Friday, 1 October 2010

Density Scenario 1

From the website Visual Complexity:

Architect Jorge Ayala is based between London, Beijing and Paris working for Plasma Studio on several projects within China, and currently involved in the World Horticultural Expo design for Xi'an 2011. He continuously showcases an interesting array of ideas and projects on his blog

The model shown here, in a laser cutted 1 mm white cardboard shaped by hand, consists of a mesh of densities within an urban framework that seeks to understand, articulate, and visualize possibilities for the hyper dense, programmatic difference, and radically optimized new agglomerations in China.

As Jorge explains, "The usage of the graphic material and selection of processes help the project to move from a fundamental constraint 2D drawing, which delimitate boundaries, into a more propositional engagement with its context."

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The Predicament of Predictions

The following is an excerpt from How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker, which has an interesting paragraph that suggests to me a quandary with foretelling the future role of anything.

‘… Though there are no Terminator-class robots, there are thousands of smaller-scale artificial intelligence programs in the world, including some hidden in your personal computer, car, and television set. And progress continues. These low-key successes are worth pointing out because of the emotional debate over What Computers Will-Soon/Won’t Ever Do. One side says robots are just round the corner (showing that the mind is a computer); the other side says it will never happen (showing that it isn’t). The debate seems to come right out of the pages of Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky’s The Experts Speak:

‘Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value’ Editorial, The Boston Post, 1865.

‘Fifty years hence … [we] shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium’ ­– Winston Churchill, 1932.

‘Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible’ Lord Kelvin, pioneer in thermodynamics and electricity, 1895.

‘[By 1965] the deluxe open-road car will probably be 20 feet long, powered by a gas turbine engine, little brother of the jet engine’ – Leo Cherne, editor-publisher of The Research Institute of America, 1955.

‘Man will never reach the moon, regardless of all future scientific advances’ – Lee Deforest, inventor of the vacuum tube, 1957.

‘Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years’ – Alex Lewyt, manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, 1955.

The one prediction coming out of futurology that is undoubtedly correct is that in the future today’s futurologists will look silly…'