Discrimination by Design: The Many Ways Design Decisions Treat People Unequally. by Lena Groeger [Pro Publica] “Discriminatory design and decision-making affects all aspects of our lives: from the quality of our health care and education to where we live to what scientific questions we choose to ask. It would be impossible to cover them all, so we’ll focus on the more tangible and visual design that humans interact with every day.” [Previously.] [Previously.] [more inside]
Take a peek inside the development of Apple's new spaceship headquarters, designed by Norman Foster, in this video from 2013. Here's a fly-by of the development from November 2015, and an update from early April 2016. That's nice, but why are America's most innovative companies still stuck designing workplaces set in 1950s suburbia? The ghost of Olmsted reaches beyond urban parks.
Other times, it actually takes on solidity and mass in the form of oddly skewed, diagonal slashes of houses. The buildings that fill it look more like scar tissue, bubbling up to cover a void left behind by something else's absence.
Walt Disney - "An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers -- Walt Disney."
The Occult Street Plan of Chico, California
Chico, California, like Santa Rosa is a beautiful small California city that enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. Chico is tucked in neatly on the east face of the interphase of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. It says "The city of roses" with a silhouette of John Bidwell, Chico's founder, on the original crest of Chico. The city has recently changed the crest to a more modern design that hides the estoteric meanings of the old one. This has also been happening also at many major universities and colleges. The new crest does have a nice big oak tree which can be interpreted in Celtic lore as the center of the world or a version of the Roman Axis Mundi. The city of Chico is also a model of occult or Masonic city planning that is oriented on a ley line (latitude) of ancient origin and symbolism.[more inside]
Parklets! Parklets are popping up everywhere! Parklets are beautiful! A brief history tells of how parklets started in San Francisco with PARKing Day, a topic previously covered. [more inside]
Paolo Soleri Is The True Legend Of The Arizona Architecture Scene. print version. Soleri passed away last month at the age of 93. He is best known for the arcology, Arcosanti, in the Arizona desert. Remembering Life in Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri’s Futuristic Desert Utopia [more inside]
Want to make a skyscraper look trendy and sustainable? Put a tree on it. Or better yet, dozens. However, "There are plenty of scientific reasons why skyscrapers don’t—and probably won’t—have trees, at least not to the heights which many architects propose. Life sucks up there. For you, for me, for trees, and just about everything else except peregrine falcons." [more inside]
"The Hole is a small triangle of land divided in half by Brooklyn and Queens, and is located west of the intersection of Linden and Conduit Boulevard. The Hole is literally a hole. It is "30 feet below grade," according to the NY Times, sunken down from the busy roads around it. The neighborhood floods often and is only a few feet above the water table, so its homes are "not incorporated into the city sewer system. They all have cesspools," according to the NY Times. Streets are threatened by reedy marshes, and many residents keep a boat parked in the driveway." It's also home to some stables used by the Federation of Black Cowboys. Brooklyn's Lost Neighborhood [more inside]
Ladies and Gentlemen, tired of the usual vacation spot? Want to get away from crowded beaches and cluttered national forests? Why not visit new-and-improved locations like: Permian Basin, Texas! Or Bull Shoals Dam, in Arkansas. Try a less-well-known section of Virginia Beach! Drive up to see the glaciers at Glacier National Park. [more inside]
[Urban planning] allows discrimination but dresses it up as discriminating taste. So says an opinion piece in Reason magazine titled Urban Design Hipsters are Evil. [more inside]
Cities as Software is an article by Marcus Westbury about Renew Newcastle's low-budget, DIY model for renewing urban spaces. "...You need to start by rewriting – or hacking – the software to change not what the city is but how it behaves." [more inside]
Influential landscape architect Lawrence Halprin has died at the age of 93. "He was the single most influential landscape architect of the postwar years," said Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. "He redefined the profession's role in cities." Noted projects include The Sea Ranch a 5,000-acre residential development on the coast of Sonoma county in northern California; Ghirardelli Square, the first major adaptive re-use project in the United States, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C; and a new trail from which to experience Yosemite Falls. [more inside]
Unintelligent Design. The History Images of Sze Tsung Leong. "Then there's the other type of history that is recorded in the fabric of cities. This includes the houses that are being destroyed; it has to do with the history of quotidian things, really, the layers of history that have slowly accumulated. The loss of this fabric the spaces and histories particular to different cities means that the particular cultural value and artistic qualities they contain, are lost." also here and here.
Welcome to Urville, the city that autistic Frenchman Gilles Trehin has been designing since he was 12 years old. The drawings, in particular, are incredible.
Lifestyle centers are open-air malls designed to look like an urban street or a contemporary residential area. But don't be fooled. Among the activities not allowed in the center are: excessive staring or taking photos, video or audio recording of any store, product, employee, customer or officer. Oh, and "non-commercial expressive activity" is not allowed either. Hopefully, that doesn't include talking.