the car is the new office

Today’s New York Times reports on studies showing that the use of cell phones in automobiles is increasing at the expense of radio broadcasts. As reported by the Times, the study did not account for iPod usage, which makes the validity of the results a little questionable since in my personal experience, at least, the iPod receives about equal time with my cell phone with radio a distant third. Nevertheless, it suggests that busy commuters are continuing to extend their workplace from office and home-office into their transit time. Or maybe they’re just trying to figure out what groceries to bring home. Intriguingly, the survey notes that cell phone conversations in the car are longer than outside of the car. Will “call you from my car” soon denote the most highly prized of conversations? Will it become important to live far from one’s workplace in order to have longer, more sustained conversations without the disruptions of email, IM, co-workers, or family members?
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Quartzsite, Revisited

No posts yesterday since AUDC was in Quartzsite, taking photographs and doing research for publications soon to appear in ACTAR’s upcoming book on the desert, the next issue of Cabinet Magazine, and AUDC’s first book (also with ACTAR and due out later this year), the Stimulus Progression. Quartzsite, of course, is the town of 5,000 in the summer that swells to up to 1.5 million in the winter due to an influx of snowbirds.

More on Quartzsite at the AUDC site.

Some preliminary images from our helicopter ride:

aerial of Quartzsite

aerial of Quartzsite

aerial of Quartzsite

aerial of Quartzsite
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Storm Damage in Westhampton

I took this set of photographs back in the early 1990s—probably in 1993—while visiting a friend on Long Island. Shot in good old TRI-X, these images document the damage done by the The Great Nor’easter of December 11, 1992 and the subsequent Superstorm of March 13, 1993 to the homes on the Westhampton barrier island. You don’t need hurricanes to wreak havoc.

 house on westhampton process_kv_2002.07.14_f35e8more here
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Chaos at the Crossroads

I was at the University of Limerick School of Architecture this weekend. Browsing in the airport bookstore on the way back, I found a copy of Chaos at the Crossroads by Frank McDonald and James Nix and picked it up. Having read about half of it thus far, my first impression is that not only is this an excellent analysis of the exurban sprawl that is taking over the Irish landscape, it would be a remarkable work for any country. McDonald and Nix marshall a huge amount of statistics in their effort—did you know the Irish drive their cars more than Americans do? or that 30% of the housing stock in Ireland has been built since 1990?—and paint an apocalyptic vision of Dublin growing to the size of Los Angeles with 1/3 the population. Unlike anti-modern luddites in the US like James Howard Kunstler, McDonald and Nix aren’t afraid of contemporary architecture and instead see it as playing a crucial role in building a network of dense modern cities to counteract the drive to the one-off freestanding McMansion. Also worth noting are the copious photographs of both villains and heroes in the struggle over the Irish landscape today. You may find the book at
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Psychogeography and the End of Planning . Reyner Banham’s Los Angeles. The Architecture of Four Ecologies

The Getty is showing the 1972 video “Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles” tonight. Although I won’t be able to make it, I thought it’d be appropriate to post a draft of this essay that I’ve written on Banham and Los Angeles. Footnotes not included. This is a teaser. For the notes””?and much more””?you’ll need to buy Pat Morton’s edited book on Taste, which should be out in 2006 and promises to be well worth the money.
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Panoramic Sprawl, But What Happens When it Ends?

Matt Jalbert creates stunning photographs of sprawl in California. The NYTimes reports that As the McMansions Go, So Does Job Growth. It’ll be interesting, to say the least, to see just how many dominos tumble as the maddest housing boom of the last hundred years cools off, or collapses. Watch the fun as it happens on Bubblewatch
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