LuxeLife

USC students design tiny homes for homeless women in Los Angeles

 

USC architecture students have designed a creative solution to temporarily shelter homeless women: tiny pods built of birch, steel, and aluminum that can be stacked and rearranged on parking lots or vacant plots of land. These mini cabins are expected to be cheaper and lighter, simpler to replicate, and easier to put up and take down than similar cargo containers, which have also been used for homeless housing.

 

The students collaborated with Mission Hills-based nonprofit Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, which is fundraising to finish the working architectural and engineering plans. It’s estimated one pod will cost about $25,000 to make. Craft envisions a complex of 30 residential units, plus shared bathroom pods and a handful that will be connected for communal living spaces. The nonprofit recently applied for $1.8 million in Measure HHH funding.

 

 

source: la.curbed

Selfies in El Paso

 

Architectural firm, AGENCY, recently built a temporary installation in El Paso, Texas that explored the phenomenon of Selfies and the privacy issues related to these photos. According to AGENCY, selfies are a resource for third-party data-crunchers who use facial and pattern recognition software to extract identity and mood. Metadata is embedded in the photo file, social network post protocols, mobile device settings, and user-generated content, jeopardizing every selfie-taker’s individual data privacy.

 

SELFIE WALL created a range of lighting conditions day and night, offering a dynamic and interactive space for self-photography. The wall was built from 162 custom-fabricated units, CNC-milled from composite aluminum panel, and folded to shape different apertures for bouncing, scattering, and collecting light. A grid of LED lights was inset to provide zones of different color temperatures at night. A range of warm color temperatures, flattering to skin tones lined the inner surface of the space, while a range of cool whites provided a more accurate color rendering on the outer surface.

 

 

 

source: agencyarchitecture

British Airways’ Happiness Blanket

 

British Airways recently experimented with a “happiness blanket” – a high-tech comforter that measured and illuminated a passenger’s mood in red and blue via woven fiber optics. Although the blankets didn’t become a lasting feature for the airline, they collected unique data on how flyers responded to various flight stages, and how their services could be enhanced.

 

source: British Airways

Every Refrigerator Tells a Story

 

Crowded with notes, photos, memories, souvenirs and magnets; every refrigerator tells a story. The latest exhibition at Center for Architecture Sarasota (CFAS), Human Tales on Refrigerator Doors, Sweet Sparkman Architects and the master students of UF CityLab-Sarasota finally give the refrigerator door the spotlight it deserves.

 

Featuring seven vintage doors in the show, the architects and students celebrated not only the natural geography of Florida, but the architectural history and traditions singular to the area and placed aspiring architectural students into the built environment to work with seasoned professionals.

 

 

sources: CFAS, srqmagazine, sarasotamagazine

Dramatic Projection Display at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

 

The Merchandise Mart, one of Chicago’s most important landmarks, will soon become a magnificent visual display that lights up a major portion of the downtown area.

 

In 2018, a massive projection screen will display images and videos across the entire expanse of the Mart’s riverfront side. The idea was first proposed in 2014 by Mayor Emanuel’s team and the tourism bureau of Chicago.

 

Construction on the Merchandise Mart was completed in 1930, and it was once the largest building in the world at the time it was erected. Known for its iconic art deco style, the Mart houses floors and floors of space for art galleries, special exhibitions, and vendors.

 

This plan is one of many in the downtown area to increase tourism with creative urban planning, recreational space, and public art. The unique display might liken Chicago to cities like Paris or Las Vegas that are known for their massive displays. The privately-funded project at the Merchandise Mart might be the first of a handful of buildings in the city that might be used for visual projections.

 

source: urbanmatter

Beijing is Getting the World’s Tallest Atrium

 

Currently under construction in Beijing is a 46 story tower , the Leeza Soho.  The structure is within the Lize Financial District and will be well connected to the city with its location above a subway interchange station.  Zaha Hadid Architects write: “As the tower rises, the diagonal axis through the site defined by the subway tunnel is re-aligned by ‘twisting’ the atrium through 45 degrees to orientate the atrium’s higher floors with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of west Beijing’s primary avenues.”

 

The twist in the atrium allows natural light to penetrate into the center of all the floors and allows for a diversity of views into the city from all directions. The tower is on track for completion in 2018.

 

 

 

source: inhabitat

The ‘Flying House’

 

With a love of aviation, a pilot in South Korea felt the sky was the limit for his vision of the perfect home. He commissioned architect HyoMan Kim of IROJE KHM to bring his ‘Flying House’ idea to life.

 

The house, near the Incheon Airport in South Korea, is not completely futuristic. It has its roots in a traditional Korean house to provide a feeling of being grounded. In contrast , the floating roof looks ready to take flight. The house features an extended area of lawn that slopes up one side of the house to a rooftop landscape which allows the occupants to stroll through the different levels outside the house. This allows the home to coexist with the nature and form a landscape hill providing a balance between the land and the sky.

 

Key features on the interior include a contemporary version of a conversation pit – a large seating area with a heated stone floor. To help reduce construction costs, structural materials, including the concrete framework and block walls, were left exposed on the interior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sources: Stuff, Sergio Pirrone (photos)

Artists of Light in Chandannagar

 

 

Once a French colony, Chandannagar now is a thriving French language and cultural hub in eastern India. The town is known for it’s celebration of Jagadhatri Puja, ‘the Protector of the World’ who is an aspect of the Hindu goddess Durga, particularly worshipped in the West Bengal region of India. Jagaddhatri is depicted as being the colour of the morning sun, three-eyed and four-armed, holding a chakra, conch, bow and arrows, clothed in red, bright jewels and nagajangopaveeta (a serpent as the sacred thread), a symbol of yoga and the Brahman. She rides a lion standing on the dead Karindrasura, the Elephant Demon.

 

The beginning of this five-day festival in Chandannagar is still unchronicled but it is generally believed to have been introduced in the late 18th century by a local zamindar. When electricity came to Chandannagar experiments with lights began. The creative lighting was originally meant for decorating the festival’s venues, but has taken on a life of its own.

 

At the forefront of the innovative displays are artists like Kashinath Neogy. In 2005, Neogy took a tough decision to introduce LED lights, much to the criticism of his colleagues, to cut down on high power consumption. They preferred the age-old practice of using tiny bulbs that made up a single unit wrapped in colored paper by hand. He created a giant dragon with 180000 LED lights, 30 feet long and 12 feet high. Today, usage of LEDs is a standard practice for lighting artists at the festival.

 

 

source: tribuneindia, wikipedia

Texting Colors Warm Up Boston’s Winter

 

“Color Commons,” created by New American Public Art, is a series of 24-foot “light blades” lining Boston’s Wharf District parks. When someone sends a text, the server sends the message to the microcontroller. Whether it’s a color or the ciphered message, the microcontroller translates the text to a trigger code which changes the colors of the Light Blades.

 

By activating Color Commons, New American Public Art and The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy hope to make Boston a more playable city, one where existing urban infrastructure can be reused in ways that enhance person-to-city and person-to-person connections. In 2016, The Greenway made a commitment to playability through their hire of a full-time Play Coordinator. Both groups hope to continue their collaborations to put Boston on the map of cities across the globe that have joined the movement to make their urban spaces more playable. Color Commons will be on display through Winter 2017.

 

 

 

source: newamericanpublicart

DPA Lighting – Illuminated Beauty for Mike Stoane Lighting Event

 

 

German designers Tommaso Gimigliano and Ingo Kalecinski of dpalighting won kudos for their entry in Mike Stoane’s Lighting ‘Park Event’. The annual London based event challenges design teams to use a box of mystery components – and their imagination – to create an illuminated object or fixture.

 
Using the available items including LED modules, Gimigliano and Kalecinski were able to create a battery-operated ‘wearable aura’ of light, bringing fashion and illumination together. The team designed their creation ‘The NeckLED’ to instill wellbeing and define the boundaries of a personal micro-cosmos of warmth and comfort.