The Encounter // ‘Lively Architecture Festival’ in Montpelier

Floats by Angela Co,  Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

With a mission to promote and celebrate Architecture and with a greater hope to make it accessible to a wider public, the ”Lively Architecture Festival” came back with force for the sixth consecutive year in the city of Montpelier in the South of France. Being a must see event in the summer calendar FAV festival (Festival des Architectures Vives) transformed Montpelier during the course of five days into a creative hub with 11 Architectural teams responding to this year theme: “The Encounter”.

Floats by Angela Co,  Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Angela Co in front of her FLOATs,  Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

This year, FAV received 120 applications and made a final selection of eleven teams of architects. One of the installations that caught our eye was that of Angela CO who created the ”Floats” a site-specific installation of oversized silver balloon disks. The disks reminiscent of a donut’s shape, aimed at inviting people to explore their form and shape. The disks were a welcome addition to the courtyard filling the space and serving as a continuation of a research program that is in progress and examines the possibilities of sensation that ephemeral objects in a constructed environment evoke.

Between Doors by Moba Studio, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Between Doors”, an installation by MOBA STUDIO (I. Kovačević / Y. Vašourková/ K. Srámková / Z. Kuldová / B. Simonová / M. Neruda /T. Dufková), perfectly responded to this year’s theme: The Encounter. The array of doors, which the architects turned into an interactive installation, aimed at reintroducing to the public the sometimes forgotten value of personal contact. Moba Studio selected different doors from demolished buildings and installed them in the middle of a courtyard inviting the public to open them encountering in such a way their history and what they represent. Some of the doors selected were from a prison, from an apartment and from a shopping gallery. When the visitors opened the different doors they came into direct contact with the different ‘world’ the doors represented. This intellectual game communicated to the public the meaning of a real and personal contact in a very direct and yet metaphorical way.

Ma Cour Dants ta Cour by Plux.5, Image Couresy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Ma Cour Dants ta Cour by Plux.5, Image Couresy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Ma Cour dants ta cour”, an installation by Plux.5 (M. Charbonneau / O. Bourgeois / J-B Morissette / J-P Saucier /  E. Bernier) won the prize of the public and aimed at investigating the Encounter between the image of the courtyard from Montpellier and the allegory of the Quebecois courtyard through its archetypes. The installation was playful, colorful and intrigued the visitors’ imagination.

Expo d’Expe by GoaGroup, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Expo d’Expe by GoaGroup, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Expo d’Expe by GoaGroup, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Expo d’expe” by GoaGroup (N. Canessa / N. Pisani / G. Pisani / P.Raffetto) won the Jury Prize. This installation made out of huge white cylinders invited the public to hide and wander around and inside them. Again an undertone of the sense of community and communication was evoked and developed as the visitors explored this interactive installation. Once more, the theme: Encounter was perfectly manifested through this sight-specific installation, which encouraged the visitors to leave their traces, by drawing on the white cylinders.

Remy Roux inside the Balade Sensorielle, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Balade Sensorielle by Remy Roux, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Balade Sensorielle by Remy Roux, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Balade Sensorielle by Remy Roux, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

The Special Award was given to Remy Roux for the installation: ”Balade Sensorielle”, an installation, which was more like a sensory trip. The visitors by sitting on the wooden frames/boxes were encouraged to try and guess who was at the other end. The installation aimed at developing their curiosity and their urge to discover the person at the other side.  Balade Sensorielle was a witty and interactive installation that aimed at sharpening someone’s perception.

Dots by RD Factory, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Dots by RD Factory, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

DOTS” Installation by RD Factory (S. Dambielle/ F. Roussin) was a passage of oversized dots, which aimed at encouraging the visitors to take small and different steps. In such a way the visitors were able to create their own channel within the colorful dots around them animating and in a way dictating their own distinct route.

Souffle by Hold Up Architecture, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Souffle by Hold Up Architecture, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Hold Up Architecture, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Souffle” by Hold Up Architecture (R.Bardin / G. Jounet) made a big impression as it looked like a foreign body, which accidentally landed with the courtyard. Souffle, a word that in French means Breath, served as a refuge that the visitors could temporarily access. Inside the installation a microphone invited  the visitors to use it and in such a way influence the projections on the ceiling.

Le Mur Du Mou by Yok Yok, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Le Mur Du Mou by Yok Yok, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Le Mur Du Mou by Yok Yok, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Yok Yok, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Le Mur Du Mou”, an installation by Yok Yok (S. Fuhrman / S. Lacoste / L. Pinsard) consisted of multiple mirrors, which reflected both the surrounding environment and the image of the person who explored it. This installation proved to be an interesting game, which played with perception, the image and the surrounding architecture. Finally ”Will” installation by Universite D’AALTO was textile sculpture in the middle of a courtyard. The light, which came through created different shades while the wind moved the textiles making it look like a living organism within the space.

Will by Universite D’AALTO, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Will by Universite D’AALTO, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Ondes De Choc” by D!ENTRE (Florine Sachy / Arnaud Manneheut / Audrey Rzentkowski / Jérôme Scorielle), was a spectacular sound installation that aimed at providing a meeting point between heritage and contemporary architecture. When people were visiting the courtyard, the installation moved and created sounds, which in turn symbolized the merge of the space’s heritage with modern architecture.

Ondes De Choc by D!ENTRE,  Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

Ondes De Choc by D!ENTRE,  Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

The intallation for the INFO Point of FAV by architect Guillaume Girod, Image Courtesy of FAV, photo © Paul Koslowski

sources:

FAV (Festival des Architectures Vives)

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Light Sanctuary: a Solar Power Maze

Mirage-like solar power

Posted on August 23rd 2010

It looks like a maze but it could simply be a mirage. Or is it both, and a solar power station?

Light Sanctuary. Photo: Decker Yeadon LLC.

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Besides its interesting mirage-like qualities, the Light Sanctuary generates 5000 megawatt hours of solar energy a year.

The 80 000 square metre desert sculpture is adjacent to a wildlife reserve outside Dubai. Designed by New York-based architects Decker Yeadon, the structure was made using 40 kilometres of vertical photovoltaic panels, stands 10 metres tall and creaes a “waveform pattern” that makes it appear to be floating.

The third-generation thin-film photovoltaics means that the solar panels will perform even under extreme temperatures and capture the sunlight from a wider range of angles.

The Light Sanctuary in one of the entries in the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative competition, which hopes to promote “solution-based art practice”.

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The Cutting-Edge Physics of Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock, famous for his deceptively random-seeming drip paintings, took advantage of certain features of fluid dynamics years before physicists thought to study them.

“His particular painting technique essentially lets physics be a player in the creative process,” said physicist Andrzej Herczynski of Boston College, coauthor of a new paper in Physics Today that analyzes the physics in Pollock’s art. “To the degree that he lets physics take a role in the painting process, he is inviting physics to be a coauthor of his pieces.”

Pollock’s unique technique — letting paint drip and splatter on the floor rather than spreading it on a vertical canvas — revolutionized the art world in the 1940s. The resulting streaks and blobs look haphazard, but art historians and, more recently, physicists argue they’re anything but. Some have suggested that the snarls of paint have lasting appeal because they reflect fractal geometry that shows up in clouds and coast lines.

Now, Boston College art historian Claude Cernuschi, Harvard mathematician Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan and Herczynski have turned the tools of physics on Pollock’s painting process. In what they believe is the first quantitative analysis of drip painting, the researchers derived an equation for how Pollock spread paint.

The team focused on the painting Untitled 1948-49, which features wiggling lines and curlicues of red paint. Those loops formed through a fluid instability called coiling, in which thick fluids fold onto themselves like coils of rope.

“People thought perhaps Pollock created this effect by wiggling his hand in a sinusoidal way, but he didn’t,” Herczynski said.

Coiling is familiar to anyone who’s ever squeezed honey on toast, but it’s only recently grabbed the attention of physicists. Recent studies have shown that the patterns fluids form as they fall depends on their viscosity and their speed. Viscous liquids fall in straight lines when moving quickly, but form loops, squiggles and figure eights when poured slowly, as seen in this video of honey falling on a conveyor belt.

The first physics papers that touched on this phenomenon appeared in the late 1950s, but Pollock knew all about it in 1948. Pollock was famous for searching for using different kinds of paints than anyone else in the art world, and mixing his paints with solvents to make them thicker or thinner. Instead of using a brush or pouring paint directly from a can, he lifted paint with a rod and let it dribble onto the canvas in continuous streams. By moving his arm at different speeds and using paints of different thicknesses, he could control how much coiling showed up in the final painting.

“When Pollock was doing that, when he mixed his paints and diluted them and chose paints of similar density and different viscosity and so on, in a way he was doing experiments in fluid dynamics,” Herczynski said. “What’s interesting here is that he set out, in this painting in particular, to explore that effect before physicists were exploring it.”

Pollock probably didn’t consciously realize how he was exploiting fluid dynamics in his paintings. “I think if you told Pollock, ‘You’re exploring physics,’ he would think you were crazy,” Herczynski said. “He did it intuitively. His interest was not so much the physics of the process, it was to achieve a certain aesthetic effect. But the two are bound together. You can’t separate them. You’re inviting physics to be a part of it.”

Image: Flickr/Fiona and Graeme

Citation: “Painting with drops, jets and sheets.” Andrzej Herczynski, Claude Cernuschi, and L. Mahadevan. Physics Today, Vol. 64, Issue 6. June 2011.

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Meet the Real Life Version of the Beloved Boardgame Mousetrap: Melvin the Machine

photo © HEYHEYHEY

V.O.W N°26 (27 June – 3 July 2011)

We think of innovation and invention as highly engineered, complex systems that are built by some mad scientist in a remote space.  The process results in long and layered equations, drawings and an endless source of references illustrated in a step by step process to further explain the construction of the device or machine. We have familiarized ourselves with this elaborate system through Einstein, Sherlock Holmes, even the coyote as he tries to invent ways to capture the road runner.  For this week’s VOW, we have brought you one of those diagrams to life.  It is highly engineered, highly interactive and social but the actual task of the machine might deceive its purpose and vision.  We introduce you to Melvin the Machine, the leading attraction of the 2010 Dutch Design Week.

Concept & art direction: HEYHEYHEY | Designteam De Ploeg: HEYHEYHEY, Frank Winnubst, Bas van Hout, Bart Bekker, Jeroen Hezemans, Wouter Corvers, Bram de Vries, Dick Lafeber | Directed & produced by: HEYHEYHEY | Steadicam operator: Joost van Poppel | Focuspuller: Adriaan van de Polder | Boom operator: Andre Philips | Sound mixed by: Bram Meindersma | Editing by: Sander van der Aa | Music: Woody & Paul | Sponsors: MU, The Cre8ion.Lab, De Ploeg, Municipality of Eindhoven.

Melvin The Magical Mixed Media Machine from HEYHEYHEY on Vimeo.

photo © HEYHEYHEY

Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine is best described as a Rube Goldberg machine with a twist. Usually, Rube Goldberg machines perform a simple task as inefficiently as possible, triggered by a series of chain reactions that range throughout the sequential system. We are mostly familiar with them through the latest OK GO music video, This Too Shall Pass. In this occasion, the Rube Goldberg machine has an identity of its own. Unlike the other machines, Melvin the Machine knows how to promote itself and interact with its watching audience and the audience that follows it on Twitter and Facebook.  As it operates, Melvin captures images and video of the people watching it and shares it immediately through the website.  Furthermore, Melvin even prints posters and creates apparel to sell for its own survival and promotion.  All these interactions are integrated through the sequential process of each run. Not only do you witness Melvin but now Melvin witnesses you.

photo © HEYHEYHEY

Created by studio HEYHEYHEY for the 2010 Dutch Design Week, Melvin was featured for 10 days at the MU artspace where 14,000 people came to see it perform. The idea behind Melvin is to capture a moment and make the experience worth more than the process itself.  With built in buttons and triggers connected to computers, Melvin is able to disguise the value of its task by mesmerizing the audience to follow the track of sequences but capturing the “moment” where they all share space and experience this piece of engineered art.  Superb Melvin.  We are all watching and we know you are too!

photo © HEYHEYHEY

photo © HEYHEYHEY

photo © HEYHEYHEY

sources:

Melvin the Machine

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SOCMUS – Visual Museum of Socialism

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Sitting Down with Gareth Pugh

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Look at all the Colors!

Explosions of color from the canvass of Yago Hortal

 

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