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« The Structure of Aesthetic Revolutions II | Main | Salingaros on Tschumi 2 »

April 16, 2004


Dear Friedrich --

* A good taxonomy makes my brain feel like a closet that's just been cleaned and ordered; it can also enhance my grasp and enjoyment of art. Forager23 has a workable and ingenious taxonomy here of the various kinds of caper films.

* John Massengale gets off a lot of sharp ones in his posting about the architects Andres Duany and Rem Koolhaas, here. Example:

Late Modernism is sometimes analogous to Late Adolescence, which, of course, is the age of some architecture students.

John also runs a long passage of Duany's own prose that shouldn't be missed. Example:

Modernism -- which is a history of failure -- must evolve at a tremendous rate in order to evade the taint -- the stink -- of failed expectations. That was then ... look at this now! It will work this time. Trust us ... Society continues to grant modernist architects one more chance again and again.

* Camera memory cards seem to be handling ever more data with ever more virtuosity. A consequence: digital cameras and digital videocams are beginning to merge. Already, of course, you can make rudimentary videoclips with many digital still cameras. And already a few hybrid still-camera/videocams are available. So far, they're pretty rudimentary too. Moi, I predict that, once it approaches maturity, this product -- whatever it winds up being called -- will become a huge hit. Well, I sure want one, anyway. Here's the latest iteration of the device, which is already accumulating good reviews at Amazon.

* Scientific American reports that scientists using brain-imaging machines have located where in the brain aesthetic experience seems to occur, here.



posted by Michael at April 16, 2004


Rem Koolhaas'new Seattle Public Library building is set to open next month.

I find it horrible on the outside; perhaps the interior will redeem it.

The exterior is an odd geometrical concoction that shows little imagination and zero sensitivity to its sourroundings. It is covered with a diamond lattice pattern of steel rails--also unimaginative. Did Rem's cleaning man dust the CAD machine's keyboard and this design pop out?

I don't have a digital camera, but a flattering rendering can be seen at

If that doesn't work, simply go to and dig down a couple levels where they mention the new facility.

I liked Koolhaas' book "Delirious New York" when I read it back in 1981. Now I think he was better as an author than as a star architect who can con folks into funding disruptive eyesores such as the new library.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on April 16, 2004 11:51 PM

Donald -- You write: "Did Rem's cleaning man dust the CAD machine's keyboard and this design pop out?" That's hilarious! Koolhaas is clearly a bright guy (I kinda enjoyed flipping around in "Delirious NY" too) with some flair and brains. Doesn't mean anything about his talents as a designer, though, does it. Did you try the passage of Duany that Massengale included? I thought it was pretty terrific. Talk about showing how to "read" what an architect's up to!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 18, 2004 11:48 PM

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