How to optimize the use of ARCHiTRACKER app

ARCHiTRACKER is officially available on the app store(sorry android users, we are still working the android version, but we couldn't hold it in any longer so iOS gets the priority!) 

The app is designed to be simple and easy to understand to use, but we want to be sure that you are REALLY utilizing all the features that we have developed for you. 

So you have ARCHiTRACKER downloaded and are ready to go out to explore London... but where are you now? (Or if you have not downloaded the app yet, please click here)

Step 1: Turn your GPS on to locate your exact location.

Step 2: Under 'Map view', you can see if there are any interesting architectures immediately around you. If you have found one, go to Step 3. If not, go and walk around until you find something! 

Step 3: Click on the pins and you will be directed to the page of that building's information and photographs! It will even show you the directions to get there if you are not close enough!

and that's it! Just three simple steps while you are on the go! 

 

But of course, the fun doesn't end here, you can plan your day before you even leave the house! Find out which buildings you wish to visit by going into the 'List View' tab, you can view the full exhaustive list of buildings in London! 

When you have found one, click on the image, and it will direct you to the building's information and photographs page. If you are an architect or in the field or just curious, we have conveniently provided links to the Architect's official website, photographer's website, and other consultants that are involved with the project, so then you can view more details about their other projects. 

 

We hope that you will find ARCHiTRACKER app useful for whatever reason you use it for, be it curious about your city, travelling, architectural inspiration etc etc. We welcome all kinds of feedback and opinions, so please feel free to email us at any time to hello@architracker.co, and we will try to respond to all! You can also track our development on the app on our ARCHiTRACKER Roadmap.

Thank you for all your supportive words and love ARCHiTRACKERs! Our team really appreciates your patience, and will continually work hard to develop and tailor the app to your best concerns! 

London's first Design Biennale has descended upon us

We have waited, and waited long enough! The Design Biennale has finally arrived in central London in a mere three week period during September 2016, in the Neoclassical Somerset House by the River Thames.

London Design Biennale held at Somerset House this year

London Design Biennale held at Somerset House this year

To mark this commemorative moment, 37 countries have responded in various engaging exhibitions and installations to the theme ‘Utopia by Design’ chosen by the director Dr. Christopher Turner, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the inspirational publication of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia.

So what is so significant about More’s Utopia you ask? It is a neologism meaning both ‘good place’ and ‘no place’, it is a fictitious island with 54 near identical cities that are described as a triumph of design. A perfect world that does not exist, but provokes the mind to envision a dream.

India's colourful 'Chakraview'

India's colourful 'Chakraview'

There were several impressive installations that caught our attention, to name a few that transported you into another part of the world were India’s ‘Chakraview’, which envelops you in a range of colourful contemporary textiles using traditional weaving methods in circular disks.

Stepping outside by the River Thames, you are as close to Lebanon’s bustling street life in Bierut as you can get in London, with a small lounge cinema, to a wet shave at the barber shop, smoke a Shisha to authentic falafel wraps and fresh juices. Definitely an atmospheric place to take a break from all the walking around!

Turkey creates an eternal space of mirrors where ‘The Wish Machine’ will transport your hopes, wishes, visions of utopia and aspirations of the future vacuumed around the building and into the unknown.

Just as Austria realizes that Utopia is an impossible ideal, installing an interactive 'LeveL' kinetic light sculpture that will dim at the slightest movement created by the visitor passing through.

With new advanced virtual-reality technology, Spain had us dive into the future 100 years from now using the ‘VR Polis’, exploring a smart-city of a sustainable urban-living, allowing us to interact and discover the possible strategies for the future.

On a more concerning issue, Mexico proposes a ‘Border City’ as it proposes an ambitious solution to emigration, production and population growth. By building an adaptable system for this bi-national city, expressed in the form of a large-scale model, enhanced with video mapping and audio-visual effects.

In the child’s utopia (or the inner child in us), South Africa has designed several hanging ferocious animal mobiles that is ludicrously inviting as you want to snuggle into the cosy, soft fur in the mouths of these animals. They are handcrafted by locals; expressing traditions, craft and heritage.

For some others, ‘Eatopia’ might have won some hearts over, food, is always something that brings people together, Taiwan brings a unique culinary experience that explores its contemporary culture through beautifully curated dishes to amuse your taste-buds.

Somerset House actually homes a permanent exhibition in the ‘Utopia Treasury’, which includes a library of Utopian themed literature. Talks were also held in this area where each of the countries had a presentation on their outtake of Utopia. So if you’ve missed the ‘Utopia by Design’, make sure you visit here instead!

The 'design your Utopia' corner by visitors in the Utopian Treasury

The 'design your Utopia' corner by visitors in the Utopian Treasury

By the end of the day, you are most likely to have enjoyed being overwhelmed by all these intriguing and inspiring exhibits, it leads you hoping that some of these ideas can really put us a step closer to Utopia, and possibly solve the current problems in migration, pollution, sustainability, cities and social equality. Now, we shall just patiently wait for the next Biennale in two years’ time and let it continue to inspire us as designers.

Participating countries include: Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Shenzhen, Croatia, Cuba, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, United States of America.

The Serpentine Pavilion 2016 / Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

This year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by the Danish architect firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), featuring a tall pointed structure made of interlocking fibreglass bricks. A series of box-like fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other in a pattern based on a common brick wall.

"We have attempted to design a structure that embodies multiple aspects that are often perceived as opposites: a structure that is free-form yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob," said Ingels.

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2016 will stay open throughout the summer until 9 October 2016. 

Bring you packed lunch, a bottle of wine, hang out there on the sunny days --- Good summer plan, isn't it?