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
external links
2 or 3 things I know
adam curtis
agence eureka
aggregat 4/5/6
alice the architect
all about nothing (x)
all things considered (x)
ambit magazine
and another thing
apothecary's drawer
arch daily
architects' journal
architect's newspaper blog
architectural review
architectural ruminations
art fag city
art is everywhere
art newspaper
arts journal
atelier a+d
atlas (t)
atlas obscura
bad british architecture
bifurcated rivets
the big picture
bldg blog
b'blog of 'israeli
boing boing
b******* to architecture
books from finland
bottom drawer (x)
bradley's almanac
cabinet magazine
cabinet of wonders
candyland (x)
cartoonist (the)
city of sound
city comforts
collision detection
continuity in architecture
cosmopolitan scum
creative review blog
curious expeditions
daily jive
dancing bears (x)
daniel eatock
dark roasted blend
david thompson
death by architecture
delicious ghost
deputy dog (x)
derelict london
design bivouac
design observer
diamond geezer
digitally distributed environments
eliot shepard
excitement machine
eye of the goof
fantastic journal
fed by birds
first drafts
five foot way
future feeder
gapers block
giornale nuovo
hat projects
hello beautiful!
hot wheels
htc experiments
hyperreal and supercool
i like
incoming signals
infinite thought
the interior prospect
irregular orbit
jean snow
joe moran's blog
josh rubin
judit bellostes
kanye west
keep left london
largehearted boy
last plane to jakarta
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
making light
map room
material world
men's vogue daily
metafilter projects
militant esthetix
millennium people
miss representation
moosifer jones' grouch
mountain 7
mrs deane
music thing (x)
myrtle street
no, 2 self
nothing to see here
noisy decent graphics
noticias arquitectura
obscure store
obsessive consumption
one plus one equals three
open brackets (x)
ouno design
overmorgen (x)
partIV (x)
pcl linkdump
the peel tapes
platforma arquitectura
plasticbag (x)
pointingit (x)
polar intertia
print fetish
quiet feather (x)
re: design news
reference library
rock, paper, shotgun
rogue semiotics
route 79
russell davies
sachs report
samuel pepys' diary
school of life
segal books
sensing architecture
sensory impact
shape and colour
sit down man, you're...
slow web
space and culture
speak up
spitting image
strange attractor
strange harvest
strange maps
subterranea britannica
swiss miss
tecnologia obsoleta
telstar logistics
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
turquoise days (x)
urban cartography
vitamin q
voyou desoeuvre
we make money not art
we will become
where (x)
white noise of everyday life
witold riedel
whole lotta nothing
wood s lot
wrong distance

weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ever wondered where those elaborate fantasy diagrams of computers came from, with pipes and pulleys, conveyor belts and puffs of steam? Aside from the Heath Robinson connection, there once really was a machine that created visualisations using water: the history of the The Phillips Economic Computer at Computer Resurrection, the Bulletin of the Computer Conservation Society. This 'hydro-mechanical analogue computer [was] designed to model the effects on total national income of a variety of factors including taxes and government spending, saving and investment, and imports and exports. The movement of money is represented by the flow of water and the accumulation of money (stocks) is represented by water collecting in tanks.' (our emphasis). Here's a diagram.

Good Magazine compiles a list of the The 51 Best Magazines Ever (via kottke). Related, Top 40 magazine covers of all time. Some intersection on that particular Venn diagram / Birnbaum chats to Martin Amis, again, over at tmn / beautiful photographs by Rowan Lubke. The images of the Corviale in Rome give some idea of the housing project's vast size / more photos, this time by Anna Schori.

On-going project to collect and organize envelope security patterns from around the world / what's the most famous typo? / Compositions is a new blog pulling up choice samples from online architectural portfolios / the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, a model railway. Here's the axonometric / interior illustrations from the War of the Worlds.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Project Sanguine helps make our point (yesterday) with this Millennium Showdown: Chicago vs London. Digital technology comes to Chicago's rescue (the linking piece being Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate at Millennium Park and his Parabolic Waters statue, shown outside the dome). Found, a BBC story on the Dome, nearing completion. Then, over a year later, 'Dome Art Goes Home', which reports that Kapoor's sculpture was '"drained and boarded off with rudimentary metal fencing" less than a week after it had been unveiled.'

Matchbox labels, a stunning collection (via the quiet feather). Once again, space comes to the fore / Help the Police, inspired / Garbage Night, Anthony Doerr on 'America's capacity for garbage-making' at tmn.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York / Arounder Magazine, a Quicktime VR view on the world / a collection of screenshots that provide web design inspiration / Data is Nature, a weblog on the intersection of art and mathematics (broadly speaking). Beautifully presented, lots to read.

New pictures by Andreas Gursky, at /, all about the wax cylinder, complete with sound clips / Atomic Heritage, our nuclear history.

The Hatto Saga rumbles on. For more info see The Hatto Hoax / Twee Fashion, revenge of the sweater girls, geek style / lost cities around the world / so what if 2000AD came true ? / the Grey Gynog Press

Tin House, a literary magazine / and-made, design objects / artlantis, works and photos by Jonathan van Wunnik / Automobiles de Luxe, upscale marques / the PhotoSynth is a remarkable tech demo.

Is New Islington working? The Guardian ponders on the first year of Urban Splash's bold Manchester initiative / 100 Cigarettes, a selection of weblogs / New National Office, a rigorous approach to workplace research, including a history of the office and a set of office paradigms.

Monday, February 26, 2007
Seven years on, and the Millennium Dome is largely remembered as a failure on every respect, from the much-pilloried Millennium Experience itself through to the recent failure of the plan to host a Supercasino in the structure. Instead, it will open as The 02, a 20,000 seater venue and 'entertainment complex', due for completion mid-2007. Perhaps everything would have been different if technological development was just 4 or 5 years more advanced. In 2000, sales of digital cameras were minimal; according to Wikipedia (we know, you should never cite the w), the first digital camera in the modern sense (i.e. with a screen on the back) was Casio's QV-10 of 1995, which saved bitmaps and produced pictures like this. And it had to be sent back to Casio if the power failed during the image writing process (more DC sales stats).

As a result, the Millennium Dome tag on flickr links to just over 1,000 images. 'Millennium Experience' returns none, and there's only a paltry selection on Google's image search. In the absence of weblogs and flickr tags and the whole electronic buzz that surrounds major events in the modern age, the Dome quietly foundered in a swamp of bad publicity, with no grass roots campaign or web presence to speak of, no online previews by insiders, no weblog accounts of family days out, no flickr pools of the shows or pavilions. We reckon the Festival of Britain has a stronger online presence than the Millennium Experience, which is danger of slipping into digital oblivion. Just as 'you're nobody in America unless you're on television', its absence from the web has effectively wiped the Dome from the collective memory.

From RRP's website. 'Although more than 6 million people visited the attraction during 2000, today it stands empty, its internal elements – which accounted for most of the total project cost – destroyed. There are plans to re-open the venue as a leisure complex.'


Other things. Buy a Remote Property / the remote, chick-leg borne hut of Baba Yaga / The Piracy Calculator - 'what's your illegal hoard worth?' / Frank's Compulsive Guide to Postal Addresses. Related, and worth revisiting, Zipdecode, an interactive US map by Ben Fry. His Civilian Casualties project is worth visiting as well / Bertrand Russell's The Good Citizen's Alphabet at Design Observer. Also at DO, Allan McCollum's The SHAPES Project: 'his goal is to make enough shapes, assuming a population of approximately 9.1 billion by the year 2050, so that everyone on the planet can have one' / Building Design's website has expanded to include a Cool Wall (contemporary must-have), the Carbuncle Cup and the essential Ian Martin / also via BD, the Spanish Building Maker: instant 'barcode facade' generator.

'Driving is Murder: The Automobile, Violence, and the City in Film Noir', an essay by John Hill at archidose: 'the automobile is by its very nature a violent entity via a break from a body-centered way of life to a machine-centered way of life' / Goldfish, the online literary journal of Goldsmiths College. Read Evidence, a short story by Suzy Johnson / Architecture in Rovaniemi, Finland, part of Alvar Aalto in Lapland (which sounds like a good title for a children's book) / abstract the day, a visual weblog / a site devoted to the work of photographer Ellen von Unwerth (many images nsfw).

Freshly posted in projects, a small collection of Soviet-era stamps. There's nothing especially revolutionary or unique about these sets of scanned pages, taken verbatim from a couple of albums purchased in St Petersburg's tourist market a couple of years ago. They're just great objects, brightly little coloured squares of history, each one encapsulating their era and aspirations. Soviet stamp sites are all over the web, showing an undiminished nostalgia for the visual identity of the former USSR, and how this has been swiftly translated into a money-making opportunity. Albums like these are compiled specifically for the tourist market.

See also Bostworld, 'Trash, Treasure, Oddities, Obsessions and Obligations', which recently posted Stamp Collection, Part One: Germany, which looks at the philatelic response to hyperinflation / 'Los Angeles in 1947 was a social powderkeg. War-damaged returning soldiers were threatened by a new kind of independent female, who in turn found her freedoms disappearing as male workers returned to the factories. These conflicts worked themselves out in dark ways.' / Flatland : a romance of many dimensions, Edwin Abbott's 1884 classic available for download at the's text page.

Are the government really considering pulling the plug on the Red Arrows? You can search the list of petitions to the government online, including the biggest. It's a snapshot of the irritants that plague everyday life and which, in many cases, have become personal crusades. Some are poignant, like the petition to save Manor Garden Allotments, 'due to be demolished to make way for a four-week footpath during the 2012 Games despite the land being given in perpetuity'. The gardens - a self-described 'fly in the Olympic ointment' - have their own weblog,

Saturday, February 24, 2007
GDR Souvenirs - the socialist object as official gift (via me-fi). We were reminded of the piece on diplomatic gifts in things 15. See also East Germany Lives On - As A Tiny Carribean Island (via kottke, which appears to have had a nice redesign). We've managed to put up another piece from things 15, Tim Travis's epic Our Lady of Found Objects a dense trawl through the venerated objects of Catholicism.

Advanced Geometry of Islamic Art / after digging out these images by parenthetically's Angela Voulangas from the depths of our hard drive, we were inspired to re-visit her excellent weblog. The Vibrant Line is a beautifully-illustrated post about fashion illustration in Vogue, now a long-lost art.

Photography by James Ball / Frankie Roberto's weblog / plenty of laughs to be had at the Conservapedia / the original Gerald McBoing Boing cartoon, from 1950 / around Tate Britain's Hogarth Exhibition.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Long exposures of iconic video games, a project by Rosemarie Fiore (via gatsu gatsu) / graffiti in Italy / The Practical Archivist, a weblog / Rob Hinchcliffe, a linklog, with a monthly Found Sound download, 'a mini mixtape for every month, each of which will be made up of any obscure, unusual, fun and interesting audio snippets I've discovered online over the previous four weeks' / we've been here before very recently, The Necessity for Ruins, 'an exploration of Philadelphia's built environment'. But with epic posts like 'Density Standards, 'Commercial Hegemony' and the Suburbanization of Philadelphia', it's worth going back regularly. The post charts the growth of the city's suburbs - against the wishes of the planners.

Hydrology vs. the Apocalypse at Pruned, on dams, shifting axes and more / watch Patrick Keillor's London online (via i like / the weblog of the Architectural Record / global statistics, The World as Flatland / SwapXchangeSouthwark, the Freecycle of South London / Stickbackplastic, home to designers Joe Nunn and Corinne Quinn / they link to Classic Rendez-vous, dedicated to 'Lightweight Vintage Bicycles, circa 1900 - 1983' / After Gutenberg, a weblog focusing on sustainable design issues / what did the FutureLiner sell for?

A little sequencer / the wilder shores. Buy a mock baby. Very creepy / My UFO blog / Itchy Robot, a weblog with a found typography section / MIT's Tangible Media Lab, a wealth of projects including a robot dog / 1930s wedding photos, one of many archive pages at the fashion era portal.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What exactly is the above? Located at a Latitude of 62°10'24.38"N and a Longitute of 141° 8'55.35"W, somewhere in Alaska, it joins a long list of blurred and distorted locations. For example, this blurry box in Russia. Sadly, it looks like it's just missing data / Toponymy, a weblog / Shining Silence, a repository for various things, like the Captain Beefheart Page, Home Page Replica, a collection of BeOS applications (more about BeOS, even more at this GUI gallery, including the gruesome Microsoft Bob) and the Alphabet Project.

The Library of a Pop Culture Junkie. See also Celebrity Dolls / the houses of Connell, Ward and Lucas. Fray Bentos has also done a pretty good job of cataloging the modernist houses around Bristol and the West. The Bristol before and after set is also worth a browse. Pretty miserable stuff.

The whole Now and Then pool is our new obssession. We also visited the images of 60s London in the Charles W.Cushman Photograph Collection (homepage) at Indiana University. Charles Weever Cushman, 'an amateur photographer and Indiana University alumnus, [who] bequeathed approximately 14,500 Kodachrome color slides to his alma mater,' has inspired the Cushman Revisited and Cushman's visits revisited pools. Cushman's pictures were pretty straightforward tourist snaps, so much hasn't changed enormously. Interesting to see Piccadilly Circus in 1961.

Some gems: New Gouldston Street, schoolboys along Bishopsgate, Covent Garden market in full swing, bomb damage at London Wall, St Thomas' Hospital, prior to redevelopment. Earlier plans had called for total redevelopment; the result is somewhat piecemeal, although the recent construction of the The Evelina Children’s Hospital has made the site a bit more coherent. Evelina history. Anyone want to have a crack at identifying the location of these aerial photographs? I, II, III, IV and V, all taken in the mid 60s.

Another image library, the Hulme Family Collection. 'W.C. Hume was a surveyor and Chief commissioner for Lands for Queensland'. We used an image from this collection to illustrate the piece 'Dividing Australia: The story of the rabbit-proof fence' in things 14 / windswept, empty but strangely modern, an image of London Airport (actually passenger building three), taken by Henk Snoek and on display at Ribapix / amazing post about Predjamski Castle in Slovenia / Raymond on Colour / so is Wikipedia just a refuge for the lazy? Spot the link back here...

Joined-up thinking at work, 'Spectrum plan threatens radio mic'. See the United Kingdom Frequency Allocation Table (2004, pdf). Large chunks of the spectrum can be handed over to the MoD at the drop of a hat, it seems / 40 under 40, photographic portraits of British architects in their studios by Tim Soar / many, many concept drawings and interior mock-ups of trains / Matrixsynth, all about the synthesiser / the work of Benedict Radcliffe (who also works with Stand). Better pictures here at beeker ideas. Our favourite piece is called 'Straight Atta Dalston'.

Monday, February 19, 2007
Stephen Bayley on the Lexus LS460 (also seen here), 'A car that parks itself? Now that's truly modern art'. It's absurdly easy to search for Bayley's stuff on the Observer site; he's always throwing in references that you just know no-one else has bothered to cram into a newspaper column since time began; the automata of Pierre Jacquet-Droz, Calvin Trillin's Barnett Frummer is an Unbloomed Flower, or Leonard Koren's Wet: the Journal of Gourmet Bathing (which, he tells us, lasted from 1976 to 1981). We picture Bayley strolling about his South London home plucking tomes from groaning shelves almost at random, leafing through the index until he finds some small nugget that can be grafted into his weekly musing on design. A good life.

Wet looks suitably culty, a kind of West Coast Interview ('the crystal ball of pop' - big image). Koren's bio tells us that 'While a teenager [he] designed and built a full-scale Japanese tea house out of scavenged materials'; he also created the mural 'Beverly Hills Siddhartha' - these are things that exist on the fringes of Google, but spin you off into other uncharted (or infrequently charted) waters - the counterculture timeline, or the MCLA (Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles). Koren also wrote a book called Arranging Things: A Rhetoric of Object Placement, a search for the 'the explicable roots of great arrangement'.

AI Alert, artificial intelligence in the news / Google Map mash-ups / the Pocoyo blog / modern plans, a very new architecture weblog / melocotron, technology and culture / Florida Inside Out magazine, glossy realtor stuff / Silversprite is the 'librarian at the end of the world' (the Outer Hebrides). The post on the possible Orkney Tunnel is excellent. From there we reach the International Tunnelling Association, 'towards an improved use of underground space'.

The Design Disease at Noisy Decent Graphics, via me-fi. The original post has now mutated into a flickr group. Related, the bad design and bad typography tags / the barn find to end all barn finds (also via me-fi. More barn finds / is motoring the new smoking? Stand well back / multiples, photos by eshu / post-wallpaper, arkiketur magazine on monocle / Arquitectura Hoje, a weblog / Catherine Bujold's Moonbase Alpha: 'Hopefully someday my entire house will look like Alpha or close' / nosing around designer's houses at design sponge / the owls are not what they seem.

Desolation Row, ruined residential futures (via BB). Slightly dubious swimsuit thing going on there / the ghost town that is Gary, Indiana / globalisation and the car industry, with a neat expanding pie chart that shows the bulging chunk of the US market taken up by Japanese manufacturers. At current rates of growth, the Japanese will have more than 50% of the market by 2015 / Tomorrow's Transportation: New Systems for the Urban Future, a 1968 proposal for a Personal Rapid Transit system. Great pictures.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A few connections made at BLDG BLOG, in a post entitled The Museum of Assassination, speculating that the recent sale of the JFK window (sorry, 'Assassination Shooters Perch') was an 'act of structural burglary', something akin to Elgin's purloined Marbles or Sir John Soane's smorgasbord of casts and caryatids, or even the Temple Bar, which found its way back into the City of London from its temporary home at Theobalds Park. See also London Bridge, spanning Lake Havasu, Arizona. (Lead image shows a Marble block from the west frieze of the Temple of Athena Nike, The Acropolis, Athens, Greece, around 425 BC, collection of the British Museum).

Amrita Sher-Gil, indian painter and subject of Salman Rushdie's article, The Line of Beauty. 'She was denied old age, bleak or otherwise, but neither her exuberant, magnificent self, nor the work it made, contained anything for which she needed to apologise.' Sher-Gil is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at Tate Modern.

Corb v2.0, architect Andrew Maynard's suggestion for a kinetic housing development, where 'every apartment changes its location every couple of days'. What if you went out and lost your house? Slightly Archigram in its ambitions (shades of Walking City, bigger image here at Fabio Femino's sprawling Futurologia site), even of Richard Horden's Ski Haus project. Alternatively, just buy a Gypsy Caravan / related, Tiny Living, products for small spaces (via Sachs).

Ballard's bibliography, amongst others at Fantastic Fiction / compare DVD titles at DVD Beaver / The Higher Evolution of off-set waist guitars, 'a tribute to Fender's Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars'. Lovely. Includes a virtual Jaguar / Compared to What?, Detroit, Flint, Gary, Chicago, East St. Louis, and Cincinnati, 2006 A.D., by Wes Janz at Archinect / Retro to Go, infuriating 'guide to all things hip and retro'.

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Cities and Sand, on the massive push towards starchitecture in the Middle East. 'Frank Gehry is the modern equivalent [of Le Corbusier] - a non-cartesian carpetbagger' / China takes DIY approach to mountain greenery. Along with the Huangyangtang Mystery, China is fast becoming a world leader in unexplainable land art. Move over Michael Heizer / a history of the Barbican, in images. See also Phil Gyford's Barbican set, which contains some historic images. This inspired us to undertake a bit of flickr archaelogy: London Punks 1976 -1984, photos by Andy Rosen / a set of concert photos by rustovision / London railway stations, taken in the mid 70s by loose_grip_99, who has also put up this epic journey, 'From Thorne to Beirut and return by Minivan, boat, plane and train. March to August 1972' / 163 Beach Huts / VIP, a book by Mark Alor Powell.

Stanislav Petrov, one of the unsung heroes of the twentieth century, or a hapless bystander elevated to the status of folk legend by our need to humanise an era of faceless international antagonism / Isamu Noguchi's To Be Viewed From Mars, from 1947. Very ahead of his time / a virtual fly-through of the forthcoming CCTV Beijing.

Computer setups through the years, a flickr set / First glimpse of Monocle, which hit the newsstands yesterday / clever photography by Seb Przd / true type lies, a weblog / ArtQuest, resources about shows, sales, studios, etc., for artists / more Andreas Gursky / Spectacular City, contemporary urban photography exhibition.

The fake archaeology of Shinichi Fujimara. See also the Unmuseum's collection of Odd Archaeology,'s collection of Archæological Forgeries, and finally an article called Archeological Cover-ups by one David Hatcher Childress ('known as the real-life Indiana Jones') that includes the allegation that 'a former employee of the Smithsonian, who was dismissed for defending the view of diffusionism in the Americas (i.e. the heresy that other ancient civilisations may have visited the shores of North and South America during the many millenia before Columbus), alleged that the Smithsonian at one time had actually taken a barge full of unusual artefacts out into the Atlantic and dumped them in the ocean.'

Magic Pencil, children's book illustration today, an online exhibition at the British Council. Art by Toby Ziegler in their collection / examples of bad design / tanning booth... in a van / 'most spiking cases 'just drunk'' / car brochure collection / design projects by Alice Wang / a collection of diminutive names / Conrad Bakker's Untitled Projects / still collecting toys? Release the Freaks will sate your desire for finely detailed collectables that most children will not be remotely interested in / another grown-up toy, the original Pink Panther mobile, up for sale on eBay.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What is popular? John King, writing about America's Top 150 Structures, discovers that majority of 'the list is the architectural equivalent of comfort food'. More interesting - for their omission - are the '98 Buildings That Didn't Make The Cut'. Another skirmish in architecture's ongoing battle with populism, implying that interest in the 'instant icon' style of building is nothing compared to the affection garnered by enduring structures. The above picture is a detail of the Golden Gate Bridge under construction in the mid 1930s, taken from Corey's Californian Postcard collection. A smaller, but arguably more dramatic, image taken at around the same time (from Photos of Old America).

'Becky's Gone Bananas ....And Broccoli Too!', an obsession with fruit labels, via tofuhut / a German tank manual / the early days of Nick Cave, a collection of Boys Next Door / Birthday Party vinyl / what's new in the architectural avant-garde and world of form creation at hipercroquis / a collection of strange, gimmicky houses. No real difference between a SITE-inspired inverted structure and the desert blooms of Snohetta's latest extravaganza; both exist primarily to titillate.

Technology news. Alarm clock bomb / a collection of vintage mobile phones, via the X-series blog (a relatively good example of the corporate weblog) / Iraqis use Google Earth to survive war / Tales of Future Past, the internet continues to exist as a repository for our failed visions of tomorrow (via me-fi) / What objects gain value through use and time? / the National Cold War Exhibition in the UK.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Philippe Chancel is yet another person to have got into North Korea, a destination which is serving up dramatic, colourful and always troubling images. Andreas Gursky has also turned his eye on the Arirang Festival, one of the great human spectacles. Unfortunately, the fundamental focus of all this imagery - the sheer volume of people subsumed to one giant task - means all imagery of it suffers from a certain sameness. Related, can photographers by plagiarists?

Rebecca Mead's new book, One Perfect Day ('The Selling of the American Wedding') looks like a Jessica Mitford-esque attack on the wedding industry (via kottke), expanded from her 2003 article 'You're Getting Married: The Wal-Martization of the bridal business'.

Very big ships moving very big things at fogonazos, via me-fi / dramatic nocturnal landscape photos over at hupix / recent work by photographer Ali Truter / Global economic data turned into 3D representations. Via the Map Room / Macros, 'a (possibly) humorous phrase, action, or concept with a definitive source'. For example, 'Yee-haw, Bo Duke!' is a 'Prelude to imagined high speed automotive stunt.'

The Radical Ambiguity of Stalinist Architecture, over at Nasty, Brutalist and Short, culminating in the unearthing of the 1938 film New Moscow on YouTube (if you can be said to 'unearth' something on YouTube): 'Made a couple of years after the vanquishing of Constructivism and at the height of the purges, it imagines a future that evokes the lumbering attempts at historical continuity of London's 80s, the visions of a mutant New York in Metropolis, and the neo-classical desolation in de Chirico, and seems to think this is a thing to celebrate.'

Monday, February 05, 2007

A short history of barbed wire, the devil's rope. You can also visit the Antique Barbed Wire Society and read the The Barbed Wire Collector Magazine. For this invention, we have to thank one Ichabod Washburn for 'drawn iron wire' and Joseph Glidden as the 'Father of Barbed Wire'.

Urban Knot Theory, BLDG BLOG on the architecture and environments of the subterranean city. More drains at Vanishing Point / The Step-By-Step Process of Building a Landscape of Freshly Fallen Hills into an Industrious Winged City / work by Bertrand Goldberg / Transmaterial, a weblog /

Futures, past and present. upcoming automobiles, a wikipedia list / will there by a return to sail? / go walking on the moon with these panoramas (via kottke) / read a full list of Bucky's patents.

The end of a little bit of history as the haddock directory closes / incredible image of Dubai / Dulce Pinzon's Superhero series / paintings by Vicken Parsons / thick fog over London, last December, an image at NASA's Natural Hazards gallery / another collection of hazards, Armed America, 'portraits of Americans and their guns' (via). Some people live a minimal kind of life.

Writing Design Criticism on fashion shows in high culture spaces. The piece mentions the new ICA Boston by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (project description). No mention of the V&A's controversial Kylie: The Exhibition, a show that 'becomes like an endless fashion magazine spread. Anyone fancy reviewing it for us?

French merchant navy history (we think) / related, the salvage of the Tricolor / The 59th Carnival of the Godless at Aardvarchaeology / a tag cloud of imagery from the Rare Books of the Missouri Botanical Garden Library / A Million Penguins, 'a collaborative, wiki-based creative writing exercise', which asks 'Can a collective create a believable fictional voice? How does a plot find any sort of coherent trajectory when different people have a different idea about how a story should end – or even begin?'

The ARCH, a weblog that 'explores the convergence of the metaverse with the real life practice of architecture'. Ultimately, it boils down to this: can Second Life be used as a real world professional tool for architects and planners? From our vantage point (without a presence in the virtual community), the answer would have to be a resounding no. Turns out that there is a burgeoning community of design-obsessed commentators circling the infamous on-line community; see also Virtual Suburbia, 'the architecture of Second Life, reviewed on the fly'. The question has to be why.

Beautiful urban photos by Masck / we like the look of Chris Burden's Requiem for the 80s (proposed for LA). Burden is on a hanging machinery trip at the moment / Brian Rose's Journal, New York and urbanism /, design and community (e.g. New Poor, New Slums).

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Monorails in History, including our favourite, the Bennie Railplane, a bullet-shaped system that looks as if it's come straight out of Jules Verne. A short Railplane film (requires Realplayer), at the Scotland on Film website. The description of the prototype system at Dewi's Trains, Trams and Trolleys website includes a set of photographs taken in 1950, complete with railcar still in place, two decades after the demonstration track was abandoned.

A new world of electronics, the SEG Electronics Market in Shenzhen, China, at Bunnie Studios (via haddock): '... within an hour's drive north is probably 200 factories that can take any electronics idea and pump them out by the literal boatload... and these are no backward factories' / folding chair.

Families and professions in Japan, the work of Bruce Osborn over at Pingmag / the Weissenhof Museum, a virtual visit to Stuttgart's seminal modern housing estate (1927) / Le Divan Fumoir Bohemien, a chaotic but endlessly interesting stream of imagery (in French. Thanks PK) / Keytars and Violins, an mp3 blog / the MTV 120 Minutes playlist archive.