Categories
Art and Design Culture Places

Carcinization of the built and visual environment

Bookmarked The age of average by Written By Alex Murrell (alexmurrell.co.uk)

This article argues that from film to fashion and architecture to advertising, creative fields have become dominated and defined by convention and cliché. Distinctiveness has died. In every field we look at, we find that everything looks the same.

Welcome to the age of average.

Like so many body forms converge on the shape of the crab, under the selective pressures of capitalism and efficiency, so too do buildings become the same, cars become the same, movies become the same.

When independent actors are all operating under the same selective pressures — aerodynamics and regulations and manufacturing constraints for cars, zoning and building codes for architecture, attracting a certain demographic for AirBnBs — convergence seems nearly assured. When a formula works, whether that’s the design of a coffee shop or the makeup techniques for a particular look, there’s little incentive to expand beyond that assurance of at least mediocrity.

Familiarity is another selective pressure. It’s as if there are a handful of uber-“brand” aesthetics that companies merely need to hitch themselves to — mimicking existing successful design becomes a shortcut to tie that business into the entire ecosystem marketing to that demographic. From that perspective, standing out could be bad.

See also:

What do Places give us?

The Homogeneity of Millenial Design

Categories
Art and Design

Read Soviet Seasons

Read Soviet Seasons

In Soviet Seasons, Arseniy Kotov reveals unfamiliar aspects of the post-Soviet terrain in sublime photographs. From snow-blanketed Siberia in winter to the mountains of the Caucasus in summer, these images show how a once powerful, utopian landscape has been affected by the weight of nature itself.

Loved the photography, learned a lot from the detailed descriptions of each photo. I liked the organization into seasons — winter and fall were my favorites. Fantastic collection.

More photos at his website.

Categories
Art and Design Featured Future Building

What do Places give us?

Replied to The Importance of Magical Places by Coby Lefkowitz (Our Built Environment)

In most communities, we have a box that we sleep in, a box we drive to the office or school in, and then, once we’re there, a box to work or study in… These places are often devoid of any ornamentation, idiosyncratic details, or contextual elements that would ground them in a specific community.

Our buildings and places symbolize what we value. They tell the story of who we are.

But what about when we don’t know who we are?

I suspect there’s a connection between the loss of Place-making and the dissolution of community ties.

Categories
Art and Design Comics

Read Eileen Gray: A House Under the Sun

Read Eileen Gray

In 1924, work began in earnest on a small villa by the sea in the south of France. Nearly a century later, this structure is a design milestone. Meet Eileen Gray, the woman behind the E-1027 house and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. Like so many gifted female artists and designers of her time, Eileen Gray’s story has been eclipsed by the men with whom she collaborated. Dzierzawska’s exquisite visuals bring to life the tale of a young Irish designer whose work and life came to bloom during the ‘Annees Folles’ of early 20th century Paris.

I liked the art but didn’t understand why the house is so special or why it was so offensive to have Le Corbusier’s murals added. Though the book is titled after the house, it’s more of a general biography.

Her Bibendum chair is cool looking.

“The poverty of modern architecture stems from a lack of sensuality.”
Categories
History Places

A Victorian sewage plant adorned in ironwork

Liked Forgotten Gems: Crossness Pumping Station by Georgie HooleGeorgie Hoole (theculturetrip.com)

Nicknamed the Cistern Chapel, Crossness Pumping Station by Joseph Bazalgette is a joyously decorative feat of Victorian industrial design, which inadvertently helped eradicate cholera in London.

See also: Why Beauty Matters (thread)

Categories
Future Building

Building with DIY plastic bricks

Bookmarked Ecobrick Powered Plastic Transition | Ecobricks.org (ecobricks.org)

Ecobricks prevent plastic from becoming trash, waste, recycling, incineration or pollution. Eco bricks enable non-capital, zero-waste, net-zero, plastic sequestration.

We have a ton of plastic film but basically zero plastic bottles 🤔

I like to see a creative use of a hard-to-recycle material, and it’s another form of the earth ship reclaimed waste building approach. I’d guess it’d be better to recycle the film if recycling is available, but it’s not in most places.

Categories
Art and Design Places

Mood

Photo by Mauri Karlin.

Categories
Cool Future Building

3D printed earthen homes

Liked This is the first house to be 3D printed from raw earth (itsnicethat.com)

Multiple printers constructed the building in 200 hours using local soil, meaning it’s zero-waste and needed no materials to be transported to the site.

 

Categories
Cool

Living Over the City

Bookmarked The penthouse of Seattle’s historic Smith Tower is up for rent by Callie Craighead (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

The pyramid-shaped penthouse atop Seattle’s oldest skyscraper is officially on the market for the first time ever. Built in 1914, Smith Tower was originally the first skyscraper in the city and tallest building west of the Mississippi River at the time. The glass globe that sits on the very top of the structure is also accessible through a spiral staircase if you truly want to reach the highest point of the building.

I like the idea of this better than the reality of the apartment. The thought of a secret sanctuary, overlooking the whole city, is a cool worldbuilding element.

Categories
Cool Future Building History

Persian Desert Ice Storage Structure

Liked Yakhchāl (en.m.wikipedia.org)
Yakhchal of Yazd province

“A yakhchāl is an ancient type of evaporative cooler. Above ground, the structure had a domed shape, but had a subterranean storage space. It was often used to store ice, but sometimes was used to store food as well. The subterranean space coupled with the thick heat-resistant construction material insulated the storage space year round.” Wikipedia

“In most yakhchāls, the ice is created by itself during the cold seasons of the year; the water is channeled from the qanat (Iranian aqueduct) to the yakhchāl and it freezes upon resting inside the structure.”

“Sometimes equipped with a system of bâdgirs (ancient design of windcatchers or wind towers) that could easily bring temperatures inside the space down to frigid levels even in summer days… Bâdgirs catch the slightest breeze by the vents at the top and funnel the cooling air down through internal, vertically-placed wooded slats to the water or structure below. Alternately, the bâdgir can function as a chimney, expelling warm air upward to pull cool air in from a base opening…”