soft-systems – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: soft-systems

bracket goes soft

1 This is not entirely true. There was a third launch, at the University of Waterloo, earlier this morning. I’m a bit late to getting notice of these events up, but at least I’m doing it before they happen1: there are two book launches scheduled for the latest installment of Bracket, [goes Soft]. Bracket [goes […]

soft landscapes

This week, I’ve organized a short (very short) lecture series for the students in my studio (well, the “Post-Natural Ecologies” half of the studio) at Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center. Tuesday at 5:15, Fred Scharmen (sevensixfive/the Working Group on Adaptive Systems) will give a talk entitled “Soft Sites”, examining four sites on the Middle Branch […]


We recently wrote a brief piece, “Appeal”, for the excellent architecture journal Quaderns in response to their most recent issue, “Parainfrastructures”. We used this response as an opportunity to consider why we are so drawn to infrastructural landscapes like Blue Plains — not just as sites of logistical and technological operations, but aesthetically as well: […]

de-damming the dutch delta

[The Haringvliet Dam] In recent years, as they seek to rethink the flood control infrastructures and climate defense systems of the Mississippi Delta, American politicians, engineers, planners, and designers have, with good reason, looked to the Netherlands for inspiration and expertise. This is entirely natural, as the Netherlands has long been the world’s most sophisticated […]

william least heat-moon and the infrastructural missouri river

The following is a guest post from Nam Henderson, a long-time mammoth commentator and Archinect contributor.  Nam blogs at Thoughts on Everything Under the Sun or I am a Guilty Secularist, and this post first appeared there.  While I don’t agree with everything the author Nam writes about, William Least Heat-Moon, has to say about […]

sand boil

[The breach in Missouri River Levee 575, on June 14.] The breach at Hamburg — mentioned a few posts back — began with a “sand boil”, a geotechnical phenomenon shared by earthquakes and floods, in which subterranean water pressure becomes so strong that ground water erupts, typically bubbling like a gentle geyser, and bringing soil […]

ditch 6

[The “Ditch 6” levee at Hamburg, Iowa; photographed by the Army Corps of Engineers on June 16.  Following the breach of levee 575 which prompted the evacuation orders for southern Hamburg, the Army Corps “immediately underwent further construction to raise the elevation of Ditch 6 levee”; the plastic sheeting protects the soft earth of the […]


[The photography of Toshio Shibata has made its way around before, but, as but does it float reminds us, it is well worth second and third gazes.]

backyard farm service

[Plant compatibility diagram, from Visual Logic’s “Backyard Farm Service.] One of the unfortunate things that happens with competitions is that the best entries are often overlooked by the judges, and the ideas encapsulated in those entries then missed.  There are notable exceptions to this rule, like the OMA entry to the Parc de la Villette […]