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ARCHItecture teleGRAM
April 26, 2010 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Why don't rabbits burrow rectangular burrows? Why didn't early man make rectagular caves?
Archigram are amongst the most seminal, iconoclastic and influential architectural groups of the modern age. They created some of the 20th century's most iconic images and projects, rethought the relationship of technology, society and architecture, predicted and envisioned the information revolution decades before it came to pass, and reinvented a whole mode of architectural education – and therefore produced a seam of architectural thought with truly global impact.
The Archigram Archival Project is an online, searchable database of all the available works of Archigram [and much, much more] for study by architectural specialists and the general public.

Previously
posted by carsonb (24 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why don't rabbits burrow rectangular burrows?

All of the rabbits I've ever known could hardly be called anal retentive.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:36 PM on April 26, 2010


Why didn't early man make rectagular caves?

This is actually a really good point - I mean, isn't it self-apparent that early hominids were pretty good at causing erosion over thousands or millions of years?
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:43 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why don't rabbits burrow rectangular burrows?

Because it wasn't warrented.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:44 PM on April 26, 2010 [16 favorites]


Archigroan
posted by Casimir at 5:52 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


And, BTW, today I.M. Pei is celebrating his 93rd birthday!
posted by kozad at 5:55 PM on April 26, 2010


Why didn't early man make rectagular caves?

I'm not sure what the point of this question is; many prehistoric earthworks (walls, trenches, some standing-stone structures) were rectilinear in format, others (burial mounds in particular) were more curvilinear. I'm not aware of any prehistoric earthworks that could be described as "caves". There are prehistoric cliff dwellings built into caves; most that I'm aware of are basically "rectangular".
posted by mr_roboto at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why don't rabbits burrow rectangular burrows?

When you're running from the coyote, nobody gives a shit what shape you're digging. Have another banana, monkey-boy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:09 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Superior to the burger-inspired Jugheadgrams.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:16 PM on April 26, 2010


Damn that wascally kwote.

One thing that piqued my interest about Archigram is that they are relatively unbuilt for an architectural collective with such wide influence. F'rinstance, the RIBA Gold Medal lifetime achievement award is generally given to architects with lots of work on display. These guys haven't put much up construction-wise, but they have a RIBA—for their educational and ideological contributions. So for all the RIBBing here about their rad ideas, I submit that there may be more to it than LOLwectangularwabbits. I hope your exploration of the linked site supports my humble submission.
posted by carsonb at 6:19 PM on April 26, 2010


All of the rabbits I've ever known could hardly be called anal retentive.

On the contrary, they're so anal-retentive that they eat their own shit.
posted by kenko at 6:41 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this link, though it would have been a lot more useful before my exam today. Among other city plans, we were tested on the Archigram's "Walking City", and man, was I hard-pressed to describe the significance there. Literally, all I could remember from the lecture about the unbuilt, futuristic city plans of the 60s and 70s was one question asked by a student--"Who paid people to come up with this?"
posted by myelin sheath at 6:45 PM on April 26, 2010


The play's the thing
wherein you'll find
the conscience of the King

I have often wondered about the relationship between Archigram's dizzying visualization tools and some of the more organiform work of SF illustrators circa the mid-1970s. I wish I had found a more kidney-beanish comparison, but the Franz Joseph blueprints can fairly be said to have heralded the use of blueprints as an aspect of SF&F visualization. The Enterprise bridge as shown is not Joseph's, and it seems most unlikely that The Globe was an intended influence on Jeffries' work. Nonetheless, I am amused, and hope you savor it as do I.
posted by mwhybark at 6:50 PM on April 26, 2010


Walking City, for reference.
posted by mwhybark at 6:52 PM on April 26, 2010


Okay, I'll bite: Why don't rabbits burrow rectangular burrows? Why didn't early man make rectagular caves?

Because they weren't building walls.

It's true that the natural shape of a carved-out space is going to be convex (if you view the space as the object of interest). But as soon as you decide to divide space up with walls, you have to decide whether to use straight or curved walls. Straight walls are a lot simpler because of their linear uniformity. If you want to carve up space without waste with such straight walls, that basically leaves you with triangles, squares, or hexagons for room shapes. And again, joinery technology makes ninety degree angles simpler. That's why humans build square spaces.

Any more profound questions?
posted by localroger at 7:14 PM on April 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


that walking city looks like it should be in a terry gilliam movie
posted by fuzzypantalones at 7:18 PM on April 26, 2010


Ever tried digging a rectangular hole for reals? Gods, what a pain in the ass.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:18 PM on April 26, 2010


Any more profound questions?

Gosh, yeah!

Because they weren't building walls.

But building isn't really a profound reading of the questions. Look at Walking City. The design of it? Cool and weird but not really appealing to my modern sensibilities. Timely. But considering the idea of mobile urban areas, it's sort of profound. What mobile cities look like goes right out the window in favor of the possibilities presented by urban migration. Urban tourism. What do you really need to take with you? Etc. And for me the questions about bunnies and cavemen aren't so much about curved spaces and crude maths. They trouble the foundations of the notion building. To me they ask Further up or further in? What else is there to a habitat? Why not burrowing? (After all, Hobbits dig it.)
posted by carsonb at 7:43 PM on April 26, 2010


...to my modern aesthetic sensibilities.

I could be totally ass-talking here, by the way. As evidenced by the paragraph previous my thinking-to-text mechanism is glitchy.

But I'd love to hear y'all's further thoughts on the matter, pithy dismissives aside.
posted by carsonb at 7:49 PM on April 26, 2010


Why not burrowing

Because rainwater?
posted by delmoi at 7:50 PM on April 26, 2010


ITYM indoor plumbing.
posted by carsonb at 7:55 PM on April 26, 2010


Why don't birds have propellers? Why don't horses have wheels? Why don't cats carry flashlights?

Why are these people so stupid?
posted by JackFlash at 8:06 PM on April 26, 2010


They had some Archigram drawings at the Cold War Modern exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum a few years ago. I got the impression that they weren't so much an architectural firm as a bunch of dudes who sat around in darkened room listening to Pink Floyd on quadrophonic systems and smoking dope. Really good dope.

Did Archigram also design real-world buildings that actually got built?
posted by acb at 4:29 AM on April 27, 2010


> Why didn't early man make rectagular caves?

But of course they did. Megalithic tombs and passage-graves in mounds? Person-sized underground passages are a lot more prone to collapse that rabbit-sized ones, and they have to be shored up. The passages were shored up by big flat rocks set vertically as walls, and covered by capstones. Post-and-lintel design. Rectangular caves.
posted by jfuller at 8:52 AM on April 27, 2010


Why don't bunnies put cute little doors on their burrows?
posted by dibblda at 12:00 PM on April 27, 2010


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