How does your community rank up?

dead_fish-512Score card, is a  forgotten resource that I rediscovered recently while in conversation with a friend. This is a helpful tool to use when considering moving to a new neighborhood, city, or state as it comparatively lists all EPA reported environmental hazards. In other words, it shows how dirty your community is in comparison to a national average.

Check out how your community stands here:


Awesome Interiors: The HR Giger Bar

I recently stumbled upon this imaginative space created by Swiss artist H. R. Giger. The HR Giger Bar, located in Gruyères, Switzerland provides a unique an otherworldly experience for its visitors. As if from a Science fiction movie or the mind of Antoni Gaudí, the interior (including the ceiling, walls, floors, fittings, tables, and chairs) are all modeled in a skeletal/vertebrae-style that the artist derived from his ‘Alien’ biomechanical environment and character designs.

While fairly monochromatic the atmosphere here skillfully blends both art and architecture with its infusion of texture, layers, and pockets of light and dark. Striking an almost primal bone (feel free to laugh), the use of what appears to be concrete as a skeletal material presents an interesting commentary about spaces where the living surrounded themselves by dead things (i.e. museums).

What do you think about this space? Would you visit? Please leave a comment below  and be sure to check out this great 360 panorama courtesy of Matthias Belz and H.R. Giger Bar’s official website!


Plastics Buildings for the Homeless ?

CaptureRecently, I came across this video which in short highlights an initiative to provide housing for homeless in Columbia by building 430sqft structures out of recycled plastic!

At a glance, it is a brilliant altruistic idea that has a lot of potential in helping an array of housing and environmental issues present in almost every country. This not only includes populations that are homeless, but those that may have been displaced due to naturally occurring disasters, social/political strife, war, or those areas which are experiencing shortages of material or an abundance of trash. The process demonstrated in the video appears simple enough:

Collect plastics (bottles, containers, etc.) → mill them down → melt and mold into bricks → stack via tongue and groove.

Capture 2On a more critical note, I still harbor some questions about it:

  • The structural stability of these houses
  • The lifespan of the material ( how it will degrade and affect the environment)
  • Potential hazardous health effects from long-term exposure to the plastics and additives
  • Large-scale  feasibility for a large issue

What are your thoughts on utilizing this material? I would also love to hear  if you know more about the specifics of this project?

Historically Preserved: Ames Farm House Museum

Origin While under construction in 1860, the Farm House was the only building for miles around on the expansive farmland of Story County, Iowa. As the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm developed, the Farm House became the campus’ cultural hub. Students working at the Model Farm came to the house to receive their daily assignments. It was also the first home to many farm managers, deans of the Agriculture College, and their families during the early years of the college.

Restoration The Farm House received the honor of being designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. When the last resident, Dean of Agriculture Floyd Andre, moved out in 1970, work began to preserve and develop the home into a museum. The house was restored to reflect its first fifty years, 1860 to 1910. Funding for the project came from public and private donations as well as a federal grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Farm House Museum formally opened on July 4, 1976 in honor of the nation’s bicentennial.

Today University Museums is composed of the Farm House Museum, the Brunnier Art Museum, the Christian Petersen Art Museum, the Elizabeth and Byron Anderson Sculpture Garden and the Art on Campus Collection. The Farm House Museum and its collection of art and historic objects are utilized by classes and programs across Iowa State for educational and cultural enrichment.