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The rise of Bolivia's Aymara people, as seen in architecture and fashion

Bolivia has undergone a significant change under the three terms of President Evo Morales, the first president to come from the country's indigenous majority. Members of that majority have found prosperity, increasing the prestige of indigenous design and style, as seen in this seven minute segment on the new buildings and minor twists on old fashions adopted by Bolivia's indigenous bourgeoisie, from Financial Times' coverage of the displays of the Aymara people's new-found wealth. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 17, 2014 - 17 comments

And you thought your apartment was nice

Inside Seguine Mansion, Staten Island's Eccentric Historic Home Burke lives in the Seguine Mansion on the southern tip of Staten Island, and unlike most [Historic Home caretakers] he has full access to the mansion, which is filled with his own collection of antique art and furniture. He throws three lavish parties each year: an all-white Spring garden party, a period-costume Fall BBQ, and a black tie Christmas party. His best friend, a doberman named Rusty, can sit on any piece of furniture he wants, from a 19th century French wingback sofa to the Chippendale dining set. Why can Burke do all that? The short answer: it’s his house. Or at least, it kind of is.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 17, 2014 - 14 comments

The Mesmerizing Architecture of Mosques

The Mesmerizing Architecture of Mosques "Iranian photographer Mohammad Reza Domiri gives us an opportunity to see the entirety of these incredible spaces all at once. His fully panoramic, expansive photographs of centuries-old mosques reveal the genius of their geometries and complexity. The effect is dizzying in a different way, like some kind of fractalized religious hallucination."
posted by dhruva on Dec 5, 2014 - 15 comments

Gender equality in Architecture

If women built cities, what would our urban landscape look like?
In february the architectural review asked Why do women really leave Architecture?
posted by adamvasco on Dec 5, 2014 - 20 comments

Walking and talking while Deaf

"Unlike hearing people, the deaf have to keep sightlines in order to maintain conversations. So when deaf people walk and talk, they’ll lock into a kind of dance. Going through a doorway, one person will spin in place and walk backwards to keep talking. Walking past a column, two deaf people in conversation will move in tandem to avoid collision." The podcast 99% Invisible interviews a designer of a building at Gallaudet University designed for the way deaf people move and talk. [full transcript]
posted by desjardins on Dec 3, 2014 - 20 comments

Dear Ask: Which type of post-zombie apocalypse shelter is best?

The Zombie Safe House Competition: 2011 entries, 2010 entries) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 10, 2014 - 53 comments

The Man Who Built New York City's Schools

In an unmarked grave in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx lies the five-foot-seven-inch body of a man responsible for bringing untold amounts of sunshine to New York City’s youth. During his eighteen-year tenure as Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education, Snyder built public schools with windows that made up nearly sixty percent of the buildings’ facades, much of the remaining space covered in lavish ornamentation. “There is not a dark corner in the whole structure,” social reformer Jacob Riis wrote of Snyder’s design in his seminal 1902 text "The Battle With the Slum." “Literally, he found barracks where he is leaving palaces to the people...I cannot see how it is possible to come nearer perfection in the building of a public school.”
posted by ellieBOA on Nov 3, 2014 - 14 comments

My Africa Is...

My Africa Is Lagos: WeCyclers. The Floating School. Avante Garde Fashion Photography. Dakar: Le Journal Rappe. Malika Surf Camp. Sunu Street Project. Diaspora: Sonic Diaspora. Os Kuduristas. Technologie Democracy. (via)
posted by ChuraChura on Oct 12, 2014 - 4 comments

Awesome artist's description of how he won a design competition

Interested in art, architecture, design, numismatics, software? Then you will be fascinated by Dutch artist Stani's detailed description how he won the competition to design the 2008 commemorative 5 Euro coin themed "Netherlands and architecture". A brilliant insight into the designer's thought process and the technology used to implement his concepts.
posted by kairab on Oct 6, 2014 - 6 comments

We shape our dwellings and afterwards our dwellings shape us.

Al Jazeera has just finished running its series Rebel Architecture.
The six 25 min. films are now available online:
Guerrilla architect.
A traditional future.
The architecture of violence.
Working on water.
Greening the City
The pedreiro and the master planner.
posted by adamvasco on Sep 19, 2014 - 12 comments

Not that kind of cat house

Top Architects Design Cat Houses (SLHP)
posted by donajo on Sep 19, 2014 - 29 comments

Built for Living!

The Mar Vista Tract in West Los Angeles, California was designed by Gregory Ain in 1947, in collaboration with Joseph Johnson and Alfred Day. Ain was a significant "second generation" modernist architect who had worked with and was influenced by the first generation of California Modern masters - European immigrants Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler. Ain believed in bringing good design to the masses; he belonged to the school of thought that espoused architecture's potential to shape a more egalitarian world. He is credited as being the first architect to design a house that did not contemplate servants. A lot of Ain’s ideals were achieved in the "Modernique Homes" development, the name under which the Mar Vista Tract was marketed in 1948. The intent of the Mar Vista Tract was to create a housing development that provided cost efficient housing while advancing the cause of Modern architectural design. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Sep 3, 2014 - 14 comments

Grimm City

Architecture: Flea Folly's Brothers Grimm-inspired cityscape [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 1, 2014 - 5 comments

Urbanicide

A serial killer of cities is wandering about the planet. Its name is UNESCO, and its weapon is the “World Heritage” designation
posted by spamandkimchi on Aug 22, 2014 - 80 comments

Top Five Architecture Maps

Top Five Architecture Maps:
  • Iconic Houses is an international network connecting architecturally significant houses from the 20th century that are open to the public as house museums. The Iconic Houses website includes a useful Google Map showing the location of architecturally significant houses around the world.
  • Archilovers is a social network for architects, designers and lovers of architecture. Users of the network can post projects, exchange opinions and interests, and get to know designers and architects around the world.
  • The World Architecture Map (WAM) is a database of architectural information that uses Google Maps to show the locations of architectural interesting buildings around the world. It is possible to search for buildings on WAM by location, building type, architectural style or by tags.
  • Arti-Fact is great collection of architecturally important buildings and sculptures that can be found on Google Maps Street View.
  • MIMOA is a Google Maps based guide to modern architecture around the world. It is possible to browse the collection of modern architectural gems by location and by type of project.
[via Google Maps Mania]
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 20, 2014 - 2 comments

Okay, angry owls it is

One of the great things about medieval art and architecture is that people just went in and did things. They didn’t build models and scale them up. Building great cathedrals and abbeys was a learning process as much as anything else. This means many of these apparently perfect aspirations to the Heavenly Jerusalem have some often quite comical mistakes, corrections and bodge-jobs that once you see, you can’t unnotice. Great Mistakes in English Medieval Architecture.
posted by verstegan on Aug 17, 2014 - 44 comments

Sirens of the Sea

Wave instruments: San Francisco's gurgly Wave Organ; Blackpool's moaning High Tide Organ; Zadar's hypnotic Sea Organ. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Aug 14, 2014 - 10 comments

A metaphor for the tensions and hopes of the entire city

Mr. Phelan's Building. Medium's Sarah Agudo and Marcin Wichary investigate the building they work in: "Ancient and modern at the same time; multiple slices of time meeting under one penthouse-sporting roof." [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jul 28, 2014 - 9 comments

Piety and Perversity: The Palms of Los Angeles

Parisians claim that in Paris, one is never more than 400 yards away from a Metro station. In Los Angeles, I am equally certain that one is always within 400 yards of a palm tree. Scores of streets are lined with them; they are ubiquitous in domestic and public gardens; they rise from hilltops; they tower above cemeteries; they front museums, movie studios, hotels, hospitals, municipal buildings, modest apartments, and lavish villas; they are clustered around swimming pools; they dominate the skyline — they are everywhere, and have never been more popular. The city’s 200-year love affair with palms has never ceased, and rather than waning, the affair is waxing. From the first palms planted by Spanish padres to the city of Beverly Hills, which recently, in an act of cosmetic alteration, created a palm-lined, palm-bisected thoroughfare on upscale Rodeo Drive, the palm has been the tree of choice for Angelenos. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 28, 2014 - 38 comments

L.A. noir to now

A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then:
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 26, 2014 - 22 comments

He Who Loves an Old House Never Loves in Vain

CIRCA's "You Should Move to ..." series is a charming exploration of "beautiful, under-the-radar old house towns where big charm can be had for little cost." [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Jul 24, 2014 - 19 comments

Mine is the beige house. No, the other one. No, the one next to that.

In his new book Ciphers, German photographer Christopher Gielen (previously) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 5, 2014 - 50 comments

Eichler, Cliff May and the invention of the California Ranch Style home

The post-war boom gave rise to new concepts of modernity in domestic architecture and, of course, massive suburban development. One such concept was the California ranch-style home, pioneered by Cliff May (1909-1989). Another contemporary architect, Joseph Eichler (1900-1974), had his own vision of modernity in America's new suburbs, but both styles used similar language. At the time, these new designs for living were seen as modern and at the cutting edge of sophistication, but sophistication within reach of the average professional, middle-class family. They were designed to have a practical as well as an aesthetic value. Welcome to mid-century modern. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 4, 2014 - 29 comments

Anything that has to be laid straight, she asks someone else to do.

Melissa Leo's fabulous house, built with Constant van Hoeven.
posted by xowie on Jun 28, 2014 - 11 comments

Architecture for One

Mountain Lab: An Interview With Scott McGuire
"As a form of minor architecture," the resulting short article explained, "tents are strangely overlooked. They are portable, temporary, and designed to withstand even the most extreme conditions, but they are usually viewed as simple sporting goods. They are something between a large backpack and outdoor lifestyle gear—certainly not small buildings. But what might an architect learn from the structure and design of a well-made tent?" Amongst the group of people we spoke with that day was outdoor equipment strategist Scott McGuire, an intense, articulate, and highly focused advocate for all things outdoors.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 21, 2014 - 14 comments

Witches, dragons not included

Imbued with asymmetrical charm and handcrafted whimsy, Storybook Style houses evoke the aesthetic of classic fairy tales, inside and out. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on Jun 20, 2014 - 13 comments

The Near-Death of Grand Central Terminal

"[S]tock jobbers[,]... confidence men,... an impecunious transportation entity", politicos, judges, scoundrels and Jackie O.: the near-death of Grand Central Terminal, and how it foretold the 2008 financial crisis. [sl Harper's]
posted by killdevil on Jun 19, 2014 - 5 comments

Celsus: A Library Architecture Resource

Celsus is a collaborative wiki for articles related to the history, design, construction, and renovation of libraries. [more inside]
posted by carter on Jun 17, 2014 - 1 comment

TRUMP'd

How do you destroy the aesthetic integrity of the world's fourteenth tallest building? All you need are five massive letters.
posted by Iridic on Jun 6, 2014 - 76 comments

Glasgow School of Art destroyed

The Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and recently voted Britain's favorite building of the past 175 years, has been devastated by fire. While the stone exterior of Mackintosh's greatest architectural masterpiece may survive, Mackintosh's interiors are presumed lost.
posted by scody on May 23, 2014 - 70 comments

Love Letter to Libraries

“When a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.” Maria Popova calls the new book The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, which took eighteen years to photograph and compile, "a wistful yet hopeful reminder of just what’s at stake if we let the greatest bastion of public knowledge humanity has ever known slip into the neglected corner of cultural priorities."
posted by Rykey on Apr 9, 2014 - 36 comments

In Situ

BXL swings in the cracks is a "Collective who up-cycles waste (scrap wood, discarded domestic furniture, ...) into parasite interventions with the aim to vitalize public spaces." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 4, 2014 - 1 comment

Thousands of photographs of Tibet

Gorgeous photographs of Tibet, thousands of them by Jan Reurink with excellent, informative captions. Exceptionally detailed, clear photographs of a huge variety of Tibetan landscapes, architecture of all kinds, flowers, wildlife, cool details, monastic cities. Of course, all kinds of Tibetan people, from a high plains cowboy in a dusty town, monastic staff, nomads to kids. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 4, 2014 - 11 comments

The city as clip art

The "White City" of Tel Aviv is a World Heritage site with the world's largest collection of Bauhaus ("International Style") buildings. In his blog TLV Buildings Israeli artist Avner Givelter depicts these buildings' facades with local colors and typography in the style of the similarly-charming Windows of New York. [previously] [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 1, 2014 - 3 comments

Building hope

Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker win proves that building hope is finally in vogue
The architecture world has a new laureate, and he builds in cardboard. Japan’s Shigeru Ban was named this week as the winner of the Pritzker Prize, an annual award that is often called architecture’s Nobel – and his win sends a clear and timely message. Social change, sustainability and improving the lives of the many: This is what matters now to the world of architecture. With Ban’s Pritzker, the global design elite is marking that shift.
Take a Tour of Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban's Paper Tube Structures [more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 31, 2014 - 9 comments

Not your traditional tree house

“Just as leaves in a tree are naturally arranged to get the maximum sun, we’ve mathematically arranged these balconies and cantilevers to catch and shade the sun.”
posted by bswinburn on Mar 30, 2014 - 29 comments

Palisades del Rey (Surfridge ghost town)

Surfridge is a ghost town in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is now home to 125,000 El Segundo blue butterflies.
posted by xowie on Mar 29, 2014 - 20 comments

UTBAPH

A catalog of places that used to be a Pizza Hut. The iconic "Red Roof" design was the subject of a recent episode of 99% Invisible (previously).
posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 9, 2014 - 74 comments

a clear, logical, geometrical ending

After 12 years of anticipation, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere is ready for its close-up. How 10,000 workers lifted 104 floors, gave new life to an international symbol and created one spectacular view.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 8, 2014 - 47 comments

Welcome to Bell Labs

The legendary Bell Labs Complex in Holmdel, New Jersey was designed by Eero Saarinen and is a gargantuan example of modernist architecture. Though it was shuttered in 2007, there are plans to revitalize it into a mixed use commercial area. However those plans eventually play out, it's fun to have a look at the place both then and now. As a bonus, feast your eyes on a pair of back-to-back videos that first show the construction and opening of the facility in 1962 and then (starting at the 2:35 mark in the second video link) a commemoration of the facility's 20th anniversary in 1982 (Part one, Part two, Part three).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Feb 24, 2014 - 28 comments

Planning Love

V-Day cards for planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, transportation engineers, and those who love them.
posted by parudox on Feb 14, 2014 - 15 comments

Walking City

Walking City - "Referencing the utopian visions of 1960’s architecture practice Archigram, Walking City is a slowly evolving video sculpture. The language of materials and patterns seen in radical architecture transform as the nomadic city walks endlessly, adapting to the environments she encounters."
posted by codacorolla on Feb 9, 2014 - 5 comments

A place to hang your cape and anti-telepathy helment

Supervillian House For Sale.
posted by bswinburn on Feb 8, 2014 - 68 comments

The ethics of Prison Architect

Is it possible to create a prison management game without trivializing or misrepresenting the issue of mass incarceration? So begins a critique by Paolo Pedercini, developer of "games addressing issues of social and environmental justice," of Introversion Software's upcoming game Prison Architect, currently in still in development but available as an early access beta. Prison Architect's producer, Mark Morris, and its designer, Chris Delay, respond in a lengthy youtube video. [more inside]
posted by whir on Jan 31, 2014 - 38 comments

Exploring the Architecture of Doom and Urban Failure

Architecture of Doom is a Tumblr that collects images of "bleak/ gloomy/ forbidding/ desolate/ unfortunate and totalitarian architecture" from sources like Fuck Yeah Brutalism and Failed Architecture. The latter bills itself as a "research platform that aims to open up new perspectives on urban failure – from what it’s perceived to be, what’s actually happening and how it’s represented to the public" and offers some interesting essays and case studies – for example: Hotel Jugoslavija: Spacio-temporal Mosaics of Memorabilia, Function Follows Form: How Berlin Turns Horror Into Beauty, and The Poetry of Decay.
posted by milquetoast on Jan 28, 2014 - 34 comments

"The Simplicity And Banality of Paper"

Shigeru Ban: ‘People’s architect’ combines permanence and paper"
Generally speaking, an architect’s style is defined by particular forms or shapes. There’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s prominent horizontal lines, for instance; Le Corbusier’s simple white boxes; or, more recently, the deliberately abstract masses of Frank Gehry — of Guggenheim Bilbao fame. But in the view of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, such formal elements are ultimately little more than reflections of current trends — in the first two cases above, Modernism, and in the third, “blobbism,” or the recent taste for irregular shapes made possible by computer-aided design. According to Ban, the only way for architects to keep their work free from the influence of such transient fashions is to come up with new ways to actually build things — new materials, for example, or new approaches to structural engineering. His own answer? Paper — or, to be more precise, cardboard tubes.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 26, 2014 - 2 comments

The Museum With a Bulldozer’s Heart

The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless.
"MoMA Loses Face": Martin Filler decries the museum's expansion plan in the NYRB. [more inside]
posted by RogerB on Jan 18, 2014 - 85 comments

Raleigh Mystery House

What's inside this mystery house in North Carolina? It looks like an average 1970's home with "a landscaped yard, white columns, and green shutters." But look closer and you'll notice there's no driveway, no walkway leading up to the front door, and no mailbox. The truth behind this mysterious building in Raleigh, NC might surprise you.
posted by capricorn on Jan 18, 2014 - 60 comments

The Architecture Of The Incredibles

At first glance, you might think The Incredibles is just a fun superhero movie. But remove the capes and tights and you're left with an in-depth architectural narrative with its own beginning and end.
posted by gnutron on Jan 10, 2014 - 70 comments

Like the Champs-Élysées!

Ernest Flagg (1857-1947) was an architect in the United States, who worked mostly in New York, and in 1904 had a radical plan to remake Central Park.
New York's Central Park That Never Was [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 4, 2014 - 16 comments

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