My first year here at Yale is rapidly drawing to a close, and as those of you who live on the right-hand coast know, the weather has been awfully nice. This has been hampering my productivity, and my thesis research has been getting kinda intensive of late. I just wanted to share with you one of the many things I have been researching.
Above is a 1943 hardline drawing of a typical German hardwood floor. It looks pretty boring, but who drew it and why is fascinating. The drawing was used by builders hired by the Standard Oil Company, the Chemical Warfare Service of the U.S. Army, and RKO Studios to build replicas of Japanese and German villages at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Some of you may know this, but the architects who "designed" these structures were Erich Mendelsohn, Konrad Wachsmann, and Antonin Raymond (Mendelsohn and Wachsmann were in the US at Walter Gropius' behest). What were they built for? The structures were built to test the new M69 incendiary bomb -- the first ever napalm incendiary tested and developed by the American military. These villages were built solely to test their flammability. Why these were built is of course important, but also keep in mind the fact that German ex-pat architects were being hired to build replicas of buildings that would eventually be destroyed by American and British bombers during WW2. This is some pretty fascinating stuff, especially considering that this program led to the systematic razing of Japanese cities by American bombers in 1944 and 1945.
But, I also wanted to show you some of my more design-inclined work here at Yale. Below are some boards I made for my 21st Century Infrastructures Class. My goal was to create a real-time interface that provided information about air traffic above Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. I was inspired by some of the diagrams I saw in RotoVision's Mapping book. The results are not great, but I wanted to share anyway.