The whole world seems a(go)g with excitement over the launch, the super successful launch, of Pokémon Go – Niantic’s version of the popular game of catching these cute little monsters in pokeballs, which takes players out to the real world around them to do so, powered by Augmented Reality technology. Players of the game across generations are getting drawn to venture out to places near and far, known or unknown, famous or non-descript, in an effort to catch their favourite Pokémon, and in the process, they are looking at and interacting with public spaces in their cities like they’ve never done before. Talk is already rife about how this phenomenon might impact the design, planning and maintenance of cities as such, given that gamers (whose numbers are huge) will now be ‘using’ and ‘seeing’ their cities more. There is yet another, potentially more impactful, implication of this phenomenon – the easy and inexpensive availability and applicability of Augmented Reality (AR) technology usable through simple cell phones and tablets. Would we not like to explore whether the success of Pokémon Go heralds the democratisation of heretofore high-end AR technology, bringing it closer to large scale applications in various real life fields like city planning or building design? Of course, we would. So, let’s go!
Continuing with the theme of the sensitive challenge of designing kindergartens, we shift focus to the interiors. The design of the inner space of a play school, where the impressionable little tots are required to spend boundlessly energetic days playing, learning, jumping, frolicking and growing, surely calls for some special and imaginative attention. Here again, we encounter an amazing variety of solutions despite the commonalities like kid-scale amenities, bright colours and a profusion of shapes. The spaces need to be cheerful, able to stimulate their creative and intellectual thinking and most importantly, be safe! Both TFOD and the internet in general display a plethora of brilliant kindergarten designs - so come, join the fun!
Kindergartens – where the wonder years are spent, which is only the second place a child is exposed to in her life after her own home, where parents leave their precious children in the care of relative strangers, reposing their trust in them to guide them through a safe, healthy, caring and happy childhood. So, it’s quite clear what the design requirements for kindergartens are – child-safe, child-friendly, hygienic, cheerful and interactive environments. It’s a project that demands a heightened level of sensitivity. The topic was one of the first projects to be assigned to us in architecture school as I remember, as the scale seemed good for beginners; but retrospectively it appears to be an ideal assignment to begin to fine tune our sensitivities as designers. It’s interesting though to observe the huge variety in approach by different designers to the problem, and also the perfect fit each of them proves to be.
Mumbai based architecture firm, RSA, was founded by Architect Rumy Shroff back in the year 1977. With an experience of almost 40 years of independent practice, they have worked on projects of various scales and diversity. Their interesting mélange of youth and experience has helped them bag this week’s TFOD Profile of the Week.
Dubai takes another leap in the field of architecture and technology by completing the world’s first ever 3-D printed office building. This milestone is a result of UAE and Dubai’s 3D Printing Strategy which is an exceptional worldwide initiative to use technology for the betterment of society. Within a month of launching the Dubai 3D Printing strategy, they have inaugurated the first 3D printed office which tells a great success story for Dubai. Though they have begun with construction, their focus also extends to medicine and consumer goods. The building has been designed by architectural firm Gensler, structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti and created by the contoversial Chinese 3D-printing firm Winsun.
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