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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Blum’

Jonathan Harris Hunts Whales


You may know Jonathan Harris best for his project We Feel Fine which, since 2005, has been “harvesting” human emotion on the internet. For his latest project, information designer and artist is harvesting something else: Bowhead whales. No, seriously. We’ll let him explain The Whale Hunt:

Last May I spent ten days with a family of Inupiat Eskimos in Barrow, Alaska, during their annual spring whale hunt. I documented the entire experience with a plodding sequence of 3,214 photographs, beginning with the taxi ride to Newark airport, and ending with the butchering of the second whale, seven days later. The photographs were taken at five-minute intervals, even while sleeping (using a chronometer), establishing a constant “photographic heartbeat.” In moments of high adrenaline, this photographic heartbeat would quicken (to a maximum rate of 37 pictures in five minutes while the first whale was being cut up), mimicking the changing pace of my own heartbeat.

Although it’s a web-based project, the team at Good has done a nice job translating it to print for their latest issue (although you’ll have to trust us on that one or pick up a copy yourself). You can read and see more about Harris’ many, many projects in this Metropolis article by Andrew Blum, and look for more new work on the horizon: Harris is creating an installation for the new MoMA show Design and the Elastic Mind, which will open in February.

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Andrew Blum: The Robert Moses of Our Generation


Is Andrew Blum trying to get Jane Jacobs to roll over in her grave? You can decide for yourself in his essay “Local Cities, Global Problems: Jane Jacobs in an Age of Global Change,” which will be published in the book Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York (alongside quite an incredible list of contributors, we must say), to support the exhibition “Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York.” (And because we know you’ll ask, book, exhibition and a t-shirts are designed by karlssonwilker.)

Blum goes off (and rather eloquently) on Jacobs’ rabid inclination to put the old neighborhood first when, in fact, we’re all becoming part of one big global, bloggified neighborhood that’s pretty well-connected, but desperately in need of some more sustainable solutions, which new development can certainly provide. Cue the preservationists with lit torches…now. We wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Blum’s visited by a certain ghost in round black spectacles this Halloween.

Thom Mayne Says the SF Federal Building’s Got Excellent Social Skills

In this interview for AIA SF, Andrew Blum plays a fun game with a hyperliterate Thom Mayne: Try to get him to admit that the design of the new San Francisco Federal Building is “optimistic,” “daring” or anything more meaningful than just “a more reasonable place to spend nine hours of the day.”

The building’s social relationship is investigated in the exhibition “STREET CRED San Francisco: Architecture and the Pedestrian Experience” which runs through October 26 at AIA SF’s gallery. Kudos also for marrying an interview with images so nicely; production by Melanie McGraw.

Paolo Soleri Offers Long-Winded, Big-Worded Response to The 11th Hour


Perhaps you closed your long Labor Day Weekend with an uplifting trip to the movies to see Leo DiCaprio‘s The 11th Hour and caught the cameo by Paolo Soleri? The architect, who has been building the architectural equivalent of a Bio-Dome in the Arizona desert since 1970, has emailed a six-paragraph statement, plus bullet points, on what’s wrong with the green movement. Like other Soleri statements, we need a translator:

Materialism is by definition the antithesis of green. The greenness revolution will be a pathetic ambition if it remains nested in materialism. As long as greens fail to identify their “enemy number one” as materialism, they will never approach greenness, they will be “browns.” They might be half-measure reformers, they are not radical reformulators. A “clean green” self-righteous conscience on a mass scale encourages the deepening of the environmental crises and dulls the anima of society. “Smart” materialism, as proposed now, could at most be brown.

Got that? Khakis are out.

Ephemeralization, the nanotechnology of science and technology, is compounding materialism. Homo sapiens enslaved by Homo faber. By now the American dedication to it has achieved lunatic expressions. Hyper-consumption is exporting its enthusiasm to the whole world. Homo dementis? Yes, in view of the planetary admonitions, this is dementia: we are collectively losing our minds.

Yep, we don’t understand any of it but someone needs to option this thing. It definitely sounds like a good plot for a green Pauly Shore movie. Thanks to Andrew Blum.

Brad Cloepfil, High-Art Boutique Practitioner


When not attending lamaze classes in anticipation of forthcoming projects, Brad Cloepfil kicks around Portland with chaps like Andrew Blum, visiting old projects like the Wieden+Kennedy complex. As chronicled in “The Elementalist,” Cloepfil is one of those rare architects who seems to actually enjoy architecture:

Cloepfil climbed the bleacher seats and paused for a moment on one of the catwalks that cross the main void. An ad guy zipped by on a scooter, and Cloepfil giggled–a high-pitched little sound that came unexpectedly from his big body but seemed to define his attitude toward this and all his work: boyishly bemused at his own good luck on the surface, but in full control to the core. “Whatever it is that you sensed when you walked into the room, that you couldn’t see from a photograph, makes me believe in architecture,” he says.

Marriott and Schrager Team Up For Coolest or Lamest Hotel Ever

marriott.jpg + gramercy.jpg

Man about town Andrew Blum points us to what we imagine to be the most interesting series of top secret meetings ever: Ian Schrager and Bill Marriott discussing their converging futures in creating “the next generation of boutique hotels.” The Slatin Report has the official scoop on the deal, in which we learn that Marriott had been looking for a boutique partner, but just couldn’t find the right one. Until Schrager started painting his walls and hanging up some sparkly lights:

The octogenarian said that, after reading about Schrager’s Gramercy Park property last year, he “rushed” to see it from his summer home in New Hampshire and toured it with Schrager. He was particularly impressed, he said, by Schrager’s introduction of “colors” and “chandeliers”–in other words, by the hotelier’s move beyond his trademark ultra-cool, black and white interiors to a warmer, more paletted and softer look.

We can see the Marriott By Schrager now…Marriott buys new sconces and throws on some techno in the lobby, and Schrager starts making these really kick ass floral comforters.

What Are You Looking Forward to During Design Week?


We asked, and NY’s top design writers, bloggers and tastemakers responded appropriately. And sometimes, not so appropriately.

Julie Iovine
Executive Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper
I love the way design week has morphed from a trade show to a city-wide moveable feast, with different neighborhoods customizing events to their own tastes from the arty showings in Chelsea to the green design pastures of Brooklyn. There’s also a May madness air that prevents it from turning entirely into a new-merch-for-pros bore: I may actually track down the guy demonstrating the new way to boil pasta or the blog-folk at The Apartment.

Andrew Blum
Contributing Editor, Wired & Metropolis
Nothing this year–I’m leaving town to report a story about urban planning.

Allan Chochinov
Editor, Core77 (and that map!)
Bang out the Javits in a few hours, then walk outside to see if there are any cabs. Futile. Then it’s a walk eastward, past the garage where they (re)paint New York City taxicabs yellow and peer inside. (Some of the guys even wear respirators.) It’s a longer walk to the subway than you think, but quickly you run into the 9th Avenue Street Fair–always seems to coincide with the ICFF–and then it’s a rapid-fire of Nutella/banana crepes, plastic glasses filled with chopped up watermelon, and cheap leather belts. (Oh! The scissors booths are pretty sweet, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get some vegetable chopper demo. Alas, those are pretty rare these days.) By the time you make it to the subway, your shirt is drenched, but you somehow get it together to head off to some gallery downtown to drink bad white wine and compare notes with others on what to do that night.

Seriously? Tobi Wong‘s new shop. An easy answer, sure, but I was heartbroken when his JFK caper went up in flames, and have been a fan since he was standing on the corner of Prince and Mercer hawking capsules filled with goldleaf to make your poop turn shiny. But hey, every kid’s doing that now.

Getting Soaked At SXSW


After our Frank moment, we splashed across the street to carouse with our interactive cohorts in a reunion of sorts. We slugged Stellas and watched drenched co-eds come in from the rain with Khoi Vinh (Mr. Subtraction) and Jim Coudal (aka Steve’s Day Job Daddy), who had just dined with Helvetica director Gary Hustwit. Metropolis/Wired editor Andrew Blum and Daylife’s Liz Danzico bailed early after their panel-participating duties. John Gruber gave wistful advice for Microsoft and extolled the wonders of emollients. Media Temple‘s Chris Leu and Apple‘s Michael Lopp bought the drinks (thanks…and, we’ll see you guys again tonight, right?).

Chris Fahey showed up later with an extra-long umbrella which we stared at enviously as the gutters began to overflow. After waiting 30-plus minutes for the rain to let up so we could walk the three blocks home, we gave up and hailed a cab. Best $2.00 we’ve ever spent.

Ethan Zuckerman Takes TED


Covering design conferences is hard. We’re not gonna lie to you. Although you might think it’s all shmoozing and boozing, actually paying attention the other 95% of the time is downright impossible. Especially when you were working extra hard to cover the shmoozing and the boozing the night before. So when our fellow design conference cover-er Andrew Blum told us that Ethan Zuckerman was tearing up TED, we were intrigued. He was right: From our calculations, this guy is averaging a thousand big words an hour. You want well-rounded, intelligent coverage of what’s happening in Monterey? You got it.

If You Greenbuild It, They Will Come


He’s no Steve Glenn, but Andrew Blum knows green, and he’s got an hour and a half of interviews from the US Green Building Council’s convention, divided into three episodes for easy digestibility.

Check out, among others, Jon Ratner, director of sustainability for Forest City Enterprises; Cradle to Cradle’s chief salesman; Autodesk’s Phil Bernstein, talking about the importance of CAD for green; and a discussion about the future of LEED certification.

Hear more of Blum’s radio voice on “DnA” as he gets giddy about that Phone We Swore We Weren’t Going To Talk About Anymore.