Yesterday we read about the ongoing “crisis of architecture.” Today, Fast.Co Design publishes an infographic video dissecting the student debt bubble. Education News, a blog dealing with student issues, produced the video to visualize the ideas set forth by dot-com venture capitalist (and noted libertarian) Peter Thiel in an April 2011 TechCrunch interview.
In April, Thiel convincingly argued that by taking out massive student loans to pay for higher education, we’re all contributing to a bubble, akin to the mortgage crisis of the late ’00s. His ideas weren’t particularly original (as anyone who’s been through the meatball maker of graduate school can attest), but they lent gravity to the burgeoning movement against student debt, since Thiel is famous for arguing contrary (and in come cases, correctly) to prevalent thinking on the national economy. ”You have to get rid of the future you wanted,” he said, “to pay off all the debt from the fancy school that was supposed to give you that future.” It’s worth noting that Thiel’s been beating this drum for some time, founding the 20 Under 20 program that grants twenty college students $100,000 to drop out of school and start their own company.
Is the movement against student debt starting to gain momentum? Or does the value exchange between debt and a prestigious degree still seem a fair one? I’m curious what current students think, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. In the meantime, take a look at Part 1 below, or head over to the Higher Education Bubble splashpage for the whole static infographic.
vía Fast Co.Design
La reciente instalación SA MI 75 DZ NY, que diseño Doug Wheeler’s en la galería de David Zwirner en Nueva York, se basa en una pieza blanca con una iluminación suavizada que permite al espectador presenciar una sensación diferente, una nueva dimensión, un espacio vacío.
Ésta obra, la cuarta de Wheeler llamada “entorno infinito“, tiene la particularidad de fusionar la luz con el espacio, en donde la iluminación se apropia de los sentidos.
Más información, después de este Salto.
La iluminación juega un rol fundamental en esta instalación, pues hace desaparecer la arquitectura a través de una luz tenue que inunda el espacio. Cubierto en su totalidad con pintura blanca brillante para que la iluminación irradie, la habitación lleva al espectador hacia la ampliación de las dimensiones y la luz resplandeciente que se proyecta desde más allá de los límites.
El ambiente que se crea es nulo, en el cual la forma deja de existir, presenciando el vacío y creando un espacio de sensación que te conecta a un aire solemne desde el momento en que se cruza el umbral.
vía Fast Co.Design
Como la entrada sensorial te inserta en un nuevo plano, los sentidos aumentan, recibiendo a la luz como un lugar de santidad y la monumentalidad. En este espacio amorfo, la luz se desplaza gradualmente, bañando cada centímetro de nuestro campo visual con los tonos suaves de las luces.
vía Fast Co.Design
En esta instalación, está unificado el espacio y la luz de tal manera que las personas puedan sentirse de una manera que normalmente no se puede: flotando en el aire.
The Cloud by MVRDV. All images: MVRDV
This week saw the press release of MVRDV‘s newest project “The Cloud” for Seoul, South Korea, a pair of luxury residential highrises joined together halfway up by a pixelated cluster of additional amenities programmed with public and privates spaces for retail, parks, and swimming pools. The architect’s justification for the project’s formal exuberance–namely, that by raising the ground level, or plinth, a forum is created, providing new opportunities for interaction and social connectivity among the complex’s residents–was lost on several design blogs (and their readers), which saw instead a half-baked, even puerile provocation. From the ground level perspective, the towers bear considerable resemblance to the hellish images which broadcast the collapse of the World Trade Center throughout the world. Of course, this was not MVRDV’s intent–if you want to pick a fight, see Peter Eisenman’s theoretical projects for Ground Zero from 2003, which more closely articulates the physical, textural anguish of a fiery structure crashing towards the ground. Fast Co. points to the firm’s Facebook page, where the architects’ offer an explanation of the design’s formal approach, saying:
“The Cloud was designed based on parameters such as sunlight, outside spaces, living quality for inhabitants and the city. It is one of many projects in which MVRDV experiments with a raised city level to reinvent the often solitary typology of the skyscraper. It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, the design was not meant to provoke this.”
The firm also posted an early conceptual drawing made early in the design process indicating the thematic direction in which the project would take. Click for images from the proposal.
Early conceptual drawing of the project
NO-CHAIR-DESIGN Year 2012! from Eero Y on Vimeo.
It’s common knowledge that the building industry generates more than a third of the United States’ carbon footprint. A study recently conducted at UMASS-Amherst shows that new construction not only wastes more, but also produced 1/2 as many jobs as renovation work. There is perhaps no better illustration of the contradiction of “sustainable architecture” than a brand-new home built with the latest in green-powered technology: renovating an older structure would generate far less waste, but then who would notice your commitment to sustainability?
So yes, building new buildings is an incredibly wasteful practice. But as a country, and a profession, we are a bit addicted to it. The cult of personality surrounding modernism’s great architects does much to perpetuate the addiction — how many of these masters became famous for renovating old structures? — as an implicit value of the profession. Vanity design, as it were, is no more evident than in the chairs that some well-known architects turn out on a yearly basis.
Finnish designer/fabricators Ore.e Ref. hope to draw a attention to this reality with a little challenge for designers: Don’t design a single chair in 2012. Designing chairs “isn’t mandatory,” say the video’s stars, who were lauded on Fast.Co Design recently, “it comes through your educational system.” Instead, they suggest, work on renovating the chairs we already have! “Consider this the ultimate challenge for you to rethink how sustainable design should be manifested.” Word.
WTC Names Arrangement Tool from blprnt on Vimeo.
When the 9/11 Memorial opens next week, the names of the victims of the attack will be engraved along the granite frame of the “memory footprints” where the towers once stood. The arrangement of the names won’t be alphabetical, or even random. Their aggregational logic will be based on an algorithm that groups victims’ names according to the stories of friendship that emerged after the towers fell.
Take Victor Wald and Harry Ramos. The two men didn’t know each other until Ramos noticed Wald collapsed in the stairwell of the north tower as the evacuation was in progress. Ramos sat with Wald until the towers collapsed, telling him “I won’t leave you.” Their names will be engraved side-by-side on the edge of the memorial fountains.
The algorithm was developed by Jer Thorp and LocalProjects, who sent out a call to survivors’ families for “meaningful adjacencies” and received over 1,200 responses. Each adjacency request links two names together, then links those names to any other requests made, in a kind of “chain link” of moments. More on Fast.Co and Gizmodo.