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Friday, August 30, 2002
'Why can't our cities be clothed in the colors of the world?' asks Dave Eggers in the current issue of Metropolis magazine. It's a good point, we suppose, but one that non-architects seem to ask rather more than architects, who always have a smart retort. But not all architects. John Outram is a noted exception, a polychromist unafraid to re-approach the classical orders from a contemporary viewpoint. Outram's buildings include the extraordinary Judge Institute in Cambridge and these pleasantly unconventional craft workshops.

Outram, who is also a prolific writer, isn't shy of making a statement. A visit to his home - a dark, largely original Georgian townhouse in a forgotten square in North London - was a journey into a Soanian underworld, all books, papers and vintage computer systems. Unfortunately, many of his daily jottings were confined to these obsolete machines, and a data rescue mission was suggested. At the time, it all seemed a bit too daunting. However, there's still a lot to read on his site.

Outram might not consider himself a classicist, but there are plenty in the classical camp who would claim him. This article in the Weekly Standard purports to be a close look at British classical revivalists (Quinlan Terry, Robert Adam, et al - both well represented on the web). Misleadingly, the author talks up their influence, especially with respect to Prince Charles' stance against modernism (the 'province of egomaniacs'). It's hard to underestimate exactly how damaging the Prince's infamous Mansion House speech was for a movement that was just starting to come into its own, nationally and internationally. It's also worth remembering that Terry and Adam in particular, specialise in building large, well-proportioned but very expensive houses, making classicism the choice of the wealthy: hardly populist.

More architecture. A source of high-res photography of the work of Glenn Murcutt, Australian sole practitioner and Pritzker Prize winner. If you absolutely had to live on a farm in Australia, these would be the places to be (or, alternatively, here. Or here). Here's another way of making a building colourful. Finally, World Airports is a visual survey of new airport building.

Snap! This vs this - golly we're unorginal - even more so than we intended....


Thursday, August 29, 2002
There is nothing quite like the internet for promoting procrastination and thwarting grand ambition. Here at things there are many projects that conspire to lurk forever on the fringes of our available time. That's not that these projects won't ever happen, but we'd be the first to admit that certain things seem to live on a permanent back burner. (Speaking of permanent back burning, things estimates that it has existed on or in close proximity (i.e. daily contact with dust/plaster and general debris) dust to building sites for nearly three solid years.) But we digress. Suffice to say, plans are afoot, once again...

Other things. America's escalating highway wars have pitched in favour of the SUV for the first time: more light trucks were bought than passenger cars in 2001. Ephemera Now provides full-color reminiscences from the days when cars were big and trucks were just for farmers, a technicolor ad-o-rama that's almost an on-line version of Taschen’s ‘All-American' series, triumphs of slick picture research and cost-effective repro that are well-worth possessing.


Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Congratulations to Monika, Matt and Mia on the new arrival!


Tuesday, August 27, 2002
The comments server continues to be busy, but that hardly matters, as there has never, ever been a single comment here at newthings. Oh well. Keep the links coming. Found photography today. Why is it that strips of negatives lying in the gutter convey more passion, meaning, insight and potential than the pictures one takes oneself? Moderna has an interesting gallery, entitled 'Look at Me'. Colours like this will probably never be seen again in real life.

A photographic standard: pride in new ownership (see also here). This set was found in a thrift store. Again, the crazed, out-of-kilter colour is everything.

Professional photography. Simon Hoegsberg’s beautifully crisp photos of unsuspecting London pedestrians, 'Private and Public' have a remarkable directness. They were recently discussed at metafilter, with most people astonished at how 'staged' these apparently candid shots seemed. There's something about the focus and texture of the images that makes them look American, even though the shots were taken in the UK.


Friday, August 23, 2002
Apologies for the absence. things has been taking a couple of breaks, mostly in the great US of A. Photos to follow, perhaps.

Build your own city. Visit our web-only page (with new! content).


Friday, August 16, 2002
Silly things today to celebrate our re-design. Hopefully everything is just a little bit clearer...

Fun with flash: Chewing gum for the eyes is exactly that. A couple of galleries gleaned from Coudal, covers from various editions of the War of the Worlds and a Lego fanatic's collection of instructions, catalogues and more, all at the aptly-named Brickshelf.com. Finally, Gizmodo is a new gadget blog - worth a frequent look if you're obsessed with new toys.


Thursday, August 15, 2002
What do: Adidas, Agent Provocateur, Alexander McQueen, Apple, Asahi, Aveda, Bang & Olufsen, Cacharel, Cosmopolitan, Dazed & Confused, Denim, Diesel, DKNY, Ducati, Gaggia, Goldsmiths (not sure about this one – could be here?), Haagen-Dazs, Hello Kitty, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Roche, Kangol, Lambretta, London Eye, Manumission, Mercedes, MTV, Oakley, Olympus, Opium, Red Stripe, Scalextric, Selfridges, South Park, Tag Heuer, Tate, The Healing Garden, The Simpsons, Time Out, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop, Virgin Atlantic, Vitra, Vivianne Westwood, VW Beetle, Xbox, and Yo Sushi! have in common? (There were a couple of others there, too, but things, which reckons it knows a fair bit about shopping, hadn’t heard of them).

Apparently, someone, somewhere, thinks they're 'cool'. If we'd got round to posting this list two months ago when we first got hold of it we could have had the thrill of breaking a confidentiality clause. As it is, this collection of so-called 'Cool Brandleaders' smacks of the desires of some random panel of global teens. Isn't the whole branding thing over yet? Clearly not. While the original activists who drew attention to the whole process of brand extension, consolidation and market penetration are now focusing their efforts on the potentially more insidious dealings behind the push for globalisation, big companies are still itching to extend into every possible market. things recently visited Autostadt, VW's flagship brand experience in Wolfsburg, Germany. More soon...


Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Long silence. Apologies. Re-design underway. Slow, confusing. More photos too.


Thursday, August 08, 2002
People we are fascinated with, car-crash style. No.1: Thomas Kincade.

Alternatively, if you want another way of 'speculating on the mystery and wonder of God's creation' (that's actually not a bad image browser), simply go here: 100 polaroids. (thanks to tmn - enjoy your freedom!).


Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Three random links. How much is that? Visit the Megapenny project to get some idea of scale. An interesting story on hobos from the LA Weekly (loosely related, original hobosigns, recently revisited thanks to the wonderful world of wireless warchalking).

There's a fascinating essay on the new wave of architectural publishing over at the Hyphen Press's minimal site.

So it seems that books have become a vehicle for graphic design and graphic designers. One could now fill quite a long shelf with these books in which young designers play out a dream of digital modernism: a cryptic title, an eccentric binding style, a very prominent bar code, images and text that go almost but not quite to the edge of the page, constant-digit page numbering that begins on the first leaf (‘001’), very long lines of sanserif text, photographs that would be rejected as substandard by a commercial laboratory.


Tuesday, August 06, 2002
We have fresh photography galleries, a publishing spree encouraged by the new camera. This enthusiasm is unlikely to last.

Two links gleaned from mefi. Grandma's '37 road trip is a lovingly-scanned and presented journal of a trans-American journey just before the Second World War. This ties neatly into these images of historic Californian highways. We can smell the hot asphalt already (oh yes, the road trip was first cited by the ever-excellent portage).

But what to drive? The Citroen SM Club de Japon is a welcome find, mixing fashion photos with car and club info - doesn't look like it's been updated for a while (true aficionados might want to visit the online SM owner's manual, or visit the European hub of this great machine's world). Alternatively, why trust chance? this garage promise they'll never rip you off.

Unrelated (well, vaguely related to the last link): Sharpeworld provides a vital insight into the world of Little Marcy, children's entertainer, Christian ventriloquist doll. Music, sound and more.

Update: more road trips - lightningfield goes to the Deep South.


Monday, August 05, 2002
Architectural photographer Katsuhisa Kida leads a charmed life. Check out the snap shots of his seemingly continuous trip around the world in pursuit of ever-more beautiful modern interiors, stunning sunsets and some of the iconic vistas of modern architecture. This month's Twentieth Century Society Building of the Month is the Cambridge School of architecture, an elegant, pared-down composition by Colin St John Wilson.

A random word generator, for when you need it’s getting slightly thingskinkhardswelical. The images here are described as ‘crust’ photography, which is a new genre to us.


Friday, August 02, 2002
Some art and design, spurred on by the news that Andy Crewdson's new site, New Series is now up. New Series will focus on longer essays about typography and typefaces, and should become essential reading for designers. Fonts from a totally different tradition can be found at Frosty Welcome's interactive fridge magnet. Write rude things and mail them to people.

Patrick Morgan sketches beautifully, the Typorganism is flashy fun with letters (although, as a typographer pointed out, 'they've confused their inch-marks with their quotes') and here is a gorgeously-animated game featuring a spider. If you need print, not pixels, then Caterina (who must read more than anyone on the planet) links to this consumer culture bibliography


Thursday, August 01, 2002
While walking back to the office yesterday, in between light showers of rain, it was hard to avoid the two attractive girls standing outside the local newsagents. Squeezing themselves into the small space between the lottery stand and the boards containing freshly minted magazines, they were conspiciously smoking and each holding what appeared to be an oversized packet of Gauloises (site only available to Dutch citizens over the age of 20). Clearly, here were free cigs for the taking. Perversely, the cigarette girls' promotion occured on the same day that the AICR chose to carpet bomb the local area with 'charity muggers.' Coincidence? Or carefully contrived by one party to undermine the other?

Entirely unrelated. Taschen have an exciting-looking retro computing book in their current catalogue - can't wait. Old Computers is similarly themed, but perhaps a bit more geeky and less obsessed with the international modernist style of the early computer room. Analogue comparisons.