2010 – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Yearly Archives: 2010

winter hiatus (basilica snowbirth)

I hope everyone has watched the video of the Metrodome collapse. The moment when the fabric tears and a inverted volcano of snow pours onto the field is incredible, like a roof giving birth.  (I tried to capture a still, but the wonder is all in the fluid motion.) Parametrics should be the study of […]

winter hiatus

[Photograph by William Notman & Son, photographers, of a building encased in ice after a fire, 65–83 Little St. James Street, Montréal, Québec, 1888.  From the collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, via Sense of the City.] We’re taking the remainder of the dimly-lit month of December to rest, eat, read, and […]

glass house conversations

This week’s Glass House Conversation may be of particular interest to mammoth readers.  Deborah Marton, of the Design Trust for Public Space, asks: Everyone agrees that public space is important, but why? We know that quality public space is the bellwether of a healthy society. Strong communities supported by well-conceived public spaces are better positioned […]

thrilling wonder interview

On his blog, Rory Hyde interviews Geoff Manaugh and Liam Young at Thrilling Wonder Stories 2.  I’m particularly taken by an idea the three converge on at the end: GM: …I guess if you’re trying to do a kind of trigonometric extension of the canon into the future, and to imagine where might we be […]

walking city

Jim Rossignol (video game journalist, blogger, and occasional BLDGBLOG contributor, among other things) recently announced the start-up of an independent game development studio, Big Robot, as well as the first two games that studio is developing.  I’m particularly excited by the second he’s described, which is currently (though likely not finally) titled “Walking City”.  (That […]

silk moses

Esquire profiles Janette Sadik-Khan in their series The Brightest: 15 Geniuses Who Give Us Hope. Although it initially seems curiously focused on her personality instead of her accomplishments, the piece makes a convincing case that the two are inseparably linked, and as such, is a good example of the political and social acumen that designers […]

generative capacity

At the end of October, Hillary Brown — founding principal of New Civic Works, a consulting firm which “promotes the adoption of sustainable design principles for buildings and infrastructure”, as well as a professor of architecture at the City College of New York — published an article on Places entitled “Infrastructural Ecologies: Principles for Post-Industrial […]

out in the wind, above ground, out in the weather

[Appropriate for the gradual approach of winter in the mid-Atlantic: photographs from Alexander Gronsky’s “The Edge”, a series of shots taken along the outer boundary of Moscow; via @ballardian.  Thinking about whitesward and glacier wrap again…]


In the comments on “fracture-prone” — where I argued that the set of political measures that New Urbanists tend to focus on are a necessary component of the urbanist’s operating toolkit, but not nearly sufficient — Carter says: I’d be interested to hear your ideas on other types of tools should be used to tackle […]

territories of urbanism

On Urban Omnibus, Genevieve Sherman recaps last Saturday’s afternoon panel from Harvard GSD’s 50th anniversary party for their urban planning program.  The panel that Sherman recaps is of particular interest because it featured Andres Duany, whose harsh criticism of the GSD’s direction in Metropolis is one of the recent shots fired by New Urbanists in […]


[An image from Mark Luthringer’s “Ridgemont Typologies“] In an excerpt on Slate from his latest book (Makeshift Metropolis), Witold Rybczynski asks the question: what kind of cities do we want? Judging from the direction that American urbanism has taken during the second half of the 20th century, one answer is unequivocal—Americans want to live in […]

heygate abstracted

Architect and photographer Simon Kennedy’s exhibition 635×508: Heygate Abstracted opens at the Bartlett School of Architecture this Monday.

blueprint’s oddly misdirected second salvo

Not content with Tim Abrahams’ misdirected broadside against architecture blogs last spring — which badly missed its target by calling out the explicitly curatorial Things Magazine for failing the project of architecture criticism — Blueprint has now printed a similarly misdirected second salvo against various prominent architecture bloggers, again accusing them of not being sufficiently […]

editing urbanism

MONU issues a call for submissions for their Winter 2011 issue, Editing Urbanism: These days, the need for new buildings or entire city quarters is decreasing or even ceasing to exist altogether – at least in the Western world – due to the demographic changes and financially difficult times. Ever since, architects and urban designers, […]

readings: blogs

[Nadav Kander, “Changxing Island VI, Shanghai”] 1. I am pretty sure that I have mentioned it before, but I have really been enjoying deconcrete. Somewhere between blog and tumblr, deconcrete posts fascinating scraps and ephemera themed roughly, as the subtitle notes, around “everyday urbanisms without architects’ architecture”. Recent posts, for instance, pair a fictional vision […]


[An image from mammoth‘s contribution to Bracket 1: On Farming, “Hydrating Luanda”.] Places excerpts a piece from the soon-to-be-published first volume of Bracket.  In the excerpt, Mason White sketches towards a description of an alternate trajectory within twentieth century architecture, which he terms the “productive surface”: Productive surfaces articulate a new public realm, and with […]

hatherly on hadid and schumacher

At Mute Magazine, Owen Hatherly picks at tensions in the rhetoric and built work of Zaha Hadid Architects, with a particular emphasis on both the claims Patrick Schumacher makes about parametricism as a new avant-garde and the Evelyn Grace Academy in London, one of ZHA’s recent buildings.  Though it is not entirely representative of the […]

dead website archive

[David Garcia Studio‘s “Dead Website Archive”, from MAP-003 “Archive”; read about the Dead Website Archive at DPR-Barcelona.]

pathological superpositions

I’ve mentioned before my fondness for the blog Pathological Geomorphology, but this month’s theme is particularly fantastic: the interface of human landscapes and geomorphology.  In Green River, Utah (above), for instance, an extinct oxbow determines contemporary land-use patterns; other examples so far include farmed alluvial fans in Asian deserts, Pennsylvania farmland interspersed between anticlines, and […]

the new north

[Murmansk in polar night, photographed by flickr user euno.] The Wall Street Journal recently ran a fascinating excerpt from geoscientist Laurence Smith’s new book, The World in 2050, which looks at how four global “megatrends” — “human population growth and migration; growing demand for control over such natural resource ‘services’ as photosynthesis and bee pollination; […]