2014 Architecture Awards

Last year the 2014 AIA International Architecture Awards were held to honour the best in Australian architecture around the world. Five winners and six commendations were chosen from a roster of 24 entries. The awards are held annually by the AIA – Australian Institute of Architects, and only the best architects are chosen to win the top awards.

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Each winner is chosen for specific project categories. This year new categories included commercial, public, and residential properties. There were also interior projects and small project architecture categories for the entrants to excel in. This year several notable architectural buildings topped the list for exceeding design expectations and thinking outside the box, rather than relying on tried and true architectural design planning. Making the top of the list was Denton Corker Marshall’s unique twist on their Stonehenge Exhibition Visitor Centre building. Denton Corker Marshall won this top award in the Public Architecture category. It was a difficult challenge for DCM to come up with a building design that fit in with the natural features on the Stonehenge heritage site. A modern building wouldn’t fit with the theme. Ultimately they chose a building hidden within a framework of narrow wooden beams. They succeeded in creating a natural looking building to fit within the Stonehenge UNESCO World Heritage site, not detracting from the mysterious qualities of the large boulders and rocks that comprise Stonehenge.

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Another noteworthy entry in the 2014 Architecture Awards was Parkroyal on Pickering by WOHA in Singapore. WOHA won the award for best commercial architecture. Their building on Pickering is an amazing combination of winding greenery throughout a commercial office tower. They have succeeded in creating an eco-friendly office tower, centred on the plants gobbling up the carbon dioxide wastage from the building and converting them to rich oxygenated air. Who wouldn’t want to work in this office building and look out the window to view a beautifully tended garden?
Kerry Hill Architects created beautifully designed residences in Bangkok and won the top architectural award for residences. A wide expanse of water is forefront to a building designed with metal slats to offer privacy from the huge floor to ceiling windows behind them.
ASB North Wharf won the top award for interior architecture, creating comfortable office space within modern cocoons.
Marra and Yeh Architects won the final award in the small project architecture category with their Shelter@Rainforest building. Their building was made from natural woods and long sloping roofs.
Each of these five winners went onto the National Architecture Awards last November 2014.

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Architecture offers many endless possibilities in residential and commercial building design. Those finalists chosen for the awards are those who have thought outside the box, and dared to create structures that are both functional but still unique in flow and design. The 2014 Architecture Awards in Australia had many talented architecture contenders, but unfortunately there were only a few prizes to award. We’ll eagerly anticipate seeing the finalist list for the 2015 Architecture Awards coming up again this summer.

Baby Monitor from ex-Apple and Google Employees

Sproutling, a new company founded by a group of former Google and Apple employees, has designed its first gadget: the Sproutling Baby Monitor.

This company announces that this device will bring high performances to every customer and help the parents worldwide, playing the role of the best “babysitter”. Unlike the other baby monitors that you can actually buy now, this is only a concept at the moment. So if you are looking for the best baby monitor to buy right now, this is definitely not for you.

This concept promises to make the parenting experience much more pleasant. Parents will be less stressed and stop worrying about the baby’s condition all day long. Also, another goal the device plans to achieve is offering parents the chance to relax once in awhile, taking good care of the baby in their place and announcing them whenever the baby is in need of their help.

The Sproutling Baby Monitor comes in the shape of a rubber-coated bracelet which is tied around the baby’s ankle. Its design and composing fabric makes it comfortable for the baby to wear. In addition to this, the attaching strap is created to be machine-washable.

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This device presents a lot of features such as measuring the baby’s heart rate and also his temperature. Moreover, the bracelet studies the baby’s movements. If the baby happens to lay on his stomach or sides, there might be a risk he will suffocate. The device will inform the parents about the baby’s motion so that they will know when to act accordingly and put the baby to lay on his back in order for him to breathe properly. The strap’s battery lasts up to 3 days and can be charged in a surprisingly small amount of time: about 3 hours.

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The rubber-coated bracelet charges itself in its charging bowl, which is placed in the baby’s room. The base station (charging bowl) measures the room’s temperature and sends signals to the parent’s smartphone. If the room temperature is too cold or too hot, the parent will know when to step in and prevent an unpleasant situation for the baby. The base station also measures the noise level in the child’s room, noticing a parent if the baby is being disturbed or might wake up.  The base station sends detailed information to the parent’s smarthpone and to the company’s servers. Afterwards, the company specialists study the baby’s behavior and make a series of statistics. These statistics help a parent to assume the time when the baby will wake up from a nap, sending signals to their smartphones in real time.

In this way, the Sproutling Baby Monitor’s app installed on a parent’s smartphone will represent the child’s mood as well: happy, upset, fussy, sleeping or awake.

The data which is send to the Sproutling’s company servers is strictly confidential, without using or exposing any details regarding the baby’s behavior or health.

If the strap happens to be unattached, the app will notice the parent to tie it back on the baby’s ankle.

Parents with more children can get information about each one of them if every baby wears one bracelet on the ankle.

Best Movies You Should Watch Before the 2015 Oscar Awards

Nowadays, the Oscar statuette (with its official name : the Academy Award of Merit ) represents the most recognized trophy worldwide. The 87th Oscar Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre (at Highland Center and Hollywood) on February 22, 2015. Here you have some early predictions of the films we think that will be capable of winning this important award.

Boyhood


Ellar Coltrane plays Mason’s role, the main character of “Boyhood”. “Boyhood” is filmed over 12 years, with the same actors and actresses. This film presents the interesting life that Mason lives, starting at the age of 5, until he turns 18 years old. He and his sister, Samantha, live with their mom and face difficulties, having to move often and leave their home and friends behind, dealing with a violent step-father. “Boyhood” is a must-watch!

Gone Girl


Nick Dunne, character interpreted by Ben Affleck, is married to Amy, played by Rosamund Pike. After 5 years of a happy marriage, the couple is about to celebrate their anniversary. Sadly, Amy suddenly disappears without a trace. The police, press and locals, including Amy’s family, questioned and accused Nick of his wife’s disappearance. During the action, Nick tries to prove its innocence. “Gone Girl” is an interesting film you should watch as soon as you can!

Interstellar


“Interstellar” is a marvelous piece of work, directed by Christopher Nolan. The human race is being threatened by famine and strange changes in climate. To avoid the human race extinction, the crew of Endurance, a group of explorers, found a way to travel huge distances in space searching for a planet where humans can travel to and start all over again. This film is very inspiring for the audiences and surely deserves to be watched.

The Imitation Game


“The Imitation Game” is a great film directed by Morten Tyldum in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of Alan Turing. The cast also includes actress Keira Knigthley who plays the role of Joan Clarke, Matthew Goode as Hugh Alexander, Charles Dance as Commander Denniston and Mark Strong as Stewart Menzies. The film presents Alan Turing’s struggle to defeat the Nazi. Turing is a mathematician, logician and computer scientist. He had an incredible contribution in helping the Alies to win the World War II. Find time to watch “The Imitation Code”! You will not be disappointed.

The Theory of Everything


Eddie Redmayne plays the role of the the genius and psysicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”. Stephen has been diagnosed with a horrible disease at the age of 21 ( ALS ) . Jane Hawking, played by Felicity Jones, stood by her husband’s side, helping him to struggle with the disease and being an important part in Stephen’s researches. “The Theory of Everything” is an emotional film, with actors and actresses who perform incredibly, highlighting that the power of love is stronger than any disease.