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weblog archives
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Robot-tastic, the International Robot Exhibition 2003 ('from manufacturing to personal life'). Developments in robotics are also covered at Better Humans, which has an array of alarming future-medicine headlines ('Modified Pig Kidneys Keep Monkeys Alive', etc.). We were fascinated by 'Building a Home for Immortals', or how proponents of so-called Radical Life Extension have to face cultural and political obstacles, and not just the more obvious scientific ones. We learned that the Immortality Institute is 'an organization whose mission is to "conquer the blight of involuntary death"'. It's but a short click from here to our friends at Alcor, providing cryonics services since 1972 (gallery). The 'immortality movement' always reminds us of a baby hurling toys out of its pram, bawling so much about the unfairness of life and the inevitability of death that they actually forget to live.

Staying in the future: Beijing vs Blade Runner. Not sure if I totally agree with the premise – that Beijing is soon to be a Blade Runner-style metropolis. Admittedly, a lot of Blade Runner’s architecture is megastructural, but the overall look is one of layering – accretions built up over the decades. The existence of 'traditional' apartment buildings at ground level, for example, totally overshadowed by the ziggurat-like business district (some of which should be familiar), creates an overall impression of a termite mound-like colony. In stark contrast, new Beijing is all about newness, shiny surfaces and bold, individual statements (even if those statements aren't always welcomed by Chinese designers). Danwei also offers fascinating coverage on the explosion in China's magazine market. Link originally found at gulfstream.

Trying to get close to Gehry, or not. Useful and Agreeable on the star system in architecture and the rise of PR / classic poster art, via the cartoonist, who also links Cornell University Library’s Witchcraft Collection, one of many online collections / the Wienertown Time Machine. Of course, the original Wienermobile was designed by Brooks Stevens. Related, American art deco.

The UK's Volvo Club has an excellent site, but sadly you have to be a member to download the tantalising looking brochures / a gallery of illustrations from old children’s books, via Giornale Nuovo / touring VW's 'Transparent Factory' in Dresden. Actually, people are throwing stones, because no-one’s really buying the factory’s main product, the Phaeton / dead logotypes at LOGO R.I.P, which even has a book of condolences.

The Midnight Society, local history in the New Jersey Tri-state area with a twist, like spooky abandoned buildings / discriminatory signs in the 1940s. Both via consumptive / Melancholy Rhino on the favourite sport of England's upper classes, blasting grouse (or ‘grice’, to use the correct pronunciation).

Want want want want the new Leica Digilux 2. We agree with contact sheet - it's a beautiful thing, no question about it. However, it’s just not small – something slightly smaller that the Digilux 1, the trusty things camera, would have been too perfect to ignore / Travels in the Industrial Age, photography by Reid Yalom, via conscientious.

Scanned archives of Transactor, an old (American?) computer magazine (via muxway) / big, bold ideas for London continue to be mooted: Bluebase is a new airport site at the Thames Gateway site / cathedrals in the air, one and two / pixel-perfect design fun at db-db / virtual snowglobes are all the rage - here's one from design organisation D&AD, instead of their usual dead-tree Christmas card / visit Disney's Haunted Mansion.