Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we’re stuck in. There were 40 million more slum dwellers worldwide in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to the UN. Private markets clearly can’t provide universal housing in any way approaching efficiency, and governments are often hostile to the poor. — Metropolis Magazine
In his book, McGuirk analyzes numerous de facto housing solutions for overcrowded cities, including the infamous "Torre David" in Caracas, an abandoned high-rise which became an iconic squatter's structure partly because of government ineptitude and indifference.
“What is it that you can do in a pavilion that you can’t do in a building? Buildings – you don’t want them to move. How can we get this structure to respond in a very subtle way to the weather and perhaps amplify the sound of the wind moving through it?” — theguardian.com
Whipsawing from tragedy to triumph, British architect and former Future Systems partner Amanda Levete has been awarded the design of the MPavilion, Australia's sprightly so-called version of the U.K.'s Serpentine Pavilion. Levete founded her current firm, Amanda Levete Architects, in 2009 after...
To promote its Nightstop program, in which volunteers offer homeless people ages 16 to 25 spare beds, homelessness charity Depaul UK launched a poster campaign Thursday that uses the architecture of buildings to help win the hearts and minds of passersby.
Publicis art director Dan Kennard and copywriter Ben Smith told me in an email that the idea for the design came from “that quite true observation that in life, there are two sides to pretty much every story.” — Slate.com
...after a year-long delay, Canada has committed $243.5 million to build a giant telescope observatory in Hawaii. The Thirty Meter Telescope, or TMT, will cost an estimated $1.5 billion USD to build...When completed, the TMT will be one of the largest telescopes in existence...Its 30 meter-wide mirror lens...will allow scientists to search the skies for planets outside of our own solar system, as well as other phenomena like supermassive black holes. — Vice
When Loft Living was first published, artists’ laments about real estate in New York City mirrored the concerns that have plagued residents for much of the last century. Namely, it’s tough to find a suitable and affordable place to live. Since the late ’80s, the tenor of that complaint has shifted from one of anxiety to one of fear... — Guernica
Guernica magazine interviewed sociologist Sharon Zukin following the 25th-anniversary release of her 1989 landmark book "Loft Living" last year. Revisiting her timely book -- which focuses on NYC's SoHo neighborhood when upscale real estate properties took over industrial lofts and artists'...
It’s hard to find a landmark building in Washington more polarizing than the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Designed by legendary German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the city’s central library was never much loved by Washingtonians. If anything, its popularity has gone downhill since its 1972 opening. [...]
But now, as a four-year process wends its way toward a final design, it’s clear Washingtonians shouldn’t expect a major overhaul of Mies’s flawed design. — washingtonian.com
According to the Washingtonian, Mecanoo (the firm leading the redesign) will release updates to their redesign (along with local partner Martinez & Johnson) later this month. But only after many of the proposed redesign elements have already been nixed: a "3-story rooftop addition"; replacing...
Earlier this week, venerable miscellany repository Kottke stumbled across a curious item in a section of the National Archives Catalog pertaining to the U.S. Forest Service: a precisely rendered and impressively illustrated 1974 document, titled Cocktail Construction Chart that meticulously detailed how to serve up various mixed drinks. [...] Esquire phoned up the agency to find out how this cool, but bizarre, part of our nation's history came to be. — esquire.com
Dressed in reflective yellow construction gear while working under the cover of darkness early Monday, a small group of artists installed a tribute to NSA-leaker Edward Snowden in a Brooklyn park.
But it was gone by midday.
The Snowden bust stood atop a column at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, a site built to honor more than 11,000 American prisoners of war who died aboard British ships during the American Revolutionary War. — mashable.com
Welcome, Player 1! You can now play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while. — googlemaps.com
While the search for a permanent director continues, David Burney, FAIA, will serve as interim Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture, taking the place of former director Rick Bell FAIA.Burney currently serves as an Associate...
Dash fits squarely into the current age of smart-home technology... It is not simply a matter of practical efficiency but of a proactive, preëmptive way of living, in which inefficiency is the worst kind of waste. The way we manage our chores is a measure of our worthiness. No one wants to live in a stupid home... And only a chump would ever run out of toilet paper.
But what if there is actual value in running out of things? — the New Yorker
Amazon released their new Dash devices yesterday and many people thought it was an April Fool's joke, partly " the idea seemed to poke fun at Amazon’s omnipresence, making it visibly manifest with little plastic one-click shopping buttons adhered to surfaces all over your home." But the device...
Even on a dry day, tens of millions of gallons of dirty water dumps into the ocean through the region’s vast storm drain system. The 3,500-mile network was designed and built to empty streets of rainwater, but tons of litter also flow into the ocean through the intricate system of curbside drainages, underground channels, pumps and creeks. Stormwater pollution puts beach swimmers at risk, particularly after it rains. Marine animals and plants can also get sick or die — LA Times
This is a really fascinating piece that attempts to trace how a cigarette butt flicked into a gutter in Bel Air could make its way across LA and end up in the ocean via Marina del Rey. Visualizations like this feel important because, while we may notice signs on the sides of the sidewalk saying...
222 Bowery is an Italian-inspired palazzo for the beggars. — Times
JULIE EARLE-LEVINE writes about the artist John Giorno’s home for over fifty years in Bowery."The address housed New York’s first Y.M.C.A. in the 1880s — in what was then one of the worst neighborhoods in Manhattan, frequented by prostitutes and alcoholics. Much has changed since the poet...
"Come as you are in the family car" — Robert H. Schuller
"ARTESIA, Calif. (AP) — The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, a California televangelist and author who beamed his upbeat messages on faith and redemption to millions of followers from his landmarkCrystal Cathedral only to see his empire crumble in his waning years, has died. He was 88."The Rev...
Lewis Kruger, Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), today announced the appointment of Shannon Stratton to the position of William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator, effective June 2015. In this role, Stratton will work closely with Nanette L. Laitman Director Glenn Adamson to oversee the Museum’s diverse exhibition program and collections, foster relationships with artists and designers, and develop new strategies to engage contemporary audiences. — MAD Museum
Stratton joins MAD after twelve years as the founding director of Three Walls, "a Chicago-based contemporary arts organization that presents both exhibitions and public programs, and provides grants and resources to artists and other organizers through projects like The Propeller Fund and...
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