taiwanese pod city from hell

Looking something like a Roger Dean album cover, somewhere off the northern coast of Taiwain a pod city lies in ruin. Supposedly construction accidents at San Zhi generated fears that the site was haunted leading to the failure and eventual abandonment of the vacation complex.

Visit electro^plankton for more, then drop by flickr for another photoset.

sanzhi 05


sanzhi 04



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Baran’s Revenge: Underground Cold War Nerve Center Retired

Built to withstand nuclear attack during the Cold War, NORAD's underground nerve center in Cheyenne Mountain is being retired. See this article from CNN, from which the following quote is taken:

"In today's Netted, distributed world we can do very good work on a broad range of media right here," Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said from his Peterson headquarters. "Right there at that desk, including one push-button to the president."

It only took forty-two years for Paul Baran's insights about the greater survivability of distributed communications in crisis situations to be realized.

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Architecture and Situated Technologies Symposium

From Thursday to Saturday, 19-21 October, 2006, I will be taking part in the Architecture and Situated Technologies symposium @ The Urban Center and Eyebeam, NYC.

Here is the description from the organizers of this promising event:

Since the late 1980s, computer scientists and engineers have been researching ways of embedding computational intelligence into the built environment. Researchers at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) began to look beyond the model of personal computing, which placed the computer in the foreground of our attention, to one of “ubiquitous” computing that takes into account the contingencies of human environments and allows computers themselves to vanish into the background. Recently, the UN released a report produced by the International Telecommunications Union predicting an “Internet of Things”, where the “users” of the Internet will be counted in billions and where humans may become the minority as generators and receivers of information. As GPS modules, RFID tags, sensors, and actuators are becoming available in ever smaller packages, everyday objects and spaces are being networked with computational intelligence. Current research has focused on how situational parameters inform the design of these technologies. Incorporating an awareness of cultural context, accrued social meanings, and the temporality of spatial experience, situated technologies privilege the local, context- specific and spatially contingent dimension of their use.

This symposium, organized around the notion of an "encounter," will attempt to articulate new research vectors, sites of practice, and working methods for the confluence of architecture and situated technologies. What opportunities and dilemmas does a world of networked objects and spaces pose for architecture, media art, and computing? What post-optimal design strategies and tactics might we propose for an age of responsive environments, smart materials, embodied interaction, and participatory networks? How might this evolving relation between people and "things" alter the way we occupy, navigate, and inhabit the built environment? What is the status of the material object in a world privileging networked relations between "things"? What distinguishes the emerging urban sociality enabled by wireless communication technologies? How do certain social uses of these technologies, including (non-) affective giving, destabilize rationalized "use-case scenarios" designed around the generic consumer? How do distinctions between space and place change within these networked media ecologies?

Through a combination of workshops, presentations, and panel discussions, the symposium will attempt to stage a set of encounters between invited participants, an audience encouraged to participate, and the City of New York.

Organised by: Omar Khan, Trebor Scholz, and Mark Shepard

Participants include Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Richard Coyne, Karmen Franinovic, Michael Fox, Anne Galloway, Charlie Gere, Usman Haque, Peter Hasdell, Natalie Jeremijenko, Sheila Kennedy, Eric Paulos, Mette Ramsgard Thomsen and Kazys Varnelis.

Co-Produced by: The Center for Virtual Architecture, The Institute for Distributed Creativity, and the Architectural League of New York

Reservations/advance ticket purchase are required.

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40 Years After 40 Under 40 JAE On Line

The issue of the Journal of Architectural Education that George Dodds of University of Tennessee, Knoxville (and the editor elect of the journal) and I put together to mark 40 years after 1966 is online and, as luck has it, the publisher has made the contents available for free as a sample issue.

I blogged the release of the journal in February so I’ll lift the announcement from that post wholesale…

This issue looks back to 1966, 40 years after Robert Stern put together the seminal 40 under 40 exhibit. An interview with Stern about the show is a highlight, as are Simon Sadler’s essay “Drop City Revisited,” Hadas Steiner’s “Brutalism Exposed. Photography and the Zoom Wave,” Mary Lou Lobsinger’s “The New Urban Scale in Italy. On Aldo Rossi’s L’architettura della citt?ɬ†,” Stanley Mathews’s “The Fun Palace as Virtual Architecture. Cedric Price and the Practices of Indeterminacy,” and Peter L. Laurence’s “Contradictions and Complexities. Jane Jacobs’s and Robert Venturi’s Complexity Theories.” In the book reviews section, Andrew Ballentyne reviews Sadler’s The Situationist City and Patrick Harrop reviews the CCA’s The Sixties: Montreal Thinks Big.
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feral cities

Via nettime, Richard J. Norton, professor of national-security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, in Newport, writes about the possible emergence of feral cities in this century.

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