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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Avatar movie posters! No, it's the other Avatar movie.

I really loved The Sixth Sense when it first came out, but right now I feel M. Night Shyamalan has lost a lot if his magic; The Village and other of his supposedly sophisticated mashup of horror/fantasy/sci-fi movies are really, really disappointing. So when Night was announced as the director of the Avatar cartoon movie - carefully retitled The Last Airbender so James Cameron wouldn't get pissed off at Nickelodeon - I assumed airbending fans were in for a mass suicide. Then the trailer came out, and it looked awesome. Seriously, just take a look at it :

Now the movie posters have come out, and they're equally as awesome and stylish as the trailer. How is this possible? How is Night not fucking this up? Also, isn't that our first decent look at Zuko, and doesn't he look kind of badass? What the hell is happening here? My brain tells me the movie will be a disaster, but my eyes keep telling me something different. It's all very confusing. (Via /Film)


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Friday, January 22, 2010

The world's most screw-up URL

I could not stand not to take the picture above because it's so funny. Sorry for the lack of technical skill because it was a spontaneous effort using my cellphone camera. As you have noticed, this is a signpost of the West Java (the Indonesian province where I live) chapter of IWAPI.
Apparently being savvy businesswomen doesn't mean being savvy in IT as well. Just take a look at the URL address next to the word 'website' (as always, click the picture to see the larger version).
Here is the 'URL' if you want to make sure you read it right :
Anyone who can access that web page is a certified genius or mad scientist...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The most screwed-up URL

Being business-sawy doesn't always IT-savvy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CAD cartoons!

The use of CAD or BIM in architecture/design field is nothing ordinary these days, especially for younger generations; but there were times when Computer Aided Design sounds like something that came out of 1950's sci-fi movies.

There is this one anecdote where one young architecture student presented his all-computer aided drawings to his professor. The professor observed the pencil-less drawings and said to the student, "If your computer did all of these things, where's your work?" (seriously, it's a true story!)

These days, the digital gap between younger and older generations may have been less wider than in the past, but that doesn't mean the gap isn't still there, as shown by the caricature below :


CAD/BIM can also present its own set of problems as well. There's no way in the past staffs of a design firm debating (or even fighting!) over pencil standard' or whatever. But, in today's world, it's a routine, especially for newly-bloomed firms with so many young designers with various CAD skill :


Another set of problem with CAD/BIM software is the classic 'layer' problem. What at first is a tool to ease to design/drafting process, now has become some sort of a monster by itself ; since layering a drawing-if not done wisely-can lead to literally a thousand mess :


Now this is a modern problem. Many design firms today have gradually left CAD software for BIM (Building Information Modeling). BIM offers a unique opportunity to integrate the whole process of designing into one single experience, which is more efficient design-wise (click here for more), which is more than can be said about its predecessor-CAD-which basically is nothing more than glorified drafting board.

But unfortunately, this glorified drafting board is still commonly used in the architect's partner-in-crime office : the construction firms. You can guess what happens next : different standard leads to different understanding and file-reading between the computers in both office...and chaos ensues :


Sadly, all of these progress in technology hasn't yet overcome the biggest monster of them all : the deadline!


Digital revolution, whether you like it or not, it's here to stay!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Return of Kitty Pryde trailer

Marvel has released a trailer for the long-awaited (at least for me) return of Kitty Pryde. She will return after whatever it is she's doing in space after saving the Earth from a giant bullet in Joss Whedon's "season finale" of his Astonishing X-Men run (you know, the fact that I can write a sentence like this with a straight face is one of the things that make me love comicbooks...) .

Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men has garnered a lot of praise. One of the praise came from Whedon's ability to conceptualize such a strong female character in Kitty Pryde. Considering Whedon's track records of strong female characters of his own creation (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, characters from Firefly/Serenity, Dollhouse, etc), it's hardly a surprise.


For me, Whedon had me becoming one of Kitty's fans. That's the surprising part because in my opinion, Marvel is never traditionally known for their interesting female characters.

Anyway, Kitty will return in March's Uncanny X-Men #522 and I will eagerly wait in anticipation.

Oh, here's the link if you want to read the whole Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men.

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Another World Architecture : Liberty City from Grand Theft Auto IV and her sister city, Bandung, Indonesia

Even though Liberty City is loosely based on New York City, I always have this strange feeling that this virtual city is based on my hometown, Bandung. The similarity between the two towns, I find, is strikingly similar.

Liberty City is Richard Rogers' worst nightmare: a city designed for those in love with cars. The former advisor to the London Mayor, should he visit, is more likely to be mowed down by an out-of-control automobile than sip an overpriced latte in a pedestrianised piazza peppered with parasols. Foreigners who visit Bandung should also be careful lest he/she will be mowed down not by an out-of -control automobile but by public transportation drivers and motorbike riders who think that they are playing a real-life version of GTA IV or Need for Speed.

Bandung-whether the citizens realize it or not-also is a city built NOT for people, but for cars and those in love with cars. Try using the sidewalk and soon you'll feel you're in pedestrian hell as you'll also fight for the walking space with street hawkers, not to mention the difficult accesibility for those with different ability. The comparison between public space and parking space is also very unfair you'd think people in this city never steps out of their cars.


It's really ironic since Thomas Karsten-the Dutch urban designer who built the city almost 200 years ago-designed the Bandung with the concept of "Garden City", an urban planning movement founded in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the UK. Garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained, communities surrounded by greenbelts, containing carefully balanced areas of residences, industry, and agriculture. From this perhaps Bandung once nicknamed "The Flower City".

Back to Liberty City, Despite the evident dangers, people flock to live here. Perhaps its the dramatic sunsets, the coastal location or Liberty City's aesthetic affinity with the Big Apple.

People also still loves Bandung despite those things mentioned above, despite the "Flower City" nickname getting more irrelevant, and despite the city gets more "mechanopolitan" than "humanopolitan" (I probably should discuss these terms later). I personally hope Bandung should never becomes like Liberty City or I'll start jump into a car, looting and shooting everyone within my sight.


Wait, now that's an awesome thought!

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Indonesian Pavillion in Shanghai World Expo 2010 - What I Love and What I Loathe

I always love the idea of a World Expo although I have never visited one. The idea of (almost) every country in the world tries to promote what's great about them and to out-awesome one another in terms of kicking-ass pavillion design fascinates me both as a culture lover (not just pop or geeky one, mind you) and as someone with architectural background. It's as if as a designer you could always go wild with this kind of project.


Sorry for those of you who can't speak Indonesian, but I can't find the English-dubbed version of this video.

Yes, this video is a CGI presentation about the title above, the Indonesian Pavillion in Shanghai World Expo 2010.

I really dig the design, very Corbusian approach with all the pilotis columns and an interesting interpretation of strip windows. Adds up a free-flow floor plan with tidbits of Indonesian cultural heritage here and there and I think you' d have a winner. But one thing about this video presentation really bugs me off. Slide your media player to 02:26 to 02:28 and listen to the narrator talks about the design style of the pavillion being "traditional, modern, contemporary". It always irks me when government-sponsored script writers for this kind of thing take their cues from real estate brochures. If you ever have read any Indonesian publications promoted by property industry, chances are you're going to find a lot of terms like "modern tropical", "traditional contemporary", "minimalistic design", and the likes.

In my opinion, this will only lead to more misunderstanding among the "muggles" (sorry for the Harry Potter reference there. This, after all, is a geek's blog.) that design is merely about styles. Call me old-school or conservative but I'm a firm believer in William Pena's school of thoughts that design is problem solving , not merely a "style". How you approach to solve a particular problem is what design is all about. But still, beside that annoying narrator, this, I think, is an awesome design

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