminiscent of the bags oranges come in. The nylon and polypropylene fibers act as a scaffold for condensation, and as the droplets of dew form, they follow the mesh into a basin at the base of the structure.
“Once locals have the necessary know how, they will be able to teach others villages and communities to build the WarkaWater towers.” Each tower costs approximately $550 and can be built in under a week with a four-person team and locally available materials. (via A Giant Basket That Uses Condensation to Gather Drinking Water | Wired Design | Wired.com)
Virtual Worlds: Walter Pichler’s Futuristic Visions
Around forty-five years ago a man wore a submarine-like white helmet that extended from front to back. His entire head disappeared into the futurist capsule; only the title betraying what was happening. TV Helmet created in 1967 is a technical device that isolates the user while imbedding him or her in an endless web of information: closed off against the outside world, the wearer was completely focused on the screen before his eyes. TV Helmet is the work of Walter Pichler and it doesn’t merely formally anticipate the cyber glasses developed decades later; Pichler also articulated questions of content in relation to the media experience long before the “virtual world” was even discovered. Even back then, Walter Pichler was probably already a media critic as he’s remained one to this day. But he is also a conceptually thinking artist who explored space early on—beyond the four walls and the structures of cities. Pichler called his invention a Portable Living Room. His pioneering designs, The Prototypes, are pneumatic plastic living bubbles from the sixties that sought answers to the questions of tomorrow’s individualized life somewhere between the areas of design, architecture, and art. With their reference to space travel and modernist materials, Pichler’s futurist sculptures inspire a desire for the future— even if his messages are said to possess a sceptical or sarcastic undertone. (via Virtual Worlds: Walter Pichler’s Futuristic Visions | artselectronic)
Supersonic Jet Ditches Windows for Massive Live-Streaming Screens
Spike Aerospace is in the midst of building the first supersonic private jet. And when the $80 million S-512 takes off in December 2018, it won’t have something you’d find on every other passenger aircraft: windows. The Boston-based aerospace firm is taking advantage of recent advances in video recording, live-streaming, and display technology with an interior that replaces the windows with massive, high-def screens. The S-512’s exterior will be lined with tiny cameras sending footage to thin, curved displays lining the interior walls of the fuselage. The result will be an unbroken panoramic view of the outside world. And if passengers want to sleep or distract themselves from ominous rainclouds, they can darken the screen or choose from an assortment of ambient images. But this isn’t just a wiz-bang feature for an eight-figure aircraft. While windows are essential for keeping claustrophobia in check, they require engineering workarounds that compromise a fuselage’s simple structure. And that goes two-fold for a supersonic aircraft. An airplane is stronger sans windows, which is one of the reasons why planes carrying military personnel or packages fly without them. Putting passenger windows on an airplane requires meticulous construction — the ovular shape, small aperture, and double-pane construction are all there to maintain cabin pressure and resist cracking while flying 500 mph at 35,000 feet. (via Supersonic Jet Ditches Windows for Massive Live-Streaming Screens | Autopia | Wired.com)
Romolo Stanco’s e-QBO is giant monolithic cube that harnesses solar energy to power an integrated communications hub. The cube is wrapped with building integrated photovoltaic panels, and soaks up sunlight all day long to power public lighting, videomapping installations, cell phone ports, and an internet hotspot. The project was developed by TRED, an innovative Italian practice dedicated to merging high technology and design.
Can the human brain design a perfect object?
Merel Bekking wants to create the perfect design. But instead of looking to ratios and formulas, she’s peering into the human mind to find it. “I want to investigate if it is possible to make a perfect design based on brain activity,” Bekking says in a video describing her work. She’s already begun with a small group of 10 men and 10 women, using an MRI machine to determine what design elements they prefer the most.”As a designer, you have to make a series of decisions,” Bekking says. “And the three most important ones are shape, color, and material.” By presenting an array of those three elements to her subjects during a scan, Bekking found a preference for the color red, the material plastic, and for shapes that were closed and appeared organic. Bekking hasn’t yet created the perfect red, plastic, closed-organic shape, but she plans to present a series of “perfect everyday objects” at Milan Design Week in early April. (via Can the human brain design a perfect object? | The Verge)
Finnish designer Saad Alayyoubi, AKA SaGaDesign, hasn’t just created a perfectly good stand for your iPad, but in fact, a work of art. The €161 (£136) miniature muscle-man, reminiscent of the Greek titan Atlas, not only looks impressive, but uses every bit of his 3D-printed strength to hold your iPad at the perfect viewing angle.
As mentioned on the product’s Shapeways page, it also appears to defy gravity as the mini man holds an object that is much taller than him. The product, named “Sisu” roughly translates to “determination” or “grit.”