Archive for the 'Events' Category

The Scoop on 5D - Appended

In the first weekend of October, a multi-disciplinary talent base will gather to explore the intersection of architecture and design with media and emerging technologies. This is 5D: The Future of Immersive Design. The first in what will become an annual conference.

The panels feature an eclectic array of speakers, from directors (Gore Verbinski, Joseph Kosinski) to famed production designers (Alex McDowell, Rick Carter), studio executives (John Tarnoff, Anne White), academics (Scott Fisher, Qingyun Ma), architects (Greg Lynn, Tino Schaedler), scientists (John Underkoffler, Dr. Jerry Schubel), game designers (Jordan Weisman, Doug Church) and more.

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The White City


En route to Marrakech I finally began turning the pages of Erik Larson’s factual based bestseller, Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America.

From Marrakech, the Pink City, to the White City… Eric Larson’s opus captures Chicago circa 1890’s during the building of an empire. An inside look at the nation’s leading architects developing the 1893 World’s Fair in record time amidst a turmoil marred process. While nearby a handsome doctor created his own fortune at the expense of others through swindling, murder and devious architecture.

The architecture of the World’s Fairs exuded grandeur and scale, eliciting awe and highlighting the march of progress whilst celebrating the accomplishments and ingenuity of humanity. The Chicago World’s Fair, a.k.a. the World’s Columbian Exposition, was no different. While spearheaded by Chicago based Burnham & Root, numerous architectural luminaries participated from Frederick Law Olmsted and Charles McKim to Richard Morris Hunt and Sophia Hayden Bennett, the first American woman to receive an architecture degree. It became known as the White City for its abundant use of white stucco and electrically lit promenades courtesy Tesla and Westinghouse.

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Tennis Umpire Chair Redefined


This year’s Australian Open signified a time of change for tennis.

For the first time in three years, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal were not in a grand slam final. Former finalists Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis slugged it out till 4:45am local time - a record - in a classic third round match. The court even changed from rebound ace to plexi-cushion.

And the once unsightly umpire’s chair transformed into a noteworthy example of top design.

City of the Future


The History Channel’s 2008 City of the Future: A Design & Engineering Challenge has come to close. For one week in January, eight teams in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta competed “to envision what their city might look like in 100 years.”

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White House Redux: Call for Ideas


Two hundred and sixteen years ago this July, the emerging United States held an architectural competition for the President’s House, won by James Hoban. The extent to which the White House has evolved and expanded while retaining its original facade is particularly unique in the annals of architecture and engineering.

“What if the White House, the ultimate architectural symbol of political power, were to be designed today?”

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Layer Tennis

layer tennis

Time constrained competitions between new media artists are all the rage nowadays. From Cut & Paste to Fjorg! they remind me of South Korean gaming events that resemble concerts or sports events. Fitting in a world where capitalism demands accelerated creativity. At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, I’m not inclined toward such events. They’re a factor in building misconceptions that are forcing visual creatives to complete projects at an increasingly faster rate. A significant issue, epitomized by the continuing ramifications in the visual effects industry after Spielberg’s War of the Worlds wrapped post only three months after principal photography.

That aside, these visual jam sessions can be a great outlet for artists and entertaining for onlookers as evidenced by Layer Tennis. A well executed venture of the Chicago based design, advertising and interactive studio, Coudal Partners.

Matches are played “using lots of different applications, from Adobe Photoshop to Adobe Flash, but the basic idea is the same no matter what tools are in use. Two artists (or two small teams of artists) will swap a file back and forth in real-time, adding to and embellishing the work. Each artist gets fifteen minutes to complete a “volley” and then we post that to the site. A third participant, a writer, provides play-by-play commentary on the action, as it happens. The matches last for ten volleys and when it’s complete, everyone with an opinion sounds off in the Forums and we declare a winner.”

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Alison Jackson Confidential Launches


Photographer Alison Jackson offers viewers an illusory glimpse of celebrities. Brilliantly choreographed scenes capture doppelgängers, from President Bush puzzled by a rubik’s cube to Paris Hilton’s days in prison. Images that reflect the current cultural Zeitgeist and society’s collective perceptions of famous figures, whilst placing them in an unmasked context.

“In the presence of the artist, TASCHEN New York will be hosting a book launch for Alison’s newest volume, entitled Confidential. Ms. Jackson will be on hand to sign copies of the brand new book and several of her look-alike models will also be lingering, reading to pose with fans in an almost-celebrity way. Copies are available to reserve in advance for those unable to attend.” This event will be held this Tuesday, November 27th from 7-9pm at 107 Greene Street, NYC.

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One Day Creative Lecture


On September 7th, The Getty Center in Los Angeles will host a one day creative lecture, the QBN Sessions.

Presented by web hosting provider (mt) Media Temple, the lecture features twelve influential and creative talents. These include street artist Shepard Fairey, Design Technologist Joshua Davis, Design House Phunk Studio, graphic design studio Build’s Creative Director and Founder Michael C. Place, Designers Matt & Mark Owens and Fashion, Advertising and Celebrity Portraiture Photographer Michael Muller. Rounding out this collective are Visual Effects Artists from the Academy Award Winning VFX studio (Gladiator), The Mill.

(mt) Media Temple has extended a $20 discount to readers…

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This year’s exhibition is best defined as the year of motion capture with seemingly dozens of exhibitors offering a variety of new solutions. These new technologies suggest the need for traditional mocap suits sporting markers is ending. More systems also incorporated facial motion capture resulting in complete performance capture, most prominently seen in 2004’s Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks headlined film, The Polar Express. Standout motion capture technologies included Mova’s Contour Reality Capture, Organic Motion’s Stage series and XSens Technologies Moven.

More headlines from SIGGRAPH…

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SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies

Adding to the visual impairment suffered yesterday, I am now inflicted by diminished aural capacity, courtesy the House of Blues.

Back on Monday when my senses functioned properly, a brief perusal of the Emerging Technologies section saw one particular standout, the Tachi-Kawakami Laboratory. This lab at the University of Tokyo has six projects on display; Fibratus Tactile Sensor, TORSO, Haptic Telexistence, Spinning-disc 3D Television, Gravity Grabber and Transparent Cockpit. The latter two immediately impressed.

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