Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Build your own House and City

Participatory approach in visualizing your city! 
In the last post, I talked about handcrafted buildings and objects representing old town and San Francisco. But if you look beyond those beautiful buildings and streets, you see people interacting, dancing and enjoying on the streets. It depicts romantic picture of street life and making it look magical. What makes an ideal place to live?

Urban Designers study and work to make the streets and place functional as well as livable. There are many ways,  they involve local residents in the design development process. Generally this happens at a small project level and rarely at the neighborhood or city level. James Rojas, Los Angeles based Urban Designer has created workshops and exercises in which he invites people to construct model cities where they are led to think beyond parcel and house level. This process breaks the boundary of work done by city planners and urban designers. It allows the community to think forward and visualize the city and neighborhood. The participatory exercises makes them more accountable in the environment they live and be responsible for. Check the photo below beautiful, luminous city made by glass pieces.

 Model City - made up of Glass pieces Credit- James Rojas of PlaceIt

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Houses with windows in Windows

Model Houses dispalyed in Storefront Windows

The culture of displaying model houses expanded in the commerce as I discussed in the last post. It seems a hot trend when it comes to store front windows. In San Francisco, a store front window had beautifully lighted and crafted modern houses (objects) along with their consumer products centered as star item in them. They go regional in the theme and portray the streets of San Francisco. You can not keep walking when you pass by those windows. Check below.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Village inspired by Charles Dicken's novels

This time of the year is festive, especially in San Francisco. Last week, a Christmas art installation caught my attention and it was a beautifully displayed snow covered village with circling train track around (perfectly designed transportation).  Architects are moving away from card board models to building Digital Models, but there is a strong trend of building model village with these cute, wonderfully, crafted objects. The tradition of displaying snow village through resin or ceramic pieces dates back to renaissance. Each generation and culture has added their part to it, although this village with a train track seems to depict 1900.
The company Department 56 introduced 6 handcrafted porcelain buildings in 1976 and has become a major force in the giftware and collectible industry.  Even, this year, they are planning to introduce The Chrysler Building for the series, Christmas In The City. Check out the photos below-

photo- Neela Shukla


INTRICATELY  DETAILED BUILDINGS WITH LIT WINDOWS, (Sure new additions inspired by different culture)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Optics and layers of information

Below are the photos I clicked and did not capture what I wanted but rather captured much more including surroundings and other information. This is due to light, glass and clicking while walking.  I am also thinking about David Hockney's theory of Optic Aids in those famous realistic paintings as early as 1430.

Photo Credit- Neela Shukla, San Francisco

They are like simple house plan architects design and the layers of information, thoughts and conscious design decisions are hidden there. The Optical aids are definitely needed to see those as not visible right away.

At the bottom the photo shows Linear LED lights and makes the interior look much organized and visually graspable. I always used lights to create ambiance for different tasks in the design, but Optics have gotten in my brain after my visit to De Young Museum and watching David Hockney's exhibits.

Photo Credit- Neela Shukla,  Construction company's office interior, Milpitas

Here the photo of Montage of photos of David Hockney, experiencing them changing vantage points.
David Hockney's Video Montage, Photo Credit- Neela Shukla