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Author: Graham McKay


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Fast Food

Fast Food
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Japan’s first high-speed rail link known to English speakers as the “Bullet Train” but to Japanese as the (Tokaido) Shinkansen [東海道新幹線, lit. New Arterial Line], began operating between Tokyo and Osaka almost sixty years ago on October 1, 1964, the same year as the Tokyo Olympic Games. It was the realization of a 1940 proposal for […]

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More of the same

More of the same
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Mario Chiattone was a Swiss architect who fell in with The Futurists. This is his 1914 Futurist City. He’s showing it’s the future by going for mixed-use superblocks linked by elevated pedestrian walkways on perimeter buildings bordering ground level roads futuristically congested with automobiles. This unit is then repeated X-Y. A decade later was Ludwig […]

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1970s French Furniture Design

1970s French Furniture Design
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The Architect Statement Chair Chairs designed by architects are notoriously uncomfortable – a statement probably first uttered with respect to chairs designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was probably his Origami Chair they were referring too, but the clinical chair for Price Tower is discomforting to even look at. FLW’s low cost designs for his Usonian […]

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Artificial Land

Artificial Land
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I’m currently reading Casey Mack’s recent book, “Digesting Metabolism: Artificial Land in Japan 1960-2200” when I’m both teaching a short course on Modern Japanese Architecture and, at the same time, interested in making better use of enclosed volume in residential spaces by squeezing an extra cubic meter of living space out of 30 cu.m [c.f. […]

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Rapid Cities

Rapid Cities
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It was maybe February 2019 and I was living in Dubai when this invitation to participate in this event arrived in my inbox. Rapid Cities – Responsive Architectures seeks to examine the dialectic, tensions, problems and possibilities of architecture and urbanism as technologically imbued, fast-paced commercial exercises.  These questions are all provocative but still manage […]

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The Cost of Space

The Cost of Space
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I know it’s common practice in Western Europe, Japan and China, for residential unit listings to include not only the price but also the floor area of the dwelling. Some agents will even provide the cost per square metre so you can make your own judgment about the effects of factors such as location, view […]

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The Wrong Side of History

The Wrong Side of History
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I only learned about Victorian era architect Decimus Burton (1800–1881) a few months ago when two articles on him appeared in The Guardian online the same day. Decimus Burton was a skilled and prolific architect who, until recently, was mostly forgotten or, more to the point, never remembered. Both articles suggested this was because he […]

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Headroom

Headroom
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Buildings with double height spaces have existed for as long as there have been haylofts, minstrels’ galleries and artist’s studios, but the history of making more efficient use of the height inside residential space is about a hundred years. Many of the first proposals were entries to the 1926 Comradely Competition for Communal Housing organized […]

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Holes in Buildings

Holes in Buildings
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Holes in buildings have been around for a while – at least since 1982 when Arquitectonica’s The Atlantis was completed and most definitely since 1984 when the building was featured in the opening credits of Miami Vice that ran for five seasons from 1984. I just read that one of the five founding members in 1977 […]

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Freedom

Freedom
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This is another of those posts from misfits’ prehistory, this time from August 1999. The description on the site https://www.tomorrow.city/a/freedom-ship says: “Designed by the engineer Norman Nixon at the end of the ’90s, the “Freedom Ship is a 25-story high megaship that is 1,371.6 meters long, 228 meters wide and 106.68 meters high. The vessel is too […]

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AIA and AI

AIA and AI
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I’m afraid it’s some more musing on AI. Recently, I was given a copy of Neil Leach’s book Architecture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction to AI for Architects [thanks VpD!]. It’s not the only book on the topic out there but, with a field that seems to be changing so rapidly, I […]

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How Will The Metaverse Be Designed?

How Will The Metaverse Be Designed?
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Sometime around late 2018 I felt I had to do something about how poorly this blog was indexed. Even I had trouble finding things and had, on occasion, resorted to a google search of my own blog. That feeling had been particularly strong this year, especially since the thumbnail EasyIndex software I’d been using was […]