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The Postmodern City

August 24, 2008

Excerpt from a BBC feature in which Ed Soja discusses postmodern space in regard to the Bonaventure Hotel in LA.

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Megastructures Reloaded

Looking forward to the opening of Megastructures: Reloaded at the former State Mint in Berlin. From the press release:

Archigram’s Plug-in City, Constant Nieuwenhuys’ New Babylon and Yona Friedman’s La Ville spatiale rank among the incunabula of the 1960s. Combining visionary architecture, pop culture, art, and situationist rebellion, they became known far beyond the narrow confines of urban planning. Till now, however, there has been no exhibition dealing explicitly with megastructuralists’ vision. MEGASTRUCTURE RELOADED seeks for the first time to show them in context. Aside from Archigram, Constant, Friedman, the radical Florence groups Superstudio and Archizoom, whose designs at the end of the 1960s constituted an ironic response to the megastructuralists, will be included. The exhibition is not intended as a documentary representation; instead the megastructuralists are to be tested for their currency and relevance for the problems of contemporary urban design and mega cities. We will focus on the connection between architecture and visual art, as well as on actual architectonic and urban-design issues.

Yona Friedman, Extension du Centre Georges Pompidou
Courtesy: Yona Friedman, Paris

Victor Nieuwenhuijs & Maartje Seyferth, Gele sector, film still from New Babylon de Constant, 2005. Film 13’, digi betacam
Courtesy: Victor Nieuwenhuijs & Maartje Seyferth, Amsterdam

Archizoom, Aerodynamic City, 1969
Courtesy: Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione, Università degli Studi di Parma

Superstudio, The Continuos Monument: Rockefeller Center, 1969
Courtesy: Archivio Superstudio, Firenze

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Capsule Housing

August 22, 2008

Kisho Kurokawa designed the Nakagin Capsule Tower in 1970 and completed its construction in 1972. It was the first structure to use prefabricated, self-contained units (capsules) that can be added or removed from a superstructure. Located in Tokyo’s Ginza district.

(Found at gluon.symmetry)

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Past Future Perfect

Really enjoying the stage set in this Yellow Magic Orchestra clip from 1981.

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The Bathrobe

August 20, 2008

“…in the morning, at daylight, he would get up, carefully turning around, and go and put on his white bathrobe. When he went, he left it with me.”

Sophie Calle, French, born 1953. Self-Portrait (“The Bathrobe”), 1988. Gelatin silver print

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The Robotic Chair

August 19, 2008

Amazing art/design project by Max Dean, Raffaello D’Andrea & Matt Donovan.

The Robotic Chair (1984 – 2006) is a generic-looking wooden chair with the capacity to fall apart and put itself back together. With shuddering force the chair collapses to the floor then with persistence and determination proceeds to seek out its parts and upright itself. The Robotic Chair is distinguished in the world of objects for its capacity to elicit empathy, compassion and hope.

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Rainbows in Curved Air

Our little publishing concern, Historical Fiction Press, is now distributing Pash Buzari‘s book Rainbows in Curved Air. The book was printed in 2003 as a component of Buzari’s contribution to the 50th Venice Biennale (Utopia Station). It’s a fascinating collection of images of Buzari’s architecturally concerned work and research, with texts by Philippe Parreno, Doreen Massey and Hans Ulrich Obrist. You can pick up a copy through Amazon.

Oh, and there are a few copies left of our book Dead Animals. Now also available through Amazon.

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Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

August 17, 2008

Or maybe tomorrow. David Byrne and Brian Eno’s new album will be posted to their site tomorrow, August 18. There’s one preview track on the site now – a bit more pop sounding than their earlier collaborations like My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, but still promising.

This track is from the Bush album, circa 1981:

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Daniel Eatock: Imprint

August 16, 2008

Princeton Architectural Press has just released a monograph of work by British designer Daniel Eatock. Looking forward to this one – I’ve long been a fan of Eatock’s quirky-conceptual approach to design. In addition, each copy of the first edition of Imprint has been inked by Eatock with his own thumbprint.

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Jersey Fair

August 10, 2008

Took a few days off for a quick trip back to the states. Shu’s parents and my parents were both on hand, so we decided to do something that I haven’t done since childhood: attend the New Jersey State Fair. Funnel cakes and ferris wheels, livestock and giant legumes – there’s a lot to take in at the fair.

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