Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rationalism, Neo-Rationalism And Design

It's not surprising Italy has produced or been a  part of several movements tied into industrial design to which architecture falls under.

Though having roots in various forms in Ancient Rome, France during the Enlightenment Rationalism and the Soviet Union in the early 20th century (ASNOVA being the most recent group of artists calling themselves "The Rationalists) an Italian branch developed in between the 1920s and 1940s led by the Gruppo 7. For Canadians, the name should be familiar as it translates into the Group of Seven. Their objective was to strike a balance between the Futurism and Classicism. Which couldn't have been too hard given the high octane level of impractical testosterone and vulgarity (one could add irrational) found in the Futurist movement.

It's important to note that rationalism was further pondered and incorporated into the works of French architects (like Henri Labrouste who lived in Rome for six years) as well leading to what was known as modernism (avant-garde). There's quite a bit of overlapping of influences between French and Italian designers during this period as you can see.

Rationalism emphasized less the science of architecture - focusing on only the functionality of a city for example - and more on the environment necessary to be incorporated into any construct. That is,  history and the physical environment, for instance, should be considered in the conceptualization of an architectural design.

In short, the solve any real world problems took reason and, well, rationalism.

This was especially true during the second wave of Rationalism in the 1960s called Neo-rationalism led mostly by a group called Tendenza (Tendency).

One such artist was Aldo Rossi who designed the Quartier Schutzenstrasse in Berlin, Germany (pictured).

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Singing In The Shower

Interesting shower concepts and products from Almar. It's a company located in the province of Varese in the Lombardy region 60 km northwest of Milan. As with so many industrial manufacturers and design companies it operates in the "industrial triangle" consisting of Milan, Turin and Genoa.

Nice set of videos on their website.

I don't believe they operate in North America. 


White House Strong Arming Insurance Companies

Transparency we can count on!

Once again, government can't rely on voluntary action. It must coerce and intimidate.

How many time will we have to see this record play before we lift the needle and change the record?

Someone should compile a list of people or things or entities Obama has blamed for his actions.



Lego Robotics Engineering: Works Of Benedettelli

Guys like robotics engineer Daniele Benedettelli make my life easier when it comes to finding content for this blog. It's one thing to discover companies and quite another faces and people behind them which can be most interesting for readers.

Here's a link to some of his work on youtube.

Benedettelli recently gave a LEGO robotics demonstration (presented by Bricks 4 Kidz Piedmont) in Burlington, Vermont.

Too bad, had I known, I would have taken my daughter!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Robotics: The Octopus Project

From the website:

"OCTOPUS aims to investigate and understand the key principles of the octopus body and brain, by building a soft 8-arm robot capable of elongating its arms to reach and grasp while navigating submerged under water.

The octopus is a unique and paradigmatic example for bio-inspired soft robotics, because of its great motor capabilities and enhanced behavior, due to its particular muscular structure and sensory-motor system."

The project is coordinated and headed by the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Pisa, Italy) involving 6 European partners:
- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI,Jerusalem, Israel)
- The Weizmann Institute of Science (Weizmann, Rehovot, Israel)
- The University of Zurich (UZH, Zurich, Switzerland)
- The Italian Institute of Science (IIT, Genova, Italy)
- The University of Reading (UREAD, Reading, United Kingdom)
- The Foundation for Research and Technologies (FORTH, Heraklion, Crete, Greece) 

See video here.

Note: Small-editing on my part.