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21. 09. 2006  18:10 | 01_Mobility_&_Mashup_Situations , 02_Project_Links_&_Ressources_4 , 12_Curated_posts

Small Office / Home Office (SOHO) in China

In MARK Magazine no2 (last summer), there is an article explaining that the construction of 'SOHO' housing is booming in China.
'SOHO', for 'Small Office / Home Office' is, has Femke Bijlsma is explaining in Mark "(...) a Japanese term with english roots. More explicitely, sohos are either the homes of people with internet-based work or small internet-related workstations at shared office. A phenomenon of the early '90s, the soho came into its own in 2002 when, for the first time, a housing project in Japan was developed specifically with the Soho in mind. (...) Suppressed for decades, the spirit of enterprise is rampant in a country teeming with entrepreneurs and start-up companies. Sohos in central Beijing are in great demand. The lower floors of these skyscrapers are occupied primarily by eateries, caf├ęs, boutiques and travel agencies, while hair salons, massage parlours and all sorts of small offices fill the higher levels. Late into the evening, these buildings are hotbeds of feverish activity (...)."
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soho_00_xs.jpg soho_02_xs.jpg

Posted by patrick keller at 18:10

20. 09. 2006  14:12 | 03_Sketches_&_Projects_4

Multi-functions / hybrid table sketches

At one point during the Workshop#4 process, we needed a long table to realise some live tests. We thought about producing a table that would match our "one room to leave, work, eat, entertain, etc." concept. An hybrid and multi-functional table that would prolong some of the Workshop#3 results.
Following these early abstract proposals done by Aude Genton during Philippe Rahm's workshop, I quickly tried some further sketches for that "hybrid functions" table (bed, table, cooking area, settee, cupboard, drawer, reception desk, boudoir, closet, ... --see below--) that could be used on all of its sides.
As we were not really convincing with those early sketches (looked a bit like an unpractical refugees camp table), we finally decided not to go further with that project and use a regular (and smaller) table for our tests...

tables1_m.jpg
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TIMG_0018_m.jpg
TIMG_0019_m.jpg

Posted by patrick keller at 14:12

19. 09. 2006  11:15 | 02_Project_Links_&_Ressources_4

Venice superblog

venice_superblog.jpg
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The Venice Biennal of Architecture runs a blog with different comments about the event but also with a section containing interviews of architects, curators, artists (Eliasson, Cook, Herzog, etc.). No particular topic in relation with the *Variable environment* project, but probably some interesting "super"content.

Posted by patrick keller at 11:15

07. 09. 2006  14:58 | 03_Sketches_&_Projects_4

VTSC System - Testing

VTSC (Visual Tracking of Spatial Configurations) was successfully installed and launched on a Mini Mac running Windows XP through the use of Bootcamp. VTSC software will be necessary to achieve a spatial tracking for workshop#4

The tested configuration includes the use of one Mac Mini, 4 USB webcams from Logitech (Quickcam for Notebook Pro), a USB Hub and a heterogeneous set of cable length for each connected webcams (see picture below).

The very last driver from Logitech (version 10.X) seems to generate problems (kernel using 100% CPU time and JMF crash when accessing to a webcam video stream). These problems can be avoided by using a driver version 9.X. The moderator was also running on the same Mini Mac without major frame rate loss.

Mini Mac may be the system that will be used for the final setup, when the connection with SWIS laboratory - EPFL's e-puck controller will be performed.
The Logitech's Quickcam pro also serves us as a base for the (web)camera objects.
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vtsc-macmini_01s.JPG

Posted by fabric | ch at 14:58

04. 09. 2006  10:48 | 02_Project_Links_&_Ressources_4 , 07_Diverse , 12_Curated_posts

Sustainable design & consumption

I've read in the last "Doors of Perception Report" by John Tackara a annoucement about SCORE conference. SCORE will be a new network of institutions that deal with sustainable design and sustainable consumption questions. It is supported by the European Community.
We mentioned early in this ra&d project that one of the main related question with the "mobility", "mobile" or "variable environment" context was the question of energy consumption. As this question is not our main focus during this project but as we also clearly recognized it as an important issue, we will therefore follow the work of SCORE with interests.
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"SCORE IN WUPPERTAL
Mobility, agro-food, and energy use contribute 70% of the life cycle impacts of household consumption. But just telling people to go green is futile. Multiple actors need to work together at a system level for sustainable consumption and production to be realized. Welcome, then, SCORE! (Sustainable Consumption Research Exchanges) - an EU-funded network (28 institutions, and a few hundred professionals) an interchange for cases of radical sustainable consumption. SCORE!'s launch conference is 23 to 25 November in Wuppertal, Germany.
http://www.score-network.org"
(J. Thackara in Doors of Perception Report, September 2006)

Posted by patrick keller at 10:48