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Archives: 2008 October

Archive for October 2008

You are browsing the archives of 2008 October.

Open Auditions: Valerie Schweitzer - Connecticut

(Slide Show) Angular Forms of Wood, Steel and Glass Take Center Stage in the Architect’s Futuristic Studio in Westport

The great mid-century chair hunt

We are on the hunt for new chairs. However, we have a problem. A marital design dillema, which Rex and I rarely have. We have a HUGE chair in our living room - soft comfy and OLD. He loves it. Adores it. So, I want to replace it - really, I wouldn’t have this kind [...]

Frank Gehry - Temporary Pavilion for Serpentine Gallery

I’ve been sent a photo of this years Serpentine Pavilion. Although not in co-ordination with the blogosphere’s saturation of its opening, it is nice to see the structure up close and in London’s Autumn light.

[photo taken by Kate Moore]

Also attached is a time lapse of its construction.

Julius Elischer - Rodger’s House

Architect: Julius Elischer.

Completed: 1981-82

Design and Build: 3 years

Address: Lot 42 and 43 Wellington Street, Mosman Park.

Current information:

An iconic large scale residential project commissioned by Mr & Mrs Rodgers. There was a generous budget, and was meticulously detailed accordingly. With the added luxury of a keen and Architecturally astute client, Elischer was able to create something of scale and grandeur.

The residence is sited across both lots along an east-west axis facing North, and overlooking the Swan River toward the city beyond. Elischer has applied the Golden rule to the proportion of rooms throughout, with many social living spaces opening to semi-enclosed court spaces on both sides of the building.

Although the scale could be criticised from a sustainable point of view (Sitting over the lobby is an industrial strength air-conditioning unit), many principles applied during construction are applicable to today’s sustainably oriented designers. The mass of the building faces north, glazing appropriately shaded with custom aluminium louvres. All upper rooms have external sliding screens, as well as cavity sliding glazed doors and fly-screens, and reveals on the inside for curtains, providing many varying states of “venting”.

The house is still comfortable, functional and highly applicable by today’s standards, with many contemporary Perth Architects trying, though falling short of such an astute attention to detail, proportion and livability. Areas to note are the concealed A/C outs and returns in the thick door thresholds, matching of grain in the tiles, the 5.50 metre long single pane of glass in the family dining room, dropped balconies to maintain views of the city from sitting height, the trademark bomb-shelter and the brutal though seductive off-form nature of the concrete.

To quote from the Julius Elischer Architect Exhibit 2003, curated by Simon Anderson and Michael Bradshaw;

The detailing is superb with handcrafted doors, gates and fitting by Stelio Cotterle and furniture designed by the Architect and executed by the furniture craftsman Robert Groom. The best materials were chosen include imported plate glass and a specially designed dye that was manufactured for extruding aluminium window/door frames with the narrowest profiles to reduce the perception of any obstruction of the views from the interior to the exterior.

Disappointment: It has been recently sold for near $20 million, and is set to be demolished very soon. Drive past and catch a glimpse before it is replaced with a house that looks like all the other lifeless, less than functional neighbouring properties, all ripe shining examples of expressed “Individualism at the expense of context”.

For more images click here. More plans, sections and elevations are going to be added soon. If more images of this house or others of significance are in circulation, contact me thru this page. I’ll be happy to add them to the archive and keep them publicly available.

Google Earth on iPhone and iPod Touch.

“He’s got the whole world, in his hands, he’s got the whole wide world….in his hands…”

The world’s urban environments and landscapes have just become more portable. A Google Earth application has just been released for iPhone and iPod Touch. View the video below;

I like how Google has crafted a succinct, two minute video to go with its release.  Instant virtual transportation to any destination on the planet, in the palm of your hand. There is a huge advantage with Google Earth working from the phone’s cache memory. For the times you happen to head out of a mobile area.

Repeat steps 1-7 until death occurs

For Architecture students deep in folio mode, drowning in the effervescent glow of their LCD monitor, here is something to look forward to upon graduation.

As for now, the following may relate. I’m not much of a cartoonist, but I gave it a crack. It probably would have been funnier if I could draw a chicken. Good luck!

Double Negative Exhibition - Jesse Taylor

Tuesday the 14th of October saw the first exhibition of Jesse Taylor’s photography. The exhibition is upstairs at Little Creatures bar in Fremantle, and remains open until the 3rd of November.

Displayed is a small collection of sublime photos taken with older equipment, bringing out a palette of colour that isn’t seen often. The photos have a patina of memory. With mainstream digital photographic technique taking a majority slice of the market, it was nice to see a collection of well composed images without the need for post-production. A niche that should be further explored with other equipment. The hardware does the work, and the shots are seen back at the lab, not on the back of an entry level digital-SLR. Abstract, slightly disfigured photography is a popular trend in film at the moment. It tends to lack direction though. Not here. Taylor’s images are well composed with focus used beautifully to bring attention to the subject matter and abstraction is used sparingly with intent, portraying movement that reminds the viewer of Hockney within the frame, not beyond the frame.

The exhibition has differing subject matter. From layered Graffiti art, to Californian-esque Suburbia in Perth, to a a stunning landscape collection based in Rural Western Australia of a vintage car wreck.

Head down and grab a beer from one of the most successful brewery/bars in Perth and check out the exhibition before it ends up in someone else’s private collection.

Simon Pynt Photography.

Photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.

Click here to explore more of his work. A link has also been added to the blogroll.

Grandstand in the Sky

…__ via Skysignal

Commenting on blogs. Dezeen’s recent debate.

Dezeen, arguably one of the top tier blogs of the design world, posted  last week on a potential need to censor negative comments. It happens in small spatters here at D.A.U.G.O.S. (no comments as yet on the new hosting, been too neutral maybe). Over there though, some of the comments border on slander.

[The Bird, via the Google search query "middle finger". That's negative!]

“Dezeen Debate: Should we block negative comments?” was a title that caught the eye. It’s evident the Editors are feeling the pinch and want to know if they should use their weight a little more. A better title may have sat a little better with the debaters, and further refined the forum that took place in the comment section/forum that followed. Though browsing their examples, you can understand their concern.

Blocking negative comments is a trait of a news corporation looking to maximise returns. A “no bad press wanted” attitude. Dezeen at present doesn’t have the characteristics of a news corp, and let’s hope it never does. At the moment, it is all power to the people.

What defines a “negative comment”? A negative comment in one sense may be based on instinctual revolt or a fragment of irrational or rushed thought. Some negative comments are actually quite constructive, and as many debaters put forth, something Designers need to develop a thick skin for. Comments that are overtly vitriolic from an anonymous stand point come off below the belt. A cheap shot. Though it doesn’t differ much from many opinionated critics in the industry. The forum has just got a little bigger and a little louder now. I think the commendable element is that the critics in the industry publish their name and their reputation next to their comment. The anonymous hide behind an avatar. No problem there, as long as the avatar is consistent. A cyber-critics identity can just as easily be damaged as a physical critic’s identity.

[Neo, an avatar incarnate? Image from "The Matrix Reloaded". What if the avatar had an avatar? Does that count?]

Where would Dezeen draw the line? Take this Zaha post for example. There are those that love it, but without those that hate her work (and those that are indifferent) the comments and subsequently the post would lack flavour. Design should be opinionated, though criticism and comments should be kept constructive.

I say keep the comments open, warts and all.  It is a highlight on such a popular site. Whatever Dezeen settles on, the rest of the design blogging world will be watching.

Excerpts from the comment section follows;

Britta Says:

October 15th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

If people used their real names they would probably behave more mature than they do now.

tim Says:

October 15th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

the negative comments are half the reason this blog is awesome. Its hilarious to read and things on here shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Don’t put any more thought into these comments then the amount that was put into them when they were made. That is, not much. Also, this is one of the few design blogs Ive seen where people aren’t afraid to call bullshit, and I like that.

kingmu Says:

October 15th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I definitely feel there are far too many overly nasty comments in this forum. I feel it’s quite possible to state opposing views without sounding disgruntled and downright crude. The world has become a very nasty place and I think we could all learn to be a bit more civilized.

Just Do It Says: 

October 15th, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Negative critics are intersting when they come with arguments, and positive ones too.

Saying of a designer that he is out of ideas, or of a design that it is bullshit doesn’t bring anything to the debate.

If you feel like saying something is bullshit, please do, but then tell us why do you think so. Give us some reference of things that are good according to you. This way the debate could become constructive.

Maybe a profile would make people a bit more responsible…

Henry Julier Says: 

October 15th, 2008 at 8:37 pm

The comments on Dezeen can oftentimes be negative, and there always seems to be a flurry of them immediately after a post, maybe making a comment about an architect or designer’s style that comes across as a knee jerk judgement, rather than a well thought out criticism. I’ve certainly seen some projects on Dezeen that i don’t agree with for one reason or another, but don’t believe that warrants a post of disapproval. it can be hard to fully grasp some of these projects posted from a few rendered shots and information from the architect!

We can’t expect everyone to be civil, especially with the anonymity of the internet on their side. But I think designers who have work posted here, as well as everyone else, should be intelligent enough to disregard purely negative comments which aren’t constructive. My vote is to leave the system as it is, or, at most, establish a registration system.


OneMillion Says: 

October 15th, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I have seen an increasingly number of negative comments and they have gotten less and less valid. Some have good discourse as to why they dislike a post/project but more often than not comments read like “hate it” or “sucks.” It personally makes me want to not go to the site anymore (I have stopped looking at mocoloco for they same reason). I want my blogs and bloggers to be as sophisticated as the work they post.

On a larger topic, design and designers need to be more positive. There is way too much negativity in the industry, perhaps because it’s so competitive. It’s so easy and so useless to say you hate something. Let’s create a positive atmosphere so that dezeen and others can continue to grow and create a better industry and atmosphere.

Great Job!

Dennis Says:

October 15th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

I’m all in favour for a rating system like YouTube’s or Slashdot’s.

Mario Says:

October 15th, 2008 at 10:03 pm

I agree with some of the other readers. Some posts just call for stupid comments!!!! So try to be more selective with the stuff you publish, and whenever pblishing somethign , try to collect as much info as possible. 3 pics of a fasade dont make a post!!!!

i love this website !!!!!!!!!!

labforfun Says: 

October 15th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Stop Swear Words, the rest is opinion.