Quite the balancing act!
What IS it?
It's a gyroscopic futura transit vehicle......not quite ready for primetime yet, but in advanced stages of development. The dual leg supports run along a narrow band set in the roadway. The internal gyroscopic engine/controls maintain it on a constantly level footing. This, IS, the future.
This is a stylistic image of a gyroscope:
The above cutaway illustration shows a luxury class transport.
The following scenes are of a unit that is a 'fire truck'......so to speak. Watch the video - it is fascinating and captivating.
This scene is of a fire fighting unit that elevates up to the fire source, and when level uses water cannons to extinguish the fire.
Far-fetched? Maybe? Possible - yes....the video traces the history of gyroscopic development over the last 100 years or so. How long before it might become a reality? Well, who knows....the whole idea of self-driving cars was far-fetched fantasy ten years ago.....now? Not so much.
Here is another video of this amazing concept.
This issue is all over the map....although the central focus/message is concerned with tools - tools that we use in the world of design and the built environment. From small little handheld devices like this
that allow one to see exactly what is behind the wall....look here and check out the web-site and the videos.
How lovely! Yes - it's a towel warmer. Para mi, the whole idea of having a warm towel to envelope oneself in speaks of luxurious indulgence!
Not so today - in terms of it being a luxury....with the ease that exists to run a red flex hose for hot water to a sculptural for such as this - well, it's little different than our acceptance of the natural inclusion of a heated floor in our home spaces.
This is but one creation by the highly respected designer Monica Freitas Geronimi.....here are some other along with site-links to places where you can explore her creations and actually order the products.
Some people believe creativity is born within everyone, for which this can be develop with determination and training. There are also those who totally admits they couldn’t color coordinate anything by themselves without an expert guidance… however, there are the ones we could call “the naturals” to whom creativity and inspiration comes from anything and everything.
• • •
Monica Freitas Geronimi graduated in Architecture and Urbanism from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Politecnico di Milano with specialization in Industrial Design, she lectured at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and now divides her time between the Italian company MG12 and Punto,
a company situated in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where she is an art director since 1995.
For the spanish translation go to espagnol
This feature was researched and developed by: Vanessa Bertran.
The Work(s) of Daniel Bracci
I like to believe we are all capable of reaching of maximum creative potential if we really wanted to but if you don’t, it’s alright... There are fantastic sources of information and talented professionals all over the world that will be more than happy to help you in any artistic related matter in various tendencies.
For this issue, I am happy to introduce Daniel Bracci, Venezuelan photographer- graphic designer- illustrator, who’s extraordinary and colourful creations (décor elements and clothing) are currently going around the world while being modeled by his very happy customers.
Daniel’s creations from his latest line, Caracas Psicodelica, are inspired by diverse images of product brands, personalities from his childhood and city views. With this beautiful homage and display of art, he really brings a sense of nostalgia to all those Venezuelans who lived during that period of time.
To get to know more of his designs check out
Instagram: @DanielBracci , #bybracci , #caracaspsicodelica
Here a small interview in Spanish from November 2016
This feature was researched and developed by: Vanessa Bertran.
This, is not a tool.....but it caught my eye as it is SO effervescent in colour, pattern scope and scale!
It's a wonderful space, a beautiful room....
As for tools, well here's one I drool after:
A 49" HotMomma curved screen! Yowzah! Sign me UP! And it's only $1100.00 US! Remarkable....
From Raymond Wong's review in Mashable:
Samsung's humongous screen is considerably expensive. You could buy two 27-inch curved monitors with similar features (resolution, brightness, color accuracy, refresh rate, etc.) and hook them up together for a few hundred dollars less, but you don't get the single, uninterrupted display. Becoming the envy of all your friends is worth it, too.
Sucks you right in
Sitting down in front of Samsung's 49-inch display is like plopping yourself into a cockpit. You feel like you're at a battle station, ready to get a lot of shit done, even if that's just checking emails and watching YouTube videos. This screen makes you feel like a boss because it covers almost your entire field of view.
Every one of my coworkers who has seen the 32:9 aspect ratio monitor (most widescreens are 16:9 or 21:9) were unable to resist stopping to take in the massive panel. If there's any display that can be likened to an Imperial Star Destroyer looming over minuscule freighters, it's this.
Samsung says the screen's equivalent to dual 27-inch monitors so I pulled over two 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Displays and sure enough it was about as wide. If you have a messy desk like I do, brace yourself for a cleanup because you'll have to move everything to make room for this beast.
The 49-inch monster is sold as a gaming monitor, so it has a full list of display performance specs to meet gamer standards: 144Hz refresh rate, 1-millisecond response time for less motion blur during fast-paced gaming sessions, HDR (high dynamic range), and AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 graphics technology.
Samsung's own Quantum Dot technology, or QLED as the company likes to call it, also serves up to a billion shades of color (I tip my hat off to you if you can actually see so many shades).
Pixel geeks will probably balk at the display's 3,840 x 1,080 resolution, which is definitely lower than you might expect for something this big, but it honestly didn't bother me. 1080 vertical lines of resolution is enough on a screen that's specifically designed to maximize horizontal resolution. There are some gigantic ultra-wides with more vertical resolution if 1080 isn't enough. Acer's XR382CQK is one, but it's also 10 inches smaller.
So you end up trading size for resolution. If you're spending big money on a big-ass screen, you might as well get the biggest you can. And size really is the primary reason to buy this screen.
The 49-inch display is so large that my neck hurt after a few minutes of turning from one side to the other post-setup. My mistake, of course, was I sat too close to the monitor. Samsung recommends sitting 15-20 inches away from the display for the best experience.
After I moved back, I stopped having neck pains.
The screen is excellent for gaming and is a good substitute for a dual-monitor setup. I've always disliked seeing the bezel division between two connected displays and now it's not a problem on Samsung's big screen.
Some of my gamer colleagues nitpicked at games looking fuzzier than on their own dual- or triple-monitor setups, but my nonpro-gamer eyes thought they looked fine. I played several games including Rise of the Tomb Raider, Rocket League, and Battlefield 3 that support native 32:9 aspect ratio and they looked pretty darn crisp and smoother than on my 120Hz monitors at home. Not all PC games support the ultra-wide aspect ratio and many stretch out the resolution, so definitely check
if your favorite games do before buying one of these bad boys.
And, to go with your wonderful 49" curved screen, how about this lil' puppy?
The world's smallest PC running Windows 10.....about the size of a smartphone, at the introductory price of $249.00 (US), well - heck - take 2 or 3.....While smartphones continue their march to global domination, there’s still a place for a home PC in that computing landscape. Especially if that home PC doesn’t strictly need to stay at home.
Mobility remains key in all of our fast-paced lives, so when even a laptop can be too cumbersome to tout around all day, the allure of a pocket powerhouse like the Ockel Sirius B Windows 10 Pocket PC becomes clear.
It can do almost anything your home PC can do, it’s infinitely portable, and right now it’s $100 off its regular price at just $249 from TNW Deals.
Just hook up the Sirius B to any HDMI-compatible screen, connect a keyboard and you’ve got a Windows-powered, fully-operational PC ready to rock.
Check the video here
The first concern with most mini-PCs is that also comes with mini-processing capabilities. Not so with the Sirius B. It’s sporting an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage. You’ve also got ports for USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI and Micro SD built in as well as full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.
If you’re hitting the road, even just heading across town, this is the perfect tool for projects that a tablet or smartphone just can’t handle.
For all of you who rely on accurate visualizations of spaces, either by using 3D MAX, SketchUp, VRAY, Podium or other such tools, speed of site measurement data along with accuracy, and the transference of such data into AutoCAD (or another CAD programme) is of paramount importance. The on-site measurement, the accurate recording together with photographs of site conditions is super important.
It is, what we call, 'grunt work'......except we grunts need to be completely aware of the conditions and elements that we are looking to record for later transcription to a computer.
All that is soon to change for some of us....there's a really cool new techTool on the market now that, by using an iPad, it 'captures' in a video form, all the visual data of an interior space.....and it measures it as it is processing that data.
Structure Sensor (by Occipital) is the only company that I am aware of that is most active in the development of this fabulous tool.
As you can see they manufacture both a VR-type headset and an iPad sensor adapter. An app, CANVAS, is used to process the visual/virtual data.
Using the iPad adapter, one scans the space/room(s) and then uploads the file to their office for processing. For a $29.00 fee a completely accurate CAD file is produced, along with a SketchUp 3D file, and is returned to you within 48 - 72 hours.
We have been in touch with the principals at Canvas, had requested a test unit for evaluation, but seemingly there are few available.....none in enough time to meet our issue deadline.
So - I have NO choice here....I simply have to come up with the $399.00 US to buy one! I have no doubt that it will be a highly valuable tool that will pay for itself very quickly. Will keep you posted as to when we receive it and test it out.
Since we're concentrating to some extent on futuristic ideas, processes, maybe you want to check this Star Wars trailer out.....personally I can't wait to see this one:
To watch the trailer : : SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
As professionals in the design community (interior design, architecture, interior décor, landscape design, graphics) our daily efforts pivot off of our abilities to use and manipulate computer tools. CAD, 3D modeling, Illustration software, web-site design apps.....such tools are our stock-in-trade. Some of us tend to focus on one or two such tools, others - like myself - venture into all nature of digital wonderlands. Moi, I've been an AutoCAD user since 1983.....started dabbling in Photoshop in the early 90's. I have invested of myself in 3D Studio, 3D MAX, CADVANCE, MicroStation, Illustrator, Net Objects Fusion, SketchUp - many, many others. They are all power tools....in some hands, more powerful than in others.
What we as creators can do today is astonishing. I remember late nights in attempts to collaborate with a colleague in the exchange and transference of CAD files via modem connection. The computer would dial, ring.....you'd hear this funny brrrrr sound, then a kindof clunk which signified a connection to the other user, and you'd wait, watching paint dry, as the file transfer progress bar crept across the screen. More times than not to terminate prematurely before 100% of the file was transferred.
On the phone, calling your co-worker.....'What happened?'.
'We try it again?'
'Think we have to...'
and the time would slide by as we patiently willed the connection to stay live.
And when it did, your work was only about to begin. Because now you had the source file which you had to spend hours into the night developing as a drawing, a design concept - whatever.
Today, we don't even think about it.....file transmission is an afterthought. Image manipulation is a game.
And in that spirit, as we are tool-talking here, let me share this with you.
I have clients who recently re-located to Tel Aviv.....they have been clients for 35 years. I have designed 5 homes and numerous corporate offices with them and for them. And now, they have finally found their slice of paradise overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. And who did they call? Yup! Me.....could I help from so far, far away?
'Of course! Piece of cake! Get me the floor plans, we'll figure it out.''
And, we did.....received the architect's AutoCAD drawings, developed a layout concept.....proposed certain ideas, directions. They moved in, arranged the furniture as per my lay-outs - were happily ensconced and enjoying their new abode.
Except, there was one remaining issue to be dealt with....window coverings, draperies, etc.
How do you do that with a CAD program? Short answer is, you really don't.
'So, what do we do', my client asked.
'Take photographs of all the windows - make sure to take them as 'face-on' as possible', I said. 'You want the camera to be parallel to the picture plane....then send them to me.''
Well, I received about a dozen window photographs...they clearly showed me the frame, the outline of the windows....naked, barren - cold. How to transform such sterile imagery into a sense of style, character?
The method I came up with was to harness some of the graphic design tools I regularly use
Tools with names like Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Photoshop......
It's easier to explain now with the picture being 'worth a thousand words':
Patio doors, Master Bedroom
This image was opened in Affinity Photo and using certain processes, tricks, it was converted from being a very cold, but informative image to being a pencil sketch:
The design concept I proposed to my clients was to create 3 fabric panels, using whatever pattern, colour we were happy with, create a fabric 'sandwich' consisting of the core fabric on the inside, and on the backside (so that the pattern would also be visible from the elegant terrace) with a drapery liner/stiffener in between. The panels would be installed on 3 parallel tracks so that one slid in front of the other, à la shoji screens......
Manipulating the image in Photoshop and Affinity a reasonable facsimile of the design intent is conveyed
....and in using contrasting colours, the message becomes more clear.
Now, this is not, fine art - not intended to be.....it is an attempt to present and explain a gentle idea, a gentle concept, from a great distance. And in that respect it does the job.....could I have done this some other way? Of course...I could have printed the photograph, hand traced it using tracing paper - sketched over a number of stylistic renditions, scanned the images and sent them back by email......most likely in black and white unless I were to take the time and used coloured markers to achieve a similar result.
But the time! The time it would take to do all that......what I haven't said here is that in the space of a couple of hours I used this same technique on 10 windows. Voila!
If anyone really wants to know the precise steps as to how to accomplish this, write me and I'll send you a tutorial.
So - tools.....knowing which ones to use, how to use them and when - under which circumstances - to use them, they have become our digital assistants. Many years ago I remember - I believe before Windows - that AutoCAD users could use voice commands to draw.....quite a few architectural and engineering firms experimented with voice technology. Recently I have been researching how we might employ voice recognition with today's AutoCAD....so much more efficient to simply say, 'Draw line from endpoint of xxxxx to centre of circle at yyyyy'. Will keep you posted as to how that goes.
FREEBIES! we, all of us, like to get a fair share of 'freebies'......and when TechTools are offered
free of charge, no strings attached, there's a rush to glom onto them.....
Such will be the case with today's announcement from Autodesk (publishers of AutoCAD)
Full version of AutoDesk’s SketchBook app for iOS, Mac, Android & Windows is now FREE
Today, the folks over at AutoDesk have announced that the full version of its SketchBook app for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows will now be totally free. The was always a free-to-try type of situation with the pro version available via in-app purchases and upgrades. Well, now it is yours for absolutely nothing. It carries a 4+ star rating from over 12,000 users on the App Store. Head below for all the links.
iOS Universal: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Android: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Mac: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Windows: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Everyone, including professional illustrators, concept designers, comic artists, manga lovers, and the everyday doodler, will enjoy using Autodesk® SketchBook® – the digital drawing app made for everyone who loves to draw. An easy-to-use and customizable interface makes tools easily accessible, so artists always have convenient access to the power and flexibility of a digital tool while maintaining a natural drawing experience. Install the app to discover the power of SketchBook and start unlocking your creativity today.
This segment is not, about tools.....or it is.
It is more about how thinking/perceptual tools might be used restoratively.....not necessarily to aid in providing scalar efficiencies to tasks, but more as to how the most appropriate thinking tools can regenerate, restore - re-capture a way of life, a cultural tattoo - and provide encouragement and faith that will lead a people to a place of greater confidence - and thereby comfort - in the knowledge that their history, their ancient ways of life and living, will be in fact preserved and even, promoted.
This stunning visual journey was reported recently in the great architectural web-sire, ArchDaily (www.archdaily.com). The author, Natasha Badalge, is an amazing researcher with ArchDaily.
We are reproducing segments of her astonishing report here. The original article may be visited here.
Can Architecture Save China’s Rural Villages?
DnA’s Xu Tiantian Thinks So
Travel seven hours by car in a Southwest direction from Shanghai and you will arrive in Songyang County. The name is unfamiliar to many Chinese people, and even more foreign to those living abroad. The county consists of about 400 villages, from Shicang to Damushan.
Here, undulating lush green terraces hug the sides of Songyin river valley, itself the one serpentine movement uniting the lands. Follow the river and you will see: here, a Brown Sugar Factory; there, a Bamboo Theatre; and on the other side, a stone Hakka Museum built recently but laid by methods so old, even the town masons had to learn these ways for the first time, as if they were modern methods, as if they were revolutionary.
And maybe they are. Songyang County, otherwise known as the “Last Hidden Land in Jiangnan,” may look like a traditional Chinese painting with craggy rock faces, rice fields and tea plantations, but it has also become a model example of rural renaissance. Beijing architect Xu Tiantian, of the firm DnA_Design and Architecture, has spent years surveying the villages of Songyang, talking to local County officials and residents, and coming up with what she calls “architectural acupunctures.”
Xu Tiantian’s story is an interesting one about inspiring rural self-confidence and turning provincial attitudes towards outsiders into welcoming, open arms through her architecture. She explains how she did it, and why this is important to China, in the exhibition “Rural Moves—The Songyang Story.”
“The real China is in the countryside.” Aric Chen of M+, Hong Kong, remarked in his opening piece for Rural Moves—The Songyang Story. For thousands of years, the core tenets of Chinese design were built upon feng shui and the use of natural elements such as clay and wood to encourage positive flow through the built space. But when Deng Xiaoping opened China up to the world in the 1970s, he also spurred the migration of more than half of China’s 1.4 billion people to cities for work. In Shanghai and Beijing, construction companies were frantically building skyscrapers with bright signboards and big names a-dangling, to the fascination of the Chinese people. At the same time, there was a sense that the “real” China was fast disappearing and must be saved without being “Disneyfied,” as so many of China’s towns and villages have in the name of tourism.
This is what gave Xu Tiantian her raison d’être to bring her architectural practice to Songyang. Yet when Xu first arrived a few years ago, she had some difficulty mediating between what people see in cities and what should be developed in the rural areas. She said, “They [the residents] always come up with 2 different impressions of architecture. One is the ancient buildings, like you know, the local Min, Qin Dynasty style, and the other type is something modern looking, just like Beijing, Shanghai, or like Hangzhou.”
But Xu was headstrong in her design process. The history of how structures were built in each village was too unique to be erased and plastered over with modern designs. So, she insisted. “With this individual acupuncture... we try to convince them it should be a language addressed to their own traditions,” she said in an interview, “All these buildings are not about a form or about a iconic image, it’s rather becoming a media or a translator of this history and heritage of the village”
TOOLS - more tools! GIMP!
Qu-est-ce que 'ca?
GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.
. . . . and, it is also F R E E !
GIMP 2.10.0 released: Features 32-bit support, new UI and more
Features and Capabilities
This is only a very quickly thrown together list of GIMP features. You can also have a look at the illustrated features overview.
If you are a serious user of graphic arts/design tools you need to explore GIMP for yourselves.
In this issue, as you've read (above) there is an enlightening article regarding the rejuvenation of rural China, its farming communities, its cultural backbone.....
Steven Hu, our DRI colleague and Staff Writer, coincidentally researched and prepared the following wonderful article. The original piece, in mandarin, can be see on this page.
This story is a beautiful study of how China is coming to terms with the massive changes, the swelling industrialization - the city surges.....and how many. with deep centuries-long history, are seeking to revitalize and re-establish the old ways of villages and communities.
An artist's representation of 'how it used to be', translated into the world of today.....
ancient farming communities, villages, in China....the close clustering of the dwellings, the wonderful purity of symmetrical formshapes
. . . . and today, how it is, how it has been re-born
Everyone agrees pretty much, that Montreal is s p e c i a l ....from the old city (Vieux Montréal) to Parc Mont-Royal.....the Old Port, the bustling and vibrant downtown, to Habitat.
And currently one of the unique million dollar residences in Habitat is on the market for a monthly rental of $4500.00.....one of the outstanding features of this world class development is that there are no two apartments the same.
The brainchild of architect Moise Safdie, it was conceived and then built, ready for the 1967 Expo, the World's Fair.
Following are photographs of this most wonderful place.
This wonderful visual panorama was recently featured in MTLblog, by Riley James.
OHBoy OhBoy OhBoy! Do I ever WANT one of these! A M A Z I N G - clever, cool.....oh so cool!
TRUCK SURF HOTELThe best waves aren't always right in front of the best accommodations. Unless you're staying at the Truck Surf Hotel. Located on the coast of Portugal and Morocco, the Mercedes Actros expands into a two-story retreat right on the beach. The interior offers a kitchen, living room, and bathroom with a show below while private bedrooms are above. Ample windows and an outdoor terrace keep the surf in full view, that is if you're not already out there riding it. Your stay comes with a buffet breakfast and a range of packages make sure you get the most out of your trip.
If you too, just have to have one of these go to: www.trucksurfhotel.com/the-truck
Just SO cool!
I think that's it....it is a lot, I know - it's not anywhere near as much as I'd like to pack in.....
a wonderful piece on the new Ritz Carlton Yacht Cruisers, a great apartment overlooking the Dnieper River in the Ukraine..... some funky gadgets......plus an in-depth review of the 2018 SIDIM show that took place in Montreal last week.......and it's diminishing presence and importance on the design landscape of Québec. + a review of the Milan Furniture Show - a real success story.
As always, please write - please complain - please - say s o m e t h i n g ......
As a professional interior designer (45+ years) and as a Certified Graphic Designer (25 years) I have devoted my life to the pursuit of design excellence. Winner of numerous design awards I have also spent 25+ years teaching Interior Design.....the greatest quote regarding design is: the greatest faux pas in design is irrelevance