Louis' Design Articles

Mamou-Mani, Maker

Like explorers heading their tiny craft upstream, a pair of bicyclists float over the sands of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. A dust storm shrouds them from 60,000 more inhabitants of their pop-up metropolis at the 2016 Burning Man Festival, known as Black Rock City. While the bicyclists advance left, a 30-foot dream-like, flame-shaped apparition approximately 30 feet high appears to shift right. (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Graphisoft USA

Ipso Prestbro

ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) 2016 last November was, as expected, the busiest, most bustling building industry event in the Northeast. And yet by closing day November 17, the aftershock of the national election had cast a pall over this liberal city, a gritty, torpid weather insinuating itself into the chasms of its convention center. Architects between workshops trooped past the exhibits, thoroughly glazed, emotionally whacked, assiduously avoiding eye contact with vendors, who themselves were beginning to fade after three days on their feet meeting and greeting. (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Louis' Design Articles

Doris Sung’s Surly Strongman Robot

If you are one to break into architectural studios in the middle of the night, think twice about breaking into dO|Su in Los Angeles. There, its principal Doris Sung keeps her collection of critters, self-propelled, self-assembling, super-smart thermal bi-metal robots — requiring no batteries, just space enough to perform their backflips, scooches, summersaults and other behaviors that collectively would freak out any intruder at 3 a.m. But all is not fun and games for these acrobatic inventions. (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Graphisoft USA

Do Creative Minds Matter?

Once the curtains lifted and the explosive, starburst chandeliers had risen to the ceiling, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky brought cheers and tears at the Met’s fiftieth anniversary gala at Lincoln Center this year. Baritone Hvorostovsky in a surprise return, despite a brain tumor, sang “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata” from Verdi’s Rigoletto. (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Graphisoft USA

A Straw in the Sky

For a miracle machine, capable of nudging humanity back from the rocky ledge of eco-suicide, it looks inauspicious—like a fridge with waffle-like filters finning the air. It’s the kind of thing Sears will gladly remove and replace. But hold on! (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Graphisoft USA

Warm Cool Warm

What makes cities exciting, poetic, worth waking up for? The short answer is lights at night. At 1 a.m., a bedsheet hung up to dry in Venice reflects the moon over a canal (reflected once more in the water). We are enchanted, mesmerized. At 2 a.m., a smashed window in a forlorn Cleveland underpass twinkles like a star. We don’t back away, afraid, but instinctually draw nearer. At 2:17, a.m., in Paris, the City of Light, a Belle Époque candelabra on the Pont Alexandre appears to bow its beams ever so slightly, engaged in deep conversation with a vagabond. (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Graphisoft USA

Is There Life Beyond Sustainability?

The 140-bed hospital complex stops time, like a long-lost friend you run into where you’d least expect to. In such a surprise occurrence, past and future appear to come to a standstill. Here, just outside Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, it’s impossible to ignore that the site once held a police outpost in the whirlwind of mass murder. (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Graphisoft USA

Mix Master

In his Crown Heights, Brooklyn, studio last year Charles Goldman was reading the New York Times. After weighing its symbolic value as a “spreader of information,” he launched a series of “plop sculptures” out of mashed issues of the Times. “Then I left a bucket overnight by accident,” Goldman recalls. “In the morning I kicked it over. The contents had become solid, and I kicked them out of the bucket.” (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
Graphisoft USA

Messy, But Not Too

A 3,500-acre retreat in the Western Ghats of India: a 100-room lodge, a spa with 12 villas, cultural programming demonstrating the role of the music, art, and literature in promoting a sustainable way of life. A  summons from the City of Philadelphia for growing grass over ten inches high around her house, as reported by Anne Raver in the New York Times, July 20, 2011. (more…)

By Louis Postel, ago
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