A Search for Ideas: Inspirations at the Source

As this blog is a medium for venting and analyzing current phenomena in hopes of spawning new ideas, this week I have again searched the Web for resources and would like to share what I find most inspiring. But rather than providing items that each draw from a range of sources as I did previously, I am instead aiming to share original, more specific nodes for ideas; each item I found highlights its author's unique philosophies. Referencing the Webby Awards and IMSA criteria for evaluating websites and blogs, I have added the ten items I found to my sidebar linkroll. As someone forming my own ideology, I find the personal accounts of currently developing theses to be particularly exciting. Xárene Eskandar's Tentative Architecture, a UCLA Master of Fine Arts thesis project, which I mentioned in my last post, contains extremely insightful proposals about immaterial architecture. The site is animated and ordered, yet it does not make use of the web's potential for interactivity. The two other theses are both blogs. Mantone's blog is undermined by instances of casual language and an absence of credible background information, but the insights pertaining to architecture and communication are exceptionally profound. It is also interesting to trace the evolution of Mantone's thesis statement. The other blog is by Raphael Zollinger, a grad student at NYU who provides frequent reports of detailed progress on his thesis for interactive computing for design. However, the blog would be even more interesting if there was dialogue being generated.

The majority of my findings are websites of professionals. Design websites are of Troika Design Studio and Hoberman Associates. The Troika Design Studio's website is clearly and attractively structured and contains in-depth images, videos, and text describing the studio's ingenious projects. The Hoberman Associates site is also visually appealing and well organized, however the projects, which focus on transformable design, have very brief descriptions. Both of these sites could be further improved by adding interactive elements. Information analysis websites are of the University of Columbia's Spatial Information Design Lab and professor emeritus Edward Tufte. The Spatial Information Design Lab's site is graphically striking and composed for simplicity, yet it does not invite users to participate. On the other hand, while Tufte's website is a bit boring aesthetically, it is currently active with discussion not only between site visitors, but with Tufte himself. Of the professional websites, I find the architecture firms' most inspiring; each fuses architecture, design, data, and technology uniquely. Asymptote Architecture searches for a common ground between architecture and technology. Their website interactively allows users to redraw elements; however the site's advanced use of technology can become tiring because it lengthens in-site navigation time. Activity on LOT-EK's website is also slowed because of animations, but the projects involving mobile architecture are exciting and novel. Finally, while the dECOi Atelier website is graphically disappointing, as it houses a constant ad in the browser, and it lacks thorough information, the content that is listed is about algorithmically generated architecture (pictured above) and is perhaps the most impressive and innovative of all items.

1 comment:

AMH said...

First of all this is my first time reading your blog and I was immediately impressed with the way in which you present your information. I thought being far from knowledgeable about the topics being discussed would hamper my interest in your posts but it has only intrigued me. I really like the way in which you approached the LinkRoll of your site. You clearly acknowledge your real purpose, focusing on unique philosophies in each site, and I think the post benefits from this enhanced focus. My only comment on that would be that it became a little difficult to pull out the specific theses as you went through your links. I liked the decision to maintain a theme from the outset, but it may have gotten lost as the post progressed.

Your writing and manner in which you critique the sites is strong and professional. Your criticism is a nice blend of technical site aspects as well as content aspects, all of which tie back to the criteria of the Webby Awards and IMSA. The sites you have chosen and the way you have chosen to explore them demonstrates an obvious familiarity with the topic. I particularly like the way you maintained some criteria, such as interactivity, throughout the links, without becoming repetitive or bogged down. Maintaining this thread throughout helped make the post easier and more engaging to read.

On the technical side, I found it a bit distracting that the line spacing changes between paragraphs, but this may just be as simple formatting issue. Overall, I believe you create a strong post and series of links here, and I'm most impressed by the way you created a distinct focus for the sites chosen.

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