Archive for May, 2009
For some reason, I love skeletons. So it’s nice when they move in sync with catchy British rock. Here’s my song of the moment for you, by the Friendly Fires.
Maybe it has to do with movies that I watched over and over on VHS when I was growing up (below: The Karate Kid, dir. John G. Avildsen, 1984).
And speaking of skeletons, coming up soon, my next posts will be a movie review of the current release, Terminator Salvation (dir. McG, 2009), and why Damian Hirst is responsible for the current economic crisis (see below, Damian Hirst, “For the Love of God,” 2007).
If The New York Times was a Williamsburg hipster, Portland, Oregon would be its Asian girlfriend. I have never seen such unbridled journalistic fetishism of a town before. Not that it’s necessarily undeserved. Asian girls can be cute and design-y. Portland can be, too. Portland is like Brooklyn’s younger, less self-conscious, equally precocious, milder and fairer sibling.
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now live in Brooklyn, which I love for all of the same qualities that Portland has in abundance: young, entrepreneurial kids, an ethos of self-reliance and independence, a collegial atmosphere and the indie mindset that comes from being in the shadows of flashier metropolises (Manhattan and Seattle, respectively). There is a focus on food, art, design, books and bikes that gets lost in the preening bling-bling of those older metropolis siblings. So this is just a shout-out to two great cities: Brooklyn and Portland.
(images from The New York Times)
The competition entries for the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., are currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution Building. Adam Fagen has a Flickr set of photographs of the exhibition here.
The entrants included designs from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Moshe Safdie, Norman Foster, David Adjaye, Antoine Predock, and Pei Cobb Freed. The model of above is the DS+R project called “Stone Cloud.” David Adjaye, the Tanzanian born, London based architect, was recently named the winning entrant (two images below via NYTimes, last one by Adam Fagen).
There is a larger discussion to be had about this, but I wanted to give a quick plug for my friend Andrew and the blog he is writing for, The Functionality. The link is also on the sidebar of this page, and as you may or may not have noticed, I try to keep my links fairly well curated (i.e., just the pages I think are really well done).
The Functionality is an outstanding blog, written as a collaboration between 5 friends including Andrew, and as a result is fairly comprehensive in the scope and breadth of the material covered.
Due in part to their collaboration with the Los Angeles based firm Ball Nogues (which won the PS1 competition two years ago, and for whom Andrew used to work), I think there is a certain philosophical/methodological thrust to their work and their writing. I am extremely interested in their approach, in part because I feel it is very different from my own. The idea of “functionality” is something that I think architecture has both embraced and resisted at different points in history, or at least held under a certain dialectic tension. This is a debate I hope to have in greater depth at some point in the future.