New site

Hello all.
Thank you for all your support. Just a note that this will be the last of aesthetic blog. You can follow the same threads at the new site, ATELIERI.WORDPRESS.COM
Best,
Robert I.

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Where’d you get those Googles?

Google has sold interactive glasses for $1500 (only) during its annual software conference in San Francisco to first adaptors. If all goes well, a less expensive version of the glasses is expected to go on sale for consumers in early 2014. While wearing these glasses, directions to a destination or a text message from a friend may appear directly before your eyes. Conversing with friends in a video chat, take a photo without taking out a camera, phone or even buy a few things online as you walk around. JUST DON’T DRIVE DOING IT.

Isabelle Olsson, lead designer of Google’s Project Glass, talks about the design of the Google Glass during the keynote at Google’s annual developer conference

The Sharp End: The Shard London

Although it has opened to mixed reviews, there is no question the skyline in London has changed dramatically with the new 310m high Shard building by starchitect, Renzo Piano. Western Europe’s tallest building, it is a vertiginous vision of gleaming glass with the inclusion of the UK’s first Shangri-La hotel alongside residences, office space and the top floors designated for public viewing. A dynamic addition to the centrepiece of futurist architecture that is the city center. See TheShard.com



Apocalypse 101: The Orsos Island

The world may end but why suffer? If you shell out a cool 6.5 million dollars, you too can be the proud owner of an Orsos island. Made for private use and ready to ship later this year, it can be moved at will thus avoiding any political, economic and infrastructural breakdown. In style.
The Island is over 20 meters wide and more than 37 meters in length, offering excellent potential for a very spacious layout. With about 400 m² on each floor, the Island offers up to 1,000 m² of living space. Equivalent to six double rooms, the Island offers plenty of residential room for up to you and 11 of your closest and up to 80 for your final bon voyage…


Order yours now! at: ORSOS

Leggo My Eggasus: Kiss the Future


In my ongoing quest for inter-urban zero-emission vehicles (that protect from the elements), I’ve run across this little charmer with retro-futurist aesthetics, the ‘EGGASUS’. Another little jewel to come out of California. This one is being launched in North America this fall.
It reaches a range of up to 50 miles (80.4 kilometers), with a top speed of 25 mph (40.23 km/h). Underneath the shell is a three-wheeled electric vehicle, fitted with an electric hub motor in the front wheel, enclosed cab, tinted windows, a seat, and instrument display panel. Pre-production models come with a price tag of US$5,000 a piece. Really, it would be an ideal replacement for all those rascals…
See on in motion below:

More at EGGASUS

Kiss The Future 101: Dream a Little Dream of Me


Brooklyn’s own Bitbanger Labs is the brainchild of photographer meister Duncan McCloud Frazier and his compatriot jack-of-all-trades genius Steve McGuigan.
They’ve invented a remarkable eye mask that presumably helps trigger lucid dreaming (or rather the ability to control yourself and your surroundings as you dream!). Remee (REM Enhancing Eye Mask) is the specialized eye mask that is equipped with a microcontroller that flashes a series of six customizable LED light patterns when you are at the peak of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. These dim flashes appear as visual anomalies as you sleep, helping you recognize that you are dreaming and subsequently trigger lucidity. Remee’s performance can be customized and adjusted by placing its built-in light sensors in front of your monitor on their official site while you set your configurations. Oh, so MODERN!
It sounds like a portal to limitless creativity.

Kickstarter once again is proving a fertile ground and is crowd-funding this project where the two bright boys have surpassed their initial goal of $35,000 with $573,000 and counting…
Pre-order yours (for 95$+ 15$international orders) at: www.sleepwithremee




http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bitbangerlabs/remee-the-rem-enhancing-lucid-dreaming-mask/widget/video.html

The Grass is Always Greener: Biocouture

An innovative approach to textile technology is unfolding with this technique that harnesses nature’s forces.
“BioCouture is a research project harnessing nature to propose a radical future fashion vision. We are investigating the use of microbial-cellulose, grown in a laboratory, to produce clothing. Our ultimate goal is to literally grow a dress in a vat of liquid…The material is nearest in feel to a vegetable leather and, like your vegetable peelings, it can be safely composted when you no longer want it.”

Suzanne Lee is Director of the project and a Senior Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. She is collaborating with scientists to unite design with cutting edge bio and nano-technologies.

BioCouture is investigating the use of microbes to grow a textile biomaterial. Certain bacteria will spin microfibrils of pure cellulose during fermentation which form a dense layer that can be harvested and dried. To a sugary green tea solution they add a mixed culture of bacterial cellulose, yeasts and other microorganisms to produce a flexible cellulose mat. The bacteria feed on the sugar and spin fine threads of cellulose. As these start to stick together they form a skin on the liquids surface. After two to three weeks, when it is approximately 1.5cm thick, they remove the cellulose skin from the growth bath. They can then either use it wet to mold onto a 3D form, like a dress shape, or dry it flat and then cut and sew it into a garment.
Lee is the author of ‘Fashioning The Future: tomorrow’s wardrobe’ published by Thames & Hudson.http://www.biocouture.co.uk/



Dimple Dash: Turbospeed Lycra Suit from Nike

Utilizing the aerodynamic properties of the humble golf ball, Nike’s engineers are pioneering this innovative tracksuit that reportedly shaves off micro seconds from performances. .023 seconds to be exact. That would be the possible equivalent of a higher placing when one talks of sprinting, so that is something very interesting to consider. Relying on the principle that explains the convex dimpled pattern found on a golf ball. These help balls travel further as they create low pressure turbulence in the boundary layer on the wind-facing side of the ball as it glides through the air, creating less drag behind the ball. Nike is calling them, “surface architectures”. panels are added to the areas that create most resistance such as the arms and legs. The result is also visually sleek and intimidating.


Kiss The Future: Instant Learning


Scientists say they’re getting closer to Matrix-style instant learning
What price effortless learning? In a paper published in the latest issue of Science, neuroscientists say they’ve developed a novel method of learning, that can cause long-lasting improvement in tasks that demand a high level of visual performance.

And while the so-called neurofeedback method could one day be used to teach you kung fu, or to aid spinal-injury patients on the road to rehabilitation, evidence also suggests the technology could be used to target people without their knowledge, opening doors to numerous important ethical questions.
According to a press release from the National Science Foundation:

New research published today in the journal Science suggests it may be possible to use brain technology to learn to play a piano, reduce mental stress or hit a curve ball with little or no conscious effort. It’s the kind of thing seen in Hollywood’s “Matrix” franchise.

Experiments conducted at Boston University (BU) and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, recently demonstrated that through a person’s visual cortex, researchers could use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state and thereby improve performance on visual tasks.

Think of a person watching a computer screen and having his or her brain patterns modified to match those of a high-performing athlete or modified to recuperate from an accident or disease. Though preliminary, researchers say such possibilities may exist in the future.

But here’s the bit that’s really interesting (and also pretty creepy): the researchers found that this novel learning approach worked even when test subjects weren’t aware of what they were learning:

“The most surprising thing in this study is that mere inductions of neural activation patterns…led to visual performance improvement…without presenting the feature or subjects’ awareness of what was to be learned,” said lead researcher Takeo Watanabe. He continues:

We found that subjects were not aware of what was to be learned while behavioral data obtained before and after the neurofeedback training showed that subjects’ visual performance improved specifically for the target orientation, which was used in the neurofeedback training.

Is this research mind-blowing and exciting? Absolutely. I mean come on — automated learning? Yes. Sign me up. But according to research co-author Mitsuo Kawato, the neurofeedback mechanism could just as soon be used for purposes of hypnosis or covert mind control. And that… I’m not so keen on.

“We have to be careful,” he explains, “so that this method is not used in an unethical way.” [Science via NSF]

GraphExeter: New Graphene-based material invented.


A University of Exeter team has discovered a lightweight, flexible and transparent material for conducting electricity.
The new material, called GraphExeter, could transform the electronics industry with the development of wearable electronic devices, such as clothing containing computers, MP3 players and phones. GraphExeter can be used for creating windows or smart mirrors along with computerized interactive characteristics.

Graphene, a one-atom-thick substance, is the thinnest material that can conduct electricity. It is flexible as well as one of the strongest materials. For quite some time, engineers and scientists have been on the race to adapt graphene for electronics. This process has been a challenging one for them due to its sheet resistance, which confines its conductivity.

The Exeter team compressed ferric chloride molecules between two sheets of graphene in order to create GraphExeter as a possible alternative to ITO. The team is now working on creating a spray-on version of the material that can be applied onto windows, mirrors and fabrics.

Dr Monica Craciun, the lead researcher at University of Exeter, said that GraphExeter can redefine the electronics industry. He also said that the material outperforms other types of carbon-based transparent conductor utilized in electronics and can be used for different applications.

The research findings on GraphExeter are published in the journal called Advanced Materials.
By Cameron Chai
Source: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/

The Power of Colour Part II: Yago Hortal

Yago Hortal, born 1983 in Barcelona, continues to live and work there and in Berlin.
Taking a more fluid approach to acrylic, he creates dynamic images that exist in a space between abstraction and representation, exploiting this material beautifully. More at: Yago Hortal

Yago Hortal

Yago Hortal, KF2

Yago Hortal, KL19

Yago Hortal, KL47

Yago Hortal, KL37

The Power of Colour Part1: Michael Reafsnyder

Perhaps it’s the burst of spring in the air but I’ve been yearning for sharp blasts of mind searing colours and found them in the work of Michael Reafsnyder and Yago Hortal (whose work I will discuss in part 2) both of who utilize thick layers of acrylics.

Michael Reafsnyder, born 1969, received his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at Chapman University in 1992 and his Masters of Fine Arts at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 1996.
He’s had numerous solo exhibitions nationally and internationally at such venues as Western Project in Culver City, CA; Blum and Poe in Los Angeles, CA; W.C.C.A in Singapore; Uplands Gallery in Melbourne, Australia and Galeria Marta Cervera in Madrid, Spain. The dimensional qualities to his work really bring the painting to life. See more at: Michael Reafsnyder.

Paint Feast, 2010 Image credit Michael Reafsnyder

Rotate, 2010 Michael Reafsnyder

Paul Cadden: Master of Reality

Born in 1964, Paul Cadden hails from Glasgow, Scotland. He has been shortlisted for artist of the year and specializes in reality. Hyperreality to be exact. With the aid of photos and videos, he delves into the illusional world, extracting ever more detail that creates worlds within worlds in graphite, often on recycled paper. The result is rather astonishing. He explains further:
“The virtual image becomes the living image, an intensification of the normal. These objects and scenes in my drawings are meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a new reality not seen in in the original photo. The Hyperrealist style focuses much more on its emphasis on detail and the subjects depicted. Hyperreal paintings and sculptures are not strict interpretations of photographs, nor are they literal illustrations of a particular scene or subject. Instead, they utilise additional, often subtle, pictorial elements to create the illusion of a reality which in fact either does not exist or cannot be seen by the human eye.” Indeed.
See more at : PAUL CADDEN

Image Credit: Paul Cadden

Image Credit: Paul Cadden

Image Credit: Paul Cadden

Beach+Howe: That’s mighty BIG

Copenhagen architects BIG has recently designed and begun ‘Beach + Howe’, a residential tower which will serve as a gateway structure to the downtown core of vancouver, Canada. Joining the skyline as the fourth tallest building, the site is traversed by the branching granville overpass. The plan will integrate high/low structures into the odd-shaped lots produced by the adjoining streets and the city building codes, mandating a minimum 30 meter clearance to the infrastructure.
A sliver base forms the nine storey podium which then vertically clears the road and traffic, widening into the 600 unit residential tower which hovers over the zone of pollution and noise while shopping, retail and working spaces are accessible via the public plaza which pedestrian traffic can circulate under the large concrete supports and as the internal floor area widens, views to the ocean and coastal mountains are displayed. All pictures courtesy of BIG Architects.




NAME: BEACH+HOWE
client: westbank projects corp.
location: vancouver, canada
size: 653,890 sf / 60,670 m2
collaborators: dialog, cobalt engineering, phillips farevaag smallenberg urban design, buro happold,
glotman simpson, james km cheng architects

partners-in-charge: bjarke ingels, thomas christoffersen
project leader: agustin perez-torres
team: julianne gola, marcella martinez, chris malcolm, karol borkowski, michael taylor, alina tamosiunaite,
david brown, tobias hjortdal, alexandra gustafson

Mr. Magoo, meet Mr. Peel: The Microcars

Peel was a manufacturing company based on the Isle of Man that primarily made fibreglass boats as well as fairings for motorcycles.
They were also responsible for the Peel Manxcar, Peel P50, and Peel Trident microcars, in addition to the Peel Viking Sport and prototype GRP Minis for BMC. The Peel P50 to this day still carries the Guinness Book Of Records as the Worlds Smallest Production Car of all time and is now going to be re-issued with the help of Dragon’s Den amongst other things. At a mere 54 inches long and just 41 inches wide, it has 1 headlight, 1 door, 3 wheels and can whizz along at 40mph. For rainy cities, it is the better choice over a moped and certainly more stylish. BUY ONE NOW AT: PEEL ENGINEERING LTD.

Sexy Sushi: Tori-Tori

This is one of the winning entries for ARCH DAILY‘s building of the year 2011.
Taking the hotel/restaurant category, Rojkind Architects/Esrawe Studio have created something both contemporary and poetic, cool and calm. Considered one of the best Japanese restaurants in Mexico City, Tori-Tori had to move to a bigger location in the same area of Mexico City. All furniture was created exclusively as well.
Rojkind Arquitectos + Esrawe Studio
Location: Polanco, Mexico City
Project Team (Rojkind Arquitectos): Tere Levy, Agustín Pereyra, Raúl Araiza, Carlos Alberto Ríos, Isaac Smeke J., Enrique F. de la Barrera, Daniela Bustamante, Daniel Hernández
Project Team (ESRAWE Studio): Ricardo Casas, Basia Pineda, Ian Castillo, Karianne Rygh, Alejandra Castelao, Jorge Bracho, Alejandro Zárate, Marcela Muñoz, Edgar Sánchez, Rodrigo L. Franco
Construction Area: 629 sqm | Completion Date: 2011 | Photographer: Paúl Rivera


Nendo: The Thin Black Line

Nendo, the wondrous japanese group formed by Canadian born Oki Sato, will show at the London Design Week with a collection based on calligraphy. Pure line art in steel.
One can get a hold of their magic at 1%, the online store that features productions of only 100 of each design.
See more of their terrific work for Hermes, Cartier and Boffi here: NENDO

“Bosco Verticale”: World’s First Vertical Forest

In an incredible about face for a city like Milan, known for it’s fashion,endless shopping and terrible smog, the city has given the go-ahead for a vertical forest by architect, Stephano Boeri. So amazing is this construction that the Financial Times hails it as the most exciting building in the world. It’s about time.
The “Bosco Verticale” will cost 6 million Euros and will feature 900 trees and plants shielding luxury apartments. The resulting benefits are plenty: filtering pollution by absorbing CO2 and dust particles, improving the microclimate, reducing noise pollution to the building, saving energy by sheltering the building from solar heat in Summer and reducing rainwater run-off causing curb flooding. Let’s hope we see this become a norm! Why not have them simply as park spaces with a view?


Dream On: Cartier L’odyssee

In what surely has to be one of the most beautiful shorts ever, CARTIER unleashes its world on film to mesmerizing effect. Two years in the making, it somehow combines the panoramic directing of Scorcese’s “Hugo” and Narnia fantasy amongst other darker sources. Relax and loose yourself.