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 03, 2006


SpaceShipTwo has been developed from Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne, winner of the X-Prize in 2004. Commissioned by Richard Branson's venture Virgin Galactic, it seems that space is finally on the verge of becoming a commercial concern, with the first paying flights kicking off in around 2008. As a result perhaps those industrial designers who have longed dreamed of fulfilling their futuristic visions will finally get to see their ideas built.

It's unlikely. When the mock-up of the sub-orbital spaceplane was unveiled we were not entirely surprised to see that Philippe Starck was responsible for the concept interiors and logo. Starck has the high-end of gentle corporate Neo-expressionism pretty much sewn up, but his work has never had an explicit sci-fi edge. When one considers the architects and designers who have theorised extensively on the shape of the future (ever since Raymond Loewy's work on Skylab), it seems strange not to reward those for whom space has long held an aesthetic fascination.

Flick through the portfolios of Luigi Colani or Future Systems, and you'll see firms who have not only both consulted, but who embrace the relationship between new form and function unlike any other. Even Marc Newson (who likes to strut around in Soviet-era cosmonaut suits) or Softroom have an edge over Starck - the latter have Virgin Upper Class lounge at Heathrow (plus plane interiors) under their belt already. All of the above arguably already laid the groundwork for what we think a space ship interior should look like.

However, like all ventures that lag significantly behind their fictionalised counterparts, space design will inevitably suffer from terrible deja vu - there's nothing that a thousand airbrush illustrators or special effects supervisors haven't already conjured up. The reality can't possibly hope to live up to what's come before, with all those generation ships and the fertile minds of everyone from Chesley Bonestell to Chris Foss (first link to the huge Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, and Spaceflight). True, other ideas come around every once in a while, like the Orbital Hotel concept lives on in various forms (and once associated, as in 2001, with Hilton). Space Tourism used to be a sure-fire bet for the realisation of outlandish visions, but on Starck's showing, we're no longer so sure.

*

We have an enormous amount of respect (and professional jealousy) for Cabinet Magazine, which has managed to breeze to 23 issues of never-less-than fascinating, deeply researched content. Did you know, for example, that razor magnate King Gillette once dreamed of a Metropolis? / one from the office of dubious statistics: can it really be true that '8% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school'? (via digg)

The Happy New House; watch as a Neil Denari-designed contemporary house emerges from the ground (via archinect) / all about Astana, 'a post-Soviet City' in Kazakhstan, home of Norman Foster's Pyramid of Peace (a structure so bizarre that the more you think about it, the less rational it becomes) / more and more people are surviving plane crashes (although luck still seems to have a lot to do with it).

Google Mars (via Plasticbag) / photos by Jonah Jones / Oboylephoto, which links to Exposed Photography and Tim Edensor's British Industrial Ruins, both worth exploring / Falling Houses by Peter Garfield (via Coudal), which does exactly what it says on the tin (wikipedia's etymology for that loathsome phrase).

All about interactive eight track cartridges. Possibly, no definitely, a hoax. But a pleasing concept nonetheless / Mr Libeskind's new extension for the Denver Art Museum: good outside, yet bad inside / Airstream's 75th Anniversary Travel Trailer, thanks to David at Vintage Trailering. See also Vintage Vacations, tucked away on the Isle of Wight.

Little People are everywhere (thanks, Ludwig). The leading maker of tiny figures is the German company Preiser - some of their sets are works of art - even their catalogue looks like a monograph/ Thames Traffic, at Bottom Drawer. There's a similar image showing flights over the city, but it's not yielding to our google skills. See these flights into Heathrow (at Stephen Boyle's page) / we haven't said it yet, but we feel the need to point out that The Morning News' redesign is wonderful (especially like this feature).