technology – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: technology


[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 […]

“cheap land, abundant power, and accessible fiber optic lines”

[Google’s data center in The Dalles, Oregon; photographed by flickr user The Impression That I Get] In A Preliminary Atlas of Gizmo Landscapes, mammoth briefly described the Google data center in The Dalles; in an excellent recent article, local The Dalles Chronicle reporter Theodoric Meyer investigates the relationship between Google and local public officials, the […]

analog civic maintenance

Jeff Maki writes at Urban Omnibus about New York City’s steam tunnels as a potential analog precursor to future mass civic participation in the maintenance of urban infrastructure, which may be an increasingly necessary  tactic, given the massive repair deficit North America’s urban infrastructures face.

the blind watchmaker

[A manhole near Halifax marks the Canadian arrival point for one of the eleven major cable lines carrying the bulk of trans-Atlantic Internet traffic; photographed by Randall Mesdon; from this excellent Wired slideshow on the physical infrastructure of the internet; the text accompanying that show is by Andrew Blum, whose forthcoming book on said infrastructure […]

varnelis interview at triple canopy

Kazys Varnelis follows up his recent interview of Joseph Tainter (author of The Collapse of Complex Societies) by himself being interviewed, at Triple Canopy (whose last two issues on urbanism are indispensable): Triple Canopy: You’ve argued that it’s no longer possible to rebuild existing infrastructures or, for that matter, to build better ones. And you’ve […]

the cloud

You’ll want to read all of Dan Hill’s post on his involvement in the design of The Cloud, a proposal for “a new form of observation deck” overlooking London and its new Olympic stadium.  The proposal draws upon a number of fascinating themes, including urban informatics, cloud computing, weather, crowd-sourcing, and “re-industrial” cities: Data is […]

our collective spatial memory, modeled

From the description of the above video at PopSci: Using nearly half a million Flickr photos of Rome, Venice, and the Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik, a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington’s Graphics and Imaging Laboratory assembled digital models of the three cities in 3-D… Each video includes clusters of small diamond […]

city of sound, sentient city, continued

I see that Dan Hill put the post from the Toward the Sentient City exhibit up at City of Sound, and that version improves on the version at Toward the Sentient City by including links and images.  Reading Hill’s post again, I noticed a couple paragraphs that bear on the post below regarding architecture and […]

translators for the networked city

Adam Greenfield, as usual critically interrogating the potential of the networked city, in the unedited version of a piece that’s running in this month’s Wired UK: …the complex technologies the networked city relies upon to produce its effects remain distressingly opaque, even to those exposed to them on a daily basis. In fact, it’s surpassingly […]

dan hill on the sentient city

City of Sound’s Dan Hill comments on the Architecture League’s exhibition “Toward the Sentient City”, at the Sentient City website. While he praises the intent and content of the exhibition, he wonders if it doesn’t go far enough in several ways. The last of these, “the positioning of architecture itself”, is particularly relevant to themes […]