RMB-design look ahead

The Children’s Festival was this weekend past and they had a “new” Architects of Air building. Remember Exxopolis from last year? Well, unfortunately Miracoco is almost the same. The layout was a little different, but all the parts were disappointingly similar. Instead of fully colored, the hexagonal pieces had strips of color converging at the center. Other than that, the biggest difference was in the center dome, where they had some cool light wells:


That was the only real spatial change, most of the others were superficial, not really enough to make a whole new post about it. Which is a shame, since I could have used a gimme post after last week (and today). I was feeling a little like this:


So I thought I would do a little look ahead and see what was up. In no particular order:

I’ve been doing some research on Millvale and the buildings. I’m almost done with this book, which you should pick up at most fine retail establishments should you find yourself in the ‘vale. The book is part of a series called Images of America, which assembles archive photographs of small towns across the country. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be one for my hometown, but maybe there’s one for yours. Anyway, the book ended up raising more questions than it answered, which is pretty exciting. So the next installment in that series will be a look at what used to be here before we go into those buildings that are still standing. Spoiler alert: Millvale used to have an opera house.

I have a lead on another crunchy urban farming type experiment that I can get halfway through and give up on. I haven’t done a whole ton of research on it yet, but it was specifically requested by my biggest fan and I’m anxious at the chance to pander. This should be a lesson to you: I’m easily manipulated through flattery.

I also want to do more commentary on design in the mainstream media. This story made me think about that today, about two guys making artisan motorcycles. The story raises some interesting points. Is a little bit of compromise necessary in the service of art? This guy obviously thinks not, as he was willing to be a waiter if he couldn’t find someone to build his motorcycles exactly to his specifications. But, as I’ve alluded to a couple of times in the past few posts, architecture requires a lot of compromise from start to finish. You might get a more pure product, but is purity really the most important aspect of a design? The story portends a coming “second renaissance”, where wealthy benefactors release their pent-up capital on talented artists and designers. I’d like to believe it, but we are half a decade beyond the great recession now, and it seems like people are more determined than ever to get proven value for their dollar. If wealthy benefactors were lining up to fund passion projects, we wouldn’t need crowd funding websites like Kickstarter. Who knows though, hopefully this post is one of those ones that looks really stupid looking back on it.

That’s all for tonight. I suppose now would be a good time for an informal survey of the kinds of posts that people like to read.


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