Critical structures

Woodstock Handmade Houses at SuperForest / MidCentury House blog / 400 year trends from Google books search (‘Cars finally overtake horses, plus a brief surge for planes, in 1940; weak UFO performance thoughout’) / there’s been a recent spike in squatting activity, presumably a cyclical activity that coincides with several years of low economic activity and a flat property market. Right now, the surfeit of very large and very empty houses on the London market has made the capital something of a honeypot for squatters: especially in 2009 and 2010.

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Car Prints by Sarah Illenberger at Bartlett Year 1 Architecture. We like the way they flatten and infantalise the sleek carapaces of contemporary car design. Related, paper craft car model links / The Making of Things, the annual conference of the Contemporary Art Society / A 240-Year-Old Map Is Reborn / True Cities, a photo essay by Charlie Koolhaas at the revitalised DomusWeb / In search of criticism

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Old, but previously unseen (by us): David Carson spotted in McDonalds at Noisy, Decent Graphics (via Swiss Cheese and Bullets) / liners and tankers, painted as if they were post-Blitz Auerbach-esque London, by Yannis Markantonakis / from The Big Picture to In Focus / Radio Chantier, a music-focused tumblr / identifying Lego Minifigure Series 3 / make 8-bit sound FX.

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Why We Look at Architecture, an essay on architecture, animals and criticism. ‘Through the machines of cultural production, images of buildings soon overtake the real buildings. What we are left with, then, are piles of images we sift through—these days with the help of the Internet. And in these images we are looking for our memories, even if unconsciously. We are looking for…ourselves.’ This leads to some evolving thoughts on the validity of an architectural criticism based on imagery (and sometimes rather cliched, familar imagery at that). ‘What we see in the images of architecture encompasses all our spatial memories, whether actual or false. Our brains have fictionalized and jumbled our journeys through space with incredibly precise detail. Our memories of architecture are like a simulacrum, a hologram of rooms we have lived in. ‘

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Magnificent Ruin, a tumblr / Twilight of the Thunder God Lego diorama / CV, a tumblr with a military-industrial-ruin focus / Smoking Cinammon Sticks, a tumblr (occasionally nsfw) / Blaargh, a tumblr, which pointed us to this National Geographic photographic essay on underground Paris, and this unillustrated caption: ‘A small pond lies under the Opéra Garnier, the old opera house, in addition to the Métro. Created during construction in the 1860s to contain water that flooded the foundation pit, the pond is inhabited by large fish, which are fed by opera employees.’

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