muse, sketch

FEB // monthly update

Hey there end of February.

I’ll admit, I’m failing at keeping a schedule. It’s been hard to will myself to work on the next test. It’s been hard to make time for brainstorming interface ideas. It’s been hard just keeping up with a side project. No surprise. I’ve tried reading motivational, productivity, inspiring medium writing. They’re good, and they’re helpful, but sometimes an over-saturation of it starts to do the opposite — feels even more overwhelming. Sometimes you just gotta do it!

Thankfully, things are moving forward on site, which means I may just progress with my site series. It’ll be a little late, but it’s on it’s way!

Here’s a sketch of the next site series — steel is here!

sketch 009

Links ahead:

  1. Freddy Mamani’s New Andean Architecture adds colour to Bolivian city
    This is pretty amazing. It’s trippy as heck, but colourful and unique. I don’t know how this style of work will fare around the world, because it’s very bold, but the splashes of colour and fantastical geometric forms can certainly brighten up the street. I’m now wondering how my Artifact app idea can bring more of these unique designs to the surface. I guess there could be a global search function that highlights certain styles of details? Colour perhaps? Architizer probably has a good system for that.
  2. How the Internet of Things (IoT) is Changing Modern Office Design
    More on the Internet of things. Office design is really fascinating to me, somehow.

    “It is embedded in everyday objects we use and allows them to communicate autonomously with each other.”

    What if they’re communicating to us through a digital overlay of information? The article discusses the use of VR to enhance communication between coworkers, customers, etc. On the flip side of such an integrated work experience, will this be the end of work-life balance? Probably more to be said about that model in another discussion.

  3. The healthy Architect or how to master Stress in Architecture
    An older article but a good read to refresh our mindset of how to work successfully, productively and also balanced.

    “Stress as part of the profession or part of the culture?”

    This is a long and loaded one. But a lot of the pointers are very standard and practical advice. Sometimes you just really get into a project, or a problem to solve and consume-ing-ly (not a word) hack at it non-stop. And sometimes you go at it too long and burn out. I’m no stranger to this cycle. So what’s better, this extreme ends cycle or a seemingly less stressful series of habits to approach ‘balance’ from a different perspective? Honestly I’m not sure. I think both could be viable solutions, and really it pends on so many factors. Including a considerable amount of self-control, understanding of one-self’s capabilities and limitations, as well as knowing one’s threshold of fun and active. What’s your way?

 

I’ve been testing out development on android this past month. Started with something very simple like a sticker pack using a template Android Studio package. But it worked and at the very least I can say I have officially joined the Android development world. Next steps for this app may be a lot more complicated, especially without a concrete idea. So more brainstorming to come.

Standard
muse, sketch

JAN // Monthly Update

Hello January. Rather, See Ya January!

It’s the new year, which means ARtifact Lab was on my new years resolutions to keep hacking at. The site series may take a one-test break for an insert test while real-life progress on site gets ready for steel. That being said, here’s some sketches for Test 009 ideas: Last October, I went to check out the local but temporary BIG Serpentine pavilion, here in Toronto to promote Bijarke’s new ‘Habitat’-esque proliferation of housing units across King West. The project is pretty neat, even though it’s quite insane. I also checked out a talk including Bjarke himself, the head of Westbank development, as well as artist Douglas Coupland, longtime friend and collaborator of the two.

I did a pretty early sketch of a simplified test version for the towers back in October, but here’s an update:sketch 009

I have some plans for more interface design options for the coming months in addition to the ongoing Tests. Looking exciting.

In the meantime, here are some links! Only two this week and both from Redshift, which I have been following more regularly.

  1. IoT Technology Will Improve Safety and Efficiency on the Construction Site
    IoT stands for ‘Internet of Things’ — a blanket term that encompasses a number of web-enabled smart tech. The things they can do are pretty neat, I would love to be part of this kind of development.

    “Just like the smart watch senses your daily activities and gives you insights into when you should walk, meditate, or drink a glass of water, IoT on construction sites are also identifying risks before they happen. “

  1. 5 Things the Built World Can Learn From a Filmmaker’s Digital Pipeline
    I was in the entertainment industry for a really brief while, on the computer animation front rather than film making. I think they’re wildly different, but seeing the word ‘pipeline’ sorta strikes at some nostalgia for sure. This one isn’t a long read, worth running through! #3 is so true.

    “The same holds true in the built world, where more refined real-time visualizations and actions can allow decisions to be made earlier and prevent the time-and-cost ramifications of delays.”

That’s all for now, bye!

 

Standard
muse, sketch

NOV // Monthly Progress

At the rate I have been reading, learning, sketching and producing, I think it is safe to assume that I have been able to push out a test once a month. It is probably a good benchmark for me as I am. Now this is the point where I realize weekly has become bi-weekly and then bi-weekly has become monthly. And eventually the project fizzles into the dust of an alternate universe. But, I think monthly is actually totally achievable. It gives me time to learn in my job (for the site series tests), read enough interesting buzz to reflect about, sketch my next ideas, and of course, produce a test.

So how goes this monthly? Test 007 came out smoothly and was well received on instagram. Probably the best place to follow for just my test progress, whereas my text updates will happen here on the blog. It will come in two parts, the first will be test sketches as well as interesting articles or ideas that have come up. And the second part will be the actual test. I guess…that means I’m back to bi-weekly. 🙃

Here’s a collection of interesting AR stories I’ve read recently (actual article of course, may not be too recent)

“… but really any time you’re working on new stuff the goal should be for the radical new technology to basically just disappear, to be invisible to the user.”

  • Nike’s new NYC flagship store is fueled by its mobile app
    There were a slew of these articles released the past few months about Nike’s new retail stint. It’s pretty darn cool, I’d definitely be down to check it out. Retail ain’t dying yet, not on Nike’s watch.

  • Opendesk launches augmented-reality shopping for its open-source furniture
    Speaking of AR in retail, here’s another one closer to home (haha…) I Like this idea, and I’ve tried it unsuccessfully with the ikea app earlier this year when I got my (now outdated) ipad. With the new ARKit2 opportunities though, there’s just so much possibility.
  • Think Generative Design Is Overhyped? These Examples Could Change Your Mind
    I’ve linked and mused about a Redshift article before. Here’s another one that caught my eye. There is some controversy regarding generative design to replace space making (and from the designer’s perspective, it could be a scary thought — what use am I now?), but what about if we shifted that perspective to understand generative design as a partner to design? We’re not getting replaced, we’re just getting actively and exponentially assisted in ways we never could have imagined just a few years ago. I remember walking through Autodesk’s new Toronto office, and there was a little display talking about how generative design is helping with boeing aircraft design to not only increase the strength of the shell, but also reduce weight, reduce waste, reduce fuel needed. Just so many things.  That made me incredibly excited.

I’ll finish off with sketches for Test 008. Somehow it looks like I’ve caught up to construction progress. Perhaps the next test will be a break and I will intercede with some recent event tests. Moving on up
sketch 008

 

 

Standard
muse, sketch

Hyperreality

I happened on this article and blog a week or two ago and it’s got me pretty excited. First, the name of the site is great — failedarchitecture. Not unlike baseball, architecture’s playing a tough ball game of success vs. failure. We’re talking about stats where edging below 50% is considered phenomenal. More often than not, the chances are pretty low for ringing out truly remarkable and amazing work of architecture. Not that there are not enough successes versus failures out there, but architecture in itself is just such a long long process. But I digress — the baseball season just wrapped up (congrats to the Red Sox!) so that was on my mind.

What’s fascinating about this article? Aside from the excellent examples of explorations in AR, I think the author has really highlighted the increased importance that AR can play in our urban environment.  Hyperreality is a fantastic video, definitely take a look. The overlay of digital information added to an extreme case of gamification and identity crisis really sheds light on a potential future for humanity. Both terrifying and inspiring, to say the least.

“Matsuda’s film ultimately suggests that augmented reality may become so commonplace as to be essential to making sense of one’s world.”

The merging of AR with reality reminds me an old anime from 2007 I watched, called Dennou Coil. That feeling when a majority of life is experienced through a digital overlay, including pets.

dennou

dennou coil screenshot from the internet

I was also excited to read about ‘Urban Tapestries‘, a research project that combined the flexibility of the mobile device and GIS with internet technology to develop a network of shared locations. It reminds me of an early predecessor to the ‘check-in’ app Foursquare or Facebook’s check-in status update. I’m intrigued with this project, particularly because it explores something very similar to what I had in mind. The article puts it best: a “thoughtfully-considered and collectively-generated vision of spatial augmentation through mobile digital technology”.

While the project was completed well over 10 years ago, this level of depth and expanse of a research project is along the trajectory of where I want my project to go. But who knows, things may divert once I actually start developing.

“At turns both wildly hypothetical and eerily prescient, Headmap explores in-depth the implications of “location-aware” augmented reality as a kind of “parasitic architecture” affording ordinary people the chance to annotate and re-interpret their environments.”

So what of my turtle of a project so far? Well test 007, part of my ‘site series’ is underway. By means of a sketch below. I’ll pick up the pace quite soon, just been delayed by my distracted nature of being interested in too many things at the same time.

Following along with the construction of the project I’m working on in my full-time job has been very helpful though, so the goal is to keep up with that in the near future. I’m probably a couple weeks behind relative to what’s actually happening on site, but as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, architecture just takes so so long. So I think I will catch up soon enough. Cheers!

sketch 007

Standard
muse, sketch

Treading

I have been both busy and tardy about working on my next test as well as keeping up the research. Of course it happens. But I do try to keep up the sketching at the very least, as well as plans for the next tests.

Here’s a sketch of the alternate wework test (from the interior!)

Because of the busy-ness though, I haven’t had too many experiences to provoke thoughts for the next test. The past week I have been reading about neat AR/VR related articles related to construction.

This one is particularly interesting, posted on Redshift, Autodesks’ technology editorial:

“With the combination of where you are with the visual odometry system and what is around you, you know pretty much everything you need to know about the world,” he says. (link)

Did I just do a quote of a quote? In any case, this kind of technology is definitely the direction I want to go. It makes me a bit nervous that all this research and tech is already in development and supported by massive companies like Autodesk. (I wouldn’t be opposed to trying to get my foot in the door.) While the content of this article focuses specifically on use for in-progress construction, I love the idea of being able to ‘see through walls’.

What I imagine with my project is seeing through walls, but not necessarily of pipes and ducts or beams and columns, but neat architectural details and building assemblies that you can’t fully appreciate or admire from the outside. Another issue I would like to tackle is providing this data as information of value to people not involved in the industry so that it can reach a wider audience.

Standard
muse, sketch

Architecture + Research

The architect and mathematician Christopher Alexander once suggested that architectural design was the obligation to create “an intangible form in an indeterminate context.” This can certainly be true of the serious, ineffable qualities of good design. But in our modern age, the practical context is increasingly determinate, and outcome-based design practice—enabled by new attitudes, business models, and technology—will empower us to deliver the real value of both.” – Phil Bernstein (on Architectural Record, “Why the Field of Architecture Needs a New Business Model”)

I used to really enjoy Phil’s classes at Yale. He’s a downright downer sometimes (I mean this in a very positive way!), but speaks some really real truths about the industry. I took
his ‘Exploring New Value in Design Practice’ elective as well as the required Professional Practice course. What he’s summarized in this article is essentially the vein of thought that prevailed in his lectures and seminars.

It seems a little cynical as a designer and artist to be so in agreement with what he’s saying. To be fair, I still believe the real lovers and talents of their craft will still exist and flourish, because good design will always be appreciated and their value upheld. On the other hand however, I will say that not everyone is that designer. Some of us (myself included) aren’t at that peak, and thus exploring new value in the world of architecture
is almost a must. For me, I’m highly interested in research and development.

I’m inspired by firms like Kieran Timberlake and Foster + Partners, who dedicate entire departments to R & D. Most recently, I’ve discovered Superflux (why haven’t I checked them out before!), a studio in the UK that focuses on accessing possibilities of the future and how to tackle them with present day solutions.

While this project has only surfaced recently, a lot of the ideas and interests have been brewing over many years (as I noted in the Pilot), and the more I read and learn, the more interesting everything just gets. You could almost say it’s getting dangerous how many things I have told myself I’m  “interested” in.

It is very hard, also, to stay motivated on something I’m such a beginner at, when there are multitudes of large corporate companies researching AND producing similar ideas. The neat thing, however, is that I’m so small no one will notice as I build my kingdom.
And that, is what motivates me to keep pursuing.

Research needs to combine actual research including knowledge acquiring along with theorizing and ideas generating with doing and producing. Tests aside, within the next few months I will get my hands on ARKit, and see where I can go with those.

Test 003 progress is being attempted. It’s been busy here.

Standard