A new house for the Design Museum in London

If you had the opportunity to walk near Holland Park, you probably are familiar with the location where the Commonwealth Institute used to be: a Grade II listed building dating back to the 1960s. The building was designed by Robert Matthew/Sir Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall and Partners, architects, and engineered by AJ & JD Harris, of Harris & Sutherland.

The building is the new house for the Design Museum. The museum was founded in 1989, originally located by the River Thames near Tower Bridge in London, and recently relocated to Kensington opening its doors on November 24th, 2016. The museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. The new location also houses the Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning, 202-seat Bakala Auditorium and a dedicated gallery to display its permanent collection, accessible free of charge.

I recently visited the museum and had the opportunity to attend the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition currently being shown. The exhibition showcases designs produced over the previous twelve months worldwide.The entries are nominated by a number of internationally respected design experts a, falling into the seven categories of Architecture, Transport, Graphics, Interactive, Product, Furniture and Fashion. Since 2015 there have been six categories: architecture, fashion, graphics, digital, product and transport. Beazley Insurance came on board as exhibition sponsor in 2016.

I was very pleased to see at least two entries from Mexico. One of them is the work of the mexican Alejandro Magallanes for the Almadía publishing house, a small but innovative publisher based in Oaxaca, Mexico. I highly recommend reading the post in Yorokobu entitled “Las portadas exquisitas de Alejandro Magallanes”.

Name: Almadía book covers design
Designers: Alejandro Magallanes
Paragraph description:
The front covers for the Almadia book series was conceived when Magallanes looked into the archives and origins of the Almadia publishing house. Creating a bold design, the covers add an element of craftsmanship whilst providing an object that the reader would like to behold.

The other entry from Mexico was Yakampot, a fashion brand that aims to become an international name while embracing the cultural heritage of the country’s womenswear.

Also notable are the entries from Jonathan Barnbrook for the design of David Bowie’s last album “Blackstar”, as well as the Space Cup that enables astronauts to drink from a cup rather than a straw, developed on the International Space Station. The cup was a result of addressing the microgravity effects faced by fluids while at zero-gravity. The project “Capillary Effects of Drinking in the Microgravity Environment” (Capillary Beverage) studied the process of drinking from specially designed Space Cups that use fluid dynamics to mimic the effect of gravity.

Designers: Jonathan Barnbrook
One line description:
The album cover uses the Unicode Blackstar symbol creating a simplicity to the design allowing the music to be the focus and the creation of an identity that is easy to identify and share.
Paragraph description:
The album cover uses the Unicode Blackstar symbol creating a simplicity to the design allowing the music to be the focus and the creation of an identity that is easy to identify and share. Designed using open source elements, the artwork for the album became open sourced itself following Bowie’s death enabling fans to engage, interact and use it.

Name: Space Cup
Designers:
Mark Weislogel: Innovator (IRPI LLC/Portland State University)
Andrew Wollman: Designer (IRPI LLC)
John Graf: Co-Investigator (NASA Johnson Space Center)
Donald Pettit: NASA Astronaut Innovator (NASA Johnson Space Center) Ryan Jenson: Sponsor (IRPI LLC)
One line description:
Using capillary forces to replace the role of gravity, the Space Cup enables astronauts to drink from a cup rather than a straw and was developed on the International Space Station.
Paragraph description:
The Space Cup was designed and developed using scientific results of experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station. The cup is designed to exploit passive capillary forces to replace the role of gravity in an earth-like drinking experience, but in the low-gravity environment of space. Sealed drink bags are normally sipped through a straw to avoid spilling in space. The Space Cup however uses surface tension, fluid wetting properties, and a unique shape to drive the liquid toward the astronaut’s mouth while drinking.

The Shuttle Enterprise

While visiting the city that never sleeps I finally had the chance to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York. The main attraction for me was the prospect of seeing and being close to the Enterprise shuttle, and having a look at the Concorde.

The museum is quite big and there are plenty of things to see. The shuttle pavilion is at the very end of the aircraft carrier Enterprise and the whole visit was very exciting. The shuttle is housed in a temporary venue and I look forward to seeing the actual permanent building when it is finished. I was surprised to know the story behind the name of this shuttle itself. It seemed to be a bit of a coincidence to share its name with the famous Star Trek spaceship.

The original name was supposed to be Constitution, in honour of the USA’s bicentennial. But more than 400,000 trekkies had something else in mind. The petitioned US President Gerald Ford to change the name to Enterprise after the starship captained by James T Kirk. The pavilion shows a picture taken on September 17th 1976 on the day of the shuttle Enterprise roll-out ceremony with some of the Star Trek cast members along with its creator Gene Roddenberry.

Enterprise 3 Enterprise 2 Enterprise 1

Neil Armstrong

Armstrong

Neil Armstrong will always be remembered as the first man to walk on the moon. He has died on Saturday 25th of August, weeks after heart surgery and days after his 82nd birthday.

Neil A. Armstrong, was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He served as a naval aviator between 1949 and 1952. In 1955 he joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) a predecessor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration agency (NASA).

Armstrong gained his status as an astronaut in 1962. He then was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission. Gemini 8 was launched on March 16, 1966, and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.

As spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon and the first to step on its surface.

He was Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati between 1971-1979. During the years 1982-1992, Armstrong was chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., Charlottesville, Va.

In an address to America’s National Press Club in 2000, Armstrong offered the following self-portrait: “I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.”

Science Museum Lates

As some of you may know (and if you don’t after reading this you will), the Science Museum in London opens its doors late on the last Wednesday of every month.

This time round, on July 29th the theme of the night was “Launch into space” to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Moon landings. They had usual events such as the “Silent Disco” held in the Flight Gallery or the “Pub Quiz”.

The highlight of the night was a talk by Sy Liebergot, who was manning the desk when Houston heard there was a problem! And if you wanted to know more about some of the spacecrafts used you could go to the “Centernary Talks@Lates” with Chris Riley about the Apollo 10 capsule (see pictures).

Of course there is always more to explore in this interesting museum and for more information, you can visit the Science Museum website.

Apollo 10 Capsule
Apollo 10 Capsule
View of the Science Museum
View of the Science Museum