Nano Photographs With a Macro Lens

Photo courtesy of thecuriousbrain.com
Russian photographer Andrew Osokin captures some wonderful ice formations at a truly nano scale.  The awe inspiring combination of fractal geometry and the curious interchange of symmetry and asymmetry. Its a chicken or the egg  causality dilemma that leaves one humbled by the capacity of the universe to dictate that ficklest of all perception peccadilloes: Beauty.  And if you needed more evidence that we are all infinitely tiny, check out even more big images of tiny things, check out Osokin's LensArt profile. (via the curious brain).
Photo ccomourtesy of thisiscolossal.
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com


Micro Intervention: Urban Rainwater Harvesting

Photo courtesy of  aia.org
Australian inventor and architect Sally Dominguez's invention, the HOG system makes use of otherwise overlooked spaces for use as rainwater harvesting.  

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports that the inspiration for Dominguez’s rainwater harvesting system came to her while working on residential infill projects in inner-city Sydney. As a city on the edge of literally running out of water, it is no surprise that such innovations are spun from Australia.  Discouraged by the lack of small-scale solutions for stromwater storage, Dominguez  wanted to look beyond  the existing large-scale solutions the city has been exploring in recent years, (1)

Photo courtesy of aia.org
The HGO is a water storage system that makes use of spaces that are largely overlooked: underneath floors, inside walls, and along narrow alleys. She solved the problem of how to make flat-walled steel tanks fit in those spaces without bulging with the weight of their water by placing a hole in the middle of the container. In this way, the hole’s circular walls act as an inside-out brace (see below).It helped that Dominguez had some prior product development experience, and knew that the manufacturing method known as “rotomolding” (rotational molding) worked well for creating hollow plastics — and might apply equally as well to creating modules that could stand on any of their sides and join conveniently to the next one. Using this method, she created a highly scalable water storage system that can easily link one module to the next while allowing water to flow through them without impediment. (1)

The first Rainwater HOG tank debuted in Australia back in 2005, at a time when rainwater was still considered gray water (i.e., used household water). Thus the name: H2O Grey, or H2OG, or HOG. Now a version of the tank manufactured in the U.S. is available to the U.S. market, where the system has gained widespread popularity among green builders and architects in recent years.  (1)

We thought this was interesting in its potential application in places like Philadelphia and other large cites on the East Coast that are struggling to meet the EPA requirements for combined water/sewer outflows (CSO).  Obviously there would need to be a way to completely drain and bypass these during the winter months, but it is nothing that a little engineering can't handle.   Like many complicated urban problems, these tanks are far from a complete solution, but represent a step in the right direction.

Photo courtesy of aia.org
Photo courtesy of aia.org
Works Cited
(1) earthtechling.com 
Thanks to JTLA for the heads-up on the story


Simply Amazing Doodles

Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
So we realize this is a sort of departure from our normal blog posts, but we do like to identify art that we think is really amazing, really fun, and/or really creative. Sagaki Keita certainly fits in with many if not all of those adjectives.  Kieta is a master of  using manically scribbled doodles to create mind-melting illustrations of classic Roman statues. Please visit his website, Keita is a beast at cranking these terrific images out. 
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com
Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com

Photo courtesy of thisiscolossal.com


Dilworth Plaza Parking Day Video

CCD Parking Day Rendering, Image Courtesy of OLIN
Check out the video that was made by OLIN for the Center City District's (CCD) Parking Day exhibition. Through his work at OLIN, Ben is assisting with the construction administration of Dilworth Plaza which includes collaboration with artist Janet Echleman (see her TED Talk here).  CCD reached out to OLIN, Urban Engineers, and Kieran Timberlake to help with a teaser space for the new Plaza.

Dilworth is located on the Western side of Philadelphia's City Hall at 15th and Market and is undergoing a major renovation.  In another OLIN video, Paul Levy, president of CCD, brilliantly describes the project here:


Solar Lounge Chair

Photo courtesy of inewidea.com
This tech-friendly solar powered sun lounger is designed by architecture students at MIT. You can recharge yourself and your electronics while relaxing with friends outdoors. The rocker uses the human power of balance to create an interactive 1.5 axis 35 watt solar tracking system. And it utilizes a 12 ampere hour battery storing the solar energy harvested during the day. For night time use, a strip of tape light will run along the interior of the lounger.

Photo courtesy of inewidea.com

Photo courtesy of inewidea.com

Photo courtesy of inewidea.com

Photo courtesy of inewidea.com

Photo courtesy of inewidea.com
WORKS CITED:  http://www.inewidea.com/2012/08/17/49977.html


Quebec’s International Garden Festival

Fractal Garden by leggelewislegge

This year marks the 13th edition of  Quebec’s quirky International Garden Festival. It is held through Sept. 30 on the grounds of Jardins de Metis (aka Reford Gardens). This year’s 26 featured gardens (chosen from some 158 projects submitted) are intentionally interactive. Visitors can climb rope ladders; walk through a field of wind-whipped grasses (blown by high-powered fans); explore a sky-reaching, tubular fortress; or sit on a twisting wall of moss-filled honeycomb panels (pictured above). A few gardens will also return from last year. “The combination of new and old offers a dialogue between maturity and temporality,” explains director Alex Reford. “With the returning gardens of Ken Smith, Diana Balmori, and Michael Van Valkenburgh and those by designers from other parts of the world, the festival offers an extraordinary range of installations that illustrate the many approaches to landscape and garden design.”
Leire Asensio-Villoria and David Syn Chee Mah worked with students at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design
Though the organizers regularly curate extra-mural exhibits throughout Canada, this year they also presented an installation in London at the new Chelsea Fringe festival. Floating Forest, created by Montreal designers NIPpaysage, featured a grid of 1,000 floating tree trunk slices in the Grand Union Canal. “The effect,” says Reford, “is one that illustrates the unique ability of landscape architects to reimagine public spaces and to make them come to life.”


The Dutch Know Bikes

The Dutch build bicycle lanes into the intersections to remove the need for the driver of a vehicle who wants to turn right from having to look over their shoulder.  A tricky maneuver for anyone driving, healthy neck or not. It is my take that the bike wanting to go "straight" maintains the right of way.   Its a really interesting concept and removes the need to widen the corner.  Check it out:



The Living Bridge

The narration is a bit over-the-top but it is still an amazing design and construction.



Using nine dollars worth of materials, bicycle enthusiast Izhar Gafni has created a fully functioning, water-resistant bicycle, made, from seat to spokes, entirely of recycled cardboard. The technology makes the environmentalist's choice mode of transportation even a bit greener if not easier on the wallet.   (1)

“It's going to be a game-changer in the bike world,” says Giora Kariv, an Israeli artist and a longtime friend of Gafni's who made a documentary about the project. “Like Henry Ford who made the car available to anybody, this bike is going to be cheap and available to any child in the world, including children in Africa who walk dozens of miles to school everyday.” (1)

Check out the documentary below if you want to know more!

Izhar cardboard bike project from Giora Kariv on Vimeo.

CITATION: (1) http://www.good.is/post/cycle-on-the-recycled-a-9-cardboard-bike-set-to-enter-production-in-israel/


Otro: A Glow-in-the-Dark Skate Park

In 2007, Korean-born (but Continental-living) Koo Jeong-a visited an island in the middle of France's Vassivière Lake for her exhibition, "Oussseux." Where a usual tourists might take a photo of the island's lighthouse and head back to land, the artist fell into a rapture over what she experienced as an "unreal, phantasmagoric and powerful dreamscape."

Don't listen to us, check out her artist statement:

"OTRO is an artwork made of bumps – the cradle – and hollows – bowls and tunnels. This work of Koo Jeong-A refers to both definitions of sculpture and representation: hollows and bumps, shadows and lights, soft or accentuated reliefs.

It is an art work to live, to experiment, not only from a sporting point of view but also from a sensorial, sensitive and artistic point of view. It establishes the link between the urban, practicable, sporting and playful aspect of the artwork as a skate park and the artwork from an artistic point of view as part of Koo Jeong-A’s world."

Koo Jeong-a worked with the Brussels-based L'Escaut Architectures and Belgium skate collectives Brusk and Barricade. It took about four years to complete, and has more than 2,000 square feet of surface area spread over several bowls and three tunnels.

If you are interested in glowing concrete, check out this article on Glowcrete and the product, Lumicrete.  Lumicrete claims to be environmentally friendly, but no such claim could be found on the Glowcrete product.

(1) http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/08/glow-dark-skate-park-nocturnal-thrashing/2821/#.UBv8WNbZqDo.facebook

(2) All photos courtesy of L'Escaut Architectures.


Micro Intervention From The Past: Outdoor Baby Cage

  Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

We are not sure that these images and this very old practice of caging your baby outside a window sometimes several stories above terra firma necessarily fits in with the general ziteguiste of our blog, but it was so amazing we had to share.  The images themselves border on art by simply reflecting an extremely bad idea from the 1930s.

The photo above was taken in 1934 shows a wire cage which East Poplar borough council in London proposed to fix to the outside of their buildings. (1)

The patent was filed in 1922 by Emma Read, from Washington, and was granted the following year. According to The Northern Star, the description of the patent, said: 'It is well known that a great many difficulties rise in raising, and properly housing babies and small children in crowded cities, that is to say from the health viewpoint.(1)  So apparently the benefits would be fresh air for the child, room to play with toys and another place for children to sleep...sure that makes sense.

The patent went on:  'With these facts in view, it is the purpose of this invention to provide an article of manufacture for babies and young children, to be suspended upon the exterior of a building adjacent an open window, wherein the baby or young child may be placed.' (1)

The cages in the patent were also designed with a slanted, overlapping roof which was said to protect babies from snow or rain.(1)

  Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
  Photo courtesy of Getty Images.


Macro Intervention: Glass Beach

Quite possibly the most beautiful dump in the world, no amount of  intellectual design effort that is now currently applied to projects such as Fresh Kills in NYC could possibly hope to create the tumbled glass splendor at Glass Beach.  Only decades of waste disposal hurled off of the cliffs at Fort Bragg, California  by its residents could make something that amazes in its dichotomous splendor. They discarded glass, appliances, and even cars. The land was owned at that time by the Union Lumber Company, and locals referred to it as "The Dumps." Sometimes fires were lit to reduce the size of the trash pile.

In 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board and city leaders closed the area. Various cleanup programs were undertaken through the years to correct the damage.

Over the next several decades the pounding waves cleansed the beach, wearing down the discarded glass into the small, smooth, colored trinkets that cover the beach today.  In 2002, the California State Park system purchased the 38-acre (150,000 m2) Glass Beach property, and after cleanup it was incorporated into MacKerricher State Park.

NOTE:  Photos courtesy of ++ Colossal



Micro Intervention: The Boneyard Project

'The Boneyard Project' is an effort initiated by art patron Eric Firestone at the the cemetery of disused war planes in Arizona  to resurrect disused planes from throughout America’s military history.  It has attracted more than 30 of the world’s best urban artists worked on five ruined US Air Force jets, vividly bringing them back to life with paint and color. (1)

The first part of the Boneyard Project, 'Nose Job', made its debut in the summer of 2011 with an exhibition of nose cones taken from military airplanes and given to artists to use as eccentric- shaped "canvases". The second installment in this series: Round Trip: Selections from The Boneyard Project, features five monumental works created on military planes by a dynamic selection of popular graffiti and street artists from around the world.  (1) 

The show is on display at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson until mid-May.  (1)

NOTE:  All photos courtesy of designyearbook.com