Triumph of the Visual

Elsewhere as a generator for here. ‘The Unknown Fields Division is a nomadic studio that will throw open the doors of the AA and set off on an annual expedition to the ends of the earth exploring unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies’ (blog). The unit’s initial trip will go straight to the heart of modern mytho-geography, taking ‘a cross section through landscapes of obsolete futures from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, through the Ukraine and the oil fields of Azerbaijan to rocket launch pad of kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrone’. We regularly write about the way these geographical victims of technological failure seep into the cultural memory of the web (well, the corners we frequent, in any case).

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Random things. The New Jersey Navajo, an all-American homage to the Jaguar XK120. At Forgotten Fiberglass, a site dedicated to ‘The Search for Lost Fiberglass Cars Across the World …’ / Your One-Stop Shop for Hidden Stairways and Secret Crypts. Archinect cuts to the chase / Hugely impressive, David Anderson’s Modern London Houses, ‘My architectural guide to the best modern houses in London and its surroundings’.

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So why do graphic designers have such interesting websites? Swiss Cheese and Bullets; Iain Claridge; Noisy Decent Graphics; Tim George; David the Designer; Parliament Design; Mike Kus, even Kottke.org, to name but a few. All existing in that strange hinterland between journal and scrapbook, yet all benefiting from the undeniably well-trained eyes of the designer. In a sense, this is evidence of the triumph of the visual, a supremacy of images that, for now, leaves less of a trace than the written internet.

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Jjjjound is random set of images, sometimes nsfw, usually interesting / Collective Paper Aesthetics, working with cutting and folding / ‘In these selected images, you can witness first hand the impact that retouching has the potential to make on a single image.’ Photographic retouching by M.Seth Jones / lots of then and now photos of cities, vaguely aligned / Bjarke Ingels on the architectural impact of the autonomous car / sort of related, the 1988 ItalDesign Aztec.

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From ‘Oriental culture goes West’, an article by Tony Pletts in Design magazine, May 1985 (page 13): ‘Industrially, China has only just entered the age of plastics, and mass-produced, disposable items are still something of a novelty. Just two years ago, an acquaintance left an empty Bic biro in a Guilin restaurant, only to find himself pursued for half a mile by the manager, who wanted to return his valuable property. China is still basically an agrarian community with a labour-intensive approach to production. Machine-made goods are sought after, because they symbolise professionalism and modern technology. For instance, a manufactured Rayon garment would fetch a similar price to a hand-stitched silk one.’

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