June 28, 2012

Parallels Desktop - 6 year anniversary

Parallels Desktop is running a special offer as part of their 6 year anniversary.

On Thursday, June 28thParallels, Inc, developer of the award-winning Parallels Desktop for Mac – the leading software for running Mac and PC programs side-by-side without rebooting – is celebrating the sixth anniversary of the product with a unique user-generated sale.

It’s no secret that design software is a significant investment. Whether moving from PC to Mac and avoiding having to re-purchase Adobe Creative Suite or preferring to take advantage of increased capability using AutoCAD on Windows rather than Mac, there are endless benefits to running Windows software on a Mac. Plus, with a large portion of media creation and 2D/3D design tools not yet available for Mac, it pays to know you don’t have to wait any longer. 

users have now driven down the Parallels Birthday Sale price to 65% off! That's $28.00 (regularly $79.99) for Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac. 

For more information visit the Parallels Desktop Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ParallelsDesktop

June 27, 2012

An Interview with Lior Askal, An Interior Design Graduate

It's the time of year when thousands of students are graduating from design schools around the world. All of this fresh talent have sat through their final reviews, put up with cranky old men trashing their work, and are hitting the streets looking for that elusive job. Pierce Atkinson, recently attended the Dawson College final reviews and got to sit down and chat with one of their talented graduates.

Pierce Atkinson: First, I'd like to start off by congratulating you, Lior. You just graduated the Interior Design Program from Dawson college, how does it feel to be done? Have you caught up on sleep yet?

Lior Askal: It's very bizarre to be completely honest. Even though all of the projects have been turned in and grades have been submitted, I feel as though I have more work that needs to be completed. I guess after 3 years of constant hard work, the brain just expects more and doesn't understand that it's over. It may sound strange, but I find sleep to be boring . I feel like I should be doing so much more right now, but instead I'm wasting my time sleeping!

PA: Tell us a little bit about your final project.

LA: So the final project is called The Square Inch, which is a resource center for anyone in the design industry. The space offers a library, materials room, conference rooms, seminar halls, and a gallery to expose and exhibit all the work. I wanted to create this space, because I felt that after 3 years in the program, I knew what every designer needed. My biggest challenge was finding the functionality in the midst of all the aesthetics.

PA: What did your family think when they first saw your final designs and original creations?

LA: My family has always been proud and supportive of what I've done. They have pushed me to continue my studies and get better at what I love to do. My father is also in the interior design business, so he has seen countless projects and ideas, and every time I would present anything, he would only emphasize the negative, and that forced me to improve and revise every tiny detail.

PA: Are you working now? If so what type of projects are you more focused towards?

LA:  I have recently been accepted into a small firm in Montreal that specializes in restaurant and commercial design. The projects are very fun, and most importantly, the office atmosphere is great. There are currently 3 employees in total, but we are slowly expanding.

PA: How did you find the current position at the firm?

LA: I randomly applied to this job a few months back, and hadn't heard anything for a few months. Just recently the owner finally called me and told me that he needed good designers. I showed him my portfolio and pretty much started working there the next day.

PA: Do you find there is real interest in young interior designers?

LA: I believe it all depends on the designer. You can have someone who's been in the business for many years, but who lacks the spark that every great designer has. As a very young designer, I think that anyone would be willing to take on a designer like me, if the portfolio and work matches their needs. Age doesn't really play a difference, but raw talent does.

PA: What is most challenging about a career in Interior Design?

LA: I believe that the hardest part is getting the recognition you deserve for a completed project. There are so many interior designers out there, that it becomes very hard to get any fame or recognition at all. As a young designer, my primary goal is getting my name out there, so I'm not picky with the projects that I take on or the payment that accompanies it.

PA: Who inspired you to become a designer, and how?

LA: My father was my great source of inspiration for pursuing interior design. He's moved 3 times very late in his life, to three very different countries, and in every single one of them, he pretty much had to restart his career all over again. He showed me that if I'm truly passionate about anything in life, I'll go to great lengths to achieve it. He's a brilliant designer, but manages to balance family and work in harmony.

PA: Where do you turn for inspiration?

LA: It depends on the project. Sometimes, a late drive does the trick, or going through some magazines, sometimes just talking to somebody about the project will strike up an idea inside of me.

PA: What strikes you most when you enter a space for the first time?

LA: I'm the kind of person that values craftsmanship. I have a great deal of respect for those who are good at what they do, especially when it comes to hand-made things. I also have a fascination for watches and small objects, because the level of detail that goes into it fascinates me.

PA: You studied in Montreal, do you plan on staying here?

LA: For the meantime yes, but I intend on studying architecture in Toronto in the years to come. I love Montreal for its history, and I have established a life here, but I'm always ready for a new and exciting beginning.

PA: Architecturally speaking, which parts of Montreal do you like the most?

LA: I would have to say Old Montreal, simply because of the history and craftsmanship that went into every building. I might not be crazy about the style of that area, but the story behind it makes it worth it. Like I mentioned earlier, I have a thing for objects that were hand-made, and this area is full of it.

PA: Where do you see yourself in the future?

LA: In the next few years, I hope to get a bachelor's degree in 3D animation in Montreal, and then pursue my dream of becoming an architect in Toronto. My goal is to one day own a firm that specializes in 3D animation and architecture, where I will hopefully work on creative inspiring projects for companies like Disney and Pixar. It's something that I've always wanted to do, and I'm trying my best to make this dream come true.

June 26, 2012

Video: Point of View interviews Will Alsop

PointOfView >2011/02 >WILL ALSOP from ArchiTeam on Vimeo.

Point of View interviews the architect Will Alsop, who's design for the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD)we have featured on Talkitect in the past.

June 12, 2012

Five of the Greatest Modern Buildings in the World

Architectural appreciation is as much a question of taste as is the appreciation of art or literature. Here we investigate five very different architectural masterpieces, all with a unique story.

The Eden Project, UK 
Designed by Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners and completed in 2001, the spectacular Eden Project in Cornwall is a sublime combination of ecology, horticulture, science, art and architecture. This particular project was an immense challenge for the architects as it was designed to create enclosed environments for global microclimates, exhibiting over 100,000 plants. Located in a remote clay pit, the organically inspired dome-shaped design is entirely appropriate for its surroundings. The final design delivered a hugely efficient building of maximum strength, volume and light but with minimum steelwork and no internal supports, allowing the plants to thrive as naturally as possible. 

Sydney Opera House, Australia
On the other side of the world is a building which according to the 2007 UNESCO World Heritage Committee: "Stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind." Danish architect Jørn Utzon created one of the world's most recognisable landmarks when in 1957 his design was chosen as the winner of the 'International competition for a national opera house.' The son of a naval architect and engineer, Utzon's Opera House 'Sails' were undoubtedly inspired by his maritime and shipbuilding background.

It has been said of the Opera House: "The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building."

Church of Light, Japan
This architectural masterpiece, the Ibaraki Kasugaoka Kyokai Church designed by Tadao Ando and completed in 1989, is situated in an unassuming neighbourhood on the outskirts of Osaka. The small Christian church constructed of satin smooth concrete, is formed of two rectangular buildings. Entrance is between the two structures one of which contains the chapel, the other the Sunday school, a later addition.

Defined by the stark contrast between light and shade the interior of the chapel is dominated by a floor to ceiling, wall to wall cruciform cut in to the wall behind the altar. Light seeps in, the rays constantly shifting as the sun moves around the building. So far removed is this building from the medieval churches of England and yet the purpose of the people within is the same.

Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
In 1943 a building was commissioned to house the Museum of Non-Objective Painting in New York. Architect Frank Lloyd-Wright was asked for “A temple of spirit, a monument!” Construction began in 1956. Renamed the Guggenheim Museum following the death of its benefactor, it opened in 1959 and was instantly proclaimed an architectural landmark. Its modernist design impresses visitors to this day and it remains a venue for contemporary art. It has been said, "Wright's building made it socially and culturally acceptable for an architect to design a highly expressive, intensely personal museum. In this sense almost every museum of our time is a child of the Guggenheim."

Kammermusiksaal, Berlin, Germany
The Kammermusiksaal (chamber music hall) in Berlin's 'Kulturforum' was designed by Hans Scharoun and Edgar Wisniewski. A symbol of the sophistication of Western culture, coinciding with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the Kulturforum also comprises the Staatsbiliothek and the Neue Nationalgalerie. Wisniewski, a pupil of Scharoun, heavily influenced the design of the Kammermusiksaal which mirrors the basic concepts of its neighbour the Philharmonie. Designed around a central stage with a 360 degree raked audience space the configuration of the seats creates a truly unique experience for theatre goers.

This guest post was written by Francesca, a writer based in the UK with an interest in architecture and design. She writes on behalf of McCormick Architecture.

Image Sources:
- Sydney Opera House – Brian Giesen
- Eden Project – Karen Roe
- Guggenheim Museum - Vacacion
- Church of Light - stef thomas
- Kammermusiksaal - 96dpi

June 10, 2012

Slideshow: Matapouri Beach House - by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects

Matapouri beach house
View more presentations from Simon Devitt Photographer

Designed as a refuge from the busy city lives of the owners, the Matapouri Beach House provides relaxed holiday living. The plan is organised around a central spine, with spaces orientated to specific views. The open plan living area flows seamlessly onto a generous northern deck to the view, and an alternative sheltered space with bbq and outdoor fireplace, to the north-west. The bedrooms are in contrast more protected, with shutters that lift up to provide protection from summer sun, maintaining cooler temperatures.
Materials are almost exclusively timber, with stained cedar shiplap cladding and hoop pine plywood wall and ceiling linings. The exposed structure is saligna, and flooring is kwila. Translucent elements are used in parts of the roof and cladding introducing a delicate light quality to the circulation space and outdoor fire area. The house closes down with the use of sliding panels and hinged shutters, ensuring security is provided when the house is not in use.

Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects [Auckland] Ltd
p: 0064 9 302 0222
f: 0064 9 302 0234
Level 1, 15 Bath Street, P O Box 37521, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand

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