Fluid Assembly Furniture?

Fluid Assembly Furniture from Self-Assembly Lab, MIT on Vimeo.

Fluid Assembly is part of a research project conducted by MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab looking at autonomous construction in complex and uncontrolled environments (water, air, space etc). In this experiment different components are released into a basin of turbulent water. Each item is completely unique from one another and has a precise location in the final arrangement. The process was videotaped over 7 hours, after which a fully constructed, precise chair was developed. The chair was selected to show differentiated structures as opposed to repetitive growth or self-similar structures. This experiment points towards the idea that one can self-assemble arbitrarily complex structures from furniture to components, electronics / devices or other different structures.



The Often Misunderstood Arrogant French Waiter

WaiterThere is a big difference between American and French food servers. Never ask a French waiter what he plans to be in the future.

“Food service is an honorable career in France,” writes Cristina Nehring. “To suggest he’s bussing tables on his way to becoming an actor, film director or psychiatrist is an insult. The actor, director or psychiatrist is as likely to be training for a career as a waiter.”

Click here an interesting and insightful article posted in The Wall Street Journal called In Defense of the Notoriously Arrogant French Waiter.

It comes complete with a list of Do’s and Don’ts for the novice.
They’re infamous for being snooty and snobbish, but the garçon de café can be a source of endless entertainment once you understand what they’re really all about.




Girl Power/Guy Power: A Stereotype Makeover


Oberfraese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you think of woodworking, or picture a sewing machine, what do you see? Do you associate men with one and women with the other? The American Spirit is the fuel for our DIY world. Today people are more comfortable to disregard gender stereotypes and do what they want to do. Many women are enjoying creative pastimes like furniture building, as more men feel free to explore crafts such as sewing and quilting.

This article is a wonderful exposé which explores this freedom of choice in great detail. Case in point:

Ana White.

Her blog “has become the go-to resource for furniture building DIYers, with over 1000 free plans, step -by-step project tutorials, and videos in which White explains power tools and how to properly use them.”

In a related video, check out President Barack Obama as he tackles Toy-gender based stereotypes 😀

Visit Paris by Métro

Whether you are in town to oversee the renovation of your home or if you are in Paris for a vacation, this free app is a must have for your mobile device.

Did you know there is a ‘night bus’ route that runs throughout Paris after the Metro closes? They run about once an hour but it’s good to know they exist! And it’s through this app we made this discovery.

But that’s just the beginning of it’s online and offline surprises and features.

Click the link here to download and check it out for yourself

Haussmann In Under 3 Minutes


Rue Monge, Paris. Example of haussmannian arch...

Rue Monge, Paris. Example of haussmannian architecture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is difficult to grasp the true enormity of Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. This massive undertaking was begun and much of it was accomplished before the age of electricity. And although it was commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III, Haussmann’s work was met with fierce opposition, and as a result he was finally dismissed by Napoleon III in 1870.

This development project involved the demolition of entire medieval neighborhoods that were over crowded and plagued with disease. In their place wide avenues, parks and squares, were built along with the construction of new sewers, fountains, aqueducts, bridges, churches, theaters, hospitals, city halls and even public toilets. The street plan and distinctive style of Paris ‘centre ville’ we all know today is largely due to the result of Haussmann’s renovation.

Here is a video we put together. We’re trying to give the viewer a feel of the scope of this grand construction project with a run time of under 3 minutes.


Eiffel Tower Renovation

Once condemned as ‘pointless’ and ‘monstrous’ by notable writers such as Maupassant and Zola, 125 years after its completion the La Grande Dame de Paris is finally getting a face lift. The Eiffel Tower has been under a 30 million euro construction project over the past few years and recently unveiled the result. Long overdue repairs to elevators were made that sometimes left visitors waiting in line up to 3 and 4 hours. Solar panels were installed but the most impressive feature is the new glass floor that hovers a jaw dropping 57 meters (167 feet) above the ground.

The Eiffel Tower, Paris. View from below.

Click here for an interesting article that talks about the economics behind the renovation. In 2003 the Eiffel Tower topped out at about 7 million visitors per year. So the purpose of the glass floor is to get people to spend more time in the shops before heading to the top. Talk about a rénovation intérieur au Paris!