muse, sketch

JUN // Monthly Update

It goes without saying that I’ve fallen off the update train, down the rabbit hole of distraction.

I came across this reading today, saved over months ago among my endless array of chrome tabs. There are some encouraging thoughts and ideas in there. Once upon a long ago, several of my classmates started this journal, and it’s still going strong today. Talk about encouraging!

On Fiction and Phantasy by Shelby Wright

” It’s the job of architecture to speculate on a potential future reality and provide a path to get there. You have to convince Dorothy that the Emerald City and a wish-granting wizard are at the end of the Yellow Brick Road in order to start her on that journey. “

Even if the potential future reality I’m developing isn’t viable, what’s to stop me from at least finding out for certain? So, why not keep going. It takes a lot of uninterrupted and dedicated energy to start a project, and an even greater amount to keep it going. What keeps you going when you’ve got a pet project?

test 014 sketch

 

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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.

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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!

 

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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

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Site Series // a test 006

a test 006 –
1 UNIT: space under construction
OCCUPANCY: n/a
TYPE(s): architecture, new building
AR/TIFACT(s): 01

As with my last few, developing unit tests based on my
own personal experiences has been the easiest way to learn. It also helps me go from experience
> pen > paper > digital production > blog
a lot more smoothly. Amidst attending
lectures, visiting site tours and hobby doodling, in my day job, I am still a
full-time (almost) architect. What better place to extract from?

The project I have been on for the past two years is finally
under construction, and being both blessed with great leaders and lucky to have
seen all parts of the project so far, I am now able to drop in site to watch
the building physically take shape. And so this next series (an undetermined
amount as of now) will be an exploration of ground-up architecture. This test actually compiles a few phases of the start of
construction. From site preparation and soil analysis to formwork for the
foundations to sheeting foundation walls with the proper water vapour barriers
and insulation. These diagrammatic tests are in no way an accurate
representation of the exact building construction, but they serve as an
illustration for the phases that I get to observe when I go to site.

There are
currently already several technologies utilizing mixed reality to not only aid
the construction process, for example in commissioning or building inspection
that enable users of a hardhat + visor to get a digital augmented visualization
of the innards of the building as it is getting constructed. One such would be
Daqri’s Smart Helmet. Pretty neat. My idea is focused more on a
finished product detail, but that isn’t to say am AR overlay couldn’t be
applied early on during it’s construction.

I’m excited
for this series because I can see a lot of growth out of it, even if all the unit will ever show is the corner of a building. The only sad part is  the CAT won’t always be in the
picture.

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