Friday, July 8, 2011

Driver-less cars... yeah I'll ride!

Driver-less Cars!?

Life Is a Self-Driving Highway

Will Americans be able to adapt to the autonomous car?

This article arises from Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate.

Click to watch a video of the Google self-driving car in action.Over the past 20 years, cultural psychology research has confirmed what pop-culture purveyors and marketers have long suspected: that what defines American culture is an emphasis on independence, autonomy, and choice. We belt out songs like Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and patronize restaurants with slogans like, "Have it your way, right away." While we embrace our unalienable rights, we abhor the value that other cultures place on collective conformity and obedience to authority. After the 2008 Beijing Olympic Game opening ceremony, for example, Americans collected stories about how the Chinese participants in the ceremony were expected to sacrifice for the collective, wearing adult diapers and enduring heatstroke so the nationalistic show could go on....

This American emphasis on the individual's sovereignty poses a problem for new technologies designed precisely to deny personal agency. Autonomous technological agents—from military drones to the self-driving car—are increasingly prevalent. Their potential benefits and conveniences are immense. Yet as the currently cutting-edge becomes commonplace, these technologies could bump up against the prized American autonomy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cool Stool Design Competition Entry

Competition Brief:

APING THE CITY competition is taking place in the context of American cities under extremely severe aesthetic predicaments. Following the recent events in North Africa, we want to revisit Le Corbusier’s question: Architecture or Revolution? Architecture carves an irreversible first impression on the culture of cities; we can no longer endure the way that banality of our skylines misrepresents the spirit of our times. This competition is proposed in conjunction with TEDx25thWard in Chicago under the same title, Architecture or Revolution? We are rewarding the 25 winners based on how cool their stools are – the winners will construct their designs, exhibit the work with the speakers, and sit on it during the event. They will be laid out like Koolhaas’ City of Captive Globe in the first rows of the audience.


The Cool Stools are scaled models of architectural massing. They can be thought of as figural beings with personalities. In other words, this re-shaped “city” will be a collection of archi-characters.


The challenge is to make the cool stools sturdy enough to sit on during the TEDx25thWard event. How does one tell a story with one image? The difficulty of this project is calibrating complexity of thought into one single massing. As well, in keeping with the world-class quality that TED and TEDx upkeeps, we are looking for the caliber of work that can make history with us in Architecture or Revolution.


Buoy _ stool

While the Buoy stool visually acknowledges the reference to water and flotation, something architecture, skyscrapers and cities will be contending with in the near future, the stool relies more heavily on the buoy’s capacity to mark and reference to draw connections between architecture and object.

Specifically, we must acknowledge that buildings today are expected to not only hold spaces but perform duties as well, such as generating electricity, producing crops, or retaining water. So the stool does not merely become a scaled version of a building in form alone. Instead it must also reference and scale the ability to both hold and perform. And like a new architecture, we expect the performance to make something better than we found it (revitalize), have more than one use (value), and adapt.

In the case of the Buoy, it holds a person in formal position of sitting, and yet allows one to perform fitness activities by rocking (revitalizing). Secondarily, it adapts to need by performing multiple functions. The Buoy is for sitting and also for lounging; propping up the head and shoulders as one lies back at its base - ideal for frontal viewing of events with internal speakers and shade above.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grasshopper Wall

parametric grasshopper wall... the thick lines would be shelving system drawn as needed... these shelves control lines ("grain") routed into a plywood back. The shelf control lines can be any number and type (polyline or spline).... the tightness of the grain pattern is variable as is the relaxation or tension of the whole wall to match the shelf control lines.

wall type 1 - no overlap
wall type 2 - overlap allowedwall type 3 - combo of 1 and 2

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Think Tank - Design Fugitives

Moving into our first ThinkTank. Yet to install the laser-cut, acrylic windows. It'll look slick. Who wants one?

Benefits and Features
+ Mobile
+ Secure
+ Dry
+ Acoustically separate- Quiet
+ Customizable - unique facade pattern
+ Gangable
+ Efficient use of materials
+ Built-in shelves and desk
+ 2 sizes. 4'x8' or 8' x 12'

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Meditation Screen - Grasshopper attractor

This grasshopper definition uses a length and width input along with an attractor point to create a varied and complex attraction script. Many variables may be controlled via sliders including: the tube shape (fillet size based on proximity to attractor), impact of attractor on tube length, the end condition of the tubes (flat stepped or rotated), the number of tubes in u v direction, as well as many other preview options and final components to bake to rhino.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Roller Coaster Text

This grasshopper definition uses a spline to create a roller coaster. Parameters include the number of cross braces holding the rails and the width, depth and size of the rails. The definition automatically creates vertical supports and performs an intersection test so vertical members do not interfere with the track when it cross over itself.

Waffle Wall

this folded wall can be created from any spline in plan... its elevation (heights of the layers) are drawn and input into the grasshopper definition. Several variables can be controlled including, with of either half, the randomness of the folds, how many folds and some corrections for length differences when walls are curving.

Monday, April 12, 2010

how to do a thesis.

by Sergio López-Piñeiro posted at Archinect

Sunday, January 31, 2010

some links
video for water competion- Lateral Architects
ideas for GOOD magazine
Decade of Design

other updates:
The official name for Marcus Prize 3 is:

Forecasting Milwaukee for the Urban Age

Alejandro Aravena, the Marcus Prize winner, will be giving a public lecture on Friday, March 5th at the School of Architecture & Urban Planning

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Marcus Studio v.3

Marcus Prize Studio 2010

10 Proposals for the City.

Alejandro Aravena

Ryan O’Connor

"The greatest difficulty of this vertiginous and massive urban growth in world globalization is that the socially conflicted city and the wealth-generating city are joined in an unprecedented way. Never before has the relationship between the city as a problem and the city as an opportunity, between the city as a time bomb and the city as a goldmine had such clear ties to cause and effect.” –Alejandro Aravena

Scope: Attractive Milwaukee, Inclusive Milwaukee

The context of this studio, is that we should operate from both ends. To make a city competitive, identify and implement proposals for the elite and for the disadvantaged.

Attract the knowledge creators which are going to make the difference in the economies of the cities and countries by creating high quality urban environments able to persuade these people to choose this city: redevelop urban leftovers, improve public space connected to geographical events, enhance transport and mobility, intensify urban amenities and cultural offerings, have an excellent educational offerings embedded in the neighborhoods (one of the main reasons for knowledge creators to choose a city where to work).

On the other end, cities are a shortcut towards equality, since they can improve the quality of life of the poor, without having to wait for income redistribution. So we need to identify strategic projects that can reshape declining communities and neighborhoods and integrate them with the network of opportunities that cities concentrate, using housing, public space, transportation and urban infrastructure as tools.

Students will each identify a problem or opportunity in the city, which belongs to the broader discussion (newspapers, city council, academia) at very different scales and create an architectural or urban proposal that then can be collected into a set of propositions for the city.

Why take the Marcus Prize Studio?

  • Internationally known studio
  • Work with an internationally respected architect (Icon Magazine online: top 20 architects under 40)
  • Professional publication opportunity (e.g. Skycar City, available at
  • Exhibition potential (e.g. Marcus Prize 1: Skycar City, exhibited at Venice Bienalle, Marcus Prize 2: Designers as Builders, exhibited at Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Berlin)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Design Thinking

“Design thinking is an approach that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods for problem solving to meet people’s needs in a technologically feasible and commercially viable way. In other words, design thinking is human-centered innovation.” —Tim Brown (IDEO)

Design challenges are inherently complex and deserving of more than a step-by-step plan in order to resolve emerging nuances and provide pathways to implementation. Because design is messy and non-linear, each project we do is bespoke. We customize it for the challenge at hand. The scoping of the project plan is when our approach starts to take shape, and where our partnership with you begins. We refer to our overall approach as "design thinking": a means of problem solving that uses design methodologies to tap into a deep reservoir of opportunity. These methods include observation, prototyping, building, and storytelling, and can be applied by a wide range of people to a breadth of organizational challenges.

An inherently shared approach, design thinking brings together people from different disciplines to effectively explore new ideas—ideas that are more human-centered, that are better able to be executed, and that generate valuable new outcomes.
Design thinking also enables us to collectively tackle problems and ideas that are more complex than the lone designer can imagine: inaccessible healthcare, billions of people living on a few dollars a day, energy usage outpacing the planet's ability to support it, education systems that fail students, and beyond. These problems all have people at their heart. They require a collaborative, human-centered, iterative, and practical approach to finding the best ideas and ultimate solutions. Design thinking is just such an approach to innovation.

CEO Tim Brown is using his blog to share ideas about design thinking.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Connect the dots:

Connect the dots: Dubai, labor, urbanism, sustainability, and the education of architects

By Michael Sorkin

Tuesday, August 18, 2009