meta – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Category Archives: meta

“a map for what?”

Shannon Mattern, writing “about material networks that span continents… and the strategies we devise to comprehend their scale and composition”: What is the “aftermath” of the touring, the mapping, the listening and smelling, the playing of games? The promises to “make visible the invisible” and thereby “raise awareness” are far too often regarded as ends […]

fecal matters

This week — really, we promise it will just be a week — we’ll be looking at landscapes of shit.  We’ll take a guided tour of DC’s huge wastewater treatment plant, Blue Plains, we’ll have an excellent guest post from Peter Nunns on “fecal politics”, we’ll look at a student project that proposes “the making of […]

behind the scenes

While there is a lot that has gone unfortunately unposted this summer (our drafts queue is more than a little bit out of control) — at least in part due to Rob’s failure to contain the floods series (which is finished, by the way, with yesterday’s final post on de-damming the Dutch delta) to anything […]

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 […]

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 […]


[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 […]

places on architectural criticism

While mammoth by no means aspires to fit within the category of architectural criticism (though we do occasionally have something to say about it), Nancy Levinson’s recent meta-criticism of the genre in Places strikes me as essentially correct: By now the rules are so familiar they seem almost inevitable. We’ve come more or less to […]

the best architecture of the decade

[The Large Hadron Collider] The end of a decade inspires a lot of list compiling; in that spirit, mammoth offers an alternative list of the best architecture of the decade, concocted without any claim to authority and surely missing some fascinating architecture.   But we hope that at least it’s not boring, as this was an […]

urban systems design and the architectural disciplines

You should read Adam Greenfield’s post “Towards Urban Systems Design”, which includes some response to my brief note on Dan Hill’s post at Towards the Sentient City.  A couple items from Greenfield’s post below that I’d like to respond to, in reverse of the order in which they appear in the original, because that’s convenient […]

more on criticism and blogs

Additional responses to Abraham’s Blueprint screed: 1. Owen Hatherley at sit down man, you’re a bloody tragedy (who was named in said screed). 2. Infinite Thought gets at the heart of what is potentially the most valuable contribution of blogging (as a medium) to discourse: “Abrahams criticises Owen and Fantastic Journal for discussing Ford, as […]

criticism and blogs

Tim Abrahams of Blueprint Magazine has popped off his twelve-gauge on architecture blogs, charging them with failing the project of architectural criticism through ‘nostalgia’ (that nasty bogeyman of progressivism), ‘consensus’, and disconnection from the ‘real world’.  Oddly, the first name he names is that of Things Magazine.  This is odd both (a) because Things is […]