fuel cells

It's quite fascinating (and even disheartening to a certain extent) that the automotive and aeronautical industries have gotten the hint and begun testing prototypes using alternative fuel sources, leaving architecture and related disciplines in the dark. Why is there such a lag in our embracing of hydrogen, wind, and sun? Sure, there are few projects out there that seem progressive, but we must understand that considering the building industry uses almost 30% of the world's available resources, those using sustainable strategies or "LEED" are almost minuscule in scale. We do not see the country's largest home builder, TOLL BROTHERS, doing anything about anything pertaining to the environment, or its gigantic ecological footprint. Again, quite disheartening.

But if we turn back to cars and planes, we see that Boeing has released images of a FUEL CELL POWERED MANNED AIRPLANE (!) that they will begin testing soon. All things considered, airplanes use quite a lot of gasoline, and it is refreshing to see the largest airplane manufacturer doing something about their reliance on fossil fuels. Same for BMW, which has gotten in on the hydrogen act as well.


what a trend can do for you

At the risk of sounding pretentious, this blog is meant to provide links, information, and (some) insight into technologically-related issues. Sometimes, we may talk about other things such as branding, or other issues related to design. But in the end, technology is the salvo.

Which brings us to imagery: Today's world of consumerism has promised "cool" to anyone with a job, meaning anyone who can flip the bill for it. It has also been said that "fashion" retailers are taking it to the streets, so to speak, and stealing ideas from the few creative people out there, meaning now when all you crazy kids go shopping at the flippin' GAP, you can get you street cred on. God help us all.



Modern day politics has become the stuff of sound bites. Every night on the various, biased news channels and web sites, we see what electronic media has done to real people - they've created avatars - electronic personalities that only exist within the ether. Prime example is our main man, Prince George W. II. With his charming good looks and austere command of the English language, he's become the ultimate symbol of the sound bite. His speeches are to put it nicely, rather clumsily dealt to cringing audiences all over the world, yet what we see back in our "real" existence are bits and pieces of said speeches (sound bites) that make the fool sound like a hero whose eloquence has no bounds.

We could use Comedy Central's Daily Show as a prime example of using the sound bite to spin certain political quandaries. On the other hand, FOX television uses sound bites as if they were wielding military weapons, in such vitriolic spin as to make us wonder what is real and what isn't.
Now You Tube has entered the act, and one is left to wonder who exactly is pulling these puppet strings behind the stage. Is it sheer genius, or is it just a result of the natural evolution of politics towards the simulacra, the fake, the formulated, the surreal.


psychadelic pleasure palace

Picture this: You take a flight to Dubai (which has become, as all the kids say, the ultimate pleasure escape), you saunter from hotel to casino to restaurant without ever going outside, because, well, it's inhospitable DESERT. You get bored of all the commercial-ness of it and search out a more authentic Arabian experience. You actually go outside into the heat and find a nice little opium den tucked in to a soon-to-be-gone sector of the actual Arab city. You lay on pillows, eat olives and dates, and smoke your personal hookah. Senses enhanced, you then decide to go back to the commercialized world and see this. Now wouldn't that be fun?

new religion

If you haven't been to the apt, a creative agency in NYC, please do take a little time to browse the consistently great posts on everything from design to religion, even. That said, today a post brings us to a link discussing the many, eerily similar qualities of consumer brand recognition and religion.

Branding is a belief system, so is religion. If we consume based on our allegiance to a particular brand, aren't we lifting said brand into a belief system? Hence, the argument unfolds. Definitely worth a long read.



I don't mean this to be any sort of doom speak about human pollution, blah blah blah. But haven't you noticed that many of the world's finest man-made monuments are decomposing much faster than nature would allow? Be it through human destruction such as this, or through tourism such as this, dying monuments are in the news. At the rate we're going, maybe this is a closer reality than this:

"Leshan Dafo, or Big Buddha of Leshan, is the largest stone sculpture of Buddha in the world. The colossal 71-meter (233 ft) seated statue of Buddha (dafo) is located on a cliff at the confluence of two rivers, the Dadu He and the Min He, overlooking the town of Leshan, about 50 km east of Emeishan. The Buddha is so big that one hundred people can stand on any one of its feet."



Cause and effect: As we gain the know-how of developing and nurturing alternative energy sources, they will become more economically viable. Maybe soon we'll see surfers with some sort of device attached to their boards absorbing energy as they ride, then selling it to localized stations when they're finished?

..."the costs of producing electricity from wind energy have fallen by 80% over the past two decades as a result of volume and production optimization. With opening costs around half wind energy’s opening costs and a quarter the current cost of solar, a new form of wave energy harvester has the potential to become one of the lowest cost forms of generation in the longer term. The Pelamis is a semi-submerged structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams. These pump oil through hydraulic motors which drive generators to produce electricity. Power from all the joints is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable."


Do people dream of climbing electric mountains?

Bldg Blog has quite the interesting read concerning the rapid depletion of precious metals from the earth. And for what you ask? For our cellphones, flat screens, and other electronic goods. Read the article here, and check out the eerily beautiful photography of post-industrial earth here.


don't let this one pass you by

People who love design based on it's contributions to the world, or to the environment, or to one's own ego know and understand that one just can't get rich like, say, Wall Street types. We do it for love, not for money, right?

Well, the older I get, the less I believe in the do it for love thing, so I'm not going to sit around while a bunch of geeks get incredibly rich (again) just like in the dot-com boom. I wasn't smart enough back then to understand what the fuss was all about. But this, this I can understand and need to jump on soon. We all do. We should be running the world.


um, uh, ok.

So, there is a gigantic absolute geek living inside of me, and he can't help but sometimes get the best of me and find this kind of thing, which surprises and inspires the $%^& out of the normal me. Maybe it's just that this whole issue of robots is becoming quite ubiquitous, and everyone out there who grew up jealous of Luke Skywalker because he got his own robots is on the case, spreading the love.

Video: Career in Computer Science - MS Research


It's spring (or it seems like it) and I've been thinking about buying a new bike so I can ditch the subway for 6 months or so. And, no, I don't mean getting - on - my - mountain - bike - and - pedaling - my - ass - off - hunched - over - handle - bars - looking - nowhere - but - straight - ahead, missing all the beauty of New York. I'm more interested in wonderful ideas brought on by wonderful idea makers, who understand those of us that like pedaling at a leisurely pace. Because in the end, no one wants a sweaty, loud bike-shoe wearing jackass meandering in to the office in the morning.


Michael Maltzan on Skid Row

NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF reviews Maltzan's transitional housing project.

"In a better world, the projects would emerge as a model for a far-reaching architectural and social agenda."

Maltzan's work seems to glide under the radar. It is technologically provocative in its form finding, yet rooted in a deeper context. Hopefully, it stays that way.

making + meaning

Over the past decade, so much has been made in architecture circles of the cult of celebrity, of the ongoing battle of style over substance. The internet abounds with thousands upon thousands of renderings. Admittedly, we all get caught up in the pretty pictures. Zaha's new project in Budapest is a perfect example.

Serious research aside, are the pretty renderings a result of people looking for their 15 minutes of fame? Be it through archinect, or other on line journals, are images being uploaded for the mere purpose of satiating one's own ego? Many architecture students and firms alike are using the computer as a visualization tool, a "how can I look as cool and cutting-edge-as-possible" tool. We should evolve past this, into a mass customized industry, where the computer can be an engaging partner in making, leaving the architect and designer plenty of room for injecting meaning into constructions and installations.

As Kazys Varnelis writes, "Caught up in a self-validating discourse that is increasingly irrelevant to network culture, design in the academy is falling behind innovators like Architecture for Humanity or Rocio Romero. "

True innovation is happening in places like this and this. Or, for the prefab lovers out there, this.


But then Again...

Technology blows my mind sometimes.. It's the future kids.

Removing myself from workstation.....Now.


This is that guy who I know you all see doing those fancy "lifestyle" illustrations for booze, phones, and the like. His drawings make me wish I didn't spend so much time on the computer.
Thanks Ray Ray for the wonderful link!


I _Robot

Robots are cool. Everyone likes robots. Asimov liked Robots. Will Smith liked robots. The Koreans love robots.

"In the end, when the robots rise, it won't be a cool slathering of mud spread across your thermally trackable meat sack which saves you; it'll be a manifesto. Europe's version is expected next month, now our tech overlords in South Korea are working on their version of the "Robot Ethics Charter." The document will govern the manufacturing and use of robots and include ethical standards which will be programmed into their binary souls. Good thing too what with the plan to put a domestic robot in every South Korean Home by 2020. Like the Euro charter, S.Korea's guidelines are expected to reflect the the three laws of robotics proposed in 1942 by Isaac Asimov. The first, and most important law states that "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." Hmmm, so we guess they'll be dismantling the armed robotic sentries coming to guard their northern borders, eh? Of course, all of this is pointless until the one, true robotic superpower -- Japan -- comes on board. Hey Ban Ki-moon, you listening? This could be your UN legacy."

posting to resume!

It's been a long while since anything has been posted to this site. Been moving across the country, moving once again while on this side of the country. And now, finally, things are rolling again. Lots of things to say, do, and listen to. I'll try and keep up with daily posts and adhere to similar subject matter as I've done in the past. Now if I could only find that perfect job!