Looking more as though it belongs under the sea than it does in Mexico City stands an enigmatic residence that mirrors what we’ve come to call the “living fossil”. The Nautilus House was spawned from the mind of Arquitectura Orgánica architect Javier Senosiain. Senosiain has been working in organic architecture–the seamless blending of human habitation with the natural world–for some time, drawing much inspiration from the design work of Gaudí and Frank Lloyd Wright.
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It was almost utopian: an architectural form with a vocabulary all its own, including its moniker—Googie. Named after the Los Angeles coffee shop, Googies, and designed by architect John Lautner in the late 1940s, the style expressed society’s burgeoning fascination with space flight as well as its recent understanding of the Atomic Age and its power.
Unfortunately for us architecture buffs, many of the Googie-style buildings have been demolished over the years, including its namesake coffeehouse, which succumbed to new development in 1989.
You’d never guess it given its present day opulence, but the Miss Universe Pageant actually came from rather humble beginnings. Once a simple 1950s swimsuit contest in California, the larger than life Miss Universe event has evolved into a spectacular worldwide institution, most notable in its costume contest.
A clear nod to Optimus Prime in her costume choice, the Internet welcomed this year’s American contender, Erin Brady, with open arms. The very designers who create the many glitzy ensembles for the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show crafted Brady’s futuristic study on decadence. Of all the lively designs on display during the contest, the following Miss Universe costumes definitely take the word intricate to a whole new level.
From the author: “Composed of mirror, LED lighting, custom built electronic equipment and Arduino programming amalgamated with a preexisting structure, this architectural intervention, at first, seems alien in context to the bleak landscape. Upon further viewing, Lucid Stead imposes a delirious, almost spiritual experience. Like the enveloping vista that changes hue as time passes, Lucid Stead transforms. In daylight the 70 year old homesteader shack, that serves as the armature of the piece, reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or an hallucination. As the sun tucks behind the mountains, slowly shifting, geometric color fields emerge until they hover in the desolate darkness. This transformation also adapts personal perception, realigning one’s sensory priorities. A heightened awareness of solitude and the measured pace of the environment is realized.”
New York City is famous for its large population of people who live in tiny, borderline microscopic apartments. How small, you ask? Try 78 square feet, which is the size of an apartment occupied by a man named Luke, who submitted his ultra-small abode into a contest hosted by apartmenttherapy.com. Needless to say, he won the contest. Before Luke spoke up, the smallest New York apartment on record was occupied by Felice Cohen, who boasted a 90 square foot living space.
It’s no secret that climate change is on the rise. Many years down the road, long after the polar ice caps have really started to melt and there’s less viable land available for living purposes, mankind will likely turn to the seas for alternatives. But one design studio nestled in the heart of the Netherlands has already begun its mission to create aquatic urban architecture that utilizes liquid as a solid foundation.