Archived entries for architecture

Kinect Hacks


I gave a talk in Atlanta via Skype last week (image above by Noel Radley). The talk was about a Twitter client that Ryan Kornheisl, Anne Wysocki, and I built a hacked Kinect controller and Processing.

The image above doesn’t really tell you much about the project, but I like imagining myself a disembodied head, floating over the crowd. (There’s nice writeup about the project in the article Noel wrote for Viz.)


Film & Architecture

Architect Lebbeus Woods riffs on Chris Marker’s 28-minute masterpiece, La Jeteé. Famously the inspiration for Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys, Marker’s 1962 film takes viewers on a journey by turns jarring, disconcerting, and ominous as well as playful, philosophic, and romantic. Using only still images and voiceover.

What makes this game work is the film’s verisimilitude, its accurate construction of a parallel with our actual experience. If we use architecture as an example, we begin with the realization that architecture is still, not itself moving, thus it lacks—in our perceptions at least—continuity. Walking through a building is much like the film, a sequence of still views that rely on a turn of the head to evoke movement. In that instant of turning we effectively perceive a blur at best, which our brains don’t register, much as they don’t register the background noise we live with, so that turning our heads becomes a quick cut from one image to the next, much the same as the film. It is telling to note that Marker does not use dissolves. Rather, he stays close to the way we actually see, discontinuously.

(La Jeteé is apparently now available for streaming at Netflix.)

bottle redemption

Every day I drive by this sign and a part of me imagines I’m passing a small halfway house for fallen whiskey bottles on their path to salvation.

Small House


Ryuji Nakamura’s Midget & Giant is a small paper house that sits on top of a MacBook’s iSight camera. Too cool.

[ via swissmiss ]

from the desk of …


Cool: Designers and artists talk about and show their workspaces at from the desk of…. Above is Timothy Hull‘s desk, a well-worn (and neatly cluttered) aluminum table.

[via Boing Boing]

Staircase, Circulation, Barrio

Bogota 7

Lebbeus Woods has an interesting piece on architecture, circulation, and … I was going to say urban planning, but it’s less planning and more flaneur:
The Barrios of Bogota

As the area becomes more densely populated, the stair expands to become a network. The relationship between stair and building is ever changing. As new buildings are built and others disappear, portions of the stair become obsolete. The stair then becomes a spatial labyrinth of sorts. Particular lines along its path are only understood by those who inhabit its spaces on a day to day basis. Those unfamiliar with its paths would have no means of navigation through it.



Shelter in Plattsburgh


Building in Plattsburgh. Larger versions at Flickr.



Drove through the ADK with Underdog last weekend plus the Yashica Rangefinder and a roll of Fuji Superia film. Right after I took this shot, I cranked the winder on the camera and felt the end of the film pull out of the spool. Had to take the cmaera to a Rite-Aid photo department to have them use their darkroom boxish thing to get the film out. Pictures turned out pretty cool.

Modern Views

Modern Views, a project to benefit Mies van der Rohes’ Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House.

[via A Daily Dose of Architecture]

Eight Diagrams of the Future


I am putting forward eight diagrams—the very best, most accurately constructed diagrams of the future I am capable of devising—in order to help us know what it might be. Such knowledge may serve us well. Or it may not. Knowledge always cuts both ways.

To some of you, this might seem a variation on the Rorschach test, that is, an essentially psychological exercise. To others, it might seem like the mystical reading of tea leaves, or the entrails of a ritually sacrificed goat. Fair enough, but I should note that in both of those situations, the material is created accidentally, or—if you prefer—randomly. The eight diagrams are the products of conscious design.

Another reference comes to mind, though it, too, may be only distantly related to the eight diagrams: The Glass Bead Game devised by writer Hermann Hesse. In Hesse’s novel, “the exact nature of the game (quoting Wikipedia) remains elusive and (its) devotees occupy a special school…. The rules of the game are only alluded to, and are so sophisticated that they are not easy to imagine. Playing the game well requires years of hard study of music, mathematics, and cultural history. Essentially the game is an abstract synthesis of all arts and scholarship. It proceeds by players making deep connections between seemingly unrelated topics.”

Diagram 3:

Woods Figure 3

The Archigram Archival Project


Too cool:

The Archigram Archival Project makes the work of the seminal architectural group Archigram available free online for public viewing and academic study. The project was run by EXP, an architectural research group at the University of Westminster. Archigram Began Life as a Magazine produced at home by the members of the group, showing experimental work to a growing, global audience. Nine (and a half) seminal, individually designed, hugely influential, and now very rare magazines were produced between 1961 and 1974. The last ‘half’ was an update on the group’s office work rather than a ‘full’ Archigram magazine. The Six Members of Archigram are Peter Cook, David Greene, Mike Webb, Ron Herron, Warren Chalk and Dennis Crompton. Cook, Greene and Webb met in 1961, collaborated on the first Archigram magazine, later inviting Herron, Chalk and Crompton to join them, and the magazine name stuck to them as a group.

[via Interactive Architecture dot Org]

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