June 08 - Blog Articles - Page 8 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

“I come from Brisbane, I’m quite plain”* Cities have music scenes and that’s why ICT doesn't enable decentralisation
Dan Hill in cityofsound
A while ago, I contributed two ABC Radio National shows to Speechification: documentaries on two Australian cities with two distinct and rich musical histories: Melbourne and Brisbane. In terms of the genuine 'musical scene', Brisbane emerges with one of the richest scenes in the history of Australian cities - a fierce counterpoint to the “boot stamping on a human face forever” school of governance then in play in 1970s Queensland. The Melbourne scene, as recorded in the documentary, is more focused on a particular time and place. Very particular. The 'scene' is distinct from the city's musical history, which has a longer term arc of course, or the idea of conjuring a city through music, Metropolis Shanghai and Chavez Ravine for example. Or one band's work in and about particular cities, as with this fantastic rendition of the work of Canberra-and-then-Sydney post-punk outfit, Tactics, for example. No, the scene is usually a relatively short-lived concentration of artistic activity, but one that kick-starts or exemplifies some wider creative, and usually economic, actvity. Over the years it becomes subject to furious debate and wild claims but there's something there and something powerful, no matter how intangible.

Time Regained: The Chicago Inter Ocean Building
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
There weren't as many postcard vendors as in the past at last week's Printer's Row Book Fair, but I was still able to pick up several interesting views into Chicago's architectural past, including this one of the Chicago Inter Ocean's building, completed 1900, W. Carbys Zimmerman architect, which stood on Monroe Street across from what is now the hanging gardens of Chase Plaza. Now forgotten, it was one of Chicago's major daily newspapers, beginning its life in 1865 as the Chicago Republican, and renamed the Inter Ocean in 1871, perhaps symbolic of the city's emerging global prominence. It was said to have started going downhill after being acquired by transit mogul Charles T. Yerkes, builder of the Loop "L", who used the paper as a mouthpiece in his battles against reformers' threats to the lucrative traction franchises that he had secured through wide-scale bribery.

From Sampling to Monitoring to Gulping Data Down in Great Big Chunks
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
One of the forces facilitating the possibility of a bright green economic transformation is insight into the systems around us, particularly the kind of insight we gain through making visible the invisible and manifesting backstories. As the price of using technology to sample, monitor, sense, aggregate and communicate data continues to drop rapidly, we face a rift between the sheer dumbness of the built world and industrial systems we've inherited, and our rapidly-expanding insight into how those systems work. Along that faultline lie a million opportunities for not only making those systems more efficient and our lives more sustainable, but for whole new systems and wholly new lives within those systems. This will be a major theme in our next book.

Las Vegas CityCenter Set to Green Sin City
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
Las Vegas is taking the lead in green development by planning the largest privately financed development in the history of North America vying for the USGBC’s LEED certification. At 18 million square feet, the new sustainable spot on the strip called CityCenter boasts a square footage that is bigger than all current LEED certified buildings combined. Currently under construction between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts, the center’s first building, Aria, is scheduled to open at the end of 2009. An $8 billion venture between MGM MIRAGE and Dubai World, CityCenter is bringing sustainability to the forefront, rightfully earning the tag of one of the world’s largest environmentally sustainable urban communities.

What's Beijing's Bird's Nest Really Made of?
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Beijing's Herzog and de Meuron-designed national Olympic stadium, nicknamed the "bird's nest," reminds us of a giant Anish Kapoor sculpture crossed with a rubber band ball, but in the summer issue of Artforum, Sean Keller notes the Swiss duo's two principal metaphors for the project: a Shang dynasty vessel(expressing "the desire for an 'archaic' form that would overcome the hodgepodge of ticket gates, snack shops, and Jumbotrons that make up a typical contemporary stadium") and the nonhierarchical structure in which the exposed steel bands support one another (Facade? Ornament? Stop, you're both right!).

A Look at the Big Look (or: Speaking Fregonese)
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
This evening the Bright Lights Discussion Series from Portland Spaces magazine and the City Club of Portland continues with Randy Gragg's interview of planner John Fregonese.
"As most of you know, John’s leading major planning efforts across the country," Randy said in a recent email. "We’ll be talking about that work, focusing on lessons from elsewhere Portland and Oregon might learn from. But we’ll also be talking about John’s work developing a plan for the Big Look Task Force, the first major review of Oregon’s legendary landuse system since its inauguration three decades ago."

Contemporary Jewish Museum Review Round-Up
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Well, the locals and the nationals have finally gotten on board, after being beaten by the LA Times late last week in reviewing Daniel Libeskind's new Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. So we offer you a quick round-up of the various early reviews out there. John King from the SF Chronicle loves the new building and is surprised at "how smoothly it fits into the landscape - even with angled walls of brushed blue steel." Also chiming in from that paper is Steven Winn, who spends more time giving the story behind the building of the thing and talking to those people who were involved in the project, but also offers up some glowing reviews. Bloomberg has turned a report in, too, offering up another take on the building of the building, but chooses to also quote a handful of gushing people, including from Libeskind himself ("This is a building that celebrates life and is about America.")



Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 02:03
 
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