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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  17 Jun 2014  |  Comments (0)


It's a safe bet that if you live a networked and urbanized life, you're at least a little intrigued by abandoned places. Chalk it up to our species' contrary nature, physical and psychic thrill-seeking, an innate fascination with death, or desire to experience The Inhuman. The interest exists across cultures and ages and class. Abandoned homes, decommissioned factories, old military bunkers, most of Detroit, never-realized retrofuturism, decrepit malls—regardless of previous use they are each remnants of lives we can't quite imagine. They're physical embodiments of stories about when things stop and sobering glimpses of what the world would be like without us. For those of you who appreciate the peaceful (or terrifying) draw of abandoned places, do yourself a solid and add "Haikyo" to your search terms for cool stuff.


Haikyo are Japanese ruins or abandoned places. The word has also come to describe the act of seeking them out. Whether you do your own exploring or appreciate others' adventures from the warm and unhaunted confines of your computer, these spaces are bound to inspire. Second-hand, haikyo seem more lovely than other urban exploration finds. Though possibly due to the added intrigue of foreignness, I'd argue that these sites have additional appeal because of Japan's history of subdued and tasteful architectural design, and a strikingly intimate relationship with surrounding forests. Some speculators claim the prevalence of Japanese ruins is a combination of old culture and very recent economic booms and busts that resulted in unneeded or unaffordable physical development.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   4 Jun 2014  |  Comments (4)


Former banker Jay Dweck enjoys swimming, collecting violins and being rich. After earning his fortune on the Street, the former Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley exec decided to splash out on a pool that would combine these passions.


Dweck contacted award-winning landscape architecture and masonry firm Cipriano Landscape Design, a New-Jersey-based outfit that recently added custom-designed swimming pools to their repertoire. The "exact replica in scale of a 1700s era Stradivarius violin with all of its detail and intricacies" that they came up with, in accordance with Dweck's wishes, is just nuts; the firm describes it as "one of the most complex pool designs and installations within the whole design and build industry."

First off, look at the amount of detail and AutoCADding that went into just the tiles, which are translucent glass and number nearly 500,000:


Posted by core jr  |   8 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


The Community. Design. Initiative. is a project located in one of Canada's most at-risk and diverse neighborhoods, facilitating a conversation about architecture's responsibility to engage across not only physical, but economic, social, cultural, and environmental environments. In short, it's kids building buildings—under the watchful mentorship of a few brave social work and design professionals. In Canada, it is pushing the envelope around truly participatory architectural processes.


The project itself is unique collaboration project between a social service delivery hub (East Scarborough Storefront), an architectural think tank (archiTEXT), and an architecture firm (SUSTAINABLE.TO). Based in the priority neighborhood (a neighborhood defined as at-risk) of Kingston Galloway Orton Park in East Scarborough, the building project has engaged youth to design an 8,000 sq. ft. addition to the social service delivery hub, the East Scarborough Storefront. Over the last three years, local youth have been engaged with architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, etc.—over 45 professionals involved in the conception, design, fundraising, approval process, and construction of the building. The complexity of this building process' eco-system continues to engage all ranges of stakeholders, with the youth-led participatory process demonstrating broad reaching positive impacts on the community (and at-risk neighborhoods at large).

Both social workers and designers want to help to improve people's lives, yet they use entirely different words, tools and processes. The Community. Design. Initiative. has allowed (or made it necessary for) the two groups to learn to work together, to share their words, tools and processes.


Posted by erika rae  |  30 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)

Paddle8-Lead.jpgPablo Castro's Sanhe Kindergarden

The second best thing to having a home designed by your favorite architect has got to be hanging original work from said architect on your walls. From May 1-9, you'll have a chance to get your hands on sketches from your favorite modern-day architects. The Drawing Center is teaming up with Paddle8 to host an auction titled "Architectural Drawings" featuring names like Thom Mayne, Michael Bell, Steven Holl, Stan Allen, Neil Denari and Eric Owen Moss (among others). A small preview of the curated collection is available online here.

Paddle8-Geo.jpgThom Mayne, Kim Groves and Nenad Bozek's Sixth Street Fragment F,O: 3, 12 Small Heavy Metal

Paddle8-OLHouse.jpgNeil Denari's P.L. House

The funds raised will go toward supporting future architectural exhibitions and programs at The Drawing Center. Other featured architects include Brad Cloepfil, Michael Maltzan, Annabelle Selldorf, OBRA and James Newton Wines. The auction opens up at 10am EST on Thursday, May 1, so make sure to get your bids in!

For more information, check out the the auction on Paddle8.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  30 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)


While China had their Industrial Revolution rather late in the global game, their production might and speed means they'll likely advance new digital fabrication techniques before the rest of the world does. For example, it's been ten years since the American outfit Contour Crafting first proposed 3D printing houses, but aside from a brief surge of TED-Talk-inspired press in 2012, they've been mostly quiet. In that time, meanwhile, China has begun developing their 3D-printed-house-erecting capabilities in earnest.

The Shanghai-based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering company recently printed ten sample structures of 200 square meters each. What's amazing is that they produced the entire lot in less than 24 hours, and that the cost of each house is less than US $5,000. The concrete-like building material comes "entirely out of recycled materials [and is] a mixture of construction and industrial waste" which the company claims is environmentally friendly (although they don't provide specifics on the material).


Posted by erika rae  |  23 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)


The Roomba has made all of our lives easier from cleaning up after us to serving up some much-needed laughs moonlighting as "DJ Roomba." Someday soon you may be seeing a similar looking robot make an appearance in the world of architecture. Designer Han Seok Nam is looking to cut down on labor costs and up efficiency with his design, Archibot. The mobile printer works with in-room sensors to print uploaded CAD files that signify different construction points and plans right onto the floor of a work area.


The recently patented Archibot has been designed to recognize where building elements such as doors and walls need to be built. The printed plans can be compared to larger print-outs, making them easy to interpret and cross-check for both architects and contractors. Check out the video to see how it all comes together:


Posted by erika rae  |   4 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)


Barcelona-based architect Federico Babina has commemorated 33 well-known architects—among the honored are Charles Eames, Norman Foster, Frank Lloyd Wright and Rem Koolhaus—in illustrated portrait series titled "Archiportrait." The illustrations present themselves as mini puzzles featuring famed staircases, window panes, support structures, entire buildings and more. In short, any renowned architectural form you can think of is hidden with these faces. While we've cracked (parts of) nine portraits for you, there are still 24 left open for your own interpretations.

Archiportraits-EnricMiralles.jpgThe colorful, tiled roof of the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona is re-imagined as the facial hair of the architect

Arichiportraits-LeCorbusier.jpgCorbusier's portrait features The Palace of Justice in Chandigarh, India (top) and Church of Saint-Pierre in Firminy, France (bottom)


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   1 Apr 2014  |  Comments (8)


I bet you didn't realize this, but your front door sucks. Yes, it does. It's made out of steel or wood or even worse, steel disguised to look like wood. It offers little thermal insulation, your neighbors can hear you arguing through it, and burglars can easily kick it in. Even worse, it's just plain ugly.

The 85mm-thick doors by Slovenia-based Inotherm, on the other hand, don't suck at all. They're made out of 3mm-thick sheets of folded aluminum with polyurethane sealed inside to offer a winning blend of both thermal and sound insulation. The escutcheons are made of stainless steel and designed to protect against drilling and turning. And most importantly, they're way better-looking than your lousy door.




Posted by Kat Bauman  |  11 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)

balancinghouse2.jpgVilla Kogelhof

Are you opinionated about architecture? For once the world wants to hear about it: vote for your top picks in the Architizer A+ Awards! Public voting is open until March 21, and there are plenty of categories (and even more subcategories) of beautifully built and rendered work. Not opinionated about architecture? Cast votes for your dream home, office, airport, and garden. Here are some of my top picks.


In the Residential Interiors category, I loved RoominaRoom by Atmos Studio. Located in London, the redesign is a room "grown" within another in response to the building's residents' committee blocking a loft project. Sneaky.


In one of the Landscape categories, the Hans-Wilsdorf Bridge, a scribbly tube spanning the 280 feet of Switzerland's Arve river.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   3 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)


Turkeys strut, peacocks preen, and bowerbirds design. Of all the strange things that male birds do to attract a mate, the bowerbird's ritual is the only one that could make it into the MoMA. They use two distinct types of "architecture" and have a keen eye for color as well.

0bowerbirdnests-002.jpgImage via The Wilderness Alternative

Once mating season rolls around, these Oceanican birds start gathering sticks and using them to erect structures called bowers. Amusingly, the bowerbirds pick one of two architectural styles, depending on their subspecies. One type is a "maypole" bower, where the sticks are arranged around a sapling to form a kind of teepee or cave:

0bowerbirdnests-003.jpgImage via The Wilderness Alternative

The second is an "avenue" bower, where the sticks are arranged vertically to make a path down the middle, like something you'd see a bride and groom walk through at a wedding venue.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  13 Feb 2014  |  Comments (1)


You undoubtedly remember those slick renderings for the Lowline, the still-in-progress underground NYC park tentatively scheduled for a 2018 opening. The renderings were done by architect Kibum Park, a partner at James Ramsey's RAAD, where Park "[focuses] on single and multi-family residential, commercial and hospitality projects." Well, turns out Park's got a Coroflot page, loaded up with renders of some bee-yootiful hotels, restaurants, houses and apartments, the latter being the ones that most caught our eye.

The clients are of course anonymous and text descriptions are largely absent, but the images do most of the talking. Check out this NYC penthouse with its crazy, sun-dappled, yurt-like master bedroom with elevated library:




Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  13 Feb 2014  |  Comments (0)


Dude, you need some Schneestops

We wondered how our neighbors across the pond deal with roofborne snow and ice hazards, and Switzerland-based reader Christian put us on to Schneestops. Having been used in the Alpines for over 30 years, Schneestops ("snow stops") are a simple, clever, and retroactively-installable solution to prevent large chunks of ice or snow sliding off of your roof and harming whatever's beneath them. (Check out the wrecked Honda in our last entry on the subject.)

The idea behind Schneestops is pretty brilliant: Assuming your roof is built strongly enough to handle the weight of snow, as they are in the Alpines, and assuming your roof is watertight, as it should be, then it's better to actually hold the snow in place on top of your roof, like this:


Snow serves as an excellent insulator, so you might as well get a little extra R value from Mother Nature's wintry gift.

To that end, Schneestops are metal brackets with a right angle placed in the bottom end:


What happens is, when you space them out into a diamond grid on your roof...



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  11 Feb 2014  |  Comments (4)


Watch out for the falling ice, Texas

On a daily basis, I pass the Maya Lin-designed Museum of the Chinese in the Americas, and I hate looking at it. It's a constant reminder of what happens when people don't design and build things to endure in the actual environments they're meant to inhabit. And while this is an annoyance in product design, I find it unforgivable in architecture, as buildings are meant to stand the test of time.


Lin has designed the museum's protruding awning to be flat, and chosen wood as the material. Fail and fail. The flat design means rainwater and snow pool on top of the thing, gradually rotting it away; and when the snow begins to melt and drip off in several spots, and you can see the results on the poorly-finished wood.


Posted by Ray  |   5 Feb 2014  |  Comments (0)


Update: An earlier version of this story misreported that the structure works like a cooling tower.

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 are pleased to announce the winner of this year's Young Architects Program (YAP), an annual call for proposals for a temporary outdoor installation for the converted schoolyard space in Long Island City. In keeping with the institution's mission to support contemporary art, architecture and design practice, the entries invariably err on the side of experimental even as they meet a brief to 1.) provide shade, seating and water, and 2.) address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. New Yorkers and well-heeled visitors alike have probably encountered one of these structures during MoMA PS1's weekly Warm-Up summer concert series, when these spectacular projects serve to elevate the courtyard (literally, at times) from a humble outdoor venue to a visionary social space.


The winner of the 15th YAP is The Living, an architectural practice led by principal David Benjamin, whose "Hy-Fi" is billed as a "100% organic" structure. Designed using "biological technologies combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering," the ambitious eco-edifice comes in at roughly three stories tall, with its lower portions constructed from organic bricks developed in conjunction with bio-material specialists Ecovative. Its upper extremities are made from hollow reflective bricks—"produced through the custom-forming of a new daylighting mirror film"—by 3M, which will first be used as the "growing trays" for the corn+'shroom bricks.

The organic bricks are arranged at the bottom of the structure and the reflective bricks are arranged at the top to bounce light down on the towers and the ground. The structure inverts the logic of load-bearing brick construction and creates a gravity-defying effect—instead of being thick and dense at the bottom, it is thin and porous at the bottom.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   5 Feb 2014  |  Comments (3)


That's the SeaOrbiter, a 200-foot tall floating platform for aquatic exploration, and construction on it is due to begin this spring. It is the brainchild and passion project of a French ocean explorer named Jacques—no, not that one: Jacques Rougerie, a "sea architect" who has spent over a decade designing and securing funding for the concept, in addition to his 30 years of research in subsea architecture.


Slightly over half of the structure will be submerged, and as you can see the core of the design is a sort of eight-story building housing a variety of labs and living quarters for the crew. The underside of the structure houses dive pits, special pressurized living quarters and "underwater garages." Human divers living at atmospheric pressure can get down to 50 meters below the surface, while "saturation divers" living in the pressureized chambers can get down to 100 meters; beyond that, the SeaOrbiter will deploy exploration vehicles that can travel down to 1,000 meters, and will also deploy a bad-ass diving drone that can descend to 6,000 meters.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   5 Feb 2014  |  Comments (0)


From Seinfeld to Friends, from Rhoda to The Odd Couple, NYC apartments are always depicetd on television as being ridiculously huge. Of course that's a far cry from reality, but at least one show has not only got the scale correct, but has actually injected elements of space-saving design into it: Charlie's sub-200-square-foot studio apartment on HBO's "Girls."


I don't watch the show and don't know if the apartment still figures into the storyline, but a couple years ago the L.A. Times ran a feature on the fictional apartment's design, cleverly created by production designer Laura Ballinger Gardner. While it is in fact a set, it's pretty stunning how simultaneously realistic and tasteful it looks. On top of that, the design solutions to small-space storage and living, from the bed-topping loft-lounge with storage stairs to the "Mondrian-inspired birch plywood" storage wall to the bedsprings-cum-pot-rack, would be a welcome addition to many an NYC studio.


Posted by Ray  |  24 Jan 2014  |  Comments (0)

Tianducheng-viaWikimediaCommons.jpgGhostBuildings.jpgClockwise from top: Tianducheng via Wikimedia Commons; Baugespanne; Bauprofils via Swicon & The Guardian

What's the opposite of a scale model? A Bauprofil fits the profile: Guardian architecture critic Oliver Wainwright recently took a closer look at what he called 'ghost buildings,' a Swiss concept, also known as baugespanne, in which a life-size, low-cost 'wireframe' limns a proposed building project in situ. "Constructed from metal rods or wooden poles, fixed in place by wire guy ropes, the Swiss baugespanne or bauprofile are usually erected for a month, outlining the full height of the proposed development, with protruding markers to indicate the angle of the roof and direction of the walls," Wainwright writes. "For taller buildings, tethered balloons can be used, and helicopters have even been employed to hover at a specified height for the tallest towers."

ChineseGhostTown.jpgVia io9's round-up

Of course, I initially thought he was referring to the Chinese ghost town phenomenon, the utterly desolate planned communities that seem to crop up, mirage-like, in the hinterlands of the Mainland. Indeed, Wainwright had covered the closely related saga of Zaha Hadid's Galaxy SOHO in Beijing—namely, that it's but a parametric shell of a building—before I (full disclosure) met him during Beijing Design Week last October. Given the generally overambitious and bloated real estate development business in China, it's egregious but perhaps not unexpected... and, in short, flies in the face of the highly prudent Swiss approach.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Jan 2014  |  Comments (3)


Everyone from dog trainers to engineers of hydroelectric dams will tell you to work with nature, not against it. So in his bid to design a tsunami-resistant house, Dan Nelson and his team at Designs Northwest Architects figured if they couldn't build a house to withstand tsunami waves, they'd come up with one that let the waves pass through it. Their 30-foot Tsunami House, situated on the waterfront of Puget Sound, is designed to remain structurally intact even when hit by eight-foot waves.

How they did this was to raise the house nine feet on concrete-encased, steel-frame-reinforced pillars. But the ground floor is still livable, to a degree: Every fixture and piece of furniture on the first level is waterproof, and there are no electrical outlets down here, just ceiling-mounted lights. The outer walls consist of large, garage-door-style glass walls that are designed to break away under the force of a wave, rather than provide resistance that could be transmitted to the structure.



Posted by erika rae  |  20 Dec 2013  |  Comments (0)


Victor Enrich, a Barcelona based photographer, has pushed even his reputation of reconfigurations and twisted figures to the extreme. For his most recent project, he took an image of the NH Deutscher Kaiser hotel (hence the name Project NHDK) in Munich and translated the building's architecture 88 different ways. Most are impossible twists and turns, but some pass as surprisingly realistic.


Lifelike or not, it's fun to think about what the familiar structures in our lives would look like if we had the chance to get our hands on the architecture. Check out this video showing all of Enrich's variations:


Posted by erika rae  |  13 Dec 2013  |  Comments (0)


Hello Wood has gotten into the holiday swing of things with a Ai Weiwei-esque installation. With 365 sleighs, some colored lights and lots of helpful hands, the Hungary-based art program put together a Christmas tree made entirely of the multitude of sleighs. The entire installment—which is on display at the Palace of Arts in Budapest—gives off the same glow and textures that we see in Weiwei's bike installations.


Lucky for us, the organization has created an online panoramic view just in case you can't make it to Hungary this holiday season. You can take a look at the entire structure from two vantage points: a passerby's view and an inside look at the core of the installation (which you can also experience on-site.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Dec 2013  |  Comments (0)


We've written about Jean Prouvé before, the designer who figured out how to create flat-pack houses some fifty years before Ikea did. While his aluminum Maison Tropicale is the one I remember from ID History, an earlier design of his, the Maison Demontable from 1945, is now making the blog rounds.

Prouve was truly a man before his own time, and his designs never saw the mass production they were so perfectly suited for. The Maison Tropicale, for instance, was intended for mass uptake in French colonies in Africa; only three were built and shipped, and two were reportedly shipped back to Paris. But French art dealer Patrick Seguin, who owns some nine Prouvé-designed houses, dismantled and shipped one of them to Design Miami. Once on site and uncrated, the Maison Demontable ("demontable" means "de-mountable" or "can be taken to pieces") was knocked back together by workers, and the process was time-lapse-video'd for all to see:


Posted by Brit Leissler  |   5 Dec 2013  |  Comments (0)

Anyone who has ever visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, would probably agree that it is one of the most fascinating buildings that he or she has ever been in the presence of. Even in pictures, one can sense the almost magical aura of this massive marble memorial, which appears as though it is floating. If it has a breathtaking effect from afar, it becomes truly mind-blowing when having a closer look—when one can see that all the delicate patterns that cover the huge marble blocks are actually stone inlays.

On a recent trip to India, I had the chance to learn how these stone inlays are made. They are in fact still done in exactly the same way that they used to be done in 1633, when the 17-year construction of the Taj Mahal began—except that the craft is applied to souvenirs rather than mausoleums these days.

The Taj Mahal was built by the great Mughul emperor Shajahan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz, who died giving birth to her 14th child. To create it, the most skilled architects, inlay craftsmen, calligraphers, stone-carvers and masons were called from all across India and lands as distant as Persia and Turkey. It is said that the most skilled individuals who had worked on the Taj Mahal had one hand cut off after it was finished so they could never duplicate this work again.


Fortunately, the artisans were still able to pass on their skills to future generations (although only to the men and only within the family), and, 14 generations down the line, I had the pleasure to meet some of their descendants, who demonstrated how these stone inlays—pietra dura or parchin kari—are made. The artisans work together as a cooperative, meaning each of them remains an individual artist with complete creative freedom, but all profits are shared equally.

The starting point are thin sheets of various (semiprecious) stone, from which the artisan creates delicate shapes, some only a few millimetres in size, like the little dot in the picture above. Only a (human-powered) grindstone is used, and the craftsman will inevitably also abrade the skin on his fingers during this process.


Each shape is ground individually and must fit precisely without any gaps. Once a perfect fit has been achieved, the marble plate, into which the ornamental pattern will be integrated, is covered with a layer of henna paint.


The single pieces that make the inlay pattern are laid out on the marble plate and their outlines scratched into the surface. The orange color serves as an orientation when carving out the individual grooves, into which the semiprecious stone pieces will be glued.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  27 Nov 2013  |  Comments (2)


With dual degrees from RISD in both Fine Arts and Architecture, Phillip K. Smith has a good grasp of both expression and structure. Along with technical acumen in lighting design, these skills served him well for his "Lucid Stead" project, whereby he transformed a 70-year-old Joshua Tree homestead from weatherbeaten shack to web-friendly spectacle.


By replacing every other siding board and all of the building's apertures with mirrored glass, Smith has created a brilliantly striking structure that blends into the desert without disappearing or denying its true roots. (For you fans of '80s X-Men comics, it looks like something the character Forge would have built.)


And "Lucid Stead" fits in with the desert in more ways than one. Deserts offer more contrast that your average environment, what with blazing hot days and freezing cold nights. And as the sun goes down on Smith's structure, so too does the building shift into something entirely different: A semi-transparent structure where LEDs within reveal cracks and seams, allowing one to glimpse the cross-bracing within.


Posted by core jr  |   1 Nov 2013  |  Comments (0)

ESB-HalloweenLightShow-1.jpgPhotos courtesy of The Empire State Realty Trust

The lights on the Empire State Building are among those magical aspects of the city that New Yorkers take for granted—we don't really care what color they are, as long we can orient ourselves to the unmistakable beacon of Manhattan from whatever vantage point we're at. For what its worth, the colors change like the weather: for holidays, of course, from Independence Day to World Diabetes Day (today); sporting events such as the marathon on Sunday; and enough other special events that more often than not, the lights symbolize something—the full schedule is available online.


A very brief history of the lights: The very first lights on the tower were installed in 1956, 25 years after the Empire State Building was completed; these four beacons were replaced by floodlights in 1964 to illuminate the building for the World's Fair, and colored lights came in 1976, presumably for America's bicentennial. The ESB upgraded from metal halide lamps to custom LEDs designed by Philips Color Kinetics (PCK):

This system, which is unique to ESB, allows customized light capabilities from a palette of over 16 million colors in limitless combinations along with effects previously not possible such as ripples, cross-fades, sparkles, chasers, sweeps, strobes and bursts. In addition to greater control and management of the lighting, the new computerized system delivers superior light and vibrancy levels in real-time, unlike the previous floodlights.


Halloween marked the occasion for the addition of LEDs to the antenna, as well as a first-ever LED Halloween light show by Marc Brickman, pictured at the controls above. Those of us who have been to major cities in Asia are likely familiar with the* love of incandescent architectural spectacle, but it's always a nice treat for New Yorkers—after all, the Empire State Building remains the cynosure of our lovely skyline and I must say, aerial footage always gets to me. Check it out:


Posted by core jr  |  30 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


Reporting by Chris Beatty

Over 30 films were screened as a part of the 5th annual Architecture and Design Film Festival, which took place from October 16–20. This year's theme of 'Urbanism' encompassed a diverse array of feature length and short films, as well as a series of engaging discussions... and, of course, some great popcorn.

The festival opened with a screening of Andreas Dalsgaard's The Human Scale (2012) which moves beyond Gary Hustwit's Urbanized (2011) and examines the Danish architect Jan Gehl's user-centered vision for 21st century urbanism. By following Gehl's team as they work with six cities across the globe, Dalsgaard offers a window into an iterative design process and emphasizes the effectiveness of community participation in new development.


Posted by erika rae  |  25 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)

Music-Village-Structure-Plans.jpgThe plans for Dithyrambalina orbit Swoon's original structure and take architectural notes from New Orleans' history, pictured front and center in this photo.

Two years ago, we wrote about street artist Swoon's plans to collaborate with the New Orleans Airlift to create a music laboratory called "The Music Box"—a musical shantytown, where everything in the structures could be played like an instrument. The New Orleans Airlift had come into possession of an old 18th century Creole home that had collapsed due to aging. Swoon worked with the group to create a plan to give the structure new life as a musical laboratory. And it was wildly successful.

Over 15,000 people visited The Music Box and 70 musicians played concerts in the temporary exhibit. As Swoon dreamed, plans for a permanent music laboratory were put into place. But instead of a single structure, it was decided that an entire sonic village centered around Swoon's original musical house building plan would be created.

Music-Village-Early-Plans.jpgThe building on the left is an early model of Swoon's musical house in The Music Box.

Music-Village-Inside-Music-Box.jpgAll of the structures in The Music Box have some sort of musical element.

Enter Dithyrambalina, a Kickstarter campaign that may seem a little too "hippie" for your tastes at first glance. The goal is to create a permanent village built by musicians for musicians. The plan is to place the permanent village in New Orleans, but for now Dithyrambalina will take to the roads as a traveling act in an attempt to raise money for the ever-evolving project. The musical buildings will start popping up in May 2014 and—if the Kickstarter campaign is successful—five structures will be built by next fall.

The likes of Andrew W.K. and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore were among the 70+ musicians who performed at the 150-year-old-house-gone-sonic-playground was around, when the makeshift venue hosted more than 15,000 people came to take part in the interactive elements of the exhibit and attend the concerts. With only a few days left on their Kickstarter campaign as of press time, the group is still $20,000 shy of their funding goal.

While the namesake might be a bit Burning Man-esque to me—'dithyramb' means "Chant of wild and abandoned nature sung by the cult of Dionysus to bring forth their god"—their mission to create an area where all kinds of music is explored and played can only mean good things.

Contribute to Dithyrambalina's Kickstarter campaign here.