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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-20 03:48:00
[Image: "American Mine (Carlin, Nevada 2, 2007)" by David Maisel]. [Note: The following essay was previously published under the title "Infinite Exchange" in Black Maps by David Maisel (Steidl), as well as in Cabinet Magazine #50]. 1.In a 2011 paper on the medical effects of scurvy, author Jason C. Anthony offers a remarkable detail about human bodies and the long-term presence …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-19 00:46:00
[Image: The skyway-to-nowhere while it still spanned the street; photo via the Star-Tribune]. Continuing our irregular look at oddities in real estate, you might be interested to know that you can now buy a skyway. The 280,000-pound steel structure was originally designed by architect Ed Baker, a man apparently also known as "the father of the skyways," according to Greg.org, and …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-16 20:22:00
[Image: Photo by & courtesy of Trackrunners, used with permission]. A group of friends, their faces rigorously hidden from public view, find a huge borehole leading down into some tunnels beneath the city. Not content to just lie there, straining to see more than 260 feet into the deep and merely wondering what might be down there, they do what any …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-16 18:06:00
[Image: Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA, via KCET]. Nathan Masters remains one of the more interesting chroniclers of life and landscape in Southern California, as evidenced by his "L.A. as Subject" blog for KCET. I could (and should) just link to all his posts, to be honest?lost hills! …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-16 17:18:00
[Image: A "wooden textile" by Elisa Strozyk]. You've undoubtedly already seen these, but the "wooden textiles" by designer Elisa Strozyk are a beautiful and surprisingly simple rethinking of the idea of a textile?and they have some interesting implications for terrain modeling and even gaming. First, though, what are these things? [Image: A "wooden textile" by Elisa Strozyk]. Strozyk writes that she …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-03 16:18:00
[Image: Courtesy FakeTV: The Burglar Deterrent]. Just a quick note that I've got an article up over at New Scientist about how a "fear of crime and a desire to prevent burglary are transforming the domestic interior into an uninhabited multimedia environment, an immersive videodrome playing randomised loops that can be mistaken for human behaviour." Go check it out if you …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-30 20:41:00
[Image: Jasper National Park, courtesy of Parks Canada]. There's an interesting article over at Highline Magazine about a lost hiker named George Joachim whose subsequent behavior in the landscape was so spatially unexpected that he eluded discovery for ten days. He was a "behavioral outlier," we read, and his mathematically unpredictable actions forced a revision of what is, in effect, the …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-30 19:13:00
[Image: A drone from DJI]. It's hardly surprising to read that drones can be repurposed as burglars' tools; at this point, just take any activity, add a drone, and you, too, can have a news story (or Kickstarter) dedicated to the result. "Why not send an inexpensive drone, snoop in your windows, see if you have any pets, see if you …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-19 21:02:00
[Image: From "Mining Cenotaph" by Alexis Quinteros Salazar; courtesy of the RIBA President's Medals]. Here's another project from the RIBA President's Medals, this one by Alexis Quinteros Salazar, a student at the University of Chile in Santiago. Called "Mining Cenotaph," it imagines an "occupation" of the tailings piles that have become a toxic urban landmark and a spatial reminder of the …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-19 20:15:00
[Photo: "Mega Bike" at the Louisville Mega Cavern; photo courtesy Louisville Mega Cavern]. An underground bike park is opening up next month in a former limestone mine 100 feet beneath Louisville, Kentucky. At 320,000-square feet, the facility is massive. Outside Magazine explains, "the park will have more than five miles of interconnected trails that range from flowing singletrack to dirt jumps …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-19 18:50:00
[Image: From "Brooklyn Co-operative" by Yannis Halkiopoulos, University of Westminster; courtesy RIBA President's Medals]. I was clicking around on the RIBA President's Medals website over the weekend and found a few projects that seemed worth posting here. The one seen here is a beautifully illustrated proposal for an "alternative supermarket" in Brooklyn, New York, that would be located in the …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-07 19:46:00
[Image: Photographer unknown, via Root Blog]. Via some indirect links following an email tip from Sam Grawe, I stumbled on this collection of ambient music "mostly emanating from the corporate infrastructure of the 1980s asset bubble. FM synthesis, prefab 'lifestyle' soundscapes and the illusion of nature in a hyper-urban environment." It's music as the icing on the space?a sonic introduction to …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-03 20:30:00
[Image: Courtesy of Icecave Iceland]. There's an interesting construction/excavation project going on over in Iceland right now: an artificial tunnel and cave complex being dug into the Langjökull Glacier. When complete, the publicly accessible infra-glacial facility "will consist of numerous nooks and dens which will house exhibitions, information, restaurants and even a small chapel for those who would like to marry …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-12-27 19:57:00
Back in the summer of 2012, Nicola Twilley and I got to visit the headquarters of GPS, out at Fort Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. [Image: Artist's rendering of a GPS satellite, via Wikipedia]. HOW AN ARTIFICIAL CONSTELLATION IS CONTROLLED Over the course of our roughly two-hour visit, we toured, among other things, the highly secure, windowless office room out …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-12-27 17:01:00
[Image: Via the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge]. "We will put up the mountains. We will lay out the prairie. We will cut rivers to join the lakes." So says the narrator of a nice piece of ecosystem fiction by my friend Scott Geiger published over at Nautilus. This corporate spokesperson is building virgin terrain: "all-new country, elevated and secured from …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-12-02 02:20:00
[Image: "Historical Monument of the American Republic" by Erastus Salisbury Field]. I just spent far too much time clicking around on Archi/Maps, where?amongst dozens of other images?this painting by Erastus Salisbury Field, showing a proposal for an "Historical Monument of the American Republic," seemed worth a quick post. Check out related images under the "utopia" or "monument" tags.


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BLDG BLOG 2014-12-02 02:09:00
[Image: Bond Street platform tunnels, courtesy Crossrail]. Crossrail?the massive, 73-mile rail project currently underway in London, including twin-bore 13-mile tunnels?has released a handful of new photos showing the underground works. [Images: Bond Street platform tunnels, courtesy Crossrail]. I'm a sucker for images of the human form stranded amidst the shadows of massive, dimensionally abstract spatial environments, so I thought I'd post …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-11-28 21:49:00
[Image: An extraordinary diagram by Auguste Choisy]. France is considering a ban on stereoscopic viewing equipment?i.e. 3D films and game environments?for children, due to "the possible [negative] effect of 3D viewing on the developing visual system." As a new paper states, the use of these representational technologies is "not recommended for chidren under the age of six, use in moderation for …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-11-28 17:40:00
[Image: The International Space Station at night, photographed by astronaut Alexander Gerst, courtesy of the ESA]. The European Space Agency recently released a group of photos taken by astronaut Alexander Gerst showing the International Space Station at night. The only real contextual information provided is that "the six astronauts on the weightless research centre live by GMT, and generally sleep at …


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BLDG BLOG 2014-11-20 20:33:00
[Image: A screen grab from the homepage of Orbital Insight]. Proving that some market somewhere will find a value for anything, a company called Orbital Insight is now tracking "the shadows cast by half-finished Chinese buildings" as a possible indicator for where the country's economy might be headed. As the Wall Street Journal explains, Orbital Insight is part of a new …


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