Guastavino Vaulting lecture at the NYPL · 12 March, 04:15 PM by Archlog
John Ochensdorf will talk about his book
Guastavino Vaulting, The Art of Structural Tile
at the New York Public Library on April 25 at 6:30PM, at the mid-Manhattan branch, 455 Fifth Avenue. Details on the NYPL library website here.
Pink Floyd, architects? · 27 November, 05:46 AM by Archlog
Who knew that three of the members of the band Pink Floyd are architects? Drummer Nick Mason was awarded an honorary doctorate in architecture yesterday at Westminster University, where fellow bandmembers Roger Waters and Richard Wright are also alumni. “Not only did studying architecture teach us some useful stuff, but it also gave us an opportunity to develop and put us in touch with some fantastic mentors,” said Mason. He also attributes the band’s interest in stage design and production to their background in architecture. Shine on you crazy diamonds…
My own private amazon · 14 August, 07:49 AM by Archlog
There is a bookstore in New England I’ve admired and frequented for years while on vacation: it’s a small store in a beautiful building in a small coastal town run by dedicated owners and employees who know and love what they do, committed to books and the local community, with a carefully curated selection of books, tons of recommendations, signed copies, free gift-wrapping, and a modest rebate program on your purchases ($5 coupon for every $100 spent). It’s the kind of bookstore I think many people (especially those who’ve visited this one) dream of owning some day. I know from my conversations with the owners that it’s difficult to keep the store afloat since they have a short season (basically the summer plus the holidays), and, like every other independent bookstore in this country, have been severely impacted by amazon. It occurred to me while shopping there this past July and asking if they would special order a book then mail it to me (since it wouldn’t arrive before we left), that maybe I can use them as my own private amazon: order books from them to have shipped to me.
After a couple of weeks of doing this, I can report that it’s great. It’s fun to call and actually have a conversation with a real, live person when you order a book (if I’m running short on time, they also take orders by email). The books arrive promptly and nicely packed, with a hand-written address label, and an invoice tucked inside, which I pay by mailing a check. Of course, the books don’t come overnight for $3, but realistically there are very few books that I really need to have the next morning by 10:30AM, and 3-5 days by USPS is just fine. And I’m getting a 5% discount instead of the 35% I would at amazon, but, let’s be honest, this is only a couple of dollars on what is already the best value in entertainment and education: books. Too, if you need gift-wrapping, the amazon savings is quickly erased.
It feels great to be supporting an independent bookstore who, not surprisingly, seems very happy to have my business, and, an added bonus, not to be supporting the amazon warehouse wage slaves.
The name of this bookstore and its location are not important, because you know one or more just like it (or, if you know me, you know where it is!), and I urge you to make one of these your own private amazon. You can have the convenience of phone or email ordering (or, of course, if one’s near you, walk around the corner), along with the personal service and connection only a small business can offer, and access to their expertise (they sit in the middle of all those books all day, of course they know what to suggest! Not surprisingly, my favorite books of this summer were direct recommendations from them.), and the knowledge that you are directly supporting a worthy business, the people who run it and their local community, and the wider culture of books. Try it, I’m certain you’ll like it.
Eight covers nominated for the 50 Books/50 Covers award · 31 July, 01:31 PM by Archlog
The AIGA handed over the annual 50 Books/50 Covers competition to Design Observer, and we’re thrilled that Princeton Architectural Press has eight covers nominated. You can see them here, congratulations to all the designers and our two distinguished design directors, Deb Wood and Paul Wagner, who directed the ones they didn’t design themselves.
It's official: reading is good for you! · 29 June, 11:50 AM by Archlog
This article from The Doctor Will See You Now describes how books can change who you are. So read up!
Dutch Publisher 010 merges with Dutch Architectural Institute · 24 May, 09:20 AM by Archlog
Received this press release this morning: “010 Publishers, the oldest publishing house in the Netherlands specializing in architecture and design, and NAi Publishers, the largest Dutch publisher in the field of architecture, art, photography and design, are to merge their publishing activities. As part of this, NAi Publishers will take over the existing stock and backlist of 010 Publishers on 1 July of this year. A larger and broader list will make it possible to better respond to the rapidly changing international publishing landscape. As of 1 July, the name of the publisher will be nai010 publishers.
Directors Hans Oldewarris and Peter de Winter of 010 Publishers commented: ‘Partnership with NAi Publishers provides continuity for the 010 Publishers list, both in terms of content and of the relationships with authors and clients. In the future we will remain involved with nai010 publishers as consultants, and we will continue to coordinate book projects on a freelance basis.’
Added director Eelco van Welie of NAi Publishers: ‘The merging of the two lists, the knowledge and relations represent a valuable addition to our continued evolution as a leading international publisher in the field of architecture, art and design. 010 Publishers is a brand with an outstanding reputation, and the historical depth of the 010 list presents countless opportunities for redevelopment.’
In 30 years under the leadership of founders Hans Oldewarris and Peter de Winter, 010 Publishers has produced more than 700 titles in the field of architecture and design, including such classics as Herman Hertzberger’s Lessons for Students in Architecture, published in 12 languages, Rem Koolhaas’s S,M,L,XL and MVRDV’s FARMAX.
(I’ve known Hans & Peter since the beginning of 010, founded at about the same time as Princeton Architectural Press, and wish them the best in what sounds suspiciously like retirement. — Ed.)
The Architecture Observer · 26 April, 05:04 PM by Archlog
The Architecture Observer is a text-only(!) site devoted to observations about architecture.
Gratuitous Type #2 is out · 26 April, 02:49 PM by Archlog
The second issues of Gratuitous Type is now available, and it’s a real labor of love, a tour-de-force of design and production, with a special centerfold and silkscreened insert. If you’re a fan of Esopus, you’ll like this for sure.
The Harris Observatory · 25 February, 11:31 AM by Archlog
Harris, New York seems an unlikely place for an art exhibition, especially one of the caliber of The Harris Observatory, by Philadelphia-based artist Richard Torchia. Situated in the southwest corner of the Catskills, in a landscape of dense forests dotted by small enclaves of boarded-up storefronts and factories, prisons, and fallen-into-disrepair summer cottages, many Jewish summer-camps with uncomfortable visual echoes of concentration camps, The Harris Observatory occupies a twenty-foot high geodesic dome building on the campus of The Center for Discovery, a residential and learning community for children and adults with significant mental and physical disabilities.
Torchia’s work over the past two decades uses the ancient optical phenomenon of the camera obscura to project exterior landscapes into interior viewing spaces, until now at a much smaller sale than this sprawling half-sphere. Generally, these luminous images are projected through lenses onto walls or other fixed surfaces (one of the most famous camera obscura, at the Greenwich Observatory outside London, projects the London City skyline onto a table top). Given that many of viewers of this exhibit will be wheelchair-bound, Torchia decided turn this limitation to his advantage and make the viewing screens small and portable, so that the observer is responsible for selecting one of the many views (each facet of the dome houses a small aperture, offering dozens of different views of the adjacent Catskills forests), and focusing it by moving the screen, a round translucent Plexiglass disk, closer or farther from the lens-in-wall opening.
By making the spectator an active participant in the installation, Torchia has only magnified the magic of the camera obscura while deepening our understanding of the optics involved. Birds perched outside are brought into the space in a kind of otherworldly projection that is neither video nor photograph, but somehow more gratifying than either, occupying a zone somewhere between microscope/magnifying lens and telescope/binoculars.
Snow on leaves in nearby trees has an immediacy it might not have even outside by being cropped and enlarged and literally held up in front of us for appreciation and contemplation.
Almost as if this weren’t enough, Torchia has removed part of the cladding of the dome and perforated it with small holes that are the representation of the constellations immediately above Harris, a rare chance to occupy the center of a planetarium and a reminder that light permeates space whether from fifty feet outside the window, or millions light years into the cosmos.
Just outside the Center for Discovery a small road sign reminds us: New York – 89 miles. For an installation of this scale of wonder, that seems a small distance to travel, indeed.
The Harris Observatory in on view until March 3 (10am – 5pm) or by appointment by contacting email@example.com. It is also the subject of this excellent short video by Noah Hutton.
Utopian Benches · 3 January, 10:23 AM by Archlog
Although the Arcadia University exhibit of British artist Francis Cape’s recreations of benches from American utopian communities closed yesterday, there is a free mini-catalog available as a PDF download that is a small gem.