Sunday, March 19, 2006

Carnival of the Architects and Urbanists, Second Edition

Welcome to the second edition of Carnival of the Architects and Urbanists! Since posting the first edition I have discovered even more blogs writing about the above-mentioned topics and I am still amazed that few have thought of starting similar kinds of carnivals. Anyway, let’s get started:

  • As some of you may or may not know, the discipline of architecture is not known to be high-paying. It’s not uncommon to find firms who get away with not paying recent graduates. Partiv explores this case with one up-and-coming international firm, while Progressive Reactionary adds his own thoughts to this practice. My own view is that this is an endemic and abusive practice, but I can’t help thinking that it comes from certain architects’ perception that what they do is more of an art than a paid business service.

  • For a fascinating example at the cross between architecture and contemporary philosophy, Pen(-lex/-sieve) is worth your visit. The writer makes an interesting point regarding the role of nostalgia in buildings:

Honesty demands I recognize that my love for certain places and even certain people is really a love for the past, a mnemophilia. Nostalgia assigns value, selecting and coloring "facts". There is, however, a kind of paradox implied by nostalgia -- it is at once a yearning and a denial of time.

  • The popular architecture blog “A Daily Dose of Architecture” reports on the latest developments regarding the planned tallest building in Chicago designed by Pritzker winner Santiago Calatrava. Here are some of my additional thoughts on the Fordham Spire.

  • Architectnophilia talks about his favorite architects by using the alphabet. Whether O is for is for O’Gorman or M is for Murcutt, it’s a good way for those unfamiliar with the giants of architecture to learn about what influences young designers today.

  • Ever seen a building come to life on a chalkboard? Architecture Sketches shows master Swiss designer Mario Botta do just that for his museum for sculptor Jean Tinguely.

  • Young Pong provides brief descriptions of wonderful resources on the contemporary avant-garde as well as on the evolving techniques used in the practice.

  • The internet is a useful alternative in investigating the history of architecture outside the paradigms set by master historians like Kenneth Frampton, William Curtis, or Spiro Kostof.

  • Andrew L Raimist explores in detail the career of the talented but almost forgotten Saint Louis Architect Harris Armstrong.

  • Beyond providing a list of many symposia on design in the world’s elite universities, “Do You Want Some Coffee” (probably a reference to architecture students’s sleepless nights at the studio) discusses the reemergence of ornament in contemporary architecture by way of sophisticated curtain-wall systems.

  • For a day in the life account of an advanced architecture student in England, check out Amy’s Diary at Slippers, Spearguns + Archilungs.

  • World on Paper shows a nifty project of bringing a ruin to life. There’s also a profound statement by leading light Rem Koolhaas as well.

  • Kinch at Building Big Easy chronicles the debate going on in his hometown of New Orleans between New Urbanist and avant-garde solutions to rebuilding after Katrina. The Dean of the Tulane University School of Architecture has made a reputation as the primary spokesman of those who seek to reinvent the Crescent City.

  • Charlotte Bell, a graduate student in interior design, writes about the difficulty in reconciling the verbal with the visual. It’s easy enough to let the drawings speak for themselves, but words are essential in conveying to the client how one arrived at the solution. This is very well done blog that offers readers deep insights into what goes on in the mind of a designer.

  • For those who are Francophiles at heart like (my critical essays on France notwithstanding) Louis La Vache serves up nice big helpings of well-researched essays of France’s most interesting people, places and recipes. In his post about the Grand Palais in Paris, La Vache doesn’t mince his words when mentioning Le Corbusier.

  • Lawhawk summarizes the latest happenings with the redevelopment of ground zero. It’s easy to forget about that place since the pace of progress has been extremely slow and marred by protests from every conceivable side. It seems that a potentially great space will be frittered away by bureaucratic indecisiveness.

  • It’s well known that Anthropomorphism is really big in contemporary architecture today. But sometimes these anthropomorphic experiments seem to go a bit far.

  • Knotted Paths takes a look at planning issues in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Tropolism is another premier blog about architecture, and this post may hint at the future of redevelopment of older neighborhoods.k

  • And finally, don’t forget to visit BLDGBLOG, where Geoff Manaugh posts about a wide variety of subjects, including Vladimir Tatlin’s Tower for the Third International and Louis Etienne Boulee’s Cenotaphe for Newton.

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