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Outgrowing the original Acropolis Museum, which was constructed in 1874, competitions were held to find a designer and a design to house newly excavated artifacts. Architect Bernard Tschumi won the commission for the new Acropolis Museum which sits 300 yards from the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Read more...

When developing the new package design for their fragrances, Le Cherche Midi wanted to merge sustainabilty and reusability with beauty and function. The boxes, which are designed to be a keepsake for the customer, are actually constructed from discarded shipping palettes. The wood is refinished but maintains it's natural color and grain, and is lined with silk that matches the color of the fragrance's identifying marks. Read more...

The Vogel 50x50 web site, created by Second Story, brings together 2,500 contemporary artworks that were distributed throughout the nation as part of The Dorthy and Herbert Vogel Collection. It is called Fifty Works for Fifty States. At present, 583 of 2,500 artworks have been published, with many more to come. Visit Vogel 50x50...

A number of cuneiform tablets have been discovered at Tell Tayinat, which was an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Palestin. It is now southeastern Turkey. The tablets, which date between 1200 BC and 600 BC, were found in the ruins of a Neo-Hittite temple. The find will reveal important information about the Assyrian Empire of the Iron Age period. Read more...

Digging in the Isisford area, Dr Steven Salisbury from the University of Queensland has found an extremely well-preserved, 100 million year old crocodile fossil. The croc has been named 'Isisfordia'. Some new types of prehistoric fish have also been found in the same area. Read more...

For years, the promise of 3d modeling as an everyday drafting tool has been advertised to architects and designers, but it has never really been practical. Now it seems with software such as Autodesk Revit Architecture, it is now a very real option.

The downside is the usual cost and learning curve of high end software. Another is the additional office time that must be spent on each project to develop a complex 3d model. The advantages, however, are numerous. Every design can be completely developed and rotated in 3d space, with any number of people working on the model at the same time. The design can be refined in a way not possible with 2d cad. All plans, elevations, and sections are generated from the model, thus model development and working drawing development happen at the same time. Best of all, any design changes that are made to the 3d model are automatically reflected in all documents. This keeps the whole project set coordinated and accurate. From a marketing standpoint, the model can be rendered to generate visualizations for brilliant presentations of the design.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 has many capabilities for working with HDR images. For those not familiar with the concept, normal images are either 8 or 16 bit, with luminance storage from black to white. HDR images store much higher luminance values using 32 bit floating point values. Photoshop has the ability to create 32 bit images. The command is found under the Automate menu, and is listed as Merge to HDR...

The process begins by taking a series of photographs using different exposures, from dark to light. It is best to use a tripod and take the exposures a couple f-stops apart. The minimum number of shots is three, five to seven shots are better. The Merge to HDR command will automatically align the images and create the 32 bit file. The last stage of the process allows setting the preview balance. This setting is for previews only and does not affect the actual luminance range. The file should be saved as a 32 bit file to preserve the entire range of luminance values.

The Prairie Style began in Chicago in the 1890's and early 1900's. The style is characterized by shallow pitched, hip roofs that have wide overhangs. The designs emphasize horizontal lines, and often have massive entries or porches. Frank Lloyd Wright was the master of this style although many other architects such as George W. Maher and Thomas E. Tallmadge made important contributions as well. The style seemed to fade in popularity around 1920.