The installation Crest by Zaha Hadid Architects looks like a simple gesture, something that you could almost draw in the air with an arm movement. It shows “how little” it can take to an architectural object to be a communicative presence: in fact, it approximates a single curved surface reflecting natural light. Its challenge was to look like an abstract surface with no thickness while being self supporting. This was made possible by an experimental process involving the use
Installing solar panels on buildings provides clean energy, lowers electricity bills and can reduce the use of fossil fuels as well as carbon dioxide emissions (overlooking the panels production process). Most common solar panels look like large, glossy, dark blue tiles put on top of existing roofs by overlapping their modularity onto the roof’s completely different texture. In my opinion, the visual outcome of that operation is not very successful. Some completed architectur
Photoluminescent or phosphorescent pigments are smart materials capable of emitting light after absorbing certain types of radiant energy. More precisely, they absorb invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation from ambient light and re-emit that energy as visible light in the following hours. Unlike other materials, they don’t reflect light, but they are an actual light source. The duration of the glow effect depends on the amount of radiant energy absorbed. The material appears qu
In Architecture and Disjunction Bernard Tschumi used the term mask referred to the ambiguous, perceptible appearance of architecture, covering and unveiling other masks imputable to the society and the economy of every era. Architectural skins have changed through time in parallel with transformations in those other realities. Glass façades were a consequence of the industrial revolution and blurred the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces. Commercial culture intro
How does architecture communicate? In 2001 the Italian authors Roberto De Rubertis and Matteo Clemente explored this subject in their book on perception and visual communication in architecture and gave and interesting list of ten morphemes used in architecture to communicate. According to their study, a group four morphemes relate to structure, form, distribution and furniture, while all the remaining six morphemes essentially relate to surface. In fact, the authors mention
Exposure to environmental stimuli seems to considerably affect human development. The neurologist and Nobel Laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini once wrote that perception "creates while we move”. In other words, while we experience space we build our memories: we learn. Since ancient times humans have felt the need to adapt their surrounding environment – including their own body - to communicate. Painted caves may be considered a primitive example of spaces transformed by humans t
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