...a warm cup of coffee, good music on the background... Now let's have a relaxed, informal conversation about design.
On the May 14, 2007, the new Library and Media Center for the Universidad de Guadalajara (state university) in the city of Ocotlan, Jalisco, Mexico was finally opened to the public. This building was designed by Raul Juarez Perezlete (AAD Columbia University 1994), Heriberto Hernandez Ochoa and Jorge Hernandez Luquin, partners of the mexican design studio LeAP (www.leap.com.mx) with offices in Guadalajara and Mexico City.This building is a pioneer in the implementation of standarized norms for accesibiliy for people with dissabilties; it has a set of ramps and aisles specially designed to make it 100% accesible. It will have a collection of 120,000 books, dvds, and videos in a total surface of 5,346 sqM, making it the biggest public library in the western region of Mexico, second only to the recently opened Central Library Jose Vasconcelos in Mexico City.
“There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a few of them. ... designers have become a dangerous breed by creating whole species of permanent garbage to clutter up the landscape, and by choosing materials and processes that pollute the air we breath.”Papanek wrote those words almost 35 years ago, and now they are becoming a "Nostradamus-like " terrifying prophecy. On his book "the green imperative" Papanek takes also on architecture and dwelling. It may have seemed too radical at the time, but green auto-sustainable dwelling environments have become a real need and not a luxury. There will be the time when they become standard.
The Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa in California is attempting to become 'green certified' by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Council developed the LEED rating system seven years ago, where buildings are graded on their environmentally friendly features. The hotel features waterless urinals, solar lighting and recycled paper. Another nice touch is the replacement of the standard hotel-room bible with a copy of An Inconvenient Truth. (treehugger)Not necessarily environmentally friendly, but sure interesting is the new Eureka Tower in Melbourne, which will open next week. I just love the golden windows detail on top. But the best "gizmo" is the so called Edge cube. The glass cube projects itself 3 meters out from the building using some rails. The whole cube is covered with glass... when you get in, the glasses are opaque, and then with a loud breaking glass noise, all windows become transparent in "ein Augenblick" Not good if you are claustrophobic or are afraid of heights! I'm wondering if that technology could also be used as a thermal control instead of blinds or other window covers.
An estimated 15,000 to 30,000 families are living in leaky homes throughout New Zealand. Thousands of those families cannot afford to repair their homes (with repair costs averaging $100,000 to $150,000) nor can they afford the legal costs to pursue compensation (which can be as high as $20,000 to $50,000). As a consequence, many families continue to live in the unhealthy environment caused by leaking homes whilst the damage to their homes continues to worsen.For example:
Year 2057, the oil reserves of the world are almost empty. The damage caused to the arctic to dig out the last few barrels of rock petrol is overwhelming. Petrol cars have been completely banned since 2027 to allow petrol to be used in the plastics industries only, but the demand cannot be fulfilled. The USA didn't cut consumption, and other developed and developing countries are demanding to have a similar supply quota per capita. But it's just not enough for everyone...Under those circumstances, this wouldn't be so crazy after all:
To deal with the problem, a design police is implemented. All products have to undergo a strict control by the authorities to prove that they are worthy of being manufactured.Or we can deal with that problem right now, and choose to do what is right, before we have to sacrifice our liberty in order to preserve some basic raw materials. Benjamin Franklin said: They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. In a similar way, if we wait for a design police to come and tell us what to do, then we don't deserve to be designers, or developers, or innovators.