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Daily Archives: March 21st, 2009

The SEASTEADING INSTITUTE is advocating the creation of new independent countries to be built on floating platforms on the high seas similar to oil rigs.    The earliest such domain is called SEALAND and has been in existence for some time.   Since these are sovereign states,  they can accommodate gambling,  banking, data-havens for software piracy, etc.   

Interestingly, the group recently had a conference in Burlingame, CA.


The lead visual designer at Google has quit over frustration over Google’s data-driven engineering culture.

He was asked to provide data in the preferred selection of a line weight of 3mm, vs. 4mm, vs. 5mm.  Google did a test to determine user preferene between 44 different shades of blue, because they could not decide which one they preferred.     The link is to an article in WIRED magazine, which also links to the designers blog describing his experience and reason for leaving.

“When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem,” he writes. “And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.”

When you are struggling, lost in the sea of possibility,  you can return to the basics, as listed in the above link.



A creative advertisement I saw in the March 2009 issue of WIRED magazine.

The first public square in over a century located at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK.  by Heatherwick Studio.


A ventilation structure was required for an underground electricity substation below a public space near St.Paul’s Cathedral, London. The client approached Heatherwick Studio, unhappy with the way in which an existing proposal, for a single large vent, relegated the surrounding space to a corridor.  Design by Thomas Heatherwick.


Plank is a six-foot length of solid wood, which can be folded into a coffee table, side table or stool and folded out again to make a plank. It works because its four joints, engineered to high tolerances, cross the board at slight angles, causing it to spiral as it folds.   Designed by Thomas Heatherwick.


The Thomas Heatherwick studio has been doing innovative work, and he is now breaking into larger architectural projects.

Rolling Bridge - Thomas Heatherwick

Rolling Bridge - Thomas Heatherwick


“Today, architects are usually just combining this façade system and that glazing system and this climate-control system. They are specifiers, not designers.” – Heatherwick on architects


This is an artwork titled e-Cloud by artist Dan Goods.   This innovative work uses Liquid Crystal Panels that are switchable between transparent and opaque.  The panels model the movement of clouds and swarm patterns, and are controlled by data from actual weather in real-time.

This fire was sparked by fireworks from the recent Chinese New Years Celebration in Beijing.   This is Rem Koolhaas TVCC building, which includes the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and is next door to his more famous CCTV building. 


The Aftermath

The Aftermath