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Category: AESTHETICS


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The New Inhumanism

The New Inhumanism
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It’s almost twelve months to the day since I scared myself reading a 2013 book that, it was claimed, re-theorized Post Modernism. “FML,” I thought, “of all the things that need new life breathed into them, we get this one!” Anxiously watching for further signs, I began a draft. About the book, The Graham Foundation wrote [underlines mine]: […]

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Meta-Aesthetics

Meta-Aesthetics
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This second installment of misfits’ prehistory builds upon some of the ideas in last week’s Property, Time & Architecture from 1999. I remastered the file from an InDesign package created February 2010. The original was probably made in Quark XPress a decade earlier because all images were .tif files. Bold headings summarize the text. Blockquotes are diversions and expansions. In this essay, I use the word aesthetics […]

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Property, Time & Architecture

Property, Time & Architecture
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To commemmorate seven years of not fitting in, misfits would like to present some of the early thinking that led to its formation. This visual essay dates from around 1998. It was put together between occasional bouts of paid work, using Quark XPress 3.2 and a PowerMac G3 with 64MB of RAM. The file was stored on iomega 100MB […]

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Clarity & Consistency in Architecture

Clarity & Consistency in Architecture
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On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, I re-read Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. First published in 1966, and since translated into 16 languages, this remarkable book has become an essential document of architectural literature. A “gentle manifesto for a nonstraightforward architecture” [.] But what exactly is an essential document of architectural literature? Is it something […]

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Burden of Proof

Burden of Proof
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First of all, Thank You All and Season’s Greetings. Have you noticed how the end of the year is always rich with lazy content? Here’s the AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Projects 2016 Winners. Here’s Dezeen’s Top 10 Architecture Books of 2016, along with a gratuitous picture.  Well before December’s not-entirely-unexpected articles wanting to suddenly tell us about Zaha Hadid’s […]

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Skin Deep

Skin Deep
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Pallasmaa, Juhani “The Eyes of The Skin: Architecture and The Senses“, 2nd Edition, Wiley-Academy, 2005 It’s easy to see why this book is essential reading in many schools. It makes architecture sound like a very noble pursuit. Its argument is simple. Western culture has, since the Greeks, emphasised our sense of vision to the neglect of our other ones. […]

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Decorative CMU

Decorative CMU
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These useful building components have many names. They’re cinder block in Canada, the US and NZ, hollow block in The Philippines and the UAE, and besser block in Australia. In the UK, NZ and Australia, breezeblock refers to breeze which is another name for ash/cinder and not, I finally learn, to any associated cooling airflow. Other names include CMU (concrete masonry unit) although these tend to do […]

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Performance Beauty

Performance Beauty
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It’s good to take a break from architecture every now and then.  So one evening last week I powered down the laptop and fired up YouTube on the flatscreen. I was in the mood for opera!  “Sure,” you may say, “but opera’s still about organizing people and how they move and interact in and around a space!”  […]

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Designer Bookbinding

Designer Bookbinding
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The word “designer” before anything is never a good sign. Here’s what designer bookbinding looked like in the time of Alberti. To be fair, most books also had designer pages. They weren’t for everybody. Here’s a designer book that could easily have been on the shelves in a Palladian villa. Here’s an example of German bookbinding from the […]

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Isamu Noguchi: Aesthetic Efficiency

Isamu Noguchi: Aesthetic Efficiency
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Meet Isamu Noguchi. Misfits’ doesn’t normally have much time for artists, especially superstar sculptors, but the rules need to be bent a bit for Isamu Noguchi. There’s a biography here. Noguchi is sometimes known for this sculpture he did in 1940. Some of you may have seen it. Many will know this coffee table he designed […]

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Disambiguation: ARM Architecture

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ARM architecture is a computer instruction set architecture developed by ARM Holdings. ARM = Advanced RISC Machine RISC = Reduced Instruction Set Computer An instruction set is a list of all the instructions that a processor can execute (e.g. add, subtract, move, load, store, etc.). In 2005, about 98 percent of the more than one billion mobile […]

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“Hello-o! The tree is not trying to be beautiful.”

“Hello-o! The tree is not trying to be beautiful.”
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This post is the first of a new type where you can send me suggestions for inclusion in the gallery of 1) mobile phone masts pretending to be trees or 2) well-designed mobile phone masts not pretending to be anything. Use the form at the bottom to send me a link.

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The Tree is Not Trying to Look Beautiful

The Tree is Not Trying to Look Beautiful
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Here’s an image of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in happier days. It’s in semi-submersible mode so it could be towed to where it needs to be. Here’s a link to its technical specifications.  This next one’s a different type of oil rig – a jackup oil rig. Again, it’s not self-powered, but it has a […]