Archinect - Another Architecture 2014-04-19T00:49:19-04:00 http://archinect.com/blog/article/96431319/interviewing-a-french-literature-scholar-about-style-sexiness-politeness-and-power Interviewing a French Literature Scholar about Style, Sexiness, Politeness, and Power Mitch McEwen 2014-03-24T20:59:00-04:00 >2014-03-25T22:40:06-04:00 <p><em>Mahalia C. Gayle is from Seattle, WA. She completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University and her graduate work at Harvard University, both in Romance Languages and Literatures with a specialization in French. She has taught at Harvard University, Boston University, Emmanuel College and Princeton University.</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/qn/qnp59lk8x4yyj9oq.jpg"></p><p><strong>Mitch McEwen</strong>: Your new book project is concerned with politeness and its relationship to aristocracy or republican identity. &nbsp;As I mentioned, this may be a pertinent lens for architecture, as well.</p><p><strong>Mahalia Gayle</strong>: Politeness regulates proximity to the powerful body or proximity between bodies of <strong>unequal power</strong>. I thought you might mention segregation or service entrances in this connection, as they are one way in which politeness can be expressed in architecture, but I will try to answer as best I can&hellip;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/o6/o6izmdra65by2too.jpg"></p><p>[Le Corbusier's&nbsp;Villa Savoye, ground flr and second flr plans, servants quarters on ground flr with garage and laundry]</p><p><strong>MM</strong>: &nbsp;Let's talk about your work on&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Drieu_La_Rochelle" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pierre Drieu La Ro...</a></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/95213576/her-analogous-city Her analogous city Mitch McEwen 2014-03-10T19:51:00-04:00 >2014-03-12T20:43:08-04:00 <p>In honor of <a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-oscars-2014-spike-jonze-on-her-20140302,0,184207.story#axzz2vQQ2BdGu" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Her winning best original screenplay</a> in the Oscars last weekend, I am going to finally post this.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/1k/1knkwsgtn8pd4dg0.jpg"></p><p><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spike Jonze's Her</a> is a masterpiece of a movie that lends itself to comparison to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_(1985_film)" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Brazil</a>. &nbsp;At least, architecturally and urbanistically, it does. One could also develop a comparison in terms of the role of commerce (Her) versus the state (Brazil) in these two narratives of a technologically-driven future, but here I am more interested in the film's ability to produce an <strong>analogous city</strong>.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/7j/7j8hqpml0uo737xa.jpg"></p><p>The phrase 'analogous city' is one I am borrowing from <a href="http://doubleoperative.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/rossi-aldo-the-architecture-of-the-city.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Aldo Rossi's The Architecture of the City</a>. &nbsp;Rossi famously cites the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaletto" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Canaletto</a> painting above as evidence of the autonomy of architecture. &nbsp;Canaletto deploys the architecture of un-built projects and projects sited elsewhere to produce a recognizable image of another Venice - an analogous Venice. <a href="http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/#/people/k-michael-hays.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Michael Hays</a> replaces Rossi's notion of the analogous city with the phrase <em>virtual city</em>, which he links to the capacity of architecture to produce o...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/93922305/how-do-architects-fail How do architects fail? Mitch McEwen 2014-02-20T02:08:00-05:00 >2014-03-24T20:41:13-04:00 <p><img alt="" src="http://arttattler.com/Images/NorthAmerica/Missouri/St.%20Louis/Contemporary%20Art%20Museum/Bruce%20Nauman/Failure-to-Levitate.jpg"></p><p>What is it about failure that is so seductive in art and such anathema in architecture? &nbsp;</p><p>Perhaps there is something about the relationship between client and architect that makes failure so&hellip;. taboo, so unthinkable, and un-seductive.</p><p>For the past few months I have been part of an interdisciplinary group organized by curators Kerry Downey and Natasha Marie Llorens to investigate ideas or methods of failure, in preparation for a group exhibition in Manhattan this summer. &nbsp;Actually, it's possible that the group exhibition is more of a pretense to consolidate this interdisciplinary group around failure, which is obviously something people are wary of associating with too closely. &nbsp;The exhibition is tentatively titled "Failure to Levitate."</p><p>That title references a work by the artist Bruce Nauman, documented in the above photo titled "Failing to Levitate in My Studio (1966)." &nbsp;The photo manages to present the sequence of falling to the floor with just two time-lapse frames. &nbsp;The succinct ele...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/93061878/detroit-house-opera Detroit House Opera Mitch McEwen 2014-02-07T16:54:00-05:00 >2014-02-10T22:37:21-05:00 <p>Inspired by the flexibility of uses for houses in Detroit, in proximity to the major cultural&nbsp;institutions for opera and diverse forms of performance, this project stages an opera as a&nbsp;house, the house and its dramas of occupancy and vacancy, demolition, and re-purposing, as&nbsp;an opera.</p><p>The more serious and dry implications at the urban planning level include: how can residential vacancy be converted into an opportunity to support local cultural assets? What are the zoning, planning and building code changes that make this possible?</p><p>The project aims to address these questions, while developing a suite of spatial and architectural tactics to facilitate this exploration of performance, community, and form. The experimental aspects architecturally include strategies of interactivity, portability, and expanded territories of adaptive re-use. &nbsp;This project began in the research phase with my&nbsp;<a href="http://mcewenstudio.com/web/research/usa-house-project/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">USA House Project</a>.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://mcewenstudio.com/web/wp-content/uploads/Step11-1024x512.jpg"></p><p><img alt="" src="http://mcewenstudio.com/web/wp-content/uploads/Step2-1024x513.jpg"></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/89903539/mumbai-anthropocene Mumbai Anthropocene Mitch McEwen 2013-12-28T13:57:00-05:00 >2013-12-30T21:04:38-05:00 <p> This "Another Architecture" blog started as an intermittent chronicle of my architecture fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude.&nbsp; I was back in New York for the summer, preparing for the next phase of my fellowship in Zagreb Croatia, when I got a call from U. of Michigan to teach the Fall 2013 studio for their Master of Urban Design program.&nbsp; The studio was sited in Mumbai.&nbsp;</p> <p> [This last post of 2013 ends the chapter of&nbsp; this blog as a chronicle of research, theory, and travel.&nbsp; I am picking this up in 2014 as a more frequent update from the perspective of a practitioner, mostly based in Brooklyn.]</p> <p> Mumbai / Bombay is an incredible place - hyper dense, active, extreme.&nbsp; It makes New York feel empty and banal in comparison. Photos from the U. of Michigan studio trip, our pop-up exhibit at Studio X Mumbai, and links to the studio's work are below.&nbsp; 3 projects from the studio are being submitted to the UN Habitat competition on "Housing at the Center."</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/rl/rlhcee6zv08h483q.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/xz/xz8p8f823h8fdbsp.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/vu/vugxzhpzykiip91e.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/hh/hhob5pf9ksxb1e3u.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/h1/h1txzra3kg6lxsji.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/pp/ppd3czb84mocbcla.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/lz/lz1wges8qli8gm78.jpg" title=""></p> <p> Studen...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/82544294/columbia-gsapp-shocker Columbia GSAPP Shocker Mitch McEwen 2013-09-23T20:41:00-04:00 >2013-09-30T20:35:56-04:00 <p> I can't believe Wigley is <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/82541081/mark-wigley-steps-down-as-dean-of-architecture-planning-and-preservation-at-columbia" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">stepping down from the Dean position at Columbia GSAPP</a>. &nbsp;The Studio X infrastructure seemed to be still ramping up and ready to take over another continent. &nbsp;Like Antarctica, for example.</p> <p> This makes me feel like I must have reached mid-career already, since I started in grad school at GSAPP the year that Wigley became Dean. &nbsp;</p> <p> Some work from that year is below. &nbsp;I'm incredibly curious what is next at Columbia now.&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/k5/k5k07q6n25ylgme1.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/y7/y79ldbj04unnds27.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ru/ru5pw1jsmapxn5lb.jpg" title=""></p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/79230371/james-turrell-and-robert-irwin James Turrell and Robert Irwin Mitch McEwen 2013-08-12T12:30:00-04:00 >2013-09-24T01:33:06-04:00 <p> This summer in New York we are having a rare dose of major works from the West coast's "Light and Space" movement.&nbsp; That phrase Light and Space always makes me think first of Light and Air, that penultimate duo of Depression-era <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1999/04/04/realestate/making-tenements-modern.html?pagewanted=all&amp;src=pm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tenement reform</a> and the 1916 <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zonehis.shtml" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New York City zoning</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> The major Light and Space exhibition this summer is, of course, <a href="http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view/james-turrell" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">James Turrell at Guggenheim</a>.&nbsp; The main focus of the exhibit is Turrell's <em>Aten Reign</em> installation, which takes over the Guggenheim rotunda.&nbsp; The work both repeats and obscures the ramps and the rotunda's skylight, in a way that could only make me compare the two, like a renovation that one unpeels in the imagination.&nbsp; To get myself out of this misplaced design-mind, I walked slowly up the ramp, but this only made it worse, as one can peer through the mesh and start to make out the scaffolding.&nbsp;</p> <p> Conceptually, though, I was surprised the work had such a clear back and front.&nbsp; The piece seems to rely on a specific orchestration of movement th...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/76602378/primate-is-doubly-digital Primate is doubly digital Mitch McEwen 2013-07-08T20:06:00-04:00 >2013-07-15T22:24:39-04:00 <p> This is a brief summary of Primate, the plugin that I created to integrate <a href="https://www.leapmotion.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Leap Motion</a> with parametric design in Grasshopper.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/cd/cdj025zu2twig5kg.jpg" title=""></p> <p> For me there are 3) big break-throughs that Leap enables.&nbsp; 1) bringing to digital processes an intuitive access to 3 dimensions.&nbsp; That is very different than a mouse that moves around on a fixed plane.&nbsp; 2) ability to model interaction from design through use 3) the specificity of understanding hands, which are arguably one of the most defining things about us as a species.</p> <p> Related to this 3rd point, I want to take a moment to mention the <a href="http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=digital" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">etymology of the word digital</a>.&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/1f/1fehb42ug2qm5s2b.jpg" title=""></p> <p> Digital, itself, comes from fingers.&nbsp; The word digital emerges in the English language in the 1650s, meaning "pertaining to fingers," from the Latin digitalis, from digitus (see digit).&nbsp; So, when we are designing with our hands in the computer we are thinking digitally in both the 17th century sense of the word and the 21st century sense.</p> <p> That said, here are the basics on Primat...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/74711935/mobile-office Mobile office Mitch McEwen 2013-06-06T16:39:00-04:00 >2013-06-21T03:55:18-04:00 <p> My residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude has ended for the moment.&nbsp; I am back in New York for the summer, will be in Europe again in the fall.</p> <p> Here in NY my office is mobile.&nbsp; I am mostly at either the main library at Bryant Park in Manhattan or at one of the Goethe Institute locations.&nbsp; All of which have architecture books and magazines, ample desk space, decent-speed wireless internet, and coffee nearby.&nbsp;</p> <p> Some specs on my mobile office below:</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/42/42uzx8dg5yfgtadl.jpg" title=""></p> <p> Everything's in a hard-body VCR case that I found last year in Brooklyn and thoroughly disinfected.&nbsp; A hotdog vendor yesterday asked me if I was carrying a million dollars in cash.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/rz/rzy4r31sak3cl3lt.jpg" title=""></p> <p> The velcro straps hold down the Lenovo Ideapad laptop, running Intel i5 processor core, which works fine for me, since I'm rarely doing renderings or anything that speed-oriented.&nbsp; Dual partitions running Windows 7.&nbsp; I decided not to upgrade to 8 because I am using this <a href="http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Link Extension Tool</a> to run programs across the partition.&nbsp; (Plus 8 seems to be ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/73544681/istanbul-the-bosphorous-corbusier-s-sketches-rex Istanbul, the Bosphorous, Corbusier's sketches, Rex Mitch McEwen 2013-05-20T19:34:00-04:00 >2013-05-27T20:40:48-04:00 <p> How much of the history of urban design as a discipline can be traced back to Corbusier's reading of foreground and background in Istanbul? He took his first research trip abroad to Istanbul in 1911 and wrote of the relationship between the massive forms of the mosques and the repeated typology of the wooden houses. Waterfront, trees, density - the contemporary concerns of urban design are already here. (His sketches and watercolor below are from "Turkish Architecture and Urbanism Through the Eyes of L.C.")</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/6h/6hclfnlve6ju9ete.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/s6/s67uhmbd0zn00z1h.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/h6/h60tqc3rg7g4we12.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/yd/yd5h1j22leskpe0i.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/yj/yjtm1697xsbdhh7k.jpg" title=""></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> It is very unfair to position Rex's Vakko headquarters next to the New Mosque of 1597 and a detail of the Marble Door at Hagia Sophia.&nbsp; But the slumped glass holds its own.&nbsp; The interior of the Vakko, not so much.&nbsp; One reads the hurriedness of the project, which was, however, a major aspect of its intelligence.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/c1/c126hesspmbqlv58.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/v6/v6om5c1esmaxrd1i.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/h7/h7y5re2toumevxer.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/x7/x73qxwzu8twxb8ia.jpg" title=""></p> <p> These towers below, photographed quickly from a taxi on the Asian side, are far from the business parks, much less the Bosphorous or t...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/72593089/peter-zumthor-s-kunsthaus-bregenz Peter Zumthor's Kunsthaus Bregenz Mitch McEwen 2013-05-06T12:13:00-04:00 >2013-05-13T22:43:36-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/0y/0y3ymneeb4dhf6kg.jpg" title=""></p> <p> It's sort of 2 and a half buildings in one. &nbsp;A functional envelope that might remind one of the Eames' house, if the Eame's house were 4 stories and all glazed. &nbsp;Outside of that are the overlapped panels of glass that come all the way down to the sidewalk.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/sa/sastu5s47wu9acuv.jpg" title=""></p> <p> Inside is concrete - interior walls and stairs of the same finish. &nbsp;The brightest finish of concrete is reserved for the floor. &nbsp;The ceilings are also glass, clipped together - the clips showing, of course. &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/io/io5l3hxdwi947u2v.jpg" title=""></p> <p> The ceiling brings in a filtered light from fixtures far enough away that the light becomes diffused. &nbsp;This is probably the most&nbsp;decadent aspect of the project - it's what enables us to read the stairs and floors through the envelope. &nbsp;It's the sort of ultimate 'reveal' - a gap between floors that functionally provides an amazing lighting effect.</p> <p> Urbanistically, the building basically participates in the dominant pattern of the city blocks near the lake. &nbsp; That means facing away from the lake. &nbsp;(There's rail ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/71311806/messe-basel-when-big-architecture-knows-its-neighborhood Messe Basel - when big architecture knows its neighborhood Mitch McEwen 2013-04-15T12:23:00-04:00 >2013-04-22T21:44:17-04:00 <p> There is not much I could add to Herzog + de Meuron's own description of their Messeplatz Basel project, which is quoted in length <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/2013/02/13/new-hall-messe-basel-by-herzog-de-meuron/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here on Dezeen</a>, along with photos. &nbsp;Often in our field a project description can sound a bit like an artist statement, heavy on intent and concept, but maybe overblown compared to the everyday effect of whatever is built. &nbsp;But the Messeplatz project delivers, even as Herzog + de Meuron states:</p> <p> <em>The surrounding Kleinbasel district will also benefit from the continuing upgrade of the Messeplatz and, at the same time, regaining former exhibition areas to convert into apartments and offices that will contribute to Basel's urban development.&nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p> <p> Indeed, walking from Claraplatz to Messeplatz - one epicenter of the artworld - the streetscape is surprisingly inconsistent. &nbsp;Of course, the same was true of Chelsea until fairly recently, post-Highline. &nbsp;Maybe I am reading too much into this sentence and the sensitive architectural strategies that I will talk abo...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/69431550/not-luxury-concept-furniture [Not Luxury] concept furniture Mitch McEwen 2013-03-14T10:38:16-04:00 >2013-03-26T18:04:41-04:00 <p> [Not Luxury] concept furniture line, on view with exhibition design for chessmaster Vera Nebolsina's performance next Saturday for Lange Nacht der Museen 2013 (Long Night of the Museums) at <a href="http://www.akademie-solitude.de/en/roemer-xiv-jour-fixe~3557/%20" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">R&ouml;merstasse 2 gallery space</a>, Stuttgart.&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/1r/1rrbsm36bmhyl59y.jpg" title=""></p> <p> The furniture is based not only on affordable recyclable materials but on the possibility of buying without credit (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layaway" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">layaway</a> assembly). &nbsp;The forms are based on modern classics, including the Eames La Chaise.&nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://makeagif.com/i/olD0xT" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ck/ckxvmblp7gk0y1cc.jpg" title=""></a></p> <p> (Click for animated GIF)</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/68904531/chess-master-visits-architecture-workshop Chess master visits architecture workshop Mitch McEwen 2013-03-06T10:03:00-05:00 >2013-03-11T23:12:59-04:00 <p> A month ago already <a href="http://archinect.com/another/parameters-of-chess" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">in this blog</a> I mentioned a collaboration I had started with a chessmaster. &nbsp;Here's <a href="http://vimeo.com/61076117" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">a video</a> of her visit to the workshop I led at Stuttgart's Staatliche Akademie der&nbsp;Bildenden K&uuml;nste.&nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://vimeo.com/61076117" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/td/tdbng4utvwqaj6n4.jpg" title=""></a></p> <p> Presented in the context of a workshop that I directed at ABK Stuttgart called "Parameters of Chess: Designing with Decisions," Vera Nebolsina lectures as a chess theorist to architecture students. Starting with Deleuze's theories about chess, go and the 'ideal game', Nebolsina talks about comparative value of chess pieces, the game of go and Japanese business strategies, lines of desire on the board, and the relationship between materiality and space.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/67517456/write-your-manifesto-in-60-80-words Write your manifesto in 60 - 80 words Mitch McEwen 2013-02-13T17:03:00-05:00 >2014-04-05T20:04:24-04:00 <p> A friend of mine, a colleague who also manages a practice in Brooklyn, asked me to contribute to his collection of manifestos and influences for a presentation.&nbsp; Here are the instructions, followed by my own manifesto below.&nbsp; What would yours be?</p> <p> <em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (1) Write a theory that conceptually frames your ideas or a principle that drives your work.&nbsp; We imagine it to be longer than a sentence but shorter than a paragraph: 60-80 words.</em></p> <p> <br><em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (2) In partner with the preceding, provide one of your project images, from any time frame, that illustrates that principle. </em></p> <p> <br><em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (3)&nbsp; And lastly, we would love to hear what has influenced you.&nbsp; It could be a book, project, film, magazine, etc.&nbsp;&nbsp; If at all possible, this influence wants be something that students could look up. </em></p> <p> Result:</p> <p> There are too many problems in the world for architects to allocate our time and intelligence to making up new ones. To make a new architecture, make an architecture capable of participating in all of the values...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/66890316/parameters-of-chess Parameters of chess Mitch McEwen 2013-02-04T12:02:00-05:00 >2013-02-06T19:31:05-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/9r/9r5vw1yrpnm4iei2.jpg" title=""></p> <p> Photo by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Nebolsina" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Vera Nebolsina</a>, Grandmaster</p> <p> As I've alluded to before (<a href="http://archinect.com/another/brunelleschi-bim" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Brunelleschi = BIM</a>), I tend not to see digital design methods - such as Building Information Modeling or parametric design - as paradigmatic ruptures within architecture and its history. &nbsp;The capacity of parametric modeling as a means of reading and predicting the sea of boxes that comprises most of industrialized space may, ultimately, be more significant than its implementation in form-finding with differentiated and repeated components. (Summary of a course I taught at Columbia GSAPP about this is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thaconglomerate.com/parametric-zoning-envelope/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>)</p> <p> That said, I have been working recently with Vera Nebolsina, a Chess Grandmaster here at the Akademie, on a project that has got me enthusiastic about the conceptual implications of using Grasshopper (the Rhino plug-in). &nbsp;We are designing an environment that could host both formal and informal chess tournaments and workshops. &nbsp;One of the primary goals is to enable a Grandmaster to play up to 20 people simulta...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/66143995/sweating-tanks-at-tate Sweating Tanks at Tate Mitch McEwen 2013-01-24T11:24:00-05:00 >2013-01-29T11:36:32-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/3v/3vzvwoolf2oi9l1p.jpg" title=""></p> <p> The <a href="http://www.archdaily.com/255777/the-tanks-open-tate-modern-herzog-de-meuron/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tanks</a><a href="http://www.herzogdemeuron.com/index/projects/complete-works/251-275/263-the-tanks.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> at Tate Modern</a> <a href="http://www.archdaily.com/255777/the-tanks-open-tate-modern-herzog-de-meuron/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">opened</a> this past summer. &nbsp;They are spaces dedicated to performance that also launch the next phase of the Herzog &amp; de Meuron expansion. &nbsp;As Herzog &amp; de Meuron explain one aspect of this connection to the expansion "&nbsp;A row of new and inclined concrete columns penetrate the space and introduce a moment of structural force of what will be built above over the next years."</p> <p> Concrete columns do exactly that without taming the scale of the open spaces or their rawness. &nbsp;On a visit to the Tanks last week I was impressed that the space was even more rough than implied in the opening photos. &nbsp;Without bright lights washing out the tones, a visitor to the Tanks enters spaces with ladders to nowhere, patched up openings, dark discolorations and even writing on the concrete. &nbsp;One could read this as a mood shifter from the clean white galleries above or as an art historically savvy homage to the late 20th century history of performance art. &nbsp;On a wall asking for com...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/64417775/ceci-n-est-pas-un-bmw Ceci n'est pas un BMW Mitch McEwen 2012-12-29T18:40:00-05:00 >2013-01-08T23:14:37-05:00 <p> Am I the only person who mistakenly thought&nbsp;Coop Himmelb(l)au had designed both the BMW Museum and the Porsche Museum? &nbsp;I saw Wolf Prix present the BMW Museum project 7 or 8 years ago. &nbsp;Maybe it's because some of the structural feats are similar that I got them mixed up. &nbsp;(UN Studio's Mercedes Benz Museum is also in Stuttgart.)</p> <p> Let me be very clear. &nbsp;Below are some pics and a few comments about the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, which is designed by **Delugan Meissl Associated Architects.**</p> <p> Porsche Museum. Delugan Meissi. Let's go:</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/wu/wu0w4bdr5cevtm1e.jpg" title=""><img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/b0/b0tv5vb2k30buwdz.jpg" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/p2/p2sbcgb87kqj6l0k.jpg" title=""></p> <p> The primary gesture of separating and lifting the exhibition floors translates into this interior of a sky-lit lobby with central circulation to the exhibition floors.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/qh/qh6mvd3h7i6wb9ze.jpg" title=""></p> <p> (It is a bit odd for a client company that has designed seating to treat seating as such an after-thought. &nbsp;This is consistent throughout.)</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/91/91452k0xqhenwgog.jpg" title=""></p> <p> One strains to find the sense of high velocity movement or precision that defines the Porsche brand, though the exhibition is lai...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/64076375/brunelleschi-bim Brunelleschi = BIM Mitch McEwen 2012-12-24T14:24:00-05:00 >2013-01-10T10:36:47-05:00 <p> Last week I had the great fortune to go to Pisa, Italy, for the first time and Florence for the second time. &nbsp;I am struck by many&nbsp;parallels&nbsp;between the era of the early 14th century and our own time, more than I can go into in this brief post. I am not talking about the post-modernist concern with visual communication. &nbsp;Rather, questions of process and&nbsp;disciplinarity are my primary interest.</p> <p> The hypothesis I'm announcing in the headline here - that Brunelleschi may be considered as a precedent to today's Building Information Modeling (BIM) - is not one I'm fully prepared to back up yet. &nbsp;My hunch is that the disciplinary position that Brunelleschi invented maps more closely onto how we work now than how architects worked in the 20th century. &nbsp;Here are some of the questions I am looking into:</p> <p> - What is the relationship between the work of Neri di Fioravante, the dome's 14th century designer, and that of Brunelleschi? &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> - How did the herringbone pattern emerge? &nbsp;Here I am esp...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/63383149/gis-across-borders GIS across borders Mitch McEwen 2012-12-14T15:58:00-05:00 >2012-12-23T17:32:22-05:00 <p> Is there any more concise record of globalization and its various militaristic and managerial operations than the Coordinate Reference System options in your standard GIS software?&nbsp;</p> <p> For a project sited in Detroit, I have started building a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) map focused on downtown Detroit neighborhoods and the waterfront border with Windsor, Canada. &nbsp;The project is especially concerned with bike paths - really any alternative to automobiles. &nbsp;Biking is already established &nbsp;in neighborhoods on either side of this international border - through Mexicantown and Corktown on the Detroit side and downtown Windsor on the Canadian side. &nbsp; Part of what I am looking at is the possibility of local international bike paths.&nbsp;</p> <p> In the process, of course, I am bringing together data with varied Coordinate Reference Systems. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/p9/p923nk1uja1sxkya.jpg" title="">Windsor, Canada, above, with bike paths in heavy black and potentially skate-able sidewalks in dark gray. &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/45/45oejbcjpf56q66c.jpg" title=""></p> <p> I have not yet got the Detroi...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/63051711/learning-from-stinkbugs Learning from stinkbugs Mitch McEwen 2012-12-10T00:54:00-05:00 >2012-12-17T22:20:38-05:00 <p> On November 23rd, a biologist, an economist, a media theorist, a composer and a few other academics came here to <a href="http://www.akademie-solitude.de/en/welcome/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Akademie Schloss Solitude</a> to make a symposium on <a href="http://www.rhythmanalysis.de/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RhythmAnalysis</a>. &nbsp;The title references Henri Lefebvre's <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythmanalysis" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life</a>,</em> but the presenters talked broadly about rhythm from their own disciplines. &nbsp;In the end it was up to us to make the connections back to everyday life and space as social practice.&nbsp;</p> <p> The presentation that offered me the most insight into re-thinking Space, Time, and Everyday Life came from a biologist who studies bugs, primarily stinkbugs. &nbsp;Meta Virant-Doberlet (Department of Entomology, National Institute of Biology, Ljubljana, Slovenia) records plant vibrations to study what she calls "<a href="http://jeb.biologists.org/content/208/8/1481.full.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">substrate-borne communication</a>." &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/22/22i0vdu3kj5ggih0.jpg" title=""></p> <p> Photo from Meta Virant-Doberlet via <a href="http://www.livescience.com/11201-shakin-insects-break-heard.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.livescience.com/11201-shakin-insects-break-heard.html</a></p> <p> These stinkbugs use plants to transmit messages-- low frequency signals that vibrate within the ...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/62522297/how-to-live How to Live Mitch McEwen 2012-12-02T13:15:00-05:00 >2012-12-10T23:31:09-05:00 <p> Before coming to Stuttgart I didn't know anything about the&nbsp;<a href="http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wei%C3%9Fenhofsiedlung" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Wei&szlig;enhofsiedlung</a>&nbsp;(residential development curated by Mies van der Rohe in a collaboration between Deutscher Werkbund and the state).&nbsp;&nbsp; It's a fascinating&nbsp;predecessor&nbsp;to the Case Study Houses, as well as to the semi-failed Ordos 100 project of a few years ago. &nbsp;Of course both those examples, as&nbsp;disparate&nbsp;as they are in intent and historical significance, are based on a private financing model. &nbsp;The Wei&szlig;enhofsiedlung manages to combine public investment with a curatorial method that uses building as a mode of experimentation. &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/23/23oxocjpwyrpzo05.jpg" title=""></p> <p> The title of this blog post is a translation of the question posed in the postcard on the left, a reproduction of the Die Wohnung exhibition publicity, which asks <em>Wie wohnen</em>? &nbsp;In German the word for apartment - <em>Wohnung</em> - is closer to the English word <em>dwelling</em>. &nbsp;<em>Wie wohnen</em>? means How to dwell / reside / live? The red X in the graphic crosses over an image of a room stuffed with 19th century furn...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/62264901/le-corbusier-or-hans-scharoun Le Corbusier or Hans Scharoun? Mitch McEwen 2012-11-27T21:04:00-05:00 >2012-12-03T21:15:47-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/mm/mmmadu5k13pyv3oq.jpg" title=""></p> <p> 1927 in Stuttgart, Germany. &nbsp;I'll give the answer in my next real post.</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/62055356/modernity-and-ideology Modernity and ideology Mitch McEwen 2012-11-24T12:40:00-05:00 >2012-12-03T21:08:46-05:00 <p> For the past few weeks I have been thinking mostly about modernity and ideology. &nbsp;We talk often in architecture about the relationship between theory and practice. &nbsp;Like the opposition of public/private or political/autonomous, the duality of theory and practice feels both important and stale - predictably provocative to the point of being terribly boring. &nbsp;Understanding ideology and modernity as related phenomena may be a way around this over-wrought divide.&nbsp;</p> <p> Science figures largely in the references I am looking at. &nbsp;Before getting too far from architecture, let me mention&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_John_Kiesler" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Frederick Kiesler</a>. &nbsp;In 1937 Kiesler introduced a laboratory research model to the Architecture school at Columbia University with the "Laboratory for Design Correlation" - apparently the first Lab in any architecture school. &nbsp;Despite having invented the format that would become arguably one of the leading models of architecture education of the next century, Kiesler was ostracized in the field, and his lab o...</p>