Friday, May 29, 2009

designboom #1

Designboom is one of the biggest sites for design and architecture on the internet. We are therefore glad that one of our projects, Al-Hakawati, has reached the no. 1 spot as the most popular and read article this month with over 43000 views.

Check out the article here;
There you can also see more of our projects.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

visiondivision in 4ARK magazine

If you have some knowledge in the Swedish language you can pick up the latest issue of the 4ARK-magazine where the visiondivision project "Capilla para el Tio" is published.
Happy reading!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Office Music Sample

Hi there.
We just wanted to share some of the music we listen to in our office to stay creative and happy.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Due to our northern location we seldom get the chance to do something for the poorest people on this planet. So when we saw this competition we felt urged to do a proposal.
Insufficient water is one of the most severe problems in rural Africa. For many families it is extremely time consuming to collect and can easily start conflicts between villages.
We had an idea that we should create a dew/rainwater collector as a roof and the rest of the building would more or less handle itself.
To test the idea we went to the Sahara desert where an experiment with a dew collecting umbrella where performed. (

We wanted to design a modern and free-standing structure that could be added to a rural building and at the same time supply the hospital with clean water.
The solution is simple. An upscaled upside down umbrella serves as a roof to a rural built hospital. The umbrella roof is gathering rainwater or dew depending on location to supply the hospital with clean water. The big umbrella also serves as a light roof giving shadow to the hospital. The umbrella will be a recognizable symbol for children healthcare seen from miles around.


The structure is made out of light felt and steel. In the middle of the umbrella shaped tent there is a water container gathering the clean water from the roof.

At first the hospital is built as a small village with local materials under the umbrella, the water container becomes the midpoint of the hospital. The hospital gets energy supply from solar panels.

When the hospital grows the umbrella can easily grow by adding an outer layer of felt and moving the pillars outwards from the centre point. The different houses expands by mirroring themselves outwards. As the structure grows the water supply surface gets bigger at the same time.

As time goes by, modern material can be added to improve the village without interfering with the design. Our hope is that the structure becomes a roof for constant developing

As a final stage a facade with sun protection can be added, making the building into a modern hospital. It is our hope and belief that the regions in need for this hospital will develop into strong economies one day. This building is prepared to stand in better times as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

In the pipeline: Stretch house

On the drawing board today: A new house facade for a major energy company made by movable statues and stretch fabric. We hope you like it (because we do).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Al-Hakawati - The Storyteller

So we finally did a competition in Dubai.
The Arabic influences we came in contact with on our Sahara field trip helped us greatly, and it is also from that trip where we got the idea of the storyteller, which is a genuine Arabic phenomenon.

They wanted an emblem building, like the Eiffel Tower for example, that would at the same time interact somehow with the Zaabel Park; the Central Park of Dubai.
Zaha Hadid was in the jury so probably they would like some shape experimentation, but that’s not so interesting, at least not from our point of view anyway.
Buildings with a symbolic value easily becomes quite cheesy, so we focused on what this great park could use instead and asked ourselves if they really needed a building to become famous and give their park something unique.
Interaction with buildings is only done in 2D, which is a little bit boring when you think about it, so we wanted to give them a 3D experience.
We gave them a big statue that can move its head, its arms and rotate its torso as well as telling stories.
We have been experimenting a little bit with robots in the past, but never before in this scale.
These are probably the new statues for the 21st century, giving a whole new layer to the monument.

The Proposal
The Al-Hakawati is a storyteller whose profession is to spellbind his audience with his eloquent stories and tales.
It is a beautiful profession that goes way back in ancient Arabic times and still is performed in the Arabic world today.
Unfortunately the profession is dying, along with all the stories that have travelled from people to people for generations.
But Dubai can now have its own Scheherazade, the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights, to recite all the legends and stories that the Arabic culture is so full of, and where can be a better place to relax and enjoy these tales if not in a vast and beautiful park like the Zaabeel Park.
The storyteller will add an extra layer to the park environment, making people linger
longer in the park, promoting conversations and stimulating the imagination, unifying the different parts of the park with its appearance. The statue will be a home of stories; a children’s library in its base and various spaces for performance and reading inside of the statue.

The podium which contains a childrens library

The statue will leave a small footprint in the existing park and it will enhance the park
experience for everyone; as a unique visual landmark and a creation of new possibilities for the park.
In every part of the Zaabeel park, small speakers are set up so people can gather around them and listen to the statue when he recites stories; perhaps great legends from One thousand and one night, historical anecdotes from the city itself and future speculations, all this performed with an animated body language.
Families can relax in the well kept grass areas of the park while listening and gazing at this new friend of the city.
A continuous monument of memories.


Telling stories ar night time

The Statue
A pedestal, that contains a children’s library and
exhibition areas that can be divided into smaller units, is the base of the statue.
The walls in the base are stairs on the outside which leads to the platform where the storyteller begins to rise. Windows punctuates various stairs for a bright indoor environment without any direct sunlight.

The statue can move its arms and hands, tilt its head slightly, open and shut its eyes and mouth. The statue has also big rooms inside of it for reading,
relaxing and other social activities. Each big room has its own theme, may it be a gold room, a crystal cavern, a green room or a room full of fish tanks, or why not just the splendid night views of Dubai.
These rooms are mood setters and they can also be used as theater/storytelling rooms.
Each big room has also a small additional room adjacent to it, for technical purposes, storing, changing rooms and such.
Tourists will find exhibitions about the city in the pedestal and have great views of Dubai from the
statue, as well as guided tours where people can sit in the storytellers hands and having a sweeping
panorama of the city accompanied with explanations.
Transparent railings are hidden in his hands that can be elevated in tour mode.

Golden nightclub inside the statues head

Technical aspects
The statue can move its arms and head; this demands an articulate joint between the elevators and the floors on these critical points. The joints are similar in function to those seen in joint buses, and will guarantee an uninterrupted movement inside of the statue, even if he slightly tilts his head.
The arms and head movement is controlled by computers and can mimic a prerecording of an actor for example.
The rigid parts of the statue are made out of a steel frame structure with a cover of sheets of steel. The movable parts must be flexible, thus a material like rubber or silicon with a coating that mimic the glossiness of the steel is preferable.
The speakers in the park can use a flexible frequency method, meaning that the distance the sound travels can be controlled, allowing intense hotspots of sound.
During storytelling evenings and festivals these hotspots may be expanded by changing the frequency and during daytime a shorter range can be used.


Library plan

Special thanks to Andrés Morelli for renderings of the statue, see some of his work at: