Empty Pavilion

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Empty Pavilion

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The Bull on Mack Avenue

I don’t really want an explanation for the oversized bull’s head that looms over an empty storefront along Mack Avenue in Detroit. The intrigue and mystery are almost certainly more interesting than any historical account could provide.

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The Bull on Mack Avenue

I don’t really want an explanation for the oversized bull’s head that looms over an empty storefront along Mack Avenue in Detroit. The intrigue and mystery are almost certainly more interesting than any historical account could provide.

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Hacking Geodemography: Research on the City

Hacking Geodemography, a research project led by McLain Clutter, opened at the Liberty Annex last week. Photos from the opening, as well as my own take on the project.

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Hacking Geodemography: Research on the City

Hacking Geodemography, a research project led by McLain Clutter, opened at the Liberty Annex last week. Photos from the opening, as well as my own take on the project.

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Dimensions 26 Release

Adam Smith at synecdoche has produced yet another magnificent video, this one for the official release of Dimensions, Vol. 26.

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Dimensions 26 Release

Adam Smith at synecdoche has produced yet another magnificent video, this one for the official release of Dimensions, Vol. 26.

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Density = Safety?

Does the toll from Hurricane Sandy really say anything about the built environment?

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Density = Safety?

Does the toll from Hurricane Sandy really say anything about the built environment?

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Dimensions 26

With the official release of Dimensions, Vol. 26 comes the online release of the publication via ISSUU. Check it out.

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Dimensions 26

With the official release of Dimensions, Vol. 26 comes the online release of the publication via ISSUU. Check it out.

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Nobody’s Perfect: A Handful of Links

The City of Detroit’s financial obligations may force it to liquidate some or all of the collection at the Detroit Institute for the Arts; Edward Snowden, the source of leaked documents on the NSA’s Prism surveillance program, takes refuge in Hong Kong; Ai Weiwei’s strong showing over the past few weeks is capped by his recent design for the cover of Time magazine.

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Nobody’s Perfect: A Handful of Links

The City of Detroit’s financial obligations may force it to liquidate some or all of the collection at the Detroit Institute for the Arts; Edward Snowden, the source of leaked documents on the NSA’s Prism surveillance program, takes refuge in Hong Kong; Ai Weiwei’s strong showing over the past few weeks is capped by his recent design for the cover of Time magazine.

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Crease. Fold. Pour.

Maciej Kazcynski led an investigation into advanced applications of digitally fabricated concrete formwork in Crease. Fold. Pour. He also ruled his workers with a iron first. See more in this video by Adam Smith of synecdoche.

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Crease. Fold. Pour.

Maciej Kazcynski led an investigation into advanced applications of digitally fabricated concrete formwork in Crease. Fold. Pour. He also ruled his workers with a iron first. See more in this video by Adam Smith of synecdoche.

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Taubman College Lecture Posters

With the final lecture now passed, I pick my five favorite posters from Taubman College’s Winter 2013 series on organization. Plus: A bonus sixth poster just for good measure.

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Taubman College Lecture Posters

With the final lecture now passed, I pick my five favorite posters from Taubman College’s Winter 2013 series on organization. Plus: A bonus sixth poster just for good measure.

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Welcome to Taubman College

Adam Smith of synecdoche has created a very cool video for students admitted to Taubman College at the University of Michigan. Naturally, it involves a robot.

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Welcome to Taubman College

Adam Smith of synecdoche has created a very cool video for students admitted to Taubman College at the University of Michigan. Naturally, it involves a robot.

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Frozen Rivers in Shanxi Province

Striking photos from an ecological disaster site

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Frozen Rivers in Shanxi Province

Striking photos from an ecological disaster site

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Le Magnifique!

Ang Li’s Life of Pi plays at the Piscine Pailleron.

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Le Magnifique!

Ang Li’s Life of Pi plays at the Piscine Pailleron.

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This Week’s Miscellanea: Aziz Ansari and the Internet

This adequately summarizes my current state of productivity, as evidenced by me posting yet another Aziz Ansari video …

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This Week’s Miscellanea: Aziz Ansari and the Internet

This adequately summarizes my current state of productivity, as evidenced by me posting yet another Aziz Ansari video …

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A Return Visit to the Packard Plant

Photographs from the Packard Plant, designed by Albert Kahn in 1903 and completed in 1911. The 3,500,000 sq. ft. factory stopped producing automobiles in 1958, and has been vacant since the late-1990s. In addition to being a prototype for modern assembly-line factories, it was the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit.

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A Return Visit to the Packard Plant

Photographs from the Packard Plant, designed by Albert Kahn in 1903 and completed in 1911. The 3,500,000 sq. ft. factory stopped producing automobiles in 1958, and has been vacant since the late-1990s. In addition to being a prototype for modern assembly-line factories, it was the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit.

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A Redhead in Detroit

Jeff came to visit. After all the fun he had in Flint, we decided it was time for his Detroit initiation. The first site on the list: The Packard Plant.

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A Redhead in Detroit

Jeff came to visit. After all the fun he had in Flint, we decided it was time for his Detroit initiation. The first site on the list: The Packard Plant.

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The Brutes of Brazil

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The Brutes of Brazil

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Driving Through Manaus

An uncurated photographic journey into, and out of, the Industrial Pole of Manaus as seen from the rear seat of a Chevy Volt.

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Driving Through Manaus

An uncurated photographic journey into, and out of, the Industrial Pole of Manaus as seen from the rear seat of a Chevy Volt.

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Street Scenes from a Circuitous Arrival

Our flight into Manaus was direct and uneventful. Our drive to the hotel was anything but. After getting separated from the lead car—the one with directions to the hotel—we futilely attempted to navigate our way to the center of the city. I took pictures out the window the whole way.

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Street Scenes from a Circuitous Arrival

Our flight into Manaus was direct and uneventful. Our drive to the hotel was anything but. After getting separated from the lead car—the one with directions to the hotel—we futilely attempted to navigate our way to the center of the city. I took pictures out the window the whole way.

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Bertrand Goldberg In Color

For years Northwestern University has been trying to rid themselves of the Prentice Women’s Hospital, Bertrand Goldberg’s brutalist flower located on the university’s downtown Medical Campus. Its demolition now appears imminent. The building’s supporters face an uphill challenge to protect it from the wrecking ball, which is precisely why they should not demand its wholesale preservation.

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Bertrand Goldberg In Color

For years Northwestern University has been trying to rid themselves of the Prentice Women’s Hospital, Bertrand Goldberg’s brutalist flower located on the university’s downtown Medical Campus. Its demolition now appears imminent. The building’s supporters face an uphill challenge to protect it from the wrecking ball, which is precisely why they should not demand its wholesale preservation.

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The Packard Plant

After Michigan Central Station—the hulking husk of Detroit’s long-defunct beaux arts train depot—the Packard Plant may be the city’s most identifiable industrial ruin.

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The Packard Plant

After Michigan Central Station—the hulking husk of Detroit’s long-defunct beaux arts train depot—the Packard Plant may be the city’s most identifiable industrial ruin.

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Eulogies For My Father

My father passed away on April 16th, 2012. He was a journalist. In speeches given at his memorial services, his friends and family remembered him. They are transcribed here.

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Eulogies For My Father

My father passed away on April 16th, 2012. He was a journalist. In speeches given at his memorial services, his friends and family remembered him. They are transcribed here.

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Musical China

Two musical videos—no, not music videos—from the People’s Republic.

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Musical China

Two musical videos—no, not music videos—from the People’s Republic.

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Last Night at the Studio

The last night at the studio means it’s already a late night one.

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Last Night at the Studio

The last night at the studio means it’s already a late night one.

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More Cats

After a few too many days indoors, breaking out of the office for fresh air was necessary, even if it meant sitting no further than a few steps from the office door. With progress to be made and a light mist gently falling, this ingenious and waterproof workspace was all set up for putting in some solid hours. That is, until Garfield decided to update his Facebook status.

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More Cats

After a few too many days indoors, breaking out of the office for fresh air was necessary, even if it meant sitting no further than a few steps from the office door. With progress to be made and a light mist gently falling, this ingenious and waterproof workspace was all set up for putting in some solid hours. That is, until Garfield decided to update his Facebook status.

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Working Conditions

The first week is always a little rough, but this is the first time I’ve ever had my stuff urinated on. Also, don’t be surprised if I come back with a shaved head.

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Working Conditions

The first week is always a little rough, but this is the first time I’ve ever had my stuff urinated on. Also, don’t be surprised if I come back with a shaved head.

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Back in China

My internet access has been limited as of late. Apparently, the internet service provider for 258 Caochangdi broke their contract and withdrew high-speed service. Now the office is left with only dial-up, which I haven’t been able to access and probably wouldn’t be able to use. After visiting the courtyard outside B.A.S.E. the last few days, my connection didn’t work this morning—the power had finally run down. Timezone 8, an American-owned bookstore and cafe, is my last refuge for the internet.

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Back in China

My internet access has been limited as of late. Apparently, the internet service provider for 258 Caochangdi broke their contract and withdrew high-speed service. Now the office is left with only dial-up, which I haven’t been able to access and probably wouldn’t be able to use. After visiting the courtyard outside B.A.S.E. the last few days, my connection didn’t work this morning—the power had finally run down. Timezone 8, an American-owned bookstore and cafe, is my last refuge for the internet.

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Post-China Reading

There are no shortage interesting stories in the Chinese news this week where dissent is bubbling over from the high-speed rail crash, and the one-child policy has come under question. The strangest news, however, remains in the United States, where a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs is making millions from storing aluminum in warehouses in Detroit. Yes, you read that right. Detroit.

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Post-China Reading

There are no shortage interesting stories in the Chinese news this week where dissent is bubbling over from the high-speed rail crash, and the one-child policy has come under question. The strangest news, however, remains in the United States, where a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs is making millions from storing aluminum in warehouses in Detroit. Yes, you read that right. Detroit.

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Beijing’s Public Toilets

“If you have to shit, shit! If you have to fart, fart! You will feel much better for it.” – Mao Zedong

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Beijing’s Public Toilets

“If you have to shit, shit! If you have to fart, fart! You will feel much better for it.” – Mao Zedong

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Ambiguous Interiors

Absent a window, our hostel found an inventive way to blur the distinction between private and public space.

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Ambiguous Interiors

Absent a window, our hostel found an inventive way to blur the distinction between private and public space.

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Breakneck Speed

As Geoff and I were riding the new bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing, cruising at speeds upward of 175 miles per hour, I began scribbling down notes for a burn piece excoriating American politicians for their inability to build

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Breakneck Speed

As Geoff and I were riding the new bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing, cruising at speeds upward of 175 miles per hour, I began scribbling down notes for a burn piece excoriating American politicians for their inability to build

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No Reason

I came across these two images in succession (from separate sources) and thought that they seemed oddly related. Maybe they’re just odd. Either way, I’m amused.

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No Reason

I came across these two images in succession (from separate sources) and thought that they seemed oddly related. Maybe they’re just odd. Either way, I’m amused.

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Norseman in House and Cabin, Thank Your Great God!

Happy 17th of May. I’ll explain later.

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Norseman in House and Cabin, Thank Your Great God!

Happy 17th of May. I’ll explain later.

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A Quick Tour Of B.A.S.E.

Having arrived in China little more than a week ago, there is little to report. A few photos provide an adequate summary of our living conditions thus far.

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A Quick Tour Of B.A.S.E.

Having arrived in China little more than a week ago, there is little to report. A few photos provide an adequate summary of our living conditions thus far.

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Scratching An Itch

As of late Google Reader has become something of a shopping platform, launching me to all sorts of sites peddling pretty objects to those of us with low impulse control. In recent days I’ve come quite close to purchasing any

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Scratching An Itch

As of late Google Reader has become something of a shopping platform, launching me to all sorts of sites peddling pretty objects to those of us with low impulse control. In recent days I’ve come quite close to purchasing any

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Apropos of Nothing…

… this print by Dave Murray is really cool.

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Apropos of Nothing…

… this print by Dave Murray is really cool.

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Architecture’s Grim Future

Economic forecasts for the architecture profession are not very optimistic. Might it be time to look for a new field?

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Architecture’s Grim Future

Economic forecasts for the architecture profession are not very optimistic. Might it be time to look for a new field?

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Taubman College Winter 2011 Lecture Series

Taubman College always does an exceptional job assembling a lecture series of relevant speakers around a coherent and topical theme. This semester’s series, Discipline, appears to be no different.

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Taubman College Winter 2011 Lecture Series

Taubman College always does an exceptional job assembling a lecture series of relevant speakers around a coherent and topical theme. This semester’s series, Discipline, appears to be no different.

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Detroit Parking Deck

One does not lack for parking options in downtown Detroit. A few photos from the rooftop of an empty parking garage.

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Detroit Parking Deck

One does not lack for parking options in downtown Detroit. A few photos from the rooftop of an empty parking garage.

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The Sky Is Falling

If the polls are to be believed, today’s midterm elections will be dispiriting for anyone on the left side of the political spectrum. If you want to wallow in your (and my) sorrow, read these links.

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The Sky Is Falling

If the polls are to be believed, today’s midterm elections will be dispiriting for anyone on the left side of the political spectrum. If you want to wallow in your (and my) sorrow, read these links.

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Architecture School Rankings

I’m always skeptical of school rankings, especially those based employer-response surveys. This year, however, I’ll suspend my cynicism and simply enjoy that the University of Michigan’s Taubman College was ranked the top architecture program in the country.

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Architecture School Rankings

I’m always skeptical of school rankings, especially those based employer-response surveys. This year, however, I’ll suspend my cynicism and simply enjoy that the University of Michigan’s Taubman College was ranked the top architecture program in the country.

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The CPA Building

The CPA building in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood was originally home to a union organization for railway conductors. It has been vacant for the last five years.

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The CPA Building

The CPA building in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood was originally home to a union organization for railway conductors. It has been vacant for the last five years.

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Chicago: City of Superlatives

I’m jumping on Amtrak’s evening train—the Wolverine—to Chicago for the weekend. The name of the cross-Michigan line should tell you everthing you need to know about the University’s position in hierarchy of state institutions. I, however, am looking forward to seeing buildings more than four stories tall. In that vein, this week’s links will be Chicago themed.

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Chicago: City of Superlatives

I’m jumping on Amtrak’s evening train—the Wolverine—to Chicago for the weekend. The name of the cross-Michigan line should tell you everthing you need to know about the University’s position in hierarchy of state institutions. I, however, am looking forward to seeing buildings more than four stories tall. In that vein, this week’s links will be Chicago themed.

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The Trouble With Bike Lanes

Bike lanes have revealed deeply-entrenched differences between cyclists and biking commuters. But do they really make people less safe?

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The Trouble With Bike Lanes

Bike lanes have revealed deeply-entrenched differences between cyclists and biking commuters. But do they really make people less safe?

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Fenty Postmortem

For a candidate that just ousted Washington, D.C.’s incumbent mayor, the reception to the presumptive soon-to-be mayor, Vincent Gray, couldn’t be less enthusiastic. How Adrian Fenty managed to lose his mayoral office despite driving considerable progress in the District.

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Fenty Postmortem

For a candidate that just ousted Washington, D.C.’s incumbent mayor, the reception to the presumptive soon-to-be mayor, Vincent Gray, couldn’t be less enthusiastic. How Adrian Fenty managed to lose his mayoral office despite driving considerable progress in the District.

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Joel Kotkin: Wrong, As Always, About Cities

Providing balance in Foreign Policy‘s recent feature on global cities, Joel Kotkin contributes his usual favoritism for the suburbs by painting cities as centers of crime, pollution, and inequality. As always, he’s wrong.

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Joel Kotkin: Wrong, As Always, About Cities

Providing balance in Foreign Policy‘s recent feature on global cities, Joel Kotkin contributes his usual favoritism for the suburbs by painting cities as centers of crime, pollution, and inequality. As always, he’s wrong.

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A Bicycle Tour Through BIG’s Danish Pavilion to the Shanghai Expo

In one of the two spectacularly cool pavilions at the Shanghai World Expo, Bjarke Ingels [BIG] condensed various aspects of Danish culture and rolled them into a single mobius strip. It includes a bicycle track.

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A Bicycle Tour Through BIG’s Danish Pavilion to the Shanghai Expo

In one of the two spectacularly cool pavilions at the Shanghai World Expo, Bjarke Ingels [BIG] condensed various aspects of Danish culture and rolled them into a single mobius strip. It includes a bicycle track.

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I Went on Vacation and All You Got Were These Stupid Links…

Johnny Knoxville leads a tour of Detroit, the film industry takes root in city, and the impending challenges for Rahm Emmanuel’s first term as Chicago mayor.

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I Went on Vacation and All You Got Were These Stupid Links…

Johnny Knoxville leads a tour of Detroit, the film industry takes root in city, and the impending challenges for Rahm Emmanuel’s first term as Chicago mayor.

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Nuevo Centro, Valencia

Our hotel’s rooftop pool promised a view. We didn’t ask what of. The worn texture of the Nuevo Centro parking garage proved to an unexpected surprise.

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Nuevo Centro, Valencia

Our hotel’s rooftop pool promised a view. We didn’t ask what of. The worn texture of the Nuevo Centro parking garage proved to an unexpected surprise.

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Jardín del Turia

In 1957, a catastrophic flood devastated the Spanish city of Valencia. City leaders responded by redirecting the river west of its borders. The old riverbed became a nine-kilometer long garden.

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Jardín del Turia

In 1957, a catastrophic flood devastated the Spanish city of Valencia. City leaders responded by redirecting the river west of its borders. The old riverbed became a nine-kilometer long garden.

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Torre Agbar

During the day, Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar in Barcelona remains a muted mosaic of reds and blues. At night, it rises above the Catalan city as a colorful beacon.

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Torre Agbar

During the day, Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar in Barcelona remains a muted mosaic of reds and blues. At night, it rises above the Catalan city as a colorful beacon.

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Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

Architect: Richard Meier Location: Barcelona, ES Date: 1995                      

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Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

Architect: Richard Meier Location: Barcelona, ES Date: 1995                      

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Montserrat

We took a cable car up to Montserrat, home of the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat. The abbey is the site of the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary which has been identified as a possible location of the Holy Grail. Eternal life was not found, but the views were nice.

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Montserrat

We took a cable car up to Montserrat, home of the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat. The abbey is the site of the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary which has been identified as a possible location of the Holy Grail. Eternal life was not found, but the views were nice.

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Parc Güell

A short visit to Gaudi’s architectural garden on El Carmel hill in Barcelona’s Gràcia district. Construction on the complex began in 1900 and was completed in 1914.

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Parc Güell

A short visit to Gaudi’s architectural garden on El Carmel hill in Barcelona’s Gràcia district. Construction on the complex began in 1900 and was completed in 1914.

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Barcelona Pavilion

Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Location: Barcelona, ES Date: 1938; reconstructed in 1986                                    

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Barcelona Pavilion

Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Location: Barcelona, ES Date: 1938; reconstructed in 1986                                    

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Casa Mila

Photographs of Antoni Gaudi’s canonical Casa Mila from 1907.

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Casa Mila

Photographs of Antoni Gaudi’s canonical Casa Mila from 1907.

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Fundacio Juan Miro

Photographs of Spanish architect Josep Luis Sert’s Fundacio Joan Miro. Completed in 1968, the project was built nearly three decades after Sert emigrated to the United States, where he was Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design from 1953–1969.

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Fundacio Juan Miro

Photographs of Spanish architect Josep Luis Sert’s Fundacio Joan Miro. Completed in 1968, the project was built nearly three decades after Sert emigrated to the United States, where he was Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design from 1953–1969.

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End of Week Links

Tax revenue from downtown mixed-use developments is higher than big boxes and malls, transit isn’t the only form of transportation that is heavily subsidized, and my former employer, the Montgomery County Planning Department, is closing its doors for two weeks to maximize the savings from furlough days.

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End of Week Links

Tax revenue from downtown mixed-use developments is higher than big boxes and malls, transit isn’t the only form of transportation that is heavily subsidized, and my former employer, the Montgomery County Planning Department, is closing its doors for two weeks to maximize the savings from furlough days.

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Sustainable Sporting Events?

Nearly a month before the Spanish team claimed victory at the World Cup, Metropolis magazine proclaimed international soccer’s most prestigious competition an “ecological disaster.” Perhaps they overreacted a bit.

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Sustainable Sporting Events?

Nearly a month before the Spanish team claimed victory at the World Cup, Metropolis magazine proclaimed international soccer’s most prestigious competition an “ecological disaster.” Perhaps they overreacted a bit.

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Embracing Social Media

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to my computer, and to a lesser extent, the internet. Take one away from me and the separation anxiety becomes almost too great to bear. As if I didn’t spend enough time online, here I go starting a blog. What am I thinking?

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Embracing Social Media

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to my computer, and to a lesser extent, the internet. Take one away from me and the separation anxiety becomes almost too great to bear. As if I didn’t spend enough time online, here I go starting a blog. What am I thinking?

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