This is a post about new old things

Low Density Polythene, architectural unrealities by photographer Julian Faulhaber at tmn. One wonders what the architectural response to these spaces would be, whether there is grudging admiration at the banal purity achieved, or horror at the deliberate lifelessness. See also the constructions of Thomas Demand, which flip the coin by being actually artificial, mimicking the smooth impossibility of modernism, and, we suppose, the news that Ebert Gives Modernism Two Thumbs Down, a recent broadside against contemporary architecture. From the latter: ‘It seems drawn from mathematical axioms rather than those learned for centuries from the earth, the organic origins of building materials, the reach of hands and arms, and that which is pleasing to the eye.’

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Is modern architecture really devoid of memory and history, or the power to generate memory and history? Demand and Faulhaber’s visual games are played at the expense of architectural determinism, the idea that the might of proportion, material and simplicity is always right. But in their deliberate flattening of surface and removal of patina, they are hiding a truth that Ebert ignores, or choses to ignore – that modern buildings do age, and that forms age as well. Mies’ Lake Shore Drive doesn’t really look brand new (despite a recent restoration); it looks like a fossilised slice of 1950s idealism, rather than structures that are ‘helplessly captive of the present.’

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Google Maps Distance Calculator / Map Showing the Distance Between Two UK Postcodes / the Eisenhower Interstate System / see also The Moral Underground, not what you think it might be / thermographic Belgium / Secrets of Paris / Underground Canada / links to modern ruins / Sound 323, experimental audio store, with a companion radio show, audition, on Resonance FM / You Lost Me There, the tumblr of the book.

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The Revolving Internet / Mediabus, ‘an independent publisher based in Seoul, Korea’. They also run The Book Society. See also The Manual for more links and information about zine publishing and small presses in Korea. The flipside of this is Paju Book City, an architecturally diverse new district dedicated to creative industries (‘national culture industrial complex’).

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Please keep your references to yourself: ‘It’s fair to say that very little built after the industrial revolution fits these parameters [of vernacular], with the possible recent exception of the distribution complexes on the edges of motorways’ / build a suburban tract house in 60 days

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Ghost town: London’s ‘lost’ buildings, a piece that gets written every few years, lamenting the what-ifs of the cityscape, lost due to planning and economy and common sense. We have our own (relatively paltry) gallery of http://thingsmagazine.net/projects/064/index.htmUnbuilt London, an occasional series of lost architectural proposals.

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Palladio and the Veneto / The House Historian, strangely compelling estate agent blog. See also The Rat and Mouse and Country Life’s property blog / animated rotary piston engine / World’s 10 Largest Construction Projects / The Pop-Up City, splicing consumer-orientated events with sub-cultural spectacle.

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The tumblr mega-editor is brilliant, an instant snapshot of our recent obsessions / widely seen, Eighteen Terabytes of Afghanistan / The Journal of Apologetic Review / Johnny Rorschach’s photostream / the curiously banal designs for the Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage.

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