Posts Tagged ‘ See Through ’

The Glass Walkway At China’s Tianmen Mountain Park.

A new trail path in China’s Tianmen Mountain National Park offers visitors an unusual experience: the floor and rails of the pathway are composed of glass, offering walkers a vertigo-inducing look at the sheer drops and wilderness below.  The walkway spans three feet wide, composed of glass 2.5-inches thick.  Measuring approximately 200 feet (61 meters) long, the walkway is raised almost a mile into the air at about 4700 feet
(1430 meters), inviting comparisons to the Grand Canyon ‘Skywalk’ in Arizona, USA. The passage joins the west cliff at the Yunmeng Fairy summit, where Tianmen Mountain and Zhang Jiajie meet.  Visitors to the Tianmen Mountain Bridge are requested to wear shoe covers to keep the glass transparent and clean.

TDK’s See-Through Screen.

TDK’s ‘UEL476’ see-through screen, now in mass production, was designed specifically for use in mobile devices.  Japanese electronics company TDK has just begun mass production of the world’s first near-transparent,
passive matrix organic Electroluminescent (EL) display.  Organic EL displays use organic materials that emit light in response to an electric current, offering the benefits of a wide viewing angle and high brightness with a see-through screen. The ‘UEL476’ screen being produced is a 2.4-inch QVGA (320 x 240) display designed for mobile devices, and thus constructed to obscure light transfer through the device, preventing content from being visible from the opposite side. Operable in temperatures ranging from -20 to 85 degrees celsius (-4 to 185 degrees fahrenheit), it features 40% transmittance and no color shifting over the course of its life.  ALso, for those worred about people being nosey… While transparent from the front (left), content is obscured from the back (right), as shown in engadget’s hands-on coverage during the CEATAC 2010 electronics show.  The development opens up numerous design possibilities for mobile devices, especially in the field of augmented reality.

The Translucent Church.

Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, a collaboration between young Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs (Leuven, 1983) and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh (Leuven, 1983), have built a see-through church in the Belgian region of Haspengouw. The church is a part of the Z-OUT project of Z33, house for contemporary art based in Hasselt, Belgium. Z-OUT is an ambitious longterm art in public space project that will be realised on different locations in the Flemish region of Limburg over the next five years.  The church is 10 meters high and is made of 100 layers and 2000 columns of steel. Depending on the perspective of the viewer, the church is either perceived as a massive building or seems to dissolve (partly or entirely) in the landscape. On the other hand, looking at the landscape from within the church, the surrounding countryside is redefined by abstract lines.

The design of the church is based on the architecture of the multitude of churches in the region, but through the use of horizontal plates, the concept of the traditional church is transformed into a transparent object of art.  The project is called ‘Reading between the Lines’ and can be read as a reflection on architectural themes such as scale, ground plan etc., but the project also emphatically transcends the strictly architectural. After all, the church does not have a well-defined function and focuses on visual experience in itself (one could even consider it to be a line drawing in space)

An Invisible Battery?

For years people have seen totally transparent hand held devices in sci-fi movies, and although they look super cool, I never personally wondered how they would be powered.  My good friend Anna Novikov has a thing for a particular translucent cell phone I featured on the blog a while back, and the technology in this post is exactly what was supposed to power that concept. Researchers at Stanford University have just created a thin, flexible, totally transparent lithium-ion battery. It is about the size and shape of a Listerine breath mint strip, and as clear as Saran Wrap.  According to an article on the university’ website, researchers were inspired to make a see-through battery partially because they want transparent Apple products to be a reality in the future.  The challenge of making a battery see-through is that certain key materials that make a battery work are fundamentally not transparent, and no good transparent substitutes could be found. The Stanford scientists found a way around the hurdle by making the non-transparent parts of the battery so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Magnetic Water?

Fridge magnets is a design industry by itself. I have a cousin who has covered the entire door with cool collectibles from around the world, and a good friend who has custom made fridge magnets from her big sister. The ‘Waterdrop Magnet’ is a surreal representation of water drops and most definitely belongs to the ‘Wall of Fame’. Prime for holding up Junior’s school artwork and A-grade report card! Also an alternative for post-it notes.