We had a great time preparing for the submission and participating in the exhibition and presentation of our "Riverboat" project for the competition in San Antonio. The team from Metalab all attended and assisted with getting the design in the spotlight. The only hitch was a last minute dead battery powering the LED in the model. Channel 12 was there to cover the event. What an experience!
PV-Pod is featured in a Architect Magazaine examining the progess made since winning the 2012 R+D Award. View the full article here.
Ringo was selected as a 2014 finalist for the Products + Lighting category in this year's Architizer A+ Awards. Be sure to vote before March 21!
Mobile Grid and Metalab were hired on by Coca-Cola with DEKA and NRG to design and fabricate EKOCENTER, a 20' shipping container repurposed as a market kiosk, water purification center, and source of electricity aimed at enhancing communities and empowering women entrepreneurs in socio-economically challenged countries around the world. The prototype was unveiled in South Africa with Muhtar Kent (CEO) and Condoleezza Rice. Videos can be found here: Gotas de Vida; EKOCENTER Partnership; Coca-Cola and Multi-National Companies launch EKOCENTER
New York Times Fashion and Style writer Christopher Barnard paints a picture of the reemergence of the photobooth experience. These digital photobooths, Smilebooth and its counterparts, are taking social events across the nation by storm.
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.
Some interesting news on the horizon...
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.
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 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.