Some water fountains are really people magnets. Observing human interaction, the kinetic creativity of the Jaume Plensas fountain in Chicago the past three years has inspired this post.
( above ) designer, jaume plensas, chicago, USA. water and digital video.
( above ) designer, armand vallancourt, san francisco USA. concrete tubing.
( above ) fountain clock, kanazawa JP. fountain clock.
( above ) designer, unknown, location unknown. the waterboard, not exactly a fountain.
( above ) designer, lotta hannerz, paris, FR. water mobile venus.
( above ) designer, unknown, seattle US. variable pressure fountain.
( above ) designer, unknown, zacatecas MX. a fountain inside a silver mine.
( above ) designer, william pye, sunderland UK. water vortex.
Is there a difference between an older, more traditional fountain vs modern? Do you have a favorite you frequent or fond memories of one?
Whether or not you must throw your trash on the street, what about pink and white polka dot designer trash bags? Or Anycoloryoulike?
Each bag is biodegradable and treated with repellent for even rodents of unusual size. Though this is a New York City art intervention initiative, you can splashy trash in your town too.
For many of our readers, winter is just around the corner. And that may mean it’s time to trade the A/C unit for a humidifier. Here is a cute one.
Designed by Takashi Hiroshi Tsuboi, the tear-drop shaped humidifier is ultrasonic and can produce moisture for up to ten consecutive hours. If you speak Japanese or knows someone who does you are in luck as they aren’t yet available in the U.S. But it would make a great gift for someone you really care about, and you too!
Designer: Takashi Hiroshi Tsuboi
Producer: Middle Colors
via cool hunting
How much brainpower does it take to blog? I know! Let’s ask a plant! Well, it seems that’s possible in Japan where a plant has
been wired wired with sensors that pick up bio-electrical signals and converts the signals into data that’s then translated into Japanese. Are you following this?
A typical entry? “It was cloudy today. It was a cold day.” Sounds like the plant could Twitter.
It’s a university engineer’s project about communicating with plants. Let’s do the right thing here and point this engineer to Facebook.
See for yourself at plant blog
Another USA financial crisis casualty. This bit of news not about Joe the plumber. On the contrary, it’s an example of the very wealthy feeling it. Make you feel better? Probably not.
Architect Santiago Calatrava is in the news suing the developer of the Chicago Spire.
Mary Ellen Podmolik and Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune reporters spell it out.
“The Chicago Spire’s penthouse may be sold but there is growing doubt whether the project will rise out of the hole that’s been created at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive.
Consultants on the project are starting to line up seeking payment for their work on the development, designed to become the tallest skyscraper in the United States and one of the tallest in the world. The most well-known of the consultants, architect Santiago Calatrava, filed a lien on Oct. 8 through his Lente Festina Ltd., seeking more than $11.3 million in payment from Spire developer Shelbourne Development Group Inc.
Separately, Chicago-based architectural design firm Perkins+Will Inc. filed a lien against Shelbourne for almost $4.85 million in payment. The two liens were filed with the Cook County recorder of deeds.
The liens suggest the project’s financing, as well as its feasibility, is shaky.”
Recently, Donald Trump was in town to top off his 92-story Trump Tower. Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune
DA editor’s note: Struggles of this scale and stature have not happened very often in the U.S. In other parts of the world it may be more commonplace. One enjoyable and very enlightening exhibition I attended at the Art Institute of Chicago was on Russian architecture. All the buildings on display were never built! Things were ( are? ) so bad in Russia at the time that the frustrated architects, who never could get funding, had competitions of concepts only. The guest architects laughed about the great deal of vodka drinking and story-telling taking place at these competitions. Creative therapy in action.
Let’s hope everything works out in the end. From a design perspective, Chicago would like to see a Calatrava somewhere in town – his work, inspirational. If it has to be utilitarian in this economic environment the city has many needy bridges. Until then, the Milwaukee Art Museum, an hour away, will not disappoint, especially at sunset when the “wings” unfurl.
( above ) Image found one week after original post: dynamic architecture next big thing! Inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places.
more information via chicago tribune wikipedia chicago spire
We’ve seen the splendor of China’s Bird’s Nest, now check out a new contender for the prize of most unique stadium. The stadium design by MZ & Partners Architects has already earned the nickname “The Laptop.” The main stand is upright with most of its height coming from the underground field. All lights will be embedded in the surrounding architecture of the stadium. It is hoped that the underground stadium will help keep the players and spectators cooler. It is expected to be completed in 2010.
If all goes to plan, ‘The Wall’ stadium in Doha, Qatar’s capital city, will claim two firsts: The world’s first underground stadium and the world’s first open-air, air-conditioned stadium. There’s a long way to go however and the stadium is not due to be completed untl 2010 at the earliest, however if the finished product looks anything like the plans released by MZ & Partners Architects then paying spectators are in for a treat.
After looking at the stadium from above you can immediately see why The Wall has already gained the nickname ‘The Laptop’. The stadium’s main stand sits upright, the majority of its height emerging from the underground pitch as if having been lifted opened by an enormous referee. There will be no traditional floodlights, a feature the architects seem to be quite proud of, as all lights will be embedded within the surrounding architecture, adding to the stadium’s mystical feel.
So why underground? Obviously it’s a great coup to have the world’s first underground stadium but there’s one invaluable benefit, especially in a climate such as Qatar’s: temperature control. A subterranean stadium should ensure that the pitch and its spectators retain a cool, bearable atmosphere naturally without the need to spend millions of pounds on air-conditioning.
The stadium is apparently part of Doha’s forthcoming bid to host the 2018 World Cup and if the location was decided purely down to stadium architecture, they may have a chance. The one concern? The Wall will only be able to seat 11′000 people.
Designer: MZ & Partners Architects
This running feature began in 2008 to develop a story on the state of wind
turbine design. The most current news was inserted February 2010 below.
(top two photos) The world’s largest wind turbine ( in 2008 ) is was the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet).
The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or 20 million kilowatt hours per year). That’s enough to power about 5,000 households of four in Europe. A quick US calculation would be 938 kwh per home per month, 12 months, that’s 11,256 kwh per year per house. That’s 1776 American homes on one wind turbine.
These turbines are equipped with a number of new features: an optimized blade design with a spoiler extending down to the hub, and a pre-cast concrete base. Due to the elevated hub height and the new blade profile, the performance of the E-126 is expected to by far surpass that of the E-112.
One of the more unexpected charms of driving through the Spanish countryside is the proliferation of windmills, especially in the windier, higher plateau areas in the north of the country. We’re not talking about charming medieval ones that Quixote took for giants either — Spain ( below two photos ) is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s leaders in green energy, and broad acceptance of wind power is a big part of it.
In 2007 Spain’s wind power production record was 27% at the time. That seemed like a lot, but a week ago, Spain’s wind turbines produced 40.8% of total demand, or 9,862 megawatts of power.
There’s a catch, though. The previous record was 10,032 megawatts, but that was 28% of total consumption because it happened during a week day and demand was higher. So this new record is a relative record, while the previous one stands as the absolute best in electricity produced. Still, it’s impressive and we hope that others will pay attention and realize that it can be done.
February 2010 ( left ) norway plans to build the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine like this in 2011.
With a rotor diameter of 475 feet and a height of 533 feet, the 10-megawatt prototype will be roughly three times more powerful than ordinary wind turbines currently in place, hoping the new technology will increase the profitability of costly offshore wind farms.
What if there’s too much wind?
The turbines are built to catch the wind. But what happens if there is too much wind?
There are new generators that are being developed that will better withstand turbulent wind at the same time capable of generating more megawatts. The photo and video below shows one such design.
Global warming has moved our attention to alternative energy generation. We are going to explore what is out there. We want to look at both engineering and aesthetics. Help us grow the story through your comments.