Thursday, 3 April 2008

Zaha's stunning Performing Arts Centre

Zaha Hadid is definitively one of the more spectacular designers of current times, she has amassed an array of large projects and a simply dizzying portfolio of competition entries and things which are just as influential to the trends in Architecture as her built work.

[CG image of the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre designed by Zaha Hadid from the Inhabitat site]

Without diving into a look at all her work I just wanted to take a peek at her design for the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre. This is another signature piece which is still the trend for this type of building (going back a long long way). This truly contemporary design packs a great deal of techno-punch while folding in all the environmental messages that make up 'today' Architectural vanguard. She is quoted as describing the design as:
... a sculptural form that emerges from a linear intersection of pedestrian paths within the cultural district, gradually developing into a growing organism that sprouts a network of successive branches.
I think these sparkling CG images reveal the styling for us, assuming they can get the halls functioning well in terms of lighting, acoustics and such then this should be a stunning building.

[CG images of the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre designed by Zaha Hadid from YankoDesign and Inhabitat]

Yanko Design article on the scheme
Inhabitat coverage of the piece

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

My Courses, IMAX, Arups and a Tower

Visualising the past and IMAX

The online courses I am doing at COFA are proving most thought provoking. Visualising the Past is exploring through the discussions a host of details about the logic and requirements of reconstructions of various types.
I am looking forward to trying to get into IMAX actually to catch some of the Architectural ones on there (one on Greece and the other Egypt) - failing that Dinosaurs 3D or Sea Monsters 3D would be awesome.


Digital Architecture, Arups and the Bishopsgate Tower

In the Digital Architecture course I enjoyed reading the Arup report on how they are using computers to help create architecture with astonishing complexity.

One building featured was the Bishopsgate Tower under construction in London. The complex spiral form, structural elements and glass facade were all made possible via the computer models. These models also allowed the integration of elements like the 90,000 photovoltaic cells and other environmental performance features. When you see that their model for the tubular bracing system encoded some 3 x 10 to the 48 possible designs, it shows that the computer was essential in helping build the design. Exploring this many iterations of a design which in turn create variations across a range of performance and aesthetic measures is not possible without the firepower of modern computer models and hardware.

What this leads to is the ability to work with highly complex forms and logics while retaining fine control over performance issues like environmental management, structural requirements, economics and even buildability.

The report is at :

[images of the Bishopsate Tower from Skyscraper News]

Some more info: Skyscraper News.

April 1 from Google

Yesterday I was having fun with Blizzard's April 1 antics, this time lets see what Google have to offer us. Well it is their gDay search tool that returns results from the internet as it will be tomorrow - yes a day into the future - what more could you ask.
Report on
Google gDay Beta

Here is a quote from the Google site:
Google spiders crawl publicly available web information and our index of historic, cached web content. Using a mashup of numerous factors such as recurrence plots, fuzzy measure analysis, online betting odds and the weather forecast from the iGoogle weather gadget, we can create a sophisticated model of what the internet will look like 24 hours from now.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

WoW Bard Fun and Fan Imagery

With the first of April here, Blizzard wasnt going to pass up the opportunity, so they have give us a fun article of a Bard class for World of Warcraft using imagery that looks rather like that used in the awesome machinima music videos (see here - hmmm I cant seem to find it now - damn. anyhow it is vids like this from Udder Chaos that make it all worthwhile??).

I should make a piece of WoW fanart at some point as well - there is a big community of folk doing just that. Here are a few neat examples:

[fanart samples from the WoW site]

Sunday, 30 March 2008

11 Screens for Good Game

The crew from ABC2's Good Game were in at FBE on the 27th to interview Russell Lowe about his use of gaming technology in the education of Architecture here at FBE (and a few of his other research areas).

To help showcase where Russ is upto, we setup 11 of our 46" LCDs. We drove them with our set of XPS1730 laptops showing both live 'ingame' action of the Architectural Models and edited video footage. The images below show the techno-chaos that so much kit creates - it looked awesome. Yes the spaghetti cabling is something I would like to get under control, but this is all a work in progress.

The interview seemed to go very well with all the right sort of questions being asked. The setup seemed to be appreciated, though they would have liked to have had students using the tech as well. Bajo was the half of the main pair that was here on the day with a skeleton crew - I am not sure when the spot will air, could be a fair way off though.

[image pre and post interview of the 11 screen setup for Good Game, Russell himself is in there as well]