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BLDG BLOG 2014-10-21 15:01:00
[Image: Screen grab via military.com]. This new, partly digital sand table interface developed for military planning exercises would seem to have some pretty awesome uses in an architecture or landscape design studio. Using 3D terrain data?in the military's case, gathered in real-time from its planetary network of satellites?and a repurposed Kinect sensor, the system can adapt to hand-sculpted transformations in …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-10-19 01:21:00
[Image: From Gravesend?The Death of Community by Chris Clarke]. Gravesend is a suburb east of London, hosting on its own eastern edge something of a secondary suburb: a mysterious town on the edge of town that turns out not to be a town at all. It is a simulated English village built in 2003 by the Metropolitan Police working with Equion …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-10-07 19:32:00
[Image: Tokyo subway map, via re:form]. "Just as postal systems remade geographic places into zones determined by politics and history," Amy Johnson writes for re:form, "social media technologies are remaking them today." "Historically," Johnson writes, "the categories of both who helps in natural disasters and who is helped have largely been organized around place, in this case mapped according to its …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-10-07 19:26:00
[Image: Real estate development or avant-garde earthwork? The future streets of Ascaya; courtesy of Ascaya]. The website for the stalled Las Vegas development known as Ascaya?which we saw in the previous post through the aerial photographs of Michael Light?is itself quite remarkable and worth a quick visit. At first glance, the site could actually be mistaken for some kind of strange …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-10-07 03:24:00
[Image: "Looking east over unbuilt Ascaya lots, Black Mountain beyond, Henderson, Nevada," 2010; from Black Mountain by Michael Light]. Photographer Michael Light has a new book coming out this fall, with work documenting the construction and large-scale terrestrial formatting of a housing development called Lake Las Vegas. [Image: "Unbuilt Ascaya lots and cul-de-sac looking west, Henderson, Nevada," 2011; from Black Mountain …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-10-06 16:50:00
[Image: From the original research paper (PDF), via Popular Science]. Popular Science reported last week that a "weird crystal"?a "salt made from cobalt"?can "absorb all the oxygen in a room," and, more crucially, release all that oxygen later, at which point it can safely be breathed. I will confess that I initially thought this sounded more like some terrifying new air-weapon: …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-30 19:41:00
I received a review copy of Héctor Tobar's new book Deep Down Dark the other week and read the entire thing in one sitting. In it, Tobar tells the utterly mind-boggling story of the Chilean mine disaster of 2010, when 33 miners were trapped underground for 69 days after a catastrophic internal collapse of the mountain they'd been working within. [Images: …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-24 17:20:00
[Image: From a PDF by Dresser Rand]. A new electricity distribution system being described as the "'Hoover Dam' of the 21st century" will bring wind energy from Wyoming to customers in California?and it will get there by way of a $1.5 billion artificial cave built specifically for storing air inside a salt dome in Utah. The specific geological site for this …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-20 17:59:00
[Image: Untitled (Uranium tailings); Mexican Hat, UT, 2005, by Victoria Sambunaris, from Taxonomy of a Landscape]. Design writer Sarah Rich has posted some really spectacular images by photographer Victoria Sambunaris, along with a short Q&A discussing landscapes altered by human activities and industry. Truck yards butt up against uranium disposal cells and open pit mines yawn over the horizon from border …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-19 20:37:00
[Image: "The Polygon Nuclear Test Site 1 (After the Event)," Kazakhstan (2011); photo by Nadav Kander/©Nadav Kander, courtesy of Flowers Gallery]. The new book Dust by Nadav Kander documents the broken test-cities of the Soviet nuclear program, with shells of partially dismantled buildings lying scattered across the landscape like dead monuments, anonymous and unsigned. [Image: "The Polygon Nuclear Test Site VII," …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-19 20:06:00
[Image: A "procedural forest gone wrong... or right?," developed by Florian Veltman]. We looked at procedural Brutalism the other week?and, deep in the BLDGBLOG archives, we explored the moors of a procedurally generated British countryside?so why not procedural forestry? Designer Florian Veltman tweeted two screen grabs the other week, along with the quick comment that he was "working on a procedural …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-18 19:45:00
An interesting new project called Satellite Lamps, by Einar Sneve Martinussen, Jørn Knutsen, and Timo Arnall, attempts to visualize the ever-drifting, never exactly accurate workings of GPS. As the above video shows, the project uses "a set of lamps that contain GPS receivers, that change brightness according to the accuracy of received GPS signals. When we photograph them in timelapse, …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-09 00:26:00
[Image: "Colour experiment no. 61," 2014; photo by Jens Ziehe, via Tate Britain]. The forthcoming exhibition of J.M.W. Turner's late works at Tate Britain not only looks amazing, but it's also accompanied by a gorgeous new series of seven works by Olafur Eliasson. Called "Turner colour experiments," the paintings were made after Eliasson "analyzed seven paintings by Turner to create Turner …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-08 20:49:00
[Image: Procedural Brutalism by Cedric]. Here are a few GIFs of procedurally generated architecture by a game developer named Cedric, built using Unity. Cedric describes himself as an "indie game dev focused on social AI, emergent narrative and procedural worlds." [Image: Procedural Croydon by Cedric]. These were pointed out to me by Jim Rossignol, who has both guest-posted and spoken at …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-03 01:28:00
[Image: From "Geometria et Perspectiva" by Lorenz Stöer (1567), via Bibliodyssey]. I just thought these images were cool: geometry workouts engraved in the 16th century by Lorenz Stöer, featuring dense architectural exercises of pure geometry, with shapes drawn for the sake of shapes?on top of shapes in front of shapes?all illustrating what perspectival rendering can achieve with complex spatial environments. [Image: …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-09-02 21:38:00
[Image: The Broelschool, Kortrijk, Belgium, via Space Caviar]. As part of the 2014 Biennale Interieur, curatorial group Space Caviar is hosting what they call a "demolition workshop" in the Belgian town of Kortrijk. Set in a derelict school building condemned to demolition after the workshop has ended, the project aims to "construct alternative routes into and through the building, most significantly …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-08-27 19:28:00
[Image: Trevor Paglen, "PAN (Unknown; USA-207)," from The Other Night Sky]. I had the pleasure last winter of attending a lecture by Trevor Paglen in Amsterdam, where he spoke about a project of his called The Last Pictures. As Paglen describes it, "Humanity?s longest lasting remnants are found among the stars." Over the last fifty years, hundreds of satellites have been …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-08-27 01:31:00
[Image: From a newscast about Istanbul's recent tornadoes]. It's hard to resist a story where urban design is blamed for creating tornadoes. But the recent cluster of "freak mini-tornadoes" striking Istanbul offers an anomaly in search of an explanation, and the newly built outer edges of the metropolis are potentially to blame. According to Ed Danaher at NOAA's Center for Weather …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-08-21 19:04:00
[Image: Liberian security forces "enforce a quarantine of the West Point slum, stepping up the government?s fight to stop the outbreak and unnerving residents." Photo by Abbas Dulleh/AP, via Al Jazeera America]. Of Forcible Blockades and Military Isolation A neighborhood-scale quarantine was forcibly imposed on the slums of Monrovia, Liberia, yesterday to help prevent the spread of Ebola. Using makeshift roadblocks?consisting, …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-08-19 15:50:00
[Image: A "hurricane" at Saturn's south pole, via NASA; see also The Planetary Weather Report]. In Frédéric J. Pont's new book Alien Skies, he describes the atmospheres of other planets: what storms are like, what the clouds are made of, how a sunset might appear through a chemical haze at high pressure on another world. He points out, for example, that …


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