Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Physicist Solves the City

"Geoffrey West set out to solve the City. As he points out, this is an intellectual problem with immense practical implications. Urban population growth is the great theme of modern life, one that’s unfolding all across the world, from the factory boomtowns of Southern China to the sprawling favelas of Rio de Janeiro. As a result, for the first time in history, the majority of human beings live in urban areas. (The numbers of city dwellers are far higher in developed countries — the United States, for instance, is 82 percent urbanized.) Furthermore, the pace of urbanization is accelerating as people all over the world flee the countryside and flock to the crowded street."

Published: December 17, 2010, New York Times
for more info click New York Times

Saturday, December 18, 2010

OUTR Finalist of Griffintown Competition, Montreal, Canada

OUTR's Re-Hiding is a finalist for the Signal House proposition in the Griffintown Competition, Montreal, Canada. To read more please visit the Griffintown Competition Web page.
(30 November – 06 December 2010) Participants and the public were invited to join an online debate about the proposals, leading up to a vote on the proposals shortlisted by the jury. (07 December – 17 January 2010) Finalist proposals will become part of an open-ended design scheme for Griffintown, in a digital exhibition and digital publication which engage users, designers and jurists.

OUTR Making Tron Legacy

OUTR Making Tron- Birth of Computer Animation

Monday, December 13, 2010

reTUR(n)INGmatter by Jose Sanchez

Also please visit their blog: GENWARE which is part of Biothing Research with Alisa Andrasek

reTUR(n)INGmatter from Jose Sanchez on Vimeo.

Koyaanisqatsi & Baraka Remixed

Could it get any better, Koyaanisqatsi & Baraka remixed wtih some of my favourite music. Enjoy.

One Hundred and Eight Interactive Installation

This is a fantastic installation constructed with garbage bags by Nils Völker which we recently discovered. We particularly like the sound of the piece.

2.40 x 1.80 m
fans, plastic bags, MDF, relays,
a camera, a computer, a microcontroller
and countless screws

One Hundred and Eight – Interactive Installation from Nils Völker on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Interactive Projection Systems

Recently OUTR has been discussing new sensory technologies emerging in the fields of the arts,dance and installations in the public realms. What we discovered was two of the following videos that explore the relationships between a moving body and motion graphics using an infrared camera tracking system.

The first video 'Glow' from the Australian dance company Chunky Move, is an illuminating choreographic essay by Artistic Director Gideon Obarzanek and interactive software creator Frieder Weiss.

"Beneath the glow of a sophisticated video tracking system, a lone organic being mutates in and out of human form into unfamiliar, sensual and grotesque creature states. Utilising the latest in interactive video technologies a digital landscape is generated in real time in response to the dancer’s movement. The body’s gestures are extended by and in turn manipulate the video world that surrounds it, rendering no two performances exactly the same" http://chunkymove.com.au/Our-Works/Current-Productions/Glow.aspx

Also fellow Australian musician Kylie Minogue has also explored this medium through her recent music video Get Outta My Way, directed by British directing team AlexandLiane and live projections again by Frieder Weiss.

Gideon Obarzanek’s Digital Moves from PopTech on Vimeo.

Kylie Minogue - Get Outta My Way on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

OUTR @ Design Challenge 2010 Exhibition

Last month OUTR shortlisted proposal "24 hour city" was exhibited at Melbourne's GPO building as a part of the 2010 Design Challenge Crime. The challenge is run by the Design Research Institute at RMIT University, supported by the City of Melbourne, Design Victoria, Australian International Design Awards, Standards Australia and the State of Design.

Images by Mila Robles Copyright ©

Team Members - Greg Afflick, Craig Douglas, Thomas Harper, Janie Lambert, Edward CrosslandJoseline Setiawan, Effie Zarfirakis, Kathryn English (Absent) Rosalea Monacella, Fabio Zambetta

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lake Eyre Filling Up

For those who live in South-East Australia, you would be getting quite used to the latest extreme rainfall we have been experiencing. One of the biggest events that OUTR has observed from this unusually wet period has been the excessive water collection in Australia's largest inland lake, Lake Eyre. This usually dry salt lake in the state of South Australia has swelled in recent weeks cutting off most access to the area.

Check out the satellite images from December the 1st.
Landsat image from Geoscience Australia

3D Holgraphic Prints

Today Andrew Thompson the digital fabrication manager at RMIT Architecture and Design department introduced us to the world of Holographic digital prints. This really has to be seen to be believed. This new technology produced by Sebra Imaging, based in the United States will potentially revolutionise the way we represent 3d data in a true 3d format.  

There is no need for 3d glasses to view the image and because of its light weight and 2 mm thickness, it can be easily transportable. Only downfall at the moment is the cost, a image just under an A3 size will set you back from $700 to $3,500 USD. 

Check out below some links that shows how this technology potencially can be used. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

OUTR Shortlisted for Griffintown Competition, Montreal, Canada

This week OUTR entry 'Re:Hiding' was shortlisted for the Signal House as a part of the Griffentown international ideas competition in Montreal Canada.

The competition invited participants to speculate on temporary habitation and the potenical of post industrial sites for developing dynamic, incremental architecture. Each project had to respond to a temporal and flexable conditions, and retro-fit existing strutures that had the ability to transform over time.

"Griffintown is widely considered to be one of Canada’s earliest industrial neighbourhoods, whose future has been uncertain ever since the postindustrial decline of the 50s. Today this indeterminacy remains, as Griffintown hovers on the precipice between its industrial past and an urban future. Empty lots and low-level industry sit alongside apartments and artists’ studios. While municipal plans for the demolition and redevelopment of large swaths of the area are in place, many citizens insist that highrise condominiums are not the only answer. As this debate rages on, Griffintown Interrupted proposes a third focus for the debate: neither past (restoration) nor future (redevelopment), but present. How can short term projects expand the existing community?" griffintowninterrupted.net

To vote for our entry please visit the Griffentown Website and click on Re:Hiding in the top right hand corner of the page.

Monday, November 22, 2010

OUTR Iteration

OUTR Runs Design Research Studio 'Fish To Birds' Update 1.1

Morphogenesis: Encoding livable surfaces.
Design by Matthew Hamilton + Niki Schwabe

Congratulations to Matthew Hamilton and Niki Schwabe for winning the Landscape Architecture Australia Prize for design communication from Architecture Media. Niki and Matthew took part in OUTR's  Craig Douglas' design studio earlier this year "Fish to Birds".

SuperfantasticRIO Design Studio_Student Work

Amongst the many things that ‘site’ might be, it is often defined by physical limit determining boundaries of ownership, action, and consequence, as well as scales of influence, resonance, and effect. The ambition of this research is to explore the notion of ‘site’ as a construction of a design process made through the act of representation.

The research project is to design the Waterfront of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Like many cities around the world, including London’s Canary Wharf, Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics, Melbourne’s Docklands, Melbourne’s Birarungmar, and Sydney’s proposed Barangaroo to name a few, the city of Rio de Janeiro realises its opportunity to develop its redundant waterfront as a means of rejuvenating and redefining itself.

This project will consider the city as a living thing in a complex ever changing world of rapid urbanization. It will require you to ask questions such as, what are the potentials of this project, how do you grow a city, could this site be a park and what kind of park could that be, what relationship is to be constructed between the water and the city, who will inhabit this site, and how will this redefine the city?

Making transforms and challenges ideas, whether they are unreal ideas of the imagination, or realised ideas of physical being in the world.

The act of making will be employed to interrogate how emergent form is generated through the dynamic medium of the landscape meeting the dynamic act of making, and how this might contribute to Design.

Paul Ahern and Nikki Hill
Jenna Emmanouilides and Francisco Illescas
Wen Sun
Samuel Steenholdt, Alice Lewis and Justin Walsh
Chris Armstrong
Benjamin Fleming, Aryen Liaw and Hiroshi Yoshinaga
Mi wang and Phillip Smith
Adrian Keene and Emmaline Bowman
Adrian Rivalland and Tristan Andrews
Fletcher Hawkins and Brooke Bisset
Chao Sun

Course Leaders:
Craig Douglas and Greg Afflick

Thanks to:
Andrew Thompson
Karl Fender
Marieluise Jonas

Click the link below to view some of the students work.

Wolfgang Masterplan Update 1.0_Conceptual Design

Wolfgang: Birds eye view towards Hotel from Joyland
View of hotel facade      

Conceptual facade

View of entrance to hotel
View of hotel room

Beach House Update 1.2

Beach House Update 1.1

Grasshopper Script

Beach House Update 1.0

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Design Challenge - 24hr Safe City

RMIT Design Research link to Shortlisted Entries

Project description

The projects objective is to facilitate exploration of safe 24 hour city strategies, using advanced
technologies involving interactive, agent-based simulations of user-defined scenarios.
We plan to develop an extensive open source exploratory tool that will provide a basis for diverse, ongoing
work in relation to generating safer 24hour cities.

We propose a city generator and renewal package. This package consists of 3 parts:
1. A design proposal for an adaptive transformation process of the urban landscape which engages
in three scales; the large, medium and small and three operations; observation, speculation and

2. An identity and communication strategy for the proposal which aims in involving all citizens in the
process of transforming their city into a centre that is resilient to crime.

3. An interactive, agent-based simulator that utilizes an active tool box that speculates on various urban
strategies which responds to policies and generates user-defined scenarios.

OUTR submits design for Griffintown, Montreal, Canada

Monday, October 11, 2010

Metamorphoses at University of Sydney

Note, the text and images below were first posted at: InDesignLive
Photography by Brett Boardman

The exhibition ran from 5th-28th August 2010 at Tin Sheds Gallery,University of Sydney as a part of Sydney Design 2010, presented by the Powerhouse Museum.

AutoCAD WS for iphone and ipad

Autodesk has recently released AutoCAD WS downloadable app from itunes for sharing, viewing and editing your AutoCAD drawings on the go using a mobile or tablet device. With their expansion back into Mac's after 18 years with AutoCAD for Mac, it is no surprise and was just a matter of time.

"Take your designs with you wherever you go - on the way to a meeting, on the factory floor or the job site without being tied to a desktop application." Read more......

Thursday, October 7, 2010

OUTR Employment Opportunity

OUTR is seeking a creative designer and research assistant for a three month part time postion within the lab. 

Please send your CV and no more than 3 pages of images to 

GUM.b Global Urban Measures Study Tour Exhibition

The launch of the GUM.b Glocal Urban Measures Exhibition will take place at the OUTR Exhibition space at

440 Elizabeth Street
Level 5
Melbourne City, Australia

For more information on GUM.b check out these links
GUM.b previous blog entries

Offical GUM.b Blog

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier Interior Designs for Roche Bobois

Note, the text and images below were first posted at:  Stylebust

Jean Paul Gaultier's new collaboration with upscale French furniture line Roche Bobois marks his reentry into the home design market. While details are scarce at this time, the French designer is giving us a glimpse of his interior skills with the Elle Decoration Suite, his makeover of the former Parisian apartment of ’30s-era architect Jacques Carlu, according to a press release. Open to the public from May 8 until October 2011, the Roche Bobois-sponsored suite features nautical and natural details, such as navy striped walls and garden prints.

“Clothes are my vocation, and as I only know how to dress, I dressed this Elle Decoration Suite… with various notes that already reside in my collections,”
Gaultier says in the release, citing green, marine, reflective and satin influences.


Monday, October 4, 2010

‘Sukkah City’ Competition (now this is more like it).

Note, the text and images below were first posted atArchicentral  

‘Sukkah City’ Competition Entry By visiondivision

The concept is designed by Visiondivision as their competition entry for ‘Sukkah City‘, where designers / architects were asked to design a modern Sukkah – a temporary hut created for an annual Jewish Harvest Festival – in Union Square, New York City. Called ‘Hollow’ the structure consists of an organic pavilion that changes the conditions for social interaction and behavior, using compression to hold the structure together.

Some further information from visiondivision:

“A large number of design constraints where implied in the competition, for example the sukkah had to have a roof made out of branches, but they couldn’t be in bundles, there of our construction technique, using compression.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi To Open October 28

Note, the text and images below were first posted at: Archicentral

Opening in 2010, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is set to be the worlds largest indoor theme park, sitting under a roof designed in the style of a classic double-curve body shell of a Ferrari GT car.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will pay tribute to the passion, excellence, performance, and technical innovation that Ferrari has established over the years and represents today. Its iconic sleek red roof is directly inspired by the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT body, spanning 200,000 m² and carrying the largest Ferrari logo ever created.“With over 20 rides and attractions, including the world’s fastest roller coaster, Ferrari World is more than a theme park it is where Ferrari’s legendary story is unveiled reaching speeds of up to 240 km/h.”

From the developers:
“After the inaugural Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix held on Yas Island on November 1 2009, the opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi signals a milestone in bringing Abu Dhabi global recognition. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will be a key element in expanding the appeal of Abu Dhabi to travelers, both business and leisure. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will have over 20 rides and attractions which will bring to life the Ferrari brand in ways which appeal to a diverse international audience. In addition to Formula Rossa, visitors to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will also enjoy an aerial voyage through Italy following a Ferrari, a G-force experience taking passengers on an adrenaline-pumping ride up over 62 m, through the roof and back down again, and a flume ride journey through the heart of a Ferrari 599 engine.

Hmmm, if they say so..........

OUTR web site link established with OUTR Facebook and email

In an effort to provide more exposure of our research and interest groups, we have decided to insert a direct link to the OUTR Facebook group page. We also thought it might be more convenient to drop in a direct email button attached to info@outr.org.

Friday, October 1, 2010

OUTR invited to exhibit at the European Biennial of Landscape Architecture (Barcelona)

Please also visit web site:

Once again Barcelona will host the International Exposition of Landscape Projects from Schools of Architecture and Landscape The aim of this recurrent event is to enrich the debate on the landscape scenery.

The exhibition will display a selection of projects which were assembled during the last two years, and that in some way summarize the investigation and the projecting work done by different schools all around the world.
The projects that were selected have a special focus on landscape in its most general definition, spacing from ecology to urban public spaces.
Such selection will be at the centre of an exhibition that will take place in selection of these projects will be part of an exhibition, that will be celebrated in the ETSAB - Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona.
The exhibition includes more than 600 projects submitted by over 90 schools from 32 different countries.
Along to the main section a special one will be dedicated to all the sounder projects from the landscape programs of the Polytechnic University of Cataluña, from the Master in Landscape Architecture of Barcelona and it’s parallel edition in Milan.
The opening of the exhibition will take place the 28th of September at 4.30 p.m. in the ETSAB, while the winner of the 6th edition of the Barcelona Landscape European Biennale, the Rosa Barba Prize, will be announced Friday, October the 1st at the Pedrera [Passeig de Gracia, 92].

OUTR Exhibit

OUTR invited to exhibit at the European Biennial of Landscape Architecture (Barcelona)
Please Click Here for more.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Karl Fender attends superfantasticRIO

Last night, Karl Fender of Fender Katsalidis Architects, and also the current National President of the Australian Institute of Architects presented to the students participating in the superfantaicRIO upper pool design studio at RMIT.
Karl was gracious to set aside some time in his schedule to not only chat about some of his past and present work with waterfronts which the students found insightful and inspiring, but also to critique the work of the students in their projects so far. Each student group (Landscape and Architecture) were only given a very brief amount of time to communicate their proposals and approach into how they are researching the possibilities for the Rio de Janeiro port waterfront.

In the later half of last year Karl, Craig Douglas (OUTR), Greg Afflick (OUTR) and a number of other Victorians from the AUS cluster travelled to South America on a collaborative mission……..
To read more on this please see earlier posts from November 2009.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beijing's 100km, Nine Day Traffic Jam

Nine day traffic jam. That’s right, a traffic jam on a road leading into Beijing now stretches more than 60 miles and is entering its ninth day. Traffic on the Beijing-Tibet expressway slowed on August 14 after a surge in traffic from heavy trucks carrying cargo into the Chinese capital. Five days later road maintenance began, compounding the congestion problem further. According to a state-run newspaper, the monumental slowdown led to the creation of an opportunistic local economy; merchants began selling food and water to stranded motorists at wildly inflated prices.

Surely at this point the traffic jam is close to letting up, right? Not so fast. According to state media the congestion is expected to continue until workers finish up the construction projects on September 13.

The tale of the traffic jam is amusing, but it highlights a serious problem in what is now the world’s second-largest economy. After years of booming economic growth China has outgrown its current system of roadways and rail lines, and the country’s infrastructure is in desperate need of some not-so-minor upgrades. The lack of sufficient infrastructure is quickly becoming a bottleneck in an otherwise promising economic machine. If the Chinese government fails to supply citizens with a sufficient standard of living, it risks choking off the move from rural areas to China’s cities. Even worse, lack of satisfactory infrastructure could prompt social unrest, one of the few threats to the power of the ruling Communist party.

Part of China’s infrastructure woes relate to a surge in automobile ownership in the emerging market. China supplanted the U.S. as the world’s largest automobile market in 2009 aftervehicle sales jumped nearly 50% over the previous year. Despite that tremendous growth, the pace is expected to accelerate further in the future. Currently there are about ten motor vehicles per 1,000 people in China; in the U.S. that figure stands north of 750.

Ongoing urbanization is another ongoing trend that will further highlight China’s need for massive infrastructure spending. At present, only about 40% of China’s population lives in cities, compared to more than 80% in the U.S. But China is quickly catching up; the rate of urbanization is more than double the comparable metric for the U.S.

China is taking steps to address its infrastructure problems. About 45% of the recent $580 billion stimulus plan was earmarked for railways, highways, and power grids, with another big slug (nearly 10%) allocated to rural development and infrastructure projects. Whether that will be sufficient to begin unclogging roads and streamlining transportation around the country remains to be seen. But judging from the recent backup heading into Beijing, there is a long way to go before China’s infrastructure problems are solved.

As China continues a push to increase its importance on the global stage, the country has generally been proactive in eliminating potential roadblocks. Agricultural independence has long been a point of pride, and in recent years Chinese firms have become increasingly active in the acquisition of international oil and gas firms. So it seems likely that Beijing will address infrastructure issues as well in order to entice rural Chinese to the cities and continue the impressive rise of the middle class.

Written By Michael Johnston From ETF Database and 
ETF Dailynews

Monday, September 20, 2010

OUTR animations and videos are now mobile

After a few weeks of editing and compressing, we are now able to provide all of our animations and videos in a format that is friendly to those of you using iphones or ipads.

We are still testing the OUTR website and the OUTR blog for more consistency across the different browsers, and hope to soon have everything running in a flexible range of formats and devices.  

Landscape Workshop | Symposium 2010

Recently Team Members Craig Douglas and Greg Afflick co-tutored a workshop/symposium led by Tim Schork from mesne design studio.

This year the Landscape Architecture Symposium was undertaken as intensive workshops. The focus of the workshop was to develop and engage the students to develop a critical understanding of contemporary design strategies and techniques to test a variety of these through the process of making and representation leading to many possible design outcomes.

Other objectives included:
Develop an understanding of basic principles of formation
Develop a conceptual understanding and an operational knowledge of dynamic systems
Testing explorations through the production of various digital and physical prototypes

Workshop Leader: Tim Schork, MESNE Design Studio with: Dr. Charles Anderson, Craig Douglas, Bridget Keane, Greg Afflick

Saturday, September 18, 2010

OUTR's Rosalea Monacella Presents at World Expo

Rosalea Monacella presented OUTR's small and grand Jioashan Islands project at the AUS (Australian Urban Systems) "Beyond better cities" forum at the Australian Pavilion. Among the distinguished guest was China's Victorian goverment commisioner, Patrick Stringer and Executive Director and Commissioner General for Australia, Lyndall Sachs.

Friday, September 17, 2010

OUTR's Tom Harper visits Hainan Provence, China

This week I has been travelling around Hainan Provence in the South China Sea with the Australian Urban System cluster (AUS). Observations made in this area of rapid urban transformation is a place trying to construct itself into China's new tourist hot spot, a decision made by the central Chinese government. This is because of its tropical climate and to be honest, amazing scenery.  But as it goes it's literally out with the old and in with the new. Hainan transformation has been speeding up in the last three years with all high rise buildings and resorts emerging at a rapid rate. After flying into Haikou, the Provence governmental capital, I traveled down the east and south coast visiting along the way the government officials in Qiongahi, Wanning, Lingshui and last Sanya. 

OUTR's AUS Pavilion at the Shanghai Design Biennial

Thomas Harper with some of the AUS (Australian Urban Systems) delegation outside the pavilion.