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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-01 15:47:00
[Image: A diagram of the elaborate loops and ribbons of self-intersecting movement allowed by gravity-assisted travel, in this case heading toward a comet; original artist unknown]. Gravity-assisted space travel is when you use the gravitational pull of one planet or other celestial body as a fuel-efficient way to "slingshot" yourself toward another, more distant goal, someplace you could not have reached …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-06-29 19:32:00
[Image: From Project 360º by Frank Dresmé]. Here's an old project by Dutch graphic designer Frank Dresmé. Called Project 360º, it used the idea of the "transect" as a way to map and graphically depict pedestrian movement through urban space. [Image: From Project 360º by Frank Dresmé]. As Dresmé explains, he found existing maps of Amsterdam both navigationally inadequate and conceptually …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-06-29 16:10:00
[Image: Thomas Scholes, Sketch a Day series; view larger]. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has posted an interview with artist Thomas Scholes about "how concept art is made." Scholes refers to himself as "an environment specialist," and he describes how he develops the architecture and landscapes for games such as Guild Wars 2, Halo 4, Gigantic, and many others. [Image: Thomas Scholes, Sketch …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-06-21 15:04:00
[Image: A motif index for lost mines and treasures applied to redaction of Arizona legends, and to lost mine and treasure legends exterior to Arizona by Byrd Howell Granger]. Several lifetimes ago, I worked as a summer intern at the American Folklife Center down in Washington D.C., where, before my internship officially ended, I spent a few hours making loads of …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-06-09 02:00:00
[Image: The Very Low Frequency antenna field at Cutler, Maine, a facility for communicating with at-sea submarine crews]. There have been about a million stories over the past few weeks that I've been dying to write about, but I'll just have to clear through a bunch here in one go. 1) First up is a fascinating request for proposals from the …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-06-01 16:24:00
[Image: A laser scan of the Pantheon, courtesy ScanLAB Projects and the BBC; view larger!]. ScanLAB Projects, focus of a long article on Wired last month, are back in the news with a BBC documentary exploring the infrastructure of ancient Rome. The show "explores Roman infrastructure and ingenuity, all below ground level": We journeyed via the icy, crystal clear waters of …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-05-31 01:44:00
[Image: New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine under construction, a Piranesian gyroscope of arched masonry and brick; courtesy Museum of the City of New York].


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BLDG BLOG 2015-05-30 17:38:00
[Image: Lüscher yellow]. By sheer coincidence, I was looking back through the archives of a blog called Unurthed the other day?a great, although seemingly now-defunct site written by Greg Pass?where I read about the so-called "Lüscher color test." The test, according to that font of accurate historical insight, Wikipedia, was "a psychological test invented by Dr. Max Lüscher in Basel, Switzerland... …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-05-30 15:47:00
[Image: Cooking with smog at the World Health Organization in Geneva; photo courtesy the Center for Genomic Gastronomy and Edible Geography]. If you're in NYC later today, the Center for Genomic Gastronomy and Edible Geography have teamed up to explore the culinary implications of air pollution with a "smog-tasting cart." [Image: Cooking with smog at the World Health Organization in Geneva; …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-05-30 15:13:00
[Image: Barrel vaults beneath Warren Street, Manhattan; Instagram by BLDGBLOG]. I was walking along Warren Street in Manhattan yesterday evening when I saw what appeared to be a series of brick barrel vaults uncovered by roadworks. There was no one around, so no one to ask whether it was a deliberate historical excavation or just some street repair, but the incision …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-05-06 16:38:00
[Image: Photo by BLDGBLOG]. In the distant summer of 2002, I worked for a few months at Foster + Partners in London, tasked with helping to archive Foster's old sketchbooks, hand-drawings, and miscellaneous other materials documenting dozens of different architectural projects over the past few decades. On a relatively slow afternoon, I was given the job of sorting through some old …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-14 21:38:00
[Image: A curb in Hayward reveals how much the ground is drifting due to ?fault creep?: the red-painted part is slowly but relentlessly moving north. Photo by Geoff Manaugh]. South of San Francisco, a whole town is slowly being deformed by plate tectonics. These are the strange landscape effects known as ?fault creep.? An earlier version of this post was first …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-13 19:35:00
I found this thing in my desk again last night, and, as you can tell from the date in the image, below, it's been following me around since 1998 (!). However, after seventeen years of carrying random clippings like this around in files, folders, drawers, and envelopes?after all, this is only one of many dozens?I decided it was time to get …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-13 17:34:00
A post yesterday over on Rock, Paper, Shotgun described a new game called "Kieru," in which monochromatic ninjas lost in a monochromatic landscape alternately blend in with and radically stand out from their architectural surroundings. As Rock, Paper, Shotgun explains, the design of the game is such that "you?ll be trained to react to colour and shadow?two things that are …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-12 18:03:00
Here are some interesting houses by Greek architect Takis Zenetos, whose work we first looked at way back in 2009. [Image: House by Takis Zenetos (1961) from Takis Ch. Zenetos (1926-1977)]. I will confess to knowing almost nothing about these projects, but I wanted to post the images anyway; they're from a book called Takis Ch. Zenetos (1926-1977), which was originally …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-12 16:47:00
[Image: A tree turned into architecture by the addition of a door. Photo via Tumblr, where it is erroneously described as being on the Portuguese island of Madeira; in fact, it appears to be a tree on the U.S./Canadian border, as per a shot called "Two boys at the doorway of their treehouse, c.1870-80," from Bridgeman Images, where it is described …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-11 20:03:00
[Image: From the Midwestern Culture Sampler by Design With Co.]. Alas, I did not have a chance to write about this project while it was still on public display last month at the Graham Foundation in Chicago, but Design With Co.?an interesting firm previously featured here for their Farmland World proposal?has put together an analytic landscape model called the Midwestern Culture …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-11 19:29:00
[Image: An "unofficial illustration" of the idea by Huntington Ingalls, via gCaptain]. A Washington State legislator has channeled his inner Hans Hollein, proposing the radical adaptive urban reuse of discarded military equipment: turning old aircraft carriers into a new Seattle toll bridge. From gCaptain:A Washington state lawmaker looking to ease traffic congestion for several Puget Sound-area communities near Seattle has proposed …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-11 15:27:00
[Image: "RAM House" by Space Caviar]. An interesting new project by Space Caviar asks, "Does your home have an airplane mode?" Exploring what it could mean to design future homes so that they offer an optional state of complete electromagnetic privacy, they have put together a "domestic prototype" in which the signal-blocking capabilities of new architectural materials are heavily emphasized, becoming …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-04-11 03:08:00
[Image: By ScanLab Projects, with permission from the British Postal Museum & Archive]. The London-based ScanLab Projects, featured here many times before, have completed a new commission, this time from the British Postal Museum & Archive, to document the so-called "Mail Rail," a network of underground tunnels that opened back in 1927. As Subterranea Britannica explains, the tunnels were initially …


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