Time magazine regularly includes architectural innovations and designs in its annual roundup of the “best inventions of the year” (2012, 2011), but this year the representation is higher than usual: four out of 25.
ArchDaily has a terrific roundup, including links to background information, of the four things that made the list:
- +Pool: an Olympic-size pool, designed by a collective of architects and engineers, that would float in New York City’s East River and both clean the water and offer locals a place to swim.
- Infinity Tower: created by GDS Architects for a competition, this Cheonga, Korea, observation tower will change its appearance, and even “disappear,” with lighting technology.
- Volvo Solar Pavilion: Synthesis Design + Architecture’s elegant carport/e-car charging station that stows in the the car’s trunk.
- 3Doodler: developed by emerging tech company WobbleWorks, this 3D-printing pen had an amazing Kickstarter, generating more than $2.3 million in funding.
Of these four, we find 3Doodler to be the most compelling. The other three designs are amazing in their own right, but they are the end result of a process. 3Doodler — in essence, a 3D-printing pen to create objects like the ones shown at the top of this post — offers the beginning of a process, a new way for architects and designers to work. That’s this simple tool’s greatest power.
Just watch 3Doodler in action — and try resisting the urge to purchase one immediately.