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Cultural Kowtow

Cultural Kowtow
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The header painting, The Power of Blue, by the Russian artist George Pusenkoff caused a bit of a stir in 1995. It evokes a notion of Kazimir Malevich’s Red Square (less popularly known as Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions) from 1915, and it also evokes a bit more than a notion of Helmut Newton’s Miss Livingston I from 1981. Accordingly, Pusenkoff ran afoul of […]

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The Things Architects Do #4: Reuse, Recycle, Reprise

The Things Architects Do #4: Reuse, Recycle, Reprise
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Frank Lloyd Wright SANAA MVRDV TADAO ANDO OMA Arata Isozaki If you post a comment with your suggestions for further additions to this post, I’ll search them out and add them. I’ve only just scratched the surface here. I’m particularly interested in those ideas that architects recycle and reuse until they either succeed with it […]

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The Things Architects Do #3: SANAA

The Things Architects Do #3: SANAA
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Recently I came across a 2006 project by SANAA for 176 social housing units in Paris. I’ve coloured the typical floor plan so you can see better how the building is organised. The first thing to notice is how inept the apartment planning. Japanese kitchens can be small but using them in social housing in […]

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Five Architects to Watch

Five Architects to Watch
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These days, it’s impossible to forge an identity or fashion a brand for oneself by concentrating on qualities that are intangible – or worse still, invisible. Thermal comfort doesn’t come across well in photos. Ground source heat pumps just don’t sound sexy. It’s far quicker to be visibly unique and let bored workers, Friday afternoons and […]

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The KISS Principle

The KISS Principle
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KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid” as a design principle adopted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS Principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. The principle most likely finds its origins in similar concepts, such as Occam’s […]

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Celebrity Shoot-out

Celebrity Shoot-out
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Representatives of four fairly well-known architectural practices pitch their projects for the limited competition for 425 Park Avenue. The original article is by Oliver Wainwright, writing for The Guardian, here. His article really says it all, but the original links were breaking so I collected them from Youtube and am storing them here for safekeeping. Enjoy. […]

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The Things Architects Do #4: Concepts

The Things Architects Do #4: Concepts
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Client: Qatar FoundationProject: Qatar National Convention CentreArchitect: Arata Isozaki The Sidra is an iconic symbol in Qatari culture – not only does this plant signify nourishment, strength and courage but also learning and growth. It is held in high regard for flourishing in the harsh deserts of Qatar providing its fruit, flowers and leaves for the […]

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Retrofitting Architectural Concepts

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Confession Time. Some years ago, I used to work for a large multidisciplinary company as their staff writer, their architectural editor, as it were. My primary task was to write about that company’s buildings as architecture because this was something that had never been done before. The premise of the job was that if buildings are […]

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What Happens When Architects Die?

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A couple of recent posts have raised the subject of Death And The Architect. First was Futurist Endings with its list of the (much delayed) deaths of members of the Futurist movement. And yesterday’s post, “Fill’erup with Specialness!” suggested that Mies van der Rohe’s ESSO gas station in Montreal may have been the last building of […]

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“Fill’erup with Specialness!”

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This post is a collection of gas/petrol stations designed by famous architects. It’s not an original topic since the same theme is explored by a few slideshows and articles floating around the internet. Here’s one, for example. What interests me is that many of these articles and blogs excuse or apologise for the architect involved […]

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The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be

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A quick visit to Dubai’s Cityscape Global Exhibition yesterday made me think that, as ever, it’s only rich rulers and property developers who are ceaselessly optimistic about the future and the building of cities. Rich rulers can’t change countries at will but, as evidenced from the previous evenings’ Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets, property developers […]

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Primitive Attributes

Primitive Attributes
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The primitive hut has been a standard of architectural theory since Vitruvius. He concluded that the different forms resulted from people using what they had available to use, rather than because they wanted to build things having those particular shapes. Perhaps he was the first misfit? – after all, this is how we here at misfits think things […]