Happy New Year guys!!! 2014 brought some amazing products/ buildings/ technology for me.
Art, Architecture, Design & Technology have been crossing paths frequently now, and this confluence of disciplines has spelled amazing products and designs for the consumer. 2014 was a great year for a person who loves Design and technology and the ever growing market was booming like never before. A few designs & innovations touched me too and the top picks for me from various disciplines in 2014 have been.
The Mangalyaan – Mission to Mars by ISRO
The proudest moment for India in 2014 was its indigenous mission to Mars. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan a spacecraft orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The most commendable part is that it is India’s first interplanetary mission and ISRO has become the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency. It is also the first nation in the world to reach Mars orbit on its first attempt and on a shoestring budget. The total cost of the mission was approximately 450 Crore (US$73 million), making it the least-expensive Mars mission to date.
Musée Des Confluences, France
We think of our architecture as part of the 21st century; as art which reflects and gives a mirror image of the variety and vivacity, tension and complexity of our cities – Wolf D. Prix!
The Musée des Confluences designed by Austrian architect Wolf D. Prix is a science centre and anthropology museum which opened on 20 December 2014 in the2nd arrondissement of Lyon, (Rhône), France. Designed on the concept of “The crystal cloud of knowledge” this imposing yet fluid structure is a standing example of the 21st century architecture.
The designers believe that the Musée des Confluences understands itself not as an exclusive “Temple of the Muses” for the educated elite, but as a public gateway to the knowledge of our time. It stimulates a direct, active use—not only as a place of contemplation, but also as a meeting place in the city. This landmark structure would be a definite visit on my to-do list.
Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Generation) 3G/ Wifi
Launched in 2013, I however came in contact with this in 2014 so in my list. I had always had an aversion to reading books on the Kindle or any kind of tablet and preferred the traditional way of turning pages.
However, the The Paperwhite 2 features a higher contrast E Ink Carta display technology which gives one an improved LED illumination, a faster processor that allows for faster page turns, and better response to touch input compared to the original Paperwhite. The look and feel of the screen makes the reading experience much more pleasurable. A great acquisition if you are a voracious reader.
Freedom Tower – 1 World Trade Center, New York
Being an architect I am probably biased to buildings, but this one has really touched a chord with everyone.
At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, five hijackers affiliated American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern facade of 1 WTC. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., a second group of terrorists crashed the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern facade of the South Tower, striking between the 77th and 85th floors. Both the towers fell the same day.
Where the Twin towers stood, One World Trade Center also known as the “Freedom Tower” during initial basework, refers to the main building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Higher than the twin towers it is more than a real estate project. It is rehabilitation for those hurt by the terrorists and a way to heal the scar on a nation. Part of the healing process is what this tower represents. Standing tall on Ground Zero, I am sure it will touch a chord with you too if you get a chance to visit the freedom tower.
Interstellar – the movie
Christopher Nolan the master director took us on a journey which we had only read about in books of Physics but never been able to visualize.
Once you are a parent, you are the ghost of your children’s future … a statement so profound yet so simple, embodies Nolan’s message through his latest offering Interstellar.
The laws of Physics, astronomy, chemistry and other sciences have been well researched and used in the plot, but for me they were just tools to present the emotional drama cooked up by this genius director. I was blown away by the movie, and it took me a few days to get my feet back on Earth (pun intended). Not sure, if this is a good choice for design and technology picks, but the way Nolan has depicted the confluence of various disciplines in his story did leave an impact on me.
The past year had a lot more innovations and inventions which would have surpassed the ones mentioned by me. But these are the ones which I have experienced personally or read about them. With the world changing and the technology along with design sensitivity growing amongst us, 2015 and the future looks more promising.