A Supercomputer With The Looks To Go With The Smarts

When we think of supercomputers, we think of harshly lit rooms full of wires and rows of bland server towers and little else in the way of aesthetics…unless you’re into the utilitarian motif. Most of the time, there’s no need for industrial design to come into the picture as these systems are typically out of sight save for the random IT guy coming along to check on things. Nebula, seeks to change this with its Nebula One, a cloud supercomputer that emphasizes form as well as function and the result is an ominous glowing presence straight out of a futuristic Sci-Fi movie.

ImageThe LED patterns are reminiscent of alien writing and you can almost visualize the artificial intelligence going on within that circuitry.

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However, should you see this question pop up on its display…choose your answer carefully!

Images courtesy Astro Studios

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A Handbag Shaped Building For A Handbag Museum. Obviously.

One might not think there was a museum out there solely dedicated to purses and handbags but there is and it’s five-stories dedicated to women’s favorite fashion accessory. The Simone Handbag Museum located in the Gangnam area in Seoul, South Korea. If “Gangnam” sounds somewhat familiar? It should. Anyway, back to the handbags; designed by Korean architects UAD and Charlie Smith Design, the museum has become a tourist attraction and if you’re one of the throngs of guys dragged here begrudgingly to look at room full of Pradas and Valentino purses, the building’s funky architectural design should make the experience more tolerable.

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Photos Courtesy of UAD and Charlie Smith Design

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Visual Timeline of 100 influential cameras from 1888 to Present

As a photographer, I am all things photography and hoard  cameras and once I saw this poster pop on the web a few days ago, I just had to have it. Some might wonder what an iPhone is doing on a list with Leicas, Hasselblads, Rolleiflexs…even Kodaks, Canons and Nikons, just remember; it’s still one of the most influential and now the most ubiquitous. Nothing happens in today’s world without someone somewhere with an iPhone (or an Android) snapping a pic of it.

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You can order a copy here for $27USD

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Algae-Powered BIQ House – First Of A Kind

The BIQ House, located in Hamburg, is the first of its kind to harness probably what is one of the world’s most plentiful renewable resources. Algae. Of which is embedded in the facade is bio-reactive and responds to environmental conditions much as a living organism would. In bright sunlight, the algae grows faster creating more shading on warmer days as well as capture thermal heat…lessening costs of traditional heating/ cooling methods…a major concern for large commercial buildings. In addition, the biomass can also be harvested to further power the building as biofuel. This is just the beginning in what ARUP,  one the project designers involved, predicts will be a major transformation in sustainable much needed design over the next 50 years. Happy Earth Day!

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Images Courtesy of ARUP

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This Article Is About A Couch…Yes, A Clever Innovative…Couch

OK, it’s not everyday we can get excited about a couch especially on a blog discussing unusual and innovative architecture but Herman Miller through UK industrial design, Industrial Facility, has designed one such couch with maneuverability in mind. Anyone who has ever moved or even rearranged the living room understands that the couch is one of the worst pieces of furniture to shove through a door. The design of this couch, aptly named, the Wireframe Series, employs a lightweight wireframe base which is topped with either fabric or leather cushions. Simple…yet brilliant and if you get opt for the leather one, surprising attractive…

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Images Courtesy of Industrial Facility

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We Built This City…On A Ship?

Remember that Starship song from the 80’s? Well, a California based start-up is taking the concept of urban design and community to an entirely different direction. Literally. As in on a ship. Out at sea. Based in Silicon Valley, Blueseed is looking to convert an old cruise ship into a self contained community parked 12 miles off the US coasted in international waters in an effort to draw foreign entrepreneurs otherwise discouraged by American immigration bureaucratic policy. Rather than obtain a work visa, denizens would simply require a simple business visa where they would take a 30-minute boat trip to the mainland once or twice a week. The ultimate plan is for residents to stay on board for up to six months which will require designers to create open inviting space with plenty of natural lighting. To further promote a sense of community, like any land based community, there will be tree lined promenades, shops, and cafes as well as an open workspaces. The project will cost $27 million of which Blueseed still needs $18 million but considering the potential this concept can have in the US and around the world, I could see this happening several times over.

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Images courtesy Houzz

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Really Cool Pools

Gizmodo has an article about some really interesting pool concepts from around the world. Here are a few….

Shaw House – Vancouver 

This is a one-bedroom private residence with the pool on the roof with windows on the bottom adding for some serious ambiance in the rooms below.

Ubud Hanging Gardens – Bali

This resort nestled among volcanoes takes the infinity pool to new levels by perching it over a gorge giving guests some amazing scenery

Nemo 33 – Brussels

At 115′ deep, the deepest in the world, this pool is used to train scuba divers.

Joule Hotel – Dallas

What was once the Dallas National Bank Building, its new function as a hotel added this overhanging pool on the 10th floor. Great views of the skyline from this vantage point.

Seagaia Ocean Dome – Miyazaki, Japan

Opened in 1993, this climate controlled dome measured 300 meters by 100 meters and had the largest retractable roof in the world and offered visitors sand and simulated blue skies. It was closed in 2007.

Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Singapore

This infinity pool is located on a skypark perched atop a trio of buildings 55 stories up.

Images courtesy of their respective owners.

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Church living

With church membership tumbling in the developed world, this equates a rising number of empty church buildings entering the real estate market. While some are taken over by other congregations, many are torn down due to the lack of alternative uses for such buildings. However, there are a few enterprising individuals opting to turn them into homes.

This 1877 stone church in Adelaide, Australia has been completely transformed into a fully functional home with all the modern comforts:

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The minimalist home below was originally a 1870 Gothic church in Utrecht, Netherlands:

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Converted Church in Northumberland, England:

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It is good to see quality architecture such as these examples given a new lease on life rather than torn down in the name of progress and replaced by an IKEA.

(Images via their respective owners)

Via Apartment Therapy

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High fashion in Nanjing

When a clothing manufacturer sets out to build its new headquarters, it seeks to infuse some of that fashion sense into the design which is what exactly happened with this proposal. Austrian firm, Prechteck, pulled out all stops to capture the spirit of S.Deer, a Chinese retail clothing company, and used the cube, the brand’s unofficial logo as the inspiration for the design.  The result is a visually striking and organic design that provides a welcoming and inspiring setting that is also green. The buildings utilize natural lighting, sky gardens, solar panels as well as water recycling.

Images courtesy of Prechteck

What would make your home complete? A rooftop fish farm of course…

Lets face it, humanity’s growth and development has not been so good for the natural environment and one of those areas is our insatiable appetite which is wreaking havoc on ecosystems all over the globe and one area in particular is overfishing which has depleted many species to dangerous levels disrupting and already fragile marine ecology. There has been a growing trend of sustainable agriculture such as locally grown food and urban farming but a group of food futurists want to use that model and apply it to fish farming.

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Urban farming has taken off in recent years with many cities turning vacant lots into gardens and while apartment building owners are also getting on board with rooftop gardens. Now, Urban Farmers AG wants to build rooftop fish farms. Their idea is a self contained aquaponics dome that addresses food security and lessen our impact on lakes and oceans. Aquaponics being a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics so it not only does it provide fish, it also produces vegetables and herbs. To go even further with the green impact, the dome would be constructed of renewable and natural materials such as bamboo.

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Via Gizmag

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