the blind architect.

the atlantic just posted this amazing article on a blind architect named chris downey. worth looking at.

google will pull up a ton of other articles for those that are interested.

eames house: case study #8.

newly released by house industries are the “eames house blocks”, a highly expensive set of childrens’ blocks based on the famous eames’ work. it is part of a larger collection of objects titled the “eames century modern collection” which includes a beautiful but expensive font.

the eames house, built in 1949, is a symbol of modern architecture. the house served as the studio as well as the home of charles and ray eames. the involvement of the site is one i find interesting:

The first plan of their home, known as the Bridge House, was designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen in 1945. Because it used off-the-shelf parts ordered from catalogues, and the war had caused a shortage in materials delivery, the steel did not arrive until late 1948. By then, Charles and Ray had “fallen in love with the meadow,” in Ray’s words, and felt that the site required a different solution.

Charles and Ray then posed themselves a new problem: How to build a house with maximized volume with the same elements and not destroy the meadow. Using the same off-the-shelf parts, but ordering one extra steel beam, Charles and Ray re-configured the House. It is this design which was built and remains today.

read more at the wikipedia here, and check out the eames foundation page on the history of the house here.

vanity fair’s “architecture’s modern marvels.”

guggenheim bilbao, frank gehry.

although they don’t reveal who they asked, vanity fair asked 52 experts in the field about the most important structures built in the 20th century. although i find it a bit disappointing that the guggenheim bilbao won by such a landslide, i am glad to see it near the top as an influential work in how architecture is perceived by the public. the list consists of the usual favorites.

link to the list, with photos here.

fallingwater in colored pencil.

regardless of my recent post related to fallingwater, i have to share this rendering by wright, done in 1935 of fallingwater (kauffman sr. residence) in bear run, pennsylvania.


image via art tattler.

“dear architects, i am sick of your shit” -annie choi

this “open letter” has been floating around the internet for some time; the author makes some hilariously astute observations on the nature of architectural lifestyle and conversation. apparently she’s recieved quite a bit of hate mail once it hit the net, but i think i take it lightly and find it very funny. enjoy.

[click here for PDF]

Once, a long time ago in the days of yore, I had a friend who was studying architecture to become, presumably, an architect.
This friend introduced me to other friends, who were also studying architecture. Then these friends had other friends who were architects – real architects doing real architecture like designing luxury condos that look a lot like glass dildos. And these real architects knew other real architects and now the only people I know are architects. And they all design glass dildos that I will never work or live in and serve only to obstruct my view of New Jersey.

Do not get me wrong, architects. I like you as a person. I think you are nice, smell good most of the time, and I like your glasses. You have crazy hair, and if you are lucky, most of it is on your head. But I do not care about architecture. It is true. This is what I do care about:

* burritos
* hedgehogs
* coffee

As you can see, architecture is not on the list. I believe that architecture falls somewhere between toenail fungus and invasive colonoscopy in the list of things that interest me.

Perhaps if you didn’t talk about it so much, I would be more interested. When you point to a glass cylinder and say proudly, hey my office designed that, I giggle and say it looks like a bong. You turn your head in disgust and shame. You think, obviously she does not understand. What does she know? She is just a writer. She is no architect. She respects vowels, not glass cocks. And then you say now I am designing a lifestyle center, and I ask what is that, and you say it is a place that offers goods and services and retail opportunities and I say you mean like a mall and you say no. It is a lifestyle center. I say it sounds like a mall. I am from the Valley, bitch. I know malls.

Architects, I will not lie, you confuse me. You work sixty, eighty hours a week and yet you are always poor. Why aren’t you buying me a drink? Where is your bounty of riches? Maybe you spent it on merlot. Maybe you spent it on hookers and blow. I cannot be sure. It is a mystery. I will leave that to the scientists to figure out.

Architects love to discuss how much sleep they have gotten. One will say how he was at the studio until five in the morning, only to return again two hours later. Then another will say, oh that is nothing. I haven’t slept in a week. And then another will say, guess what, I have never slept ever. My dear architects, the measure of how hard you’ve worked and how much you’ve accomplished is not related to the number of hours you have not slept. Have you heard of Rem Koolhaas? He is a famous architect. I know this because you tell me he is a famous architect. I hear that Rem Koolhaas is always sleeping. He is, I presume, sleeping right now. And I hear he gets shit done. And I also hear that in a stunning move, he is making a building that looks not like a glass cock, but like a concrete vagina. When you sleep more, you get vagina. You can all take a lesson from Rem Koolhaas.

Life is hard for me, please understand. Architects are an important part of my existence. They call me at eleven at night and say they just got off work, am I hungry? Listen, it is practically midnight. I ate hours ago. So long ago that, in fact, I am hungry again. So yes, I will go. Then I will go and there will be other architects talking about AutoCAD shortcuts and something about electric panels and can you believe that is all I did today, what a drag. I look around the table at the poor, tired, and hungry, and think to myself, I have but only one bullet left in the gun. Who will I choose?

I have a friend who is a doctor. He gives me drugs. I enjoy them. I have a friend who is a lawyer. He helped me sue my landlord. My architect friends have given me nothing. No drugs, no medical advice, and they don’t know how to spell subpoena. One architect friend figured out that my apartment was one hundred and eighty seven square feet. That was nice. Thanks for that.

I suppose one could ask what someone like me brings to architects like yourselves. I bring cheer. I yell at architects when they start talking about architecture. I force them to discuss far more interesting topics, like turkey eggs. Why do we eat chicken eggs, but not turkey eggs? They are bigger. And people really like turkey. See? I am not afraid to ask the tough questions.

So, dear architects, I will stick around, for only a little while. I hope that one day some of you will become doctors and lawyers or will figure out my taxes. And we will laugh at the days when you spent the entire evening talking about some European you’ve never met who designed a building you will never see because you are too busy working on something that will never get built. But even if that day doesn’t arrive, give me a call anyway, I am free.

Yours truly,
Annie Choi

after reading the letter, feel free and check out annie’s blog, the post concerning the letter is here.

there is another amazing story which can be found on annie’s blog here, where an architecture student named jason sent her this proposal (warning: PDF) and offered her an apartment to her exact specifications, all the while not having “to care about what [architects] do.”

do more shit per second with thing 2.0 (modern tech market)

Thing 2.0

The tech world is on the verge of frenzy at the release on Tuesday of Thing 2.0 by market leader StuffCorp.

“It completely revolutionizes the nature of stuff. Thing 2.0 is basically like nothing we have ever seen before. The game has literally changed.” said StuffCorp CEO Chris Warner.

And it seems like the public agrees, with over 2,000 people lining up outside of StuffCorp’s Silicon Valley superstore in order to be one of the first to get their hands on Thing 2.0.

IT aficionado Sam Doyle, who we spoke to after ha¬ving lined up for 14 hours to get his hands on Thing 2.0, was adamant that it was worth the wait.

“Thing 2.0 is just in a league of its own. It does stuff twice as fast as its closest competitor, up to 12 trillion things per second, and that’s just unrivalled in the current market. I love it.”

But, behind all the hype, what does Thing 2.0 really offer? Well, the main change to Thing 2.0 that differentiates it from the original Thing is that it is 33% smaller, 20% lighter and can do literally ten times more shit than the original thing could do.

The improved performance of the Thing 2.0 essentially comes down to the BuzzWordDrive, which features 3 blue LED lights and an aerodynamic design, allowing it to perform the vast array of functions that the original Thing could only dream of.

170 million units of the Thing 2.0 have already been preordered, merely confirming how, in today’s fast paced world, it is simply irresponsible to get left behind.

Thing 2.0’s tagline “Do more shit per second, today.” has clearly resonated with a public that has more to do, and less free time, than ever before.

But will the public be satisfied? This reporter thinks so, but with rumors of Thing 3.0 already in the works, public expectation is on the rise.

[via reddit.]

lego > k’nex.

a recently uploaded flickr set shows a lego creation of fallingwater by frank lloyd wright. by clicking through, i found that this artist has done many other works, including the reitveld chair and villa savoye.

flickr set on fallingwater here.

definitely look at artist’s collection on mocpages (lego community site) here, for other works.

more info via wikipedia:
fallingwater
reitveld (chair)
villa savoye

[via.]



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