July 28, 2011
"Renzo Piano" (video review)
Source: AP Images
Renzo Piano: Piece by Piece
Written and directed by Christopher Tuckfield
The unique architect Renzo Piano, whose every work is dedicated to taking on new challenges, expounds upon what architecture means to him and what it is like to be an architect. Part of the challenges he faces are factors that need to be considered for any building: its purpose, security and relation to nature. Piano stresses the interdisciplinary nature of architecture while talking about his numerous projects including the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Menil Collection Musuem, San Nicola Stadium, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, and the Potsdamer Platz Reconstruction. He describes how he draws inspiration from the building practices and collaboration between workers in the Middle Ages and how this fits well with the importance he places on teamwork and the creation of models in his working method. Yet Piano also recognizes that buildings cannot be made to suit the ideas of everyone as according to him, “you cannot make architecture like you make cakes,” and he discusses how to focus on what is truly important in order to create an expressive, functional building.
"The Ball", Genoa, Italy
© AP Photo/Marco Di Lauro
Source: AP Images
July 25, 2011
"Things That Move"
Nicole Deschamps-Benke, Biofuel
Be sure to catch U of M’s School of Art and Design Alumni Show, Things That Move, before it closes August 5. The show is featured at the Slusser Gallery in the Art and Architecture building and explores movement through different media and themes from sculpture, photography, sports, dance and technology. Participating artists include alumni graduating as early as 1948 to the most recent. This range of exhibitors demonstrates the development of the School of Art and Design and its many students over the years, as well as being a fascinating investigation of movement.
July 21, 2011
"Off the Grid" (video review)
Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa
Still Point Pictures
Off the Grid documents the life of a community connected by their desires of having no boundaries and living by their own rules. The community’s location in the isolated desert area of New Mexico known as the mesa makes achieving this lifestyle difficult, and the inhabitants must aid each other in developing innovative ways to gather food and water. The documentary also covers the tricky balance the inhabitants maintain in keeping their own laws and the run-ins they have with the authorities. Yet their laws are also capable of dealing with the different situations that arise, such as teenage runaways stealing from their community. While still in the United States, the mesa is its own realm created by the strong-willed nature of the people who choose to live there.
July 19, 2011
Tissandier collection of aeronautical prints and drawings
Ascension du 26 septembre 1876, 700 mètres
[Gaston and Albert Tissandier ascending in their balloon "Zénith"]
Albert Tissandier, artist
Among the wealth of images in the Library of Congress's Prints & Photographs Online Catalog is the Tissandier collection. These images, collected by the balloonists Albert and Gaston Tissandier, document the early history of aeronautics. The prints and drawings range from 1773-1910; most concern balloon flight and concepts for heavier-than-air vehicles.
Flying, ca. 1830
Lowry, Joseph Wilson, engraver
[Airship powered by an electric motor developed by Albert and Gaston Tissandier departing from Auteuil, Paris, France, October 8, 1883]
Poyet, del ; E. A. Tilly.
Descente du ballon le Neptune dans les falaises du Cap Gris-Nez Voyage en ballon, Calais, 15 août 1868
Drawing, A. Tissandier
July 14, 2011
"Vancouver" (video review)
© AP Photo/Odd Andersen
Source: AP Images
Vancouver: Level 2
Life in a Great City Series
Take a tour of Vancouver with this film that presents the many exciting opportunities the city has to offer from all hours of the day and night. Known as the Gateway to the Pacific, Vancouver’s harbor is bustling with many seaside activities presenting beaches, fresh fish, an aquarium and a commuter ferry from downtown to the North Vancouver area. The beautiful mountains of North Vancouver are excellent for the outdoor enthusiast with activities such as hiking and paragliding. Interviews with gardeners, chefs, artists and shop owners provide insight on the diversity and culture that contribute to creating this great city.
© Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc.
Source: Archivision Architecture Images
July 11, 2011
One of the latest developments from Google Maps, Newspaper Map allows you to keep updated with all the latest news from around the world. Gather news directly from the source in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Russian, Japanese, Arabic and many other languages or have newspapers translated to the language of your choice. Color-coded markers make it easy to find a newspaper in its original language from nearly any country worldwide, as well as providing a fun and easy way to access your news!
July 06, 2011
"The Sand Castle" (video review)
The Sand Castle: Building a City in the Desert of Ras al-Khaimah
Director Eirin Gjørv
This documentary follows the Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta and their experience designing a city for HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi of Ras al-Khaimah. Snøhetta competes to create a city that will attract international business and rival neighboring Dubai, but their concept for a city is declined in favor of the plan developed by Rem Koolhaas and architecture firm OMA. However, the Norwegian firm is given the task of envisioning the city’s convention center, a major site for international traffic to be visible from the planned highway. Yet Dr. Khater Massaad, the Sheikh’s special advisor, must approve all designs first, and he proves a tough critic. Thus the film documents Snøhetta at work developing models and concepts using different tools until they reach a design for a convention center that both Dr. Massaad and the Sheik are pleased and excited about representing their city.
July 04, 2011
Happy Independence Day!
Declaration of Independence
Engraving, printed in 1823 by William J. Stone
Source: National Archives: America's Historical Documents