giantsloth: (Default)
First, a current, nonfictional look at houses of the future. Note: I am not saying I agree w/ P.J. O'Rourke about this or about anything, nor am I particularly vouching for this essay as great writing. But it is worth reading.

Second, an early-21st-century fictional take on 1950s houses of the future, by me.

giantsloth: (Default)
Here's me in my now-rare guise as architecture journalist, typing about a big red house.

And for those of you who plan to attend Readercon 2008, here's my schedule there. I hadn't planned on doing any programming at all, but:

Friday 12:00 Noon, ME/ CT: Discussion (60 min.)

The Sycamore Hill Conspiracy, or How Bad Stories Go Good. Gregory Frost (L) with Richard Butner, F. Brett Cox, Andy Duncan, Theodora Goss, Gavin J. Grant, James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel, Jonathan Lethem, Michaela Roessner, Christopher Rowe, _et al_

How did one particular peer workshop started by John Kessel in Raleigh, NC way back in 1985 produce remarkable and frequently award-winning fiction? What's it like to workshop a story when everyone in the room is an invited author of note? Does a workshop at this level use the standard Clarion techniques, or does it have its own style? Veterans of the Sycamore Hill conference tell all. [Since there are far too many SycHillers at the Con to fit on a panel, the plan is to have a bunch of them sit in a half-circle in front of the panelist's table and have plenty of contributions from the audience.]


Friday 8:00 PM, ME/ CT: Panel

F&SF + MFA > 0. Richard Butner, Andy Duncan, James Patrick Kelly (L), John Kessel, Sandra McDonald, Michaela Roessner

We all know that writing f&sf is taught at specialized workshops like Clarion, but you can also go to school and get an MFA in creative writing in the genre. James Patrick Kelly and his frequent collaborator John Kessel have taught writing at this level, and they're joined by four of their students. How does teaching students who are already accomplished writers differ from teaching the newbies at Clarion? Why devote so much time to polishing your craft in an academic setting when most of your peers are managing without it?
giantsloth: (Default)
Wow. Kansas City Southern tore down the wildly historic/important Union Tank Car dome. At least the linked newspaper article has the necessary indignant tone. But, indignant tones don't magically bring buildings back. Neither do LJ posts, for that matter. Maybe Kansas City Southern should think about changing their name too, I don't know, Weird Scumbags Incorporated?
giantsloth: (Default)
(Extra credit to folks who get the subject line without googling.)

Where does cooperative capitalism end and predatory capitalism begin? Free market worshippers would argue that such a distinction is meaningless and impossible. In the predatory department, I submit this story from outlookindia.com on the plundering of Corbusier artifacts from Chandigarh.

Sure, antique dealers need to make a living. But exploiting ignorance to make ridiculous profits is, well, ridiculous.

Chandigarh is of particular interest because, until his tragic death in an airplane accident in 1950, Matthew Nowicki was designing the master plan for that city. He is perhaps best known here for the hyperbolic paraboloid structure of Dorton Arena. Nowicki's importance to architecture and design has yet to be fully documented. For now, there are a few articles, such as this one from Wikipedia. Does anyone read Polish?
giantsloth: (Default)
In case I haven't pimped this elsewhere, this is my latest architectural profile for the News and Observer. I don't know why the paper posts such tiny photos on their Web site when the dead-tree version has nice big photos. Anyway. Check it out if you want to read about a modernist house that managed not to get knocked down.

I've been trying to find time to ponder the buildings that AIA claims are America's Favorite Architecture. The list is, mostly, the usual suspects, although the order is interesting. The Jefferson Memorial is in fourth place overall, ahead of the Chrysler Building, Hearst Castle, the Guggenheim?

And of course the usual thing the list shows is, USians are perfectly happy to pick Frank Lloyd Wright as their favorite residential architect, even though almost zero of them choose to live in a house that embodies any Wrightian concepts.

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