After 25 years as a boilermaker, shipfitter and welder, photographer Joseph Blum knows his way around construction sites. His remarkable photographs take us behind-the-scenes on the construction of the new eastern span of San Francisco’s bay bridge, and are on view at the San Francisco Arts Commission gallery through September.
This is no ordinary construction site — the bridge is the largest self-anchored suspension bridge (SAS) in the world, and it connects the East Bay with San Francisco. Footed in mud strata, with giant shock absorbing fuses embedded underneath the roadway, the bridge is designed to be a seismic neutralizer and provide a lifeline into San Francisco for emergency services even when the surrounding area is flattened. It’s also supposed to last for 150 years.
It better. The price tag stands at $6.3 billion, orders of magnitude above initial projections, and the final cost to taxpayers could surpass $12 billion when all is said and done. That dollar figure includes manufacturing giant portions of the bridge in China and transporting them by boat (though this was the less expensive option), not to mention the laundry list of costly setbacks over more than a decade of construction.
Joseph Blum has been there to see it all as the men and women on the bridge have worked in all kinds of conditions to make the blueprints a concrete and steel reality. He shoots with 25-30 pounds of equipment, climbing high above the water and dangling from sections of massive infrastructure. Blum has become accustomed to the conditions on the bridge: wind, rain, fog, cold and extreme heights. He’s also 72 years old. Blum spoke with WIRED last week after coming off the bridge where he was “tied-off” (in a harness) and hanging over 150 feet above the water as he watched parts of the falsework (the supporting bridge) being cut away.
Wired has put a smorgasbord of images on its cover since issue 1.1 hit the stands in May 1993. They’ve run the gamut from Stephen Colbert to Lego figures and deep thoughts on the end of the web. The one thing they’ve shared in common is innovative, eye-catching design — from the loud neon hues of the 1990s to the quiet minimalism of our 20th anniversary issue. To commemorate that anniversary, community editor Brian Mossop worked with Wired’s video team to compile every cover — nearly 250 of them — in a 30-second video celebrating our first two decades. Enjoy!
Jennifer Mann is an engineer with a creative spirit, a combination she infuses into eye-catching projects.
After finishing her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, Mann headed west to San Francisco to get involved with the area’s burgeoning technology field. With hands-on capabilities and maker interests, she quickly got busy building and working on various projects, including Ben Cohen’s (of Ben and Jerry’s fame) StampMobile, a traveling, money-marking, Rube Goldberg-style machine that is designed to help bring awareness to campaign finance reform initiatives.
One of Mann’s most dazzling projects, however, is her LED space helmet. Inspired by an invitation to a David Bowie-themed costume party, she decided to base her outfit on the Bowie tune “Space Oddity.” The ensemble’s two-piece dress combines shiny blue and metallic silver fabrics, but the helmet is the showstopper — its retractable plastic dome is internally lit with strips of LED lighting that fluctuates and changes color via remote control.
The outfit was a big hit at the party, leading to Mann offering the space helmets for sale online. But to take your protein pills and put a helmet of your own on, you’ll have to request a special build — for now, she’s all sold out.
[via Wired Design]
Doug Aitken’s newest art installation is as big as the building on which it suitably resides.
The Seattle Art Museum will have a permanent change starting this weekend when Aitken reveals his giant LED and glass display called Mirror, which displays continuously changing images to match the surroundings of the museum. Commissioned by the late philanthropist Bagley Wright in 2011, Mirror acts as a living museum outside the Seattle institution, using an enormous collection of moving images captured by Aitken to reflect local life.
[More @ Wired Design]
In December, Google revealed images of their brand new office space in Tel Aviv, Israel. Occupying eight floors and 850,000 square feet in the Elektra Building with stunning views of the city, this ambitious office space boasts three restaurants (non-kosher, kosher dairy and kosher meat), and an entire floor dedicated to “Campus Tel Aviv,” a new hub for entrepreneurs and developers that acts like a home base for start up companies. The entire campus was designed by Camenzind Evolution, in collaboration with Setter Architects and Studio Yaron Tal.
Them’s some fancy digs.
Artist and designer Roeland Otten has gradually been transforming Rotterdam’s overlooked architectural eyesores into mesmerizing public installations using novel camouflage techniques.
No, Otten’s not draping army regulation greens over former public toilets and electricity substations. He’s using a variety of materials, from mosaic tiles and photography, to mimic buildings’ surrounds, creating an optical illusion in some cases.
Apple officially trademarked its store design last week, an endeavor the company has been pursuing since May 2010.
After being rejected twice by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which claimed the store design was not “inherently distinctive,” Apple submitted additional materials and drawings, and gained the trademark on its mall-centric, rectangular store layouts.
How do they do it? The tribute poster wizards at the Mondo Gallery seem to have a special gift for condensing the strangeness, beauty and excitement of iconic movies into graphics that capture their essence — and become works of art in their own right.
Poster geeks looking for answers can glimpse a behind-the-scenes peek at the creative process at Mondo in the new aptly titled exhibition In Progress, which opened last weekend and tuns through February 23 at the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas. The show features mind-melting sketches, concepts and line art prepped by design auteurs including Martin Ansin, Ken Taylor, Kevin Tong, Jay Shaw and Tom Whalen en route to final products celebrating Creature From the Black Lagoon, Planet of the Apes, Pan’s Labyrinth, Iron Giant and other cult classics.
See more EXCLUSIVE movie posters from Mondo’s new gallery show over @ Underwire!