Brightly lit marquee theaters in cities and towns, large and small, have long held a central presence as a place for the community to come together to enjoy shows, plays and movies. Urban revitalization projects aside, many of these theaters are now endangered due to a host of factors. The impact is, as The Atlantic noted, “As they become more rare, old marquees have taken on a deeper cultural meaning, frequently serving as visual anchors for a street or cultural district.” As a visual reminder of how sweet some of these theaters are, The Atlantic compiled a photo gallery of some of “
Can good design save the world? Well, maybe the Great Lakes, anyway. That, plus community-based solar, clothing recycling, and more: your green tech finds for the week.
The DIY bike seat: Ever wanted a second seat on your bicycle, without investing in a tandem? Or just carrying space without a trailer? Israeli designer Yael Livneh has you covered with his concept made from a used plastic milk crate. He’s entered the concept in Designboom’s Seoul Cycle Design competition. (via Unconsumption and @dothegreenthing)
Occupy the sun: We generally think of solar power as something that individual home and building owners do, but Francesca Rheannon at CSRWire takes a look at community-based efforts to adopt solar technology.
The Liyuan Library: I’m a sucker for unusual library spaces, and this new construction in Huairou, China hits all the sweet spots. Tucked away in a small mountain village, the long, narrow structure blends into its surroundings with a reed-like outer layer that still allows for sunlight to trickle inside.
Coming Up Rainbows: After his first installation was removed in 2002 due to tightened 9/11 security measures, multimedia artist Christopher Janney is installing his colorful glass tiles in an overpass at Miami International Airport just in time for Art Basel…
Flip Chairs: Each of Daisuke Motogi’s candy-colored chairs can be flipped upside down or sideways to create new seating options. A high-backed chair becomes a low seat, or a lounger becomes a rocking chair. Come to think of it, it’s about time the rocking chair had a design makeover…
All the flora that’s fit to print: People are always talking about how print is dead, but things must be looking up for the ink and paper world (Style.com just launched a print version, and Vogue’s sales continue to rise). That, or Wilder Quarterly, a new magazine “for people enthralled by the natural world,” is just a ballsy move. But with photography and layouts as gorgeous as the ones in all the fancy cookbooks I can’t afford, here’s hoping this one’s here to stay.
Pritzker Prize to be Given in Beijing: With its explosive recent development, Beijing has become an appealing spot for the world’s most influential architects and designers. It’s no surprise then that the prestigious Pritzker Prize – sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize” of architecture – will be awarded in Beijing next year…
Alex Schweder’s “Performance” Architecture: Architect Alex Schweder is credited with the invention of “performance architecture,” which broadly refers to small, occupied spaces that challenge our preconceived notions of shelter. Many of Schweder’s works are built within existing spaces, appealing to my childhood obsession with forts. Among my favorites are the inflatable plastic creations, including “sac of rooms all day long,” which looks like a big, warped playhouse.
Design with the Other 99%: Cities: Now on view at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, “Design with the Other 99%” showcases the most promising design and technological innovations coming out of the world’s cities and over-crowded slums…
We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.
Imagined Cities: Architecture collective Hither Yon is calling for images of intimate and inspiring spaces (be it the house where you grew up or the church your parents were married in), which they will then manipulate and re-attach to form a “hybrid” city. From these renderings, the collective plans to create a three-dimensional model of the unusual metropolis for display in a Berlin gallery…
The swinging ’60s wouldn’t have been half as groovy without Eero Saarinen’s spectacular TWA Flight Center at JFK airport. Completed in 1962, the terminal became an icon of modern architecture as well as the glamorous “jet set” experience. With its spaceship-like exterior and strangely curved staircases and walls, the terminal was meant to capture the drama and excitement of flight itself. Though he died shortly before it was opened to the public, the architect is said to have remarked, rather prophetically, “if anything happened, and they had to stop work right now and just leave it in this state, I think it would make a beautiful ruin, like the Baths of Caracalla.”
Saarinen’s terminal was declared a landmark in 1994, but closed abruptly after 9/11 due to…
Underground skyscrapers, smart windows and more problems with natural gas drilling: Your green tech finds for the week.
Charge your car with your phone: Well, not exactly, but a new app developed by IBM and Swiss utility EKZ allows for better management of when your electric vehicle is charged and what sources of energy are used to charge it. Find out more in the video above. (via @greeneconpost)
The grain silo hotel: While not as green as it could be (because the structures used were built for the project), Silo Stay, a nine-unit New Zealand hotel built from grain silos…
Okay, I’ll admit it. Whenever someone from out of town starts asking me about the Highline and whether or not it’s really as cool as it looks, I feel very proud to live in New York. Because yes, it’s exactly as cool as it looks (actually, it’s cooler, because they sell gourmet popsicles now, and I love me some popsicles), and it’s pretty neat to live in a place that would invest millions of dollars in a beautifully designed piece of urban revitalization. I mean, just look at it: it’s a park suspended over New York City. The future is now!
Frank Gehry’s LVMH Sail Boat: After a few legal setbacks and delays, Frank Gehry’s design for the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation (a fancy name for the building that will house CEO Bernard Arnaut’s giant personal art collection) is scheduled for completion next year. At 130,000 square feet, the structure is designed to look like a white sailing ship standing alone in a forest. To create the unique curvature of the massive white panels (or “sails”), Gehry and his team worked with Moulage Sous Vide technology, a new technique that allows the designer to create concrete molds from computer-generated 3D models…
From the coolest new products to dramatic feats of engineering, here’s what has us excited in the design world this week.
The Boeing Dreamliner: Airplanes have looked more or less the same since the 1960s, but this week Airbus revealed plans for a super slick new generation of planes with a transparent “skeleton” structures, allowing for unobstructed views of the surrounding sky. Think of it as the flying version of those glass-bottom submarines at Disneyworld. The planes won’t roll out until 2050, which means I’ll have to stay all excited about this until I’m in a nursing home.
Roman Abramovich, the billionaire Russian businessman who owns (among lots of other things) the Chelsea Football Club, recently purchased an island off the coast of St.Petersburg – like ya do when you’re the 11th richest man in the world. Last winter, Ambramovich announced he would dedicate $400 million to converting the island – previously used as a military base – into an enormous art center, complete with offices, hotels, restaurants and boutiques along with a new museum. A “Starchitect” search soon followed, with submissions from top architects all over the world. Just last month, New York-based firm, WORKac, was given the nod – probably because theirs was the only design to include a giant jacuzzi in the courtyard.
Architect Michael Jantzen is known for creating “transformable” structures: buildings that an inhabitant can change or interact with on a physical level. Think of them as the high-art equivalent to a snail shell. After all, why keep your house in one place when you can hit the road and bring it with you? His latest project, the “M” series, features relocatable buildings that can be slapped together in infinite combinations to a matrix of modular support frames, creating totally customizable spaces. If you were a Lego freak as a child, you should probably stop reading and splash cold water on your face, ’cause yeah, this is totally big kid LEGOs.
Pig poop, coconuts, and seaweed: all the stuff of good green tech finds this week.
An affordable, fast and tip-proof electric motorcycle: Lit Motors CEO Daniel Kim claims all of those qualities come together in the C-1 concept, which could be available as early as 2013. Check it out in the video above. (via GreenTech Pastures)
As an ardent newbie to the ice creaming making game, I appreciate and commend Il Laboratorio del Gelato’s obvious dedication to their craft. It must be the German in me that particularly responds to the space’s precision, cleanliness and austerity. Appropriately dubbed The Cooler, the lab’s LES storefront/kitchen was designed by New York-based architects HWKN (Hollwich Kushner). The design allows for total transparency; Passersby can peep through the large windows and observe the entire production process, from the delivery of the ingredients to the point of sale – all performed in white lab coats, of course.
When you think of the concept of urban agriculture, you likely picture a small, reclaimed plot of land tended by neighbors or a non-profit organization. While this vision of food production in cities has captured the imagination of many urbanites, the ability to scale it is often limited. The notion of vertical farming, however, recognizes (as did the developers of the original skyscrapers) that building upward may offer more potential for inner city farming than land reclamation. Combined with indoor farming methods such as hydroponics, proponents of the vertical farm believe this concept could offer hyperlocal food production in the middle of even the most bustling urban center.
I have a feeling that many residents in the small city of Cloquet, Minnesota routinely drive by the R.W. Lindholm gas station, which opened in 1958, without having any idea that it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It wasn’t just any old gas station, but a one-of-a-kind structure that the great American architect envisioned would be central to his vision of the hypothetical Broadacre City, “a decentralized urban landscape that many have interpreted as a sort of super-suburbia,” with the gas station expanding beyond its traditional utility and taking on a larger social role in the city. While this vision thankfully never came to pass, certain elements of the design were adopted: “…it helped popularize the now ubiquitous overhang, and other elements (including an angled plan that afforded sight lines, and generous, slanted windows) were appropriated for Phillips 66 stations across the country.” Okay, class is over, but before you go someone needs to update Cloquet’s Wikipedia page to highlight this piece of architectural and design history. It’s worth bragging and boasting about!
I am obsessed with Matthias Heiderich’s cropped square photos of Berlin’s buildings. Using color and composition, the photographer creates patterns and abstract images that may not obviously be architecture and the city’s skylines. Having just returned from Berlin last week it’s quite remarkable just how perfectly he captures the modern feel and cool, geometric shapes of…
Skiing down a Danish incinerator, seaweed for biofuels, and a solar unit that can save the lives of mothers in the developing world… your green tech finds for the week. The solar suitcase: Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic takes a look at the WE CARE Solar Suitcase, a compact solar power unit designed specifically for…
Living in a city where at times it seems half the buildings are hidden under gross scaffolding, I appreciate the alternative perspective presented by Vienna-based artist Liddy Scheffknecht in this photo series where “all architectural elements except the scaffolding were removed from the photograph of a building under renovation.”
Since I’ll be in Los Angeles for most of this week, I figured this gallery of “The World’s Most Beautiful Gas Stations” over at Flavorpill is apropos to my visit to the City of Angels.
Architect Michelle Kaufmann, whose brilliant work I’ve lauded before, recently updated “Smart Home: Green + Wired,” her exhibition at the Museum of Science of Industry in Chicago (MSI). The exhibit features mkSolaire, a three-story loft-style house suitable for urban environments. It meets Kaufmann’s criteria for modular housing, an idea she developed when she and her husband were searching for their own green home. Using off-site, modular technology, Kaufmann is able to simplify the construction process and make sustainable, affordable and well-designed houses accessible to more people.