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 30, 2007


Loom Studio's 12 Blocks is a brave attempt at creating a tesselating set of construction blocks, a means of creating variety and innovation in the US brick market ('Eighteen million tons of concrete block are created each year in the United States'). The intention is to allow architects and builders to create walls 'with more integrity, efficiency and life; one that might offer a maximum of effect with a minimum of means.'

Their myriad possibilities for pattern bring to mind a collision between the complex prefabricated blockwork employed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the more self-conscious folding, woven surfaces that are fashionable in contemporary architecture and design. See the work of Foreign Office Architects; the studio's principal, Farshid Moussavi, has written of the role of technology in generating contemporary ornament. Consider also the complex constructions of Richard Sweeney or Eric Gjerde (more).



Ultimately, though, 12 blocks represents a step back from computer-generated complexity, a trend towards procedural architecture that is epitomised by works like the Mercedes Benz Museum by UN Studio. This folded, winding structure is an exercise in frenzied computational geometry and intertwined planes: without the computer, these forms would be impossible ('It was also a building where computer modelling allowed the firm to manage the whole design and production process continuously, updating any change throughout the model within minutes,', from Kester Rattenbury's recent review, 'The belief in unfolding possibilities').

FLW allegedly drew inspiration from the Froebel blocks he played with in his nursery, a bit of architectural myth-making alluded to by his biographer Brendan Gill and enthusiastically embraced (see here for example, or this 1995 Froebel blocks exercise). Yet although Wright at his most inventive underpins modernist invention, the role of such fundamental forms in architecture - the triangle, block, the occasional circle - was most apparent in the proto-post-modernism of someone like Aldo Rossi.



Strange that Modernism should stress the importance of the 'essential object' to its visual lexicon when 'classic modernism' doesn't fare well when it's pared right down to fundamentals. If proportion is everything, an I-beam or a concrete block holds very little magic when compared to one of Wright's intensely patterned panels. The artefacts of the glass and steel era tend not to be building fabric but furnishings. Taking the Froebel block as a starting point inevitably leads you down the path of massing and composition, rather than transparency, space and light. Lego, for example, is a poor way to reproduce modernism (I, II, III), but makes for a jaunty, Sullivan-esque skyscraper or two.



Monday, October 22, 2007


The state of Late Period Modernism. Ed's Shed, the story of a house, a neat box of timber and concrete. Utterly contemporary (designed by David Adjaye, no less), yet also timeless, with a vague sense of drifting from era to era. Or try Camp Bastion, the story of a military base. Recent winner of the Judges Special Award at the British Construction Industry awards, Camp Bastion cost £53m and was completed in 4 months. The site, in Helmland Province, contains barracks for 2,350, a 50-man hospital, helicopter base and 1,000m runway (that £53m cost gets rounded up (?) to £1bn by the Independent). Finally, 'One man's grand ambition gives veneer of bling to an ancient land', the tale of (life) President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and his attempts to build a new Brasilia on the steppes. Pearman wrote fairly eloquently about the aesthetic fiasco that is Foster's 'Pyramid of Peace', but the official site of Astana City is right on the money, a combination of SimCity Societies, Second Life and Ebeneezer Howard, replete with graphs and tables, optimistic announcements with a ring of the Five Year Plan about them.

*

Two from Pruned, a post about Ferropolis, the theme-park / graveyard of retired digging machines, and the ensanguinated Trevi fountain / nice to appear on this list of the Top 100 UK blogs, although we're poised right at the bottom of the league table / Normal Bias, 'scanned' audio tapes (via me-fi projects) / a set of images of Arcosanti, looking rather ravaged and forlorn.

DNA Art UK, splash your genetic fingerprint about. Related, the man with the magic box gets his comeuppance / home-made helicopters / Pasta and Vinegar, a weblog focusing on user experience / Glancey on BMW Welt, W* on Welt / a collection of Estonian Schoolbooks, at Fed by Birds / amp power, snappy culture reviews / electronic audio nostalgia at hollow sun / the 10 most fabulous key fobs / violins and starships, a weblog / infinite thought, a weblog / The Midnight Bell, a weblog.

There's not enough online about Rapid Eye Magazine, save the occasional tribute to its maverick and detached take on pop culture in all its more twisted manifestations (an anthology can still be bought through Creation Books. In the pre-internet era, Dwyer's stream-of-consciousness writing, densely layered with references to arcane practices, myths, drugs and general strangeness was like dipping into a mysterious world, a place of the imagination, not Google-induced instant gratification.


Saturday, October 20, 2007
The Stray Shopping Cart Project, via the daily jive / The Information Freeway, a free map of the planet / The Return of Baby Hatches, a frankly alarming look at an overlooked urban object by deputy dog / Superstatial, a new architecture/urbanism weblog / pecknam blog, 'adventures in south-east London' / the Los Angeles Homicide Map. We need one of these for south-east London.

The most random piece of simulacra ever? 'Is this Pope John Paul II waving from beyond the grave? Vatican TV director says yes' / Machina Dynamica, a sophisticated way of removing money from your wallet (via audiophile, via me-fi). Our favourite is the 'Teleportation Tweak', an 'an advanced communications technique discovered and developed by Machina Dynamica for upgrading audio systems remotely -- even over very long distances... The Teleportation Tweak is performed over the telephone line and will sound to the listener like a series of mechanical noises. The tweak itself takes about 30 seconds.'. To you, sixty dollars.

Does architecture need prizes? / the late Kisho Kurokawa, as featured in Building Design (especially the 'holiday time capsule') / a fetishistic look at the last day of Routemaster Route 38, at kookymojo's flickr stream / God is in the TV, a music site, with its own singles club / Cooking for Engineers, analytical recipes / hometracked, a site dedicated to bedroom studios, home engineers and indie producers / the where blog enters the world of ffffound.


Monday, October 15, 2007


A sift through a collection of style, design, whatever weblogs, all of which pump a relentless stream of eye-catching imagery into your browser, day in, day out: An Illustrated Treatise on Ammunition and Ordnance, 1880-1960, just another small portion of Steve Johnson's CyberHeritage International / Giavasan, imagery, etc. / "Eyes on the Metropole: Seeing London and Beyond", a paper by Sharon M. Twigg and Theresa M. Kelley.

The Greenwich Phantom, all about the London borough / the Top 100 Architecture Blogs, an in-depth collection of links, compiled by International Listings, a realtor / more link tag, Postmodern revision, Arkitektur juxtaposes two iconic images of destruction from the tail-end of the post-modern era, Zabriskie Point and Pruitt-Igoe.

Western Park Sublime gothic Sculpture (via Blanketfort) / the Elements of Branding, via Coudal / photos by Anne lass, via conscientious / Monoscope, the lure of the object / Dumb Angel, 'the proclamation of Modernist art, pop surf culture and Los Angeles sound design of the 1960s. Offering up pop with a consciousness.'

An epic collection of Hornby Trains goes up for auction . There are some beautiful items / Andy Bosselman, an advertising and design weblog / the selfdivider, a NY-based culture weblog / design for mankind blogs (often superfluous) objects / as does The World's Best Ever / along with Better Living Through Design / when was the first ever book written by someone called Steve?

Yatzer, 'design is to share' / Imedagoze, blogs on interiors, prints and textiles / ADEK Bouwkunde Blog, architecture and more / Brazilian architecture brut, the Casa de Pedra in Paraisopolis (site of this famous juxtaposition), the South American answer to the Palais ideal du Facteur Cheval.

The Girl in the Green Dress, more things. We like the House-off Switch / Luksus, places and objects / What's the Jackanory?, an illuminating weblog by photographer Andrew Hetherington / who links on to the work of Andres Gonzalez / Liberty London Girl has a nice take on the Atlantic divide.

Silent Noise Control, an mp3 blog / whatever happened to Levittown? A NY Times slideshow that illustrates more than a few of the famous suburban archetypes lurching uncontrollably towards McMansionism. Obesity, they tell us, is not our fault. Houses too can let themselves go / all sorts of imagery thanks to Bouphonia.

A review of Harold Robbins: The Man Who Invented Sex, or rather, the man who invented himself./ A purveyor of 'airport doorstops', Robbins embellished his life with bogus tales of orphanages and soliciting, yet still racked up 750 million book sales. A cover gallery / on the Use of Text in Videogames, an essay at the always engaging Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Ishbadiddle, 'An occasional report on ephemeral things' / is this the package that shapes the architectural future? Maxwell Render / Let's be frank about Spence, or does Basil really deserve all this attention?


Sunday, October 14, 2007


The work of Tatzu Nishi, which 'revolves around taking common spaces and objects and reinterpreting them'. Nishi, also known as Tazro Niscino, makes installations that subvert objects by rearranging the spaces around them, most notably by 'temporarily building realistic and intimate living spaces around fixed public objects, regardless of their size or elevation'. Check "Cheri in the Sky", at the Renzo Piano-designed Maison Hermes in Tokyo, or the "Villa Victoria" in Liverpool. Other work includes encasing the statue of Christ on St Anne's Square in Ghent with a hotel room, or the "Hotel Nantes" project (part of the Estuaire 2007 festival). Most impressive of all, perhaps, is the structure built atop Basel Cathedral, enclosing a small angel-shaped weathercock. Some more: the gang project, plus an overview at Studio International. Epic image at Yokohoma City Art Network.

*

Square America, 'snapshots and vernacular photography', via this me-fi link to a now-borked site called mirror world, which promises more of the same. One day / Hipkiss' scans of old maps, e.g. south London before the bombs (in 1922) / books really do decorate a room: Decorative Books: The End of Print, at Design Observer / Art in a Vending Machine / unique vending machines of Japan / A Brief Message, 'design opinions expressed in a short form'.


Friday, October 12, 2007


We can never look at fractured facades without remembering the house at 18 West 11th Street in New York, site of the Greenwich Village Explosion, caused by the accidental detonation of the Weathermen's Bomb Factory on 6 March 1970 (check the wonderful period image of Dustin Hoffman 'surveying the damage' - he was living in the street at the time). The house was rebuilt by Hardy, Holzman, Pfeiffer in 1978, with an angled, canted facade that hints strongly - perhaps too literally - at the blast that came from within the former structure. HHP recently fragmented too, a three-way architectural divorce.

In their original incarnation, the architects designed the HQ for Best Products in Richmond, Virginia. We suspect it was SITE's work for Best Products that popularised the notion of architectural deconstruction as entertainment. For SITE, the structure was the statement, not some manifestation of a laboured metaphor. Best were forward-thinking but pragmatic; they liked the returns generated by making a bigger architectural splash, but their enthusiasm tailed off as project costs rose and ennui set in.



And yet every 'ruptured' project that followed has swaddled its theatricality in a cloak of theory. HHP's 'bomb memory' facade was actually a fairly trite architectural device. By 1978, Best Products' retail experiment was peaking; while the distance between artfully constructed fake 'ruins' to the evocation of failed terrorist attack seems enormous, they were in fact closely linked. So what is deconstruction's agenda? The Deconstructivists were, in part, railing against modernist orthodoxy, just as their initial allies (and later bitter enemies), the post-modernists. While po-mo took the literal, narrative path, decon went down an abstract, emotive route.

As Mark Wigley wrote in the catalogue to MoMA's 1988 show Deconstructivist Architecture, this was work 'ability to disturb our thinking about form'. And form, obligingly rolled over and collapsed, sagging dramatically under the weight of computation. A recent proposal cemented our thoughts about 'implosion architecture's' essential dishonesty, Morphosis' design for the Cooper Union's Albert Nerken School of Engineering. This is a building which appears to have burst its front - even the section view appears to describe a progressive collapse, with floor plates colliding and twisting. Compared to the slashed plan and facade created by Libeskind in Berlin, or the lime slice explosion that is Lab Architecture's Federation Square development in Melbourne, the Morphosis project appears to monumentalise an unknown event. Nonetheless, it still carries with it the rather drab shadow of innovation for innovation's sake.

What happened to the Best Stores? Most were swept away. The Indeterminate Facade suffered the post-modern indignity of being turned from a ruin into a plain box. The fractured facades of 21st century deconstruction will, perhaps inevitably, suffer a similar fate.



*

A is for Architecture, a weblog / artist Ben Wilson's Wireframe Lamborghini / Miles Thistlethwaite previously painted some Washing Line Portraits (our gallery here). Now he's moved on to Paper Bags. We also love the Chetwynd Road series.


Thursday, October 11, 2007
Is the Net Good for Writers? (via me-fi) / Cry Hard, Cry Fast, new work from David Ostrowski / Atelier A+D, design and architecture weblog / see also materialiciou.us / Mark Dery's Shovelware, a weblog / The Shame of British Architecture, David Chipperfield sounds off about this country's mental block on the built environment.

Designing Magazines, a weblog, from which we stumble over Conceive Magazine, a niche within a niche / found sounds at magnetic migration music, which captures and preserves the 'fragments of audiotape flapping in the wind... found all over the world, in gutters, snagged on trees, wherever tape players have ventured it seems they have chewed, snarled and spat too.' See also Silence if so Accurate, both via Zoe Tati.

Space, the professional, amateur and abandoned way. All about Baikonur, centre of the Russian space programme (now and then). Greg on The Satelloons Of Project Echo, on NASA's Project Echo ('large metallized balloons that served as passive reflectors of radio signals') and its artistic potential. Finally, DIY Space, how to make your own weather balloon (via me-fi).

In Search of Lost Vanguards, Owen Hatherley in full flow on the evidence for 'Excavation and Space Exploration in Constructivist Architecture' at Archinect. Recommended / Studio of Ashes / A Gathering of Elephants (via Archinect) / Great Map, a densely chaotic weblog / Scotch + Penicillin / Paris: Invisible City / Each Note Secure, a music blog / the Injunction Generator / Moi, je suis Chuck Norris.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The set for the video for Kylie Minogue's Love at First Sight was designed by Swedish architects Claesson Koivisto Rune. It took just 15 days from commission to finished video being aired / Breakfast, shown above, a photographic series by John Huck (via sasapong) / The Shiny Squirrel, online exhibition space for 'emerging artists and designers' / Antique and Classic Photographic Images / Giles Turnbull, a fresh face at tmn.

'My Kid Could Paint That', a Salon story about Marla Olmstead, child artist prodigy, or ongoing hoax. The reaction to her imagery (which may or may not be hers and hers alone) reminded us of the occasional (regular?) flap about elephant or chimpanzee art, which is trotted out to 'fool the experts' on slow news days. No-one quite knows who is being fooled.

The complete Penguin Classics, an instant library available in a few clicks / the new Tintin box set / art by Stephanie Syjuco / intersecting images, photography and architecture / Kate's Credit Card Drawings, via Nabeel's Cosmos / Buried Alive, a Salon piece from March 2001: 'Has it happened? Does it still happen? A new book tells the strangely hilarious history of the ultimate horror.' Some ghastly intuition tells me that the practice is not quite as 'strangely hilarious' in October 2007 / Paperpools, a weblog on 'life and statistics, especially statistics' / Judit Bellostes, an architecture weblog / the new Icon Magazine site, iconeye.com.

Mechanical excellence/extravagance, depending on your mood. The guitars of Yuri Landman, luthier to Sonic Youth, amongst others, via music thing. See also the Wikipedia entry, which goes into technical detail, and a Pitchfork interview / the Cabestan watch by Jean-Francois Ruchonnet and Vianney Halter, via snow soul records (which also presents this home 3D drawing kit, on sale at MoMa and designed by Carl Clerkin and William Warren) / everyone seems to be on ffffound... russelldavies, blackbeltjones, antimega, rodcorp, plasticbag, etc. etc.

Labels:



Sunday, October 07, 2007


Ffffound!, sign up and point to pictures you like, and other members will do the same. At least, we think that's what's going on. Straight off the bat, our welcome screen was splashed with eerily familiar imagery, whether it be wireframed objects, old catalogue scans, speculative futures, strange architecture, design ephemera, the nocturnal aerial photography of Jason Hawkes, etc. etc. Worth tracking. Thanks to Rob for the invite. A good description at plasticbag: 'like del.icio.us divided by Flickr only with no tags and more designers'. In a similar vein, there's something undefinably contemporary about arhiva7, the aesthetic, the contents, the layout. All familiar, yet all strangely new.

Ironically, the same day our ffffound invite arrived, so did an advance copy of the BibliOdyssey book, the slickest website-to-book concept we've yet seen. Published by Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell's FUEL, BibliOdyssey is a handsome but inevitably old-fashioned tome, a physical encapsulation of all that the internet obsesses over and emphasises. With the BLDGBLOG book on its way, and even a new issue of things arriving some time this decade, the slow but inexorable transfer of information out of the digital and back to the physical realm is starting to gather pace.

*

Future London from the past, a top ten circa 1999. Numbers 3, 4, 8 and 10 never came to pass, but the rest has been (and some of it already gone) / a Funeral Coach Brochure, at Sharpeworld's flickr set / Martin L'Allier's weblog / Emak Mafu, a weblog by web designers / Walking the Berkshires, a 'traditional' weblog, if there is such a thing / 'The Mystery of Love, Courtship and Marriage Explained', written in 1890 (via projects). It describes a highly complex but ultimately rather miserable world.

Absurd object of the day: Swami Conversational Robot, for sale at Neiman Marcus (whose Christmas catalogue is a sight to behold, for all the wrong reasons). According to the blurb, 'the OMG factor on this dude is off the charts.' / the Guardian's architecture in detail series / Foxtons! No! Bang goes the neighbourhood, a piece about gentrification, inheritance tax, free coffee and inverse snobbery / 'Krugel... claims that his technique is able to locate a missing person anywhere in the world using only a single strand of hair': we thought the claim was somewhat suspicious as well - good to see that it's been given a thorough going-over by Bad Science.

What happened next? / Show (Off) and Tell, a flickr set of the visually intriguing / Citygraphy on urban photography in the 19th century. Exhibitions include 'Changes on a Focal Point' / the Jan Van Eyck Academie / Realfakewatches, the wristwatch as pure adornment (via thinglink, track objects online) / Margate Architecture. A place that was desperately short of lovability when we visited over the summer, and that's before the buildings at risk have been bulldozed.

Flickr's Le Corbusier pool / a good Jonathan Meades post at me-fi, including this YouTube Meades Shrine. The official site. We think we know who posted this / fact of the day: in Switzerland, if you sell a jigsaw second hand or donate one to a thrift store, you have to complete a sworn affadavit stating that no pieces are missing. You can face prosecution if the puzzle is found to be incomplete.

Ben Hanbury, a weblog / interactive architecture, a weblog / Thinking Games, on game culture, art and development / they'll need a lot of grout for that / Endless Forms Most Beautiful, some nice ffffinds / Future House Now (now!) / Toni Child's weblog.

All images in this post lifted from the wonderful Le Corbusier Polychromie Architecturale: the Salubra Colours from 1931 and 1959, an 'exquisite three-volume boxed set [which] contains chromatically perfect samples of the wallpapers, colour illustrations, sketches, and slide bands, all produced by a high-quality printing process, and then assembled and bound by hand.'

Labels: , ,



Friday, October 05, 2007


Finally, victory for Crossrail, given the go-ahead, with the first trains set to leave in about a decade (give or take a year or two). The campaign for Crossrail dates back to the late 80s but cost has always been an issue - an issue that never went away. Back in 1993, figures of £2bn scared the (then Tory) government off. By May 2001, the TfL was costing the scheme at £3.8bn. Today's announcement gave a figure of £16bn. Crossrail has its opponents, not least those for whom the disruption, especially in Central London, will be costly and devastating. Whether or not the Astoria, a striking but rather grimy music venue will survive or be demolished. That was 2004; in 2005 Westminster Council produced a draft planning brief for the Astoria site (large pdf), stating fairly unequivocally that the theatre, on the site of a former Crosse and Blackwell jam factory (and not a converted pickle factory - although it sounds better - is doomed. Ironically, the 20s building began life as a cinema, and was converted to a theatre in 1976, just as theatres all round the UK were going the other direction. More on the Astoria at the excellent Arthur Lloyd Music Hall and Theatre site.

The new Crossrail station extends deep beneath this part of Oxford Street, with platforms running below the heart of Soho - the square's layout just visible in the centre of this image. There are those who believe a bigger, more ambitious project should have been considered - Superlink, or even the long-mooted Chelsea-Hackney Line, also known as Crossrail 2 (map (pdf) - you can also see the outline of the Crossrail 2 station on the Tottenham Court Road station plans). Nonetheless, Crossrail is much needed. If nothing else, the 2025 Transport Network map (pdf) is an exciting prospect, especially for South London, although some of those station links are a bit disingenuous (it's also not nearly as satisfying as the tube for South London map, a fantasy hosted by Colourcountry). What it will do is create a new psychological world of genuine subterranean travel, a sense of being deep below the city that the tubes don't really convey, now that we're all so used to them.



Also far too long in the offing (check the name, for example, is Thameslink 2000, a north-south consolidation and expansion of existing track. Thameslink 2000 is very much a giveth and taketh away kind of scheme, weaving - bludgeoning - its way across existing arches, bridges and tunnels. Sadly, T2000 will have a major impact on Borough Market. The Save the Borough Market Area Campain illustrates how great swathes of the freshly-rejuvenated market will be swallowed up by the rather dreary piece of railway engineering that is designed to increase capacity out of London Bridge station. This is a messy part of London, where infrastructure and history collide unhappily. Throw in the proposed construction of the Shard at London Bridge (the capital's first 'vertical city'?), and the area will be echoing with jackhammers and bulldozers for the best part of a decade.

*

Teachers 'fear evolution lessons' / Paris pictures from Hyperkit / Plus Six, interaction design and more / finally side-barred: Rossignol and diamond geezer (their Crossrail post, which notes that 'the Central, Bakerloo, Northern and Piccadilly lines were all constructed within a single decade, using private finance') / Content Aware Image Resizing: the 'graceful re-sizing' of images is not only alarming in a 'Commissar Vanishes' type of way, but is further indication of the modern world's utter disregard for proportion - something TV and cinema aspect ratios have also degraded. More about this another time.

Two links to digital urban: To Teleport or Not to Teleport: Travelling in Virtual Worlds, or how the teleport became ubiquitous, despite its ability to 'break the metaphor'. Also, SimCity Societies - What Kinds of Cities Would You Build? / the Downfall meme, in which a certain dictator's rage at the failure of Armeeabteilung Steiner is translated into frustration with 21st technology. Sounds glib, usually quite amusing: iSketch, Flight Simulator X, Xbox Live, car theft. And it goes on (via kottke).

Labels: , ,



Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Cars in Second Life, the thoughts of 'virtual world consulting and research' agency Kzero / Mies van der Rohe's Tugendhat Villa, soon to be restored / Ninth Letter, the weblog of a literary journal / Making Chinese toys, via.

Google Blogoscoped, a weblog / the Rhein Project by photographer Stephan Kaluza / the Eleventh of September, an act of remembrance, a large-scale public art project / Herbert Muschamp, former architecture critic of the NYT, has died / another one bites the dust: Preston Bus Garage, a fine slice of 60s concrete drama, is destined for demolition. More images / the digital revolution, including an image of the very first Sony CD player.

Peter Zumthor's new art museum in Cologne, a 'chunky knit pullover' that curiously doesn't photograph terribly well, unlike some of Zumthor's other buildings which are iconic in the sense that they seem to exist solely through imagery, rather than actual presence / Subjectivity, a weblog / a different take on architectural islands, a private house by Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office / at the Frankfurt Motor Show, courtesy of Monocle.

The Stratus Sphere, a piece with a surfeit of greyness / shoegaze special / Video animation of London in 2010 / will we one day enjoy the Nuclear Heritage Coast? A Strange Harvest provocation (more). Related, Sellafield demolition.


Monday, October 01, 2007


The Apartment at the Mall, relatively scant documentation of an art installation/luxury apartment in a mall in Providence, NY. It didn't end well. Shades of Being John Malkovich (also via) / Size is everything to a mayor consumed by edifice complex, Jenkins lambasts Livingstone, as does, slightly more predictably, Boris Johnson / step back to a golden age with the London Transport Museum's online archive / the nmca: magazine cover archive / AArchitecture, a new publication out of London's Architectural Association / more print, making Cabinet, via magCulture / related, the Museum of Printing Presses at Briar Press.

John Bagnall on the art of John Bratby and 'the smelly oil-paint, crew-neck jumper and goatee bearded art of the former Kitchen Sink era'. An official John Bratby site to accompany a recent sale. Bratby's work could be genuinely seedy (Bagnall's examples are taken from the Tate's collection), the visual equivalent of the early writing of John Fowles. These paintings are almost Stuckist in their frustrated intensity.

If only I hadn't...', extracts from a new Book of Regrets / Travels in Toon Town, alternative futures and graphic novels. See also our captures of Mega City One / old but good, the Lost Formats Preservation Society / 'When the Space Age Blasted Off, Pop Culture Followed'.



Dipping into the 'military historioblogosphere', Airminded, 'Airpower and British Society, 1908-1941', Brett Holman's weblog to accompany his ongoing PhD research. Holman has a sub-blog called 'Scareships', which tracks the set of unexplained pro-UFO sightings in the years before the First World War. 'According to contemporary newspaper reports, thousands of people saw mysterious airships flying over Britain between March and May 1909, and again between October 1912 and April 1913. There were at least fifty separate reported sightings in the former period and more than eighty in the latter.' As Holman points out, although German Zeppelin's were the most obvious answer, 'for all but a tiny minority of mystery airship sightings the possibility of German involvement can be ruled out' / the perfect airship at Alternative Technology / all about the Zeppelin / vintage aviation photographs from the First World War.(Below, from Punch, June 20th, 1917).



The 1961 Woolwich Autostacker was a completely automated 256 place car park, with pulleys and conveyor belts that shifted your car into place. Built at a cost of 100,000, it never really worked. The Autostacker was demolished the following year at a cost of 60,000. It was designed by STC. Modern Robot Parking Garages pop up regularly as things to marvel at. See Robo Park.

Flossmanuals, 'free manuals for free software' / lhooq magazine, a cascade of images / in a similar vein, but with a more art/illustration focus, Grass Roads (e.g. two sample entries, Ronald William Fordham Searle and Futurism). Both these pages take forever to load. Finally, me and utopia. All three weblogs are the work of one person, Christopher Panzner / merging RFID tag readers with phones / BD's The Carbuncle Cup returns for the 2007 season.

The Objets D'Art Of Architects: 'In November 1982, Nan Swid and Addie Powell asked nine architects to lunch at the Four Seasons in New York to unveil their idea: a company that would produce housewares designed by leading architects.' Perhaps one can trace the current fetish for all things designer back to this one moment in time. They had Hadid before anyone else.