Icon 130: Unmade 06.03.14

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Everyone has their Tatlin tower which, to their frustration, never made it off the drawing board. Ron Arad once suggested an exhibition of uncommissioned proposals for the Olympic Park, to be called Beautiful Failures. We asked architects and designers to share such projects and present a portfolio of favourites here.

We also look at some of the fantastical schemes proposed for Battersea Power Station, which has been called “a graveyard of architectural visions”. As the famous chimney stacks are about to be demolished and rebuilt, Jim Eyre talks us through his firm’s most recent plans.

We revisit Frei Otto and Arup’s 1970s plan for a utopian, domed city in the Arctic, to be built around a nuclear power plant, for which they did extensive feasibility studies.

We also present a brief history of vapourware – ghost computer products that companies prototyped and hyped, but which never went into production.

Up front, there’s Studio Gang’s boathouse in Chicago, Williams and Tsien’s new ice rink in Brooklyn and 14 versions of the Bourgie lamp; ÉCAL students have designed a range of Olympic souvenirs you might actually want and we present our pick of the latest lighting products.

We also pick apart Google’s smart contact lens and redesign the Oyster card; and our Icon of the Month is the ultimate unfinished project – Gaudí’s Sagrada Família.

In Review: Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy, the design-influenced early work of Stephen Willats, Frank Lloyd Wright’s urbanism at MoMA, and Soviet film posters from the silent period. 

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