"'Barcelona? It's a theme park.' Spain's second city is so effortlessly attractive that it's hard to believe anyone could fall out of love with it. A new documentary called Bye Bye Barcelona, however, shows some long-term residents wondering aloud how much longer they can stay where they are. The problem? Tourism, specifically a local industry that has become so dominant it risks stifling ordinary, everyday life in the city's heart."
22 April 2014
Feargus O'Sullivan at Atlantic Cities asks what's Ruining Barcelona?
Dutch trainco's demonstrate cool Rush Hour Tips display...
"Where will the train stop? Where can I find an empty seat? Where can I board with my bike? NS and ProRail wanted to improve the transfer process at station platforms: more comfortable, faster and safer. The result of an extensive research and ideation process was a 180 meter long LED strip suspended above the platform showing travellers everything they need to prepare for the next incoming train. Most importantly: using red, orange and green color bands it indicates the occupancy of the different parts of the train. A 3 month pilot at Den Bosch train station proved to be very successful: customers gave NS a significantly higher valuation at the end of the trial period than before. Plans for a nation-wide rollout of the system are at an advanced stage."
Steph at WebUrbanist spotlights Beats on Fire: Music Visualized with Movement of Flames, a 2D Rubens' Tube array with 2,500 holes which makes a pyromaniacal MIDI synthesizer!
21 April 2014
20 April 2014
19 April 2014
Battlefield Medicine means treating those injured in or affected by combat. While the carnage of war and violence is horrific, an ironic good has come from it because normal civilian medicine has advanced by techniques first learned in treating war wounds, a topic I touched on a few weeks ago by looking at the WWII Guinea Pig Club. These documentaries survey this landscape...
Ants are collective creators of remarkable homes and temporary structures. To explore this further, check out when a fire ant colony is filled with molten aluminum and the cast is dug up and cleansed... See more lovely example casts at Anthill Art! Fire ant groups also demonstrate remarkable hydrophobic properties... This means they can self-configure into massive rafts... Curiously enough, as a collective they also behave like a fluid... A different species creates a giant ant hill which is here filled with concrete and excavated... To get a better sense of how ants live and organize, here's the investigative BBC show, Planet Ant ~ Life Inside The Colony of Central American leafcutter ants... Maybe that whets your appetite for the BBC's Ant Attack! And NatGeo's City of Ants too...
Check out student-run MIT Sustainability Summit 2014 with special focus on Coastal Cities this upcoming May 3rd and 4th...
"Half of the world population and three-quarters of all large cities are located on the coast. 634 million people are at risk from rising water levels. How will our world landscapes change as a result? From New York City to Shanghai, Sydney to Rio de Janeiro -- coastal cities have become the nexuses for today's global economy, yet face a confounding duality in which they are also the most threatened by climate change. MIT is addressing these challenges of coastal cities. [...] The conference will defy traditional notions of urban development to ask how coastal cities can sustain themselves and continue to grow as the climate changes and their local environments deteriorate."
18 April 2014
16 April 2014
15 April 2014
13 April 2014
12 April 2014
designboom spots French artist Miguel Chevalier's huge 50 x 10m (164 x 33ft) interactive light display -- Magic Carpets -- covering the floor of the former Sacré Coeur church in Casablanca, Morocco...
11 April 2014
Excellent to have the 4th annual MIT Africa Innovate conference on 12th April 2014 here at the MIT Media Lab! With a full agenda, and rockstar speakers, this promises to be excellent! See you Saturday!
24Oranges notes when Lego creation strolls down the beach...
"Inspired by Theo Jansen’s ‘Strandbeest’ -- ‘Beach Animal’ -- Jason Allemann of JK Brickworks has built a creation called ‘Steampunk Walking Ship’ entirely made of Lego components featuring several play features, including the functional cargo crane. “Power and control is provided by the Lego Power Functions system, which includes the remote control, IR receiver, battery box and two M-size motors. The frame, crankshaft and legs are built using Lego Technic elements.”
10 April 2014
MIT Media Lab colleagues from Tangible Media group reveal Transform, their latest expo-grade topomorphic robotic display! It's really a "dance play"! Here's Fast CoDesign piece and Brochure.
09 April 2014
Excellent to see progress on Kickstarter for the ScratchJr project from the MIT Media Lab and Tufts which enables Coding for Young Kids!
"Coding is the new literacy. With ScratchJr, young children (ages 5-7) learn to program their own interactive stories and games. [...] Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves -- then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life. ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language, used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. In creating ScratchJr, we redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children."
08 April 2014
VICE Motherboard takes A New Look at Kowloon Walled City, the Internet's Favorite Cyberpunk Slum...
"Borne out of longstanding tensions between the British and Chinese governments. It was spawned by the agreement, completed in 1898, to lease Hong Kong to the British for 99 years, which didn't include the Walled City [...] The result was a heavily isolated, ramshackle city-state. [...] The lack of outside support meant the Walled City was built on itself largely by itself, with commerce and industry mixed into itself as produced by a self-sufficient population. [...] Ingenuity was spawned by the city's isolation. There was little in the way of public services, meaning sanitation, public safety, and crime prevention were all the purview of locals. [...] The Kowloon Walled City continues to captivate people because of those problems, and its ills are also what make it such powerful inspiration for fictional portrayals of what's to come."See WSJ's City of Imagination: Kowloon Walled City 20 Years Later... Plus definitely check out -- and please support financially -- the ambitious and timely City of Darkness Revisited book publishing project on Kickstarter by co-authors Ian Lambot and Greg Girard...
"We are working together again to produce City of Darkness Revisited, an all-new edition that will combine the best of the original book with several new sections that will fill in some of the gaps and bring the story up to date. We will explore the City’s dramatic architectural evolution from a near bare site in 1945 to a 17-storey megalith housing over 33,000 people at the time of its clearance. And we will explain the City’s unique legal and political status -- under two jurisdictions but effectively managed by neither -- and how this coloured every aspect of life there. A third theme will delve into the myths and realities of the Triads’ activities within the City and how these might -- or might not -- have been effectively policed. And finally we will describe how the influence of the Walled City has spread into popular culture worldwide, and how this has allowed interest in the City -- either as myth or physical reality -- to flourish."And as extra bonus, Ian and Greg and friend Lisa point out Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong, Urban Fabric -- Historic project prepared by Lia Tramontini, Haneen Dalla-Ali, Mona Dai, and Christopher Glebe...