Nothing Like Architectural History To Liven Up The Party

‘Dancing About Architecture’ by Grant Snyder; Full image here

The last we featured one of Grant Snyder‘s clever comics, the illustrator took aim at iconic modernist houses, poking fun at the supposed (and admitted) inadequacies of the 20th century’s pre-eminent residential structures. The Villa Savoye’s aloof attitude, meant to exemplify the modernist “object in space” mentality, becomes indicative of the luxurious pursuits (in this case, polo) by the rich occupants who live there, while the exclusivity of pleasure enclaves that we all hope Fallingwater to be is made pointedly clear (“People who live over waterfalls should throw raging parties every night!).

Snyder’s latest, entitled “Dancing About Architecture”, pairs a dance to a trophy building of a particularly movement or aesthetic. William Pereira’s Geisel Library, a Brutalist gem at UC San Diego, leads off the comic, with Snyder likening the building’s formal and structural “lift-off” to the a couple of pirouetting ballet dancers. The horizontal layers and volumetric stepbacks of the Robie House inspires the invention of the “prairie style two-step”,while the “postmodernist pogo” can be added to the list of crimes committed or incited by Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building.  We may not know what “expressionist skanking”–provocatively paired with Erich Mendelsohn’s Einstein Tower–or how the Bauhaus bears any relation to “bounce”, but it’s all good fun. Our favorite: the “futurist robot” because who doesn’t love futurism or robots?

The ‘Post-Itable’ Turns Your Work Desk into One Giant Sticky Note

The ‘Post-Itable’ by Soup Studio; Images via Designtaxi

These things usually come in pairs. Following our post about Miguel Muestre’s “My Desk”–what we described as a “tabula rasa” in every sense of the term–there’s the ‘Post-Itable’, a large desk whose tabletop consists of giant yellow ‘Post-It’ sheets. Despite the clumsy name, the desk is striking enough and, perhaps more important, fun to use! Designed by Soup Studio, the prototype was a runner-up for the top prize at the 2008 International Designer’s Workstation Competition, winning the jury with its undeniable charm and functionality. Draw and doodle all over the desktop to your heart’s content; once you’ve finished (or are sufficiently disgusted with what you’ve produced), rip off the sticky and begin anew on the next sheet. As soon as you’ve exhausted the deck, replace it with a new one!

The Atlantic thinks that the pair of tables points to the “furniture of the future — as decoration that exists to contain not just things, but ideas.” And we’re inclined to agree, to the extent that ideas become embeddable in the clutter and stuff of daily life. This may or may not be in paper form, of course, but it should allow the user (or “idea-generator”) to modify their immediate space–and the objects contained therein–on a whim.

Bike Storage at High Speeds

Reel, a design for DIY storage by Yeongkeun Jeong and Aareum Jeong, is the latest bike accessory that’s distracting us at work.

Yeongkeun Jeong is a young Korean designer who’s worked for everyone from Hyundai to UNIQLO. “Unlike common bicycle accessories,” he writes, “the flexibility of the band allows the user to express their style by customizing the shape of Reel.”

Click through.

The concept is fairly simple. Reel comes in two parts: a long piece of strong red rope, plus a sheet of clear plastic buttons. Peel a buttons off the sheet and attach them at regular intervals along your bike’s frame (they form teeth to keep the rope in place, preventing it from sliding to the bottom of the frame). Then uncoil the rope and start looping it around the diamond-shaped hole that’s formed by your top tube, down tube, and seat tube. When you’re done, you’ll have an ad-hoc “basket” to portage everything from patch kits to baguettes (just like on the Tour!).

Although, to be frank, Reel seems like it’s tempting fate. Twisting a thick rope around your frame, only millimeters away from complex mechanical system that keep your body in motion in traffic… Well, let’s just say, we’d test it out on the sidewalk first. Ride safe!

Who Needs a Machine, When You Have Design? Re-Engineering Ice Cream Making

The first published recipe for ice cream can be dated to 1692, when L. Audiger printed his innovative technique for making the novel treat–namely, by whipping a cream-and-fruit mixture during freezing to dislodge the ice crystals that had formed in the process. While this same approach remains the governing principle behind ice cream making, the means (and tools) by which we achieve this are considerably different. Not a good thing, as student Ploenpit Nittaramorn‘s ‘Ice Cream Parlor‘ illustrates.

For Nittaramorn, the industrialization of food has simultaneously distanced the consumer from the food they consume and deteriorated any appreciation of the “cooking process” they may have had.  In place of this, mechanization can only offer meretricious virtues of convenience–an unfair exchange, says Nittaramorn, whose ’Ice Cream Parlor’, aims to reintroduce the experiential and narrative dimensions to eating.

Ice Cream Concept Parlour 2012 from ploenpit on Vimeo.

With ‘Parlor’, Nittaramorn re-engineers how we make, consume, and enjoy food, or in this case, ice cream. Using a self-fashioned DIY kit of simple accoutrements arranged in pleasingly stark mise en place, she demonstrates how to make ice cream without a machine. And not just any ice cream, mind you–the designer has developed a tasting menu of several frozen treats, including standards vanilla (with Madagascar vanilla beans) and (organic) pistachio to mojito sorbet (with lime and mint) and Singha beer sorbet.

She begins by preparing the ingredients–squeezing the lime, scraping the vanilla pod, chopping chocolate, etc.–before spreading them, along with a cream mixture, on a pre-frozen marble slab to form the base of the ice cream. With a pair of wooden spades in each hand, Nittaramorn works the mixture on the surface of the freezing marble, scraping and folding the inchoate substance over itself as ice crystals begin to form. Surprisingly quickly, the ice cream forms and it’s scooped into a serving cone.

[via NotCot]

The Inflatable Geodesic Tent

Contemporary design seems to be in the throes of a tent renaissance. There was the Tentsile, s0-called by its makers the “world’s most versatile tent” and which functioned more as a portable tree house, suspending campers high above the forest floor and far from the reach of nasty critters and crawlers. Then there was the might Decagon, a modular pentagonal tent structure that could be easily expanded and added onto to create a sprawling complex (or “customizable tarp city”) of burrowed spaces. Now, German manufacturer Heimplanet brings you the latest innovation in tent design: ‘The Cave‘.

Designed by Frackenpohl Poulheim for Heimplanet, the Cave requires no exterior steel armature or poles to secure it to the ground. Rather, the tent frame itself is inflatable. According to the designers, the structure’s efficient form is inspired by the guiding principles behind the geodesic dome, but specifically cites the molecular structure of a diamond. The precedents helped give rise to the tent’s patented Inflatable Diamond Grid (IDG), a loop of interconnected modules that prove extremely durable and capable of withstanding high speed winds.

The Cave – Setup from heimplanet on Vimeo.

The sub-volume is made with a breathable water-repellent, fabric and lined with a mosquito net pitched to the joints of the grid. The dome-like interior sleep 3 campers but is large enough to accommodate up to 6 people, with plenty room to move about. The tent can be used for camping outdoors or can be set up inside a house or apartment–to “pitch” the tent, all you have to do is unroll the material and inflate!

[via Co. Design]

Chinese Developers To Build World’s Tallest Skyscraper…in 90 Days!

Skyscaper chart via CNNGO

In December of last year, Chinese developer Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) constructed a 30-story hotel prototype in 15 days. 360 hours. Seems they were just getting started. The construction company has announced plans to build an 838 meter (2750 feet) tall skyscraper in Changsha, Hunan PR, and they say they’ll do it in just 90 days. 2160 hours!

As CNNGO reports, ‘Sky City’ would become the world’s tallest tower, eclipsing Dubai’s Burj Khalifa by just 10 meters. While that building took some 5 years to complete, the new superstructure, estimated at RMB 4 million ($628 million), would not only be far cheaper than rival skyscrapers (compared to Burj’s $1.5billion price tag and the $2.2 billion Shanghai Tower), but will also employ sustainable building techniques and systems unheard of at such scales. BSB says the 220-story tower, which will offer 1 million square meters of occupiable space linked by 104 elevators, will consist almost entirely of prefabricated modules that will be stacked on site–the key to the neck-breaking construction times that the company is promising. The building will also feature innovations such as quadruple glazing and thick (quake-resistant) exterior walls that will significantly cut down its energy consumption. The company hopes that Sky City will receive the necessary approval to break ground by November of this year, with the project’s completion following in January 2013.

A possible rendering of ‘Sky City’, via Inhabitat