27 February, 2013

the unreal scenes of Anne Hardy

Anne Hardy's images appear to be photographs of existing places but they are quite the opposite. They are actually carefully constructed sets, created by the artist in her studio, which she then photographs. The subjects of Hardy's artworks are usually objects or junk which she has found in markets, DIY shops, urban skips or jumble sales. The type of objects she chooses have ranged from large antlers, brightly coloured cables, old Christmas trees, light bulbs, American basketballs, orange balloons, scientific test tubes and even butterflies. Hardy puts these everyday objects together and transforms them into unusual, almost dreamlike, environments which can be unnerving with their themes of abandonment and desolation. Anne Hardy, born 1970, is a photographer from London, that graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2000. Her work has been exhibited in several galleries around the world. She is represented by Maureen Paley in London where you can see her exhibition this coming April 2013. An insightful interview can be found here. See more images here and here.

Selgas Cano architect[r]ural office

The innovative workspace of Selgas Cano Architecture in Madrid-Spain, serves as an inspiration for all who work there. Half of the office space is underground and the other half has a glass ceiling, bringing nature closer to the employees. No matter if you´re inside or outside the view is fantastic. Criticism of course, lies on the facts that it resembles a test-tube, where no apparent ventilation can be seen, or privacy (for work purposes) can be achieved. On the other hand who’s to say that working in a congested cubical, in an office building with artificial light and ventilation is actually better, or productivity enhancing ?

The unusual office building was designed by the architects themselves and build in the beautiful forest area nearby Madrid. The tunnel-shaped office with curved windows is a perfect example of uniting interior and exterior space. The interior opens to the surrounding nature, but stays pleasantly enveloping and cozy, with suspended desks and airy shelving along the far wall. View more photos here.

the experimental Clarity bike

Experimenting on the materials side of how bicycle frames are engineered and consecutively produced, Designaffairs Studio in Munich, Germany, a multidisciplinary design studio, examined many high-tech plastics, acrylics and polymers, before setting on Trivex used primarily for optics lens and on eyewear (especially those of kids), as a better alternative to Polycarbonate due to its high impact resistance.

The polymer allows for injection moulding, which should facilitate affordable and precise mass production while enabling unique form factors and a multitude of possible colour combinations. Initially the polymer was used in military applications. Even though the compound has a lower density than polycarbonate & acrylic, it’s advanced performance includes exceptional impact resistance and ultra-light weight. It also offers outstanding chemical resistance and thermal stability as it is virtually unaffected by most organic and inorganic chemicals and withstands very hot and cold temperatures. See the studio’s info and photos here.

25 February, 2013

Les Bains Des Docks

Les Bains Des Docks (The Bath by The Docks) is an Aquatic Center in the city of Le Havre, France. It was designed by award winning architectural firm Ateliers Jean Nouvel as part of an effort by Le Havre to revitalize its docks and warehouse district.

The overall design was inspired by the Roman thermal baths as people can go to congregate in most of the various pools year round. The simple exterior of the building is a precast concrete painted black with a grey base and random windows of varying sizes. Inside there are of over 6 indoor and outdoor pools in different areas including an Olympic sized lap pool and children's play area. Most of the interior consists of straight, boxy designs painted in white with the exception of a children's play area which is multicolored. Several of the indoor pools are at varying levels and waterfalls give a natural division to the different spaces. Large skylights and exterior windows bring in natural light throughout. For more information on the project you can go here.

The photographs of Oil by Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky has spent 15 years photographing oil ; from the fields where it is sourced, to the cars it powers, to the detritus it leaves behind. His photographs poetic and stunning, portray a reality few of us know, and unfortunately in this case, fewer of us realise. Shocking the altered landscapes as may seem, they are unavoidably recognised as the doing of man ; nature was rarely involved.

Oil Field, Bakersfield, California

Oil Field, Socar, Azerbaijan

In Byrtynski’s words :
“Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.”

Dismantling the Tankers, Bangladesh

Dismantling the Tankers, Bangladesh

“These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire - a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.”

BP Oil Spill, gulf of Mexico, April 2010

Burtynsky, photographs the calamity for nature, caused by man. He visits mines and quarries, goes where production is heavy in Australia and China. Visit his page for more information and a wealth of beautiful imagery.

Exploration into music with Hitlantis

Hitlantis, from Finland, offers a completely new experience into browsing and discovering musical content. The zoomable Hitlantis Map itself is divided into different musical genres with different colours and as every Artist has a coloured ball on the Map, you will easily see which genre has the most Artists. Hitlantis is actually an action map showing visually what is going on. The closer to the Center the Artists are, the "hotter" they are as the Map shows the overall popularity by placing the Artists on the Map according to their "hotness" rate. The size of the ball represents the size of an artist meaning the nbr of fans, the revenue the band have generated and the amount of the material they’ve posted into the service. Clicking the ball opens up the Artist profile card, where you can see things like artist biography, list of their songs, pictures and you may leave comments etc.

In order to be able to use Hitlantis, you must register as either User or as an Artist. Registration and profile creation is free, and the registering process is simple as it asks you to fill in your basic user info like name, email address, country of residence and password of your choice. Then you are ready to begin editing your profile by uploading pictures and music (Artists only are allowed to upload music files).

After registration, an Artist profile will automatically appear on the Hitlantis Map as an icon shaped as a ball, colour representing the musical genre chosen by the Artist. The beginners always land onto the outer skirts of the map. Artists get hotness points and move towards to the Center when a song is listened, or when someone listening a song clicks "Thumbs up"- button on the bottom bar, when someone becomes a fan of the Artist, or finally when a song is bought. Every official fan of a band will be visualised inside the band ball as a smaller Fan Ball (in the zoomed view). Mouse over these Fan Balls will pop up a label indicating the current fan’s name and activity points. The fans are also listed in the artist profile card.

Masanobu knives

An embodiment of the best elements of traditional and Western-style Japanese knives, the Masanobu VG-10 Series seamlessly pairs modern technology with traditional hand crafted techniques. Using VG-10 steel for the blade, Masanobu has created a knife that has a razor sharp edge that is also stain and corrosion resistant. VG-10 Cobalt, a strong steel forged of iron, carbon, manganese, molybdenium, colbaltium, chromium and vanadium ; one of the highest quality types of steel used in knife production, retains an excellent level of sharpness that is easy to maintain. 

The thinness of the blade and the octagonal shape of the handle are design points found in the highest quality traditional Japanese knives, allowing for precision cutting and a secure grip. It is without a doubt that the Masanobu VG-10 Series is amongst the elite line of knives available. The series is comprised by five blades characterised per their use as : a chef’s knife, a slicer an utility (petty) knife, a multi-purpose and a French slicer. 

Features a traditional, octagonal, pressed wood handle with nickel silver bolsters for perfect balance. Manufactured by Mcusta, in the city of Seki, home to Japan's most skilled knife makers since the 13th century, the corrosion and stain resistant VG-10 steel is as thin and strong as can be. The Santoku, which means "three virtues," is capable of handling fish, vegetables and meat, while the other two, smaller knives are best suited for more intricate tasks.

22 February, 2013

Halley VI Antarctic Research Station

Halley VI Research Station is the first fully re-locatable research station in the world. It was commissioned in 2006 and its unique and innovative structure was the result of an international design competition in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The station took four years to build and delivered its first scientific data in 2012. Its iconic design houses a cutting-edge science platform and modern, comfortable accommodation.

The British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI Antarctic Research Station is online just 900 miles from the South Pole. Halley VI is the most southerly research station operated by the British Antarctic Survey and is located 10,000 miles from the UK on the 150-metre thick floating Brunt Ice Shelf, which moves 400 metres per annum towards the sea. Snow levels rise by over 1 metre every year and the sun does not rise above the horizon for 105 days during winter. Temperatures drop to -56C and the site can be buffeted by winds in excess of 100 mph. Materials and components required to construct the new base have to be delivered across fragile sea ice, which can fracture at any time. Access by ship and plane is limited to a 3-month window during the summer.

However, the Halley VI has been uniquely engineered to overcome Antarctica’s inhospitable climate. Based off the award-winning design by Hugh Broughton Architects, the station features modular compartments, hydraulically raised supports, and attachable ski pontoons. The hydraulically elevated ski based modules respond to annually rising snow levels and the need to relocate the base if the site calves off as an iceberg. A special central module provides a dramatic open plan social area at the heart of the station. Unlike other fixed research facilities, Hally VI can be reconfigured as needed, raised or lowered depending on snow conditions, and moved piece by piece when its section of ice drifts too close to the sea.

While being more expensive to built initially, the Halley VI will have a drastically increased lifetime, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run. Read more info on the design work for the units here. View more pictures here.

The central red module contains the communal areas for dining, relaxation etc., while the blue modules provide accommodation, laboratories, offices, generators, an observation platform and many other facilities. Remote scientific equipment, set up for long-term monitoring, is housed in a number of cabooses around the perimeter of the site, which also contains numerous aerials and arrays for studying atmospheric conditions and space weather. The station operates throughout the year with a maximum population of 70 in the summer and an average of 16 over winter. The Emperor penguin colony near Halley, which is present from May to February, is a special attraction, while other recreational trips take members further inland towards the "hinge zone" where the floating ice shelf is joined to the continent. Read more on the station here.

The purist’s bikes from Schindelhauer

Schindelhauer is a German company that produces timeless, minimalist, elegant bicycles. The company states "Our bikes offer a number of outstanding properties: freedom from maintenance, durability and reliability". Their collection features six models, with the fixed gear/single speed Viktor and Siegfried being unique in form, appearance and simplicity of use. True urban bikes, for stylish daily rides to the office.

Taken from their website : “Schindelhauer Bikes represent urban sportsmanship and timeless elegance you can fully trust in. In accordance with the motto “Pure pleasure riding a bicycle” our bikes are designed and made for tough everyday use. Furthermore, they are unique by means of bike technology. Above all they embody that purist style which enables them to be far more than simple means of transportation. Waiver of all superfluous details give Schindelhauer Bikes their unique and original character which is displayed to the last detail throughout the range of models. Due to the long-lasting Gates Carbon Drive™ belt used, all Schindelhauer Bikes offer a number of outstanding properties: freedom from maintenance, durability and reliability. For this reason the drive heralds a new age throughout the urban cycling world. It is the icing on the cake on the timeless and minimalist Schindelhauer Bikes”.

Socializing with TipTap. Something new ?

TipTap, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, operates a community where members gather personalized information on products and services. It enables users to create profiles; answer questions regarding interests and purchasing habits; and ask questions and be matched to other members with similar tastes and preferences. The company’s community also enables users to earn tips and rewards members for providing information. That of course, is the business perspective. The truth is that you are presented with a social network site, that in its 50% looks and feels a lot like Pinterest. To be honest I am not a fan of Pinterest (in terms of layout and aesthetics), and I sometimes fail to see where exactly is its “networking” side.

According to its founders : “TipTap is the first personality-driven social discovery site, allowing you to discover new things from people who share your personality, tastes and style. Indulge in our quizzes to uncover aspects of yourself and connect with people who are just like you. Then, discover and share the things that you love with your own community of like-minded people”. Read through their “personalities” list here.

There are three types of personality quizzes: Personality, Tastes, and Style. Each quiz takes only a few minutes, and are fun little activities to participate in. By taking a few short personality quizzes, the website will recommend followers with comparable tastes and personalities. For each follower it provides a percentage of compatibility, making it easier to decide whether you want to follow others or not. Once you’ve followed other members, you’ll be able to participate in taps. Taps are how you share images, videos, or music. This functionality is comparable to Pinterest, as it creates a stream of taps. Your tap stream is a combination of shares from yourself and your followers. With any tap you share, you’re able to add comments and tags, and these tags will be searchable in future enhancements.

Perhaps more important is the fact that TipTap can deliver comprehensive, intuitive, and uniquely predictive understanding of users without violating personal privacy, because this predictive power results from novel data that is sufficiently abstract and impersonal, as opposed to tracking user behavior. TipTap's psychological approach - directly tapping users' personalities, styles and tastes - allows for more meaningful discovery of immediately relevant information by extending trust and relevance to a broader group of users with similar tastes and preferences. After using it you’ll grown to really appreciate the personality matches. Recommended for users who love new social networking sites. It’s also a great social tool for bloggers, great for anyone looking for new site traffic.

21 February, 2013

Design hotels [.com]

Design Hotels represents and markets a curated selection of more than 200 independent hotels in over 40 countries across the globe. More than a collection of hotels, the company is a collection of stories. Each location reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier, an "Original," someone with a passion for genuine hospitality and cultural authenticity, for thought-provoking design and groundbreaking architecture. All "Originals" stand for the individual, aesthetic and service-driven experiences that their hotels provide. See a collection of videos from locations around the globe here. See the actual hoteliers showcasing their hotel, and their city here.

Founded by Claus Sendlinger in 1993, Design Hotels has developed into a full-service hospitality marketing consultant, offering customized services including global sales representation, revenue management, strategic marketing, public relations and branding. The company has its headquarters in Berlin and branches in London, Barcelona, New York, Singapore and Perth.

Furniture, objects, clothes, design in general has always been around us. But it is only in recent years that the concept of “design” has become essential to the hotel industry. It was Claus Sendlinger, Founder and CEO of Design Hotels, who foresaw this development 20 years ago. He predicted that “design will become an integral part of hotels” and “design-driven hotels will become a lifestyle choice for future travelers.” This was the seed from which the company started growing in 1993 bringing together the world’s most innovative, outstanding and progressive hotel concepts under one umbrella brand, and offering these to a like-minded crowd. See a video of Claus explaining the concept’s main points here

Nowadays most hotels feature an element of contemporary design. “Design hotels” have become a hotel segment. So, what makes the brand special ? Each hotel was visualised and implemented to offer far more than a designer chair in the lobby; every hotel in the Design Hotel collection provides a specific experience. Architecture, design, service, gastronomy and other special qualities such as the perfect location come together like interlocking pieces of a puzzle to form a consistent and coherent concept. Every single member provides an individual, aesthetic and service-driven hotel experience and reflects the vision of an independent hotelier - an "Original" with a passion for cultural authenticity and genuine hospitality that is rooted and enhanced by thought-provoking design and architecture. Each of the member hotels was “Made by Originals”!.


Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe. [1]

Google News automatically groups news stories with similar content and places them based on algorithmic results into clusters. In Newsmap, the size of each cell is determined by the amount of related articles that exist inside each news cluster that the Google News Aggregator presents. In that way users can quickly identify which news stories have been given the most coverage, viewing the map by region, topic or time. Through that process it still accentuates the importance of a given article.

NewsMap was created by Marcos Weskamp, a Design Engineer who has a deep interest in playing with and visualizing lots of data. He is a self-taught technologist who, as he says, constantly investigates the fields of Interaction Design and Information Visualization. You can also access NewsMap from our sidebar NewsRoom section here at Metronome.

20 February, 2013

POP-UP Office from Dubbeldam Architecture+Design

Dubbeldam Architecture+Design is a Toronto based multi-disciplinary design studio recognized for creating innovative and environmentally responsible design solutions that are timeless and uniquely designed for each client and context. The studio’s design process is characterized by teamwork and intensive collaborative exchange, resulting in projects that reveal a conceptual clarity and are crafted with a meticulous attention to detail. Completed and current projects range from the design of single and multi- family housing, to commercial and institutional renovations, and includes landscape, furniture and installation design.

POP-UP Office installation is a concept space which attempts to answer the question “how do you work?” displayed as part of Toronto's Interior Design Show 2013. The exhibit is presented by steel space, a container-based event design company. Four studios were each given a shipping container to realize an idea for a workspace. Dubbeldam responded with 'pop-up office' a cubicle comprised of wooden modules made out of discarded shipping palettes that can be rearranged according to the user's needs. the modules are broadly divided by the concepts 'focus', 'collaborate', 'lounge' and 'refuel.' the project's aim was to create a working environment for a global culture, defined by dynamism and mobility; it's only requirements a work surface and a place to plug in. the interiors of the space function like a continuous skin that folds to provide seating and storage. [1]

Built out of reclaimed wood pallet boards and their frames, separate modules collectively form the modern work place facilitating both individual work and collaboration – a workspace, collaborative space, lounge area and refueling station. In sinuous forms, the reclaimed boards morph from the wall and floor into furniture elements, sanded where the human body comes in contact with the wood and left rough where it does not. The modules are comprised of separate planes (floor, wall, ceiling) and furniture elements that are assembled in different configurations. Modular shelves can be inserted into slots between wall boards, creating adjustable display and storage areas. Smaller ledges slide into gaps between the wood slats. [2]

Superbude St Pauli super hostel in Hamburg

Superbude (bude stands for “digs” in German), delivers a concept in affordable travel accommodation full of local sprite. The Superbude St.Pauli hotel/hostel is located in a neighbourhood of Hamburg full of bars and music venues. The hotel/hostel features stackable beds by Rolf Heide that allow a third of the 89 double rooms to sleep up to four guests - they also furnish the Rockstar Suite, which sleeps seven beneath a flip-up performance stage. The playful interiors, designed by Armin Fischer of Dreimeta, cleverly blend the outlandish with the contemporary: walls are covered in newspaper and Konstantin Gricic’s ‘Mayday’ lamps hang from goal-netting headboards (references to St Pauli’s cult football club). This former telephone exchange is one of many repurposed old buildings that mark Schanzenviertal's current gentrification. The streets outside are now buzzing with new galleries and bars

Dreimeta were responsible for also designing this second Superbude hotel/hostel after the success of the first. The St Pauli location follows their other St Georg location, and shares its distinctive eclectic design. The characteristic rope pattern motiff is viewable everywhere, printed in the carpet and laser burnt on the wooden panels. The alternation of actual rope hanging (pointing towards Hamburg as a port city), and the wall decors serve to reconnect Hamburg as a musical city.

welcome dear reader.


What you are browsing through is the initial form of a gazette, realised at this stage by a collection of posts brought together, from various fields & selected topics, aiming towards your entertainment and information. Some are own generated, others are processed re-ups from the blogosphere. Please feel free to browse, read, and distribute the content here.


If you find what you read here as interesting, entertaining or thought-provocative, please tell it to your friends. New readers are always welcome. If you have copyright claims, please let us know, and we will amend accordingly.


Images presented herein, are the property of their originators, unless stated otherwise. The METRONOME gazette wishes to declare that to the best of its knowledge, all photos and information presented in this website are true and valid, however it carries no responsibility as to the accuracy of the depictions, or wording of the posts, that are not of its own origination.


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any inquiry or question you may have. See the Contact details section.












DIY projects