odo:office for design operations cultivate the notion that social and environmental factors that remind us of our own humanity are catalysts for relevant design and innovation. the end product of the design process, be it in the form of architecture, urban & landscape design, graphic design, technology, music, art, film or photography belongs to everyone. design is our way to show the world that everyone deserves a life of dignity, beauty and wonder.
"the sun does not forget a village just because it is small."
Mina; The City of Tents | Via
Mina is a small city located inside a low lying valley in the province of Makkh, in western Saudi Arabia, about 8 km to the east of the Holy city of Mecca. Inside the 20 square km valley, tents cover every open space, as far as the eye can see, neatly arranged, row after row. It is in these tents Hajj pilgrims stay overnight during the five days of each Haj season. For the rest of the year, Mina remains pretty much deserted.
There are more than 100,000 air-conditioned tents in Mina providing temporary accommodation to 3 million pilgrims. The tents measure 8 meters by 8 meters and are constructed of fiberglass coated with Teflon in order to ensure high resistance to fire. Originally pilgrims brought their own tents which they would erect in the flat plains of Mina. After Hajj is over, the tents would be dismantled, everything packed and taken back. Then sometime in the 1990s, the Saudi government installed permanent cotton tents relieving pilgrims of the burden of having to carry their own camping equipment. But after a massive fire that swept through the tent city killing nearly 350 pilgrims in 1997, the current permanent fire-proof city was built.
SoP | Scale of Environments
The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University.
“Form a sea star shape,” directs a computer scientist, sending the command to 1,024 little bots simultaneously via an infrared light. The robots begin to blink at one another and then gradually arrange themselves into a five-pointed star. “Now form the letter K.”
The ‘K’ stands for Kilobots, the name given to these extremely simple robots, each just a few centimeters across, standing on three pin-like legs. Instead of one highly complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors.
BIG’s Waste-to-Energy Plant is a Ski Slope that Puffs Giant Rings of Water Vapor
A new waste-to-energy plant now under construction near the center of Copenhagen re-imagines not only what a factory looks like, but what it does. Along with producing energy and reducing pollution, the plant features a ski slope on its roof for public use. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the plant redefines how the community interacts with and understands its energy sources. “We were driven to do something that would be perceived as more than a just a power plant, one that also gave something back to the citizens of Copenhagen as opposed to just delivering power,” says BIG partner Kai-Uwe Bergmann. Even though the power plant won’t directly emit pollution into the city, it will also remind its citizens that incineration does have an environmental cost. Every time a ton of carbon dioxide is burned at the plant, the building will emit a symbolic smoke ring made of water vapor. Bergmann hopes that by providing people with this information, they will be more cognizant of their energy spending habits. “I think we would all engage with our energy systems much more if we felt that they were a part of our city, rather than things that you push out to the periphery or industrial areas,” Bergman notes. By bringing energy into the realm of popular culture and everyday life, BIG hopes to shift public perceptions and encourage a culture of energy awareness. When the new building is completed in 2018, it will replace the city’s current waste-to-energy plant, which has been in operation for over 40 years. It aims to be the world’s most efficient and cleanest of its kind.
Whenever the emails pile up or the traffic grinds to a crawl, many of us fantasize about leaving it all behind and unplugging from the grid. The people in Antoine Bruy’s ongoing photo series Scrublands have actually followed through, disconnecting from the trappings of modern life even when it means jumping into a new lifestyle they know nothing about.
“I wanted to meet them and see how they managed to learn something which they were not used to,” says Bruy, who lives in France. “Most of the people are not from farming families or anything.”
Bruy has been photographing around Europe for the project since 2012, visiting some 15 encampments in his home country as well as in Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and Wales. He’s focused on those who survive as sustenance farmers, by raising livestock, or hunting. Now he’s holding a crowdfunding campaignbecause he’d like to extend the project to the United States, the country whose history he says inspired many of his subjects.