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Patrick Tierney (M, 32)
Princeton, US
Immortal since Oct 7, 2007
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    Researchers from the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at Keio University in Japan have developed a brain-computer interface that enables users to control the movements of Second Life avatars without moving a muscle.

    It's a brain wave scanner, and as the video shows it surprisingly good control over your avatar in Second Life for a device that doesn't need to be glued to your head (though it is a little slow).






    Shuhei Endo has been doing some interesting work with geodesic dome structures. One of his larger projects is the ECO House, a huge bean shaped geodesic dome with grass growing around much of the outside. He said it keeps the inside 10 degrees cooler on the inside without air conditioning (I dont know if it's Celsius or Fahrenheit). The ECO House encloses 9 tennis courts in one snaking bean shape without any obstructing walls or columns. He did a kindergarten in a similar fashion though at a much smaller scale. I like how it makes children sized overhangs.






    Kaichiro Morikawa gave a talk on the Otaku subculture in Japan on Monday. It was primarily an anthropological talk, though near the end he started making some great parallels between the internet, architecture, and user generated content. Otakus are the anime and manga obsessed citizens of Japan, and have created districts in Tokyo with distinct architectural and design styles based on the Otaku's needs and personalities. The buildings in Otaku districts are more private than contemporary buildings, yet also offer places to display user generated content such as fanzines and "garage kits."

    How we design buildings and structure cities is primarily based on global trends (the glass and steel of modernisms for example) or "capitalism translated in to space" (giving the biggest buildings and central locations to rich corporations). These two design methodologies often dont reflect the subtle needs of subcultures. The internet knows this all too well, and it is this feature of the internet that has given rise to so many diverse groups. How can architecture catch up?


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    Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, co-principal of the Atelier Bow-Wow firm out of Tokyo, just gave a talk at Perlof Hall here at UCLA, and showed off a few of his buildings and projects. One of the most striking ones, and one that really to me thinking about a great style of building was his Tower House.


    The house is incredibly narrow, only several meters across, and fits a fully functional house, as well as a patio on top. I'm imagining placing houses like this anywhere in Los Angeles you have 12 feet by 30 foot lot.


    One of the best parts is that the couch, library, and living room are all on different levels. This generates "3 dimensional conversations."
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