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Tuesday, October 26, 2004
What We Talk About When We Talk About Architecture, a Design Observer post. Transcriptions of interviews are invariably more interesting than actual interviews, especially in this age of universally bland prose styling ('!', he laughed, '!', she smiles, etc. etc.). I also like the barely concealed rancour on display. Architects - and architecture critics - have a tough time of it, a miniscule world in which everyone knows everyone else and the ultimate ambition is to design a signature building or, better still, find a snappy collective name for a group of signature buildings.

Related, notes on How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand's epic trawl through the architecture of subtle change. Although the ideas discussed in this book are about as timeless and universal as you can get, it seems as if Brand has fallen out of favour. Many of today's buildings don't seem to be learning anything at all, instead they're presented as spectacular fait accomplis, instant prodigies that need no tutoring. But learn they must.

It's a bit unfair of us to pick on Gehry, as some of his early work is an object lesson in how to create ad-hoc, organic architecture, collated from the detritus of other architecture ('I just 'punch' a few holes'). Somewhere along the line - perhaps the introduction of computers? - ad-hocism became codified and quantified, the delight and freedom of construction bound by a new layer of complexity.

Elsewhere. This always used to confuse me as well / robot news at zincpanic (links culled from haddock) / 15 seconds that changed San Francisco - the architectural legacy of the Loma Prieta earthquake / a new issue of Delve Magazine is out now and visits Brooklyn / Halloween papercraft / the periodic table of comic books / trashures, 'abandoned works of art' (via cavemanrobot).