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SiliconHub is a philantrophic opensource mixed use project that reinvents Old Street roundabout. It is a blend of opensource hardware workshops, opensource cinema, public & event spaces, office and startup business space. A creative and free building has been designed to help local businesses, designers and entrepreneurs. The building is almost completely opensource, with nearly all areas, including the workshops being available for free. The advertising that surrounds the building funds the opensource elements of the building.

The public space has been designed to improve access to and from the station, but also provide a beautiful and inspiring venue to meet friends, watch films / sporting events for free and work. The greenery has been carefully stitched into the urban fabric of the site, the slight undulations and manipulations in floor height create seating areas that encourage social interaction and bonding.

German communications agency Serviceplan and graphic designers Matthäus Frost and Mathias Nösel have devised a uniquely appropriate way to present an annual report. The client is Austria Solar, an association of 51 solar energy companies. When examined indoors, the pages of the document are entirely blank.

However, when exposed to sunlight, the paper starts to beautifully reveal itself…

Click here for slightly more information on the project!

About Kickstart

KickStart is a company that aims to help millions of people out of poverty. They promote sustainable economic growth and employment creation in Kenya and other countries. They develop and promote technologies that can be used by dynamic entrepreneurs to establish and run profitable small scale enterprises.

How do they do it?

1. IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES – What business will be profitable for these people, in this place?

2. DESIGN PRODUCTS – What new tools will make this possible?

3. ESTABLISH A SUPPLY CHAIN – How can we produce these?

4. DEVELOP THE MARKET – How do we convince someone with little money to make a big investment?

5. MEASURE AND MOVE ALONG – Is this going as we planned?

Product Example – Super Money Maker Water Pump

Kick start have taken and developed the traditional pump creating a super efficient water pump that can be operated autonomously, the beauty of it is its portability and its power. Water is needed worldwide, especially for farming, and a pump like this changes lives, it is such a necessity for all third world farmers.

Thousands use it to pump water from hand-dug wells, rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. It is ideal for sprinkler irrigation, filling overhead water tanks, or for use with nozzles and sprays attached to the end of the delivery hose. This powerful pump can draw water up from 23 feet (7m) and has a total pumping head of 46 feet (14m). It can be used to irrigate up to 2 acres of land.

The way KickStart works is inspiring and the company are of great interest to me. The pump especially, as within third world countries the scarcity of water and the ability to move it  is such a pertinent issue.

http://www.kickstart.org/

After researching into our third brief, I became interested in the spaces that can be created by digital media, the internet and social networking.

The internet connects people from all over the world, with many people already experiencing online spaces, such as World of Warcraft, Second Life and even Facebook (to name a few). Although they are experiencing other environments, they are not actually there, it just a screen in front of their face. Will technology advance to the point where you can experience Virtual Reality? And instead of merely clicking on your facebook page and looking at it on a screen, you hardwire yourself to the internet and experience your facebook space in a real, 3D environment. It all sounds a little far fetched, but with every increasing developments in technology it might just become reality.

The video below by Paul Nicholls is very interesting and highlights my thoughts above ‘where the boundaries between what is real and what is simulated are blurred’.

MudPit embodies  the fun and energy of burning man, a place where you can return to your primitive ways and act as childish as you like, you may even witness a spot of wrestling if you’re lucky.

Branching Structure

Throughout the design process I have been keen to emulate and utilise the natural beauty and strength of branching structures in nature. The design was realised through a series of analogue and digital experiments looking at branching systems, slowly evolving into the design shown.  The structure is made from PVC pipe with metal framework, and is tapped into the ground, quite literally as some of the branches are drilled deeper into the ground, tapping into the Playas water table. This means that a constant and almost guaranteed supply of water will be available, lowering the reliance on providing water for the structure.

The water would then be sucked up through the pipes using either a hand pump or a solar pump and then sprinkled into the centre of the structure, creating the MudPit.

Mudpits in Nature

Mudpits within nature are important. Animals from all over the world use mud to their advantage. Elephants, pigs, rhinos and many more use it primarily too cool off and to also protect their skin from the sun. Other animals such as vultures use the mud to clean the bacteria from their feathers.

But lets not forget the importance of interaction between animals within the mud, they will play with each other in the mud creating and reinforcing strong social bonds. The mudpit is not only a place to improve ones health, it is a place to socialise.

Humans seem to relish a primitive mud fight, from festival goers to rugby players to spa lovers, many experience mud’s positive qualities on a regular basis.

A short animation produced as part of my digirep module. Set in the Nevada desert a de-hydrated man feeling the effects of a previous night has a pretty unpleasant time and experiences some pretty trippy goings on.

Produced using Photoshop and After Effects.

Film by Chris Mount at University of Westminster DS10.