Versus Ugly Infrastructure and Useless Monuments

Every reputable blog has been posting these amazing mockups for Choi and Shine Architects’ The Land of Giants project.   Such images instantly evoke that gut feeling of ‘why the hell haven’t we been doing this all along?’ The chronicle of the infrastructure achievements of the 20th century will surely include the phrase ‘done on the cheap’.  Whereas once public works were a canvas for artisans and a symbol of the munificence of the rulers who ordered their construction, rarely has something functional been built in the modern age that has been a delight to behold.  Functionality with minimal adornment has been the  norm, replacing craftsmen with workers and leaving the most grand and inspiring of plans on the drawing board or, at best, the pages of architecture journals. Bursts of public beauty can be found in the trend across cultures to invest in monuments, often in remembrance of people or […]

Structure Synth is the DNA of the Machine That Will Consume All of Our Tomorrows

I woke from a dream of a 3-D printer that had gained sentience, hooking itself to a digester unit to feed its ravenous hunger for the raw materials of creativity.  Its mind was stuck in a loop, printing boxes that gained in size then shrunk, ebbing and flowing like a sine wave was at its center, guiding the flailings of its insane electric mind.  Buildings were struck down like a hand moving through water, then fed into its maw and spun out into these new, terribly precise shapes that soon filled the land from horizon to horizon. I’ve been playing around in the software genre of Things That Make Shapes, with little straightforward success but a pleasant amount of brain fermentation.  There’s the old stand-by Processing, of course, with its familiar code structure and broad scope to mess with 2-D, 3-D and audio.  And Terragen is a fun way to […]

Colossi on the Brain

For whatever reason, I’ve been stuck thinking about massive statues of the human form lately.  I think a great deal of the enduring appeal of colossal humanoid statues is some kind of innate human tendency toward idolatry.   Somewhere in these crazy primate brains there’s a fixation on the idea of directly building a god. Is this how termites feel about building their mounds?  Do honeybees approach their hives with the same fascination we feel when catching a glimpse of the 305 ft Statue of Liberty?  Maybe if it was a functional structure… One of the most compelling visions of colossi as infrastructural elements would be the nearly unwatchable 1997 movie Batman & Robin.  Waiting for the next scene to feature a sixteen story colossus holding up a winding highway overpass was all that kept me from walking out of that one. Odd that supervising art director Richard Holland doesn’t appear […]

I Googled 'Narcotecture' So You Don't Have To

Yes, that’d be the house that rocks built.  Look close. Since first coming across that delightful term ‘narcotecture’, I’ve had an eye out for examples of how drug lords are playing Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in their fiefdoms.  Here’s some clicky things with minimal commentary: –P.J. Tobia’s photos from Kabul.  Highlights: a ‘For Rent’ sign on one (‘Roommate wanted. Must like cooking base and Wii Tennis tournaments.’) and what appears to be the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. -RE: Columbia’s white powdery boom years: The business brought fast and easy money to a hungry society and the money brought power. Those who had it flaunted it and a whole new aesthetic bulldozed its way into Medellin, spreading out across the world. El-Cartel investigates this aesthetic and defines ‘Narcotecture’. Plus a blurry MPEG of some nightlit narco-ruins.  Warning: site comes complete with a barking dog on the main page for […]