Leo Villareal’s Multiverse



Multiverse, the largest and most complex light sculpture created by American artist Leo Villareal. Visitors pass through the Concourse walkway between the East and West Buildings of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. The work features approximately 41,000 computer-programmed LED (light-emitting diode) nodes that run through channels along the 200-foot-long space. Development of this LED project began in 2005, and installation took place between September and December 2008.


Villareal’s work features movement and light, qualities that make this installation particularly well suited for the Gallery’s underground walkway, an area through which thousands of people pass daily. Once the appropriate hardware was installed in the existing architecture, the artist programmed sequences through his custom-designed software to create abstract configurations of light. His programming both instructs the lights and allows for an element of chance. While it is possible that a pattern will repeat during a viewer’s experience, it is highly unlikely. Still, the eye will seek patterns in the motion, a perceptual effect of the hypnotic trailing lights.


Throughout the last four decades a growing number of artists have explored the use of light to frame and create spaces in the built environment.





New Zealand Native Builds Solar Powered, Smartphone-Controlled Skysphere


New Zealand native Jono Williams has built himself a habitable ‘skysphere‘ that is powered by the sun and activated by the use of smartphone apps. A cylindrical space is enclosed by a 2 meter high, 360 degree viewing window that offers panoramic views of the surrounding natural landscape. The rounded interior is supported by a towering steel column that spears through its core — a simple and multi-purpose architectural element that can be adapted to virtually any environment. A narrow shape is cut into the side of the pillar, revealing a ladder that leads up to the top floor. Encompassing the ‘apartment’ level are a a series of steel arcs that form a sphere that hovers above ground. These rods each feature a row of solar panels that bring the energy from the sun inside the luminous circular chamber.


Once inside, domestic elements are outfitted with technological controls and applications. These systems include a fingerprint entry motorized door; refrigerated, in-couch beer dispenser; solar powered management system; miracast projector; wireless sound system; and computer generated voice dialog. Williams has also built a custom queen size bed, added dimmable, colored mood LED lighting, high speed internet, a central ladder for entry and a rooftop starview platform.






source:, photography by Jono Williams

Moon Hoon continues to surprise with his work- Wind House on Jeju Island strikes with the weirdest shape


Moon Hoon’s  Wind House design on Jeju Island, South Korea, is comprised out of three concrete vacation homes dominated by a large golden structure  that stands out with its weird shape. The Wind house was ordered by an eccentric doctor who looked for an extraordinary architect to build “something strange”, and he certainly found the right person in Moon Hoon who is well known for his playful architecture. The base of the Wind House complex is made of volcanic rock – a material widely used on the island as a wind break. The abstract “head” whose shape is inspired by the wind blowing women’s hair rises 8.3 m (27 ft) high, and it’s reminiscent of several extraordinary things like; duck, hair dryer, alien, etc. The interior of the winding house follows the exterior ‘s outline and has the look of a 1970s disco lounge.


“Previously I had been commissioned for a wind museum, which turned out sour.  I had liked the idea and shape of it, many times I would make drawings inspired by the wind museum. I felt it was an opportune time to reincarnate and modify the initial idea. I proposed the whole thing to the client. It took some time to digest it, but in the end he was quite happy,”  says Moon Hoon.





Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sturges House – A Los Angeles Architectural Icon


We were thrilled to have the chance to explore this iconic building last weekend during an open house – the property is up for auction, the first time on the market in almost 50 years.

Commissioned by a young engineer who saw Wright’s work in  a magazine, the property has been called ‘the redwood stealth bomber’ and ‘a symbolic abstraction of the machine age through the eyes of a craftsman’.

Designed and built in 1939 – the only structure in Southern California built in the modern style Wright called Usonian design conceived as affordable housing for the US middle class – the one-story residence is just 1,200 square feet but features a 21-foot panoramic deck.  Wright hired renowned modernist architect John Lautner to oversee the concrete, steel, brick and redwood construction.









The Bauhaus #itsalldesign- A Major Bauhaus Retrospective on Show in Vitra Museum


The Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, is hosting a major exhibition with a comprehensive work of the Bauhaus art and design school, one of the most influential cultural institutions of the 20th century.  The show titled The Bauhaus #itsalldesign, covers a range of disciplines including design, architecture, art, film and photography.  Significant pieces by Wassily Kandinsky, Walter Gropius, Marianne Brandt, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and others, including pieces that have never been exhibited before can be seen in Vitra Museum by the end of February.  The exhibition is divided into four areas; the opening part examines the historical context of Bauhaus, following with little-known design items and the theme of space, with the focus on the individuals who contributed to the school’s design approach, and the last area explores communication including typography, film and photography.  The highlights of the show are Walter Gropius’ 1919 Manifesto, a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe armchair with U-shaped metal arms, and Josef Albers’ 1923 Park stained glass panel.  Also, the show includes work of contemporary artists influenced by Bauhaus movement, including Konstantin Grcic’s Pipe table and chair, Opendesk’s Edie stool and Front Design’s Sketch furniture.







Australian firm John Wardle Architects developed an Inaugural Summer Architectural Commission for the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne that offers civic space for performances, workshops, shade and retreat. A nine-meter high and 21 meters long vibrant pink pavilion shaped to pay homage to the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne was inspired by CJ Dennis’s poem I Dips Me Lid, released to commemorate the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.


“An iconic Melbourne building, that is an amazing, graceful, exuberant and incredibly innovative piece of civic design of that era,” John Wardle about Sydney Myer Music Bowl.


The structure made of steel and timber features 1,350 colorful hand-folded petal shaped pieces of polypropylene in bright pink, orange and purple that produce a radiant shade from the sun and glowing light by night. The lightweight form of the structure was developed by using 3D modeling along with leading engineering and fabrication techniques. The pavilion will be displayed in NGV International’s Grollo Equiset Garden by May 1st, 2016.





The Creek Show in Austin, Texas



The Waller Creek in Austin, Texas,  is a 2.4 km waterway that used to flow trough the downtown practically invisible to the residents, moreover, with years, the creek faced pollution and periodic flooding. To turn the Waller Creek into an important downtown’s feature and the integral part of the city, the Waller Creek Conservancy launched the Creek Show in 2014, which is an annual program where a group of local architects, designers, and artists create temporary installations along the waterway.


The second edition of the Creek Show that took place from November 12-21, 2015, included five light-based installations each using light to create interactive experiences. One of the artists, Luke Savisky, created a project to vitalize a pedestrian underpass by setting up a system that allows passersby to interact with a camera, then distorting and projecting the images onto the vault of the underpass. Other projects included installations based on dynamic ecology, pollution, etc. Specht Harpman Architects created the installation called Volume, based on the fact that the creek draws the attention of the public only when the water level rises, and it becomes a flooding hazard. Architects created an installation where a gentle flow of water continuously falls from an 80-foot steel channel suspended above the creek. Lighting rakes the limestone wall behind and highlights the individual droplets falling in against it.






Renzo Piano plans second London Skyscraper with the aim to revitalize Paddington area


Three years after completing the 300-metres-high Shard tower at London Bridge station, a world famous Italian architect, Renzo Piano has proposed a project for his second monument worthy London skyscraper, a 224-metre cylindrical structure that is supposed to redevelop  Paddington.


“It is a fantastic location, but it is stuck in a Fifties time-warp. We intend to create a place for people to go, where they will want to live, work, eat and shop”, said the architect.” We believe this exciting proposal will tap into the potential of Paddington and will prove to be a major catalyst for the continuing enhancement of the area, especially Praed Street – in much the same way that The Shard did for London Bridge.”


The 65 storey glass skyscraper will make the fourth tallest building in London, and it will house offices, restaurants, cafes and 200 homes. The proposed structure already carries a tag ”the skinny Shard.”





The NEW TIME Wall Clock by Veronika Szalai probably doesn’t need “handle with care“ label


The NEW TIME wall clock designed by Veronika Szalai is made of cotton fibre and metal, and it can be folded and crumpled without losing its function. This clock is distinguished by longevity and easy maintenance while allowing its owner to shape it as he wishes. Packed as a bed sheet, it is surely one of the most creative wall clock designs recently.






Studio Fink Covers Museum Courtyard with Colored Astroturf


Studio Fink recently installed sections of Renaissance paintings mounted onto angular planters along with a colorful temporary landscape at a Bergamo gallery.


Studio Fink’s Palma de Vecchio Popup Square was created at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo (GAMeC) in northern Italy, to accompany a 100-day exhibition of Renaissance paintings by Italian artist Palma il Vecchio.


The paintings have been brought together on loan from international institutions including the National Gallery in London, the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as major Italian museums including the Uffizi in Florence, the Galleria Borghese in Rome, and the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice.


Led by artist Peter Fink, the studio transformed the museum’s “bleak, unforgiving” concrete courtyard into a brightly colored landscape using astroturf.


Influenced by the vibrant hues in Palma il Vecchio’s paintings, Fink wanted to create a space for visitors to interact before and after seeing the exhibition.


The enclosed area is divided into two main sections colored blue and orange, while pink planters covered in the same material are dotted around the space.


Copies of portions of some of the most recognizable paintings in the exhibition are mounted on the angled sides of these raised elements.


The orange area is raised slightly higher than the blue section, connected by a set of shallow steps and a gentle slope.


The museum’s cafe – housed in an existing pavilion – spills out onto the orange turf with white tables and chairs provided for al-fresco dining.


Small pink stools offer additional seating, and visitors are also encouraged to rest on the sides of the planters.







source: Photography by Leonardo Tagliabue