Mr. Wright, why don't you sit down and shut up?

Mr. Wright, why don't you sit down and shut up? :

Bruce Graham, interviewed by Detlef Mertins

DM: How was Mies significant for your work? BG: He was significant, but Chicago architecture is a broader historical thing. It isn’t just Mies. It isn’t just one person. Louis Sullivan wasn’t exactly stupid. The structures of Louis Sullivan are also very clear, very clearly expressed. By the way, that’s why I went to Holabird & Root first, before I went to SOM. They had a tradition of doing structural engineering and architecture together.

DM: Wasn’t it also Mies who suggested that you do that? BG: Yes. When I was a student, I came from Philadelphia to see him. He received me. He was a very nice man, a very simple man. I asked him where I should go to work, and he said Holabird & Root.

DM: What else did you talk about with Mies? BG: We were good friends. There wasn’t another intellect like him in the city. There just wasn’t. The person I didn’t like, as a person, was Frank Lloyd Wright. He was a real son of a bitch. I gave him hell one time. He was giving a speech at the University of Chicago and was blasting me. So I finally got up and said, “Mr. Wright, why don’t you sit down and shut up?" And I walked out. It’s ridiculous for an architect to criticize another architect that way. But by that time, he was a little insane. He certainly wasn’t a constructivist. Fallingwater nearly collapsed. He wouldn’t listen.

DM: Did you see Mies as a constructivist? BG: Yes.

DM: What did you talk about with him? BG: How the wine was. Once in his old apartment he had an easy chair with a table and his cigars and his martini and all the furniture against the wall—somebody asked him why he didn’t move into 860 Lake Shore Drive. He said, “There’s no place to put the furniture. I was born in a little village in Germany. I can dream and imagine this new world, but I can’t live in it."

This is one of a large number of plans from Archive of...

This is one of a large number of plans from Archive of Affinities. Although on the surface these reveal a similarity to Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter’s postmodern collage techniques as explored in their Collage City, we can also see some crucial differences here that reveal this project to be part of network culture.

Chief among these is that, on the one hand, these plans demonstrate a forced relationship between unlike elements and, on the other, these plans lack any trace of rupture or artifacts of their collision. This is a paradoxical inversion of postmodern design, in which elements would be chosen for their contextual nature, but when collided would retain traces of their violent encounter while also announcing their inability to ever produced a whole.

In other words, what we see is atemporality at work, not a postmodern revival.    

archiveofaffinities:

PLAN FOR UNWILLING SYMMETRY

Into the Cloud (with zombies)

Today's New York Times carries a front-page piece by James Glanz on the massive energy waste and pollution produced by data centers. The lovely cloud that we've all been seeing icons for lately, turns out is not made of data, but rather of smog. 

The basics here aren't very new. Already six years ago, we heard the apocryphal story of a Second Life avatar consuming as much energy as the average Brazilian. That data centers consume huge amounts of energy and contribute to pollution is well known.

On the other hand, Glanz does make a few critical observations. First, much of this energy use and pollution comes from our need to have data instantly accessible. Underscoring this, the article ends with the following quote:   

“That’s what’s driving that massive growth — the end-user expectation of anything, anytime, anywhere,” said David Cappuccio, a managing vice president and chief of research at Gartner, the technology research firm. “We’re what’s causing the problem.”

Second, much of this data is rarely, if ever used, residing on unused, "zombie" servers. Back to our Second Life avatars, like many of my readers, I created a few avatars a half decade ago and haven't been back since. Do these avatars continue consuming energy, making Second Life an Internet version of the Zombie Apocalypse? 

So the ideology of automobliity—that freedom consists of the ability to go anywhere at anytime—is now reborn, in zombie form, on the Net. Of course it also exists in terms of global travel. I've previously mentioned the incongruity between individuals proudly declaring that they live in the city so they don't drive yet bragging about how much they fly.  

For the 5% or so that comprise world's jet-setting, cloud-dwelling élite, gratification is as much the rule as it ever was for the much-condemned postwar suburbanites, only now it has to be instantaneous and has to demonstrate their ever-more total power. To mix my pop culture references, perhaps that is the lesson we can take away from Mad Men. As Don Draper moves from the suburb to the city, his life loses its trappings of familial responsibility, damaged and conflicted though they may have been, in favor of a designed lifestyle, unbridled sexuality, and his position at a creative workplace. Ever upwards with gratification, ever downwards with responsibility, ever upwards with existential risk. 

Survival depends on us ditching this model once and for all. 

I started updating my iPhone to iOS 6, but something went wrong so it needs to be restored. It need...

I started updating my iPhone to iOS 6, but something went wrong so it needs to be restored. It need s to be connected to iTunes

Then we had a power outage so I lost Internet.

I hooked up my Honda gas generator which is powering the fridge, base computer system, phone, and Internet (no hot water though, we upgraded to a new high efficiency system so it needs electricity to work, plus it needs to wait 6 hours after power comes back for us to restart it).

I’d post something about this on my blog except that my site is down because of a hardware failure at Dreamhost.

Too bad Revolution is such a bad TV show. I could sympathize. 

Kazys

Hello, Nothing

I started updating my iPhone to iOS 6, but something went wrong so it needs to be restored. It need s to be connected to iTunes

Then we had a power outage so I lost Internet.

I hooked up my Honda gas generator which is powering the fridge, base computer system, phone, and Internet (no hot water though, we upgraded to a new high efficiency system so it needs electricity to work, plus it needs to wait 6 hours after power comes back for us to restart it).

I’d post something about this on my blog except that my site is down because of a hardware failure at Dreamhost.

Too bad Revolution is such a bad TV show. I could sympathize. 

Kazys

Google adds 'Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon' game to search engine | Film & TV News | NME.COM

Google adds 'Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon' game to search engine | Film & TV News | NME.COM:

Google has built the infamous ‘Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon’ game into its search engine.

The game, a playful variation on ‘Six Degrees Of Separation’, is based on the idea that any Hollywood actor can be linked to Bacon in six associations or fewer because theFootloose actor has enjoyed such a prolific career. When the game first spread in the 1990s, Bacon seemed unamused, but he has since embraced it, using its popularity for a charitable website called SixDegrees.Org.

Now the game has been automated by Google. When a user types the phrase “Bacon number” into the search box, followed by the name of any actor, Google will produce that actor’s “Bacon number” and show how the two are linked.

AAPL Now Equal to Entire 1977 S&P Market Cap - Tech Trader Daily - Barrons.com

AAPL Now Equal to Entire 1977 S&P Market Cap - Tech Trader Daily - Barrons.com:

Apple is worth more than all of the companies in the 1977 Standard and Poor’s index.

S&P Dow Jones Indices’ Howard Silverblatt this afternoon writes that the stock’s surge has brought it a market capitalization surpassing the one-time value of the entire S&P:

Apple is trading at a new high of $695 per share (old high was $685.50), with a total market value of $651.5 billion. When I started at S&P in May of 1977 the entire market value of the S&P 500 was $623 billion (T was #1 with $38B, then IBM, XON, GM and GE – EK was #6 and S, which was Sears, was #7). It was not until August of 1978 that the index reached the $650 mark (when IBM was #1 with $43B, then T, XON, GM, GE, EK at #6, with S down to #9) – now, 34 years later, one company is $650 billion. So in October of 2046 will some issue be worth $13.9 trillion? FYI – the Aug,1978 to Sep,2012 full market value growth calculates to a 9.3% annualized rate (I have an app that calculates it – it called a hp12c, circa 1981, when T was back to being #1 in market value).

slavin: House (by Daisuke Kawamura) Beautiful.

slavin:

House (by Daisuke Kawamura)

Beautiful.

Well, I wouldn’t call it postmodern, but this building...

Well, I wouldn’t call it postmodern, but this building certainly formed part of my architectural subconscious.

Apple's Missed Opportunity

Apple refreshed the iPhone 5 and a new line-up of iPods today, but in doing so, it missed an opportunity. Handily dominating the world market for smartphones and tablets, Apple now faces the challenge of expanding its market significantly while introducing merely more mature versions of existing products.

In 2008, Apple introduced the iPhone 2, which made locative media a reality through its App Store and integrated Assisted GPS (aGPS). To be fair, earlier phones had the ability to install apps and aGPS*, but the iPhone's ease of use, large user base, and often-fanatical developer following made it a huge hit. But the now what? The iPhone 5 is merely a refinement of the iPhone 4. Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised "Amazing new products," but thus far we've seen little we wouldn't reasonably expect. The predicted smaller iPad is no different, just a smaller form factor at a lower price.

What then, would be the proverbial "next big thing?" I think the answer is clear: DIY ubicomp. I've been watching with interest a number of Kickstarter projects that aim to bring remote-sensing capabilities to the masses. Twine is the most sophisticated of these. This simple sensor will hook up to a Wi-Fi network and, when outfitted with appropriate sensors, can Tweet that your basement is flooding, e-mail you that your TV has been on for three consecutive hours, or send a text message you when a major earthquake happens. Operating for months on AAA batteries, Twine is a huge step forward in taking the kind of capabilities recently available only to hobbyists who bought Arduinos and went through complicated processes of assembly and programming.

So when Apple announced the new iPod Nano, it was quite a let down. The previous Nano was a small, square device that could fit on a wristwatch. Even though it only appeared to run the iOS, there is no reason why Apple couldn't have come up with a rudimentary programming interface that could let developers program Apps for it. With Wifi and one more port, perhaps the "Lightening" port Apple introduced today, a new Nano could have had access to a new market of inexpensive sensors that could make it aware of the world. Even at $99, which is more than the price of a Twine, marketing and momentum would likely have made the device a huge hit. If Apple had then committed itself to downward price migration, a ubicomp world could have been ours quickly.

I'm looking at my BBQ and imagining a future $50 device that I could plug into my temperature probe to text me to let me know when the temperature gets out of range. I think about my back yard, where deer are all too present and wonder if such a device might not wait in ambush to alert me with a message to my phone to let me know that there was motion in my back yard. I imagine that the tiny screen on the device might communicate some basic, useful information to me, like the temperature outside and the air quality, as sampled by another sensor connected device.  I wonder what my crafty children, or for that matter, someone like Mark Shepard or David Benjamin would do with such a thing. 

It may be that Twine itself is the next Apple II, to the Arduino's Apple I, and certainly that could be a better thing if Twine is a more flexible and open platform than the notoriously closed one at Apple. But still (and perhaps only because I own Apple stock…a disclaimer that I need to make), I regret that Apple has not rethought the Nano. For ubiquitous computing is already here, but it's just not yet for the masses. And that, I am convinced, is the proverbial next big thing.       

*Memory fails me, but I believe my Kyocera 7135, which ran the Palmo operating system and was first released in 2002 had aGPS.

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