Here’s a new Kickstarter that I really think is worth supporting. Its from the very talented Digital Physical Group in LA. Really looking forward to seeing how this changes the way Architects and Designs might work in the future AND how clients will view work. I’ve always been sceptical of VR but it looks like the technology is starting to catch up with the ambitions people have had for it for so long. Spacemaker could well be the key to that. Here’s the project blurb and consider supporting it on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/HCqbbh.
Spacemaker VR is an exciting new way for designers to create virtual reality models they can walk in using their own 3d design files. Spacemaker was made for giving jaw-dropping presentations to clients and friends, traveling, and for using as an everyday design tool. This software works with your existing design software and makes it easy to export your 3d design files into immersive experiences that you can walk in!
Spacemaker takes the best features of a full walking VR system and shrinks them down into an affordable and portable package that you can fit in your backpack! This software system includes realistic 3d models of world landmarks and buildings, a real-time 3d visualizer with a customizable presentation display, and a simple 3d model creation workflow to enable designers to quickly and easily create their own VR models. Spacemaker was created by a number of virtual reality veterans, architects, and user experience designers and has recently launched a Kickstarter to get this amazing software into your hands in early 2014.
The Royal College of Art Show opened last week with some excellent work which no doubt wmmna will cover in depth. One project I particularly enjoyed was Tom Foulsham, an ex-Bartlett graduate and now graduate of the RCA’s Design Products programme.
In some ways Tom’s work could be compared to Heath Robinson’s imagined machines and certainly he has that mad inventor spirit, but underneath this is a sensitivity that should not be underestimated. His intricate machines are both playful and though provoking.
They are beautifully balanced and responsive objects that play with the forces of nature as well as the forces of information. His work and very much more great work is on display at the RCA this week.
One of the special mentions in the VIDA 11.0 exhibition went to Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots project by James Auger, Jimmy Loizeau, Alex Zivanovic, and Trevor Harvey currently exists as a series of five semi-operational prototypes: Mousetrap coffee table robot, Lampshade robot, Cobweb robot, UV fly killer parasite robot, and Flypaper robotic clock . The robots take the form of beautiful and fashionable furniture and household accessories, which perform functions that range from lighting a room to low-key (and admittedly dark) entertainment. But more primarily, the very process that allows the robots to run by supplying them with power also has the function of ridding the household of pests. Each robot has a microbial fuel cell that converts organic matter, ensnared by the robot, into electrical energy: a mechanized iris built into the top of a table traps mice, a lampshade has holes that allow insects in but not out, a small robotic armature picks flies from cobwebs that spiders build into it.
Mousetrap coffee table robot
The key design metaphor in use here is at once that of a novel energetic recyling machine, and a somewhat cruel spectacle of entrapment that mimics the sophistication of predatorial plants and insects. Although there is a strong element of irony in the project, it nonetheless seems only fitting that our relationships with domestic robots should incorporate some of the darker features that characterize relationships in nature.
The Poème électronique was a unique experience, originated from the request made by Philips to Le Corbusier for the design of the company’s pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. The whole project was initiated and directed by Le Corbusier, who also created and/or selected the images for the audiovisual show, with the organized sound composed by Edgar Varèse, and the stunning surfaces of the building designed by Iannis Xenakis. The result was a ground breaking immersive environment, since the space of the Pavilion hosted the audio and the visual materials as integral parts of the architectural design.
Unluckily, such a visionary synthesis of innovative ideas could not stand with its times, and the paradigm was never repeated, or even attempted, again: the Pavilion, notwithstanding the incredible number of spectators (2 millions), was turned down a few months after its inauguration, at the end of the Exposition. The disappearance of the Pavilion makes the Poème électronique a destroyed masterpiece.
What we stl have today are only fragments of the various components (i.e. photos and drafts of the architecture, the projected video in videotape from the Philips archives, a stereo reduction of Varèse’s and Xenakis’ musical pieces).
Virtual Electronic Poem (VEP) is a project realized as a virtual reality (VR) environment that reproduces the experience of the dismantled masterpiece through an accurate philological reconstruction of the original installation. The website looks a bit out of date but the first of two films in this post shows the results of the work. The second shows the Poème électronique as a film rather than in its architectural context. Perhaps someone out there would be good enough to bring the building into a public setting on Second Life?