OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
A few weekends ago, while tooling about in search of the kind of castoff midmodern relics that those of my generation seem to covet, I came across the following collection of letters at an estate sale. I believe you will find they are quite telling with respect to the practices of both architecture and architectural criticism.
OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER
Recently I discovered, in a box full of dusty computer/device manuals and the like, the “Graffiti Reference Card” and stickers that came with a Palm Pilot I owned years ago. It felt like discovering evidence of a dead language, a set of uncanny interaction-design runes.
PLACES : RUDABEH PAKRAVAN
In contemporary Tehran, where the city's parks and plazas have been, as Rudabeh Pakravan writes, "delegitimized" by censorship and surveillance, public life has moved indoors — and onscreen. Here Pakravan analyzes the rising importance of illegal television satellites, which beam banned shows from around the world, and which have made the private home "the true public realm, where residents can socialize comfortably and freely, unmonitored by the otherwise pervasive government."
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
Street posters, the kind of flotsam that exists near busy street corners, on light poles, walls — anywhere and everywhere in cities large and small, are easily overlooked unless you slow down and take an interest.
OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR
LA architect John Bertram’s latest competition, to design an alternative sleeve for Music for Films
by Brian Eno, one of the musician’s less familiar instrumental albums, might be the perfect cover design challenge. The competition requires entrants not to replace something that exists with a better alternative, but to imagine something where the album’s creator apparently wanted there to be almost nothing at all.
OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER
What's bothersome about the way many observers discuss the importance of "story" is that they treat it as a tool, a means to an end, something that exists only in the service of "stuff." But a good story is no means to an an end: It is
an end, with a significance all its own.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
Reporting the status of an innovative children's camera in development
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2001
High Line photographs from Joel Sternfeld.