An Array of Utopian Flowers
- Iannis Xenakis and the Notion of a Cosmic Utopia
Posted on February 21, 2018 | No Comments
- Anthropocene Arrives, Climate Collapses, and No One Cares
Posted on February 17, 2018 | No Comments
- Jean Jacques Dessalines and the Women Warriors who Liberated Haiti
Posted on January 24, 2018 | No Comments
- Tribute to SomaFM’s Darkwave channel ‘doomed’
Posted on January 22, 2018 | No Comments
- Christmas Trees, Solstice Rituals, and the Garden of Eden
Posted on January 8, 2018 | No Comments
- Iannis Xenakis and the Notion of a Cosmic Utopia
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Twittering From the Trees
- Posted on February 21, 2018 | No CommentsIannis Xenakis, the Greek-French experimental composer and protege designer for the famous architect Le Corbusier, advanced theories of the vertical "Cosmic" city as the only sustainable way forward. Here, he wrote this essay in 1966, decrying decentralization (read: suburban sprawl) in favor of building up, up, up...5 million inhabitants to be housed in a single megastructure, a hyperbolic paraboloid of more than 3,000 meters high and 50 meters wide.
- Posted on February 28, 2017 | 1 CommentSurrounded by volcanoes, coffee plantations, and picturesque villages, the once-ruined former colonial capital, Antigua Guatemala, remains the most charming city in the Republic, a vibrant and somewhat overly commodified mix of Ladino-Spanish, Kaqchikel-Maya, and multinational Gringo cultures coming together.
- Posted on September 27, 2016 | 1 CommentCan re-purposed shipping containers become the next inexpensive, quick to construct, green building solution for affordable housing? Danish "starchitect" Bjarke Ingels, as well as a recent Orange County, California, project, assert yes to all of the above, but there are limitations.
- Posted on September 5, 2016 | 3 CommentsDestroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.
- Posted on May 9, 2015 | 1 CommentThe prefab Active House B10 prototype in Stuttgart can be built in a day, but its implications will be felt for years. Taking the passive house net zero concept one step further, this fully recyclable tiny house actively generates enough power for multiple properties through its rooftop photovoltaics.
- Posted on April 8, 2015 | 1 CommentArchitecture must move on from an addiction to spectacle and fad, adrift in a sea of meaningless forms, leaving serious design and sustainability problems unresolved, says Peter Buchanan. But to do this will require a more critical perspective from architectural academe and the media.
- Posted on October 11, 2014 | 5 CommentsIannis Xenakis, the Greek composer trained as an architect, created expressive works of mind-bending mathematical complexity that according to one critic, have "all the teeming unpredictable power of a glacier, the thrilling complexity of shape and movement of a mass animal migration."
- Posted on July 27, 2014 | 2 CommentsBuckminster Fuller, architect, engineer, geometrician, philosopher, futurist, inventor of the famous geodesic dome, put forth an original form of sustainable living for humanity. He posited that systems thinking helps us understand our connectedness and dependence on our local biome. Watch the 1974 film "The World of R. Buckminster Fuller."
- Posted on June 10, 2014 | No CommentsHans Hollein, artist, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize-winning architect from Vienna, who breathed postmodernist life into everything from buildings to furniture to tableware, died recently. Julie Iovine writes on this multi-dimensional creative force, particularly known for his museum design, including Vienna’s Haas House (1990) and Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Art.
- Posted on March 29, 2014 | 3 CommentsGardens and farms, green roofs and landscaped buildings are becoming more a part of the urban landscape in Japan. We look at projects in Osaka, and a Tokyo rail company has placed garden allotments on train station rooftops, greening the city while allowing commuters to connect to the land and grow their own vegetables.
- Posted on October 1, 2013 | 8 CommentsThe idea of the "utopian" community began in 1516 with Sir Thomas More's fictional perfected society to present-day attempts to build the most sustainable urban ecosystem. With the case of Songdo International Business District, South Korea, we begin a series of case studies in the success and failure of utopian experiments in living sustainably.
- Posted on January 18, 2013 | 6 CommentsA visionary eco-city in the Arizona desert, Arcosanti is an urban laboratory created by Paolo Soleri. Based on the concept of Arcology, or ecological architecture, it presents a compact, sustainable, energy-efficient urban form that confronts environmental destruction, economic collapse, and social dislocation.
- Posted on October 23, 2012 | 1 CommentDeveloper David Mirvish hopes his string of sculptural towers in Toronto arts district will provide an antidote for the banality of the traditional glass box condo tower. “I am not building condominiums,” he said at the announcement. “I am building three sculptures for people to live in.”
- Posted on October 16, 2012 | 3 CommentsPassive solar Earthships provide electricity, potable water, sustainable food production, with contained sewage treatment, and can be built anywhere in the world. Renegade eco-architect Michael Reynolds' construction and design process called Earthship Biotecture creates beyond LEED Architecture, a sustainable green building design made of natural and recycled materials.