A number of things

Muma, jazzy rock with Kurdish/Turkish roots / by the end of summer, indie pop from Japan / instrumental guitar music by u_iru, also from Japan / 23 bed detached house for sale / imagining electric cars in their 1960s iterations at Chasing Cars / spaces created by sound artist Nami Sato / anecdotal links between MLM activity and the conspiracy-prone / makes you want to Just Scream (via MeFi). Sampling gold / design a flightcase. Neat widget / turning Avenue des Champs-Élysées into a linear park / paintings and drawings by Hope Gangloff / Science Museum Collection (via MeFi). Their presentation beats our grainy jpgs of the Blythe House stores, now closed for replacement by the new National Collections Centre

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Round and round

The theory and form of classic drum patterns / the OP-1 Tombola sequencer / the Circle Guitar mechanical step sequencer / play with whale song / play the Jazz Keys / Bidoun, an arts magazine about the Middle East / beautiful artwork by Tatsuro Kiuchi / Alvar Aalto’s work in Jyvaskyla, Finland, photographed by Janne Tuunanen / fine looking station wagon / the big questions: fiction where deep secrets are slowly revealed; what is the name of this Millennial Modern graphic design style?; name some Absorbing, family-friendly documentaries / 1% watch: how to keep your superyacht Covid free / some more linear city meanderings / how to remodel a mountain-top: ‘The World’s Largest—and America’s Priciest—Home Is Ready for Its Close-up‘ / it can’t hold a candle to the Westinghouse Total Electric Home (via MeFi) / a guide to Bad Audio Gear / Chatter: The Voice in Our Head and How to Harness It, by Ethan Kross, even though it talks very, very fast (‘The extended word count represented an equivalent rate of speech in excess of 4,000 words per minute’).

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Sunday (socially distanced) strolling

The Museum of Curiosities in London / beautiful music by Train Conductor / a collection of pedalboards (a ‘tangle’ of pedalboards? A ‘hum’ of pedalboards?) / saving Coventry, which doesn’t know what it’s got / remodelling a 1970s council house / what’s the priciest part of a chess set? The knights. Read why / British food generator / No More Corners, a site that celebrates roundabouts / cars, architecture and the city, a spot of archive trawling from a car company currently testing the waters of airborne mobility / is the Golden Ratio design’s biggest myth? / perfumers and their favourite books / calls for Gearslutz to change its name. Seems like a good idea.

For the Love of Archives, Jane Audas on the new home of the Antiquarian Horological Society for shelf wizards Vitsoe. The AHSOC has a great but sporadic blog, The Story of Time / a couple of pieces on the legendary Gordon Cullen at the The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. The Cullen Archives are held at the University of Westminster / the evolution of Hong Kong’s pedestrian walkways / music news at Juno Daily / epic music by With Every Passing Breath / 2001: A Garden of Personal Mirrors: a lost song for 2001: A Space Odyssey released 52 years late. Hear it via Wave Theory Records. We think that someone should compose a song in this manner for every Kubrick film. One for Coudal’s Stuff about Stanbley Kubrick page.

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I can see for miles and miles and miles

Insane technotopianism update. The Line, ‘a revolution in urban living’ (via MeFi) that feels like a bait car for angry urban designers. Visionary ideas have always existed and always will, and while some are obviously trolling, others have felt like a parking lot for megalomaniacs. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City was based around the idea of giving every resident an acre of land, with all infrastructure buried below (just like The Line): “There were separate lanes for cars and trucks with a monorail in the center. Under the roads were large ware­houses where the trucks could unload their cargo, letting smaller trucks distribute the freight throughout the local area.”

Almost all city visions, built and unbuilt, are predicated on the notion of hiding something, whether it’s the urban poor in Haussmann’s Paris, or the pesky people, trucks, cars, trains, etc. (delete as applicable) that clutter up the precious architecture and seamless technology of contemporary visions. Approaches to density are up for grabs as well: people are either crammed together or scattered apart, depending on the ethos at play? One form of not-quite-fully-realised transportation tends to be prioritised above all others, whether it is autonomous shuttles, flying machines, vacuum tubes or pedestrian travelators. And most importantly of all, a fully defined aesthetic is strongly implied, from Jellicoe’s Motopia to Robertson’s Regent Street to Broadacre City to Rudolph’s Lower Manhattan Expressway to Corb’s Algerian fantasy (‘Blocking the Casbah’, indeed).

We’ve recently seen Bjarke Ingels’ climate change resistant masterplan (via dezeen) go up against Liam Young’s Planet City, a provocative retort to the technotopianism of BIG, but a mere stumble or shrug in comparison to the cocksure arrogance of the ‘true’ visionary. Arguably, and perhaps regretfully, The Line stands far more chance of being built than everything else put together. Whether its legacy is a shining beacon for all to follow or a complex jumble of abandoned hyperloop spaghetti buried beneath the desert sands is yours to decide.

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Spirited away

Exploring the ruins of Laverstoke Mill before it was given a radical makeover by Heatherwick Studio and transformed into the Bombay Sapphire Distillery / drifting soundscapes by Vapor Lanes / Field Recordings of Yellowstone National Park / Tokyo Ambient Center, more sounds / Crust Immersed, abstract art noise by Beauty School at Weird Ear Records / Suzuki Micro Camper (via cars that never made it) / ‘The Crooked Geometry of Round Trips: Imagine if we lived on a cube-shaped Earth. How would you find the shortest path around the world?’ / ‘Conviction of things not seen: the uniquely American myth of Satanic cults’ / ‘Washington’s Secret to the Perfect Zoom Bookshelf? Buy It Wholesale‘. Books by the Foot, linked via Metafilter / Mandy Payne paints beautifully textured concrete and brutalism / interior and exterior realms by Sophie Treppendahl.

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Oh my, oh my, there’s a light in the sky

You Only Live Twice, par le Cadeau De Mariage / the terrifying Isdera Autobahnkurier 116i. The sort of car that has been trumped in the modern era by the likes of Dartz, which may or may not be an elaborate practical joke / music by Annie Hart / drawings by Tina Berning / paintings by Jenna Gribbon / paintings by Helen Beard (both possibly nsfw depending on your w) / collages by Ira Carter / I Could Drink A Case of You, a Joni Mitchell grocery list by Leanne Shapton / the Black Vault is open. The truth is probably not in here (and looks like the CIA got in and rotated some of our images through 90 degrees as well).

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Blurry Sounds

London’s population is shrinking (the population history of London) / the people whose homes are portals to the past / Dublin Goth New Wave Movement from 1989 / Non-children’s songs with child vocals, a list of suggestions / enjoy double vertigo with a climbing window / colour us surprised: SmartDot radiation-protection phone stickers ‘have no effect’ / Christopher Beanland’s book Lido looks like fun / see also Seaside: Photographed, a virtual tour of an exhibition at the John Hansard Gallery / The Isolated Cinema, a film festival for one / a selection of quirky filming locations in the UK / impressive game design by Section 9 Interactive / transparent Jazzmaster / Field Work, ‘ambient excursions, strange pop, smudgy dub and disembodied voices’. Recommended / Watch a hacked DJ technique made with karaoke tapes, by Oedo Technica, linked by CDM: ‘whole hip hop mixes. On cassette. On karaoke machines’ / Gray (correctly) ‘thought the world could do with another poster for The Thing.’

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Be kind, rewind

Happy Maps don’t have much of a role to play right now, but this project from Good City Life looks to create an ‘alternative cartography of a city weighted for human emotions’. Watch that space / Ranaldo-esque music by Rouse the Boroughs / an explanation of how YouTube monetises videos containing music / Historical Photographs of China / Kraftwerk at the Beat Club, 1971, from German TV / Restricted Data, the Nuclear Secrecy Blog / if you can’t ride coasters on boats (see last post), experience Japanese rollercoasters online / Table Top Audio, a selection of short ambient pieces for creating gaming atmospheres, etc. / Cassette Gods, ‘we only review physical media’ / Vintage audio cassette recorders.

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Twist and turn

Burning the furniture: my life as a consumer, ‘some thoughts on buying a house, white privilege and homewares for the apocalypse’ / a textbook example of Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: Can onboard rollercoasters save the cruise industry? / from the article, a portfolio of images by Chris McGrath of luxury cruise ships being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port in Izmir, Turkey (satellite view) / it’s Alejandro Jodorowsky Day (quite nsfw) at the Dennis Cooper Blog (which is very nsfw) / American real-estate time-travel / related, ‘Unintentional Time Machines‘, restaurants that haven’t been knowingly updated since they opened / the Impossible grid typeface by Daniël Maarleveld (via Coudal).

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Hidden Streets

A little dose of twitter wisdom: ‘I sometimes wonder whether the fact that the two richest men on earth are running distribution and cars, might go some way to explaining why our cities are not working too well at a street level.’ / another thread, on how public spaces ‘shrink’ for girls and women as they get older / Sigurd Lewerentz: Siting the Axonometric at the excellent Drawing Matter. See also, William Heath Robinson, ‘Tightening Up The Green Belt’ / the Katonah Relocation Project by Chris Larson, ‘Edward Larrabee Barnes Private Residence’, 1952, relocated (recreated) in the Sculpture Garden and Beitzel Gallery at the Katonah Museum of Art in 2015 / the digital recreation of a lost Italian church, using a variety of techniques to relocated San Pier Maggiore, absorbed into Florence’s streetscape 240 years ago (via MeFi) / 15th century Paris in the style of Age of Empires / Listening to the city: Architecture as soundscape / explore the hidden treasures (and spot the typo) at the Cambridge Digital Library / also at Cambridge, the Britain from the air: 1945-2009 archive: Cambridge Air Photos / smooth techno sounds by Psyanite / farewell Michael Apted.

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Unnecessary objects

Design and comics at Vitra Design Museum / art by Charles Avery / Cats on Synthesizers in Space / support the return of Grafik / Welcome to the Dark Ages, a film about the (recently returned) KLF / the TV Helmet (Portable Living Room) by Walter Pichler, 1967 / more Noise Machines / Avocado Armchairs and other paradoxical combinations, an AI experiment. See also DALL·E: Creating Images from Text DALL·E (via MeFi) / Notes on Mechanical Drawing / a subreddit devoted to Mechanical Keyboards / Orthographic and isometrical projection : development of surfaces and penetration of solids / an architectural tumblr, Tenivision

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Sketchy behaviour

The Bad Drawing Club by Millie Nice / Soundsphere magazine / the Teen guide to homemaking / huge Studio Ghibli image dump / Willard Wigan, micro sculptor / collections, collections, collections / “‘If the aliens lay eggs, how does that affect architecture?’: sci-fi writers on how they build their worlds” / instrumental music by second violin / percussive music by Nina Oldbridge / Inside the Surprisingly Big Business of Spotify’s Secretive White-Noise Spammers (via tmn) / Noises.online has in-browser white, pink and brown noise generators, along with a host of other soothing lockdown background soundscapes / the sad story of BITE, practically plausible / the original plans for the Solent Tunnel / a list of nearly 2,000 lost English country houses / Houses for Sale / Maisons à vendre / Small World, an exhibition by Clayton Schiff.

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Words and pictures, good and bad

Sound and vision / guitar music by Cancel the Summer; electronic music by Defender Waves; soundscapes by In Die Ferne; The Mind-Benders, a ‘documentary made by the FDA in 1970 about LSD and the hallucinogens,’ with a new soundtrack composed and performed by Jessica Roch / the biggest technology failures of 2020 versus the 24 most exciting electric cars of 2021 / why is Cats? / soul trails, a tumblr / art from the future, a tumblr / a taste of the early 90s: Selina Scott Meets Donald Trump, with contributions from Philip Johnson, et al.

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Tear down

Mourning the loss of Brutalist architecture in the North of England. Photographer Simon Phipps has beautiful images / sort of related, Vincent Fournier’s latest book, Brasília: A Time Capsule / see also, Louis Kahn dormitory buildings in Ahmedabad saved / music by Trancept / design and art by Laurent Fetis / compact guitars by Loog / sampler patches of the analogue kind / My Bloody Valentine on the banjo / a wonderful website about the history of the Isle of Dogs, e.g. the area in the 1950s / related, the London Council and Social Housing Flickr group / the Damsels of Design at GM / an online exhibition of works by Ben Nicholson at Piano Nobile.

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Renders versus Tractors

A discussion on the art of the dolls house, including links to contemporary practitioners like Chris Toledo and the Shelter in Place Gallery / Papertowns is a subreddit devoted to birds-eye views of cities, old and new / Quirk and Rescue, interiors (via the Guardian) / Evinetta, an impressively rendered short film directed by Ash Thorp about a concept car, using the 1969 Ferrari 512S Berlinetta by Pininfarina as a base. Sort of Pink Floyd meets GTA meets Cyberpunk 2077 (linked via Hotvveels. Note that the original car had to moved into place using a tractor as it was non-functional) / more auto-themed digital art by Chris Labrooy / CGI shorts by Marc Ferrer Vives / the Ercol Furniture Catalogue archive / instrumental music by Walter Mmari / the best experimental synths of 2020 / Janglepop Hub, a blog / collages by Espen Dietrichson

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Ronaldo Lopes Teixeira Rolt makes miniature synthesizers / My Life is Pointless, art by Joan Cornella / the official guide to Camberwell, 1950s / Adobe Flash rides off into the sunset / epic post-rock from Sidus / Clunk Magazine, a music zine based in Cornwall / Christie’s presents the first Apple computer. ‘With 200 computers hand-built [in 1976] year by Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage, fewer than half of the original Apple I computers survive today and fewer still in working order.’ Sadly the emulator on this page doesn’t appear to be working / The Box Logo Collection, ‘A Complete Set of Every Supreme Box Logo T-Shirt Released from 1994-2020′. No mention of Jenny Holzer though.

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Open the bunker doors, Hal

Underground, Part 1, a short piece of architectural fiction from McMansion Hell. Dark Realtor Fanfic / related, the ubiquity of the architecture of gentrification / a short film from a few years back on the new architecture of Fogo Island / some angry cross stitch / what’s the worst that can happen if you build a new runway in Antarctica? Many, many things. ‘In the 1980s, a single mail drop by a low-flying plane led to a stampede at a king penguin colony that caused 7,000 deaths.’ / the Occult Features of Anarchism, a book by Erica Lagalisse / sort of related, the KLF are finally available to stream / a look at the late Pierre Cardin’s incredible Bubble Palace / the dancing robots of Boston Dynamics caused a predictable stir. The company itself is now 80% owned by Hyundai, one of the world’s biggest car-makers. Surely this is more of a story? / pedal review of the year / desirable devices at ElectroSmash / noise rock by Spiders in the Underground / David Bowie Monopoly. That is all.

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Still re-heating roast potatoes

A set of abstract soundscapes from Icoro / a short history of the Yamaha DX-7 / urgent, old school minimal electronics at NAIAD. Records / the history of a deadly kit plane / Mud Jam, a photography portfolio by Lyndon French / Favs, a pretty comprehensive set of links from Culture Study which should keep you going. Recommended / photography by Valentin Bansac / the theory of 1,000 True Fans, Kevin Kelly on how to support creative work with a (relatively) modest base of loyalists / Second Nature, a 360 degree video / densely collaged paintings by Allie Stabile / the complete history of first person shooters / short films by the current crop of British comedy writer/performers at Blink Industries / Interrogating the archive, assembled writings on the archival impulse.

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More leftovers

2020 in 20 stories, courtesy of Phaidon’s published output from the year / photography by the graphic designer Alice Helfer / images of Wuhan by Mi Chenxing / when in Tokyo, a guide / photographs by Elin Berge, exploring the modern nature of Swedishness / Fifty dogs with graphics lines, a book by Naomi Turco, designed by OST / WASH magazine, the student magazine at The School of Architecture (formerly at Taliesin) / Paprika is the equivalent at Yale / the ‘problem collection‘ of product designer Ivo Oliveira Rodrigues / a digression on the worm’s eye axonometric at Along Architectural Lines, a long-defunct weblog. Its author is still writing and researching, though / KooZA/rch, an experimental architecture platform. Sample research: Homescape: the new commute, musings on the new interior landscape / the story of the Great Book Heist / illustration by Abbie Reilly (via w*) / play Sega Games in your browser / one we lost in 2020, Christo / photographs by Matteo de Mayda / the Visual Index of the Entire Landscapes is well worth a browse.

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Post Christmas pickings

Places Journal’s ongoing series on Fairy Tale Architecture features the tale One Grain of Rice / speaking of Fairy Tales, albeit of the Executive Order on Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture / perhaps he should look at The Great Wall of Kidderminster / TAMBOURINE, the latest independent magazine releases / High Fashion Talk is a new zine / The Rings of Saturn, a photography series by Andrew Cowen / Where They Create, portraits of artists, architects and designers in their studios by Paul Barbera / Behringer: The Edgelords Of Music Production / a collection of buildings repurposed as art galleries / the story of a Louisiana funeral director in a time of Covid / preparing for the Lunar pandemic in 1969 / a collection of designers’ Christmas cards / De Rebus Sardois, a ‘visual journey into Sardinia’, including this cliffside house by Alberto Ponis / a website about Doll’s Houses / Retropower update old cars for modern ways / a collection of video game maps / animation by Eran Hill / illustration by Riccardo Guasco / trippy animation at Happy Tuesday.

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