Sprint Center Opens

On the way back this afternoon we took a few minutes to peak our heads in the new Sprint Center and take a lap or two around the concourse. The tickets for admission for opening day were free of charge, however, the lady handing them out was very adamant about the “suggested” five dollar donation to get in.

Unique digital artist

John Meyer is a digital artist whose website offers a great deal of interesting projects he’s worked on over the years. I found this one particularly evocative. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the top image was composed of shots from a camera phone. In all of these works from selection #86b, he presents a series of compositions where 2D images form 3D multi-perspective collages. They aren’t simply placed to look three-dimensional, within the software John wrote himself, the collages themselves form a volume and communicate a form. Some of the images are more effective than others, but most are quite distinctly, and beautifully architectural.

Interesting Architect to Watch

Andreas Angelidakis is an architect whose experimental work skirts the edge between the physical the digital. While the works shown here are clearly offshoots from his work in Second Life (and not in a good way) I enjoyed the interview below.

I found some of his early Active Worlds digital designs interesting, and I dug a few things he said. He noted that he enjoying the use of a rough concrete texture map because “everything on the internet looks new” and understanding how can, on the internet, buildings grow old over time. It was also intriguing his notion of how the “kids” these days view the internet as a place to hang out, a place to “be” like a park or a beach which has certain fascinating ramifications. If architecture is more than just shelter, it should have a relevance to any gathering of community, more than just as shell or container, but as facilitator, or nurturer. MySpace is a gathering point as is Second Life, digg, twitter or any other social media site. What is the role of architecture in this experience? Does it have one?

I would argue that architecture should (and can) be a much more fitting interface for people between their physical communities and their digital communities than is a Blackberry or a Macbook.

Non conventional B Pillar Architecture

Barcelona-based architect/stage designer Enric Ruiz-geli studied architecture at the Escola d’Arquitectura Superior de Barcelona and Mississippi state University: stage design at l’Institut del teatre de Barcelona; scenography and architecture at the Ecole de la Villette in Paris. In 1995, he founded cloud 9 and has since worked with artists from various disciplines, such as stage director Robert Wilson, painter Frederic Amat and multimedia artist/musician Zush. He has designed sets for Philip Glass and Yoko Ono (‘stage 1’ , New York, 1996) and Laurie Anderson (‘stage 2’; NY, 1997).

What makes a city functional?

I ran across this recently and thought it a very interesting commentary on contemporary urban design and community identity. With a stroke of genius, city planners have decided that building an ‘green’ uber-mall is the best way to beautify their community, rather than developing land around the lake and river, and further bolstering the downtown, which has the infrastructure to support a much denser population.

Automated Mass City Design

A quick video of the procedural modeling they used in the recreation of 1933 New York City. The seminar was pretty cool. I didn’t get to record very much of it. WETA completely rebuild 1930’s Manhattan, first by modeling the hero buildings in detail, then all the thousands of smaller buildings as low-poly representations, superimposing old aerial photos of the period to get their basic massing. To create the 100,000+ unique building they devised a procedural (automated) modeling system in Maya to aromatically generate building massing from a preset vocabulary (office building, brownstone, etc.) as well as texturing and rendering. The shadows were baked in later.

A Simple Swiss Project

I saw this building while photographic a larger multi-family project and was immediately struck. There’s nothing profound about it, but i really like the soft simplicity. It’s just a neat little design that is very humble and sophisticated. The overall composition is nice, but the detailing is particularly well done.