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Friday, October 17, 2008


SuperSpatial makes some fine points in A Night at the Opera: 'Hadid's Opera House in Dubai is the first true architecture of the 21st Century. Digital. Sleek. Perfect. So why build it?... The sheer beauty of the renderings is breathtaking. I want to inhabit its spaces (virtually). I want to fly through it. I want to explore its surface, its textures and materials. But I have no intention of visiting it.... But the reality will never live up to the beauty of the proposals. So why bother? The future of architecture is not Dubai, but Dezeen.'

In a piece called 'Empty Vessels', Jay Merrick recently described iconic architecture as 'essentially the spatial implementation of corporate decisions'. So why not bring iconism back home? That seems to be the thinking behind the inclusion of Michael Jantzen's M-Velope structure, a $100,000 folly listed in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.

Presumably intended for the country estates and beach retreats of the (crunch-shielded) ultra-wealthy, the M-Velope is fascinating and well thought out, but also has the unfortunate side effect of reinforcing the idea of architecture and design as a source of eye-boggling tchotkes, all the better to impress and enhance. We didn't expect anything more of Neiman Marcus - their traditional annual orgy of consumption has always boggled the mind. NM's Christmas Book is a feast of the absurd, from the 1969 Kitchen Computer (developed with Honeywell) to today's rather more nostalgic offerings: 'our exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime gift. The folks at RiRa Pubs will design a fully functional, traditional Irish pub and build it in your home in 2009. It will be crafted from historic Irish architectural elements and authentic Guinness artifacts'.

*

Other things. A collection of music from ATP NY2008 at Strange Attractor / album covers, via Print Fetish. Also via PF, Vector journal / bathing beauties / Kino fist, the website of a film collective. Fine post on Threads, by Owen Hatherley. The whole film is on Google Video / Oolite, an open source Elite, with copious add-ons / neat little 3D java viewer / Timelapser posts film on vimeo (via slowernet).

Dooce unpicks her teenage diaries. Like a personal version of FOUND magazine: 'Satan himself called at the most vulnerable point of my entire semester yet. And how did Heather do? But of course she prattled to the tyranny of Satan and his servants.' / buy a slice of underground London / industrious subterranean Palestinians.

Great tip via ask me-fi: Cheap, Easy Audio Transcription with Mechanical Turk at Waxy - it's all about dividing up audio into little, swiftly digestible packages, apparently. We've used Casting Words before, but this looks like sound advice / 169 Errors, 178 warning(s), thingsmagazine.net gets validated. At least we're not alone (via).

Swiss Miss on browsing, or How Michael Finds Good Stuff on the Web. Quote: 'Yes, I open about 200 blogs in tabs. I know! I know, oh so very analog! RSS readers just don't do it for me. I want to see content in its original environment...' / the Battle of Bergisel (1809), a vast cyclorama. Via Tecnologia Obsoleta / further to our earlier post, The tallest building in the world: the contenders

Did the Olympic Parade really merit a couple of Apache gunships over the Thames on Thursday? Or were they there for something else?

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