Friday, May 29, 2009

blog lifespan.

I am here today to give this blog a death sentence. As much neglect as I have given it, due to school and life constraints, I have plans to send the blog out with dignity. Lack of time on my part has resulted in not acting on the statement that is the title of this blog, architecture is a verb. Writing, drawing, and in many cases thinking about architecture has taken a back seat lately, so it is my idea to make this blog live and die with my first huge academic effort in treating architecture as a verb. Since this last semester ended a week ago, and I have had proper unproductive time since, the game of applying to architectural graduate programs is here and I plan to use this blog to document the process. Preparations, test dates, hurdles, post-mark dates, acceptances and rejections all written out for the internet to see. Once the process is over, a little less than a year from now, the death of this blog will be.

I plan on starting another blog soon enough which I will link here for my n number of readers, where 0<n<13 (modestly), with another writer or two and more of my attention. But for now applying to architecture schools (along with a few modest summer academic pursuits) is my top priority and will be documented here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

google parade on google street.

Image: Chicken by Nicolas Lampert,
via Street With A View.

Pittsburgh artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley, with help from a mattress factory and a local gallery, collaborated with Google last year to inject performance and street art into Google map's street view feature. Giving the usually utilitarian (but often novel) feature a sense of culture and community to the streets(view) of Pittsburgh's Northside. They posed various scenes, an artist's chicken sculpture, a faux marathon, band practice, rapunzelesque mattress factory escapes, and in some cases the locals of the community caught on and joined in with the spectacle.

No doubt, this was somewhat inspired by the various unintended scenes that have been found on Google maps or street view, most of which have been removed. The topless sunbathing Dutch woman, a drunk Australian man passed out in his own gutter, crimes in progress, adult movie/market follies, and spectral looking entities open to interpretation, are a few of the things that have been found by street view wanderlust.

Soon enough, a schedule of google's street view-mobile will be blogged. Local business people, artists, exhibitionists, and nutjobs will take to the streets to pimp out their wares, creations, and ideologies for you to find while looking to get directions. David Koresh wannabe's with John 3:16 signs. Liquor stores advertising a 'street-view extravaganza!' of 2-for-1 Budwiser tall cans. Daniel showing his girlfriend how much he 'loves' her by getting a picture of them making out on Budding architecture firms throwing up guerilla installations to show off their design talent.

This is clearly the age where privacy dies and transparency reigns. Your identity can't be stolen, the world knows exactly who you are anyways. Everyone knows everything about you, your face is slapped across the internet, including a picture of you waving from your stoop on google street view when friends attempt to find where you live.

Image: Marching Band,
via Street With A View.

links to enjoy 1.28.09.

  • The English House @ Fantastic Journal. - "Just what is it that makes yesterday’s homes so different, so appealing? Over 30 million people visit stately homes annually in the UK. The National Trust has grown to 3.5 million members in recent years..."

  • WTC Clusterfuck @ Curbed. - "Behold! Our updated, wildly confusing World Trade Center timeline infographic! Hey, what's with the question mark on Lord Norman Foster's diamond-topped Tower 2, and Sir Richard Rogers' bulgy-bottomed Tower 3? Brace..."

  • 300,000 pack of Bic pens @ Designboom. - "tomas gabzdil libertiny of rotterdam’s studio libertiny sent us some images of his latest design. ‘the bic blue cabinet’..."

  • Hacker Commune @ NYT. - "A ROBOTIC roller skate propels itself across the fifth floor of an old sewing factory at 397 Bridge Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The softly lighted room is permeated by an acrid odor..."

  • Buildings can Matter? @ Architecture + Morality. - "If it is not obvious to most people already, there is no doubt: the current economic recession has had devastating consequences to the building trades, in particular architects..."

  • Applied Graphic Design Math @ Architectural Scholar. - "The application of diagrams extends beyond its classical field of use today. Data Flow charts this development, introduces the expansive scope of innovatively designed diagrams and presents an abundant range of possibilities..."

  • Absurdos 100 House in Sketchup @ Arch Daily. - "A few days ago we featured an interview with Alejandro Aravena and his project for a villa in ORDOS 100, with more than 70 images. In order to further extend the possibilities of understanding this project, Alejandro shared with us a very detailed Sketchup model..."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

projects to enjoy 1.13.09.

Here is the first installment of bi-weeklyish short list posts of a few of the interesting projects floating around the 'sphere. Next up, I am going to do the same with architecture related links, often with more reading than pretty pictures.

Bronnoysund Waterfront by Fantastic Norway

Image: Bronnoysund Waterfront, via designboom.

Residence in Toyama by Yukihide Mizuno

Image: Residence in Toyama, by Yukihide Mizuno.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster+Partners

Image: Sperone Westwater Gallery, via designboom.

House 1 by Claudio Vilarinho

Image: House 1, from Claudio Vilarinho.

Maritime Youth House by PLOT

Image: Maritime Youth House, via Arch Daily.

The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra by Konior Studio

Image: The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, from Konior Studio.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

implicit truth.

Yes, yes, that's right. Thanks go out to Swissmiss for this one.

Monday, January 5, 2009

cold stark living.

Everyone these days is used to checking out some new residential architecture and finding spaces or complete homes wrapped from floor to ceiling with a single material or finish. Art collectors with 'stark' white-wrapped walls, often throughout the rest of the house even where there isn't any art for the desired contrast. The 'cold' concrete homes where it looks like someone was hired to pour the foundation and ended up doing the framing, finishing, casework, and often the furniture. I put the words stark and cold in quotes in a sarcastic way, since they are adjectives I often hear used to describe interiors finished in this way by those who seem to not get along with spaces defined only by lights and shadows rather than the hard edges of differing materials.

Image: Chalet de vacances aux Diablerets,
by Charles Pictet Architecte.

It came as a surprise to me when I saw these photos of the first home I have come across, where the same uniform material style was applied, but with exposed grain wood rather than a concrete or matte blanket. This seemed fresh, maybe it's the contrast it has with the previously mentioned materials or that due to the light wood finish it feels like I can experience the aroma of the place (smells like freshly sawed pine), the interior just felt new to me.

With a material which is thought of as warm, like wood, would someone who's comfort is offended by complete concrete and matte houses, find this 'stark' or 'cold'? If so, I wonder what material or color in this kind of excess would work for those individuals, or if none to that excess what saturation would be acceptable.

Image: Chalet de vacances aux Diablerets, by Charles Pictet Architecte.

What about a house where every bit of the interior is wallpapered with... wallpaper? Surely it must be a very rare fetish to enjoy frilly patterns, 70's flowers, pinstripes, or cartoon dinosaurs surrounding you, dominating your eyes, feet, and thoughts until you run from the house screaming from an architecture induced panic attack. A constant of carpet may be acceptable to most. It just seems to me that most who think a concrete house feels like a prison, find satiation in spaces lined with various materials and finishes any of which done in an extreme would be headache in comparison to concrete or white everywhere.

Image: Chalet de vacances aux Diablerets, by Charles Pictet Architecte.

I would love to know more about this, and why people develop these associations. Of course no design should work for all or it wouldn't be design, it's the flippancy and the writing off of such design I would like a stronger grasp on. I more understand (but don't excuse!) the hardcore minimalist's anti-ornament comments more than the traditionalist's comments about living in a prison. I guess I can relate more to a fight against the comfort zone, rather than never having traveled out of it.

mordant street art.

Image: DC Street Installation, by Mark Jenkins.

Here is some street art definitely worth checking out, by artist Mark Jenkins, found in one of many art blogs also worth checking out, The Wooster Collective.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

tin robot salute to 2008.

What a better time than the new year to post again, and hopefully start a trend of doing so (1 makes a pattern?). New posts coming very soon about architecture with a little psudo-science, math, and music mixed in, as well as posts on the architecture school application process that is so quickly coming up on me, and possibly a new design (don't hold me to it). More frequent and unfettered posts alone, will please the robot.

Happy new year to all, and here's to another twelve months of experiences, hopefully some good architecture sculpture to ogle. Don't forget to salute, just as the robot.