Technology Vision

El Croquis Goes Digital

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One of the pleasures of my job is getting updates like these: El Croquis is offering digital versions of its magazines. In one swoop the twin problems of acquiring and storing their oversize formats is disappeared. Of course you don't get the pleasure of having a huge page with a flawless image or superdetailed plan, but there are advantages to the digital option. We'd rather have a proof copy of the master PDF file, but we'll settle for the Zinio system for the time being.

Continuous City

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The Builder's Association, the artists collective responsible for several on-stage media theater works over the last decade, is coming back to BAM. You may remember their last show, Super Vision, which was as thrilling technically as it was a tad undercooked theatrically. It was like live blockbuster movie, but with a plot that revolved around how our lives, so fully enmeshed in technology, so easily discoverable through how our personal information is networked, was vaguely unsettling. Not full-on Kafkaesque Modern disaffection, but a cloudy resignation. That project was a collaboration with New York City architectural renderhouse dbox (warning: full screen browser resizing ahead).

Builder's is back at BAM November 18th with Continuous City. This time it's even more collaborative: you can post your own video to the project.

Pretty Pictures: Resampled Space

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BLDGBLOG is back in fine form with a survey of the work of artist Filip Dujardin, who manipulates images to create his architectural fantasies. Yet these images are sublime because they amplify the weight and grunge of the existing industrial photograph material from which they are born. It is that they are plausible which gives them power.

Coop Himmelblau on Grand Avenue Is Built

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The crazy rendering we published back in 2006 turned out to be a real, live building. Coop Himmelblau's High School #9 is completed; our favorite write up is the amusing visual essay by Hello Beautiful!

Thin Concrete Pavilion

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The Experimental Pavilion explores the possibilities of using special high strength concrete. The concrete's strength allows for super-thin forms of its columns and walls. Of interest is that the pavilion was created monolithically in two pieces and craned in. Prefabricated concrete elements generally have to be stronger than cast-in-place pieces in order to withstand all the stresses of transport and delivery, making this pavilion's material that much more remarkable.

We love that it references Phillip Johnson, too. Via sub-studio design blog.

Pretty Pictures: Drafting #1

Tropolism TV: Ultimate Skyscraper

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The National Geographic Channel is featuring One Bryant Park on its Man Made series. The episode airs Thursday, November 6, at 9PM ET/PT. It's a great mini-documentary on the building, and gives some great insights into how large-scale sustainable building is happening these days. What's particularly great is how articulate and passionate Richard Cook is about this way of building.

Shiny Metal Tower Joins Chelsea Wood Tower!

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Our favorite wood building in New York City is about to get a neighbor! 245 Tenth Avenue is clad in (very) shiny, stamped metal panels. And surprise it's by friends from my alma mater, Della Valle Bernheimer.

More pictures after the jump, including one with Chelsea Wood Tower.

GPS Film

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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

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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.

Imagine Coney: Now A Real Website

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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.

Concrete Ammonite

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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.

Sound Mirrors

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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.

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.

Bureau Of Architects

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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.

Be our friend?

Tropolism Books: More Mobile: Portable Architecture for Today

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Title: More Mobile: Portable Architecture for Today

Author: Jennifer Siegal

Publication Date: November 1, 2008

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

ISBN: 978-1-56898-758-3

The last few years have seen an explosion of explorations of the structures, armatures, tools, and systems that constitute a new nomadic living. The explorations chosen for this book range from smart fashion installations to surrealist fantasies to RVs for the West Elm set. But they all have one thing in common: they expertly explore what architecture can be in the wireless age. They suggests that transitional, temporary, and moveable placemakers are not merely appropriate for our digital lives, but they can even be comfortable. All of the projects here challenge what is expected of house and home, from the art installation tricked-out sleeping bags of Studio-Orta to Andrea Zittel's A-Z Wagon Station (pictured). They challenge conceptually what can be made into a home or public space, the way Archigram's work does. Yet many of them go far beyond being polemics of our time; some (like Zittel's work) strive to being useful, giving us entirely new architecture even as they strip most of the materials away.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.

House Within A House

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I know sub-studio posted about this a few days ago, but I think it bears repeating. I have loved the Wohlfahrt-Laymann Residence by Meixner Schluter Wendt since we wrote about their spaceship Star Wars thing way back in April. In this very unique house addition, what looks like an existing ski chalet from central casting is completely enclosed in a new box, creating some great interior spaces with what used to be the exterior of the house. The sophisticated cut outs in the new box relate well to the interior layout, and some new sculptural additions to the existing house are also added, also on the interior of the new box. Got that? Check out their great diagrams and plans if you need to get up to speed.

Furniture Fridays: Nightwood In Brooklyn

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Nightwood in Brooklyn is a shop that revives old chairs and recycles furniture scraps, all the while maintaining a clean look. But not too clean: the furniture keeps enough of its rough edges without getting too rustic on you. Our favorites are the Dusk Plank Dining Table and the Sunrise Chair (pictured). The shapes never get too modern, which means they rely almost entirely on the character of the individual scraps to push a design into new territory, meaning this is less the work of a designer and more the work of a curator/editor. Which is awesome.

Discovered through the always-fresh Remodelista.

Stair Porn

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Stair Porn. The title (and design) of this blog says it all: it's about stairs of every kind, leaning toward the awesomely designed. The categories of stairs on the sidebar are going to turn this into a great architectural reference. It's run by the same people who do the brilliant Materialicious. Pictured is a stair by Gio Ponti with the comment "All we need now is for Sophia Loren to walk down those stairs."

Note to Stair Porn: include my West Village Duplex stair?