Suspended string gardens

April 8, 2010

String gardens, via Angela. These are really ikebana. New geometries and re-negotiations of indoor space.

Salt landscapes

January 27, 2010

Motoi Yamamoto’s salt labyrinths:

via kottke.org

Netscapes

November 25, 2009

Real, physical places form the Net’s backbone: data centers, under-sea cables, junctions, optic fiber pipes. Wired traced a single bit’s journey from England, across the US, and into Asia—a fascinating reminder at how physical the virtual really is.

This fortress, which looks like a heavily armed gas station preparing for a zombie invasion (without the gas pumps) is a stopping point for emails sent to many three-letter government agencies. It’s far enough away from DC to survive a nuclear blast, but close enough to service all the relevant entities that depend on them. More beautiful, informative postcards from locations you may never have expected were so important over at: [Wired]

Over at GOOD, photographer Lissa Rivera has a slideshow of ethereal, diorama-like portraits of Massachusetts’ “public and private schools, universities, Greek societies, and community colleges, focusing on the interiors of buildings themselves rather than the students.”

[Image: Bulfinch Hall Lobby, Phillips Academy, Andover, by Lissa Rivera].

Rivera notes,

In some of the private schools there’s this sort of constructed sense of history or expectation, with all those portraits watching over the students.

See the full set of images on Rivera’s site.

Man is called by the ancients a world in miniature and certainly this name is well applied, for just as man is composed of earth, water, air and fire, so is the body of the earth. If man has in him bones which are the support and armor of the flesh, the world has rocks which are the support of the earth; if man has in himself the sea of blood, in which the lungs rise and fall in breathing, so the body of the earth has its oceanic sea which also rises and falls every six hours for the world to breathe. If from the said sea of blood spring veins which go on ramifying throughout the human body, similarly the oceanic sea fills the body of the earth with infinite veins of water.

—Leonardo da Vinci

The above quote appears as the epigraph of You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination. I’m feeling inspired today, and I plan on buying a lot of books. Another on the list is The BLDGBLOG Book. I’ve only browsed BLDGBLOG once or twice before (this is soon to change), but a few passages from the book’s intro absolutely hooked me:

BLDGBLOG was born out of these circumstances, then, and from almost literally day one it was full of archaeology, astronomy, and underground cities; Gothic cathedrals and Celtic burial mounds; Mars, green roofs, and translucent concrete. Somewhere between science fiction and architectural theory, J. G. Ballard rubbed shoulders with H. G. Wells, W. G. Sebald, and H. P. Lovecraft; there were London floods, earthquakes, William Blake, and James Bond. Ruins, climate change, and the apocalypse. Cape Canaveral. Hadrian’s Wall. Homer. Anything that could, in however distant a way, be related back to architecture, in its broadest and most interesting conception.

Architecture surrounds us at all times, everywhere; we live within shaped environments. From airports and shopping malls to blockbuster action films, from Bioshock and prison camps to the canopies of giant sequoias, there are structures and spatial frameworks everywhere. Mars rovers are architectural; they are structured explorations of landscape and space. Haunted house novels are architectural. Mt. Everest base camps, Tokyo storm drains, abandoned biowarfare ranges in the former Soviet Union, and the inaudible songs of Libyan sand dunes: These are all wide open to architectural discussion.

I’m done. I’m out. There is too much delicious material here, and I’m going to be dreaming for days.