“How can a construction toy be ‘playful’?” This is the problem that Tamar Zinguer asked her Cooper Union students in a recent seminar focused on the architecture of play. For this session, Zinguer, who has taught the course before, decided to eliminate the visual aspect, a sensory aspect of toy design highly relied upon in previous seminars’ constructions. Focusing less on color and more on the experience of the object, the result is a set of innovative and wonderfully textured toys, from blocks to shells, that encourage play for the visually impaired.
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Laser scanning technology helped a Minnesota bridge find its third home
One of 24 historic bridges chosen for preservation by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Bridge 5721 is one of the state’s only remaining wrought iron bridge structures. The bridge was originally built to carry pedestrians over a river in Sauk Center, Minnesota, in 1870, before modern steel production methods had become available. In 1937, the bridge was disassembled and moved to span the Little Fork River near the town of Silverdale. But more than two years ago, the structure began its journey to a third incarnation, this time as an equestrian and pedestrian bridge for the Gateway Trail in the town of Stillwater, near Minneapolis. Because of the bridge’s provenance and the desire to keep its wrought iron parts intact, the Minnesota DOT worked with new owner Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and structural engineers at HNTB and Olson & Nesvold Engineers (O.N.E.) to collect crucial data for the rehabilitation using new 3-D laser scanning technology.
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The University of California Board of Regents yesterday approved the second phase of the rehabilitation of UC San Diego’s University House. Located on seven acres in La Jolla Farms, the eccentric 1952 structure was designed by noted Santa Fe architect William Lumpkins. It has been closed since 2004 when it was pronounced uninhabitable because of seismic and system deficiencies. Here’s the best part: the house will be renamed the Audrey Geisel University House, in honor of the widow of author Theodor ‘Dr. Seuss’ Geisel, a longtime philanthropic supporter of the campus. Mrs. Geisel has donated more than 8,000 of her husband’s original drawings, sketches, books, and other memorabilia to the university libraries and donated more than $20 million to UCSD. The entire cost of the Geisel House renovation, estimated at $10.5 million, will be covered by gift funds including $1.5 million gifted from the UC Office of the President.
A revamped South Street Seaport Museum shook off the dust last night to reopen after a three-month renovation overseen by the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibits were both a departure from and an embrace of the old collection. The design team, particularly Wendy Evans Joseph and Chris Cooper of Cooper Joseph Studio, turned what could have been a cramped exhibition arrangement into a free-flowing multi-leveled space.
Despite a very public effort by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) to stop City Council’s landmarks subcommittee from approving Downtown Brooklyn’s skyscraper district, the measure passed, paving the way for a full Council vote on February 1. As the proposed district always had full support of Council Member Stephen Levin and Borough President Marty Markowitz, it wasn’t likely that REBNY’s shot across the bow would make much of a difference. But it may point to a more assertive stance by the group which has been decrying layers of regulations from Lanmarks and ULURP.
On February 17, Kevin Patrick McClellan and Brad Bell will lead RHINO Design, a workshop focused on the digital design program Rhino, as part of DAY 2 of the upcoming COLLABORATION conference on fabrication and facades in NYC.
Kevin Patrick McClellan is a designer, artist, and founder of Architecturebureau, a design research office exploring complex systems and their material effects on form. After receiving his Masters in Architecture and Urbanism in the DRL from the Architectural Association School of Architecture with a Project Distinction in 2005, he subsequently worked in New York for Kevin Kennon and in London with Zaha Hadid Architects. There he led the development of two highly publicized temporary installations, one for the Serpentine Gallery titled Lilas and the second for Swarovski Crystal Palace exhibited in the 2008 Milan Furniture Fair. He teaches design studio at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Kevin is a founder and co-director of TEX-FAB *Digital Fabrication Alliance, a regional platform for the dissemination of issues related to computational fabrication.
Brad Bell is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Arlington where he researches and teaches on the integration of digital fabrication technologies into the architectural design process. He has lectured, taught, and written on the uses of such technologies for the past 10 years and has been an invited critic at schools of architecture throughout the United States. Brad is a founder and co-director of TEX-FAB *Digital Fabrication Alliance, a regional platform for the dissemination of issues related to computational fabrication. And as principal of brad bell studio, he has completed projects in Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. His practice focuses on adapting contextual and regional construction methodologies with new digital fabrication techniques.
TEX-FAB co-founders Brad and Kevin will present the day-long workshop, Rhino Design, and will cover user interface navigation and provide a broad understanding of the different tool sets and workflow options within the software. Step-by-step design problems will address both Solids Modeling, NURBS Modeling and documentation methods. Advanced techniques for complex geometries and the use of the paneling tools plug-in will be covered in the afternoon session.