...on a parking garage?

The Fairbanks at Cityfront Center in Chicago was built on top of an existing parking garage. In order to support the new football-shaped tower on the center of the garage, a 6-foot deep concrete transfer mat was used to distribute load to the stronger perimeter columns.
Crystal Center

...in crystaline form?

If a tectonic shift sent giant crystals thrusting up through the water’s surface, it might look something like this dramatic arts center prototype by AS+GG. Crystal structures with cantilevers of up to 230 feet are joined at a base beneath the water.
Matrix Gateway Complex

...as a cube?

The Matrix Gateway Complex by AS+GG would be an exception to the rule of monotony in rectilinear buildings. It would provide residents a full 3-D city experience, featuring suspended platforms linking modular housing and community venues.

...like a big "W?"

Walter Towers are Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group’s latest project in Prague, Czech Republic. Cool design, but will it stand?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Will it tick?

Posted by Will it stand? at 7:29 PM 1 comments
Can you tell the time on my new watch? There should be many ways of marking the passage of time. Why are we limited to digital numerals and analog spinning hands? Throughout time many devices, including water clocks and sun dials, were developed, but here in the Western world we've coalesced around two standards.

I love my new Nooka watch. It's digital but analog at once. The 12 dots represent the hours and the horizontal bar fills as the minutes accumulate. It is graphic, simple and unreadable upon first glance by most literate people. It does not ascribe outrageous accuracy to the precise time. Unless you are linked to the atomic clock at the US Naval Observatory, your timepiece is probably wrong.

The literature that came with the watch puts the experience this way: "The linear and graphic representation of time with Nooka watches presents a more intuitive way to view time. The visual mass increases as time passes, giving weight to an ephemeral and abstract concept."

To me this new form is analogous to the seeking of new architecture. From classical to modern and beyond, architecture is constantly evolving. Good architects use developments in technology and practice to design better buildings.

In his controversial work "Toward an Architecture," Le Corbusier wrote that architects should seek standardized forms. He provides the example of the evolution of classic column orders and temple plans into a precise template. Cars too, it was argued, achieved a similar standardization. However, the motor vehicle could now be used as an example to disprove the point. Car companies are attempting to re-form the personal vehicle to be more efficient and run on alternative fuels, but they are constrained by the preconceived standard.

Vehicles, buildings and, apparently, watches are all experiencing a reinvention for the 21st century. Designers of all breeds have their work cut out for them. Finding simple examples of innovation fuel inspiration to improve our relationship with our environment.

Would you wear a Nooka watch? Do you ever wear a wristwatch at all? What other forms do you think timepieces will take on in the future (besides the obvious cell phone)? Do you feel that relating the design of watches, cars and buildings is at all appropriate. Please add your comments below.

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