It was a working dog and pony show yesterday on the Navigation Esplanade in the Greater East End of Houston. Installation was going on while the cameras were rolling from ABC13, The Chronicle, Swamplot and Culture Map. Work by artists Gary Sweeney (Faux Bois anchor and benches) and Anthony Schumate (letter-form benches, bike racks and bus stops) was placed along with Mercado Picado Kiosks, Ringo LED lights and solar generators. Thank you to the Greater East End, our enlightened clients, and The Art Guys (Lead Artist). To be completed in October.
We recently made the trip to Littlestown, PA (near Gettysburg) to the Philips Hadco manufacturing plant check in on the production of the Ringo light fixtures. The housings units are being sand cast out of aluminum and assembled in the facilty with LED electrical equipment integrated before being boxed up for shipment. The Greater East End will be receiving the exclusive feature of the overhead "string lights" suspended from two pipe outriggers above the disc housing the main luminaire (lights shown are placeholders). These units will be fitted with 16 node LED boards based on photometric data generated for the site making them extra efficienct for the solar powered system to sustain with 3-5 days of battery backup. The lights can be fitted with up to 80 node LED boards for more lumens in future orders.
Four panel solar generators are going into the Navigation Blvd. esplanade for the Greater East End in Houston. Solar panels will be installed next along with the Ringo fixtures in August, approximately 10 lights per generator. The bolt covers on the generators match the color of the string of fixtures that they will power.
TRAVEL BOOTH The next implementation of the photobooth product line. The travel booth is designed to be thin and easy to assemble, allowing it to easily be taken by a single person from one event to another.
GRO-POD The gro-POD, a revolutionary yet simple raised bed gardening system, is a drag and drop garden that can reclaim any existing space as new growing grounds. A project supported by the University of Houston Green Building Components (UHGBC) applied research program, the gro-POD is ideal for use in community gardens, commercial developments, and private home gardens - anywhere there is a flat surface! The gro-POD is inexpensive, movable, reusable, and high quality – perfect for do-it-yourself groups without being too much work to get down to the business of urban growing. gro-POD… Grow Anywhere! www.gro-pod.com
PODA the PLAY A commission for the Houston Arts Alliance Portable Art on Demand project. Given the presence of both the (grown-up) museum and the children present in the park context of Discovery Green we suggested the overarching narrative of PLAY, as a guiding concept for the development of the repurposed PODS container. The PLAY narrative capitalizes on the context of the park setting and open space, but perhaps more fittingly, offers an energetic creative outlet for both creators and the participants. PLAY also makes a subtle reference to the consumer culture of consumption, acquisition, and obsolescence that defines the lifecycle of the playthings that we buy, and that leads to the now ubiquitous demand and market for self-storage solutions like PODS. Themes developed with students in the DigiFAB seminar included concepts such as unpacking and laying out reconfigurable furniture, laying out maze-like components into pathways, creating a sound piece by replacing POD walls with xylophone bars, creating interior cave-like spaces by removing solid biomorphic forms that function as provocative objects on the surrounding lawn.
Our first PV-POD application has been installed on the roof of the new Houston Permitting Center opening soon. The building will house the new Green Building Resource Center and the roof will be viewable from penthouse in the central staircase. This installation will expand with to include more solar and wind turbines on the roof.
PHOTO CON QUESO Photo Con Queso is a digitally designed and fabricated Photobooth. This unique object exemplifies our ability to develop prototypical products and bring them quickly to market. The design was based on the integration of the equipment including a digital SLR camera, CPU, strobe lighting, touch-screen LCD monitor and dye-sub printer into a sleek, minimal container with easy access for maintenance. Parametric software was used to design the variable perforation pattern that aligns with the regions of the surface that are formed with single curvature. By unrolling the parts from the 3D model it was possible to accurately derive the patterns to build the shell within a high dimensional tolerance. The surface and interior support components are CNC laser-cut from 1/8” steel and powder-coated. www.photoconqueso.com
Houston's first offgrid building has been completed by METALAB as a research project in the UHGBC (Green Building Components) initative. The charge has been to team up with industrial partners to perfect the product with regards to its design and access to market. Harvest Moon Development, ttweak renewables and METALAB have formed a joint-venture to build and distribute these as disaster relief centers, triage/medical offices, security stations, parks & recreation spaces, sales centers, educational centers and construction field offices. The SPACE's PV system with battery backup will provide the unit with power for 3-4 days in the event of successive days without sun and a small generator provides a 2nd backup. Standard Renewable Energy, our region's largest onsite renewable energy vendor, has provided the technical specification of equipment and installation. The project will be on view this month at the UHGBC Exhibition opening this Tuesday, Sept. 8th and continuing until Sept. 18th. Come by and see the other exciting research projects produced by faculty and students at the University of Houston.
The full-scale Grotto cut out of 1/8", 1/4" and 3/8" stainless steel sheets will need more tolerance between the components as we incrementally assemble the structure. It won't be possible to weld a part without checking and tweaking the alignments a few cells away. We've devised a system of holes that will allow for fasteners to be placed to hold the connectors to the ribs temporarily. As adjustments are made to the braked angles, the fasteners are tightened and contact is made. Two other holes in the connector will provide easy access to perform a basic plug weld. Fasteners are removed, welds ground and the entire structure will be glass-bead sandblasted, erasing the trace of the assembly process.
The Photobooth for Brooke Schwab Photography has returned with its coat of white paint ready for the equipment installation. It will begin making the rounds to weddings and other events for original candid photos taken from a innovative and elegant container. standing on the ballast plate upper aperture for strobe light, camera and touch screen monitor below perforation down the side along the radius of the bends only and blending into the flat solid surface via a sorting script interior, access door open access door closed embedded casters for short distance mobility and placement on ballast plate for stability
The Photobooth is ready to be fabricated. Our assembly team at Merge will receive a kit-of-parts of digitally cut components ready to be formed and welded, a 1/4 scale model and some diagrams... not one dimensioned drawing! Metalab has designed and authored the parts for this innovative and mobile Photobooth. Our clients at BSP will transport and install this at weddings and other occasions for quick, high quality photos printed on the spot. The wheels will be integrated into the box with removable handles so the unit can be easily moved onto the thick ballast plate from the truck/crate.
We are designing an innovative portable photobooth for Brooke Schwab Photography.
We are working with Harvest Moon Development, Ttweak and Merge Studios to design, fabricate and install a Sales Center for the proposed Mirabeau B Condominium project.