Low Tech Hacking: Soda bottle as light source

Residents in the Philippines have taken a soda bottle filled with water, some flashing, and some ingenuity to create a 55-watt equivalent light source in the dark shacks that are so prevalent in the poor parts of the world. The shacks are dark during the day and many of the individuals can’t afford much. Taking any food grade bottle, filling it with distilled water and inserting it into the corrugated metal roof, they create a refracted light source. By using the bottle, the sunlight hits the water and scatters in multiple directions (or refracts), thus giving a light bulb effect without the heat or cost of traditional electric light during the daylight hours.

You can read more and donate at isanglitrongliwanag.org

How Modern Materials Age

One of the things that bothers me most about modern architecture is the materials. People select these materials that look awesome when the building is designed and constructed, but that don’t age well, or, at least don’t age in a way that is pleasing to the eye. They require a lot of upkeep, and without that upkeep, the structures just fall apart.

This collection of Yugoslavian monuments form the 60s and 70s shows very futuristic looking materials that have just not aged well. When I think of good, solid construction, I think of stone and masonry. Look at the old Roman stuff, much of that is stone, and some is masonry with concrete (a technology which was lost for over a thousand years after the fall of Rome) and those structures have aged well. They may not be in tip top shape, but granite and marble just handle the elements better.

Hues of Mt. Vernon

!{border:1px solid black;}http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3049/2893702218_381f73639d.jpg (Mt. Vernon by John Athayde)!

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has released 120 hues from the Mt. Vernon estate of George Washington that were realized during the last decade of interiors renovations on the property. So for those of you who like to keep period in your colonials (as opposed to the monstrosities of custom home builders in Northern Virginia), you now can have it like George would.


Virginia Public Safety Memorial

!{border:1px solid black;}http://boboroshi.com/assets/2009/2/17/vapublicsafety_front.jpg (Transverse Section of the design)!

For those of you who didn’t know, I have a Masters in Architecture. I strayed from the path when I worked at RTKL as a 3d animator and designer right after college. I’ve done things here and there, but mainly still focused on the 3d rendering side of things [ Meticulous Portfolio ].

My high school civics teacher contacted me to ask if I would be willing to work with her son, Robert Eccleston, as an “architect” on a design for the Virginia Public Safety Memorial. I was ecstatic to be able to work on something like this again and, over the Christmas holiday, met with Robert in Williamsburg and dove in on the project. He had the maquettes started and we finished the plaza plan that day. From there we got the maquettes scanned into 3d models and I built the rest of the plaza in Maya. Render forth and this is what we had.

We submitted this yesterday and will find out in 3 months if we make the next round. Fingers crossed!

!{border:1px solid black;}http://boboroshi.com/assets/2009/2/17/vapublicsafety_persp.jpg (PErspective of the design)!

!{border:1px solid black;}http://boboroshi.com/assets/2009/2/17/vapublicsafety_top.jpg (Plan view of the design)!