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ooohhhh yeah. much better than those awful traditional chandeliers all over the Vegas Casinos

American designer Stuart Fingerhut has created the Kinema Pendant Luminaire. This 10″ x 12″ x 14″ lighting object uses a combination of different layers in order to create a specific effect and appearance. The luminaire is unique in its ability to give the user control of the light’s character to match the mood of the environment. Each of the pendant’s rings can be individually flipped to create dramatic light and shadow effects, as a single object or in multiples. The designer states he was inspired by the movement of crustaceans; a wide variety of forms can be created by arranging the pendant’s rings in alternating open and closed positions.

The Kinema light can be used commercially or in residential project too. It is available brushed brass and black, brushed aluminum and black, white and black or blue and white.


Apple’s takeover of the world continues: Siri will command the new Mercedes A Class

Apple’s takeover of the world continues: Siri will command the new Mercedes A Class

Mercedes-Benz has announced its plans to fully integrate the the driver’s iPhone as well as Siri assistant into future A-Class models. It’ll be like having your own personal, mildly-incompetent HAL.

Mercedes announced the plans today. A-Class owners will first load the Drive Kit Plus app onto their phones. They’ll be able to access content—including Facebook and Twitter (both of which you totally need while driving)—through the in-vehicle display and navigate using a controller situated in the center armrest. Drivers will also be able to command the car’s built-in Garmin GPS—which should come in handy when entering destination addresses. The DKP app also includes a “Car Finder” feature for locating a misplaced vehicle.

This marks the first time Apple’s allowed Siri “off the leash,” so to speak, and appear on a device that doesn’t end in 4S. The voice-activated assistant will feature the same level of functionality as on the iPhone. Drivers will be able to access the calendar, change appointments, dictate texts and emails or have them read back, change radio channels, access music stored on the phone, or place calls—all verbally.

A-Classes with these new features are expected to debut March 8th at the 82nd International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland. [Daimler via iPodNN – IBTimes]

The system will be controlled via the built-in display. You can see the connected iPhone in the background.


The Towers of Tomorrow

The Towers of Tomorrow

[SitM likes outside of the box design]

What will the skyscrapers of the future look like? Will they be covered in gardens, shaped like rocket ships, submerged in the ocean?

Since it was established in 2006, the annual eVolo Skyscraper Competition has drawn more than 4,000 proposals from architects, engineers, students and artists in 168 countries. The new book “eVolo Skyscrapers” compiles 300 of these plans, divided into categories like technological advances, ecological urbanism and social solutions. Some of the designs tackle familiar problems, like the need for parking space, but others are more forward-looking, like buildings that incorporate robotics or are capable of flying. Here is a look at some proposals for the next generation of big buildings.


Traditional Camera Shapes Are Wrong

Traditional Camera Shapes Are Wrong

[SitM: makes a lot of sense]

Listen to designer Jean-michel Bonnemoy and he’ll have you believe traditional camera form factors were dictated by the need to hold a roll of film in the back. Now that we’re all digital, why are still maintaining that archaism? He maintains the new form factor should be a cylinder – ergonomically better for the hand. The D-CAN concept significantly reduces volume while still providing all the finite controls professional photographers are used to. Hit the jump for the “specs”.

Large range zoom stabilized USM lens.
A ring authorizes the focus correction. The focal is lockable.
Extension cursor for macrophotography
The lens cap, impossible to lose, includes an electronic flash and the AF-assist illuminator
The accessory shoe can receive, besides an electronic flash, a directional microphone or a remote control receiver.
The cursor “function” allows to choose between fixed views or video, pictures reading, intervallometer and power off.
Cursor “mode” (program, speed or aperture priority, manual)
Double key ISO (100 to 6400 ISO).
Sockets for peripheral: microphone, audio headset, power supply.
The high-definition back screen is used for the aim, the control and the parameter setting by means of a trackball.
The system of aim offers two configurations:
– At the level of eye for a precise centring including right in the sun, with precise control of the focus. The magnifier with diopter adjustment gives an image enlarged of the screen.
– Directly on the directional back screen having raised the magnifier.
The back block of aim revolves to give access to the memory card, USB and HDMI connectors and energy compartment.
The lithium battery can be replaced in case of necessity by a set of AA size battery.
The release button pushed at the halfway mark locks the focus and the exposure.
Maintained pushed it allows continuous photo mode.
The function of thumb wheels differs according to the mode:
– Thumb wheel 1: exposure correction(P, Tv, Av) or choice of the aperture (M).
– Thumb wheel 2: program shift (P), choice of the shutter speed (Tv, M), of the aperture (Av).
Designer: Jean-michel Bonnemoy


Spinal Staircases

Spinal Staircases

[SitM: HR Giger might approve of this. We certainly do.]


Phoenix International Media Center Chinese architects Baid UFO build Beijing’s latest architectural feat

Phoenix International Media Center Chinese architects Baid UFO build Beijing’s latest architectural feat

[SitM: the story looks like Chinese Government Propoganda, but granted, it is a beautifully executed design]

Hand in hand with China’s overall rapid growth and explosive urbanization, recent years have seen a wave of high-design architecture. The Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s spectacular CCTV tower, opened in 2008 to house the nation’s central television headquarters, is a fantastic example of forward-thinking architecture exploring contemporary concepts of shape and form. Now another Chinese media mogul is taking a swing at making their mark on Beijing’s urban landscape, picking up where projects like the CCTV building left off after the boom spurred by the 2008 Olympics. The Phoenix International Media Center, scheduled to be completed in 2012, currently stands half complete adjacent to Chaoyang Park, signaling the ongoing development of radical architecture in the country as well as Chinese architects themselves, not to mention the strength of Chinese TV networks.

Phoenix, a large satellite TV provider, will eventually move their programming operations there, in addition to housing other businesses, offices and restaurants. The shape of the building recalls yet another famously stunning example of what’s been happening to Beijing’s cityscape of late, the Herzog and De Meuron “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium. Here, the architects have managed to give the basket-like shape a sense of movement, reminiscent of a sea sponge or jellyfish. Digital renderings have the feel of the command bridge on a futuristic space station. The ambitious project has already drummed up a lot of interest, putting it on the shortlist for the 2009 World Architecture Festival and in the Verso Est Chinese Cultural Landscape exhibit at MAXXI in Rome.

Unlike the CCTV tower, the Media Center was designed by BIAD UFo, a firm based in China. An impressive example of the nation’s homegrown architectural talents in the country, it hints at the potential future of Chinese design as more and more buildings spring up.


Busan Opera House submission by PRAUD

Busan Opera House submission by PRAUD

[SitM: Opera is mostly dead, but architecture is not. Nice to see more departure from the lazy right angle designs]

Boston-based firm PRAUD has shared with us their entry to the Busan Opera House competition. The international ideas competition invited visions for a massive cultural center, comprising a 2,000-seat opera house and a 1,300-seat multi-purpose theater, that acts as a landmark building for this booming South Korean city and puts Busan on the map of international tourism.
PRAUD’s entry didn’t make one of the first prizes, but we’re happy to share this fascinating concept anyway. The design team included Dongwoo Yim, Rafael Luna, and Stacy Choi.

Project Description from the Architects:
The concept starts from how multiple performance facilities can share common program. One way is to share public space such as foyers and the other is to share theatre function itself. We found out an interesting potential of theatre that when one performance facility share its theatre function with other facilities, various types of performance stages could be created by transformation of stage and chamber facilities. Unlike having a fixed performance stage and sharing common public space, it is a way of providing a variety of experience to the audience as well as using the opera house more efficient way.

To achieve this goal, we developed a transformable “cylinder” not only for stage/chamber function but also for structural stability. Multiple disks in the “cylinder” can move vertically depends on type and size of performance you need and numbers of performances at the same time. This vertical movement also creates void that provides visual connection between floors/masses so that a performance can be shown to audience in various ways. Also these disks can rotate so that performance can happen in multiple directions as well.


BMW 328 Retro Concept Car

BMW 328 Retro Concept Car

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[SitM: we nearly always love the beauty of concept cars. Intrigue is added when there are styling references to the past]


Another World’s Tallest Building – the erectile dysfunction compensation continues . . . but at least it looks cool

Another World’s Tallest Building – the erectile dysfunction compensation continues . . . but at least it looks cool

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News broke that Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is designing Kingdom Tower, to be the world’s tallest building, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, near the Red Sea. […] It has been reported that the tower’s height will be at least 173 meters (568 feet) taller than the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s 828-meter-tall Burj Khalifa, which was designed by Adrian Smith while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.


If Herman Miller designed PCs, they’d look like these

If Herman Miller designed PCs, they’d look like these

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[SitM: Mr. Technology and St(br)ainless believe that in 5 years most people’s computers will consist of their phones which they will dock into a station at home for a larger screen/keyboard/mouse. The designs here may presage that day]

The Korean studio Design Hara seems to share our dreams of a post-geek world of computers that subscribe less to specs worship and more towards a thoughtful merger of attractive industrial design and smaller form factors. They’re back with an upgraded green PC, alongside a brand new svelte and compact design perfect for the living room…