Archive for February, 2007

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Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Pinging Ecobuild attendees

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Sat in internet hovel in Islington. 50 pence lighter. Don’t use the bus ticket machine at Angel tube station – I just broke it. Hiking to destination, Will Self style, instead.

Going to Ecobuild conference tomorrow at Earl’s Court – any readers attending? Mail me if you want to get together in the lunch break: rob [usual] annable.co.uk

Will be Twittering for those who want updates.

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Monday, February 26th, 2007

passing comment

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Two recent comments worth bringing to the front page:

First, a couple of links to recent artforum.com articles.

Hello,

I’m writing to point out to you two articles from the February issue of Artforum now online. One offers Yale art historian Sean Keller’s take on the renovations of Mies’s Crown Hall at IIT and Louis Kahn’s Yale University Art Gallery. The other is artist Josiah McElheny’s musings on architect Josef Hoffmann’s interiors, timed to coincide with an exhibition at New York’s Neue Galerie.

I would be flattered if you’d consider linking to either article (or both).

The February Artforum Table of Contents: artforum.com/inprint/issue=200702
Keller’s article: artforum.com/inprint/id=12384
McElheny’s article: artforum.com/inprint/id=12385

All three links are to their permanently-accessible URLs. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Best wishes,
Brian

Next, more news on the Human League album cover graphics from Jack at submitresponse.com.

Ah, that’s why they’re familiar! I’d have to dig through a ton of boxes to check, but I seem to remember Pritt Stick-ing a photocopy of that particular dancing couple onto the cover of the master copy of a fanzine about 12 years ago.

It’s a single, rather than an album, though, and there’s two versions of the sleeve – the original 1978 issue on Fast has more architectural illustrations on the back, along with lyrics, the 1982 Virgin/EMI just has the songs listed on the back. (I know this because I really want a first pressing 1978 copy, the one in mono with black and white labels, but only have a French 1982 reissue, ‘produit et realisé par The Human League’. Sad, eh?)

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Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Bob the green builder

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Found via hockertonhousingproject.org.uk news – Bob the Builder goes green:

Bob the Builder has gone green! Parents of small children watching Bob the Builder episodes this week may have been bemused to see Bob installing an aerial on a yurt, a window in a dome and attending to a problem at the sunflower oil processing plant.

It seems that while Bob was building an extension for Mr Adams, a local architect in Bobsville, he heard Adams talking about a competition, which he had entered, to develop Sunflower Valley, a place that Bob used to visit as a child. Fearing Adam’s plan will turn Sunflower Valley into a crowded environmentally unfriendly development that will devastate the countryside; Bob entered the competition himself with a design for a green town intended to complement the local environment.

I’ve yet to see the episode in question and I’m unable to report on how well Bob’s green town performs under other legislation such as Secured by Design, Lifetime Homes, Building for Life, CABE recommendations, Scheme Development Standards, Ecohomes, Code for Sustainable Homes and SAP calculations. However, from what I know from several years of watching Bob’s career develop, it’ll undoubtedly fail miserably unless Wendy steps in and sorts it out.

electronically yours

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Back and forth: Owen responds with added detail about some of the recent Letraset people appearances, pointing out that a couple of them once made an appearance on The Human League’s album cover: Being Boiled – Circus of Death.

Where next? Does anybody know the source of the other graphic on the album?

Strangely tapering humanoids

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

And there I was thinking I ruled the roost when it came to sharing architectural images of days gone by. A link by thingsmagazine.net to nastybrutalistandshort caught my eye for another reason when I spotted a Gorden Cullen sketch taken from a book that currently resides on my bedside table*: Homes for Today and Tomorrow (Ministry of Housing, 1961)

Patterns of living

Which proved to be only the beginning of a collection of wonderful images from this period posted on Owen Hatherley’s site The Measures Taken. Other examples include the work of Cedric Price, Alison and Peter Smithson and the GLC.

His opening paragraph also provides a perfect connection with my recent entries about architectural figures (my emphasis).

An intriguing by-product of the 1960s’ architectural fetish for the ex nihilo was its proliferation of deeply peculiar drawings. A budding Piranesi or Chernikhov would have all manner of opportunity to sketch out their own particular vision of a collective future, and in so doing created something as jarring in its schematic, rectilinear design as Library Music LPs or Penguin Book covers, only less lauded, perhaps because of the realities that the plans would degenerate into. They would be mocked by writers like Jonathan Raban by the 70s as depictions ‘strangely tapering humanoids’ who couldn’t mess up the immaculate architecture and the geometric certainties of the town plans. Actually the images from this time veer from genuinely rather terrifying images of technocracy that evoke something to break the will of Number Six in The Prisoner, to really quite cute scribbles of happy proletarian families in their open-plan Parker Morris apartments.

Image and quote from The Measures Taken

(* intimate location details provided for texture only – relationship to bed irrelevant – I love architecture, but not that much)

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Monday, February 5th, 2007