Real-world research is being conducted for reactive structures. Particular interest currently is in healthcare and manufacturing. In a hospital, the wall color and lights in a room will reflect the condition of the patient, while in manufacturing the walls will display production rates, as examples.
This is precisely what we need to start doing. Designers need to start “invading” existing spaces rather than creating new places. A space can be looked at as interior or exterior. It can be defined by one or four or no walls. Sometimes all that is needed is a canopy or a level change and a space is created. There is great potential for existing spaces to become more than just intersitial or left over areas. The process of “invading” a space is far more interesting and challenging than starting from scratch. It just takes an injection of creativity to bring life and excitement to an otherwise redundant plot of land.
I find that rough and rugid materials, no matter how polished or prestine, can still make a broader statement than a tall shiny, gleaming glass tower. Whether its concrete or some other alloy-metal panelled facade, a building that has more of an opaque exterior contrasts beautifully in today’s glass jungle.
Here is a close up shot of the Tombasil (alloyed white bronze) panels that comprise the distinctive facade of the former American Folk Art Museum in New York. What is especially attractive to me about this material is that even though it is fitted as a final and complete form, its process is still clear. One of the big air bubbles created in the process of making the panel is easily seen if you take a step or two closer.
It’s unfortunate that this building will soon be torn down, but let’s hope that these exquisite panels will be dismantled carefully and repurposed so their lifespan can be extended.
A 2.7-hectare enclave of opium parlours, whorehouses and gambling dens run by triads, it was a place where police, health inspectors and even tax collectors feared to tread. In Cantonese, it was known as the City of Darkness. But though it may have been a fetid slum, crawling with rats and dripping with sewage, it was stoutly defended to the last by those who lived there, as well as an unlikely ensemble of Chinese shopkeepers, faith healers and self-taught dentists.
It was once thought to be the most densely populated place on earth, with 35,000 people crammed into a few tiny apartment blocks and more than 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, all constructed without contributions from a single architect. But in March 1993, the last batch of residents finally accepted the government’s rehousing terms and compensation terms. It brought down the final curtain on a bizarre chapter of Hong Kong’s colonial past.
For the past decade Eames Demetrios has been traveling around the world installing bronze plaques and historic sites that honor events from a parallel world he calls, Kcymaerxthaere. Kcymaerxthaere is a alternative universe—the project is like a novel with every page in a different place. Where you read such a page influences how you visualize that story. It may sound a bit unusual, but it is so rewarding to see how many people conjuring up another reality without a single digital enhancement—all by themselves in the real world with their mind.
You can contribute to the initiative here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kcymaerxthaere-comes-to-armenia
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