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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Bits and pieces today. Tesugen, a weblog run by Peter Lindberg, also tackles the modern vs. traditional architectural debate that City of Sound posted about earlier in the week. Another architecture/design weblog, Veritas et Venustas, the musings of classicist John Massengale (if only Quinlan Terry had a weblog too). The post entitled Duany Crits Koolhaas has some interesting points (using a recent Metropolis Magazine article by Andres Duany on the new McCormick Tribune Campus Center at IIT by Koolhaas's firm OMA as its starting point). Duany writes that the new building 'is as appropriate to our nerds/tech jocks as Mies's campus once was for the white-shirted engineers of the second industrial age,' describing the structure as having a 'fundamental "whatever"' sensibility. Massengale seizes on this - could today's showy 'look at me' structures be the architectural equivalent of petulant, stroppy teenagers?

Late Modernism is sometimes analogous to Late Adolescence, which, of course, is the age of some architecture students. The connection between Modernism and Adolescence is the development of the Ego. Modernism is sometimes like the gawky teenager dressed in black (Have you seen a New York architect lately?) who wants to stand under the orange lights in the 7/11 parking lot, feel bad about his parents, and express his originality by looking like every other teenager he knows. But that's for another post.

Massengale, who likes the building himself, is in favour of architectural pluralism, despite what some might expect from an ardent classicist. This is refreshing: even more so is his analogy between architecture and music:

In the meantime, some thoughts about architecture and music. In music, we listen to Top 40, or Hip Hop, or Jazz or Classical. Or Top 40 and Jazz, and Hip Hop, and Classical. The breadth of Duany's Metropolis article is unusual for the architectural press, or the press in general -- the New York Times's architecture critic ruthlessly pushes the idea that the only contemporary architecture worth thinking about is from the Starchitects like Rem Koolhaas, and few of the major newspapers or magazines are broadminded on the subject.

In the real world, some people want to listen to Pink. Some want Outkast, some want Stevie Wonder or Miles Davis, and some want Mozart. The discussion about what to do in our buildings and cities would be a lot richer if we got over this idea that we're all supposed to be listening to All Starchitect, All The Time.

Or, for that matter, all classical and New Urbanism, all the time.

Some more architecture - and little chance of Starchitect statements here, for better or worse. Grimshaw gets the job to design the new terminal at Stanstead Airport. Here's hoping that BAA don't stuff it up as much as they stuffed up the original Foster terminal, a soaring open space which has now been cluttered up into a sorry maze of Spud-U-Likes and Swatch shops. BAA have also excelled themselves with this dynamic statement of architectural intent: 'Modular development will allow for phased construction in line with capacity requirements.' Thrilling.

Other things. Mark Everhart's Map Scans, the hesitant beginnings of a long-abandoned collection / nice old map of the Lehigh Valley Railroad (and Connections) / concept design projects at the Russian firm Open Concepts (via Coudal). Some_things and Money_money are the most interesting / also via Coudal, early landscapes by photographic pioneers / Witold Riedel takes some photographs of the Queen Mary 2 in New York. There's something especially heroic about this image. QM 2 official site. Vaguely related, Art Deco architecture in London.

Our absolute worst nightmare: 'New title targets young golfers'. Golf Punk is 'a magazine targeting 15 to 34-yearolds with a passion for what is often viewed as a sport for retired businessmen'. With a co-founder of Loaded at the helm, this venture inevitably conjures up a mix of Jackass, bad fashion and the slow descent towards conservatism in all its forms (Golf Punk is also the appropriately stupid name for a vintage clothing shop on Melrose Avenue). Remember, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper play golf, as the magazine will no doubt remind its readers again and again and again.

Halvorsen, the weblog of Halvard Halvorsen, sifting through the cultural debris. Recommended / The Eyes have It, 'a weblog devoted (mainly) to visual communications in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare sectors,' links to this interactive operation on a virtual knee. We didn't even scrub up right / the marvellous machines of Rube Goldberg. More marvellous machines: a turbine-powered motorbike (on the same site, Subterannea Scotia, underground forts and power stations in Scotland), the best scrapyards in Britain.

Further to the comments yesterday about ads and conspiracies, Russell Davies decides to tackle the doubters about Honda's (soon-to-be, no doubt) award-winning Cog (scroll down to the post dated 27 April).

Last chance to see. ThoughtCrime, an exhibition of work by students from Central Saint Martins school of design. The exhibition is being held in the disused tram tunnel under Southampton Row and Kingsway in London. A history of the tunnel, which is rarely open to the public, and some photos. Today's the last day of the exhibition, and it shuts at 5.00 (thanks Tom).