Our World Is A Box


I caught something over on WMMNA earlier today that I just had to check out. The above building with the multimedia installation on the side of it is the Kunsthaus Graz in Austria, designed by London architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. Now I really like the look of it, but I have to admit the aerial photographs remind me of something from Hayao Miyazaki’s Japanese manga, Nausica√ɬ§ of the Valley of Wind (like this thing – Link). Take a look at some shots for yourself (Link). Pretty funky.

The truth is, as much as I like it, I’d have a hard time arguing that structure doesn’t look out of place amongst all the rectilinear buildings. Their presence only emphasizes it’s organic quality. Which leads me to a comment made on a WorldChanging.com entry discussing, among other things, using rapid prototyping technology to fabricate buildings (the one in which I was mentioned – Link). I’ll quote the comment submitted by David Foley here:

I work in architecture and construction. … {snip} … A building fabricated by robots and algorithms? I think that will lead to many horrible buildings. It certainly has little to do with biomimicry.

When I read that all I could think of was a) the comments made by Google’s Marissa Ann Mayer and b) termite mounds, bee hives, and the buildings of Antoni Gaudi. And then it made me wonder just how long it might take for people to overcome their bias in favor of simple geometric shapes – like rectangles.

My monitor is rectangular. As is my scanner. My keyboard keys. A power transformer. My external speaker controls. The speakers. The computer housing. Both parts of my desk. … The house in which I live. …

There’s a joke in Second Life about wearing a box on your head.

{Image source: Kunsthaus Graz – I looked but sadly couldn’t find the name of the person who shot this photo or the copyright holder.}