reading-the-infrastructural-city – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: reading-the-infrastructural-city

“the last remaining organic components of a city-wide cybernetic system”

Writing at Fast Company, Tim Maly ties recent interest in autonomous cars and related intersection-managing algorithms back to the guest post he wrote for mammoth during our reading of The Infrastructural City: What’s interesting about the skepticism towards automated driving is that it reveals how invisible the current systems of automation already are. Traffic control […]

architects without architecture

As a coda to our collaborative reading of The Infrastructural City, mammoth spoke with Kazys Varnelis, editor of that book, about how the infrastructural city and “network culture” are related, what the contents of an imaginary new chapter for The Infrastructural City might be, and the future of architecture in the wake of global economic […]

reading the infrastructural city: chapter eleven index

[The Studio Zone, a 30-mile radius in Los Angeles which serves to determine the “rates and work rules for workers in the entertainment industry”; the majority of Los Angeles’ prop houses are located within the Studio Zone; image via the California Film Commission] Robert Sumrell’s “Story of the Eye: Props”, noted elsewhere: DPR-Barcelona skip between […]


[Omega/Cinema Props’ C.P. Three, at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Bronson Avenue; via bing maps] At some point, presumably, continuing to open our commentaries on The Infrastructural City by noting that the chapter of the week — in this case, Robert Sumrell’s “Props” — reads significantly different from the other chapters will ring […]

“what to do when there is nothing to do”

[“Weather Field”; Lateral Office + Paisajes Emergentes for Land Art Generator Initiative] As we have nearly reached the conclusion of our collaborative reading of The Infrastructural City, we thought it would be interesting to discuss some of the lessons of the text with one of mammoth‘s favorite architectural studios, the Toronto-based Lateral Office. In a series […]

reading the infrastructural city, chapter ten index

[Bird’s-eye view of “Wal-(medley mixed-up mélange montage mash-up shopping)mart”, an absurdly-titled (but also somewhat light-hearted) proposal for a Wal-Mart on the Gowanus Canal, drawn by (then?) Yale architecture students Alexander Maymind & Cody Davis; read an in-depth interview regarding the project at Archinect.] Catching up (post-viral and sister-visiting-from-Mongolia break) on the Infrastructural City, with two […]

public landscapes of distribution

[A model from SITE Architects’ series of projects in the seventies and eighties for BEST Products Company; I don’t think this particular one was built (I’d like to be told I’m wrong about that), but those that were built are also rather entertaining, and early examples of attempts to modify the architecture of big-box stores.] […]

reading the infrastructural city, chapter nine index

“Once a vast carpet of healthy vegetation and virgin forest, the Amazon rain forest is changing rapidly. This image of Bolivia shows dramatic deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Loggers have cut long paths into the forest, while ranchers have cleared large blocks for their herds. Fanning out from these clear-cut areas are settlements built in […]


We’re reading The Infrastructural City.  This is week ten — after this, we’ve got Robert Sumrell’s “Props” next week and a brief return to the introduction the following week.  Fill yourself in, if that’s necessary. [An aerial shot of the Alameda Corridor amidst warehouses and distribution centers, from Lane Barden’s photo-essay “The Trench”, which follows […]

“anchors in a mutable field”

[“City Market”, a photomontage of the negotiated space of flower market in Bangalore, from Mathur and da Cunha’s 2006 book and exhibition Deccan Traverses; image via Places] In addition to describing a theory of the transactions that govern the interactions between property owners, Roger Sherman’s “Counting (on) Change” also makes the broader argument that architects […]


These are chapters eight and nine of The Infrastructural City; if you’re not familiar with the series, you can start here and catch up here. Thinking about the new urban landscape and public space and wondering where to start, I suddenly remember how, as a boy, I built my first crystal receiver […] You would […]

reading the infrastructural city, chapter eight index

[Image via flickr user Grahamko] Yes, we’ve fallen a bit behind with The Infrastructural City.  But we’ve got a plan to remedy that — we’re pushing back the schedule.  This is actually less because of our lag (this week was supposed to be an “off” week, so we’d be caught up with Stephen’s hybrid “Mobile […]

infrastructural city update

Just quick note to let you all know that last week’s chapter, Cell Structure by Ted Kane and Rick Miller, and the upcoming week’s Counting (On) Change by Roger Sherman have been rolled into a single post, which should go live sometime in the next several days. Polis have published their take on Cell Structure […]

reading the infrastructural city: chapter seven index

[A “feral house” in Detroit, via Sweet Juniper, who has many more pictures; houses and porches, of course, cannot be mowed, and so one often finds early successional plants such as Ailanthus taking advantage of that fact while their brethren a few feet away are easily suppressed by even the most sporadic of maintenance regimes; […]

future forests of the infrastructural city

This is week seven of our reading of The Infrastructural City; if you’re not familiar with the series, you can start here and catch up here.  With our delayed posting of the previous chapter, we didn’t get around to posting an index, but you can read FASLANYC’s contrarian take on the chapter here and Peter […]

FAT, falcons

At Action!, Rory Hyde has written a great review of ‘extra/ordinary’, the national conference of the Australian Institute of Architects. Framed around a description of work presented by Elemental, Teddy Cruz, and F.A.T., the post raises some of the same issues we’re discussing in mammoth’s recent post on The Infrastructural City. On the necessity of a […]

starting from zero

This is week six of our reading of The Infrastructural City; if you’re not familiar with the series, you can start here and catch up here. It takes me a bit to get to discussing the chapter, but seeing as this post is already over a week late (sorry!) I hope you’ll indulge a few […]

additional traffic

Since it’s now buried below a mini-avalanche of posts and I doubt anyone will notice the updates unless I point to them, I’ve added a few things to the chapter five (“Blocking All Lanes: Traffic”) index below.  To further ease your reading experience, the links added are: contributions to the traffic discussion from Nam Henderson […]

driving blind

The following is a guest post from Tim Maly — of the excellent Quiet Babylon — concerning the topic of traffic and The Infrastructural City. About a year ago, a business trip found me camped out with my laptop in the top floor lounge of a hotel in LA, overlooking the San Diego Freeway. There […]

urban crude

While we’re working on getting this week’s Infrastructural City post up (it’s coming!), I thought it’d be worth noting that The Center for Land Use Interpretation has just launched a new online exhibition, “Urban Crude”, which explores the oil fields of the Los Angeles Basin in intimate and fantastic detail.  Oil wells sprout like hardy […]