“NOTHING IS ORIGINAL
STEAL FROM ANYWHERE that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”
What would happen if, as the worst predictions suggest, there were no bees in London? How would flowers be pollinated?
Here a headquarters in Kew Gardens releases millions of delicate floating inseminators, like artificial spores, across the city. Locally, in places like Victoria Park in Hackney, small repair and collection points work constantly to recycle the proxy bees: architecture to pollinate a wilting city.
World’s Fair Exhibition. Set on the only section of the fair grounds that was not owned by the city, the site did not have the height restrictions of other exhibits/pavillions at the fair. The lot, 37-by-37 m, was purchased by private investors for $75,000 and is still privately owned. Standing 605 feet (184 meters) in the air on massive steel beams that form its slender legs, the Space Needle has since become the internationally recognized symbol of Seattle. The Space Needle was completed in December 1961, and officially opened four months later on the first day of the World’s Fair, April 21, 1962. Although there is much contention surrounding who came up with the final design of the Space Needle, John Graham is widely acknowledged as its architect. Edward Carlson and Victor Steinbrueck are also credited with having come up with elements of the design.
“I am fascinated by mankind’s pursuit of ‘perfection’. Through the instruments of science we strive to categorize, understand, rearrange and ultimately tame the natural world around us. My sketches are explorations of possible genetic futures where mankind has achieved this perfection, where science has ironed out the inadequacies of being human.” – Boiteaoutils
We’d like to call them “ghost towns”, but they are clearly not abandoned. Amazingly, people still live in them, go to work in the harshest possible conditions (paradoxically making it the richest and mightiest industrial area in Russia) and then come “home” to relax in inhuman weather, non-existing infrastructure, in dangerously dilapidated buildings…
The Architectural Plan as a Map. Drawings by Enric Miralles via The Funambulist
As architects, we unconsciously tend not to associate necessarily the plans we draw with the notion of map. However, both of those two objects register in the same process of cartographic creation and, in this regard, use a two dimensional language in order to create space. The architect that creates the most expressive ambiguity between the architectural plan and the map seems to be Enric Miralles (1955-2000).
What strikes in Miralles’ plans is the importance of the line. That might seem a peculiar thing to say as lines are what characterize primarily architectural plans, but few architects actually express, via their plans, the power contained in those same lines.
shortlisted for the 2011 prix pictet is ‘melting pot’, a photographic series by french photographer stéphane couturier. well-versed in documenting the ways in which modern cultures simultaneously construct and destroy, the selection of images consist of large-scale multiply-exposed colour negatives taken in a high-tech toyota factory north of paris, france.
using a large format camera, couturier delineates both disorder and harmony from the highly abstract photographs, capturing layers of machines, car parts, workers and equipment in a visually complex manner. at once wildly energetic and industrial in feel, the images utilizes a hyperbolic palette that further injects a unique vitality to the turbulent series.
From a crack in the Taylor Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica flows a curious blood-red colored water. When it was first discovered by geologist Griffith Taylor in 1911, the color was thought to have come from an algae. The source of the red color was later discovered to be an iron-rich underground saltwater lake that was trapped by the encroaching glacier at least 1.5 million years ago. The temperature of the water is -5 Celsius, but it’s so salty that it doesn’t freeze. But the Blood Falls houses another secret, which scientists from Harvard University have started to uncover - it’s home to an entire ecosystem of bacteria, trapped for millennia in conditions that are extremely inhospitable to life.
Renovations of historic school buildings often displace students into temporary, mobile and even inadequate learning spaces for years at a time. Kris Celtnieks, a recent University of Oregon architecture graduate, has a thoughtful solution to school renovations - build a temporary, modular school nearby for use in the interim as construction takes place. In Celtnieks’ master thesis work, he designed a prefabricated school that could be easily assembled and disassembled in order to make the transition period a positive experience for both students and teachers.
Celtnieks’ master’s thesis, entitled Relief School of Philadelphia, concentrates on providing temporary school rooms for the Julia R. Masterman School in Philadelphia, which was built in the 1950’s. As the building is a popular magnet school, it is overcrowded and in desperate need of a serious renovation. During the renovation, the students will need to be placed elsewhere so they can continue their eduction. Celtnieks’ solution is to build a temporary school near the existing school made out of prefabricated components that can easily be disassembled when the renovation is complete. This temporary school could then be used while another school is undergoing renovations.
The temporary school would be located on an empty lot near the existing school and would be elevated off the ground on a foundation of stilts. The school could even bridge over an existing roadway if more space is necessary. Prefabricated components would be used to construct a three-story building topped with an accordion-style translucent tent roof. The exterior is a tight envelope of multi-colored polycarbonate panels that allow daylight to flood in.