City lives

The history of urbanization, 3700 BC–2000 AD / related, Unequal Scenes Johnny Miller photographs ‘scenes of inequality in South Africa from the air’ / see also How Detroit got its Street Grid, from 1965 / Inside Masdar, the UAE’s Zero-Carbon City That Will Never Be / photographs by Tom Groves of Glastonbury-goers, before and after (surprisingly unruffled in most cases) / Still Life with Cone, Standpipe, Caution Tape / music: Library Tapes / trouble on the Panama Canal / Gigazoom imagery finds a home in the ad industry / the secret of taste. More by Tom Vanderbilt.

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Small link assemblage

Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age / Bad Things That Could Happen, a film by This Is It / The Bitter Lake / a history of potential forgeries / Norris Castle, on the Isle of Wight / projects on urban and technological futures by Tobias Revell, including Haunted Machines, with Natalie Kane, a project on the mythology of technology / sort of related, a snarky look at the typography of Blade Runner / see also this fine collection of Science Fiction Book Covers / beautiful examples of contemporary model-making at David Neat’s weblog / the Nick Cave guitar archive / Minimalism in Japan.

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Things are looking down

A very varied selection again / music: NoMapsforTheseTerritories; London’s Lost Worlds of Sound, a radio feature at the London Sound Survey / Facebook can map more of Earth in a week than we have in history / The Inevitable, Intergalactic Awkwardness of Time Capsules (via MeFi) / also at Atlas Obscura, The Complete Calendar Plug-In of the World’s Fictional Holidays (via Kottke) / the London Treasure Hunt Riots of 1904 / the Macaulay Library of bird sounds, photos and videos / prints by Gail Mallatratt / paintings by Alexandra Tyng / photography by Jenny Lewis / revisited, beautiful code explorations by David Li / the Animation Treasures weblog / Overland Expo West, dedicated to the art of wheeled exploration / the secretive world of new Russian money, all the way back from 2007 in the NYT / Forensic Architecture, ‘undertaking research that gathers and presents spatial analysis in legal and political forums.’

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This and that for Wednesday

Music: Thee Telepaths / Black Angel Drifter (formed from the creative core of Morton Valence) / Which cruise ship library is right for you? (via tmn) / 9 Things Microsoft Could Do With LinkedIn / Influx is a blog about cars, sponsored by a car insurer / every frame a picture: 2001, Picasso-style (via MeFi) / see also The Sounds of Starships / Electric Edens, ‘speculations on a new ruralism’ / paintings of industrial America by Charles Sheeler / Twenty Over Eighty: Conversations on a Lifetime in Architecture and Design / The Peckham Connection, photographing local commerce / Altered Images, a project by the Bronx Documentary Center / PictureBox, a great tumblr / Jonathan Crowe is a blogger and cartographer / Betts Project, an art gallery specialising in architecture / paintings by Richard Elliott / the Ultimate Music Tracker Base / songs so full of wonder they make your heart ache / The Evidence Room: ‘forensic interpretation of the blueprints and architectural remains of Auschwitz’. A very moving installation currently at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

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Lives lived well

How highways wrecked American cities‘ (at kottke). Seems that the US is only just waking up to something that’s fairly commonly accepted over in Europe – the blight of big road building programmes / suspiciously well-curated lives at Freunde von Freunde and Coffeeklatch (both, tellingly, via this question: where have all the bohemians gone?) / cities painted by Mark Daniel Nelson / What do you regret about ruthless de-cluttering? / unbuilt amusement park ride from 1919 promises G-forces, thrills, certain death / related, the world’s oldest roller coasters / shimmering guitar music from Stove / Mu Cartographer (via RPS), create generative landscapes.

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Link review: design, art and photography

When we embarked on this rather thankless project a few days ago, we forgot to thank Roberto at ArchEyes for drawing our attention to the thicket of 404s that filled the sidebar. Hopefully that is all now being rectified. So how many changes in our sidebar list of design, art and photography links? 30gms has vanished / 50 Watts is still a thing / A London Salmagundi was a fine-looking tumblr that has atrophied somewhat, while the accompanying blog, Heraclitean Fire, hasn’t done much in a few months / Adaism seems a bit static / All things considered is still going / as is an ambitious project collapsing / Andrew Meredith ceased posting in 2014 / Aqua Velvet redirects to the Collier Collective Blog / Art Fag City has changed to Art F City, while Art is Everywhere became a book.


The ArtsJournal stays current, as does Artsy / Automatism is happily still around, as is Bear Alley / BERG shut up shot / BiblioGraphic became someblog, and closed in 2012, while Booooooom! still shines a light on new art, as does but does it float / the C-Monster seems to have retired as has the Camberwell Illustrator Blog (although Peter Nencini is still at large, mostly on Instagram) / Car Design News plays an increasingly high profile role in the industry while CarType is a must for auto design enthusiasts / Concept Ships keeps on sailing / Conscientious became the Conscientious Photography Magazine and continues to be excellent / Construct of the Mind is no more / Cool Hunting continues to hunt cool / more big hitters: Core77 is a design industry essential, Coroflot is the go-to destination for jobs and portfolios.


Creative Review continues to be one of the best UK design magazines / D’Blog of ‘Israeli ceased trading a few years ago / Daily Tonic still offers up what it promises / Daniel Benneworth-Gray no longer publishes a journal but he does put out a great link email, Meanwhile / Death House is one of those sparse, elegant tumblrs / Design Talks keeps up to date and insightful / designboom is still a major player / Designspiration stays current / Dezeen goes from strength to strength / DisegnoDaily is worth checking out / Display hasn’t updated in a long while / Drawn! was great but has closed its doors / Eliot Shepard takes excellent photographs but no longer blogs / emma’s designblogg moved over to Residence Magazine.


Eye magazine is an essential resource, even better in print / ffffound was destroyed by tumblr but things still happen there / Field of Vision closed last year / Fosfor is dead / grain edit is still going strong as is the Great Leap Sideways / we will always love the Hand Drawn Map Association / hippolyte bayard ceased posting in 2003 / HotWheels is still a great car-culture tumblr / Hyperkit is still a fine design firm with a very occasional journal / I-II-III is a tumblr that has ceased trading / Iain Claridge is still blogging, while there are seemingly no end to the number of Iconic Photos in the world / Idea Books are still online / Imprint, a design blog / Influx stays online / Inhabitat is still an important spot / ISO50 is a rich repository of imagery and creativity / It’s not a Cabaret ceased updating 5 years ago / Kate Bingaman-Burt is going strong as is Kickcan & conkers / Linefeed has been quiet for a few months.


Lost at E Minor is alive and well / just like Martin Klasch / the Ministry of Type appears to have closed its doors / Mocoloco is up to the minute / Monoscope is now a beautiful installation / Mrs Deane appears to have shut up shop / National Geographic Found is one of the best tumblrs aroujnd / New English Landscape is highly recommended / New Found Original is great but long neglected / Noisy Decent Graphics can be relied on for up to the minute commentary on current design issues / design news and whatnot at Notcot / Nowness is still shiny and beautifully made / Overhead Compartment is no more / sady, Bill Drummond no longer updates Penkiln Burn / Picdit is still around / as, of course, is Pinterest.


We love Places Journal / there are still many, many interesting things at Printeresting / Ramage ceased some time last decade / Rashomon turned into Bellissimo / Reference Library is no more / as is the Repository of Records / Rodcorp has ceased to be / Rock, Paper, Shotgun is still reliably brilliant / Saatchi Online remains the place to be seen / Scene no longer exists but Alyn Griffiths still posts / happily, people are still contributing to Scientific Illustration / Shelley Davies is still online / amazing things can still be found at Shepelavy / Sight Unseen is still essential / Slanted still publishes / Sophie Munns has been quiet for a while / one of our favourite tumblrs, Still Life Quick Heart, went out for a short walk two years ago and never came back.


Storythings is still a thing / Subtraction still posts regularly / The Art Journal is a couple of months behind / The Big Picture is a press photography essential / The Calvert Journal seems current / The Cartoonist is well worth your time / The Culture Engine is old, old, old (although the tumblr is still going strong) / The Fox is Black remains a crucial aggregator / The Kid Should See This is great / The Letter exists still / the Old Cycle Club no longer has an online presence / The Selby is, of course, still stylish / The Strange Attractor is three years dark / Ward-O-Matic moved and then vanished / Theo Inglis posts sporadically but also runs the excellent Mid Century Modern Design tumblr / Thingiverse has ceased, it seems, as has Thinking for a Living.


This is A456 continues to post / This is Colossal is another evergreen online spot / designer Tim George has an excellent blog / photo essays at Time LightBox / Two Wheels Plus is no more / We Made This is still great (and has some great info about the new exhibition at the South London Gallery) / We Will Become appears to be no more / with what has stopped / White Noise of Everyday Life is no more / xBlog still exists, as does Yanko Design / We already had a dormant links section. The following exist but are no longer updated: 2 or 3 things I know; Accidental Mysteries; Amazing Maps; atlas(t); the much missed Bad British Architecture; daily dose of imagery (now trading as top left pixel; Design Bivouac / and that’s the end of this section. On to the next one – music – another time.

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A random selection of links

Some beautiful old photographs at the Surrey Wanderer flickr site / art by Laura McMorrow / LDS ARCHITECTURE: Discovering Great Mormon Buildings / Cartography Comparison: Google Maps & Apple Maps / always fascinated by posts about instant megacities: Ashgabat in Turkmenistan (via MeFi), the land created by the late Saparmurat Niyazov / The Paris Floods: 1910 vs 2016, photographs by Julien Knez / paintings by Jonas Wood / illustrator Matt Lee has a collection of Indian Matchboxes / creating windows with clever 3D graphics, part of Simon Screibt’s ‘Game Art Tricks’ series / the work of artist Terence Tenison Cuneo / the Damen Silos, Chicago, also seen in this elegant drone eye view / Exploring Abandoned Mines / all the Death Scenes from Animals of Farthing Wood / more link revisiting tomorrow, hopefully.

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Collections and Archives: link review

Into the collections and archives section. A Penguin a Week is still soldiering on (plenty of Penguins to go) / Agence Eureka is still a treasure trove of scanned ephemera and illustration /’s blog is worth following / Archive Team links to a tranche of resources / the Cabinet of Wonders no longer updates / Codex 99 has been quiet for eight months or so, sadly / Container List is still going, as is the eclectic Cyber Heritage / Dark Roasted Blend is an online institution / there are treasures to be found in the Design Council Slide Collection but the online archive of Design magazine is making itself scarce / Dull Tool Dim Bulb is always worth a visit / Efimera is dusty and abandoned, as is Ephemera and ephemera assemblyman, whereas Ephemeralism has completely vanished into the ether / Found Objects going strong / Invisible Themepark worth a visit / Kept Ephemera seems to be kept going as is Letterology / Letters of Note is a full-blown online phenomenon these days / our original link died but here’s a new link to a Blue Plaque Map of London / Mapping London is excellent / Material World is still going but Mid-Centuria switched to members-only / Militant Esthetix is a dayglo repository of interesting things (from a former things contributor).


The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a venerable institution (albeit a rarely updated one) / Coudal’s Museum of Online Museums is an essential starting point for the online ephemera enthusiast / as is the National Archives Blog / Obsessionistas is no more but oobject curates collections of unusual things / PCL Linkdump was great but has closed its doors to new posts / Peter Harrington Rare Books continues to post about great finds / Public Collectors is a must-visit / Rad Library has been quiet for six years / Recto/Verso continues to post / Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities is closed now, we think / Shelf Appeal is another evergreen classic / as is Shorpy / Tales of Things still exists / whereas the Tate no longer seems to have a blog / The Cartographer’s Guild is still a map-maker’s delight / as is the brilliant Map Room / the Tomorrow Museum is no more / the National Trust continues to publish Treasure Hunt / Victorian London is still a beautiful thing / a different kind of beauty on offer at Vintage Computing and Gaming / see also World of Spectrum / not sure why we linked to soap makers Wary Meyers. Nice soap, though / the amazing Wellcome Library / X planes was a great tumblr, but is no longer updated.

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Architecture, a life in links

It felt like time to do a bit of spring cleaning and sort out the many, many links in our sidebar, some of which are dead and many others dormant. What follows is a fairly epic post and pruning exercise, starting with the architecture links: 0111 still has its Architecture Gallery but the other links are dead / A Vivre is now private / a10 magazine is still with us, happily / this is a456 hasn’t been updated for six months or so but there is also a a456 tumblr / Adam Marcus is an architect and educator and hasn’t updated his blog in a while / the AN Blog no longer exists by ArchPaper is still there / anArchitecture has not been updated in a while / ArchDaily is now the ‘world’s most visited architecture site’ / Archi/Maps is still great / Archiclog stopped publishing a few years ago / Archidose is now better known as A Daily Dose of Architecture and is still recommended, as is the great Archimodels tumblr / some other venerable survivors and industry essentials: Archinect; Architect Magazine; Architects’ Journal; Architectural Association; Architectural Design; Architectural Review (which keeps threatening to go entirely online).


Andrew Raimist’s Architectural Ruminations has been dark for a while now / Architectural Videos posts sporadically / Architecture Lab stays current but Architecture My Ninja Please ceased a while back / Architecture of Film is still around, as is, of course, Architizer / Jackie’s Architoys Blog was great but short-lived, ceasing in 2010 / Archizines remains a great resource, as does ArchNewsNow and Arcspace / Arkinet has vanished, while Arkitektur is no longer trading / the Arts and Architecture archive is still online, and the Arup Thoughts blog is still running / Atelier A+D seems less vital than it once did while autour de l’architecture last posted in 2012 / the Bartlett Year 1 Architecture blog is now private while Bing Bang Pouf called it a day in March 2014 / BLDG BLOG is still an online institution, spawning a great book, as did Cabin Porn / Butterpaper no longer posts, nor does City Breaths but City Comforts has only been quiet a few months.


Dan Hill has also been away from the great City of Sound for a while but we hope he’ll return / CityMetric has stayed current as has Continuity in Architecture and Cosmopolitan Scum (just about) / Crimson Architectural Historians are still active and Curbed is still up to the minute / Death by Architecture now focuses on architecture competitions whereas Derelict London can at least revel in the fact that there are still derelict parts of the city / Dezain still posts as does Diffusive Architectures / Digital Urban has sadly vanished – we loved that site ( / Domus is happily still with us, as is dpr-Barcelona / drawing architecture is still a fine tumblr / English Buildings still posts but entschwindet und vergeht hasn’t updated for a couple of years / Failed Architecture is still around but the excellent Fantastic Journal didn’t survive the ending of FAT / Footings has been deleted ( / hawktraining still tumbles / Edward Lifson’s Hello Beautiful! is also no more / HTC Experiments last posted in January 2014 / Icon still publishes as IconEye / Infranet Lab seems to be down / The Interior Prospect has been quiet for a while / Judit Bellostes is thankfully still posting whereas Kosmograd has moved / Lebbeus Woods died in 2012. His blog is at / Less Adjectives More Verbs still posts but Life without Buildings is quiet now.


The London Architecture Diary remains current, as does the Lost London thread at Skyscraper City, together with its counterpart, London’s new buildings / it’s been five years since loud paper regaled us and Magical Urbanism is similarly dormant / Mammoth still posts / Mark’s dedicated site now redirects to the main Frameweb / Markasaurus has been quiet for six months / Metropolis is relatively infrequent for a major print mag / Mika Savela is still regularly updated, as is the very useful MIMOA / Moby’s Los Angeles Architecture Blog seems to have fallen by the wayside, sadly / Mockitecture has been quiet for three years / New Italian Blood seems out of touch / the great No.2 Self also lies still / new images continue to appear at Nomadicity / Noticias Arquitectura is being ignored / Ouno Design is not ignored / the ‘places.designobserver’ sub-blog is no more – the main Design Observer site still lives / the Chilean site Platforma Arquitectura is still there but Polar Inertia is fossilised and Pruned effectively shut up shop last summer, after a decade / Quintin Lake takes photographs of architecture and posts at Geometry & Silence / Yuki Sumner’s Ramblings on air is now a Rambling Room of my Own / the Reddit Architecture thread is occasionally interesting / Remember I’m the Bloody Architect is now members-only.


ROLU is no more / Urban Trawl, Owen Hatherley’s wonderful and perceptive travelogue of the UK, is presumably done and dusted. There are the books instead / people still follow Shedworking and Skyscrapers are still being built / Socks Studio stays happily current while Strange Harvest is now very occasional / Super Colossal no longer posts (and the firm itself has now evolved into Bennett and Trimble) / Suprageography is no more ( / The Funambulist still publishes, but The Modern House no longer has a dedicated blog / The Pop-Up City is still current Alltop architecture news still updates / Triangulation is quiet since August 2015 but happily Urban Ghosts Media hasn’t gone the same way / Wired New York is three years dormant / and that sums up and cleans up the architecture section. Others to follow in the next few weeks and please alert us to any sites or blogs that we really should be including.

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Castles in the sky

A Guardian report into the wretched 48-storey edifice that is St George Wharf Tower (official site) illustrating the off-shore ownership and generally vacant state of the building. Interesting snippet: ‘At 23,000sq ft, the Tower penthouse is 24 times larger than the average new three-bedroom home in the UK. It was bought in May 2014 but has yet to be lived in. As part of a lengthy refurbishment, Guriev is understood to be installing a Russian Orthodox chapel that has had to be carried piece by piece up the elevators.’ The same man owns Witanhurst in Highgate, the subject of a fascinating New Yorker article, House of Secrets. There was more human warmth on the Vauxhall site back when it was a Cold Store.


Related. Nova Alea, via RPS, which describes it as a game that ‘explores/demonstrates gentrification and property market forces through a tiny patch of city land, its skyscrapers infecting one another with wealth as they climb, at first unimpeded, then with restrictions designed to slow or stem the tide of gamified buying and selling)’. Gentrification, played out diagramatically / definitely related: Infractus, architects Smout Allen on exploring whether the life, character and value of a building truly can be captured via 3D scanning, in response to Margaret Hodge’s suggestion that built heritage could be digitally captured in order that Robin Hood Gardens, etc., might be demolished.

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The beat of the drum

Cartographic London, an old post from the turn of the decade / London in 1870 / Celia Reisman paints imaginary suburban landscapes / Tom Tom Magazine, ‘the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers’ / architecture magazine the Real Review gets a new website / the ‘Coincidence Project’ by photographer Denis Cherim / the 40-minute car-chase from the original Gone in 60 Seconds / building Benny’s spaceship / nearly twenty years after the seminal DFW essay, cruise liners continue to operate as fantastical floating spaces for writers to muse.

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Worlds apart

Fantastical worlds created by the artist Simon Stålenhag / converting a Mercedes into a Rolls-Royce, Kazakhstan-style. See also the Geely GE, or this Nissan conversion, Lincoln conversion and Chrysler bodykit. Most of which are collected on this page of Phantom fakes / Daniel Benneworth-Gray’s Some Magazines celebrates the art of cover design.

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Raise the roof higher

A (partly used?) church for sale on Foulness Island / related: The New English Landscape, always worth revisiting / Andy creates alternate histories of American car design as well as offering pithy visual critiques of current trends / life drawing by David Longo / depicting the super-rich on TV – who gets it right? / music: Help me destroy our forefathers with Future Noise / Cold Pumas / the story of the Anti-Concorde Project / The London Column, a look back on the capital / changes in zoning, etc., mean that 40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today / A Scarlett Tracery, music and more / Four more ways the CIA has meddled in Africa / Neither here nor there, a weblog.

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Vultures circling the Square

A short history of death on EastEnders / the Urban Lab at UCL / Playboy Magazine and the Architecture of Seduction / interview with Todd Saunders / long read and interview with incoming CEO Brendan Bechtel on how the world’s infrastructure gets shaped / the sad demolition of Bruce Goff’s Bavinger House / another paean to London Brutalism.

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The city’s spiky skyline

One of our new favourite sites, Development Aesthetics looks at the culture of billboard imagery, glossy renders and lifestyle photography that surrounds the many hundreds of new residential developments ‘reshaping’ ‘vibrant’ neighbourhoods in London and elsewhere. ‘Proof, were it still needed, that selling a new development in London – whether commercial or residential – now has little to nothing to do with the qualities of the building and everything to do with the real or imagined qualities of the surrounding area.’ / closely related, 50 Percent Balfron has been set up to monitor the twisting pathway that a building takes from council housing to private development, a less-than-transparent process replete with accusations of ‘artwashing‘ and the ongoing, relentless and seemingly irreversible demonisation of gentrification. There must be a better way, and glory awaits the organisation that discovers it / also related, the exhibition Blueprint for Living looks at the Fitzhugh Estate in Wandsworth, built in 1956 and still going strong.


Other things. Catherine Baker on the politics and aesthetics of Eurovision. Altogether now, ‘Love, Love, Peace, Peace / the miserable future of universal facial recognition software. No good can come of this: the Russian art of meta-stalking / the Google Art Camera (via MeFi) / the Buchla make modular electronic musical instruments / a history of weird music online / the blog of the BA in Spatial Design at the London College of Communication / a Peckham Festival is afoot / views of changing London by Mr Cladding.

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Towering or tottering

In the same vein as BCM’s recent Brutalist London Map is the new Art Deco London Map / a project that falls somewhere in the middle, the Tate’s new Switch House is now just a month from opening. See also our gallery of the building’s construction / Bunkerama, a photographic survey of France’s lingering WWII bunkers, a project by Jason Guilbeau / republished, Michael Sorkin’s Skyscrapers from A to Z, originally published in 1991 / 10 projects that look to a future of robot-built architecture / Etch a Sketch art from PrincessEtchaSketch / ‘The Feminist Stiletto?‘ Can high tech high heels from Thesis Couture make style and symbolism less painful? ‘Heels, indeed, are thought to be the cause of much of the roughly $3.5 billion that women in the United States spend each year on foot surgeries.’

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The Association of American Publishers records that by 1984, between 40 and 50 percent of American authors were using word processors‘: The New Republic reviews Matthew G. Kirschenbaum’s Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing. The Track Changes Tumblr (via MeFi) / related The Most Dangerous Writing App. Work fast, or lose / see also the Freewrite, a ‘smart typewriter’ that promises to be a ‘distraction-free writing tool’ (via The Atlantic) / also related, Guide to Computing, a set of vintage prints offered by Docubyte and INK.

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Shrouded in mystery

A few links about NK’s wretched Ryugyong Hotel, unfinished, unloved and potentially doomed to stay exactly as it until such time as it can be turned into a ghoulish museum of the regime / happier things: let’s get swimming, contribute to the campaign to bring Peckham Lido back to life / related, Peckham in Vogue / the loneliest plant in the world / the most influential gadgets / an interactive study of the pollution crisis facing the Ganges / the world of high-end coffee / an auction of fabulous Bande Dessinée / ranking Radiohead / architectural paintings by Dean Monogenis / China Girls / Leader Ladies, ‘the photographs of (most often) women that sometimes appear in the countdown that begins every reel of motion picture film meant for exhibition, often accompanied by color bars’. More information / ‘Archiving Our Online Communities, ‘On the closing and archiving of‘.

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Stripped back

Designboom on the New York model created by artist Spencer Lowell / save Oslo’s Y-Block, a building by Erling Viksjø / the Futuro House at Central St Martins. More / the landscapes of Uncharted 4 / art by Jules de Balincourt / revisiting the Wayback Machine, the font of nostalgia / cars reduced to bare branding at Auto Icons.

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Yet more then and now

Pearl River Delta, then and now / London During the Blitz: Then and Now Photographs / the Peckham Peculiar on Nunhead Cemetery / beautiful animated environments by Carl Burton / the Peckham Zine Club, illustration / Unstuck Pixels, retro gaming and other imagery / global submarine cable map / recommended music: Ratboy / Tim Forrest’s E & A, a blog about art and antiques / The Red List collates and presents visual inspiration.

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