Malpartida stork park

Near Malpartida de Cáceres is located one of the largest stork parks of Extremadura, reminiscent of sixties land art. The lives of the storks are always linked to the local architecture, since they like to nest over house roofs and castle towers. The story of this photograph is closely related to this fact. A stork community had established on the ruins of an old building. Some years ago this farmhouse was restored as a new hotel and spa. By the time it was finished, the starks had already emigrated to the north of Africa. It was decided then that this forest of poles near the location of the new hotel had to be built, as a substitute home for them. The warm weather brought back the storks, who now have a new place to nest.

For the Extremadura Contemporary Architecture Guide, edited and designed by Murado&Elvira with Enrique Krahe, instead of a literal work of architecture, a
photograph of this very architectural natural installation was chosen for the cover.

Photographs Enrique Krahe. Book cover by Murado&Elvira+Enrique Krahe

China’s Area 51


Interaction Space begins its SuperModels series.

Worlds within a world of varied scales and formats, a collection of pocket-sized environments will be reviewed, starting with China’s Area 51 topographic 1:500 model of a vast portion of its neighbour country. Two press clips are included to unveil its purpose. (J.E.)

“ The discovery of what is considered a military establishment in China’s Northern plains by a Google Earth user from Germany has kicked up a storm on the Net’s strategic forums. Here’s why: The establishment, snapped from Google’s free satellite imagery software, houses a startlingly accurate scale model of a highly sensitive stretch of the disputed Sino-Indian border.

A careful study of the model, located at a large military complex in China’s Huangyangtan province, likely used for training and familiarisation of troops, helicopters and infantry vehicles, shows that it is built to scale based on a stretch 2,400 km away along the Aksai Chin area bordering Ladakh, part of the stretch through which invading Chinese forces entered in the 1962 war.
The facility, full with uncharacteristic and man-made snow peaks, glacial lakes and snow rifts—ironically in the middle of an arid plain—is flanked by a large military depot with buildings and at least a hundred military trucks.
The Army did not confirm that it was aware of the facility, but officially told The Indian Express, “Militaries are always known to simulate potential conflict zones as a standard practice. There is absolute peace and tranquility on the border with China, a disputed border that the two governments are resolving through peaceful dialogue. It is nothing alarming, these are standard training methodologies.”
Off the record, though, an officer currently with the Quarter Master General branch, but who has served along the border with Aksai Chin, said, “We knew that they had some facilities for this purpose but the scale and detail is something new to us.”

The facility, full with uncharacteristic and man-made snow peaks, glacial lakes and snow rifts—ironically in the middle of an arid plain—is flanked by a large military depot with buildings and at least a hundred military trucks.

The sense is that economic development near the border and a quiet, but progressive peace dialogue to end the border dispute notwithstanding, the PLA is keeping its forces well in touch with potential conflict zones— especially Aksai Chin, strategically important to Beijing since it houses crucial road heads and Demchok, one of the principally disputed zones. The image could be anything between six months and two years old, proving that training on disputed terrain is still very much part of the PLA’s war doctrine”.
Shiv Aroor. NEW DELHI, AUGUST 4, Sat Aug 05 2006, 00:00 hrs. Indian Express Journal
900×700 meters 1:500 model at China’s Area 51
Model and copy

“The scale is exactly 500:1.

Last week a reader posted a link on our own MashUp blog that led to a Chinese site – – where in late July a reader posted a photo showing men in blue overalls on what looks to be another large-scale terrain model.

The caption does not clearly state where or when the photo was taken but it is watermarked “Xinhua” – the New China News Agency, China’s state-run new agency. Although the land on which the model is based is Chinese territory, it is also claimed by India. The two sides fought a brief war over the area in 1962.

Covering an area the size of Switzerland, the Aksai Chin region is a high altitude desert plateau. It contains a strategically important highway 219 that connects the far north-western province of Xinjiang with Tibet.

The scale is exactly 500:1

When the Beijing correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age contacted local officials last month, she was told that the area was a tank training facility that had been there for seven or eight years. But this theory is dismissed by’s Tim Brown, who said that the scale of the model was just too small. Moreover, as the actual land that the model represents is on a plateau 5000 metres above sea level, it would make tank warfare difficult if not impossible.

The size of the model also means that it is unsuitable for training pilots – unless they use it as a walk-through terrain visualisation training exercise. All of which lead Brown to speculate that the model is all about what he calls “perception management”.

“It could be that it’s just there as a morale builder, ” he said”.

Stephen Hutcheon. August 14, 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald

Model’s possible close up

Door hacks (I)


Here is another post about the InfoPanel Spirit, or “how students find ways to communicate through the apropiation of their surrounding Architecture”.

InfoPanel was one of the features in the project for the Student House in Trondheim. It was some sort of communication or socialization device, that, among other features, it would allow students to control their profile inside the community of the Student House.

In this case, an MIT student, Dheera Venkatraman, designed an innovative way to hack his dorm door and  enter his room without using a key.

In this version of the door opener (he went through several ones) he completely disassembled an old IBM typewriter and used it to pull the doorknob. This was also accompanied by an LCD display, separated from a laptop and mounted through the door, sending the wires through the hole left after unscrewing the provided eyehole.

The LCD display permitted people to leave messages as well as enter a dialog box that would allow a password to be entered to unlock the door.

LCD display on the front of the door
LCD display on the front of the door

This version of the door opener also used a variety of other entry authentication systems, including using a barcode scanner,  magnetic reed sensors positioned strategically behind the door (where you would have to tap the correct sequence at the correct place on the door with a strong magnet), and capacitive (where you just tap your fingers on the doorknob itself in a particular pattern).

Back of the door
Back of the door
keyboard on the front of the door
keyboard on the front of the door


Remember the House-People form our project in Jøssingfjord?


well, we recently fond that the guys from Fantastic Norway ACTUALLY did it !

They are Fantastic !!

This happened at an event called “Walking Berlin” when the members of Fantastic Norway traveled to Berlin wearing models of their latest project.

While exploring the streets of central Berlin, the walking houses chatted with the locals, danced at Alexanderplatz, travelled on the u-bahn, and even shared a curry-würst with the Berliners.

Super-Kamiokande: The Gifu water Cherenkov detector


“The Super-Kamiokande is the large water Cherenkov detector. Its construction started in 1991 and the observation began on April 1, 1996. The Super-Kamiokande is operated by an international collaboration of about 110 people and 30 institutes from Japan, the United States, Korea, China, Poland and Spain.

The Super-Kamiokande detector consists of a stainless-steel tank, 39m diameter and 42m tall, filled with 50,000 tons of ultra pure water. About 13,000 photo-multipliers are installed on the tank wall. The detector is located at 1000 meter underground in the Kamioka-mine, Hida-city, Gifu, Japan.



One of the purposes of the Super-Kamiokande experiment is to reveal the neutrino properties through the observation of solar neutrinosatmospheric neutrinos and man-made neutrinos.  The investigation of the neutrino properties will enable us to understand how matter was created in the early universe. By observation of solar neutrinos, we can know the activities inside of the sun. By detection of neutrinos from supernova burst, we can investigate the details of the explosion mechanism of the star.

On the other hand, the Grand Unified Theories (GUTs), which can unify the fundamental forces of nature, predict that the proton can decay into lighter energetic charged particles. Super-Kamiokande searches for this unknown phenomenon. If the proton decay is observed, it may be possible to prove the GUTs”.

Copyright of all images on this web site belong to Kamioka Observatory, ICRR (Institute for Cosmic Ray Research),The University of Tokyo.