While my big blog is on hiatus, I’m posting more – and more experimentally – on my micro.blog. Just a reminder that you can subscribe to a digest of those posts here. It goes out every Friday.
Y’all know how much I love to see the cool things that my former students are doing, and here’s a new one: Amanda Iglesias is an architectural designer in New York City who has created a fabulous exhibition (at the Center Art Gallery at Calvin University) called “The Architecture of Prayer.” See an interactive walkthrough here.
A fascinating and provocative essay by Joel Kotkin:
So what is the urban future? The answer lies less in the central business districts than the suburbs and exurbs. And this presents a nightmare for the traditional urbanist. In contrast to central business districts, suburban offices have fared far better while sprawled areas such as Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Austin and Nashville have become the nation’s hottest office markets. With the large majority of major metropolitan area residents already outside the urban cores, the most enticing economic opportunities may lie in modern-day versions of Ebenezer Howard’s “garden cities”, such as Cinco Ranch outside Houston or New Albany near Columbus.
These peripheral developments have long disgusted planners and environmentalists; Al Gore, for instance, has been waging a dogged war on “sprawl” since before the end of the last century. But in reality, they are not the carbon-crazed dystopias depicted by many urbanists. Far from being bedroom communities for commuters travelling to the city core, they are increasingly places with their own thriving town centres and cultural venues. By lending themselves to remote work and shorter commutes, they also prove ideal for energy efficiency and emissions reductions.
What if sprawl is our urban future? And what if that’s not as bad as we hear?
Margaret Atwood on what’s good about getting old: “As long as you’re not actually dying or having dementia, you just have a lot less to lose. You can color quite a lot further outside the lines, especially compared to young people these days, in an age of anxiety. People are afraid of being beaten up by their peers on social media. They haven’t been hardened in the fire. If you have been hardened, you can just let it rip.” I think this is true! But: beware grumpiness.
Hey look, it’s a stop-motion Samurai movie, in claymation – no, hang on, woodmation. Warning: much wood is hewn and sawdust spilled in this clip.
And while you’re on YouTube, check out a wonderful three-part series, featuring Colin Prior and Joe Cornish, on landscape photography in the Highlands of Scotland: one, two, and three.
Hyperspectral imaging was developed by NASA to study the surface of planets — and is now used to study old paintings.
Eric Ravilious, “Leaving Scapa Flow” (1940). Throughout the first half of the 20th century Scapa Flow in the Orkneys was the U.K.’s chief naval base.