Saturday, December 19, 2009

Studio Banana TV Interviews Toyo Ito

Studio Banana TV interviews Japanese architect Toyo Ito on the occasion of his lecture at the European University of Madrid. Toyo Ito is one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects. Ito is known for creating extreme concept buildings, in which he seeks to fuse the physical and virtual worlds. Interview realised with the sponsorship of the European University of Madrid.

Toyo Ito (伊東豊雄) is a Japanese architect born in 1941. He graduated from Tokyo University’s Department of Architecture in 1965. His office Toyo Ito & Associates is a world leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a “simulated” ciy, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”

After a brief stint in the Metabolist studio of Kiyonori Kikutake, in 1971 he started his own studio in Tokyo, named Urbot (”Urban Robot”). In 1979, the studio name was changed to Toyo Ito & Associates. Throughout his early career Ito constructed numerous private house projects that expressed aspects of urban life in Japan. His early experiments include the Tower of Winds, the Egg of Winds and the Pao House for nomad women. Later projects include the Yatsushiro Municipal Museum and the Shimosuwa Municipal Museum. More recently he has built the Sendai Mediatheque (2001), the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London (2002), TOD’s Omotesando Building in Tokyo (2004), the World Games Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2008) or the Torre Fira BCN Building in Barcelona (2009).

Ito has defined architecture as “clothing” for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This theme revolves around the equilibrium between the private life and the metropolitan “public” life of an individual. The current architecture of Toyo Ito expands on his work produced during the postmodern period, aggressively exploring the potentials of new forms. In doing so, he seeks to find new spatial conditions that manifest the philosophy of borderless beings.

Special thanks to Eriko Kinoshita from Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects

Interview by Cornelia Tapparelli. Translation by Yayoi Kawamura.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Between Mission Statement and Parametric Model

click here to check out this great essay by Tim Love dealing the battle between sustainability and parametric design taking place in our universities.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The New Facebook for Architects? Architizer Has Arrived.

It has arrived... The new social network that is specifically devoted to architects known as Architizer has luanched. Marc Kushner and his partner, Matthias Hollwich set out to design a website that would focus on connecting the vast networks of people, firms, and projects surrounding the discipline of architecture.

The main objective for this project was to create a website that would allow unrestricted access for young firms and architects to get there work seen by the masses, not through the traditional blogs and magazines, but rather through an unbiased forum of fellow architects.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rankings of the Best Architectural Firms

Now... I know that rankings are seen as being meaningless in the profession of architecture. But, if you were ever wondering which firms are seen as being the best in the world, check out this ever-changing list by the German magazine BauNetz.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Logan Arts Center - Tod William Billie Tsien

I thought it was necessary to post the most current work of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien as their work always represents extreme craft and detail. But I was equally impressed by their most recent representations of the project.

Integrating Art and Architecture

Soaring skyward from a luminous, light-filled core, the new Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts will be a catalyst for creativity at the University of Chicago. A cornerstone of south campus, the visually stunning glass and stone building design by award-winning architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, seamlessly bridges the space between art and architecture.


The elegant modernist design (a hallmark of the couple) features a striking eleven-story, 155-foot tower, punctuated with light, open air terraces, and roof top decks. The vertical tower, rising from the urban landscape like a silo, will offer unparalleled views of the Chicago skyline, as well as provide multi-levels for interdisciplinary experimentation: teaching and presentation spaces for cinema and media studies, music, theater and performance, dance, and visual arts are intentionally interwoven throughout. A café anchors the building, connecting to the “podium,” which houses visual arts studios and shops and is topped with a sawtooth roof angled for northern exposure.

New Resources for the Arts

The center will add significant space and resources to Chicago’s visual arts, theater and performance, music, and cinema and media studies programs—and inspire everything in between. The architects conceive the building as a “mixing bowl,” fusing spaces, weaving individual rehearsal rooms with artist studios, critical theory classrooms with shops, and media editing labs with a video production studio. Public spaces include ensemble rehearsal rooms, black-box and proscenium theaters, a performance auditorium with exceptional acoustics, a gallery, a state-of-the-art film screening venue, a café, and dynamic outdoor spaces.

text courtesy of UChicago Arts

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Great Grasshopper Intro Video...for Beginners

This is a “quick” introduction to Grasshopper did for SHoP Construction’s fall studio at NJIT run by Jon Mallie and John Cerone. Most of the things in this video are covered in other videos on the site but it introduces a few new features added to Grasshopper. Toward the end of the tutorial we cover relationships between Grasshopper and Excel. If you want to skip ahead to that part it is near the 100min mark of the video. This tutorial skips over a lot of the basics regarding canvas navigation, component colors, etc. and dives right in to some examples.

via: designalyze

Peter Guthrie's Farnsworth House

I have said it once, and I will say it again. Peter Guthrie is one of the most talented 3d artists that I have ever come across.

Check out his latest renderings (yes renderings!!!) of the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe.

Guthrie' s meticulous attention to detail, lighting, and materials are simply second to none. Keep up the amazing work...

You can check out more of Guthrie's work on this website and blog.

AJ Top 5 Comic Book Cities

I know he wasn't a comic book illustrator, but if you like this 'comic' style of drawing check out Hugh Ferris's work.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Zebra Imaging 3D Architectural Holograms

Zebra holograms dramatically reduce time to certainty. For architecture, engineering & construction (AEC) projects, it is important to attractively and accurately present 3D form and function over iterative reviews. Holograms can be rendered from the same 3D digital design and CAD models that most AEC clients already produce for 2D renderings and animated fly-throughs.

The turnaround production time is fast and the model size, color, quality, and potential for animation are user-controlled parameters. The cost of a hologram is comparable to physical models produced at the same size. They are robust, easy to handle, and easy to transport and send. Updates and multiple copies can be easily produced and sent out to stakeholders at a single location or multiple locations. Holograms can be easily archived as physical documentation.

The presentation of AEC plans and designs is often as important as the plans and designs themselves. An impressive and accurate model can make the difference between winning and losing a contract. Furthermore, a detailed and accurate model for review during the design phase can mean the difference between detecting or missing mistakes early in the process. The ease of comprehension also make holograms well-suited for presentations to the public.

Because Zebra holograms are true-3D, multiple viewers can see the model from their own viewpoints encircling 360° around the model. In other words, viewers can walk around a Zebra hologram to observe and comprehend the model in the same intuitive manner that they observe real objects in real life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Search Engine For Designers

The idea is simple: search for a term and the site will show results from a number of different search queries. This is not a new idea, but the creation of search engine that is specifically targeted for designers is. After entering a query, the site data mines results from Google Images, Google Blogsearch, Flickr, iTunes, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon and Wikipedia then displays them on a single page that is orderly and easy to use. There is also a Save/Share option that will send a permalink of your search to you via email or to others through a number of social networking sites.

Click Here to Try it...

Via: Core77

Eric Sanderson pictures New York -- Before the City

Via: TED

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Colander Table by Daniel Rohr

I seem to be conflicted over this project by German designer Daniel Rohr. One side of me is amazed at the simple beauty of the piece, while the other side is revolted by the over excessive nature of carving a table out of a solid piece of aluminum.

I find myself asking the question if it is really necessary for something as primitive as a table to be designed and build with such advanced technical means. If you ask me, a table needs to serve a very simple purpose, and I don't feel that this evolution on its design is really doing anything other than over-complicating something that should not be over-complicated.

I would like to hear if any others share a different opinion.

Text from designboom:

the latest project by german designer daniel rohr is the 'colander' table. the futuristic table consists a bowl like form with 909 holes. the project is an experiment, to delete space and material. this opens for the observer an other point of view with a different sense. when objects are placed on top of the table it gives the illusion that they are floating.

via: designboom

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bjarke Ingels: 3 Warp-Speed Architecture Tales @ TED

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature -- they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy -- and creating stunning views.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wired's Creative Director Scott Dadich on Design

Video Summary

Scott Dadich talks about designing Wired Magazine, developing a creative culture in magazine design, with three guiding ideas; that details matter, to design by evolution rather than revolution, and that constraint is freedom.

See the Full Lecture Below


Monday, September 7, 2009

Universcale by Nikon

We are able to view all entities, from the microworld to the universe, from a single perspective. By setting them up against a scale, we are able to compare and understand things which cannot be physically compared.

Today, using the electron microscope and astronomical telescope, we can see the objects which we have not been aware of its existence before. Are you able to fathom, or even roughly grasp, these sizes?

Click here to see our Universcale and experience the sizes of various objects.

Kazakhstan’s new National Library in Astana by BIG

Invited as one of five pre-selected architect led teams, BIG was awarded first prize in an open international design competition which included 19 entrants among others Lord Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid.

The new National Library, named after the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, encompasses an estimated 33.000m2. The winning proposal was chosen by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan K. Masimov together with Astana’s akim I.Tasmagambetov and a council of architects. The design was hailed as being both modern and rational and anchored in a classical vocabulary of traditional libraries. The circular organisation of the archive at its inner core combines the clarity of a linear organisation with the convenience of an infinite loop.

The design of the National Library combines four universal archetypes across space and time into a new national symbol: the circle, the rotunda, the arch and the yurt are merged into the form of a Moebius strip. The clarity of the circle, the courtyard of the rotunda, the gateway of the arch and the soft silhouette of the yurt are combined to create a new national monument appearing local and universal, contemporary and timeless, unique and archetypal at the same time, Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner on the Astana National Library 2009

Nation Building Being one of the future cornerstones of Kazakh nation building, and a leading institution representing the Kazakh national identity, designing the library went beyond a mere architectural challenge. The new National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan’s new capital since 1997, shall not only accumulate history but also provide a foundation for new futures for the nation and its new capital. It will serve as an intellectual, multifunctional and cultural center, with a primary goal of reflecting the establishment and development of a sovereign Kazakhstan, its political history, and the Head of the State’s activities and role in the development of the country.

The National Library will be the place where the citizens of Astana, the people of Kazakhstan as well as international visitors can come to explore the country’s history, its diverse cultures, its new capital and its first president. The Library will accommodate and communicate with all segments of the population: civil servants, politicians, researchers, students, museum historians and staff. The Library is conceived as a symbiosis of urbanity and nature. Like Astana, which is located in the heart of the Kazakh mainland, it will be integrated into the heart of a re-created Kazakh landscape. The park around the library is designed like a living library of trees, plants, minerals and rocks allowing visitors to experience a cross section of Kazakhstan’s natural landscape, and personally experience the capital’s transition across the country from Almaty to Astana.

What is a library but an efficient archive of books… and a path for the public to reach them, Thomas Christoffersen, the Project Leader on the National Library

In the library they will be able to study the history of the Kazakh culture and language present in the massive collection of books, magazines, film and other media. The archive is organized as a circular loop of knowledge, surrounded by light and air on both sides. On the periphery a 360 degree panorama of Astana – at the heart of the building a contemplative courtyard domed by the heavenly light blue of the celestial vault. The simplicity and perfection of the infinite circle allows for a crystal clear and intuitive orientation in the vast and growing collection that will populate the shelves of the National Library. The ideal addition to the perfect circle will be a series of public programs that simultaneously wraps the library on the outside as well as the inside, above as well as below. Twisting the public program into a continuous spiraling path tracing the library on all sides, creates an architectural organization that combines the virtues of all 4 complimenting models. Like a Möbius strip, the public programs move seamlessly from the inside to the outside and from ground to the sky providing spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and growing city skyline.

Möbius Strip The 2 interlocking structures: the perfect circle and the public spiral, create a building that transforms from a horizontal organization where library museum and support functions are placed next to each other, to a vertical organization where they are stacked on top of each other through a diagonal organization combining vertical hierarchy, horizontal connectivity and diagonal view lines. By wrapping the transforming composition of spaces with a continuous skin we create a Möbius strip volume where the facades move from inside to outside and back again.

The envelope of The National Library transcends the traditional architectural categories such as wall and roof. Like a yurt the wall becomes the roof, which becomes floor, which becomes the wall again, Thomas Christoffersen, the Project Leader on the National Library

Images and Text Via: europaconcorsi

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not architecture related… I just wanted to share some Minnesota pride.

Most of us agree that Minnesotans are the most intelligent people in the world, or at least America, and our junior senator can prove it…

Here's proof from the Minnesota State Fair that Senator Al Franken can draw the US map from memory. It's truly amazing.

Via: Core77 & Minnesota Public Radio

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto Interview / Atelier Bow-Wow / Part 1

Interview with Japanese Architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto [1965-] principal of Atelier Bow-Wow since 1992, along with partner and wife Momoyo Kaijima [1969-]. He graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology after working several years at Kazunari Sakamoto Architectural Laboratory and has been teaching there since 2000.

Tsukamoto may be the closest figure to american academy in the scene leaded by Toyo Ito -because of his outspoken attitude and theoretical ambition- yet continuing the deleuzian approach inaugurated by Kazuo Shinohara during the Metabolist days. He and Kaijima produced a substantial body of work before presenting themselves to the international scene, with friendly research-based publications like Made in Tokyo [2001] and Pet Architecture Guidebook [2001]. So far, they ‘ve been living out of the expenses of those old days and have been trying to reinvent themselves with books/exhibitons like Graphic Anatomy [2007] or lately with Void Metabolism [presented in 2008 as a proposal for The Great Pyramid competition called by Rem Koolhaas].

In this first chapter, Tsukamoto speaks about his long-standing relationship with his alma mater, Tokyo Tech -the years when Shinohara was still around, Sakamoto and how he end up collaborating with Ito and Sejima. Afterwards he explans how this whole scene of Tokyo architects is very close -in professional terms but also in personal ones- and also how his work differs from Tezuka Architects‘ also delightful approach.

All material was produced by 0300TV

Recorded Jun 2008
Interview by Diego Grass P.
Transcripted by Stephanie Fell C.
Edited by Macarena Guajardo M.
Music by Matías Aguayo
Posted by Diego Grass P.


Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation @ TED

If you are at all involved in any of the creative fields you need to watch this lecture...

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.

Friday, August 28, 2009

American Vice: Mapping the 7 Deadly Sins

A team at Kansas State just served up a feast: maps of sin created by plotting per-capita stats on things like theft (envy) and STDs (lust). Christian clergy, likely noting the Bible Belt's status as Wrath Central, question the "science." Valid point—or maybe it's just the pride talking.

Original article written for wired by Kristina Shevory

Average income compared with number of people living below the poverty line.

Total thefts (robbery, burglary, larceny, and grand theft auto) per capita.

Number of violent crimes (murder, assault, and rape) per capita.

Expenditures on art, entertainment, and recreation compared with employment.

Number of fast-food restaurants per capita.

Number of STD cases reported per capita.

Aggregate of the other six offenses—because pride is the root of all sin.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stone and Water Video on

Stone and Water

A visit to the Vals Spa.

Built from local quartz by star Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor, the Vals spa brings together Swiss mineral water with the precious stone from which it gushes. (swissinfo 2004)

Via: Swissinfo

Peter Zumthor Video on

Peter Zumthor
The way of an uncompromising architect.

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor is the 2009 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize – an award often referred to as the Nobel prize of architecture. His path to international recognition has been marked by disagreements.

Via: Swissinfo

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Olafur Eliasson: Playing with Space and Light

In the spectacular large-scale projects he's famous for (such as "Waterfalls" in New York harbor), Olafur Eliasson creates art from a palette of space, distance, color and light. This idea-packed talk begins with an experiment in the nature of perception.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TopoTek 1 Landscape Architects

I recently became aware of this very cool landscape firm out of Berlin named TopoTek 1 by a fellow co-worker. If you like the landscape firms of Balmori Associates and Field Operations; you will definitely like TopoTek, check them out.

TopoTek 1 Firm Profile:

"Based on the critical understanding of imminent realities, the search for conceptual approaches leads us to statements concerning the urban environment."

"Throughout design, planning, and construction we offer solutions for independent parks, square, sport-grounds, courtyards, and gardens, whose design answer to contemporary requirements for variability, communication, and sensuality."

"The manifold experence through a broad spectrum of German and International projects meanwhile compacitate an efficent realization, finly tuned to respective possiablities."

I am not sure what all that means, but you should still make the time to check out there website by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Snøhetta Exhibition in Oslo

The Oslo/New York firm of Snøhetta is currently exhibiting there work at the National Museum for Art and Architecture in Oslo. Click the above image or the link below to view dozens of photos from the exhibit.

Text from the Exhibit.

Snøhetta's international recognition is unique in a Norwegian context. They have achieved this by winning two open, international competitions with hundreds of participants from all over the world, and by following through with completing these projects marvelously; The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina and The Oslo Opera House.

Snøhetta AS was established 20 years ago, when five young architects (three Norwegians, one Austrian and one American) won the prestigious competition to design a new library in Alexandria. As of 2009 the firm has a staff of 120 from several different nations, offices in Oslo and New York, and buildings in different phases of planning and construction on several continents.

The span in Snøhetta's producion is vast. Finished projects cover everything from restaurant interiors and court yard landscapes to museums and The Oslo Opera House. Of current projects, the research project Glitne conveys environmentally friendly, competitive architecture, and the utopian, gigantic Ras Al Khaimah Project in United Arab Emirates speaks volumes about versatility.

Curator: Eva Madshus

Also check out the video below of the presentation that Snøhetta gave of the New Opera House in Oslo.

Tarald Lundevall & Kjetil Thorsen present New Opera House, Oslo from The Architecture Foundation on Vimeo.

Via: Musabi Diary & Dezain

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Film of Exeter Library by Louis Kahn... Made in 3ds Max

Kahn's Exeter Short Film from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

View this stunningly beautiful short film by Alex Roman.

Footage from "The Third & The Seventh" project for illustrating Mundos Digitales 2009 conference.

Done with 3ds max, V-Ray, After Effects and Premiere.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review: Digital Fabrications

Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques

Book Description

Architectural pioneers such as Frank Gehry and Greg Lynn introduced the world to the extreme forms made possible by digital fabrication. It is now possible to transfer designs made on a computer to computer-controlled machinery that creates actual building components. This “file to factory” process not only enables architects to realize projects featuring complex or double-curved geometries, but also liberates architects from a dependence on off-the-shelf building components, enabling projects of previously unimaginable complexity.

Digital Fabrications, the second volume in our new Architecture Briefs series, celebrates the design ingenuity made possible by digital fabrication techniques. Author Lisa Iwamoto explores the methods architects use to calibrate digital designs with physical forms. The book is organized according to five types of digital fabrication techniques: tessellating, sectioning, folding, contouring, and forming.

Projects are shown both in their finished forms and in working drawings, templates, and prototypes, allowing the reader to watch the process of each fantastic construction unfold. Digital Fabrications presents projects designed and built by emerging practices that pioneer techniques and experiment with fabrication processes on a small scale with a do-it-yourself attitude.

Featured architects include Ammar Eloueini/DIGIT-AL Studio, Elena Manferdini, Brennan Buck, Michael Meredith/MOS, Office dA, Mafoomby, URBAN A+O, SYSTEM Architects, Andrew Kudless, IwamotoScott, Howeler Yoon, Hitoshi Abe, Chris Bosse, Tom Wiscombe/ Emergent, Jeremy Ficca, SPAN, Urban A&O, Gnuform, Heather Roberge, Patterns, and Servo.

Get it at Amazon by Clicking Here

via: Princeton Architectural Press

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Future of Cities

Future of Cities from squintopera on Vimeo.

The film was commissioned by The Danish Royal Academy of Architecture and is part of a publication outlining the outcome of the IFHP congress that took place in Copenhagen in 2007.

‘Futures of Cities’ is a selection of contributions presented during the congress. These contributions consist of work from miscellaneous architectural practitioners, ten principles developed by ‘Monday Morning’ and competition entries from the student competition that took place as part of the event.

The film comprises 2D collages of the selected projects, creating
an abstract world in the distant future where everything is possible. The projects are connected through a globe of silhouettes and text describing the 10 principles for a sustainable future of cities.

Visualization was done by squint/opera

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Takeshi Iue

Takeshi Iue is strongly influenced by both traditional and contemporary Japanese design. based in Adlelaide Australia, he runs his own studio producing furniture and lighting with subtle and minimal forms. during the state of design festival he showcased a variety of pieces including his autumn stacking stool, bamboo side tables and black gallery bench. two of the stand out designs included the tripod table lamp made from solid wood with an LED lighting unit and the geometrical habit chair that was designed with an aesthetic focus on the backside (since this is what is seen when the chair is tucked into a table).

Via: Designboom

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Transmaterial Website Launched

Transmaterial, the online companion to Blaine Brownell's similarly titled book series, has just been relaunched as a highly searchable database of the latest in "materials that redefine our physical environment", designed to better facilitate access to critical developments in the field.

Via: Core77

Monday, July 27, 2009

100 Years of Design Manifestos

Today I came across this fantastic list of design manifestos and I had to post them.

The following list was complied by John Emerson.

Since the days of radical printer-pamphleteers, design and designers have a long history of fighting for what’s right and working to transform society. The rise of the literary form of the manifesto also parallels the rise of modernity and the spread of letterpress printing.

* 1909 The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, F.T. Marinetti

* 1914 Manifesto of Futurist Architecture, Antonio Sant’Elia

* 1919 Bauhaus Manifesto, Walter Gropius

* 1922 Manifesto of the Painters’ Union, Taller de Grafica Popular

* 1923 Topology of Typography, El Lissitzky

* 1923 The New Typography, László Moholy-Nagy - a call for design against the bourgeois, in support of the proletariat.

* 1959 The journal "New Graphic Design," though not explicitly a manifesto, called for a radical rethinking of design along more scientific lines.

* 1964 First Things First, Ken Garland

* 1967 The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord

* 1971 La coscienza del designer, Albe Steiner

* 1978 Atlante Secondo Lenin - not so much a design manifesto, as a designed manifesto. The innovative infographics visualize theories for gaining power.

* 1979 Ahmedabad Declaration on Industrial Design for Development

* 1983 The Free Software announcement, later clarified in 1985’s GNU Manifesto

* 1987 Design memorandum. Dall’etica del progetto al progetto dell’etica.

* 1987 Ten Rules of Good Design, Dieter Rams

* 1989 Carta del progetto grafico

* 1990 A Scandinavian Design Council Manifesto on Nature, Ecology and Human Needs for the Future

* 1991 The Social Role of Design, Pierre Bernard

* 1991 The Munich Design Charter

* 1996 Viewer's Declaration of Independence

* 1998 Ne Pas Plier statement

* 1998 People's Communication Charter

* 2000 First Things First update - not just about advertising this time, but setting new values.

* 2000 Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, Bruce Mau (though I thought Dean Allen did a tidy job of demolishing this.)

* 2001 AIAP, diseno etica e comunicazione

* 2001 Socialist Designer's Manifesto - a series of ideologically driven limitations along the lines of Dogme 95.

* 2001 Designers Against Monoculture, Noah Scalin

* 2002 First Declaration of the St. Moritz Design Summit

* 2004 The Free Culture Manifesto

* 2006 The Public Role of the Graphic Designer

* 2006 Free Font Manifesto, Ellen Lupton

* 2006 Owner’s Manifesto, The Maker’s Bill of Rights

* 2007 The Designer’s Dilemma and subsequent Designers Accord

* 2007 1000 Words: A Manifesto for Sustainability in Design, Allan Chochinov

* 2008 White Night Before A Manifesto, Metahaven

* 2009 The Repair Manifesto from Platform21

Via: Social Design Notes

Heatherwick’s Paperhouse Kiosks Open for Business in Kensington

By Amanda Birch

Project: Paperhouse kiosk
Designer: Heatherwick Studio
Structural engineer: Tall consulting structural engineers
Location: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Newspapers have to work harder than ever to get themselves sold. Yet in London, they are often purchased from ramshackle newsstands positioned near most London Underground stations. Their frequently makeshift appearance was cause for concern for Kensington & Chelsea Council’s deputy leader Daniel Moylan.

Moylan, who has been spearheading a campaign to de-clutter the borough’s streets and make them cleaner, commissioned Heatherwick Studio to design an alternative kiosk that was more distinctive and ergonomic. The solution was a cold-patinated bronze-clad kiosk with a mild steel and plywood frame and a glass fibre roof floating over a polycarbonate clerestory window.

Two of the 2.5m-tall Paperhouse kiosks were installed earlier this year — one outside Earls Court Tube station and another at Sloane Square, transferred there from a pitch outside the Victoria & Albert Museum during last summer’s London Festival of Architecture. Two more have been built and are being fitted out at subcontractor 2D:3D’s workshop in London’s Park Royal.

Stuart Wood, a designer at Heatherwick Studio, explains that while the ambitious base model design, costing £30,000, is a constant, each kiosk is modified to match its vendor’s individual needs. For example at Sloane Square, the kiosk vendor wanted refrigerators incorporated into the interior, while the Earls Court vendor wanted extra display space for newspapers and magazines.

Toby Maclean, director of structural engineer Tall, says: “The form follows the geometry of the tiered shelves on which the magazines and newspapers are stored and displayed, and the doors themselves rotate open to reveal yet more shelving.”

“In operation, the Paperhouse is open and welcoming and when out of use it remains a sculptural object in the street scene.”

When conducting early research for the design of the kiosks, Heatherwick and Wood visited the vendors early in the morning to gain an understanding of their needs. They discovered that it took about an hour for the vendors to set up every morning and to pack up at the end of the day and there was little protection from inclement weather.

Heatherwick Studio’s response is a structure that is permanent. Each morning the vendor simply unbolts the padlock to the doors and slides them open. The newspapers, cigarettes, food and drinks are already arranged in the plywood shelving so the vendor doesn’t have to spend time setting up.

The kiosks have a flat back so that they can either be leant against a wall or left free-standing. They are designed to be stable without having to be fixed down to their sites, and are delivered on the back of a lorry, placed on the site and plugged into the electrical mains. If the pavement is uneven, six screw legs fixed to the structure’s underside can be adjusted

Standing inside the kiosk, it feels secure, and vendors have a good vantage point as the platform in the kiosk where the vendors stand is at a higher level than the customers.

David McDonald, conservation and design team leader at the borough of Kensington & Chelsea, which project-managed Paperhouse, says there has been a mixed reaction from the public. “People do remark on them, but perhaps this is more to do with the shock of the new,” he says.

The planned sites for the next two Paperhouse kiosks are still to be decided by the council, though McDonald says South Kensington tube station is a likely location.

The Structure

Toby Maclean, director at Tall Consulting Structural Engineers, says that the structure of the two-tonne Paperhouse is driven by its geometrical form.