Sunday, April 27, 2014

A closer look into “Vestibule+”, a Folly 2014 Notable Entry

by: repost from bustler

Woojae Sung and Kyuseon Hong turns the vanishing point into a tangible idea in their proposal, "Vestibule+", which won a Notable Entry title in the popular Folly 2014competition. Playing with the concept of the traditional architectural folly, the competition invited young architects and designers worldwide to create an original folly installation to be temporarily built at the Socrates Sculpture Park in New York.
Check out the details behind "Vestibule+" below.

"Vestibule+" by Woojae Sung and Kyuseon Hong. Image courtesy of project authors.

Project description:

Vestibule +

"A vestibule is a lobby, entrance hall, or passage between the entrance and the interior of a building." 

"Looking at the gate on Broadway a few blocks away from it, we already knew the park was there. Seeing through the gate over the park at the end of the road, we felt the park had come to us too fast and naked. The thin gate was standing still there whispering very low that we were about to cross the intangible boundary. We trespassed. Everything happened so fast and painless. Thinking about Folly, we imagined a never realized vestibule that should have captured the grand moment of entering into the park."

Image courtesy of project authors.
Image courtesy of project authors.

"SITE: SOCRATES PARK: The site sits right behind the gate at the intersection of the extension of Broadway and pedestrian path within the park. Broadway, the visual corridor, guides people towards to the park’s gate even from a distance. The gate converts visual stimulus into physical experiences. This change of phase happens sudden even though the existence of huge gate which is clearly visible couple of blocks away."

Image courtesy of project authors.
Image courtesy of project authors.

"GATEWAY TOWARD SOCRATES PARK: When you visit the park, you can first confront with the Gateway with billboard on top. Since 1999, this 10Õ by 28Õ sized billboard has changed its face once or twice a year showcasing what’s happening inside the park. Comparing to its simple gesture toward the city, this had been performed very important role regarding to activation of the park   and its events inside.  Not only because the proposed site is located right next to this gateway, but also due to its importance in the park, we want to focus on this component for this competition.

How can we celebrate this honest, straightforward entry process to make the Socrates park a more special place to visit for everybody?"

Image courtesy of project authors.
Image courtesy of project authors.

"Vestibule toward Socrates Park: Socrates park is a not only publicly, but also spatially open space in the city. For this reason, like most of other parks, it doesn’t clearly define the entry sequence as an unique architectural component. It rather symbolizes the gate as a simple gesture which reminds us the essence of post & lintel system."

Image courtesy of project authors.
Image courtesy of project authors.

"This proposal is trying to tackle this aspect of the site. Comparing to the displayed sculptures & events, the frontality of the park is not strong enough to stimulate the things happening inside. Therefore, we propose vortex like entry feature which can fascinate the people passing by and absorb them into the park as active agents. And we want to   call this as a Vestibule+"

Image courtesy of project authors.
Image courtesy of project authors.

"PROCESS: The gate projects to the site and reshapes the site. A vestibule floating somewhere in between the two captures head space for a person entering in and out of the park. The initial projection is pinched in toward to the vestibule, then again modified to accommodate pedestrian path to the park. Series of ribbon spanning between the frames of the gate, site and vestibule visualize the projection."

Image courtesy of project authors.
Image courtesy of project authors.

"BUDGET: The project consists of three major parts; galvanized steel pipes, tension cables, and polyethylene tapes. Steel frame at both ends are secured back to the gate and ground. Tension cables hold the vestibule frame up in the air. And densely spaced polyethylene tapes span in between frames. Because the dimension of each corresponding edges of   the frame differs from each other, it naturally creates wrinkle and twist visualizing the effect of convergence. Tape can be either one with different colors on both side or one with demarcation pattern.

VESTIBULE + VIEW POINT: You can just pass by or you can step inside. This is an intermediate space between the park and the city. Are you in the Socrates Park already?"

Images courtesy of project authors.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is Google Glass a Newton for Millennials?

by: William A. Aultman

So today, and today only, the US public can, under the moniker of an "Explorer", go online and buy Google Glass (or is it "a Google Glass", wtfe...) for the not-so-meager price of $1500 plus tax. This effort by Google to create an air of exclusivity and temporal urgency in this "one day only" release seems more like a marketing ploy than a real, beta-type release aimed at making the product better for the masses. 

This brings us to my big question: What does Google Glass really do?

The answer, as best as I can tell, is "Not much my iPhone doesn't do, I just wear it on my face." 

Now we all (this is about to be a very assumptive blanket statement) have dreams of the day when our technology is fully and seamlessly integrated into life and lifestyle. The day when screens and buttons give way to projections and gestures, but I just don't see Google Glass as being the next big thing... quite yet. 

Here's why:

1.)    We want to look cool. Technology has never made someone cool who wasn't a little bit cool to begin with. Period. Frankly, the photos and videos of Sergey and other people wearing Google Glass I have seen makes them look either pompous or disabled, and that is just not going to fly with the "selfie" generation. Well, maybe the pompous thing for a bit, but like their latest "meme" t-shirt, that will not last long.

2.)    Google Glass is over twice the price of the most expensive smartphone and it does not even function as a phone. It will tether to your phone with a Bluetooth connection, but that ultimately makes it just a really, really expensive Bluetooth earpiece and we all gave those up a long time ago. Well, except for the 40-something DB in accounting that still wears Polo Sport cologne and always talks about how he's gonna "give it" to Kim from receiving one of these days. Don't be that guy.

3.)   Things you wear on your face tend to be: easy to lose, fragile and detached from your person fairly quickly. Everyone who has bad eyesight or likes nice sunglasses knows the sheer panic and frustration of broken or, even worse, lost eyewear. It is not a question of "if" it is going to happen, but rather "when". 

Also, if I may indulge, the world is a tough place. There are probably a number of people within a few hundred yards from where you are right now that might have lost a recent sports related bet that was "gonna get em out of the hole", or is a tattooed drug addict with the nickname Mr. Softy, or is a reclusive technophile that combs the internet for free patterns to make that "skin-suit" they have always wanted but, until now, have not had the courage to kidnap and kill for. Well, that last one is a stretch but regardless, for these types of people, bumping into you on a side street while you are preoccupied sending a SMS from your face is a win-win! The point I'm trying to make is that wearable technology attracts attention, good and bad. You might as well tape 15 one-hundred dollar bills to your forehead and stumble around on a self guided tour of the underpass down by the river.

In the end, there are many reasons to want Google Glass, but I really think there are so many more reasons NOT to want Google Glass. Now don't get me wrong... I see the workplace applications with these nifty yet dorky headsets to be infinite and damn well ingenious. The list of possible applications for public transit operators, police and fire personnel, professional musicians, tour guides, public officials, etc. goes on and on but much like the Apple Newton, the ill fated predecessor to the PDA/smart phone device, it is just not the right time or the proper human interface to gain widespread public use. Not that we as technologically aware consumers will not get there, but I think this technology would be more fitting and useful in the not so distant future when we are making our almost-supersonic commute in a hyper-tube to meet with our World Industry clients to take a cruise in their solar-powered airship to survey the new location for their algae-power generation fields. One day soon, right?

Until then... don't be that guy.