Ghost towns and space ships

Ordos: The biggest ghost town in China. A swift transition from flagship real estate project and design utopia, we’ve touched upon Ordos in recent posts, most notably over Ai Weiwei’s documentary about Ordos 100, the city’s stalled super-community of European avant-garde architectural idealism. The Ordos villas (and there were many) exist at the hinterland between the unbuilt, the unbuildable and the very improbable. Lavishly rendered and modelled, the vast majority of the designs never made it off the drawing boards, setting up expectations about the practicality of such fantasy architecture all around the world, not just China.

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Patti Smith Dorling Kindersley mash-up / a collection of French posters and advertising / the bizarre sci-fi art of Bruce McCall at Gavin Rothery’s SF and SFX themed weblog. He also has a hefty sized Moebius tribute page / Terrible Greeting Cards / Categorization Is For The Weak, a Pinterest board / Print is Dead, a new tumblr that shows that it’s not.

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A huge collection of booklets, zines and pamphlets at the Tokyo-based Booklet Library. See also Elias Redstone’s Archizines project / photo-realistic paintings by Gregory Thielker / architecture and design discussed by Andreas Angelidakis, with a hefty post on the art and architecture of James Wines of SITE.

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Other things. Stratolaunch Systems is the next logical step on from Virgin Galactic, using a Burt Rutan-designed launch platform, a carrier aeroplane that ‘will use six 747 engines, have a gross weight of more than 1.2 million pounds and a wingspan of more than 380 feet. For takeoff and landing, it will require a runway 12,000 feet long.’ A pragmatic piece of design, using recycled 747 components, the Stratolaunch concept is the step on the road to a true Richard Scarry space programme / another Rutan project: the BIPOD roadable aircraft / more unusual aircraft: The Very Unorthodox Bartini/Beriev VVA-14/14M1P.

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Other things. The American Pencil Collectors Society / a history of marriage / interesting linocuts / the work of Clifford Harper / a timelapse of the new buildings at Kings Cross, and an article by Hugh Pearman on the development.

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