Diogene - Diogenes of Sinope was an Ancient Greek philosopher who rejected the amenities of civilized life by living in a barrel in the Agora of Athens. Over 2,300 years later, his name is being used for a 6-square-meter (64-square-foot) living unit designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop with Vitra. As this exploded axonometric illustrates, "Diogene" is hardly as spartan as its namesake; it receives power from PV cells, collects rainwater, and includes a composting toilet, not to mention a shower, folding table, and pullout sofa. A "Diogene" prototype was on display at the Vitra campus as part of Art Basel, and the unit could be available from Vitra as early as 2014. jh
Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, courtesy of Vitra
Since its 2007 completion, the Kolumba Art Museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne has sat atop the ruins of the Gothic St. Kolumba church, destroyed in World War II. In Peter Zumthor's design, materiality is of the utmost importance, so the Swiss architect worked with Danish company Petersen Tegl to develop handmade bricks that are thinner and longer than standard bricks. Now architects can benefit from their efforts with Petersen's Kolumba™ line of bricks.