Awaji is the largest island of the inland sea, set 600km to the south-west of Tokyo opposite Kobe in the bay of Osaka. Here, on hill above a small port, Tadao Ando build his Water Temple. Following a small footpath, the visitor first sees a long concrete wall, 3m high, with a single opening. Through this door one does not find an entrance, but rather another wall, blank, but carved this time, bordered by a white gravel path. Having walked past this new screen of concrete, the visitor discovers an oval lotus pond, 40m long and 30m wide. In the centre of the pond, a stair way descends to the real entrance of the temple. Below the Lotus Fond, within a circle 18M in diameter, the architect has inscribed a 17.4 m square. Here, within a grid of red wood, a statue of buddha turns its back to the west, where the only openings admits the glow of the setting sun. In this place at sunset the words of Tadao Ando can be more clearly understood: "architecture," Tadao Ando says, "has forgotten that space can be a source of inspiration."
To ward off criminals, fashion designer Aya Tsukioka has conjured up some neat transforming clothes/accessories to deceive potential muggers. Examples include a skirt that transforms the wearer into a nondescript vending machine and the Manhole Bag, which converts a lady's handbag into what appears to be a sewer cover with the contents kept safe inside.
Funny at first blush, what does this say about gender and sex issues in Japan.... ?
One of Japanâ€™s greatest architects, Kisho Kurokawa, died last week leaving behind a very significant theoretical and concrete legacy.
Kurokawa co-founded the Metabolist movement in 1960, pioneering a radical avant-garde style of architecture and urban planning for the future. The Metabolistsâ€™ vision centred around vast cities that adapted to an ever-increasing population by building flexible, extendable structures that could be added to over time.
His first and arguably most notorious existing embodiment of these principles is the Nagakin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, built in 1970. The concrete structure consists of removable clip-on components which, together with Sonyâ€™s Osaka headquarters of 1972, were clear ancestors of Rogers and Pianoâ€™s Pompidou Centre, and Rogersâ€™ Lloydâ€™s building.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of Charles Eames, Vitra is introducing a limited anniversary edition of the Eames Plywood Elephant, a legendary furniture sculpture that was designed in 1945 but never produced for general distribution and sale. Of the two known prototypes, only one remains in the Eames Family Archives.
Charles and Ray Eames were fascinated by elephants. Many images of these gentle giants are found in Charles' photographic documentations of Indian culture and the circus world. The Plywood Elephant was designed as a toy for children, but also as a striking sculptural object that makes a statement in any environment with its vigorous curves and delightful character.
Update: Vitra has sold out of this run -- so look to resellers, ebay, and little mini ones at the MOMA Store.
The story of TRON starts in the fall of 1975 when a young animation artist called Steven Lisberger witnessed a demonstration of computer generated imagery during a gathering of Boston-area filmmakers. Dr. Phillip Mittelman, president and founder of the Mathematical Application Group Inc. (MAGI) of Elmsford, NY, hoped to generate interest and ultimately business in the computer aided generation of three-dimensional objects - traditionally a sore spot with animators. Rendering correct perspectives of objects such as buildings, vehicles etc. was of prohibitive complexity and cost in time and labor. Mr. Lisberger, as an artist trained in animation, recognized the possibilties of the computer as a new and powerful tool and years later the techniques of computer generated imagery (CGI) together with the unique method of 'backlight compositing' became the main principles of TRON.
Placed at the lobby of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Berlin, the 25 meters high AquaDom is the largest cylindrical aquarium ever built. Filled with about 900,000 liters of seawater, it contains some 2600 fish of 56 species. Incredible water views from the interior courtyard rooms...
A foldable cantilever chair, goes from wall art to functional furniture with a flick of the wrist. With an inspiring take on the maximization of space and the transformation of an object from 2D to 3D, it epitomizes designer Dror Benshetritâ€™s vision: the emotion of art intertwined with simple poetics of form following function.
The Blue Planet is a BBC nature documentary series narrated by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the UK from 12 September 2001.
Described as "the first ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world's oceans", each of the eight 50-minute episodes examines a different aspect of marine life. The underwater photography included creatures and behaviour that had hitherto never been filmed.
The series was produced in conjunction with the Discovery Channel. The executive producer was Alastair Fothergill and the music was composed by George Fenton.