TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 26

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. We spent more than $170 billion on the wars they fought for us. Can we spend $5 billion to give veterans a guaranteed income?

By Gar Alperovitz in Al Jazeera America

2. A ‘teaching hospital’ model could work for journalism education by making students work collectively to produce professional results.

By Adam Ragusea at Neiman Lab

3. Humans are born with an intimate understanding of pitch, rhythm, and tone. We’re all musical geniuses.

By Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis in Aeon

4. WarkaWater Towers — which produce up to 25 gallons of water out of fog and dew every day — could change lives in drought-stricken countries.

By Liz Stinson in Wired

5. Private sector investment savvy and funds can help us tackle poverty’s toughest challenges. It’s time for impact investing.

By Anne Mosle in The Hill

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME On Our Radar

Explore the Relationship Between Photography and Architecture

Closing this week, the exhibition Constructing Worlds sees photography and architecture as strange, beautiful bedfellows

It is perhaps not surprising that Alona Pardo and Elias Redstone, curators of Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, chose the work of Berenice Abbot as a starting point for their exhibition. Abbot, who made powerful images of the architectural changes that gripped 1930s New York, seemed to not only document what she saw, but to question it, too.

While Abbot herself might disagree (she was an avid documentarian who rejected the idea photography should ever express feelings) there is an inescapable unease to her 1936 shot of Park Avenue towers soaring over a two-story show house, and a hazy peculiarity to her famous image of midtown Manhattan from the Empire State Building. It as is if this city of contrasts, which she closely documented, was changing so quickly that an equivocal attitude was the best one to take. And for Pardo and Redstone, Abbot’s work certainly sets the tone for the rest of the show: Here, photography and architecture are beautifully, inextricably linked. They are so close, in fact, that they can seem to be both life-long loves and the strangest of bedfellows.

Indeed, as artist David Campany notes, the two disciplines may have been joined at the hip since Nicéphore Niépce shot his family home, producing the first ever photo from nature, but there has always been dissent: “Just as the discipline of art history has had intermittent doubts over its use of photography as innocent reproduction,” he notes in the catalog accompanying the exhibition, “so the field of architecture has sustained an important current of reflection about its use of images.”

Closing this week, Constructing Worlds comes well-reviewed from both The Guardian and the LA Times, and brings together 250 works by 18 photographers. We see the colorful, sometimes playful work of Luigi Ghirri, the almost mournful eye of Walker Evans and the alien, painterly quality of Nadav Kander’s images. On show, too, are Lucien Hervé, Julius Shulman, Hélène Binet and Stephen Shore. among others.

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age is on show at the Barbican, London until Jan. 11, 2015.

Richard Conway is Reporter/Producer for TIME LightBox.

TIME Pop Culture

Artist’s Rendering of George Lucas Museum Unveiled

A computer rendering of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

That's no moon

The architectural firm behind George Lucas’ Chicago museum unveiled its first rendering of the building on Tuesday, and it’s appropriately out of this world.

A 100-foot-tall, undulating white mountain topped by a chrome halo will rise up from the shore of Lake Michigan, on the same property where Bears fans currently gather for tailgating merriment.

Lucas tapped architects from the Beijing-based firm, MAD Architects, to design a building that “pushes the envelope of 21st century design,” Fast Company reports.

The museum will house Lucas’ collection of Star Wars memorabilia as well rare artworks from his private collection. The museum is slated to open — and push envelopes — in 2018.

TIME Arts

Artist Creates 88 Mind-Bending Versions of a Hotel

This Munich building got some eye-popping computer makeovers

Munich’s Deutscher Kaiser hotel looks like any sleek modern building. But re-imagined through the mind (and lens) of artist Víctor Enrich, the structure becomes something mind-bendingly crazy — Salvador Dali meets Inception.

The Spanish native spent months turning out these 88 startling computer-aided distortions of the four-star urban lodging. Why? Recent emigrant Enrich had passed the Deutscher Kaiser daily while job-hunting in the German city and quickly tired of looking at it. What started off as novel way to motivate himself, turned into a fully realized passion project.

Speaking to TIME from Barcelona, Enrich says “I always try to express myself as much as I can. If I’m not having fun, I will never do anything!”

We’ve picked some of our favorites, but you can see Víctor’s full series here.

TIME Art

See Stunning Photos of Frank Gehry’s Latest Building

The Fondation Louis Vuitton opens to the public on October 27

The unveiling of any major new building by Frank Gehry is always an occasion. But some of them — his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; his Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; his 76-story condo tower in Manhattan with its undulating stainless steel exterior —have been architectural game changers. His latest project, Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, which opens later this month in the Bois de Boulogne, may well be another of those.

It was commissioned by Bernard Arnault, the chairman and C.E.O. of the luxury goods company LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton, to serve as a cultural center and a museum holding work from the corporation’s collection of contemporary art. The 126,000 square foot (11,706 sq. meters) building delves further into the expressive gestures that Gehry developed for the Guggenheim and the Disney Hall. But where the billowing silhouettes of those were clad in titanium or stainless steel, the Fondation carries them out largely in glass. The word “soaring” gets applied a lot to Gehry’s virtuoso designs, but this one looks from some angles like it really is ready to take flight. See for yourself.

TIME

Panama Opens a Frank Gehry–Designed Biodiversity Museum

Panama Gehry Museum
In this Sept. 27, 2014, photo, two men stand in the atrium of the Biomuseo, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, in Panama City Arnulfo Franco—AP

The project has been a long time coming, construction having started in 1999

Panama has opened a biodiversity museum designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, his first project in Latin America.

The Biomuseo — a hodgepodge of bright-colored metal canopies swopping over the eight galleries inside — presents a tour of the Central American nation’s rich, diverse ecosystems, the BBC reports.

The building itself “was designed to tell the story of how the isthmus of Panama rose from the sea, uniting two continents, separating a vast ocean in two, and changing the planet’s biodiversity forever,” the museum’s website says.

Gehry’s other high-profile works include the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

The BBC reports that the project has been beset by budget overruns and delays since work began on it in 1999.

TIME Apple

Here’s the Secret Nobody Understands About Apple

Apple
Michael Nagle--Bloomberg/Getty Images

Here's what you need to know about the company's amazing new headquarters

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

For reasons that would take too long to explain I find myself in Durban, South Africa, this week at a gathering of 6,000 architects from around the world. I haven’t yet found one who likes Steve Jobs’ design for the new Apple headquarters — the Pentagon-sized edifice, now under construction in Cupertino, Calif., that Jobs described as looking a little like a spaceship had landed.

“Does it have to be a spaceship?” asked an official at the American Institute of Architects.

Jobs is not here to answer for his design, but Ed Catmull is.

Catmull, who worked with Steve Jobs for 26 years as president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, has written a terrific book called Creativity Inc. that ends with a long chapter about what that collaboration was like.

Jobs famously took a hands off approach to Pixar, sensing that the people there knew more about computer filmmaking and storytelling than he ever would.

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Travel

15 Truly Bizarre Vacation Rentals

The Boot, Tasman, New Zealand Harriette Richards

From a Hello Kitty apartment to a bed and breakfast in the shape of a boot, these hotels and rentals think outside the box

Travel lets us escape everyday routines, and these wonderfully weird rentals are no place like home.

Mirrored House, Pittsburgh

An artsy local couple dreamt up this house within the upscale suburb of Fox Chapel. They covered the exterior with reflective surfaces, while the inside of the house features original artwork and, yes, more mirrors. It’s a fitting base for travelers in town to visit the Andy Warhol Museum or Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater masterpiece (90 minutes by car). One reviewer says: “Staying with Martin was a lesson in living. Every detail of his home communicates a passion for art and design, and my short stay was a chance to realign my own aspirations for home life.” How many vacation rentals can be so transformative? $165 per night with a two-night minimum; airbnb.com

Survival Cave, Tarancón, Spain

About 4.5 miles from the tiny Spanish town of Belinchón (population 376), this cavernous retreat is for travelers who truly aspire to get away from it all—including electricity and running water. To their credit, Airbnb hosts Lucía and Paloma are pretty direct about the rental’s lack of amenities. The property description reads: “Enjoy a simple holiday! … If you succeed, you will be a real survivor.” Looks like no one’s taken them up on the challenge yet…or at least endured to tell the tale. The Survival Cave has zero reviews.$49 per night with a two-night minimum; airbnb.com

Hello Kitty Apartment, Kunming, China

Near the Chinese metropolis of Kunming, known as the City of Eternal Spring for its idyllic climate and gorgeous flowers, awaits one cute—and cultish—vacation rental. Fans of the Hello Kitty brand have a reputation for being hard-core enthusiasts, inspiring branded items ranging from slow cookers and electric guitars to EVA Air’s Hello Kitty jet. Invented by the Japanese company Sanrio in 1974, Hello Kitty now rakes in $5 billion a year. So it’s no surprise, really, that someone would deck out an entire apartment with the pink pop icon. $28 per night; roomorama.com

Concrete Boombox, Kehena, HI

Hawaii’s Kehena Beach is known for its black sand, lava, frequent dolphin-sightings, and an unofficial “clothing optional” policy.But that’s not where the exotic attractions end. The beach is also the site of one of the most unusual vacation rentals around: a two-bedroom concrete home shaped like, well, a 1990s-era boom box. Featuring panoramic windows so that guests can enjoy the gasp-inducing views from everywhere in the house, it’s the ultimate beach getaway. $175 per night with a three-night minimum;homeaway.com

The Boot, Tasman, New Zealand

Straight out of a Dr. Seuss illustration, The Boot is a private bed and breakfast located within a short drive of New Zealand’s best wineries, beaches, and famed Abel Tasman Park. Reviewers frequently laud owners Judy and Steve for their attentive hosting skills, as well as the quirky architecture. Guests enjoy many components of the quintessential B&B experience, such as chocolates on the pillows and breakfast delivered straight to the door. According to Judy and Steve, The Boot offers “complete privacy for a truly romantic getaway.” At the very least, it’s a chance to knock boots in, well, a giant boot. $221 per night; 9flats.com

READ THE FULL LIST HERE.

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TIME cities

This Drone Video Reveals Downtown LA’s Hidden Architectural Gems

See the City of Angels from a whole new perspective

Downtown Los Angeles has been undergoing a visible revitalization for years, but this aerial video from a downtown resident shows that many of the city’s gems have been hiding in plain sight.

“One of the things you’re told growing up in New York City is that only the tourists look up,” said Ian Wood, who used a GoPro camera attached to a drone to capture the city. “Now with this project in mind I was looking up and seeing all these amazing things.”

Among the sights in the video are the colorfully-designed tiled tower atop the Los Angeles Public Library, breathtaking murals and street art, and a whole lot of art deco architecture.

Sit back and enjoy.

TIME Dubai

Dubai to Build World’s First Temperature-Controlled Indoor ‘City’

In Dubai's latest attempt to cement its place as the economic hub of the Islamic world, Sheik Mohammed announces plans to build the world's first temperature-controlled "city," which will double as the world's largest mall

Dubai’s ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has unveiled plans for the Mall of the World — a 48 million-sq.-ft. (4.5 million sq m) shopping center, to be the world’s largest, which will also form the world’s first temperature-controlled “city.”

Designed by developers Dubai Holding, the complex will be modeled on the cultural district around New York’s Broadway and Oxford Street in London, and is expected to draw 180 million visitors to the city annually — even during the sweltering 104°F (40°C) summer. (The complex will be opened to the elements during tamer winter months to allow fresh air to circulate.)

“The growth in family and retail tourism underpins the need to enhance Dubai’s tourism infrastructure as soon as possible,” Sheik Mohammed said in a statement. “This project complements our plans to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the 2 billion people living in the region around us; and we are determined to achieve our vision.”

The ambitious project will include the world’s largest indoor amusement park and shopping mall, 100 hotels and serviced apartment complexes, an entertainment center to host 15,000 people, and a 3 million-sq.-ft. (300,000 sq m) “wellness district” for medical tourism. Buildings in the city will be connected by promenades stretching 4.5 miles (7 km). The plan is Dubai’s latest attempt to mark itself as the economic hub of the Islamic world; the UAE’s most populous city already boasts the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,722 ft. (829.8 m).

In addition, as countries around the world struggle to reduce their greenhouse emissions, the project could lead the way for environmentally responsible urban planning. Ahmad bin Byat, chief executive officer of Dubai Holding, said in a statement that technology used will “reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint, ensuring high levels of environmental sustainability and operational efficiency.”

The cost and timeline of the project have yet to be released, but it is expected to be a highlight at the UAE World Expo trade fair in 2020.

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