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Top 10 Architectural Firms of 2012

Top 10 Architectural Firms of 2012

This week, the BBJ Research Department lists the top 25 architectural firms, ranked by 2012 Massachusetts architectural billings. To follow up our 2011 list, we are releasing the top 10 firms for your viewing pleasure. This list includes firms that are based in either Boston or Cambridge and excel in design excellence and technological innovation.

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Six Time Mosaic Champion – Saimir Strati

Six Time Mosaic Champion – Saimir Strati

Each year from 2006-2011, Albanian artist Saimir Strati broke the Guiness World Record for the largest mosaic using nails, toothpicks, corks, paintbrushes, screws, and coffee beans.  His first record-breaking piece was a reproduction of a self portrait by Leonardo da Vinci created using more than half a million nails.  His other record shattering pieces include a horse made from toothpicks and a banknote made up of screws. The only thing more striking than the scale and materials Strati uses is his process. Strati creates the mosaics by hand where onlookers can watch him complete the mural one piece at a time.  Many people gather to watch the painstaking process....

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Outstanding Patterns from the HD EXPO 2013

Outstanding Patterns from the HD EXPO 2013

This month I joined the ranks of designers and buyers that descend on Las Vegas each year for the premier tradeshow for the hospitality industry, HD Expo. The show is always a whirlwind, with over 7,000 people gathering to view the newest designs available for dressing up walls and floors in commercial spaces. Walking the floor, I saw more patterns than I can count, but there were a few that stood out. Here are some of my favorite patterns from the show...

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Unconventional Mosaic Art: Atom Animation

Unconventional Mosaic Art: Atom Animation

Nanophysicists at IBM set a record that will be hard to beat when they used atoms to make the world's smallest stop-motion film. Using a scanning tunneling microscope, the researchers used tiny magnets to move atoms one by one along a copper surface.

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Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2013 Winners

Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2013 Winners

For twenty years the Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Commission have searched for innovative spaces designed with ceramic italian tiles through the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition.  The winners range from homes to hotels to medical centers and encompass a variety of styles.  Although at first they seem quite different, all the designs are united by their beauty, creativity, and sustainability. 1)  2013 / Residential Winner MRSA Architects & Planners Schaefer/Graf Residence Contractor: Kraftex Floor Corporation 2) 2013 / Residential Honorable Mention DEN Architecture Bilezikjian...

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Mosaics By Robot, Everyone

Mosaics By Robot, Everyone

Yesterday’s Wired profile tells the futuristic story of Artaic, a company hoping for “world mosaic domination,” by way of a robot that builds cheaper, faster mosaics than even factories in China and India. For anyone following the creep of robots into the so-called creative industries -- music, architecture and now, apparently, mosaic work -- the obvious question to follow is what a world cloaked in robot murals will look like. Puzzlingly, the story doesn’t go there.

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Our robots don’t make art. Our artists do!

Our robots don’t make art. Our artists do!

Artaic responds to some recently received press on Wired.com and HuffingtonPost.com which was met with some backlash, primarily from the mosaic arts community. We wanted to continue the conversation about contemporary mosaic art and how it's created.

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Top Tile Trends for 2013

Top Tile Trends for 2013

With Coverings, the largest tile and stone trade show wrapping up this week, its time to talk tile. Here’s our top 5 list of tile trends to look for in 2013: 1. Large Format Tile Last year it was large tile: think subway bricks, 8″x8″ squares and even as large as 16″x32″ rectangles. This year we’re super sizing the subway tile and heading towards  36”x72”. They’re clean and contemporary, look great on floors and backsplash areas. Plus they’re much easier to clean than the standard tile. 2. Large scale patterns on tile Large scale patterns on tile are sharp and stylish, as seen below in this Refin Ceramiche...

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World’s Most Wired Mosaic Maker

World’s Most Wired Mosaic Maker

The first thing you hear is the robot. The rhythmic beat of whirrs punctuated by brief silences reaches down the unmarked concrete halls of the Boston Design Center, letting you know you’re headed in the right direction. As you approach the entrance to Artaic’s offices, you pass by an open side door and the robot is right there — an industrial arm suspended off a steel frame, its tip zipping back and forth between a gridded sheet and rows of colored tiles.

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Therme Wein by 4a Architekten

Therme Wein by 4a Architekten

4a Architekten of Stuttgart designed a 4 season color concept for this Vienna spa. The spa contains all the necessary spaces to cleanse the mind, body and soul. The water park and diving area feature blue and white tiles, while the foyer and 'thermal bath 2' are topped off with a mixture of reds, yellows and oranges with a few bright greens to mix it up. 'Thermal bath 1' tones it down a notch with a more relaxed autumnal mixture of the same colors.

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