Bubble: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden by Siller Scofidio + Renfro

The ‘Bubble’ is an inflatable conceived Siller Scofidio + Renfro architects is an event space planned for the cylindrical courtyard of the Hirshhorn Museum. In respectful dialogue with the Modernist icon originally designed by Gordon Bunshaft in 1974, the Bubble is an architecture of air; a pneumatic structure enclosed only by a translucent membrane that sneezes into the void of the building and oozes out of the top and beneath its mass.

In contrast to the familiar strategy of roofing over courtyards of institutional buildings.The Bubble produces a soft building inside of a hard one in which existing and new spaces, both interior and exterior are playfully intertwined. The ephemeral structure is erected once a year for two months. The additional 11 000 sf of sheltered space accommodates audiences of 500-800 for array of public events including performing arts, lectures, and debates. Its form is shaped by a series of cable rings that constrict the membrane, pulling it away from the inner wall of the courtyard while other cables tether it into place. The resulting contours act acoustically and produce changing shafts and pockets of outdoor space experienced from the ground and the galleries on the second and third level.

Peary Place, London by Threefold Architects

Completed in 2004, The Studio in Bethnal Green is an inventive conversion of an existing Victorian workshop into a contemporary living space. The tall, thin, dark sliver of a space was formerly an industrial shed wedged between existing buildings at ground floor level with windows on all sides at high level. The whole structure was separated from the street by a narrow courtyard passageway.

Threefold Architects’ challenge was to inventively reconfigure the internal layout to maximise natural light and space and stretch a limited budget to create a modern and innovative domestic space.

The response was a six metre high glazed slot and double height entrance hall opening onto a private courtyard to draw as much daylight as possible into the internal spaces. A central spine wall separates an open floating plywood stair on one side and the passage to the snug bedroom and bathroom on the other. At first floor level open plan living, dining and kitchen spaces merge seamlessly into one another, unified by a nine metre run of storage units, which cantilever over the double height entrance. White painted walls allow the constantly shifting light conditions outside the building to dictate the mood of the space and the original distressed dark timber floor has been retained as a nod to the building’s industrial history.

Direct to Consumer Design

It’s time we talk about these direct to consumer companies, and the way that they handle their design. It seems everyday that there is a new industry that is shaped by these juggernauts: first, it was the mattress industry, with companies like Casper and Tuft & Needle promising to help you get away from pushy mattress salesman breathing down your neck and offering a seamless way to order a mattress online. Then came Brandless, a service, as the name suggests, taking the virtue away from brands and providing everyday home and pantry essentials at a price lower than what most would pay at a discount chain. And, of course, came companies like Away and CHESTER – the former, in my opinion, is truly the best carry on luggage – which take away the frustration of lugging heavy baggage around and introduce sleek

What do all of these companies have in common? These brands cater to people’s desire for simplicity and remove the hassle from searching and having to decide from hundreds of options. It all boils down to this: manufacturing and distributing products without a middleman, direct interaction with consumers, and seamless branding and buying experiences.

So, where does design come into this? Well, where doesn’t it? These companies turn their traditional industries upside down. Take Casper for example, where it reached the younger millennial demographic by using urban spaces in its ad campaigns. Trendy and unique. Dollar Shave Club took a similar approach: they made a funny, goofy video that didn’t come across as an advertisement, and went with their brand image. The scene that was set was similar to a goofy video that your brother’s friend would take in a garage. The result? It worked, and in three months, the advertisement clocked in at just under 5 million views.

Cube Me Payment Processor Updates

Cube Me is glad to announce our partnerships with Payments Direct, LLC. and Buzzoid, a Delaware company to provide easy and instant credit approval for purchases made through the Cube Me network.

As you may have noticed, we have rolled out a paywall for our service on some parts of the website to keep the high quality journalism and ensure that editors, contributors, and authors alike are compensated fairly and at above industry standards to ensure that the content we continue to deliver is unparalleled. Initially, as many of you may have noticed, there were bumps along the road.

We had some problems on the first roll out of our internal check system that was used to verify the eligibility of credit cards before they were processed by our merchant. We had faulty implementation for the check system, and as a result, cards were getting declined and the data returned was based on incomplete data sent to the check system API. This resulted in scores that were lower than they would have been if they were accurately reported, and within 48 hours of this being rolled out, we rolled out the new checks system. These are provided by a new provider and properly implemented to ensure that the information we receive back is accurate and that we can pass valid form entries through our merchant account.

To compensate for the teething troubles, we are providing seven (7) days of free access to the Cube Me Portal with no paywall for all users. Experience the new and improved content and see what all the hype is about for yourself!

Update: As of January 10th, all Swedish payment orders will be processed by third party service the LoanStar Sweden låna pengar program, provided in partnership with Sambla. Please direct any queries to them from this point forward.

Understanding The Link Between Art, Nature, Architecture, & Travel

One of the most common connections I see made as an undergraduate architecture professor is between that of art and nature. More specifically, the presence of designs in nature that are now idolized and commercialized in modern day architecture.

Surely you have seen patterns in nature — whether it be the radial pattern of the sun or the unsteady makeup of an ant hill — being used as inspiration for a multi-million dollar school, church, or apartment complex. In this post, I want to discuss one of the ways I believe to be most important for those pursuing art, architecture, or natural science degrees. It is the importance of traveling, and why the experiences and real-world knowledge you gain cannot be beat. The knowledge that you learned in the classroom finally clicks when you see the real world examples and apply the knowledge first-hand.

In my own example, I discuss the trip I had to Iran. I went to Tehran for three days, and there I was amazed by the architecture upon landing. Taking from influence of ancient Egyptian and modern Western architecture, I was surprised to see the diverse array and combination of multiple styles into one. Instead of seeing these in a textbook in a lecture hall, I was able to see them firsthand while traveling. Next, I took a bus to Tabriz, got my hiking sticks, and climbed Eynali, a mountain range in Tabriz. I was able to see the nature, the change in air pressure, the clouds, and the other facts that I had read about in my biology textbook. However, for once, it was by experiencing it.

Never again will I forget these tidbits of knowledge because they are now associated with other experiences — hands on ones that I gained through traveling — that carry mental weight.