GPS Film


Picking up where we left off in last week's newsletter, we bring you GPS Film, a new cinematic concept that attempts to integrate traveling through the city with a cinematic, authored experience. The films sense your location with your GPS-enabled smartphone. So far only one film has been produced with the system (you have to travel downtown Singapore to experience in situ), but we think this is a type of film that we're going to see a lot of in the coming years. We are imagining films hooked to every nook and cranny of the city, and an infinite chain of films to walk through.

Finding Double Negative


Greg Allen does the homework and finds one of our favorite works of Land Art, Double Negative, using the GPS device in the car of his in-laws. The large yet simple cut in the earth, famously difficult to find in the era of cars without GPS and the before-time of non-internet, is now super easy to find! He also found it on Google Maps in a really great satellite photo of the work.

Furniture Friday: Thonet for Muji (Correction)


In what is probably the most brilliant tie in ever, Muji is selling new chairs designed (but not-designed, right?) by Muji but produced by famous Austrian manufacturer Thonet. The bent wood "design" is a riff on Thonet's famous No. 14 Chair. They also do a tubular steel design riffing off of the later Bauhaus pieces Thonet produced. Check out their cool PDF explaining their tie in to history.

Imagine Coney: Now A Real Website


Ha ha, joke's on us. Here we thought MAS was just going to accept ideas for its Imagine Coney project through public forums and such. No, they were just hanging onto a wonderful website where you can click "Submit Idea" and it goes into their internetwork (text only, images need to be emailed in). Or, you can real-mail them something called a "CD". The website is really beautiful, too. Be sure to submit your stuff before November 12th.

PS if you still want to go rogue and send us your stuff too, we'll still publish the best ideas we receive.

Tropolism Exhibitions: to: Night


Hunter College's ambitious exhibition to: Night includes a large scale neon installation at the college's aerial walkway, Infinite Light by Laurent Grasso. We have been milling around that part of town a lot lately, and noticed it right away. However we were a little underwhelmed, after seeing what's possible, first hand, day or night, with neon walkways. But we admire its scale, and hooray for Hunter College for doing something this ambitious. More, and more often, please.

Pieces in the show we are more excited about are those from photographer Susanna Thornton (pictured), whose Nightstills series captures both the romance and fleeting nature of light at night, even in the most routine situations. We are particularly drawn to the pieces that show a little foreground, taking them out of the realm of simple out of focus beauty and into an implied narrative.

Also of interest are the illuminated (model?) trees by maquette/lightbox/installation artistDoina Kraal.

Concrete Ammonite


In keeping with two of our favorite themes here at Tropolism (arctic residences and drawing) we direct your attention to Concrete Ammonite, the work of Lewis Wadsworth. Like a cross between John Hejduk and Lebbeus Woods, Lewis's work combines a densely layered architectural fantasia labyrinth (or is it many?) with densely layered narrative. What is powerful about it is the text is readable, like fiction, and it provides an expanded understanding of the images. Not only is a narrative about a labyrinth created, but the author at the same time talks about the process of drawing, and the blog itself becomes the architectural work, like an illustrated Borges.

Your Own Private Haus Pavi


For those of you who loved the Haus PAVI in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria, a few years ago, I have some great news for you. It's for rent! Timeshare it! Just like in the book. Or the magazine. This idea is so brilliant I'll share it: develop destination houses for people to timeshare. They can get weird and people can try out that kind of living for a while, going back to the 3 bed 3.5 bath minimansion back home.

Tropolism Newsletter 1.1 Coming Soon


What do Zaha Hadid, Art Museums, and Video Games have in common? In the next few days those pioneering readers who have signed up for our newsletter will be getting a very special entry in their inboxes to tell them the answer to that question. Sign up now in the top far right email field on this page.

Glacier Loft


Glacier Loft by Gus Wüstemann. Interior Design did a piece on this way back when, and every time that image of the stair pops up I fall in love with it again.

EM2N Does Mies Psychedelic


Public Record Office in Liestal, Switzerland, by EM2N. This project includes a stair that is clearly meant for Stair Porn. The exterior is not that interesting to us, it's like undercook Herzog & DeMeuron, but the interior is like a psychedelic IIT, complete with reflective smoked glass surrounding rooms that could just as well be outdoors.

Sound Mirrors


Between 1916 and the 1930s English military engineers built sound mirrors, listening devices that allowed the detection of early attack by air or sea craft. They are the forerunner of radar. We think they are powerful because they are reminders of how massive architectural interventions are (sometimes) replaced by massless electronic solutions.

Also as seen on anArchitecture.

Imagine Coney Reminder


Reminder: send us your ideas for Coney Island! Tropolism means good ideas win. We are asking all our readers to send us your ideas (especially visual illustrations) for Coney Island. Anything we get we will forward to the Municipal Art Society; the best ideas we will post on Tropolism. This is open to everyone and anyone. Whether you're an architect or an admirer, t's time to fantasize again. Send whatever you can to [email protected]; the deadline is November 12.

Pretty Pictures: Zig Zag #1

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Top to bottom

1.Casa Binimelis-Barahona by Polidura + Talhouk Arquitectos, photograph by Aryeh Kornfeld.

2.Armatures for a Fluid Landscape, photograph by Toshio Shibata.

3. Trutec Building by Barkow Leibinger Architects; photographer unknown.



ARX, hailing from Lisbon, is giving us some Portuguese love with their dozen Siza-esque white houses and paper conceptual models. There is a powerful consistency to the work that we admire. Yet we are particularly drawn to how the paper conceptual models directly inform the work, and take it beyond where our beloved Alvaro Siza will go. Not just with the literal translation to white plaster, but when the materials get layered like they do for the O'Porto Blood Bank building (pictured), or for the sensitive (yet modern) addition to the Ílhavo Library.

Bureau Of Architects


The latest wave in social networking has finally come to architects with Bureau of Architects. It's a nifty network for everyone in the design sphere, but without the extraneous geegaws of The 'Book. What's particularly great about this micronetwork is that it turns out to be not so micro: the applications and feeds that are included are going to be stuffed full of images, competition dates, and news feeds before too long, making this a very useful meeting place for the architecture world.

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