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2003.07.13 15:39
Re: a tale of two realities
I finished watching The Ruling Class (1972) last night (I recently got a copy via eBay.) Funny how the whole denouement of the movie centered on the notion that fear must be reinstilled into the citizenry in order for there to be "proper" order.
The main character of the movie (played by Peter O'Toole) is the 14 Earl of Gurney, a paranoid schizophrenic who believes himself to be Jesus Christ, the God of Love. The climax of the movie comes when Jack "JC" Gurney is forcibly encountered with another schizophrenic believing himself to be the Electric Messiah.
My brother frightened me twice a couple of weeks ago when his prone-to-violence schizophrenic other surfaced after an absence of three years. Yes, I was frightened, but now-a-days I'm more just intolerant of the bullshit. The first time I stared the other down, letting him know I wasn't going to relent. The second time I told the other to leave (and he went downstairs), and then I went after the other to tell him to show me how to do what I was apparently doing wrong, and that's when my brother without the other came back upstairs and began to help me.
"No one has yet suggested the likelihood of two Iraq's and/or two Baghdads, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that place somehow became very metabolic as well."
--excerpt from "city making and city breaking" 1998.12.17
Earlier today I re-watched Koolhaas on Charlie Rose to capture Koolhaas noticeably smiling when the subject of Prada came up. Having now taken a closer look it is hard to say whether Koolhaas is smiling (or at least as close to a smile that Koolhaas can get to) because of Prada or because he just got to say on TV that perhaps in the future all architecture "will be embedded in a casino." I was doing this because I'm presently working on PRETENSIONS OF AN UNARCHITECT, a multi-volume compact disk publication featuring the two things I'm apparently good at.


2003.09.16 15:22
Re: Architecthetics Digest
What is perhaps most unique about contemporary aesthetics is that there are a whole lot of aesthetics to choose from. There is no predominate aesthetic on the planet today, especially not an aesthetic that predominates for any prolonged length of time and/or over any large portion of the planet. Then again... Maybe delusional characterizes the predominate, yet at the same time most denied, aesthetic of our time.


2003.09.16 18:15
"your trash is our cash"
"In the future, everyone will be in the spotlight."


2003.10.13 22:46
let's hear your architecture haiku
the designers think
they design good looking stuff
tuition said so

2003.12.02 17:21
so much for Liberty...
Although the quondam Liberty Bell Pavilion of Independence Historic National Park (Philadelphia) is officially for sale, the Park Service has nonetheless found a new (interim?) use for the building. It is now the security checkpoint for visitors to the Liberty Bell that is in the adjacent new Liberty Bell building. Today, while looking inside the former Liberty Bell Pavilion, I saw a man with outstretched arms being "checked" by a Park Ranger with a hand-held scanner right in front of where the Liberty Bell used to be with Independence Hall clearly in the background. Like they say, "Only in America."


2003.12.03 17:36
so much for liberty...
The point of this thread is... ...the ironic symbolism currently manifest by the architecture at Independence Historic National Park.
Security checkpoints at IHNP are a post-911 phenomenon, and, as far as their 'design" there goes, they are makeshift and poorly executed. Using the former Liberty Bell Pavilion now also as a checkpoint adds symbolic absurdity to the mix.
Granted this may all be temporary, but, if you are mindful of all the 200+ year history of this specific site, there's not much about it that hasn't just been temporary, or indeed ironic about the literal birthplace of the United States of America.
Perhaps the reason it is so difficult these days to design a decent memorial is because architects for almost a century now are more trained at designing oblivion.


2003.12.14 17:42
Re: which Acropolis do you prefer?
The explosion of the Parthenon occurred 26 September 1687. It would be interesting to know how many people on Earth 316 years from now will know the date of the attack on the World Trade Center off the top of their head.
Collective memory is a lot more selective than criticism.
For how long did the 'ideal' design of the Acropolis actually exist? Moreover, do we even fully understand what the Acropolis was really like while it manifest it's most ideal existence. For example, how was it all painted? Did a fair amount of the ideal design actually fade as soon as the colors did?


2003.12.16 12:03
recent acquisitions of the Working Title Museum
From Ottopia To Bottomopolis more travels within the domain of schizophrenia + architectures
Quondamopolis
city of once was in the future
where Undesigning Oblivion is always in style
How Much Is That Piranesi Innuendo?
fetching rough-rough stuff


2004.01.19 14:24
Re: From Earth to the .US footprint on the Cosmos
Gosh, if all the US military bases around the world were turned into .US run tourist resorts (like DisneyWorld or Busch Gardens or Colonial Williamsburg even) US citizens could travel all over the world and still be xenophobic.
sushiland.okinawa.us here I come!


2004.01.19 14:51
Tschumi's renderings
What I see as most unfortunate is that a design (which owns as much to Terragni's Danteum as it does to Mies) to house/display revered ancient artifacts is really no different in effect than a design to house/display Prada artifacts. I suppose this is all a lesson on how to now architecturally treat "very valuable" things.
Isn't it fun living in an architectural era of render and shop till you drop?

2004.03.03 22:25
future of architecture
If you're an architect in 2104, and you're already over ten years old, and at this point you're still not famous, do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and stop designing inferior crap that then only makes the world more inferior.


2004.03.13 13:38
Re: to serve a larger purpose
I wonder when there is going to be an Apostate Architecture symposium.
Let's have a vote:
Do you prefer Republican Architecture or Democrat Architecture or Independent Architecture?
Is it true that someone somewhere is working a book entitled The Architecture of Taxation?
Chapter One: Money Bags
Chapter Two: Hand to Mouth
Chapter Three: The Art of Evasion
Chapter Four: Deductible Dependents
Chapter Five: Attachments
Chapter Six: Chapter Eleven
Chapter Seven: Schloss Schatzkammer 4 sale


2004.04.14 22:25
Re: "Revivalists..."
"Ludwig did not set out to copy the entire Palace of Versailles; in fact, he conceived Herrenchiemsee as something of a shell, in which only two rooms were of consequence--the State Bedroom and the Hall of Mirrors. He commissioned architect Georg Dollmann and, later, Julius Hofmann, to faithfully duplicate the center block and side wings, He eventually wished to include to longer auxiliary wings containing the chapel and court theater, but money ran short before these schemes could be executed. The king never intended that all the rooms should be completed: From the beginning, Herrenchiemsee was to be a set piece into which certain rooms were to be introduced. Their bare plaster walls, bricked up windows, and vaulted stone ceilings only served to fill out the space behind the palace's facade, providing an eerie contrast to the extravagant rooms of the piano nobile. By the fall of 1885, the palace was ready for a royal visit."
--Greg King, The Mad King: A Biography of Ludwig II of Bavaria, pp. 241-2
Earlier today, while driving to the local post office (which is within a large local shopping center, which years ago was the site of Heinz Manufacturing), I passed by what until a year or two ago was a K-Mart. For some reason the entrance to this place was wide open, and inside was an enormous, cavernous space. I thought to myself, "Gosh, the interiors of these stores are so ephemeral." Then I thought, might it not be interesting if homes were treated/designed like BIG BOX stores. Now, thinking of Herrenchiemsee, why can't all BIG BOXES look like Versailles on the outside and empty shells on the inside. Or, is that what is kind of already happening, and Ludwig was a "dreamer" just a head of his time.

2004.04.19 13:48
branding and architecture
The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society skyscraper (1929-32, now a hotel) has an iconic PSFS sign on the roof. The design of this sign, which is lit at night, has two faces, one facing the city and west, and the other slightly angled facing the Benjamin Franklin bridge, the entrance to Philadelphia from New Jersey. The other signage/branding on the building was also carefully designed as part of the architecture.


2004.04.21 13:12
branding and architecture
...the precedence of McDonald's and Howard Johnson's within the realm of branded architecture is historically sound. Moreover, these architectures manifest the notion of widespread repeated application (for widespread instant recognition) which is a required ingredient for any genuine branded architecture.
Given the above, I would then place the PSFS skyscraper in the category of ur-branded architecture. The branding and the widespread recognition is there, but not yet the large scale repeated application.


2004.04.21 16:10
branding and architecture
I can see where repetitive design is not necessarily branding, but branding, by its very nature manifests repetition. For example, the recent Prada store designs by OMA and H&DeM are not repetitive designs, but nor are they examples of branded architecture. In fact, a careful reading of Projects for Prada Part I demonstrates that the traditional Prada branding was abandoned and "re-interpreted". The resultant architectural projects are more about anti-branding of architecture and the (so far unsuccessful) attempt to brand the wallet and mind of the Prada customer.


2004.04.22 18:17
Re: Hey!!!
Does (any) architecture come with an owner's manual?


2004.05.04 10:18
US Iraqi War Memorial
I was impressed by the Iraqi War Memorial televised by ABC's Nightline last Friday night. I listened to all of the fallen soldier's names, and saw about half their pictures. Besides begin saddened for the obvious reasons, it was also sad to see how alive all the faces on the TV screen looked.
As a designed memorial, it worked. There are lessons to be learned here for future architects, not least of which is that architects are not necessarily the designers of memorials anymore.


2004.05.10 15:17
Re: ducked around ?
"Imaginative history" is a kind of virtual reality, is it not?
As much as I see the virtual domain as something other, there nonetheless remains the wide held notion that the distinction between the real and the virtual is increasingly blurred in our times.
Reenactment is a kind of "imaginative history", is it not?


2004.05.11 15:03
Re: ducked around ?
...you say "I would say history is already written , no way to reenact it," but written history is itself a reenactment in that those that write history either 'recollect' events that they themselves already experienced or it is written by people that never even experienced the events they write about.
The whole premise of Collingwood's The Idea of History is that for historians to more accurately write history they have (at least mentally) reenact the past events.
Also, the galaxies, etc. that we see in the night sky are all very much a view of the past (as in light years ago), and, strictly speaking, not at all the future.


2004.05.15 15:27
Koolhaas Library NY Times
Compare the new Seattle Library with Kahn and Tyng's design for a Municipal Building, Philadelphia, 1952-57 (as seen on pp. 30-31 of Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works 1935-1974).
Also look at the color sketck on page 27 which is evocative of other the other recent Koolhaas architecture of irregular shape.
Is a book entitled Learning from Early Kahn Philadelphia virtually in the works?


2004.07.31 10:36
Peter Eisenman: "Liberal views have never built anything of any value."
Thinking about what architectures these day are really political, I wouldn't count Peter Eisenman's among them. What I would count are "the great wall of Israel", US military bases all over the globe, any secured border checkpoints, architectures like that. Was the USSR the last great political architecture of the 20th century? Could be. And how does Communist Chinese architecture stand up these days?


2004.10.05 14:54
critical regionalism
In September 2001, while seeing a display of quartz crystals (each labeled as to its geographic origin) compiled over 100 years ago, I thought it would be cool if the buildings of any global location started to match the formations of the local quartz. It was after seeing Harz Mountain quartz that the idea crystallized.

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