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Friday, February 03, 2006
Alice Rawsthorne is to leave the Design Museum, which in turn might leave its original site. Meanwhile, the museum's status as the keeper of the Modernist flame (capital 'M') is very much under threat. The V&A's new exhibition on Modernism is an attempt to to rehabilitate modernism's idealism and contemporary validity. Perhaps this will result in a more fluid, flexible history, rather than the Design Museum's increasingly archaic study collection. In the Observer, Deyan Sudjic describes Modernism as 'the idea that just won't go away,' citing Britain's 'illogical' but relentless simultaneous pursuit of nostaglia and technology. Architecture rarely benefits from such schizophrenic tastes.

Impressive photographs by Richard Mosse. We especially like the series 'Phenomena' and Gulf. There is also stunning imagery from post-earthquake Iran and post-war Bosnia. The site design is unashamedly inspired by Slower.net (which continues to stun), and there are also links to a few other photo/culture sites, some of which we may have noted before: Trendbeheer, Happy Famous Artists ('bad art for bad people'), 3rd Effect, re-title, Photodebut, Seesaw Magazine, which has a set of Edward Burtynsky's China photographs, and the excellent Polar Inertia.

Check the series on Strip Coal Mining in Eastern Kentucky. The new industrialisation is all around us, on a mammoth scale, yet it seems that only fine art photographers are taking any notice. The rest of us just sleepwalk while our worlds are created in the vast yet unseen backrooms and workshops on the other side of the world, strange landscapes that will ultimately, inevitably, impact upon us all.

Manchester's oldest building, the Wellington Inn, is also one of the most-travelled buildings in England, shifted around the city centre not once but twice. W.Randolf Hearst used to buy whole buildings, ship them out to the States and then promptly forget about them. At one point he owned a crated-up European monastery on both coasts of the USA: 'Santa Maria de Ovila was a classic white elephant. It took up 28,000 square feet of warehouse and was totally useless.' A few of the stones have been given a New Age lease of life in San Francisco, while others languish in Golden Gate Park.

Leave it to the Americans to dig up our historic sea mammals: The London whale of 1658 / Tunnels in the desert, BLDBLOG on the Libayn man-made river. Thanks too for the mention in this gridskipper interview. We agree wholeheartedly with the idea that blogging has 'become a form of self-obsessed product-hunting. High school meets the home-shopping network.' / the newsmap / urban design Hall of Shame / a pro-tennis player is 'swapping his tennis racket for a railgun' and trying to become a leading cyber athelete / photos at Lies and Half Truths.

Daniel Nordling spots trains, adding yet more megabytes of random historical data to the network / how to Hack your Hybrid at Treehugger / time to re-visit Aspen magazine / British Blogs is a new aggregator site. Not much shopping, but rather a lot of politics / FLIPBOOK!, via rotational / download Legal Torrents / photography from Hong Kong / the resolution isn't great, but as requested, here's the Chittagong yard in Google Earth (thanks, rg).