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Rainbow in Your Hand by Masashi Kawamura.

April 9, 2009

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Visionary Cities: The Arcology of Paolo Soleri

April 5, 2009

I came across a copy of Paolo Soleri’s monograph Visionary Citiesat Powell’s and was deeply impressed. The content of the book is fascinating, but it’s the form of it that really struck me. The book was designed in 1971 by Donald Wall and W. Borek and exhibits a range of typographic experiments similar to those popularized two decades later by David Carson. The book also exhibits a kind of collaborative authorship—Wall’s design supplementing and enacting some of Soleri’s ideas—that is often attributed to the kinds of publications produced by Bruce Mau.

The book won’t fit on my scanner, so I can’t provide good images, but I found this flip through (which, unfortunately, fails to show many of the more interesting layouts that use overlapping type and imagery and really stretch the limits of early-70s photo typesetting):

[edit: Just found this article written by Rick Poynor for Eye Magazine regarding Donald Wall’s design. At the bottom of the article are some images from the book.]

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The Portland Building, revisited

Found this image of Michael Graves’ original proposed design for the Portland Public Service Building in a 1985 issue of Architectural Design. Interesting to note the original plan called for much more dramatic decorative garlands along the sides of the building and a collection of public arcades and shops on the rooftop. Both elements were vetoed by city authorities.

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Who Killed the Electric Car?

April 3, 2009

Still catching up on things I missed while in China for 2 years. Who Killed the Electric Car came out in 2006 but seems even more poignant today as GM teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. GM spent years developing the technology to produce a zero-emission, reliable, affordable electric vehicle. They introduced that vehicle (the EV1) to the streets of California through a pilot program in the late 90s. Demand for more EV1’s followed, but GM chose to pull the plug on it and to forcibly recall every EV1 and have them destroyed. If you haven’t seen this, it’s definitely worth watching.

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Brautigan Covers

I’ve been a fan of Richard Brautigan’s novels for a long time. The words are great, but I also find his book covers to be compelling. They nearly always include a photo of Brautigan with a woman or just a woman alone. Apparently, Brautigan would invite friends, girlfriends or women he’d just met to model for his book covers. Here are a few examples:

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Villa Malaparte

The final act of Godard’s Contempt is stunning — in no small part due to its use of architect Adalberto Libera’s Villa Malaparte, situated high on the cliffs of Capri. The home was completed in 1942 for the Italian writer Curzio Malaparte, but was abandoned after his death in 1956. It has since been restored and can be reached only by crossing the island on foot.

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