there’s always an observed/observer dynamic that exists with urban architecture. we typically think of windows as portals that bring the outside into a space. this changes at night when light leaks from the inside out. these collages, tableaux d’intimités. by, french artist anne-laure maison  express how the viewer becomes the viewed. i always find it interesting to look at office buildings on dark evenings. the curtain wall tends to disappear in the dark, leaving the floor slabs to dominate the image of the building. rather than reading as a reflective mass, the building becomes a stack of illuminated shelves for people and activities. 

in order to avoid the gestalt of “shelves”, which implies uniformity, these images are groups of windows that are all different and arranged in a collage. this way, they read more as a collection of apertures, each with a different activity happening beyond. this is really expressive of the image of the city as a whole at night. people dwell in their apartments, going about their lives, while the public outside is constantly aware of their presence. 

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maybe because it’s because i haven’t been in this world for long enough, but it seems like technology reaches obsolescence at an exponentially increasing rate. somewhere in the depths of the drawers in my house there’s an old, clunky cell phone, a walkman, and a pile of blank floppy cds. recognizing all the waste this process of rapid technological advancement makes me wonder, what are we striving for? well, that’s a tangental topic for another day. artist nick gentry created portraits from an estranged collection of floppy disks.

 

in the past few weeks, i’ve heard several references to the 90s kids’ favorite psychedelic artist lisa frank. i’m brought back to a simpler time, when the materials i built with were colorful and required no sobo for assembly. my notes were messy scribbles and doodles, bound together by rainbow puppies and dolphins. now everything is the same shade of drab. 

  
 

double exposure portraits by dan mountford

photo animations by Johan Thörnqvist

 

im always cold. i often find that the temperature of most rooms is way too low. i bundle up for lectures, wear gloves in studio, and often nod off in other chilly rooms because my body gives up on everything. i really hate going outside in the winter, but don’t mind running around under the sun on a sweltering summer day. therefore, i don’t mind when a room is baked during the day with floods of southern light. i like “warm” materials that do not transfer heat well (at least to the touch), like wood and cloth. masonry and terra cotta are my friends on sunny days, but lose my favor at night. i like the appearance of super-smooth, shiny, almost wet-looking concrete, but i can almost feel the chills just by getting too close to it. this is why i like to design with warmth in mind.

i wish i could bottle the excitement and positive energy that is experienced in a biergarten. as far as a venue where people gather and alcohol is served, a biergarten beats any bar or club. when i studied abroad in berlin, i discovered the magic of the biergarten. just like any garden, a biergarten springs up in a temporary structure for a season. the inside is warmed by the tunes of the oompah band, the quaint imagery of the hopps hanging from wooden rafters, beermaids carrying their weight in beer, and the movement of dancing on the benches.

aside from the transient nature of the structure of the biergarten, and the austere (and sometimes creepy) atmosphere of the church, there are some crossovers between the two types of buildings. i should really just make my thesis building a biergarten. it would be so much more fun! everyone would want to go!

well that’s what happened to one church. when the church closed, someone bought it an converted it into a brewery.

 

 

 

 

 

i really like graffiti when it’s more than just someone’s name, or some lone bubble letter expletive. when a person tags a piece of property, they have some message to share with the world, and i appreciate it when this message makes me look at something in a different way. this is what the artist banksy does. his galleries are the street, his canvas the buildings. the art is for everyone, and his graffiti can be spotted in a lot of cities worldwide. many people are familiar with banksy because when people find his tags, they post it online. he leaves us imagining the possibility of turning the corner and seeing something like this.

the messages with knitting graffiti aren’t as specific. it’s just fun and makes us look at every day items–trees, bikes, phone booths, in a different, warm and fuzzy light.