Monday, August 24, 2009

Re:Vision Dallas—Special Recognition, Dallas Eye

In addition to the three winning designs (which a group of volunteers from The Real Estate Council is now busy reviewing for us) and the three runners up previously selected, the jury for Re:Vision Dallas has announced twelve designs that deserve special recognition. The categories include special recognition for social responsibility; being visionary; breadth of research; community methodology; connection between public and private real estate; and interesting technical innovation.

You can view all of the entries awarded special recognition here:, but there a few of my favorites that I want to talk a little about, and I’ll being doing that over the next week or two.

First, Dallas Eye, which was awarded special recognition as visionary, is an absolutely spectacular design, albeit almost unbuildable, in my opinion:

I’m afraid it’s a generation or two beyond what we can do now, but I would not be surprised if it represents the future of computer-controlled, flexible use buildings.

I’m not sure that it shows up in the one page board here, but in some of the other material that I’ve seen, it is clear that the “eyes” of the structure change their orientation according to the movement of the sun in order to generate the most electricity possible from the solar panels that cover the eyes.

In operation, I think it would probably look like the Dallas Winking Eye—even if the wink would be pretty slow. It’s imaginative, interesting and if the technology were just a little more advanced, then it might even work. You couldn’t ignore it.

Even in the jury room, you could see the powerful attraction this design generated. One by one, jurors would pick up this entry, look carefully at it, and then shake their head and put it back down. I think every one of them wished they could believe this design could be built, but knew it just wasn’t going to happen.

I can see the attraction as well, but to be truthful, I was relieved when the Dallas Eye was eliminated. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to build.

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