Espresso Solo by Shmuel Linski

Here’s a concrete espresso machine by Shenkar College of Engineering and Design student Shmuel Linski.Called Espresso Solo, the conceptual product features metal working parts and a concrete case.

The espresso machine makes only espresso: short and long.

The contrast between the roughness, massiveness and hardness of the concrete and the fine metal parts, which are dealing with the coffee preparation process, was very challenging and interesting for me.The machine works with coffee beans: they are poured from the top part. The water is poured into “water drawer” in the back.

LEGO tattoo pilot pen ads

Widely published, we too cannot resist to feature the tattoo enhanced LEGO mini-figures by 2010 cannes award winning advertising agency grey from barcelona. The goal of the campaign was to showcase the superthin lines of pilot's extrafine nibs. The lego tattoos ads were developed by art director Jose Miguel Tortajada, Oscar Amodia, Dani Páez, copywriters Jürgen Krieger, Joan Mas, Luke Sholer, photographer Gonzalo Puertas, illustrators Diogo Dutra and Malen Feliz.

Piraeus Tower 2010 competition

London-based architects Anthi Grapsa and Konstantinos Chalaris's design proposal for the ‘’Piraeus Tower 2010’’ competition incorporates plant nurseries into the skin of the abandoned tower. 

The brief called for a new interpretation of what a facade can be and do. At only 2 squared meter of green space per person, 'engineered biotopes' recognizes the lack of open green space in the city of Piraeus. The design uses modern agricultural techniques in the construction of the tower, essentially becoming a vertical park for not just the inhabitants but the dwindling species of birds and wild flora. The first two stories accommodate a grid of glass tubes that nurture seedlings. 

From a distance, this portion of the tower provides a shimmering effect, reflecting light onto nearby streets. From floors 3-22, a system of small biotopes house small vegetation along the surface of the facade. 

Depending on the weather conditions, each individual modules can be re-positioned by a robotic crane to optimize on sunlight and water consumption. This continual activity on the tower's facade creates an urban choreography that establishes a dynamic relationship to the Piraeus port where containers and ships are constantly reconfigured.

The House of Canvas

How would an apartment look like if it was inspired by a painting of Karel Appel?  Well, something like the one that follows!  Dutch Architectural office DUS Architects recently designed the interior of the Karel Appel House which opened its doors in May 2010. The concept of the house is inspired by the idiosyncratic works of Karel Appel, who was characterized in his paintings by his phrase:  “I start from my matter- the paint and the canvas.”

The Karel Appel House is based in the East of Amsterdam, Netherlands; it combines short stay apartment housing with a boutique museum which operates in collaboration with The CoBrA Museum and Royal Academy of Visual Arts.  The project is a tribute to “the famous avant-garde CoBra painter Karel Appel who was born in the Dapperbuurt and started his international painting career there.”  Appel’s paintings and sculptures were distinguished by the vibrant and bold colors used.  The interiors of the residence (walls, floors, ceilings and steel walls), follow the same color palette as his paintings; they have been treated as if they were a blank canvas waiting for intense colors to be placed on them.

The renovation of the house called for the creation of six room studios rather than a regular scale apartment.  The floor plan was opened by bringing down the walls and placing additional steel walls.  The rooms are flexible and could easily be used for multiple purposes in different ways; the inhabitant can sleep, dine, cook or even have a guest sleep over.  The rooms have been designed by DUS Architects in such a flexible manner that the “short stay furniture” fits exactly, while it has been designed to be adaptable and compact.  With this solution, the architects have designed mini apartments while utilizing maximum space.

The communal spaces of the residence distinguish their identity by keeping the walls in white, while the colored walls, ceilings and floors emphasize the more private parts of the residence.  “Specific openings in the steel walls enhance the coloured coulisse-effect between the different rooms and stimulate multiple use.” For instance, a dresser in one room can concurrently be used as a bedside table for the adjacent room, making use of the cut-out in the steel wall.  The furniture is easily transformed and furthermore, the steel wall acts as a surface which can be altered at all times by the usage of industrial magnets which assist in creating a unique canvas which exhibits works of art.  The simple lighting transforms the walls which are otherwise seen as the canvas.  One bulb hanging carefully in the middle of each room creates shadows and brings life to the steel wall canvas; it creates intensities and transforms the function of the lamp to a reading lamp.

The artists who will reside within the residence are second year students of the Dutch Royal Academy of Visual Arts; Appel himself is a graduate of the Academy.  The artists can take advantage of the living space for eleven moths while on the twelfth month the studios are transformed and operate as an exhibition space for works to be displayed.  “The Karel Appel House is a project by DUS architects for client de Key / Principal in collaboration with the CoBrA Museum and the Royal Academy of Visual Arts.”.

About DUS Architects//
The architecture of DUS goes beyond building. To DUS, architecture has social significance.  DUS thinks of architecture as a craftsmanship, as they see great importance in having direct contact with the people for whom they build.  DUS is a fellowship founded by three partners, Martine de Wit, Hans Vermeulen, and Hedwig Heinsman.  DUS is a member of the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA).

from // Yatzer //

Nicholas Szczepaniak – A Defensive Architecture

Nicholas Szczepaniak will recieve the RIBA Silver Medal next month for his extraordinary graduate project “A Defensive Architecture”. I am delighted to be the first person to be publishing his work in my recently release book “Digital Architecture: Passages Through Hinterlands“. Nick’s work really is out on the hinterlands, a landscape plighted by climate change and rising water levels, social order breaks down, resources become rationed and public space becomes further militarised to maintain social order. Set in the Blackwater Estuary, Essex, his allegorical and provocative defensive architectures envisage the construction of a set of austere coastal defence towers that perform multiple functions within this dystopian future.

The militarised towers are alive — breathing, creaking, groaning, sweating and crying when stressed. Airbags on the face of the towers expand and contract, while hundreds of tensile trunks are sporadically activated, casting water onto the heated facades producing steam. An empty watchtower at the top of each tower gives the impression that the fragile landscape below is being constantly surveyed.

Across the estuary, a bed of salt marshes provides a natural form of flood defence and habitats for wildlife. Due to rising water levels and adverse weather conditions, the salt marshes are quickly deteriorating. The proposal suggests that mega structures can be integrated into, and encourage, the growth of natural defence mechanisms.

Over time, sand is collected at the base of each tower to form a spit across the mouth of the estuary, absorbing energy from the waves. Internally, the towers serve as a vast repository for mankind’s most valuable asset — knowledge. The architecture is an ark, protecting books from cumulative and catastrophic deterioration.

Early experiments with sugar and caramel were used to develop a prototypical object that responds to its surrounding climate. When heat is applied to sugar, its molecular arrangement is changed to form caramel. A series of experiments with domestic objects demonstrated how molten caramel can be extruded in a state of tension, then left to set to act in compression. Thin sheets, up to one metre in height, were also formed and then hung as a curtain. Responding to environmental conditions, these objects would crack, split, absorb moisture and dilapidate. They became indicators of climate change and became beacons of abnormal environmental conditions.

Szczepaniak’s project identified repetition, control, anticipated tension and surveying from an elevated position as properties crucial to his architecture. These evolved through an intensive process of speculative drawing, model making and a series of analogue and digital collage techniques. Studies were made of defensive typologies, in particular watchtowers and the Maze prison, built at the height of the Northern Irish Conflict…

More information on this project is features in Digital Architecture: Passages Through Hinterlands


Από το μύθο του Νάρκισσου μέχρι σήμερα ο καθρέφτης ως αντικείμενο αντανακλά, προβάλλει, κολακεύει, σατιρίζει ή κατακερματίζει την εικόνα μας.

Το γεγονός ότι κανείς δε γνωρίζει τη μορφή του αν δεν την δει στον καθρέφτη γοήτευε πάντοτε τον άνθρωπο. Το παιδί σε ένα πρώιμο στάδιο αποκτά συνείδηση του εαυτού του μέσα από τη θέαση της εικόνας του στον καθρέφτη. Η φευγαλέα αντανάκλαση στο στάσιμο νερό, στο γυαλισμένο μέταλλο ή στο χημικά επεξεργασμένο γυαλί συνδέεται τόσο με την αλήθεια, την πιστή απεικόνιση της «πραγματικότητας», όσο και με το ψεύδος, το «είδωλό» της.

Η εικόνα στον καθρέφτη ως δείγμα των δυνατοτήτων και βιτρίνα των επιθυμιών; Είμαι έτσι όπως φαίνομαι στον καθρέφτη ή ο καθρέφτης, απλώς, μαρτυρά τη σχέση μου με την αυτοεικόνα μου, δηλαδή μια αυτόνομη διαδικασία αναμέτρησης με τον εαυτό; Οι άλλοι άνθρωποι, όμως, βλέπουν τα ίδια χαρακτηριστικά που εγώ αναγνωρίζω στην εικόνα της μορφής μου;

10 καλλιτέχνες σχεδιάζουν και υλοποιούν ισάριθμες εγκαταστάσεις στα δωμάτια του Taf προσπαθώντας να οδηγήσουν τον θεατή σε μία νέα βιωματική οπτική εμπειρία.

Συμμετέχουν: Χαράλαμπος Δερμάτης, Μπάμπης Καραλής, Λεωνίδας Καραμπίνης, Χάρης Κοντοσφύρης, Φάνης Ρουμανιάς, Αννέτα Σπανουδάκη, Ολυμπία Τοπτσίδου, Γιώργος Τσεριώνης, Νίκος Τσολάκογλου, Έφη Φουρίκη

22.7-5.9.2010, the Art Foundation (taf)
Νορμανού 5, 105 55 Αθήνα Μοναστηράκι 

iphone dslr prototype

Not satisfied with the tiny camera lens on his iphone, jeremey salvador decided he wanted to use the lenses from his digital slr. To make these professional lenses work on the mobile phone, salvador developed a customized mounting system made from anodized billet aluminum. The iphone sits inside the mount and the lenses attach on the front. The mount has two handle grips on each side for smooth movements and can also be mounted on a tripod. To far the system only allows users to use canon ef lenses, but with an adapter the system should be able to use almost any lens.