OBSERVATORY : JOHN THACKARA
The largest food exporter in Sweden is Ikea (meatballs). For every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted. About 40 percent of the food produced in the United States isn’t consumed. Every day, Americans waste enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. US citizens waste 50 per cent more food today than they did in 1974. Doggy bags are taboo in Danish restaurants. Waste is just one of many wicked problems concerning food in cities.
OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR
The pictures shown here were taken last week in a shop called The Works: “Objects of Desire” in the Çukurcuma district of Istanbul. No matter how seasoned you may be as a browser of junk shops, quirky antique dealers and flea markets, The Works is one of the great rococo emporiums of bric-a-brac. In shops like these, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk found the objects for his newly opened Museum of Innocence.
OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
A few days ago news broke that, absent some last-minute stay, John Johansen's Mummers Theater in Oklahoma City will face demolition
. This comes on the heels of a report, just a week earlier, that Johansen's Mechanic Theater in Baltimore is also slated for destruction
. It would be a crime to lose them.
OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER
Digital things can seem definitively less durable than physical ones, but that's misleading. In reality, digital stuff can linger on both by design, and by default. The question becomes: How to deal with that? This stuff is already here; maybe it can be made to be here in a better way.
PLACES : KEITH EGGENER
Earlier this year Keith Eggener assessed the career of the now forgotten early 20th-century Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss, and argued that Curtiss's obscurity has less to do with intrinsic merit than with the politics of professional reputation. Here — with an analysis of the Boley Building, which featured one of the first glass curtain walls in America — he makes good on his claim that Curtiss's legacy deserves new attention.
PLACES : PLACES EDITORS
A lecture and panel discussion on May 21 at the New York Center for Architecture will explore the impact that social media, technology and device culture are having on design process and practice. Places is among the journals featured in the accompanying exhibition, Voices Going Viral
OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE
Reyner Banham wasn't cowed by many, but even he was nervous about meeting Esther McCoy. As Banham wrote, "Until about 1960, the rest of the world had practically no idea at all about architecture in California... Then this extraordinary book came out in 1960, and — suddenly — California architecture had heroes, history, and character." A new book of McCoy's writings has just been published, and you should get it.