things magazine / about / what's new? / archive / photos / projects / order / rss / search
photography from the pre-flickr era
projects, scans and collections
Where is things 19/20?
What is things magazine?
The Pelican Project
thingsmagazine.tumblr.com
external links
0lll
2 or 3 things I know
aalog
actar
adam curtis
agence eureka
aggregat 4/5/6
alice the architect
all about nothing (x)
all things considered (x)
alphaville
alttext
ambit magazine
anarchitecture
and another thing
anti-mega
apothecary's drawer
arcspace
arch daily
archinect
archidose
archiveteam
architects' journal
architect's newspaper blog
architectural review
architectural ruminations
architecture.mnp
archnewsnow
arkitektur
art fag city
art is everywhere
art newspaper
arts journal
artnotes
ashleyb
atelier a+d
ateliermob
atlas (t)
atlas obscura
badaude
bad british architecture
bifurcated rivets
the big picture
blanketfort
bldg blog
blissblog
b'blog of 'israeli
boing boing
b******* to architecture
books from finland
booooooom
bottom drawer (x)
bouphonia
bowblog
bradley's almanac
buchanansmith
butterpaper
cabinet magazine
cabinet of wonders
candyland (x)
cartoonist (the)
cartype
caterina
city of sound
city comforts
collision detection
conscientious
continuity in architecture
coromandal
core77
coroflot
cosmopolitan scum
coudal
creative review blog
curious expeditions
daily jive
dancing bears (x)
daniel eatock
dark roasted blend
david thompson
death by architecture
delicious
delicious ghost
deputy dog (x)
derelict london
designboom
design bivouac
design observer
dezain
dezeen
diamond geezer
digitally distributed environments
diskant
efimera
eliot shepard
ephemera
excitement machine
eye of the goof
fantastic journal
fed by birds
feuilleton
ftrain
fireland
first drafts
five foot way
Ffffound!
further
future feeder
gadgets.fosfor.se
gapers block
giornale nuovo
greg
grow-a-brain
haddock
halvorsen
hat projects
hchamp
hello beautiful!
hot wheels
htc experiments
hyperkit
hyperreal and supercool
i like
iconeye.com
incoming signals
infinite thought
inhabitat
the interior prospect
irregular orbit
iso50
jean snow
joe moran's blog
josh rubin
judit bellostes
kanye west
kazys
keep left london
kosmograd
kottke
landliving
languagehat
largehearted boy
last plane to jakarta
lewism
life without buildings
lightningfield (x)
limited language (x)
literary saloon
loca london
london architecture diary
london review of books
low tech magazine
made by machines for people
made in china '69
magCulture
making light
mananarama
map room
material world
mcsweeneys
men's vogue daily
metafilter
metafilter projects
microkhan
militant esthetix
millennium people
mimoa
miss representation
mocoloco
moosifer jones' grouch
monocle
monoscope
mountain 7
mrs deane
music thing (x)
myrtle street
netdiver
no, 2 self
nothing to see here
noisy decent graphics
noticias arquitectura
NTK
nyclondon
obscure store
obsessive consumption
one plus one equals three
oobject
open brackets (x)
ouno design
overmorgen (x)
panopticist
parenthetically's
partIV (x)
pcl linkdump
the peel tapes
perpenduum
personism
platforma arquitectura
plasticbag (x)
pointingit (x)
polar intertia
plep
print fetish
quiet feather (x)
raccoon
rashomon
re: design news
reference library
rock, paper, shotgun
rodcorp
rogue semiotics
rolu
rossignol
rotational
route 79
russell davies
sachs report
salon
samuel pepys' diary
school of life
scrubbles
segal books
sensing architecture
sensory impact
sesquipedalist
sevensevennine
shape and colour
sharpeworld
shift
shorpy
sit down man, you're...
slow web
snopes
space and culture
spambot_stopper
speak up
spillway
spitting image
strange attractor
strange harvest
strange maps
strawdogs
subterranea britannica
subtopia
sugar-n-spicy
supercolossal
superspatial
swapatorium
swiss miss
tecnologia obsoleta
tecznotes
telstar logistics
tesugen
textism
that's how it happened
the art of where
the deep north
the letter
the model city
the moment blog
the morning news
the nonist
the northern light
the one train
the serif
the silver lining
the white noise revisited
they rule
things to look at
this isn't London
tom phillips
tomorrow's thoughts today
transpontine
turquoise days (x)
typographica
urban cartography
urbantick
vitamin q
voyou desoeuvre
vwork
wallpaper
we make money not art
we will become
weblogs.com
weburbanist
where (x)
white noise of everyday life
wikipedia
wikio
witold riedel
whole lotta nothing
wood s lot
wrong distance
xblog


weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The skyscraper in the landscape still presents an undeniably seductive image. The above view, by the French firm K-Architectures, is simply a modern version of imagery that was first hawked about by Le Corbusier some eighty or so years ago and was subsequently adopted by an enormous number of architects around the world, a totem of progress that was usually destined to multiply inexorably, finding its ultimate expression in Manhattan (see the Skyscraper Museum's Visual Index to the Virtual Archives project). Alternatively, the tower could be treated as iconic, stand-alone object, an approach that is making a comeback, in the UK especially.

The iconic tower also serves to accentuate certain aspects of urbanity, reducing the existing low-rise city fabric to a quasi-urban state. To be tall is to be modern, a means of conveying sensation and power that has existed ever since the Eiffel Tower imposed a new viewpoint on the landscape (see Louis-Ernest Lheureux's Monument to the Glory of the French Revolution, Bird's Eye View, for example), although admittedly the Montgolfiers got there first.

The city can be subverted in other ways. Just as the tall building implies modernity stalking over the landscape of the old, the accretions of time and layer upon layer of fabric and infrastructure imply hidden worlds below. The recent death of science fiction writer Nigel Kneale (via), reminded us of his best-known creation, Dr Bernard Quatermass, scourge of alien entities who had somehow made it to Earth to terrorise early television viewers in the 1950s. A later film re-make, 1967's Quatermass and the Pit, tells the story of a strange object unearthed deep beneath London, as construction workers on a new tube line uncover what appears to be an alien spacecraft.

Kneale was a master at evoking unknown and unseen horrors, infusing a form of science then in its infancy with what must have seemed a very plausible terror. The original Quatermass plays were transmitted live from Alexandra Palace, a technique that was revisited last year on the 50th anniversary of the originals. Towards the end of the Hammer version of Quatermass and the Pit, an alien presence looms over the London roofscapes, looking for all the world like a contemporary architectural experiment - a blob-stroke-blur out to impose itself on the urban psyche.

*

Triangular Sun, a weblog / you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Alternatively, you get given lots of money by monkeys, and you only spend peanuts. Or something / Quartz City, a weblog. Many interesting links, including this Microsimulation of road traffic (java), which is just fabulous / projects by the artist Bik van der Pol / Lights in the Dark, a photo-essay at tmn by Dan Witz / Noisy Decent Graphics, a weblog with a thing about visual insensitivity.

All change in museology. To Timbuktu, and beyond, Jonathan Jones comes out fighting for Nouvel's much-derided Musée du Quai Branly, arguing that the lack of explication makes for a more powerful experience than its equivalent at, say, the British Museum. Elsewhere, Roberta Smith in the NYT applauds Tate Modern and boos loudly at the new MoMA: Tate Modern’s Rightness Versus MoMA’s Wrongs. Apparently, '...all food purchased at MoMA still involves waiters'.