I cut an albero’s leg

Sometimes forgetting about projects that you worked so hard, you had dreams and nightmares with is very easy.

Two years ago, I was spending long days at the DAI wood shop working on a torchiere assignment for my Rapid Prototyping class. The goal of the assignment was not only to design but also to build a lamp using CNC (computer numerical control) technology. My goal was to become familiar with the ShopBot and to make the Epilog Laser Engraver my best friend. For a whole semester, this assignment became my life, then it came with me to the four different places I lived in, until finally landing at my current “stable” home. Through all the moves, my poor torchiere survived crashes and a few parties. Today, I hugged her and decided to give her a new look by cutting 15″ off her tall leg. I am not sure if I made the best decision, but at least now she has a new look to be around for another couple of years (hopefully without moving so much). After all, a $500 torchiere should last you at least half decade right?

Let me introduce you the process of designing and building my beautiful (no joke) Albero Lamp:

Research: Understanding how a torchiere works.

Finding inspiration in the Architectural and Fashion worlds.

Study Sketches: 3-4 out of 25.

Study Sketches: 7-8.

Study Sketches: 11-12.

Study Sketches: 15-16.

Study Sketches: 19-20.

Initial 1/4" scale study models.

First 1/2" scale study model. This day was a painful one.

Finding a double layer of inspiration at the Academy of Sciences.

First full-scale prototype out of cardboard.

Expressing my love for endangered species and the epilog laser. Match made in heaven.

Finishing the Albero Torchiere. Made out of FSC certified maple appleply, brown English oak and plexiglass.

Her original height was six feet and starting today she has become a four-foot and three-quarters babe.

Happy indian summer,

~Isabel

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A 344 sq. ft. apartment that transforms into 24 different rooms …

Hola from San Francisco!

And I am back into the tornado and the path towards setting my roots in SF. While I pack to move into a new place, apply for jobs, prepare for interviews, type my thesis and catch up with friends and family, I don’t want to leave you all unattended as I appreciate that you follow my blog. So as a little break for you and me, here I am sharing an inspiring video that explains how architect Gary Chang transformed his tiny Hong-Kong apartment into a marvelous example of great space usage and eco efficiency.

Enjoy,

Isabel

DIY Living Wall

Busy busy busy, that is all I have to say. I hope you enjoyed the bus shelter entry from last month. Here I am again with some fascinating design solutions. Along with Elsa Chen a peer Design and Industry student … Continue reading

Fascinating Bus Shelters

Friday night, over a refreshing glass of Ichigo and some Kobe Beef asparragus, my boyfriend and I discussed the future of my creative work. After sketching and drinking away, we realized that there is more to furniture design than what we thought. By the end of the night, we have acknowledged the intricate components of bus shelters.

Bus shelters are structures that while being in the outside, provide protection and a sense of either safety or danger (depending of the design and the area where they are located). Bus shelters host furniture, reflect culture and meet human needs, not to mention their environmental importance.

Through the weekend, I decided to look a bus shelters over the world and have chosen the ones I find most fascinating. Here is to the beauty and importance of bus shelters:

  • Curitiba, Brazil. A futuristic design that proved to enhance the “public transportation” experience.

  • Casar de Caceres, Spain. What looks like a single sheet of concrete is a embracing structure designed by architect Justo García Rubío.

  • Athens, Georgia. American sculptor Christopher Fennel uses parts from decommissioned school buses from the 60s and 70s, to create a fully recycled shelter.

  • Dubai became the first city in the world to offer the luxury of air-conditioned bus shelters for passengers. The goal was to lure people into using public transportation in order to ease the pressure on the roads.

  • Sheffield, England. Green roof shelter. Soon we shall see urban gardens on the roofs of shelters.

  • Paris, France. Designed as part of the smart mobilities project, this bus stop was presented in 2008. Users waiting inside the bus stop could engage via a touch screen interface while pedestrians waiting outside could interact with a 6ft. custom LED display.

  • Victoria, Canada. The Victoria Bug Zoo is all about experiencing the world of insects and spiders. This ad is made from a plastic sheet with hundreds of small magnifying lenses, allowing passersby to see through a bug’s eyes.

  • Landshut, Germany. Design by Hild und K Architeckten. A computer-controlled high-energy laser beam cuts the chosen pattern in the Corten steel sheet. After cutting, the sheet is simply folded into a bus shelter. The internal panes of glass were fitted on the spot.

  • Scottsdale, Arizona. “Wavelength” bus shelter by artist Kevin S. Berry.

  • Sao Paolo, Brazil. Bus Sheleter for world cup. A whole soccer arch for you to inhabit.

  • London, England. Bus shelter modified by Bruno Taylor gives commuters a chance to have a little bit of playtime during their morning commute. He went and attached swings to a number of bus stops around the city.

My next step is to go around different high schools in the city and take pictures of near by bus shelters in order to see how well identified students are, as well as how inspired they may be to take public transportation.

Till next time …

Ciao ciao incandescent lighting

Ikea makes an environmental statement by removing incandescent light bulbs from their North American stores. The process will begin on August 1, and the goal is to have incandescent lighting completely eliminated from their shelves by January 1, 2011.

According to Mona Astra from Ikea “When you walk into the store on Jan. 1, you will not see one incandescent light bulb,” (NY Times). Ikea wants to make a difference first by eliminating plastic bags from their registers and now by phasing out incandescent light bulbs.

from incandescent to halogen

In order to keep offering light bulbs that fit in standard sockets and have a similar color rendering from incandescent lighting, the Swedish company will be introducing halogen light bulbs.

IKEA also provides solar-powered lighting alternatives such as the SUNNAN desk lamp and the SOLIG outdoor lights.

Some facts:

  • Approximately 90% of the power consumed by an incandescent light bulb is emitted as heat, rather than as visible light.
  • An incandescent bulb lasts about 750 to 1,000 hours in normal use. It’s not very efficient as in the process of radiating light, it also radiates an immense amount of infrared heat – much more heat than light.
  • Halogen bulbs include a lifespan which is twice as long as that of an incandescent bulb.
  • A halogen bulb produces around 25% more light from the same wattage of an incandescent bulb.  This makes it incredibly energy efficient.
  • Incandescent light bulbs are already banned in Europe.
  • CFLs last from 6-10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs (6000 – 10,000 vs. 1,000 hours) and use 80% less energy. Due to this lower energy use, they can save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb’s lifetime. (EnergyStar.gov)
  • If every American household replaced 1 incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for 1 year.(EnergyStar.gov)
  • According to 18seconds.org, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than two million cars and families would save more than $600 million in annual energy costs. The average American family spends $1,900 on energy bills each year. (green.yahoo.com/18seconds)

Read more at Ikea’s press release.