Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Hirshhorn Museum (The Hirshhorn Story)

Thursday, 3 August 2006; 10:54

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens are never overlooked when I visit Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, one finds little multimedia content from the museum with the exception of Joseph Hirshhorn’s dedication speech, a part of the Hirshhorn Story (click “Play Audio” under “Founding Donor”).

And although not multimedia, some of you and/or your kids will certainly enjoy Create A Sculpture found under Art Interactive.

The Distillery cannot wait for the day when museums have sufficient funding and the needed technologies to virtually offer their collections to anyone anywhere in the world with access to a computer and the internet. (Are you listening, Bill and Melinda Gates? How about throwing the world’s museums a few million of those dollars? After all, that inoculated child in Africa should also be able to see beyond its own village.)

Fifi by Ed Paschke

Home page: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens

Oxford Internet Institute (Univ. of Oxford)

Monday, 24 July 2006; 15:13

I had to find a means of working in something which is entirely non-multimedia (and needs little advertising or promotion), but is still very impressive. So by way of webcasts from the Oxford Internet Institute, we have over 2,500 magnificent 360-degree tours of almost the entire University of Oxford campus and surrounding area.

To think of the footsteps that walked Oxford’s campuses and halls (e.g., Erasmus, John Donne, Roger Bacon, Oscar Wilde, Indira Gandhi, Gertrude Bell, J.R.R. Tolkien), sometimes centuries before any of ours, is truly humbling. If you have been there, you will very much enjoy each and every virtual tour. It is the best collection of virtual tours The Distillery has yet to find online.

However, The Distillery cannot overlook the Oxford Internet Institute itself. Just some of the gems found there include webcasts such as The Future of the Web: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Internet Security: Legend or Myth: John Levine, and The New Shape of Knowledge: From Trees to Piles of Leaves.

Home pages: University of Oxford and Oxford Internet Institute

oxford_crest.gif oxford_students.jpg

Ex-Centris

Friday, 21 July 2006; 11:18

I will introduce you to Ex-Centris, a film production and screening complex, with a powerful clip from The Road to Guantanamo. To quote Forrest Gump, “…and that’s all I have to say about that.”

Ex-Centris delivers far more than the above. Enjoy this short clip from Ici Naja A Vous La Terre. Another from Lemming, a French film I would love to see if the clip is indicative of the entire film. There are others I’ll let you discover on your own.

Now click on Rental. Have a look at the interior of Ex-Centris’ Fellini Theater, presented with Quicktime VR. Once there, be certain not to overlook the underlined link Clicking Here, which demonstrates the transformation of the theatre from a conventional movie theater to an exhibition hall that can even serve as a 3D immersive virtual world. And in that space you now find yourself, turn around and visit the Control Room and other points of interest. Very nice indeed.

While at the Rental portion of the site, be certain to check in at the café and listen to some music by clicking on Albums. In all, quite astounding. I do believe a trip to Montreal is in order.

Home page: Ex-Centris

Ex-Centris logo

Camenzind Evolution

Wednesday, 12 July 2006; 8:32

Seldom have so few done so much with so little. (Sorry about the mangling, Winston C., but I needed it for this one.) That captures my first thought about Camenzind Evolution, a Swiss architectural firm. The site is as simple as many I have not praised, but just the right combinations of color, lines, movement, and music (and great buildings) turn a simple site into a gem. Anyone with a small budget, take note.

An interesting aside: There are more than 1100 museums in Finland, which means Finland has the greatest museum density in the world in proportion to the population.

Maritime Museum of Finland graphic

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art – Door to Art

Monday, 17 April 2006; 9:54

The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan offers internet users its Door to Art initiative which allows visitors to see behind the art to the artists themselves. Click on My Drawing Room for video clips about the artist Yoshitoma Nara and his works. And should you not speak Japanese, be certain to click on Caption in the video player’s controls for written English translations. Then, albeit not multimedia but still quite worth a look, click on Somewhere Land for a exhibition of the artist’s photographs.

Hara Museum Membership Card

The Taj Mahal

Wednesday, 12 April 2006; 16:32

Most of us will never visit the Taj Mahal. However, via the magic of the internet, all is not lost. Virtual Tours brings us a richly interactive online tour. Site navigation is somewhat imperfect, but maybe that is appropriate given the Taj Mahal’s construction of almost perfect beauty to serve as a mausoleum for what must have been a perfect love for a deceased wife.

You will be greeted by silence when you enter the main body of the site, but for good reason. You have the choice of either turning on background music (music note symbol on the upper-left of screen), spoken narrations, or text and pictures. Yes, they pretty well covered the bases. I suggest the spoken narrations. (Click on the image of a pointing man found to the right of the upper main panoramic image.)

Taj Mahal (distant frontal)

IKEA Sweden (Dream Kitchens For Everyone)

Thursday, 6 April 2006; 12:22

Dream Kitchens For Everyone from IKEA Sweden.

This relatively simple site reminds me of a line spoken by the main character, Caine, many years ago in the TV series, Kung Fu. To paraphrase, speaking mere words of thanks lessens the value of a generous gift. (But I will call your attention to the music. Pay very close attention to it as you use your mouse. I have not heard that one before. And I am not referencing the changing tunes.)

Quinze and Milan

Wednesday, 15 March 2006; 14:32

Quinze and Milan knows design.

Distillery Proof Rating = 7 (Come on, tell me what you think. Agree? Disagree?)