ArchiWEB Explorer: Entertainment

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Destination Kawaii: Hello Kitty Bullet Train Coming to Japan This Summer

[ By SA Rogers in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ]

Japan’s most beloved cartoon cat will take over a bullet train in her country of origin this summer, luring in locals and tourists alike with pink and white interiors and prime selfie opportunities. West Japan Railway Co. is teaming up with Sanrio to produce the Hello Kitty Shinkansen, a white bullet train wrapped in a pink ribbon motif that will travel between Shin-Osaka station in the Osaka prefecture and Hakata in the Fukuoka prefecture each day. The train will make its debut on June 30th.

Riffin’ Large: MST3K Graffiti, Stickers & Stencils

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K for short) was a Nineties pop culture TV phenomenon that endures through graffiti, stickers, stencils and street art.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuted on Minneapolis TV station KTMA in late 1988 and the final episode (#211 for those keeping count) of its tenth season aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in September of 1999. Skewering late twentieth century society and culture along with the “cheesy movies” it riffed on every Sunday A.D., the show featured Joel Hodgson (aka Joel Robinson) and later Mike Nelson accompanied by their robot friends and co-riffers Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot.

KISS & Mark Up: 10 Bizarre KISS Branded Products

[ By Steve in Design & Graphics & Branding. ]

KISS and its hustling frontman Gene Simmons continue to raise the rock music merchandising bar, licensing thousands of products ranging from banal to bizarre.

Digitally Fabricated Lamp Generates Energy

Phýllon, Nikolay Hristov Ivanov, Sustainable design, industrial design, digital fabrication, leaf venation, LED cells, photovoltaic cells, solar energy

This digitally fabricated lamp, named ”Phýllon” by Nikolay Hristov Ivanov,  is inspired by the complexity of the leaf’s venation. Completely new process that employs computed simulation is used in order to generate very precise and subtle design, operating almost at a micro-scale. The project started as a design-investigation with the goal not to mimic the leaf’s pattern, but to configure a new reading – using speculative data set and reconnecting within a different logic – of a spider net, where the complexity is created by the quantity of elements and not by their quality.

The elegance of this unique lamp is an outcome of the serious exploration of numerous configurations of points, connections and logic of growth therefore the crystallized structure is extremely fragile.

The lamp is self-sufficient – it generated energy by itself. The silicon membrane contains spherical photovoltaic cells.  The leaves are composed of two layers, an external armor skeleton and internal soft membrane that merge into one homogeneous blade.

Turrell Videos

'Tis the season for James Turrell, with three major exhibitions this summer (at the Guggenheim, LACMA, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston). Recently I wrote about the catalog to the LACMA show for Designers & Books, so, like everybody, I'm on a Turrell kick. Here are a few videos to satiate anybody's interest in the artist of light.

James Turrell on June 27 episode of Charlie Rose (skip ahead to ~28 minute mark):


"James Turrell's Roden Crater" from LACMA (click image to watch video at Vimeo):


James Turrell in conversation with LACMA Director Michael Govan at the Guggenheim on June 21:

Affordable housing issues captured in new book

Affordable housing issues captured in new book

A new book designed to provide a tailwind for thinking about affordable housing in New Zealand was launched at the National Library in Wellington this week.

Edited by Sarah Bierre, Philippa Howden-Chapman and Lisa Early,  Homes People Can Afford, is the fifth in a series of books produced by the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and published by Steele Roberts Aotearoa.

Citizen Group Warns of Elevated Radiation Levels at 2020 Olympic Venues in Japan

tokyo, olympics, skinjuku, skyline

As Japan readies for the 2020 Olympic Games, a group of concerned activists is calling into question the safety of Tokyo’s proposed venues. The Citizens’ Group for Measuring Radioactive Environment at Facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics claim that the radiation levels in the 39 sporting sites they measured have been affected by the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown.

Monday, Monday

A Weekly Dose of Architecture Updates:

This week's dose features the Metalsa Center for Manufacturing Innovation in Monterrey, Mexico, by Brooks + Scarpa:
this week's dose

The featured past dose is the Azteca Multimodal Transfer Station in Mexico City, Mexico by CC Arquitectos:


This week's book review is Façadomy: A Critique of Capitalism and Its Assault on Mid-Century Modern Architecture by James Cornetet (L):
this week's book review this week's book review
(R): The featured past book review is Too Blessed To Be Depressed: Crimson Architectural Historians, 1994-2002 edited by Ewout Dorman, Ernst van der Hoeven, Michelle Provoost, Wouter Vanstiphout, and Cassandra Wilkins.

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