Tim Sakamoto's App Brings Fallingwater into the Digital Age

Specializing in the representation of architecture through interactive tours, film and photography, it is no surprise that Department of Architecture Lecturer Tim Sakamoto has ventured into the world of apps. Having been making CD-ROMS and DVD's for his company, In-D Media, for the past 14 years, the transition to mobile apps was inevitable in order to stay current with the latest technology. The latest app from Sakamoto and his business partner, Jochen Repolust, is none other than architect Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater.

Designed in 1935 as a summer home for department store owner Edgar Kaufmann in rural Pennsylvania, Fallingwater was named as a national Historic Landmark in 1966 and continues to attract more than 150,000 visitors each year. Aimed at both those in the field of architecture and others who are simply interested in the subject, the Fallingwater app allows one to explore the house without having to physically be at the location.

Filled with virtual reality panoramas, more than 150 luminious pictures, and videos, many buyers have proclaimed it as the "second best way to see Fallingwater." Also included in the app are detailed floor plans that allow the viewer to zoom in and out, and images of the house through different seasons. One of the most popular features of the app is the video section that includes clips from the Fallingwater Special Edition documentary; it not only takes you through all floors of the main house, but it also gives insight on the Kaufmann family and Wright's approach as he designed the house.

With the hope of advancing the cause of architecture by making famous landmarks more accessible to the public, Sakamoto is now working on other mobile apps and ebooks for Apple, Android, Kindle, and Nook that will feature such buildings as Wright's Taliesin West and Schindler's Kings Road House. And aside from building apps and running an architecture practice (sakamotoarchitects.com) with his wife, he also serves as the exhibition designer on a project with Department Chair Judith Sheine, Architecture Professors Dr. Lauren Bricker and Dr. Pablo La Roche, and Landscape Architecture Professor Phil Pregill that examines the role of technology and environment in the development of the post-war southern California house, which is funded by the Getty Foundation as part of a series of exhibitions devoted to modern architecture in Los Angeles.










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