Architecture

The best thing to come out of rumors that the world would end this past week? A former furniture maker, Liu Qiyuan of the small village of Qiantun became obsessed with the possibility of a Mayan calendar apocalypse and was driven to build what you see below for his family. The fiberglass pods cost $48,000 each to create and are equipped with oxygen, seat belts, food, and supplies allowing 14 people to survive inside for at least two months. I foresee a future in which we all float through life in these:






In this clip from his 1980 television series “The Shock of the New,” now being re-shown by the BBC, Robert Hughes peels apart how design is wielded as a tool by those in power to tell a story without words. The iconic buildings of post-World War II America (e.g. New York City’s Lincoln Center and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center) mirror the aesthetic of Mussolini’s Italy, a style combining “the myth of ancient Rome and vision of a technocratic future”:

All the ingredients of an architecture of state power as imagined by the totalitarians of the twentieth century are also present in what used to in the fifties be called the architecture of democracy…[expressing] the centralization of power. What comes out is not the difference between America and Russia, but the similarities between the corporate and the bureaucratic states of mind.





The Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles examines what they term “perpetual architecture” — several dozen cell structures scattered across the desert of the U.S. southwest holding radioactive hazards. These edifices are…



Gary Goddard, CEO of entertainment design firm The Goddard Group tells the story of how a full scale Starship Enterprise very nearly came to Las Vegas in 1992, only for Paramount Pictures’ CEO Stanley Jaffe to ruin every Trekkie’s wet dream:

…We learned everything we could about the Starship — its actually size and dimensions, how it would exist in “dry dock” on the planet if indeed such a situation had been possible. We imagined what it could be, and how we might achieve it. We got Ken Ball (former head of engineering at Disney’s MAPO) involved to figure out how to engineer and support it. (Ultimately we realized we would need to add some supports on the outer edge of the “disc” section due to the extremely high wind conditions in Vegas. For this we created a high tech “scaffolding structure” that gave the ship more of the appearance of being in an open-air dry dock. I have not yet located that sketch, but I’ll try to find it.)

Source: The Goddard Group

The “big idea” was building the ship itself at full-scale. That was the main attraction. That being said, we also knew we would have to have some kind of “show” on board…




A building, that uses historical rubble a main building component, is causing rumblings in the architecture community. What implications does this have on building a sustainable future? Via Inhabitat: The 2012 Pritzker…


To be unveiled in New Orleans — a home equipped with a drone synthesizer that produces pleasing tones reflecting the surroundings. I hope this architectural innovation catches on everywhere:

Demonstration of latest Quintron invention called THE SINGING HOUSE. This is an analog “drone synth” can be installed into any building in order to provide its inhabitants with a pleasing chord that is constantly changed by the weather. Preliminary studies have show that these soothing sounds can bring mental relaxation and healing to the modern home or institution. The music is actually played by the skies above. No two days sound the same.




CHINA/Just outside of Beijing lies a skeletal shell of paradise…sometimes I feel as if we’re all living in an abandoned fake Disneyland. Via Architizer:

Construction on “Wonderland” began in 1998 with the intention of building the largest amusement park in Asia…The project was scrapped. A strange landscape of half-built structures amid corn fields and cracked pavement. The park is strewn with fragments of anachronistic landmarks, anchored by an unfinished fairytale castle whose inchoate construction dissolves into the smog.



Available now in audio book, eBook and paperback from Disinformation Books. Read the first chapter on Scribd. More info at the official website www.guidestones.us: The Georgia Guidestones are a collection of standing…


The immersive ugliness of our everyday environments in America is entropy made visible. We can’t overestimate the amount of despair we are generating with places like this…the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world…there’s not enough Prozac in the world to make people feel okay about going down [these] blocks.”

In a classic TED talk, James Kunstler tears apart the architecture and public space design of post-World War II America, with pictorial examples of egregiously dismal cases, and explains why the suburbs are a sham:


Gawker says what we’re all thinking (aside from the architects perhaps): “AAAAAGH! YOU HAVE ERECTED A TERRIFYING MONUMENT TO THE NIGHTMARES OF 9/11!!!” was probably not the reaction that Seoul-based Yongsan Dream…


Inhabitat takes a tour of Europe’s historic churches built out of bones, including Poland’s Czermna Chapel below. Why was this a recurring trend? Either because clergy and architects imagined that vast, towering…


For years, it has been reported that standard homesizes (with the US being the glaring exception) are shrinking. How small is too small? And what is the relationship between liveable space, architecture,…