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3D or not 3D?

3D or not 3D?
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We haven’t heard much about 3D printing lately. Maybe it’s quietly become mainstream and therefore not sexy anymore? Or maybe it’s gone quiet because it hasn’t delivered on its early promises? Or maybe the new future it promised has simply been replaced by something else that’s the new future? The truth is probably a bit […]

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The Floating World: Part II

The Floating World: Part II
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It’s not just houses. No building is spared from Japan’s memory loss when it comes to its own architectural history. Earlier this year, there was a bit of a stir when it was announced Kenzo Tange’s 1964 Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium would be demolished, the given reason being that the then innovative suspension roof was in […]

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The Floating World: Part I

The Floating World: Part I
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The rate of building stock churn in Japan is well documented and the architectural churn it generates more so. This very real manifestation of the Futurist concern for neverending newness meshes perfectly with the post-WWII belief in continuous growth that architects are, on the whole, inclined to accept. Toyo Ito isn’t alone in decrying the […]

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Writing By Numbers

Writing By Numbers
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The WordPress blogging platform now has an AI assistant to answer questions, correct spelling and grammar, etc. to make a blogger’s life easier. I’m going to use last week’s post and take it for a spin. I’ll try Expand first. My original paragraph in black and its expansion in red. [Correct grammar] Expand “As a […]

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A Career in Architecture

A Career in Architecture
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In her book, American Architects and the Mechanics of Fame, Roxanne Williamson hinted at such a thing as a “creative spark” being somehow “transmitted” to an employee in an office of an architect who was either just-about-to-be-famous or flush with the success of their first highly acclaimed project. Williamson contains her study to American architects […]

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Full House

Full House
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It’s only recent history but, before the use of image datasets became commonplace, architects used language prompts to tell an AI system what they wanted. The problem was that computers and people don’t speak the same language. If you say to an AI system “Design me a beautiful building!” it won’t know what you mean […]

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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. […]