Archive for the ‘H is for Habitat’ Category

Beat Poet Allen Ginsburg’s NYC apartment rents for $1700

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Photo via Google Creative Commons by Ai Weiwei

Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg’s apartment at 437 East 12th Street rented for $1,700 a month. Ginsberg spent 21 years living in this fourth-floor rental. Although the apartment has been gut renovated, it’s likely that the resonance of lingering poetic genius is still floating around. Plus, if you would look through the window you would experience his famous 1984 description of the view: “Manhattan back-yard, wet brick-walled Atlantis sea garden’s Alianthus…boughs waiving in rainy breeze, Stuyvesant Town’s roof two blocks north on 14th Street – I focused on the raindrops on the clothesline.”

Note: A new film about Allen Ginsberg and the obscenity trial that followed the 1957 publication of his poem ‘Howl’ is set to release September 24th.

To view the apartment visit City Connections and NYCurbed


Underwater Living

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Visual of Sub-Biosphere 2 concept for a self-sustaining marine environment for human, animal and plant life by Pauley Interactive.

Drawing from the vision of Biosphere 2, the man-made closed-ecological system in Arizona, Phil Pauley, a London-based concept designer, is looking to the build a self-sustainable underwater habitat called Sub-Biosphere 2.

Designed for ‘aquanauts,’ tourism and oceanographic life sciences as well as long-term human, plant and animal habitation, the Sub-Biosphere 2 (SBS2) will have a central supporting biome powering and controlling eight interactive living biomes – each representing a different ecosystem. According to Pauley, all life-support systems for air, water, food, electricity, and other resources will be sustained by the innovative control of variant atmospheric pressures that occur at depth. The SBS2 will also act as a seed bank supporting the human, animal and plant life in the biomes.

The SBS2 will be able to float or submerge and as it dives, the pressure at depth against the forces of air would act like a heart and lungs, sustaining the life within the biomes—which is something to consider, given the success and failure of its mentor, Biosphere 2, which was terminated in 1994 and now serves as a as a center for research, teaching and learning about Earth and its living systems, managed by the University of Arizona. Opinions vary on the eventual failure of the Biosphere 2 project, but most agree that it came down to human nature—feelings of isolation or problems with the management team. Something Pauley and his SBS2 team will have to consider with confining human beings into the SBS2.

via GizMag

Zero Should Be Released From Gravity

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

In a 2002 interview with Sputnik Observatory, Kagoshima architect Takasaki Masaharu, author of “An Architecture of Cosmology,” discussed his exploration of the relationship of energy, man, Earth and the elements, and why the symbol of life is shaped like Zero.

0:01:11:03
SPTNK: How do you define architecture?

MASAHARU: Well, architecture is made up of opposition from nature. It means that god created nature, and human creates architecture – so architecture itself is an artificial object on the Earth. What I suggest is to regard that architecture as the second nature, and what I work on is to recreate it and make it close to our Mother Nature. I call it “environmental animism.” For instance, this building was made of concrete which is solid, inorganic material. What I do is to put animate element, which is like humanistic energy, historic or symbolic thing into this concrete material, so that it ends up working for human.

0:17:19:03
SPTNK:  Please describe the meaning and details behind your work, Zero Cosmology?

MASAHARU: I call the cube “Zero Cosmology.” Among Japanese conceptual history, Indian Civilization was one of the major influential periods to Japan. We still use ideas, which are like “Mu” (zero) or “Ku” (space, emptiness) today. “Zero Cosmology” is a form that creates energy of “zero” inside of its space.

I call the antenna “Lotus” and this is about relationship of “Ten-Chi-Jin” (sky-ground-human). Normally when people seed in the ground, it grows up toward sky. I created this “Lotus” as a receiver of energy from the sky and also it is an object which connects between sky and ground. It is a lightning rod too. It is like a hand tries to hold the sky. I designed the shape as a symbol of life-producing unlimited energy. That’s why it shapes like Zero. It is “Micro Cosmo.” Zero is immeasurable. Immeasurable means that it doesn’t belong to Ten (sky) nor Chi (ground), it’s in-between. That’s why it has to be floating as if there’s no gravity (weight). Zero should be released from gravity.

0:14:03:08
SPTNK: Why is geometry so important to you?

MASAHARU: I always investigate between space and shape by using geometry. And then I try to find another new geometric pattern within the investigation. Each geometric shape works differently on people’s feeling, just like how a circle and a square give us a feel. I always think how it works upon them. I rather focus on how it works psychologically than physically. For example, soft and round shapes communicate for children and elders because they feel as if they are from those shapes.

0:02:54:08
SPTNK: What is the significance of the statue of man reaching up to the skies in your work?

MASAHARU: The consciousness which is parted from land is very important. I don’t think that people who live on high floor of a skyscraper have same perspective as people who live on ground level. Because they (referring to people who live on high floor) are totally parted from ground, so their consciousness is as well. They are rather familiar to the sky.

Termite Sounds Design Future Habitats

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Photo via flickr by justin

By listening to termites with microphones buried deep inside mounds, the aim is to develop rapid prototype technologies to mass-manufacture future green habitats.

“Termites are the best examples of housebuilders in the natural world,” says Rupert Soar, a builder-turned-scientist. The mounds take in fresh air and expel waste gases through walls that “breathe,” he explains, and if humans could replicate that in our buildings, it would significantly reduce the need for air conditioning and other electricity-guzzling ventilation systems.

Via Financial Times

H is for Habitat

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Moving forward, we should think about habitats as organisms. Because in the future, architecture will be programmable. It will morph, respond, and feed-in-and-out like real creatures. The emergence of ecological systems thinking, combined with information technologies, calls for living shelter. Adaptive, semi-permeable materials that respond like sensitive skins. Pro-active buildings that can change shape real-time in relation to the sun. Housing that can breathe, harnessing the power of the wind. As architecture becomes an integrative part of nature, we will begin to see houses not as “containers,” but as complex, self-organizing living systems. And as we increasingly move off-planet, our days of man-in-the-can ventures into the sky and space pod living will be over. We will engineer our biosphere in the stars and create greenhouses 100 feet high so that people and animals can walk right in. Inextricably linked to our new intergalactic terraform, replanted and original.