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Brainwaves as a sculpture

Tuesday, 15th April 2014 at 3:35pm

Our brainwaves can now be mapped as three-dimensional models, thanks to an innovative art project.

Ion Popian uses electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to measure brain activity, which is fed into a 3D modelling programme.

Changes in the fluid model are produced by different intensities of brain activity, but specific emotions, such as happiness, can’t be mapped on the model.

After editing the model, Popian creates a 3D-printed sculpture of the brainwaves; he now hopes to use his concept for architecture.

Find out more about the project, called ‘Mental Fabrications’, here and tell us what you think of the idea – would you map your brainwaves?

Tagged Ion Popian, Mental Fabrications, art, architecture, sculpture, brainwave, EEG, science, fun, innovative

Groundbreaking landmark on New Jersey site

Monday, 31st March 2014 at 4:50pm

This landmark project called ‘Journal Squared’ is set to become the tallest building in New Jersey, USA.

Journal Squared, which is an urban renewal project, will include three unique towers with a strong white and blue cuboid design, dominating but not overwhelming the surrounding area.

The design, which was created by Hollwich Kushner and Handel Architects, has been described as ‘touch[ing] the ground lightly as its mass morphs into smaller units’.

The lower levels of the mixed-use towers will become retail and leisure areas with ‘tree-filled plazas’, while the upper stories of the towers will be residential.

Take a closer look at Journal Squared here and let us know what you think of the design.

Tagged New Jersey, Journal Squared, Hollwich Kushner, Handel Architects, architecture, construction, design, architect, architects

Solar Floating Island

Wednesday, 19th March 2014 at 2:29pm

An Italian designer has addressed the threat of rising sea levels to the Maldives, by creating an eco-friendly ‘Solar Floating Island’.

Michele Puzzolante’s design combines tropical luxury with environmental awareness: the Solar Floating Island is covered in photovoltaic film to absorb sun and artificial light, which makes the island completely self-sufficient.

The resort, which can be easily assembled from modules, incorporates an underwater observation deck, a Jacuzzi and a large kitchen and bar.

You can see this in the video below, or find out more here.

Tagged Solar Floating Island, Michele Puzzolante, MPD, design, architecture, resort, Maldives, innovative, environmental

White Tree: a tower with branches

Tuesday, 18th March 2014 at 12:02pm

The design for a 17-storey tower in France has been revealed, named ‘White Tree’, or ‘Arbre Blanc’.

White Tree, which will be built in Montpellier, has an organic feel with ‘leaves’ branching off the main body of the tower, creating modular spaces and areas of shade.

Inspired by Mediterranean and Japanese influences (the design team includes NLA, OXO and Sou Fujimoto), the tower also incorporates hanging gardens, plants and trees.

White Tree will overlook the historic and modern parts of Montpellier, and is designed to be a mixed-use tower, including an art gallery and a panoramic bar.

Find out more about the unique design here and tell us what you think of it.

Tagged White Tree, arbre blanc, Montpellier, France, NLA, OXO, Sou Fujimoto, architecture, design, innovative, fun, innovation, installation, architects, architect

The Sustainability Treehouse

Monday, 17th March 2014 at 4:50pm

Architectural practice Mithun has designed a tree-house with a difference in West Virginia – it educates visiting Scouts about sustainability.

The Sustainability Treehouse, which is 125 feet tall, has been designed to encourage ‘camp adventure, environmental stewardship and innovative building design’.

Using a weathering steel frame to rise through the trees, the tree-house incorporates wind turbines and photovoltaic panels for renewable energy.

With interactive galleries and educational spaces at ground, tree canopy and sky levels, the Sustainability Treehouse is an immersive and entertaining experience for any of its visitors.

Take a closer look at the structure here and tell us if you would like to see more ‘living buildings’.

Tagged Sustainability Treehouse, Mithun, tree-house, sustainability, environment, design, architecture, clever, renewable, technology, architect, achitects, installation

A handy website for London property developments

Wednesday, 12th March 2014 at 3:56pm

The creators of the ‘New London’ app have created a website version, showcasing over 600 ongoing property developments in London.

Built by New London Architecture in association with Estates Gazette, New London Development displays the projects according to their area and colour codes them to mark their status (such as ‘under construction’).

The interactive website is ideal for anyone interested in the city’s construction industry, as it allows users to view an individual development and see its sector, such as residential, office or commercial.

Take a closer look at the map here and tell us if you’ll find this website useful.

Tagged New London Architecture, New London Development, property, architecture, contracting, website, interactive, map

The ten most unique hotels in the world

Wednesday, 12th March 2014 at 1:58pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sleep underwater? Or maybe to stay in a hotel on stilts? Dezeen has compiled a list of the ten most interesting hotels in the world.

Each hotel offers a completely unique experience to its guests.

‘The Bird’s Nest’ by Inredningsgruppen, which has a retractable staircase and uses the surrounding trees for support, is part of the Tree Hotel in Sweden. Letting its guests get close to nature, ‘The Bird’s Nest’ can accommodate a family of four and uses a network of tree branches for its façade.

Another hotel on the list is Canada’s Fogo Island Inn, a minimalist building constructed on stilts, which reduces the hotel’s impact on the landscape.

Take a look at the whole list here and tell us your favourites.

Tagged Dezeen, hotels, architecture, design, innovation, The Bird's Nest, Tree Hotel, Inredningsgruppen, Fogo Island Inn, fun, experiential

Luxury tree-houses let you sleep under the stars

Tuesday, 11th March 2014 at 10:48am

A safari resort in South Africa is offering a unique experience to its more adventurous guests – the chance to sleep under the stars in luxury open-air tree-houses.

Lion Sands Game Reserve includes three tree-houses, each elevated in a different environment, such as a field or a mountainous region, which gives the locations distinct personalities.

Unlike the lodges, the tree-houses do not have electricity, but they do provide canopy beds, a picnic dinner, and, of course, the opportunity to experience the local wildlife in its natural setting.

Find out more about the tree-houses here and tell us if you would sleep in one of these.

Tagged South Africa, Lion Sands Game Reserve, tree-house, luxury, fun, clever, architecture

Broadcast tower design resembles ribbon

Monday, 10th March 2014 at 11:55am

The winning design for a new tower in Turkey has been revealed – and it resembles a bright orange ribbon.

The design for Çanakkale Antenna Tower was submitted by architects Inter.National.Design and Powerhouse Company.

It incorporates recreational facilities which were called for in the brief, as well as the broadcast and observation tower, which forms much of the continuous loop.

At 100 metres high, the scheme certainly stands out amongst the surrounding forest landscape and will surely be a must-see for any tourists visiting the nearby town of Çanakkale (which is close to the legendary city of Troy).

Find out more about the tower here and tell us what you think of this striking design.

Tagged Çanakkale Antenna Tower, Inter.National.Design, Powerhouse Company, Turkey, ribbon, architecture, design, competition, architect, architects, installation

Ecobuild opens its doors for the tenth time!

Thursday, 6th March 2014 at 9:33am

London's ExCel arena opened its doors to Ecobuild 2014 this week.

Ecobuild is a yearly exhibition that is a must-see event for architects, contractors and manufacturers in the green building industry.

This edition saw Ecobuild celebrate its ten year anniversary.

There were a few highlights from this year's show, featuring cinematic tents, wooden pianos and many compelling presentations on the cutting edge topics in the green building industry.

The UK-GBC were also in attendance - one of their highlights was to show off their new Pinpoint website which The Think Tank are very pleased to have developed for them.

Take a look at the highlights and find out more here.


Tagged Ecobuild, UKGBC, Pinpoint, exhibition, fun, design, green, green building, sustainability, architect, architecture

'Cardboard Cities'

Thursday, 27th February 2014 at 4:59pm

A photographer has completed ‘Cardboard Cities’, a project described as a ‘personal view’ of cities such as London, Paris and Tokyo.

Andy Rudak collaborated with model maker and set builder Luke Aan de Wiel to create cardboard dioramas of areas in the cities, such as part of a tenement building or slums nestled by a river.

The photographs have a ‘dream-like’ feel, as they appear to be set at night and contain just one wild animal each, with no humans in any of the scenes.

Rudak has studios in New York and London, and has worked on many high-profile campaigns for clients such as British Airways, Coca Cola and HSBC, while Aan de Wiel has experience in advertising and exhibitions.

Take a closer look at ‘Cardboard Cities’ here and tell us what you think of the sets.
Tagged Cardboard Cities, diorama, Andy Rudak, Luke Aan de Wiel, set, design, art, photography, construction, city, architecture

Stunning time-lapsed urban landscapes

Wednesday, 26th February 2014 at 11:42am

A photographer has created a series of collages from time-lapsed photographs, revealing the beauty of Los Angeles.

Dan Marker-Moore photographs the cityscape over a period of time, such as a day or the movement of the moon, for his 'time slice' series.

He then ‘cuts’ each photo into slices and arranges them into one single picture to demonstrate the visual journey Los Angeles takes during the time period.

Many of the images are taken at sunrise or sunset, capturing the silhouette of skycrapers against bold reds and blues.

Take a look at the spectacular pictures here and tell us what you think of the series.

Tagged Dan Marker-Moore, Los Angeles, photography, time lapse, time slice, landscape, cityscape, architecture

'City ABC': a beautifully detailed alphabet

Tuesday, 25th February 2014 at 10:46am

An illustrator has crafted an alphabet which pays tribute to the cities of the world, by incorporating their most famous landmarks into each letter.

French-Japanese artist Hugo Yoshikawa inks each letter of ‘City ABC’ and paints them with watercolours, adding vibrancy to the incredibly detailed pictures.

Dozens of buildings and monuments overlap each other on each letter, creating a bold ‘collage’ effect which captures the essence of each city.

The letters include ‘A’ for Amsterdam, ‘L’ for London and ‘P’ for Paris, alongside more unexpected cities, such as ‘J’ for Jerez de la Frontera and ‘U’ for Utrecht.

Currently living in London, Yoshikawa studied at Camberwell College of Arts and displays his work on his website.

Take a look at the whole ‘City ABC’ here and tell us what your favourite letters are.

Tagged Hugo Yoshikawa, Camberwell College of Arts, City ABC, alphabet, cities, architecture, landmarks, creative, clever, fun, art, design, illustration

Urban experiments for 'ghost' Metro stations

Tuesday, 18th February 2014 at 10:44am

A Paris Mayoral candidate has pledged to repurpose disused Metro stations if she is elected, offering a range of interesting suggestions for the spaces.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet commissioned Oxo Architectes and Nicolas Laisné Associés to produce ideas for the renovation of the stations, including plans for an art gallery, a restaurant and even an underwater swimming pool.

The plans used Arsenal station (near Bastille) as an example, which closed at the outbreak of the Second World War and never reopened.

Paris has several out-of-use and never-opened Metro stops, and Kosciusko-Morizet would consult the public for more ambitious ideas if she wins the election next month. However, RATP (France’s public transport operator) raised concerns about the cost and safety of permanently repurposing the stations.

The London Underground also has ‘ghost’ stations, such as the original Shepherd’s Bush station, British Museum and Aldwych, which has been used for several films – would you like to see this kind of plan for our transport network?

Tagged Paris, Metro, Underground, NKM, Oxo Architects, Nicolas Laisné Associés, architecture, infrastructure, transport, design, creative, architects

Futuristic kiosks in Canary Wharf

Wednesday, 12th February 2014 at 3:41pm

In Canary Wharf, two metal kiosks have popped up with a futuristic design inspired by origami.

The multifunctional kiosks were designed by London architecture firm, Make, and resemble three-dimensional concertina fans.

Starting as a closed rectangular box, each kiosk is constructed from hinged aluminium panels that radiate from a central axis and is winched open to provide a protective canopy.

The interior of each kiosk is lined with waterproofing and insulation materials, and the whole structure is very lightweight.

Ideal for street vendors, the kiosks can also be used as information points, serving food and drink or even DJs, at a wide range of events.

The kiosks were used for Canary Wharf’s Ice Sculpting Festival and will be present for other occasions in the area.

Find out more about Make’s kiosks here and tell us if you would like to see them popping up at more outdoor events.

Tagged Make, Canary Wharf, London, kiosks, pop up, architecture, design, clever, innovative, origami

Surface Design Show opens its doors

Monday, 10th February 2014 at 3:11pm

Surface Design Show, an innovative surface solutions trade fair for the built environment, opened its doors from Tuesday 4th to 6th February at the Business Design Centre in London.

The event is well visited by architects and designers who come to the fair to discover innovative materials like natural stone, green materials, glass, illuminated surfaces, tiles and coatings that can be used for various applications such as flooring, cladding or wall coverings.

Visitors could enjoy over 100 participating companies exhibiting at the fair, and further benefit from a series of talks, seminars and live demonstrations. They could also learn about the colour and material trends for Spring/Summer 2015 or debate the meaning of BIM.

The fair kicked off with a preview evening hosted by the charismatic Maxwell Hutchinson for RIBA Journal who was joined by George Saumarez Smith, director at Adam Architecture, Pernilla Ohrstedt, director at Pernilla Ohrstedt studio and Robert Sakula, partner at Ash Sakula Architects to debate and discuss the role of materials in architecture and the vernacular in the built environment.

The other highlights of this show include the Pecha Kucha Evening on Wednesday, where leading architects and designers presented 20 of their favourite images, each for 20 seconds, The Trend Wall presented by Global Color Research, Mix Publications, highlighting future trend concepts for 2015, as well as Light School, introduced for the first time at the show, designed to educate and inspire through a programme of seminars hosted by lighting designers.

You can find out more about the show here.


Tagged Surface Design Show, architecture, architect, design, innovative, innovation, Business Design Centre, Adam Architecture, Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, RIBA Journal, Ash Sakula Architects

The Archibet City – an illustrated alphabet of architects

Tuesday, 28th January 2014 at 2:49pm

An illustrator has created a pictorial alphabet, incorporating architects and their most iconic buildings.

Federico Babina, who is also an illustrator, transformed each letter of the alphabet into the work of a famous architect to create the ‘Archibet’. For instance, ‘F’ is represented by Foster + Partners and their ‘Gherkin’, while ‘U’ incorporates Utzon’s Sydney Opera House.

Babina said: “The idea on which the Archibet project is based is to find a way to express through 26 illustrations the heterogeneity of forms and styles that make up the architecture.”

Each individual letter is intricately detailed and as a whole, the letters form a city of distinctive buildings, organised around roads and trees.

Take a closer look at Babina’s ‘Archibet’ here and tell us what your favourite letters are.

Tagged Archibet, Federico Babina, architecture, design, fun, clever, Foster, Utzon, innovative, innovation

Designers create ‘secret garden’ for famous ICEHOTEL

Friday, 24th January 2014 at 1:45pm

Two Swedish-based designers have contributed a room to the 24th version of the ICEHOTEL – in the form of a fantastical secret garden.

Inspired by the saying ‘you must believe in what does not exist, for what exists now, hasn’t always been there either’, Alessandro Falca and AnnaSofia Mååg constructed a mystical room out of snow and ice, incorporating intricate fairy-tale-like patterns, chandeliers and even a unicorn.

The ICEHOTEL is located in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden, where it attracts 50,000 visitors a year. Each winter, the hotel is rebuilt from Torne River ice and ‘snice’ (a combination of snow and ice), and artists and designers are invited to create fresh rooms for the hotel.

The ICEHOTEL remains open until April, when it begins to gradually melt back into its environment.

Look closer at the secret garden here and tell us if you would like a stay in the ICEHOTEL.

Tagged ICEHOTEL, Sweden, Falca, Maag, architecture, design, ice, snow, secret garden

Cathedral installation uses twenty miles of coloured ribbon

Thursday, 16th January 2014 at 3:42pm

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is currently the site of a breathtaking art installation to celebrate its centenary.

Named ‘Graced with Light’, the installation was designed by the cathedral’s Artist in Residence 2013, Anne Patterson. It incorporates twenty miles of coloured ribbon cascading from the high ceiling, combined with lighting, projection and music, which emphasises the effect of the stained glass windows.

Patterson, who is Grace’s second artist in residence, assembled the installation by hand with the help of the local community. Coming from a background in architecture and stage design, Patterson is also known for her sculpture, painting and installations.

Take a look at more beautiful pictures of the installation here and tell us if you would like to see this replicated in other historical buildings.

Tagged San Francisco, Grace Cathedral, Anne Patterson, design, installation, art, clever, architecture

Latest World Design Rankings released

Thursday, 16th January 2014 at 1:35pm

World Design Rankings has released the 2013 list, which sees the United States remain at the top of the aggregated rankings.

The list ranks countries by their success in internationally juried design competitions and has been accumulating them in the current list since 2010.

It breaks down into ‘design business insights’ (strengths, weaknesses and opportunities), which reveal how countries perform in different areas of design, such as architecture, art and technology.

Arranged by the A’ Design Award & Competition, the list ranks sixty-nine countries, including this year’s newcomers Iceland and Puerto Rico. The United States tops the table with 112 awards between its designers, followed closely by Turkey (89) and Hong Kong (81). The United Kingdom is in a respectable fifth place with 55 awards.

You can see the whole table here – do you think this is a good way to represent design achievements?

Tagged World Design Rankings, design, competition, awards, architecture, art, technology, creative

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