November 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
British designer Thomas Heatherwick, the man famous for redesigning London’s iconic double-decker buses, has devised a ‘garden bridge’ that would stretch 1,200 feet across the Thames from the Temple area to South Bank. The structure would be filled with trees, flowers, grass and branched by walkways, benches and viewpoints.
The concept is designed to provide a slow and peaceful oasis amid the chaos of Europe’s busiest city. The only predicament so far is that Boris Johnson is not prepared to invest any public money, meaning the Garden Bridge Trust must raise around £60 million to see this ambitious project realised. Heatherwick hopes to complete the bridge by the start of 2016.
May 29, 2013 § Leave a comment
I’m always intrigued by architecture that makes use of rooftop space, which is what interests me about the Sanya Lake Park supermarket concept in China. Often the potential of this part of a building is neglected. The Dutch firm, NL Architects, have developed a design that makes use of large commercial structure’s ceiling ‘real estate’ by planting a giant stepped garden.
The structure is partially sunken beneath ground-level to lessen the impact of the building and to allow greater access to the terraced area and cafe pavilion that sites in the centre. A large car park is also placed underground, shielded from view. The roof garden not only creates a much more attractive looking roof for neighbouring housing but also adds to the healthy and green connotations of the supermarket. Overall I think this is a great use of a tricky triangular space in a city context – more information here!
May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
Data visualisation genius Nicholas Felton, a man who is likely best known for his work designing the Facebook Timeline, recently announced that he was leaving Team Zuckerberg. Rather than revere over the timeline however – something conceptually brilliant but executed averagely in my mind – i’d like to introduce Felton’s annual reports; an amazing infographic representation of a person’s life and a real insight into the future of measured social metrics. Take a look at some of these beautiful HQ images!
Nicholas Felton spends much of his time thinking about data, charts and our daily routines. He is the author of several Personal Annual Reports that weave numerous measurements into a tapestry of graphs, maps and statistics that reflect the year’s activities. He is the co-founder of Daytum.com, and currently a member of the product design team at Facebook. His work has been profiled in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Good Magazine and has been recognized as one of the 50 most influential designers in America by Fast Company.
I find social metrics a really interesting aspect of the future. Take your smartphone; when you’re not using the device it just sits in your pocket. But think about all the information it could be recording: your location, time and day, speed, temperature, height, who you’re with, who’s contacting you, the event you’re going to… Now imagine a future where all devices are connected to the internet and talking to each other. Add to that list, your heart rate, what you’re eating and drinking, what you’re watching, what you’re wearing, your purchases, your photos, sleep patterns… literally everything! The idea of so much recorded information will scare a lot of people, but to me it’s exciting. Shoes that tell you when you need to buy new ones, a shirt that lets you know when more exercise would be a good idea, a fridge that suggests more water and less pizza…
Felton tracked the crazy amount of data using a custom iPhone app, which you can download and use yourselves, either by searching ‘daytum’ in the app store or at daytum.com – learn more about it from this slightly awkward web chat here. I have been using the app myself for the past month with the aim of using the data for a new infographic cv design.