Crafting a portrait of Sydney

Sydney, the largest city of Australia by population, is a diverse mix of culture, architecture, food, ethnicity, sport and everything else. To make a portrait of such a multifaceted city is a real challenge by twin sisters, Leanne and Naomi Shedlezki have seen this as an opportunity and turned it into a collaborative art project ‘People Make Places: Sydney’.

All Sydney-siders are invited to create a piece that fits within a matchbox and responds to the theme ‘Sydney – My City’. The interpretation is open to one’s imagination. All the matchboxes are being collected and stored into large transparent boxes forming the artwork and the result is a unique portrait of the City of Sydney.

The intention for it is to travel to many places in the world introducing Sydney through the eyes of the locals, telling stories of urban life by its residents, portraying the character of today’s multi-cultural society. Click here to get involved.

Photographs by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens.

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens.

RMIT Design Hub – A Creative Shell

Melbourne has always been a city that promotes unusual, innovative architecture and design. And if you have been wandering on Swanston and Flinders Street here, you will understand why we are saying this. Federation square, Council House 2, RMIT Green Brain (The Storey Hall) are just a few examples. Last year yet another building – RMIT Design Hub – joined this list of atypical architecture. Located at the corner of Swanston and Victoria Street, this building has a skin made up of approximately 16,250 glass discs spanning across all 9 levels of the building. In broad daylight, the white discs seem to disappear in the sky at a distance, creating a character of unending structure.

The 60cm diameter sandblasted glass discs are fixed to galvanised steel cylinders. These units of disc and cylinder are organised into panels, each panel comprising of 21 units from which 12 are operable allowing for perimeter air intake contributing to the passive cooling system for the structure and lowering the overall energy consumption. The architect Sean Godsell has found a perfect balance between aesthetic and sustainability in the building facade.

Earlier in our article, Q&A(rchitect), we discussed the diverse nature of an architecture practice. RMIT design hub seconds this speculation by providing a ‘warehouse’ style space  for various design disciplines under one roof. Students from diverse range of design research and post graduation studies can work alongside each other, modify spaces to suit the team requirements and achieve something unusual from creative collaborations. Thus, the large uniform off-white box of 13,000 sq m seems limitless from outside and has limitless design possibilities within.

Photographs by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Can sound be a fourth dimension of architecture?

A visit to the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) was greeted with chiming music, similar to ‘Glass Harmonica’. It was ‘Clinamen’ – an installation of white porcelain bowls floating like  pearls on a blue water pool.

Circulating gently, swept along by submarine currents, floating crockery acts as a percussive instrument, creating a resonant, chiming acoustic soundscape, marked by complexity, hidden patterns and chance compositions. (Source NGV) Conceived and created by French artist, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, this large-scale sound based art installation built a warm ambience and reinforced a relaxing experience for the visitors, a perfect start for submerging into the world of art.

It makes one wonder at the possibility of experimenting with sound as a fourth dimension in design. Can a sound-scape enhance, influence or add value to architecture? Out of various correlation of art forms with architecture, this one is worth an exploration.

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Melbourne’s Gallery of Graffiti

Vin and Priyanka Rathod

Hosier Lane is a well-known street in Melbourne that has made it to the list of must-see-places in the city. Situated in the city centre, right opposite the National Gallery of Victoria, this narrow back lane has gained a reputation as one of the most important cultural attractions in the city of Melbourne.

On an urban planning level, this is a service lane accommodating rear facades of the surrounding 19th-century brick buildings. Bins, exhaust grills and scaffoldings; you’ll find it all here. However, the graffiti and stencil artworks, many by very well-known artists, have the power of turning it into a beautiful walkway, attracting hundreds of curious visitors every day.

The artworks in this lane are a mix of graffiti and stencils. Some of them are legal and recorded by the council. They have made the alley an unofficial art gallery; a beautiful jumble that is always changing and evolving. If you’re lucky, you may see some street artists at work. Hosier Lane is truly a fine example of how the city of Melbourne allows for creative minds to experiment and nurture a creative culture in the city.

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

In conversation with Rana Abboud, Designer of Digitalis

Vin and Priyanka Rathod

Vivid Sydney Festival had many interesting light-art installations by Architectural Professionals. Last week we met Rana Abboud, the architect behind Digitalis, the installation that rattled.

To use an everyday object in an unusual way was one of the main ideas behind the conceptualisation. One would never imagine plastic cups to be flowers, but that’s exactly what Digitalis showed us.

“No two flowers are the same, so I wanted the flower cups to be handmade. A factory process wouldn’t have allowed the subtle differences between the flowers,” says Rana who, with Ewen Wright, spent days and weeks making thousands of them.

The stamen of LED lights involved 10 steps to achieve the right shape, all of which Rana and Ewen did by themselves in their apartment. It is quite amazing to see what they have achieved within the timeframe of 6 – 8 months.

“An important thing for Vivid designers to keep in mind, is how people might actually interact with their installation, and try to make their installation as vandal-proof as possible.” She recalls organisers ringing her during 18 days of festival to inform some damages. Sometimes a flower was pulled apart from its stem, or sometimes an entire stem was removed from the ground.

Nevertheless, the experience of seeing people interacting with the installation was most rewarding. She mentioned an amusing moment when the whole garden was filled with sound of clapping: “One person thought the rattle was triggered by clapping instead of proximity sensors, and suddenly, everyone joined in! It was fun to watch.” When asked if she would do it again, there was no hesitation on her affirmative response: “It was a great event to be a part of; I would definitely do it again!”

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Vivid installations by architectural professionals

Guest Contributors – Vin and Priyanka Rathod

In our earlier post ‘The facade as a canvas of light‘, we talked about the relationship between art and architecture where artists created light-art projections on some of the prominent facades along Sydney harbour. Vivid Sydney also hosted some innovative and interactive small scale light installations fascinating the visitors. Without doubt, some of them were conceptualised, developed and installed by professionals from architecture industry. Below are some we found very captivating.

Rats

Designed by the team at Hassell – Jason Hammond, Sarah Meyer and Bridget Tregonning – the installation Rats was based on the story of an infestation of rats arriving on ships from Europe in early 1900. The Walsh Bay Wharfs, where the installation is located, was renewed to include a pre-cast concrete seawall to stop the rats. It was very intriguing to see the rows of lights (eyes) in one corner of the bay, staring at you.

Possible Imprints

Nikola Kovac and Nicholas Malyon along with David Vu designed this dynamic interactive installation where visitors can push the luminous acrylic rods to create (and leave) an imprint. It was quite playful and attractive for people from all age groups.

Planet: Under Construction

The team at Woods Bagot – William Fernandez, Young Lee, Thomas Hale, Amanda Gore, India Collins, Sophia Bennet, Danny Wehbe, Penny Craswell – designed this globe-like sculpture from orange construction cones that symbolises planet. With its bright colour and strategic location, it was an attractive piece of artwork.

Euphonious Mobius

Rebekah Araullo’s sculptural freeform is an experiment to explore the visual and interactive potential of architecture and media using rich data displays cutting-edge design and application resulting in a 3D space.

Field of Colours

Nicholas Elias and Clinton Weaver had a site right under Harbour bridge and opposite to Opera House. Their take for the installation created a landscape of light and colour that reciprocated to view from all angles. With its soft presence, it created a surreal world for the passer-by.

Digitalis

Rana Abboud with Ewen Wright conceptualised the installation as a genetically modified breed of Digitalis Purpurea, a toxic plant that defends itself from threats by rattling. The cleverly used crumpled plastic cups rattled and LEDs brightened to warn off the intruder that approached too close to the installation.

Polka Kucha

Josh Henderson, Kat Jurkiewicz, Donn Salisbury, Ryan Shamier and Catriona Simmons from Grimshaw and Electrolight designed this simple installation based on the power of colour to influence mood, energy and spacial perception. The colours and form changed when a visitor turns a wheel to experience his own personal preference.

Bees

Designed by Jon Voss, a light-art representation of a bee-hive, the installation was inspired by the juxtaposition of apparent chaos and strict order.

Vivid Sydney is an annual event that brightens up the dark winter evenings of the City of Sydney. Expressions of interest are called for every year and a selection is made by an expert panel. For those who have inspiring ideas, look out for the call of expression of interest for next year’s event on Vivid Sydney website.

Photographs by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

The facade as a canvas of light

Guest Contributors – Vin and Priyanka Rathod

There are many ways architecture interacts with the community and facilitates cultural behaviour. However, very few times it can actually become a canvas for an artwork. Vivid Sydney Festival has seen this opportunity and have converted the facades of some significant buildings along the harbour into canvases for light projections.

Every evening until 10th June, these building facades convert to canvases for vibrant colour light-art, and, in spite of cold and wet winter nights, Sydney-siders are enjoying every bit of the festival.

The projection at the Sydney Opera House, ‘Play’ is designed by Spinifex Group. It really is very playful giving vibrant colours to Opera sails.

The facade of Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) hosts 3D-mapped projections with a creative splurge of colours. The artwork is brought to life by collaboration of Gemma Smith, represented in MCA’s collection and Spinifex Group.

The heritage facade of Customs House has a striking projection ‘Move Your Building’ by collaboration of French design company, Danny Rose, Technical Direction Company, Customs House and the City of Sydney.

Spinifex Group in collaboration with Audi, transformed the facade of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company building into colourful 2D and 3D display that draws you in through the clever use of facade elements. The installation is creative, technical and energetic.

The Cadman’s Cottage allows people to render the projection using a large touch screen in front of the building. Designed by The Electric Canvas, it allows people to choose various regions on the facade and apply textures and animations in real time.

No doubt the Sydney Opera House is a highlight among all the facades, partly because of its unique form and also due to its location at the tip of the harbour. But Spinifex Group’s ‘Play’ has cleverly used the form to splash colourful projection that surely entertains every visitor. It makes one wonder about refreshing possibilities that can arise from creative collaboration between an architect and an artist.

Photographs by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

AIANY President Jill Lerner aims to change Gold Medal rule

It’s been a bit of an AIANY week on WAN’s New York Metroblog. But a piece of news in today’s Architectural Record about AIANY’s President Jill Lerner spearheading an effort to change the rules by which the Gold Medal is awarded is worthy of a post.

As our readers know, the Gold Medal is the highest honor that the American Institute of Architects can bestow on an individual in recognition of a significant body of work of lasting influence.   But the rules state that the award can only go to an individual.  As Cathleen McGuigan, Arch Record’s editor-in-chief, points out, that individual doesn’t have to be an architect, an American or even living.  Lerner wants to change the rule so that “two or more individuals practicing together” could be awarded the Gold Medal in the future “but only if their collaborative efforts over time are recognized as having created a singular body of distinguished work.”

Needless to say such a change would mirror the current practice of the Pritzker Foundation to give its distinguished architecture prize to more than one person.  Lerner, along with former AIANY President George Miller, introduced the proposal Tuesday at a luncheon honoring Denise Scott Brown.  According to McGuigan, Brown said that she and her husband collaborator, Robert Venturi, had submitted for the Gold Medal on four different occasions but each time the submissions were returned because they were for both of them.

The initiative to rewrite the Gold Medal rules is timely and long overdue.  Lerner’s more inclusive proposal is on fast track and could be considered by AIA’s national board of directors as early as June 18th, when the board next meets at the AIA National Convention.

AIANY takes to the public policy stage

Courtesy AIANY

The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) has long played an advisory role to Mayoral administrations, agencies, and the City Council.  Now the organization will intensive its efforts to shape public policy beginning with the current major effort, a 30 point “Platform for the Future of the City to be considered by candidates running for office in New York this year.

“For our city to maintain its global competitiveness in attracting and retaining talent and business opportunities elected leaders must envision the shape of the 21st-century metropolis.  Quality design of buildings and the public spaces between them increase property values and propels the desire to be here,” said Jill N. Lerner, 2013 AIANY chapter president.   “New York City needs the values, principles, practical knowledge, and professional expertise of the architect.”

Courtesy AIANY

Developed with the specialized knowledge of AIANY’s program committees, “A Platform for the Future of the City” addresses issues at four scales – our buildings, our neighbourhoods, our city and our world. The platform identifies the 30 most pressing challenges facing New York’s built environment ranging from streamlining the city government approvals and creating affordable housing for an ever growing population to maintaining global competitiveness and promoting design internationally as we grow business at home.  Some specific policy solutions proposed include creating a new Deputy Mayor post, building at least 100,000 units of housing, utilizing zoning and incentives to continue to grow the tech sector, promoting active design and making simple changes to support an aging population.

For more information about AIANY’s 30 point Platform for the Future of the City and the accompanying exhibition running from 11 May to 29 June titled “Future of the City”.  presented as part of NYCxDesign and now on view in the galleries of AIANY’s Center for Architecture go to  http://cfa.aiany.org.

Hudson Yards on View

 

Courtesy Related Cos.

Few projects come along in ones lifetime that are truly game changers.  In New York two such projects come to mind:  The redevelopment of Ground Zero and Hudson Yards.  Whilst Ground Zero has failed to deliver on its inspirational and aspirational promise, Hudson Yards has so far lived up to its vision.  When completed in 2025, the 26-acre mixed-use development project will redefine New York’s Far West Side and set the tone for future large scale development projects of its type in New York and beyond. While all eyes are on Hudson Yards, the construction site, the best place to see the project up close and personal is at the Center for Architecture in Greenwich Village where, for the next two months, the public can take in an exhibition on the project and hear from the many players bringing it to fruition.

 

Courtesy Related Cos.

Running now through 30 June, Design (in) The New Heart of New York details the making of Hudson Yards. An exhibition at the Center for Architecture’s breakthrough galleries puts on view never-seen-before elements of the design process and the evolution of this unprecedented project.

 

Courtesy Related Cos.

Complimenting the exhibition is an eight week speaker series featuring the key players involved in the project including David Childs, FAIA, of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; Liz Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Howard Elkus, FAIA, RIBA, of Elkus Manfredi Architects; David Rockwell, AIA or the Rockwell Group; and Thomas Woltz of Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.  As part of the series, Bill Pederson will present his designs for the two anchor towers at the project and speak of the overall vision and planning process behind Hudson Yards.  More details can be found at www.aiany.org.