Cleaner / leaner / less stuff •
Those are the new bywords for DR•I from here on.
In that we are now publishing 2X monthly the volume in each issue will be reduced.
Thus less stories, less features. And one of the new directions will be an attempt to
profile professionals and firms that are actively engaged in the world of design.
The initial focus will be on more visuals, less descriptions - as we progress we will be looking to use QR codes more and more so that the reader can easily connect, at their option, to original sources.
THIS FOLDABLE LAPTOP CAN BE CARRIED AROUND LIKE A CLUTCH FOR THE
ULTIMATE TECH-FASHION STATEMENT
By Gaurav Sood 09/14/2020
Designer: Heesung Choi
Gadgets these days are shrinking in size owing to the technological innovations and design implementations that compliment them. There are foldable phones like Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Surface Duo that are radically changing how we perceive our mobile devices to be like. Laptops have also seen this paradigm shift – with young buyers preferring lightweight folding screen products that promise ultra-productivity on the go.
As a refreshing approach to what a laptop could be – designer Heesung Choi from Seoul has come up with the concept idea he calls “Clutop”. A laptop that has a swanky design, since it folds into itself to become a clutch bag for stylish portability. The “normcore” design adaptation means you’ll have a lightweight laptop that matches your fashion quotient. Heesung claims it to be the world’s smallest laptop which is eye-popping in its own rights. Clutop has a screen aspect ratio of 16:9, and when closed, the 1:2 body ratio makes it fairly easy to carry along. Open it up for your tasks and you get a widescreen display that looks beautiful. Then you have the keyboard with a trackpad on one side, and a secondary UI for multitasking, running on top. This UI comes handy for keeping all the widgets and controls for easy access.
The unibody lip that folds up to secure the laptop in closed configuration acts as a smooth palm rest, but it can very well be a monochrome screen to extend the multitasking aspect further. It could even house a slim battery pack to give Clutop some extra juice when the main battery runs out.
The colors proposed for Clutop by the designer are equally upbeat. Urban dwellers will fancy the bold carbon, baby lavender, subtle light grey, and cool green options. The flap can be had in leather or fabric texture depending on the user’s preferences. So, do you think this fashion-forward laptop design should make its way beyond the blueprint stage?
And so the obvious question is, when will there be a version for men?
Dutch architecture studio Waterstudio.NL has created a solar-powered electric yacht-cum-villa with retractable stilts that allow it to be raised fully out of the water to become an off-grid home.
Named Arkup 75, the craft was designed for yacht company Arkup with a hybrid foundation that allows it to float when moving, be semi-supported when alongside a dock or fully raised up from the water.
"The design was inspired by the way flamingos stand in the water," Waterstudio.NL founder Koen Olthuis told Dezeen. "Only a leg in the water and the body untouchable above the surface."
The yacht villa can be raised entirely out of the water on stilts
When it's not travelling, the 22-metre long vessel can be anchored by four 12-metre steel spuds, which lower to the bottom at depths of up to 7.6 metres to keep it stable.
"As the Arkup is floating it can handle normal waves, but when the stilts are activated the house pushes itself out of the water," Olthuis added.
Bonus! A pretty cool roof deck!
"Now the waves can only hit the stilts, which makes it a hurricane-proof building."
The villa can also sail like a regular yacht Along with the hybrid foundation, a solar-powered electric system, and a rain-harvesting and purification system make it capable of operating off-grid.
A solar array covers the entire roof to provide electricity for air conditioning, appliances, lighting, propulsion and all other operating systems on board.
When raised on stilts it is described as a "hurricane-proof building"
Arkup 75, was designed to resemble a smooth, white frame that presents the ocean view as a picture, with glass-fibre walls, a retractable terrace and large sliding-glass windows.
It has a total living space of 404 square metres, is self-propelled and can, in theory, stay in open water indefinitely as long as there is enough solar power to provide energy.
Olthuis believe the yacht's off-grid system will come in useful in the future, as he thinks sea-level rise and urban growth will lead coastal cities to develop on the water.
"Not just yachts but especially floating structures will take advantage of the space on water around our cities. These buildings are portable and can react to known and unknown changes in the demands of near future society," he said.
"Covid is such an unknown change that has suddenly raised the popularity of off-grid, off-shore independent living."
The architect added that Arkup is aiming to use the craft to demonstrate features that can also be applied to larger, high-density floating housing that could be built in the future.
According to Olthuis this is something that Waterstudio.NL has been advocating for almost two decades.
"The water is being paved for water-based, high-density developments in cities threatened by sea-level rise and urbanisation," he said.
Ed Comment: Numerous drastic and unanticipated changes are occurring in our world.
The pandemic has affected us, and will continue to affect us, in the most unexpected ways. Education, work environments, mass movement (by car, train, airplane) have all undergone revolutionary change.
The hardest part in most of this is that we, as a society — regardless of where you live on this planet —
were totally unprepared. There was no canary in the coal mine. There was no DEW (Distant Early Warning) system in place. Some countries reacted better, faster and more responsibly than others.
Certainly there is a high degree of irresponsible criminality that will need to be addressed in the aftermath of these events. Nonetheless, the elders and the little children - and all in between - need to find a way to harmonize as we have never done before. Teamwork, collaboration — mutual care, kindness and concern must be the headlights and the searchlights as we seek to find new levels, new ways of doing things - new ways to cope. It is partly for this reason that this particular article is much more meaningful to me -
of course, most all of us cannot run out and make the kind of investment this vessel would require.
That's not the point - it's greatest feature is its ability to 'take root', in a bay, a river bed, and self-elevate itself above the water level thereby taking possession of a much more self-reliant ecosystem.
And such locales are generally free to 'squatters'. More research, more funding - more Elon Musk type of innovative thinking is necessary to equip our society for the forthcoming sea changes -
both figuratively and literally.
Unashamedly I am an Apple booster. There are many, many Apple haters - yes......there are. And many who sneer at the unique position they hold in the world of technology and consumer confidence. Are they perfect? Of course not. But, have they ever claimed to be? No.
Apple is beyond being an incubator — of its own design and making — it is a leader. Why? Because it's simply in their DNA. Perhaps going back to Steve Jobs - maybe further. Matters not. They do, really, put their money where their mouth is. Is that so wrong?
I watched the Apple event yesterday - on Apple TV it was a slick 60 minute presentation of numerous technological change, improvement, advancement. So tell me - when was the last time anyone watched Microsoft produce a similar event? Or Google? Or any of the other tech leaders. Short answer is, you haven't. But, is that why Apple feels compelled to sponsor these events? Think about something - not all that long ago — less than 5 years I think — Apple made the corporate decision to provide free upgrades, always, to their OS. At the time Microsft was still charging for upgrades - and they were never cheap - never. Hundreds of dollars to move from one OS version to the newest one. And, Apple also initiated free tech support — again, if you needed to contact Microsoft tech support it was a painful journey to finally reach someone and you had to have your credit card handy. I haven't kept a record (I should have) of all the times I've availed myself of Apple Tech Support. Each and every time I simply access the system, indicate I'd like to speak to a techie, I provide my serial number (from any Apple product I own) and indicate l'd like a phone call - and provide the specific time/day window. The call comes in like clockwork. These guys are good! No, they're beyond good - there has not been one time when my problem has not been solved. Remarkable.
So, I'm nattering on here — but if you examine the mind-boggling healthcare advances they have incorporated into the latest Apple Watch, well that alone makes one sit up and take notice.
So it is with respect and reverence — and a huge 'BRAVO!' that I include their latest architectural achievement - the stunning new Apple store in Singapore. Take a look, enjoy what you see. Have an apple.
Apple's new retail store in Singapore is very different from every other Apple store in the world. It's an orb that floats on water in front of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, adding flavor to Singapore's impressive skyline (well, waterline).
Apple has a webpage devoted to the new store, where it's described as "a space for you to explore, connect and create something new." On the same page, Apple has a short teaser video for the store, as well as a couple of wallpapers.
9to5Mac has a few other visuals and some copy related to the store. Among other details, it says that "an elevated boardwalk and underwater passage connect the pavilion to the shore and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands," which sounds very cool.
The Apple Marina Bay Sands store will be Apple's third store in Singapore, the other two are located at Orchard Road and Jewel Changi Airport. Apple says the new floating store will be opening "soon."
Design of a different nature - still design
To my way of thinking, the design of thinking is relevant and important.
One must never stop searching for better ways of doing things. Many, if not most, of the really successful corporations subscribe to one ever-present mantra or philosophy — continuous improvement.
So, Whole Foods has developed an interesting and potentially extremely helpful technology - would that it appears in the future as a standard for all shopping carts. Of course it's costly - of course such carts would be more prone to being cart-napped. But as is the case with all innovations - they are initially expensive but over time and with additional innovations, those costs come down. Remember the GPS? We all needed one - all of us had to have one. There it sat, proudly on our dashboards - and every street thief that came along couldn't resist the temptation to bust into your car — not to steal the car but to rip off the GPS. Until — until they became redundant. Mine has lived in my centre console for years now.
Amazon Opens Grocery Store With Smart Carts That Keep Track Of Your Purchases
By Thanussha Priyah, 28 Aug 2020
Amazon has opened its first-ever Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles for in-person shopping.
The store, which opened this week, is currently starting off on an invite-only basis, but it will soon be ready for the public in the following weeks.
The Fresh store is stocked with groceries from national and local brands, as well as ready-made food like pizza.
The location is decked with Amazon’s Dash Carts which come with cameras and sensors. The smart shopping carts can instantly identify items and bill shoppers when they log in through the Amazon app.
This means that customers will not need to line up to make payments as they can automatically do so via the app. As an additional checkout option, though, there are cash counters available for customers who wish to pay the traditional way.
NO WORDS NECESSARY : : isn't that the point?
Some of the astonishing architecture by Fran Silvestre
The first thing one might notice about the houses and other projects of Fran Silvestre and his studio of architects in Spain is their particular atmosphere of extravagantly understated elegance and luxury, which is as recognizable in its own right as the work of, say, John Lautner or John Pawson. While this first impression may seem rather superficial, it points us towards a difficult-to-define quality in the works, what we might call an overall “geist” or “gestalt”, that runs very deep, and that is far more complex and interesting than a mere question of “style” or “branding”.
One approach to this depth and complexity begins with the evident tension in these works between formal and practical questions. Silvestre’s designs are not simply solutions to given design problems, though he tends to present them as such. They absorb and distill the myriad issues of program, site and context, structure, building technologies and so on, subsuming them into the play of space and form that could be understood as the true subject of his architecture.
The designs transform the particulars of each building into simple schemes of expansive spatial relations, using a formal vocabulary of abstract lines, planes and, in certain cases, simple curves, in a rather Miesian idealization of Modernism. Silvestre’s works comprise a series of repetitions and variations on these spatial themes, which in their chronological development trace his growth as an architect, the expanding reach of his formal investigations, and the impact of adapting this formal repertoire to new problems and larger programs.
Inspired by Andreu Alfaro’s “The door of the Universe” from 1983 as well as “In Praise of the Horizon” by Eduardo Chillida made in 1989, the team of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos designed a circular house on a plot of great slope in the city of Marbella, Spain. With its fantastic views, the architectural concept is open to the sky and the horizon while simultaneously protected from the gaze of others and the strong winds of this region. Below you can see a few images of this outstanding architecture project. For more, please visit the website of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos.
All images © by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos.
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