Sketchup renderings of the Library of Babel. Images courtesy of Jamie Zawinski.
Fulfilling the maxim “write what you know,” Argentine fabulist Jorge Luis Borges penned one of his most extraordinary and bewildering stories, “The Library of Babel,” while employed as an assistant librarian.
As much as we admire buildings designed by genius architects, we have to admit that — sometimes, just sometimes — those genius architects themselves can be control freaks.[...]
We humans are a quarrelsome lot. But one thing that unites us is the time spent on our backs, gazing at clouds for the pleasure of identifying whatever objects they may fleetingly resemble.
It’s a very relaxing activity.
“For average prospective house owners the choice between the hysterics who hope to solve housing problems by magic alone and those who attempt to ride into the future piggy back on the status quo, the situation is confusing and discouraging.[...]
What do we do with all the dead malls? Anyone with an eye on the years-long spate of unambiguous headlines — “The Death of the American Mall,” “The Economics (and Nostalgia) of Dead Malls,” “America’s Shopping Malls Are Dying A Slow, Ugly Death” — knows that the question has begun to vex American cities, and more so A[...]
At its best, architecture can show us a way out of the rigid, routinized thinking that keeps us pacing the same social and cultural mazes decade after decade. A radical redesign of the way we use space can herald a re-imagining of our interrelations, hierarchies, and political dynamics.[...]
Thanks to the tireless efforts of archaeologists, we have a pretty clear idea of what much of the ancient world looked like, at least as far as the clothes people wore and the structures in and around which they spent their days.[...]
Unless you’re an audio engineer, you’ll have little reason to know what the term “convolution reverb” means. But it’s a fascinating concept nonetheless. Technicians bring high-end microphones, speakers, and recording equipment to a particularly resonant space—a grain silo, for example, or famous concert hall.[...]
Somebody get us Bill Murray stat!
The actor and secular saint has no direct involvement with BILL MURRAY: A Story of Distance, Size, and Sincerity at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art but the interview with artist Brian Griffiths, above, suggests that he should.
In the early 20th century, the visionary inventor Buckminster Fuller started looking for ways to improve human shelter by:
Applying modern technological know-how to shelter construction.
Making shelter more comfortable and efficient.
Making shelter more economically available to a greater number of people.