Saturday, 12 April 2008

More Water Cube Artistry

After compiling a few gorgeous images of the Beijing National Aquatic Centre, I have a few more that really show off the Artistry of this incredible building. Thanks to A Daily Dose of Architecture blog for pointing us in the direction of Chris Bosse's flickr images of the amazing creation (Note he is from UTS). Visit the site for bigger versions - they are stunning.

[Images by Chris Bosse of the Water Cube]


Plus here is one of the CG vids of the Water Cube on youtube:

Water Cube Imagery

One of the absolute poster children for today's digital architecture is the Beijing National Aquatic Centre designed by Arups and Australia's PTW. This signature building will become all the more famous later this year of course, it really is a stunning piece of work.
The whole structure is a grand architectural scale piece of art!

Anyhow, I was looking for a nice reference image for the Water Cube for my COFA course (Contemporary Aesthetics in Digital Architecture) when a simple Google Images search for "water cube" revealed a wealth of gorgeous photos of the building and related things. The bubbly, web-like aesthetic can be seen in construction, cg rendering and products - just have a look...

[images of the water cube from all over the place]

Thursday, 10 April 2008


The 3deluxe design for the Leonardo Glass Cube is another architectural statement that really blurs the lines between graphics, art, architecture, technology, landscape and the environment. I found this really interesting place via the picture-rich article on - have a look for more pickies there - but the actual site for the place has zillions more (plus a vid).

Though we have super structures like the Beijing Water Cube and a host of others making a huge 'splash' in this fertile architectural evolution. It is just as important to see these smaller (but no less influential perhaps) schemes. The images below show not only the nice 'Architectural shots' but also images from the opening which is nice.

[Images of the Glass Cube from the GlassCube site]

Stunning INTEL laptop

With Apple doing great things for IT design and with some compromise to specs giving us things like the air - what is around the corner. Well as this BusinessWeek report by Olga Kharif and the ElectroPlankton blog cover - INTEL look set to take the laptop market to task. This insanely thin, light and featured piece of kit also looks to bring a refined build along for the ride.

There are other nice details, like a cover that has its own little screen that can talk to the laptop - very cool. The reports on this baby are all from May 2007 (check Google for more), lets just see if this thing actually appears I guess.

[images of the intel laptop design from the ElectroPlankton site]

COFA Courses and a fog tower

My 2 COFA courses this session have just gone through the end of their first projects. It has been great diving into reconstructions and some of the amazing works inspired and enabled by and technology and discovery. (I think I can post up one of the submissions here - hmmm)


One thing I found in my research travels was this neato design to capture and collect water vapour. The Fog Tower design by Alberto Fernández and Susana Ortega is covered on the mighty Inhabitat site for us. The design and concept is something that really talks to me about technology, but in the new eco-friendly zeitgeist we have going.

[image of the Fog Tower design from the Inhabitat site]

IMAGTP in 2008

The mighty IMAGTP armed with the Crysis (CryEngine2) are at the vanguard of using these real-time game engines for architecture and design visualisation. These guys pop up in any search for crysis and architecture and are an inspiration for the blending of these fields. The following 2 vids show off some of their work (both tests using the engine and finished visual projects).

[youtube vids of IMAGTP unleashing the CryEngine2 on design projects]

Diving into Crysis editing is something I am really keen to do, I just find myself helping out on a course using Unreal3 and doing all manner of other things of course.


For the Unreal 3 fans - dont forget to check out their Make Something Unreal Contest. There is an education category which could be interesting, but realistically this is for serious players with some serious time...

Verdier Van

The Westfalia Verdier is an almost off the Groovy Chart camper van. It combines the latest tech of solar panels, hybrid engines and gps gadgetry with a heart of hippy greenness. I love how the van unfolds from inside to outside with a real geeky feel, yet it so completely maintains the free-wheeling romantic feel of the holiday trip to quieter and simpler places.
The images below show off the van, but the nice vid (youtube version below) animates the transformer like van in all its glory. (note that this is all very VW looking because Westfalia are the camper van dudes for VW - I think that is how it works anyhow)

[images of the Verdier from the official site]

[youtube vid capture of the video on the official Verdier site]

Big screen in the Autodesk lab

Autodesk's Its Alive in the Lab blog has a nice little youtube vid of them playing with a superbig touch screen manipulating 3D and 2D objects with the multi-touch interface that is all the rage. Ever since seeing Jeff Han's Ted presentation, this has been a truly viable direction which has taken off with ideas like Microsoft Surface and real gadgets like the iPhone. Even if we arent really going all Minority Reporty, things are evolving away from the keyboard/mouse interface that has been so powerful for so long now.

FunKey furniture

Found these awesome stools from Mixko, they are available as custom pieces (colour and text) - we were wondering if you could get 2 person versions as SHIFT keys or even a nice long spacebar. I am not sure how comfy they are - but they are certainly pretty cool.
Maybe the next step is a nice back-lit version of a silver or white Apple key...

Anyhow, for info on the real deal check out the Mixko site under furniture or shows like 100% Design covered on Ciba XYMARA.

[Images of the FUNKEY stools by Mixko from their site and Ciba]

Monday, 7 April 2008

Unreal 3 Cowboys

The upcoming new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys has been 'rendered up' in the Unreal 3 engine by the Archtectural firm HKS. This story has been around since the end of 2007, but I hadnt covered it here. The use of a bleeding edge real-time game engine to produce Architectural visualisation seems obvious to me, yet these things are still special.
The report on BusinessWeek by Matt Vella shows off some stills from the map, which look very detailed, though perhaps a little plastic. The coverage details how the real-time model allowed them to not only check the model from a users perspective easily and intuitively, but also sell the design and corporate boxes based on what the clients could experience this way.

HKS havent stopped there though, with their ARCHengine software they are building tools that fast-track and empower this type of visualisation. The portfolio section of the site shows a set of video screen grabs from their models and the links page has some nice resources that could come in handy.

[image of the Dallas Cowboys stadium Unreal3 model from the BusinessWeek site]

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Toronto in HL2

I was busily creating a submission for my Visualising the Past course (I will post that up later) and came across another nifty looking HL2 mod (in the vain of Kasperg's Falling Water model).
This time we have a team of five George Brown thesis students - who have created a mod for HL2 that features a suite of Toronto tran station locations and above ground areas. I cant get to their website, but if the screenshots posted on the torontoist blog are anything to go by - it looks great.

The HL2 engine out of the box, does this sort of grungy look oh so well. I will of course have to try and get this baby - try it out ingame. In the meantime check these shots:

[Screenshots of the City7: Toronto Conflict HL2 mod from the Torontoist site]