John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition

John Atkin, Reader in Fine Art at Loughborough University, has been selected from 2,600 applicants to create a new sculpture for the major exhibition at Olympic Park, Beijing later this year. His initial designs received an ‘outstanding award’ from the judging panel.

The sculpture weighs 27 tons and is carved from marble and granite. It takes its inspiration and name – Strange Meeting – from a poem by Wilfred Owen. The poem tells of a dramatic meeting between two dead soldiers who had fought on opposing sides. No longer enemies, they find it possible to see beyond conflict and hatred in a shared awareness of “the truth untold”.

‘The Chinese workforce were tremendous – their attention to detail and ability to translate the subtle shifts in form of the sculpture was a remarkable achievement. It was also great to meet a number of artists from other parts of the world’ said John.

The public art exhibition launches in May 2008 and is based on the 2008 Olympic theme of One World, One Dream. John’s sculpture allows people to walk through the spaces between each element of the sculpture. The two identical, shapes, based on garment template contour patterns, are cut from the same veined block, turned inward on each other.

John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition – Landscape Institute

Grand green vision for S.F.’s Parkmerced

The owners of San Francisco’s Parkmerced want to add nearly 5,700 homes to the World War II-era rental housing complex, an ambitious renovation that could rank as one of the greenest in the country.

Over 20 years, the developer says, the minimum $1.2 billion project would take the 115-acre property off the power grid by employing wind turbines and other low-emission energy sources, slash water consumption through improved plumbing and recycling, and halve tenants’ automobile use by, among other things, adding public transportation options.

“I almost consider it a moral obligation in a project of this size to be responsible and do whatever we can do to help confront the problem of climate change,” said Craig Hartman, lead architect on the project and partner with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.

Read more at Grand green vision for S.F.’s Parkmerced – SFGate.com – James Temple

Brown offers China green incentive

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised China £50 million in aid for “green” technology as he seeks to switch the focus of his visit to the country to climate change.

The Prime Minister has promised at least that sum will be handed out to support investment in energy efficiency, so-called “clean coal” and carbon capture in the booming Chinese economy.

The deal was done on the first day of Mr Brown’s three-day visit to China, where the environment will now increasingly take centre stage.

The Prime Minister will visit the environmentally friendly Taiyang Gong Power Station on the outskirts of Beijing which recycles its own heat sources to supply hot water and other benefits to the community.

Mr Brown will later fly on to Shanghai to see progress being made in the Dongtan “eco-city” with lessons being learned for the Thames Gateway project currently under development in London’s suburbs.

Brown offers China green incentive | UK Latest | Guardian Unlimited.

Rare plant halts Sydney development

An investment company bought the 181ha former Air Services Australia site at Cranebrook in 2004, intending to subdivide and develop it for 1800 new residents.

Since then, a number of rare and threatened plants and animals have been found on the land.
The state environment department specifically recommended in 2006 that the entire site be protected.

A December study of the land identified nine threatened species and three endangered ecological communities across the rugged bushland, including 30 endangered flowering nodding geebung shrubs, of which just a few thousand remain in the wild _ and only in Western Sydney.

Rare plant halts development | The Daily Telegraph.

Cities of the Future – Technewsworld

Part 1 by Pam Baker looking at different models of the future cities and talking about the practicalities of Hyperstructures,

Issues raised about building and maintaining Hyperstructures by the author and interviewees include:
– Fire Protection
– Waste Management
– Hydraulics and Maintenance

Baker also talks about Dongtan on Chongming Island near Shanghai and its future of 500,000 people and sustainable design

Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 1: The Hyperstructure Concept.– Pam Baker

The second part of this series looks at City planning and Environment.
A good summary looks at the past and also the future of city planning and models for different continents based on population (Asia – Hypercites and America – architectural experimentation and knowledge societies)
Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 2: If We Build Them, Will We Stay?.

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