A talented cast, backed by brilliant directors and writers, makes you feel like part of the action – not just through the actors telling a story, but also via the familiar spaces they regularly occupy in each episode (sometimes for years).
Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde is an artist and designer who painstakingly analyzes and draws out the rooms your favorite characters and their tales occupy, be they the charming sitcom Golden Girls or the macabre drama of Dexter.
And while our minds generally complete the picture for us, many of these famous dwellings do not really exist in a complete way, and some are never fully shown because of camera, entrance and exit placements, leaving our imagination to fill in the gaps.
In some cases, the action spans more than a single apartment, as in Friends where it is ultimately about two neighboring units and the hallway in between.
In other cases, like the Simpsons, seeing the plan makes you realize how simple it is in a fictional world that is wacky in so many ways – it is the backdrop, not a character itself. In the end, real life or otherwise, everyone needs doors, floors, windows and walls. Check out DeviantArt for a closer look or to buy a print.
Get Your Invisibility Cloak!
This author would like nothing more than to tell you that the above images are of a real-life working prototype of the most amazing invention of the century. That sentence should be clue enough, however, to the contrary. How is it, then, that these photos misled 5,000 publishers worldwide and, consequently, an awed global audience of millions?
It started with HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp, aptly or ironically a company of self-described “Leaders in Camouflage, Concealment and Deception.” They developed a compelling set of pictures of a next-generation technology designed to work without batteries, mirrors or cameras (perhaps more popular than ever after the special effects of the Harry Potter series).
Though they subsequently clarified the photographs were manipulated, their bold headline (“Quantum Stealth; The Invisible Military Becomes A Reality”) suggested to readers – and duped news outlets – that what they were showing were working images of an actual finished product.
By the end of 2012, Guy Cramer of Hyperstealth had conducted “20 interviews on this subject” but there were already “over 5,000 worldwide news stories” that had come out in just over a single week, each one dropping a piece or two of critical information. Most prominently: many failed to mention (or perhaps simply did not understand) that the images shown were not a reality.
To be fair: Guy still claims to have presented the product to multiple governments and militaries, and that what he has does, in reality, work not just at one angle but from all sides – he simply cannot show the prototypes due to high-level non-disclosure agreements. In the interest of playing it safe, this author will not weigh in on the validity of those claims either way.
Instant Flat-Pack Architecture!
Take a structure, strip away all of the non-essentials, and squeeze out every last unused bit of air space, and what do you get? Something a lot like a folded sheet of paper.
This folding shelter designed by Doowon Suh is as elementary as it gets – a series of sheets that unfold like origami to form a robust but basic building.
Like nesting paper cranes, in its most compact form, each module can be stacked on its siblings, making it easy to pack and ship in containers or store until deployed.
The modules are bare bones for maximum adaptive capability – they can emergency homes or hospital pods, temporary stores or community rooms.
BEFORE COOK HAVE A LOOK!
20 Creative Cookin’ Radiator
Radiators seem designed for the background. They line walls and prop up corners, and everyone looks past them because, after all, they are only radiators. But even this seemingly ignoble collection of valves, pipes and ribs can become an urban designer’s dream canvas. Here are 20 examples of how modern radiators could really turn up the heat in your dream home.
(Images via: Marco Dessi)
When designer Marco Dessi decided to take the traditional radiator design and give it a twist, he wasn’t kidding. The Twist radiator is constructed of square ceramic plates that rotate to form any sinuous pattern you prefer – as if the rotating skyscraper planned for Dubai was fixed to your wall. Probably best to let it cool before you get artistic, though.
(Image via: Trendir)
But if there’s something really wrong with the Twist, it is that clothes will presumably roll right off it. If you live above (or below) a certain latitude and you want to do the eco-friendly thing by avoiding tumble-drying your clothes, you need a radiator that stays put so you can hang things on it. This undulating eyecatcher of a towel-warming radiator is perfect for chasing the damp out of your clothes – that is, if you lay it horizontally, since it can also be fitting floor-to-ceiling.
(Images via: Yanko Design)
Cast your mind back to your Physics lessons at school – and the bimetallic strip, used to demonstrate how different rates of heat expansion can made a primitive mechanical device. Not-so-primitive is the glossy Flowering Radiator, which has bimetallic strips as its “petals” – add heat, and they flower before your eyes. A much classier way to (literally) see if the heating is on.
(Images via: Lucy Merchant)
Who says radiators have to come in abstract and bafflingly esoteric designs? For a slice of life we can all identify with, how about lining your wall with toasty-warm fences and gates? It is designer Lucy Merchant’s idea, and while we can all identify with the concept, it is the household pet (ever watchful for an escape route) whose turn it is to be nonplussed.
(Image via: Mr Smith Studio)
This radiator, called Phoebe, gives a distinctly Zen-like vibe and would look stunning in the corner of any room. But there is one question to ask: just how hot does it get? Mild enough to safely drape your coat over it when you come in from the rain? Mild enough to drape yourself over it (because it’s just the right shape)? Let’s hope it comes with a well-tuned temperature setting.
(Images via: Hellos)
A rather more obviously flowering radiator, this one. These aluminium daisies can be strung in a chain of polished or painted aluminium, hiding the radiator valves and creating a fully tailored floral feature that not only reminds you of summer but raises the temperature accordingly.
Seemingly inspired yet again by front gates – except of the more ornate, gothic variety – this Heatwave radiator is another piece of warming art. All that scrollwork certainly gives it a lot of surface space, and although the picture example is solid there is a water-carrying version inproduction…so we have to ask: what happens when it needs internal cleaning? (Surely even the bendiest of pipe cleaning equipment would find it a nightmare). Instead of being in one piece it comes in aluminium and concrete sections, allowing you to curl its dazzling scrollwork round your walls.
Back to the undeniably modern. Fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey will get a Jupiter-sized kick out of the Tubor monolith radiator, a stunning reflective slab of black that pumps 500 Watts of heat into the room and even tells you the time (with glowing numbers reminiscent of Fox’s 24). The vertical model on the right - part of Caleido‘s wide range of ultra-modern radiators – doubles nicely as a completely convincing full-length mirror.
(Images via: Accuro-Korle and Scirocco)
Now, what to make of Accuro-Korle’s twisting helix of heated metal? The Ecstacy certainly looks impressive (and apparntly keeps their skilled craftsmen busy for the best part of a month) but let us be blunt – $13,000? You would really have to have a thing for designer helixes. The Shanghai goes back to a more wall-hugging approach, choosing to buck convention in its own way by having a metal cat’s cradle of a main body.
(Images via: Gizmodo)
Now for an idea with real practical value. The Coiled Radiator is a radiator crossed with a garden hose – a metal-covered rope that you can snake along any wall or into any corner of the room you choose. Why nobody has thought of this before is beyond us, but the main thing is that someone now has. May it snake absolutely everywhere.
(Images via: Antrax and MoCo Loco and design boom)
And now for more radiators that aren’t just for show. These examples have one mission above all – to dry things. The Scaldasalviette Scala is a sturdy clothes-horse with warm water running through it (and we say that admiringly). The Sbox wants to be pride of place for your towels, and achieves it by being the only heated shelf in the house. But for designer brilliance (to an award-winning standard), the Archibald beats them all by being a vertical array of six internally-heated coat hangers – with the added bonus that gravity should be doing most of your ironing for you.
(Images via: design boom and feline frenzy and Wild Wind Siamese)
Pets love radiators. If only they were a little more…comfortable (as the kitty on the bottom right must be thinking). There are two ways to meet this challenge – by designing a way to get pets comfortably close to the heat, as with the Radiator Bed pictured – or to redesign the radiator itself. The Fedora contains a recess for a felt basket – perfect for warming your feet, if your cat hadn’t just leapt in to stake its claim.
(Images via: CubeMe)
Who hasn’t wondered if you could cook an egg on a radiator? As anyone will know who has tried, radiators don’t make good frying pans – but in the case of the Ray, they do make great ovens. This highly efficient radiator will cook your food and heat your room, blurring the line between kitchen and dining room in a delightfully lazy way.
(Images via: Yanko Design)
And if it’s cold outside and you really cannot bear to leave all this toe-curling warmth behind – take your radiator with you. Radiator On The Go is a framework of metal hollows containing cushion-wrapped aluminium blocks. When you’re leaving the room, grab a block to keep you warm, like a hot-water bottle – or pop one against the wall of your backpack before you brave the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you.
From massive illuminated Chinese restaurants to cute little BBQ tables for ten, these 14 floating restaurants make smart use of available space and turn the dining experience into something of an adventure on the sea.
Jumbo Floating Restaurant, Hong Kong
(images via: wikimedia commons)One of Hong Kong’s biggest attractions, the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant sites within the city’s Aberdeen Harbour and has hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and John Wayne. Though it began as a relatively humble floating restaurant in the ’70s, a 2003 renovation basically turned it into a theme park with sightseeing, shopping and cultural attractions.
BBQ Donut’s Floating Restaurant Tables, Germany
(images via: bbq-donut.de)Germany’s BBQ Donut restaurant is definitely one-of-a-kind. First of all, its floating tables, which have seating for ten, make smart use of water space and are quite a novelty draw. At the center of each of these tables is a BBQ that turns into a picnic table. Each floating pod has its own built-in sound system and even silent electric propulsion so it can cruise around.
The Salt & Sill Restaurant & Hotel, Sweden
(images via: salt to sill)The Salt & Sill is a minimalist 23-room barge that also serves as a top-notch seafood restaurant specializing in herring and fresh local produce. All 23 rooms have their own outdoor seating areas, but the hotel’s sole suite has an extra-enticing benefit: a private roof-top jacuzzi. The hotel’s location on the lake, by the way, is not a gimmick: the adjacent land simply didn’t have any room.
Sea Palace, Amsterdam
(images via: jylcat, hotel belga)The ornate Sea Palace is Europe’s first floating Chinese restaurant, and is located near Central Station in Amsterdam. Its pagoda-style exterior is definitely not a sight you would expect to see in Amsterdam, but floating Chinese restaurants like Sea Palace are actually not uncommon in Europe.
Nusa Penida Island Floating Restaurant, Indonesia
(images via: nusaisland.wordpress.com)Just off the small island of Nusa Penida, which is itself located near Indonesia’s Bali Island, is this cool-looking floating restaurant. The massive pontoon restaurant can be found just off Toya Pakeh beach.
Restaurants of Cat Ba Bay, Vietnam
(images via: phil_marion)Vietnam’s Cat Ba Bay is home to several floating restaurants, which make for an interesting sight as they bob in the water alongside floating homes and fishing boats. Most of them are, of course, seafood restaurants.
Veli Lake Floating Restaurant, Trivandrum
(images via: skyscraper city)This pretty floating restaurant can be found in Veli Lake in Trivandrum, India. The restaurant is connected to the mainland by a floating bridge.
Rustar Dhow Floating Restaurant, Dubai
(images via: rustardowboat.com)Rustar Dhow is the world’s largest floating restaurant that actually cruises around instead of just staying in one place. It’s located in – of course – Dubai, where everything is bigger and more ornate than it is everywhere else in the world. The Rustar Dhow can carry up to 400 passengers at a time.
William Thornton Floating Bar & Restaurant, Norman Island
(images via: gogobot)Anchored out in the water off Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands, ‘The Willy T’ is only accessible by boat. This floating bar and restaurant is known locally as one of the wildest ‘party barges’ in the area. It’s been in operation since 1985 and offers both lunch and dinner.
Petit Verdot at the Riviera on Vaal, South Africa
(images via: safari now)The Petit Vardo floating restaurant is located adjacent to the Riviera on Vaal Hotel, which is in the Vaal River about 45 minutes from Johannesburg in South Africa. The barge is topped with an exposed dining deck, and the whole thing is illuminated at night like a giant floating lantern.
(images via: noo)In the Indian state of Kerala, beautiful houseboats with thatched roofs are a common sight floating on the water. Many of these luxury houseboats are open to tourists, who can come onboard and relax while enjoying a freshly cooked meal from the boat’s kitchen.
Tattershall Castle, London
(images via: wikimedia commons)Moored in the River Thames in London, the PS Tatterhsall Castle is a former passenger and goods ferry built in 1934. During World War II, it was the first civil vessel to carry radar, but by 1973 the ship had run its course and was retired from service. Since 1981, it has been a popular bar and restaurant.
The Plastic Dining Room, Vancouver
(images via: inhabitat)This lovely little floating dining room made by the School of Fish Foundation is held aloft by 1,672 plastic bottles. Made of reclaimed pinewood, the dining room serves an elegant six-course sustainable seafood menu catered by C Restaurant.
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