Saturday, January 21, 2006

out of the box

numerobisI've always wonder why, despite all those amazing technologies available, modern communications, scientific discoveries, and so on... we still live (in principle) like the Asterix Villagers. I mean... dwelling hasn't changed so dramatically as many other human creations or activities. You may say that there are new materials, skyscrapers, electricity, etc... Well yes, but for me, the principles on wich we still build houses are just the same as architect(s) Numerobis did. For me, it's not a matter (only) of aesthetics ... but, it is the fact that our modern lifes are nothing like, say our grandparents. So, why we do still live in houses with basically the same functional structure as those from Asterix times? I'll have to write later a post about the terrible architecture and dwelling (particularly) in NZ... this post is about Michael Janzten, who kindly responded to my request to publish some of his projects on this blog.

When we visited some of Hundertwasser's buildings in Vienna, my wife said that they wouldn't look that amazing, if the whole city district would be full of buildings like that. I guess she is right. Unconventional architecture wouldn't be unconventional if it was the same everywhere, but that's not the point. I believe that we are approaching some sort of cultural, ideological and political catharsis... we are already questioning our old ways, and many things cannot be framed into the old schemes that we are used to. Cloning, globalization, abortions, gay marriage... or even democracy; are just some examples of modern life subjects we still cannot make sense thereof.

I believe that this century will be the turning point, and that a new "industrial revolution" is starting to boil... Finally, we'll see some new kind of Übermensch or at least the foundations for a new world man will be laid. I've been telling my students that I predict that there are at least 3 pesrpectives that are going to play a great role on that new deffinition of our cultural framework: sustainability, semiotics [regarding intercultural (global) communication of meaning] and rational use of new technologies (now called immaterial design).

You may say that there's nothing new with that. Well, ideologies behind all revolutions evolve over a period of time, before they are ripe, and then comes some sort of cathalist... and Presto! That is the same kind of story as for many other discoveries... first, some one invents the steam engine, then some one else the rubber wheels, another the power gears... and so on, then someone combines them all into a horseless buggy (automobile).

A sign that a change is comming, is when architects, designers, scientists, philosophers, and many others start to "experiment" and search for new combinations of sustainability, meaning, aesthetic values, globalization, modern life technologies and lifestyle... one of them is Michael Jantzen. In his own words:
    The primary mission of HSII is to explore designs that make use of alternative materials, technologies and manufacturing techniques. The goal will be to create an aesthetic for the future based on energy efficient, eco friendly and affordable design concepts that embrace appropriate technologies."
A couple of weeks back, I browsed through his site... and I was thrilled by some of his projects. I can easily imagine some internet observatories at some main cities of this planet... instead of those ugly telecom free-webcam cabins.

Wouldn't it be nice to see pedestrian bridges like these time space transformation foot bridge in our cities? unlike some pedestrian crossings that are monuments to the "unknown inept polititian". Sorry I didn't had time to take pictures of the new crossing at Mariano Otero and Periferico in Guadalajara... it's 6 lanes each side (3-3/3-3) but the peds bridge only crosses the 6 lanes in the middle, so people has to cross in front of the cars the first 3 lanes, then go over the bridge, and then "torear" again their way out of the last 3 lanes.

What about shaded parking lots like this wind shade roof on every mall? instead of the ugly empty platforms... it even generates power for whatever is inside! I always complain about the "american style" parking lots with not even a small hint of green... Is a tree too much to ask!?? It's a horrible experience for the senses that our first contact with a mall, a supermarket or many other public spaces... is struggling to find a parking spot... on a horrible and tight parking lot... then walk, under the sun, rain or inside a sterile grey space... until finaly reaching the sliding doors to a multimillion building, which the architect didn't care about how people get into it. Then the same story when you leave, only to find out that your car was scratched by the door of the SUV on the next spot... and that getting inside the car is like throwing yourself into an oven!

Don't even let me get started on matters of dwelling... like I said, I'll better write something about that later.

Last but not least, this just in: I received the press release of this project called "winery". it just gave me a strong craving for californian wine... A bottle of Ernesto & Julio Gallo's cabernet sauvignon wouldn't be a be bad idea... to help ponder why we are still living like caveman when there's the technology and the people to make the future come true.

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home