This small urban farm designed by On Design Partners is in Roppongi, central Tokyo and grows vegetables that are cooked and eaten in the adjacent restaurant. The design is made up of glass box units, sat on a wooden deck and the result is a brilliant injection of greenery in an extremely urban environment
It is not just the concept that I love but the simple visuals that the company have produced. The image may not be particularly sophisticated but gets the project ideas across simply and effectively.
More towns and cities should definitely consider projects like this. It creates a great source of local produce as well as an unusual space to be explored. On Design Partners could even produce these modules, ready made to be dropped into any urban or rural environment.
The REK bookcase below was designed to incorporate the needs of readers with any number of books, well apart from those lucky enough to have an entire library! The design allows the shelves to slide over each other horizontally, opening up the unit to providing different quantities of space for the books.
The unit is by the Architect Reinier de Jong and has such a clever simplicity to its concept and function. The product makes me wonder if the same kind of technique could be used architecturally. A building or pavilion, that can almost lock down when unused and then mechanically open itself out, appropriate to its required function.
I am absolutely loving the conversion of this vintage American Airstream trailer in to a modern, living and working space. The trailer was originally built in the 1970’s and was in dire need of repair when it was bought off craigslist by architect Matthew Hofmann. The project cost less than $20k and was a very hands on, intensive process.
When the time came for Hofmann to move house he felt like all his accumulated possessions were somewhat of a ball and chain. The answer to this problem was buying the trailer, giving him freedom, mobility and a clutter free life.
When questioned about his design approach to the trailer Hofmanns response was extremely interesting. “How much does one remove? How much does one keep? Perfection isn’t when there is nothing more to be added, perfection is when nothing left can be taken away.” (Interview with Freshome) The outcome is definitely less is more. Every space has a use, in fact if a space didn’t have a number of uses it was considered a waste! The trailer was to be used as both a living and working space. Despite the cramped conditions, Hofmann gives the comfort level of the trailer an 18/20. Not a bad score, considering its multiple functions.
All the pictures here are direct from Hofmann’s website and more information is also available on the IAMTIBO blog.
The Festival of Ideas For The New City is an event due to take place in New York this May. The Festival is a collaborative initiative in the downtown area that taps the large and diverse creative pool present in the city. The project imagines how the city will be shaped in the future. The culmination of the festival is a three day ‘Slate of Symposia’. The event includes a number of guest speakers including the likes of Rem Koolhaus, 8 independent projects and a street festival.
The Streetfest design element of the festival was won by a collaboration between Family and Playlab. The design is a series of tents called “The Worm”. The tents will run along the bowery and into the New Museum during the event. The design is made up of brightly coloured, waterproof nylon elements that fit together in modules.
The Worms have openings that direct people to specific venues and areas that hold other events. The structures created with their modular nature will be able to be reused and assembled differently to suit future events. The modules have been specifically designed with a number of different efficiencies in mind. The sections can be compacted to aid in transportation costs and simply pull out for ease of assembly.
This image below shows a number of the possible configurations that mean the Worm will not only create a fascinating event space now but in many orientations in the future as the Worm could slot in to almost any context.
More Information about the event is available on the festival website. (All images are courtesy of the Family and Playlab websites)
The Hypothetical Development Organization was set up in 2010 in New Orleans and I have been keenly following the progress of the group since I discovered them last year.
The company aims to find “hidden gems”, mostly derelict or unused buildings within their neighbourhoods and then sets about in coming up with a conceptual proposal for the space. The organization then produces renders of the proposal and pins them up on the building.
By this form of guerilla advertising of the hypothetical it highlights the potential of buildings in the hope that developers will take the hint and make the most of the space.
This is my favourite of the recent proposals, The New Orleans Loitering Centre. It turns its back on the common ‘No Loitering’ policy in place in many urban environments. For me the idea is great, particularly in sunnier climates I can see this idea being a brilliant social, meeting space for strangers and friends.
Now if only someone would actually build it! The centre would certainly be a vast improvement on the current building, pictured above.
More information on The Hypothetical Development Company and the individual projects is available on their website.
Creating new uses for spaces that don’t live up to their potential is a big part of my MA design project so it has been important to research how others have approached the same task.
Below is the Cafe Recipe, A temporary installation by Teruhiro Yanagihara, designed for the Rokko Meets Art festival.
Users are encouraged to pick a selection of herbs from within the green house to create their own blend of tea. The piece becomes an exhibition or archive as, as each person creates a new blend it is recorded and displayed, to create a memory and potentially influence others when choosing their blend.
I love this idea! Turning a greenhouse into a cafe space is great and adding the interactive element would make it even more of an experience.
Augmented reality is something that I have been interested in for a while and wrote about in my pre-blog days. For my project work I am looking into ways of getting information to individual users that requires them to interact with an object or space so the concept of this book is an ideal case study.
Between Page and Screen is a book of 20 poems by Amaranth Borsuk that can only be read using the aid of a webcam and augmented reality. The book itself features black and white geometric shapes and a website address. When you access this website and hold up the book to a webcam the poem appears on screen. It could almost be considered a modern day pop up book!
As you turn the pages or move the book around the image on screen responds accordingly. Yes this may be detracting from the poetry itself and it is the method of reading rather than the content that takes the stage but in a world so driven by technology I feel this would be a brilliant way of getting children to read and interact with subject matter. Learning devices could be incorporated into the programme to make the most of this technique.
The video below shows the book in action.