Posts

El Molino Burlesque’s Beautiful Video Facade — Barcelona, Spain

I was in Barcelona back in November of 2012; I posted some photos of that very busy trip, but I didn’t really have time to go out and do some sightseeing because of the show schedule.

There is one thing I did get though, I filmed it on the last night I was there.  We were staying at a hotel called Hotel Barcelona Universal, and from my room, I had a great view across the Paral Lel, the street out in front.  Across the street was this beautiful building facade, all made of video, that had a big windmill attached to the front of it.  The name?  El Molino, or “the Mill.”   Check it out:

el-molino-facade

Not really much to look at from the outside, right?  I mean, it’s fun and all, and obviously there is something happening of fun inside of the building.  However, El Molino has an enormous video wall outside that is pretty beautiful, and there is some very fun content that is displayed on the video wall.  It’s huge in comparison of the other parts of the facade!

el-molino-1

This building underwent a major renovation after a 1997 closing of the theatre, which from what I found was the first time it was ever actually closed.  The venue has a pretty interesting history; from the El Molino website, translated from Catalan:

The story of the Mill began in 1898, when the owner of the task The Aviary, a modest cabin located in Vila Vila Rosal corner, sold his business to 100 pesetas. The new owner will change its name to The Aviary Catalan and mount a small empostissat. After three years with a musical program stable, the local had already found its place in the world of entertainment Parallel.

After a brief flirtation with the movies under the name Grand Salon Siglo XX, in 1908 there was another change of owner and renamed Petit Moulin Rouge, in imitation of the famous Moulin Rouge in the Montmartre district of Paris.The new business is designed to bring the nightly entertainment cabarets of Paris “in Spanish”. It is the time of the Music Hall, which appropriates the same time, he sees as his fame avenue that the highest number of shows in Europe grows.

el-molino-under-construction

So the entire point of this post was to show the video I recorded of the video content of the video wall outside of El Molino.  Check it out, this is some fun architainment!

EIBTM 2012 – Lighting Designers, JUMP ON THIS

I just got back last week from Barcelona, Spain – I was over at EIBTM 2012 for CAST; we’re exhibiting the Vivien suite and showed some wysiwyg to some folks.  In this respect, that’s unimportant.  What is important is the fact that I have never been to a show where there was such a potential for lighting design greatness than I have when I saw the show floor at EIBTM.

First – this show is absolutely jam packed and crazy.  Good crazy, mind you — this is a large show completely filling the Fira Gran Via Barcelona, which is a big, beautiful hall:

There are stand after stand of countries marketing to Event and Meeting Professionals and hoteliers and all kinds of really corporate stuff — 5-star hotel chains showing their best properties, city and country travel and tourism bureaus hocking their destinations as the “in” place to come for a particular event/meeting/what-have-you, and there is a lot of really tremendous design there — glass and wood, real plants, just and amazing display of crafstmanship.  Even our stand, a 10X20 over in the Technology Pavilion, had puttied and painted corners and generally looked sleek and nice.  There was one thing missing from most of these displays, and there were some magnificently enormous displays…

…the touch of a Lighting Designer.

There is amazing opportunity here, people — perhaps it’s time to start putting together some proposals and sending out some resumes, yeah?  Even though this is not (I repeat not) a lighting trade show by any stretch of the imagination, some of these countries’ displays could really benefit from the touch of a lighting designer.  Countries like Estonia, my favorite stand even though not the largest, could really benefit from some nice programming and sequencing to best fit their country’s appearance.  There is something so elegant about having the calculated eye of an LD to put some real pizzazz into something so important as hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, if not exponentials of that figure.

This is not to say that they didn’t have the services of a lighting designer, but to me it did not appear as though an LD had given a lot of input other than GI (general illumination) in many of these cases.  Also keep in mind I’m a critical bastard who looks intensely at these things, and from a different perspective than any one of the attendees of this show — it’s just not what the show is about at all, it’s about destinations, events, meetings, and all of the revenue that goes along with that industry.  BUT, to the right LD, one of these stands could be a playground of immense proportions!

A few random teasers — there is a gallery at the bottom of the post with everything and anything from this trip!

Entering into the Fira Gran Via Barcelona for the show:

Spain’s EIBTM booth:

Denmark’s EIBTM booth:

Holland’s EIBTM booth:

Oh yeah, and Barcelona!  It was my first time in Spain, but I have to report that I only got to enjoy one really great meal and a bunch of hotel and convention floor food, I had the show on top of a beta program going on and writing documentation for said release.  I got a lot of cell phone shots of various locations around Barcelona, but I was busy from sun-up to sundown and didn’t really get much of a chance to enjoy Barcelona.  Sorry, Barcelona!  Maybe next time!  My Dad says you’re pretty cool, though.  La Barca del Salamanca is one awesome awesome awesome restaurant in Olympic Village along the water in Barcelona, there are some shots in the gallery of the amazing meal we had there with Corbin Ball!  Thanks Corbin, I had a blast!

Awesome.

Every street a different set of panels, but every street had them about every ten meters for miles.

The Maitre d’ un-crusting the salt from our sea bass at La Barca del Salamanca!

This image below was so awesome – this was a stone statue of a woman and child that was sitting by the Fira Gran Via loading dock entrance.  It’s obviously very old, but it was just so excellent to see this stone woman standing guard with her child over the loading dock.  I love stuff like that.

Click on any image thumb below and open up the Gallery view!

Hot, Steamy, Sexy Solar Power – ALL NIGHT LONG!

Doesn’t that just sound like the biggest nerd pr0n video of all time?!

I just saw an article over at ThinkProgress.org about a solar power plant in Spain that is using reflected solar thermal power to heat salts that stay molten for a long time, and then using that heat during the evening hours to maintain a constant stream of collected energy to electricity for customer demand.  The idea of using hundreds of heliostats to focus daytime sun onto essentially a bucket of something to collect solar energy is not new, we’ve been doing it for a long time.  It’s always interesting, however, exactly what stories get peoples’ attention.  I’m always grateful whenever cool tech makes regular news.

PS, a heliostat is the combination of a very, very specular mirror of the planar variety (usually) that is attached to something that makes it continually point so that it is focusing its reflected beam of light onto a target.  When you put several hundred of these things together in a field shining at something like they use in solar thermal collection, you get beams of light that create some of the most intense melting heat we know on Earth.  Like this:

Here’s the video from CNN:

Thanks for the image, Wikipedia!

Public Toilets – A Light Installation by Luz Interruptus

What do you get when you mix male urine containers, a light source in each one, some yellow water, and the urine-smelling street spots in Madrid?

You get Luz Interruptus’ public art installation Public Toilets. It was more of an intervention of sorts – Luz wanted to call some attention to the lack of respect that some people have for public places.  Apparently public urination in Madrid (as in many cities all over the world, actually) is quite an issue, and there are many pee-smelling places across the city.  My dad always told a story that had something to do with pee and the statue of Christopher Columbus (Plaza de Colón) when he was in the Navy, so this has been going on for quite some time.

Luz Interruptus took male urine collectors and a light source – I assume an LED – and filled the container with yellow liquid, placing them all over Madrid where the “scent” was located.  Gross.  Nice commentary, though.  From the Luz Interruptus site:

We like to use the streets and enjoy having fun out there. Of course, we are glad to see in summer people walking, speaking and having a drink or a snack without paying the expensive prices of an outdoor bar, just so that we can sit at a public place, which we understand is intended for everybody, but some people use for private purposes.

What also annoys us is seeing how during the day and at nightime people urinate anywhere in the streets without any embarassement. They just walk along, turn round, zip down and, even in crowded places, seen by passers-by, let go.

This is what makes the centre of Madrid look so rundown and dirty, with bad smells everywhere. It is also uncomfortable to have to walk carefully in order not to touch anything that will impregnate your shoes or clothes.

Through our installation, public toilets, we have tried to attract attention -in a comical manner- about the problem we encounter when walking in centric streets and squares. Its purpose is to remind people who have this custom and also institutions so that a solution is found –perhaps by using urban furniture where people can urinate without bothering others, in case of extreme urgency…

For this reason, on the early morning 28th July we wandered along San Ildefonso Square and side streets: a very crowded area at night time when the atmosphere is great. We carried 80 male urine containers, the ones used in hospitals. Inside we poured yellow water and, what else but our lights.

Once we had located the ‘wet’ spots- following the smell trail will do- and we set up our emergency urine containers for anybody in need to use. We are aware of some of them being used…others…will be taken home…who knows for which purpose.

The feature photos, obviously, are Gustavo Sanabria’s, who this time around had to place his camera in the most smelly of places.

Check out Gustavo’s images:

publictoilets02

public-toilets

publictoilets

public-toilets

publictoilets

publictoilets

Wouldn’t Twist Around (Wouldn’t Twist Around That Way)

ilamp

I think this thing is just cool.  System Design Studio in Spain is the creator of the iLamp, and you can bend that thing all over the place.  It’s a white silicon material with an electroluminescent polymer screen, which are both flexible!  I want one for the shop and one for a shelf in my office!  It’s definitely a fun form, isn’t it?  I want to see how bright this fixture really is – from the media it looks great.

iLamp was created by Helbert S. Ferreira and Remi A. Melander of Spain.  Nice work!

ilamp

ilamp

ilamp

Thanks, TrendsNow and DesignSpotter!