The (un)Made in China exhibition at Beijing Design Week explores the delights of working in a foreign culture, namely the many grand projects by Western architects that were proposed in the white heat of China’s economic explosion and then, for whatever reason, fell by the wayside. Meanwhile, the country is producing innovations in the of speed and efficiency, not aesthetics, with the likes of Zhang Yue’s Broad Sustainable Building, an aircon manufacturer turned Minecraft-esque purveyor of near-instant buildings. And not just pre-fabs, but stacked towers of hitherto unimaginable heights. BSB’s innovation is pretty much the polar opposite of parametric design and the fluid landscapes conjured up in the abandoned projects in the first link.
Other things. Why modern maps put everyone at the centre of the world, a lament for the art of getting lost aand the random discovery. Includes a link to Londonist’s Hand Drawn Maps of London series / sort of related, A Guide to London’s Classic Cafes and Fish and Chip Shops / Peter Berthoud’s Discovering London links to last month’s London Sale at Christies. A list of lots.
China’s high speed railways, “the biggest single financial scandal not just in China, but perhaps in the world.” / Skyhook, the balloon-launched rescue service for downed pilots / Drone Shadows, a project by James Bridle, a project shown as part of Adhocracy, itself a part of the current Istanbul Design Biennial. Adhocracy:
The world of people who make things is in upheaval. If the last revolution was about making perfect objects—millions of them, absolutely identical, produced to exactingly consistent quality standards—this one is about making just one, or a few. Its birthplace is not the factory but the workshop, and its lifeline is the network. In the place of standardised, industrialised perfection, it embraces imperfection as evidence of an emerging force of identity, individuality, and non-linearity.
Play Architecture – Playing Cards, published by Rakennustieto / RIP Mike Singleton, creator of Lords of Midnight / ‘Every dot on the map interests me, especially the little tiny ones. Some “towns” are no more than an intersection, possibly with a store or a town hall. A few towns seem to be gone without a trace, though sometimes the tiniest evidence remains. I have photographed over 300 towns, mostly in Minnesota and North Dakota‘. Via MeFi.