City Hideout

Dutch Design studio OOMS has created the “City Hideout,” a cardboard box meant to look like a piece of street infrastructure. You can use it to either escape from the world or to spy on your surroundings undetected. See Coolhunting.com for more. The City Hideout seems like a natural complement to AUDC’s own Cardboard Orthogonal Blob of 2002. See the cardboard blob on display here.

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New Look for Varnelis.net

In keeping with the incremental upgrading of the site to work on Drupal, I reworked the main page of Varnelis.net to highlight the weblog while breaking up content into separate pages for [articles] [appearances] [projects] and [students]. Code for these pages is XHTML 1.0 compliant and has been tested with Firefox, Safari, and Explorer on the Mac and Explorer on the PC. The latter is a dog of a program and required me to convert the entire CSS layout to Ems instead of pixels so that text could be resized. This is a problem that web designers have to work around, unfortunately. So no more complaining about the site not being bigger text friendly, Ron, but you should upgrade your browser to something modern. The next step will be to redo the template for the content pages themselves so that articles and projects are more readable for the web and standards compliant as well.

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Architecture after Couture

Architecture after Couture has now been updated to varnelis.net’s new format. This article, first published in 2001 in an issue of MIT’s Thresholds on “Fashion,” explores the history of architecture and couture to proposes that if the “death of theory” and the lack of a compelling new paradigm have left architecture adrift, the field could profit from a serious consideration of fashion’s turn from top-down to bottom-up.
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Architecture after Couture

This article, first published in 2001 in an issue of MIT’s Thresholds on “Fashion,” explores the history of architecture and couture to proposes that if the “death of theory” and the lack of a compelling new paradigm have left architecture adrift, the field could profit from a serious consideration of fashion’s turn from top-down to bottom-up.
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Owens Valley Sprawl

Land profiteering comes to the Owens River Valley. Now it’s Richard Walters, a professor of religion at Loma Linda University, setting out to build a housing development at the foot of Mount Whitney. See the LA Times article Anger Piqued Beneath a Peak. Just what we really need, a wedge of exurban sprawl in a national treasure instead of affordable housing in areas of need. Time for some land ethics classes in the university?
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Brett Steele’s blog

Brett Steele, previously director of the Design Research Laboratory and now the director of the Architectural Association has a blog. It’s surprising that with computers so pervasive for the use of architectural production today, more faculty in architecture aren’t web savvy. Is architecture falling behind? Steele certainly isn’t. His blog is full of interesting information and the AA will surely be a place t
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The Bilbao Effect, Without the Guggenheim

The May 2005 Scientific American contains an article on Measuring Beauty that cites David McGranahan’s 1999 study “Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change” for the US Department of Agriculture suggests that “climate, topography, and water area are highly related to rural county population change over the past 25 years.” McGranahan derives a natural amenities index that generally correlates with population change. McGranahan notes that regions value amenities differently: “In the Midwest, for example, people are drawn to lakes for recreation and retirement, while people are attracted to the West for its varied topography.” read more

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