James Howard Kunstler dissects suburbia | Video on TED.com – James Howard Kunstler discusses the failures of suburban public spaces with polemics and humor. His very serious critique of the faults of contemporary architectural design are stinging in their validity but his advocacy of New Urbanism caries with it the same nostalgic problems as post-modern historicism. When will there by a theory of urbanism and architecture that will address our very real human environmental needs without falling back on pure humanism and architectural languages of the past. There are very real lessons in the past, but there are still innovations to discover in the future; I call for an architecture of the ordinary that can draw from both. A new vernacular that doesn't use the crutch of language or style but also doesn't leap into the sky with untestable ideas and concepts that more than often fail to address the needs of our daily lives.
Building on Canvas: Sarah McKenzie and the New American Landscape | Arch Daily – An interview with Sarah McKenzie, who is a painter that has taken to painting images of the modern landscape, specifically buildings. She started painting aerial perspectives of suburban subdivisions but has since moved on to buildings under construction. Her painters are an interesting twist on abstraction and still life. Their rich, creamy colors confront the viewer with banal images of everyday environments made fresh and potent again. The painters challenge the viewer to think about the very real impact such environments as a subdivision or a wood framed house under construction have on our daily lives; yet the paintings hold judgment, leaving the viewer to make up their own minds as to the implications.
It is difficult to come to a conclusion on the Ningbo Historic Mueseum as it seems to defy any kind of clear reading, but whatever the building is, it is definitely intriguing.
The Villanueva’s Public Library is an excellent example of architecture working for its community, becoming something more without the need for expressive forms that lack anything beyond their singular expressive concept.
That said, some of my own most productive research was largely incomprehensible to others.