Posts tagged ‘Core77’

What does an architect look like?

What do real architects look like?” rhetorically asks Bryant Turnage of the Washington DC-based architecture, design, and urban planning blog “Off the Mall” (love that name, by the way). Turnage continues with some answers: “Well, that’s an easy question. An architect wears all black clothing, usually a turtleneck, and eyeglasses with thick, black plastic frames.”

“Instant Architect” via Core77

“Or maybe an architect wears a sharp suit and handmade leather shoes, and dons a hard hat whenever called to the construction site to review thick rolls of blueprints.”

“architect and supervisor reviewing blueprints” from iStockphoto (and from page 1 of results when I googled “architect”)

“No, wait, an architect wears distressed designer jeans, carries a well-used messenger bag, and is rarely seen without iPod earbuds firmly in place.”

photograph of an architecture student from The Satorialist

Turnage goes on to encourage architecture professionals to find ways of publicly showing what real, non-stereotyped, non-urban chic architects really look like, and even made a Flickr pool for people to upload photos of themselves.

“What Do Real Architects Look Like?” was an especially timely article (published February 8, 2011) because Architect Barbie was revealed a mere five days later during New York’s Toy Fair 11 (February 13-16, 2011). While the history of how the doll came into existence is definitely empowering (check out Design Observer or GOOD for the scoop), there have been mixed reviews on the final product.

via Architizer

February 27’s daily design idea is my own reaction to the new Barbie: I’m thrilled to see the idea of female architects playing out on such a national stage (because women are definitely underrepresented in the profession), but my biggest problem is that the idea of “career” within the whole line of professional Barbies is so oversimplified. I believe that the non-linear career path will only continue to become more common, which makes answering the question of “what you can be” more complicated (and more interesting) than what Mattel presents it to be.

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February 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm 3 comments

Two meters tall.

via Core77 (March 22, 2010):

“The visitor can according to his size choose the suitable shoe-hight [sic] in order to get 2 meter body height” – inges idee

level, 1997
by Hans Hemmert of inges idee (according to Core77)
Styrodur/Rubber/Velcro
variable dimensions
part of the “Personal Absurdities” show at Galerie Gebauer, Berlin

In her post, Lisa Smith of Core77 asks “what does it mean when we all share one height?” For those who are significantly shorter than two meters (approx 6’6″), I can imagine the new view causing a fairly strong shift in the perceived sizes of objects. I expect this sensation would be much more vivid for anyone who was already familiar with the gallery space. I’ll never forget when I first re-entered my childhood bathroom after growing about eight inches, because everything below counter height felt incredibly small to me. I don’t have a great guess for how this would effect those who are already close to 2m tall – what do you think?

February 22′s daily design idea is how does physical viewpoint affect the perception of relative objects?

February 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment

WTF is LCA?

LCA stands for Life Cycle Assessment.

In 2007, Metropolis defined LCA as “a process to assess the environmental impact of a product or service throughout its entire life cycle, from manufacturing and production through consumption and disposal.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency‘s website (last updated December 3, 2010) describes LCA as “a technique to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service, by compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases; evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with identified inputs and releases; and interpreting the results to help you make a more informed decision.”


graphic via re-nest‘s tips on Conducting a Mini Life Cycle Assessment

Many other explanations fundamentally say the same thing: LCA helps us figure out where all the components of a design come from, how they get incorporated into the design, what happens during use of or experience with the design, and where all the components end up after that use or experience is over. Abstractly, it’s not a difficult concept. But more specific parts of the assessment process (such as where and how you get your data) aren’t always clear or standardized. In Core77, Tim Greiner of Pure Strategies describes how weight percentage helps him narrow down his focus when doing LCA for a product. “For example, a material that makes up 40% versus 1% of a product’s weight may need greater attention.” The follow up question, of course, is percentage do you choose as the cut-off?

For more information on some available tools for helping you figure out your design’s LCA, check out the bottom half of the Core77 article by Lloyd Hicks.

December 10’s daily design idea comes from the Core77 article mentioned above, dated March 4th, 2010: “Every stage in the product’s life cycle has potential impacts on the environment; LCA gives designers the ability to make informed decisions to reduce those impacts.” Designers may not be consistently informed, since different methods of LCA will provide somewhat different results, but having some information is almost always better than having none.

This post is part of the series “WTF..?” that defines and explores acronyms in the design world. Previous posts include “WTF is IEQ?”

December 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

Two more design actions in the public realm.

The first via Core77 (Nov 2, 2010):

Artist Catie Newell has used reclaimed wood from an arsoned house in Detroit to create Salvaged Landscape, an installation within the burnt building itself. “Demolition of this severely damaged house was imminent, but instead of a traditional tear-down, Newell removed the charred wood timbers from the frame of the house and stacked them on their sides to form an outside wall that extends to become a moody passageway inside. The surface highlights the unburnt insides of the timber in its cross section, exhibiting the contrast between the char of the surface and the warmth underneath.”


Salvaged Landscape is supported by The Imagination Station.

The second via Inhabitat (Nov 12, 2010):

“In the historic downtown area of Lima, Peru, a new pop up green space has invaded the urban landscape. Invasion Verde, or Green Invasion, is an installation by architects Genaro Alva, Denise Ampuero, Gloria Andrea Rojas and industrial designer Claudia Ampuero, created as part of Gran Semana de Lima – also known as Lima’s Great Week…. Invasion Verde is an attempt to insert extra park space into a packed city, in order to improve the quality of life for Lima’s citizens.”


Photos © Genaro Alva, from Flickr

December 3’s daily design idea is with creativity, any space can be activated.

December 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

Vienna Design Week 2010: Helmut Palla’s Take A Seat Show

Re-blogged from Core77.
Written by Jessica Charlesworth.
Originally posted October 6, 2010.
©2010 Core77, Inc.

helmut palla_space.jpg

helmut_mutant2.jpg

“The majority of the events and exhibitions on show here in Vienna during its design week are set in beautifully historic buildings that have been designed in the 19th or early 20th century by…

>> lots more after the jump

Continue Reading October 6, 2010 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

The heritage of an emoticon.

Have you ever thought about why you type emoticons the way that you do? Wikipedia can’t tell you why, but it can tell you (by geographic region) what the most popular ways are to smile, hug, disapprove, and more in the language of text.

Along the same lines: After seeing the Talk Text shower curtain pictured above, one writer at Core77 wondered if anthropologists of the future will “assemble the curtain right-side-up, puzzle out that these are facial expressions, and conclude that all humans of our era had our heads tilted at 90 degrees to the left.”

July 1′s daily design idea is even small everyday actions (like the way you type a smiley face) can be considered design choices.

July 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Name that color.

via Core77 (May 10, 2010):

“You can’t own colors, but you can darn sure own the numbers people use to refer to colors. Since the ’60s Pantone has made a tidy business doing just that, and today they launch the Pantone Plus Series, an updated replacement for the Pantone Matching System. The Plus Series “supercharges [the Matching System] with a host of new features, colors and digital tools,” including a sexy iPad app.

“…What I’d like to see in the future: Pantone coming up with a numerical system to quantify human emotion. We’d see police reports stating “suspect indicates he was feeling Rage 264,” your spouse could tell you she’s feeling a 20% Grey Sadness, or on your birthday you could say “This is the best gift ever, I feel total Joy 5717-C!”

June 12’s daily design idea is there are a million ways to describe a color; what’s your preferred method?

June 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm 1 comment

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