its so hot in barcelona that i miss méxico df. in august la city is cooled down with showers, and the expressways are flooded with sewage returning it to something that must resemble its original mushy lakebed-state. sundays are wet and bright in the evenings. summer is like spring, just emptier.

from what i read, though, the city this summer is a hothouse, falling fast towards the worst-case-scenario level. the "fake(tropical) mesiah" -yes, the "debate" has gotten unbearably cheesy, even for my standards- is showing how deep his grip on the city goes. welcome to estilo neopopulista.

go wild...


*Tyler Hicks, NYT

where are the architects?
where is eyal weizman?
where is bernard khoury?


toppings* 1: euramerica

America is sitting on our world. I am making films that have to do with America [because] 60% of my life is America. So I am in fact an American, but I can't go there to vote, I can't change anything. I am an American, so that is why I make films about America...

lars von trier has nevr been to the states. i can't remember if its a political standing or if he's afraid of airplanes (or was that kubrick?) his "american" landscapes are so opposite to the usual depiction (be it hollywoodesque or indie) and the feel of the american open. von trier's euramerica is all but open. its suffocating. even trees seem fake. european is fake. "true old-world" is rip-off u.s.a, not the other way round.

*toppings are (more shameles) deviations from formal architecture. it is about indirect, unclear references, that somehow are just as substantial in my point of view.


...little boy



Edsel Flat-bed Truck
Cuervo, NM
*by Troy Paiva at Lost America

i constantly feel lost

(working)man's best friend

makes the long long hours
in front of the powerbook
a lot easier

the next best thing
to air-conditioning



coming from a somewhat devastated city i do admit to having particular -some would say bad- tastes

i am searching for the built equivalent of gloria swanson in sunset boulevard

ps. i have found though, at least, the mexican equivalent of norma desmond. if you think she was scary, check out irma serrano, "actress, writer and former mexican senator"



will cotton, flood, 2001

about this call for a more real architecture

i'm not talking about self-conscious architecture drenched with morality
not habitat for humanity


about the architecture of emergency
the new artsy ephemeral temporary informal fragile from below blabla
i do enjoy
but always leaves me wanting more

i don't know

it has to challenge our one-sidedness
our narrowness of mind and aesthetics and experience

maybe pop...
maybe ¡POP!


Chiite prayer house.
Layal Najib, freelance photographer, 23. Killed.

she took pictures of the destroyed deserted outskirts of beirut.

read more: nytimes



*by mazen at kerblog

also take a look at



cities are usually full of pain. pain is somehow intrinsic to the process of cities. they are built on pain, they are not the result of one-way progressive (“positive”) impulse, but rather a of contradictory set of constructive and destructive forces. city-building is also a predatory act, whether it be on the environment, on the soft landscape, on indigenous or traditional structures, on a dominated people; on certain types of remains of prior life-forms. some cities have carried out systematic operations to erase pain, which is usually imbued in both space and recollection. in certain places, particularly during periods of tension or transition, these painful reminders regain visibility, sometimes in a manner that is overwhelming: in war, in lost cities, in decayed city-cores. now we are told city=world. history is also (and always has been) a matter of pain. city-history has a stronger physical evidence, is more visible, more complex, more dense. architecture has been a very efficient tool in cleansing the painful, uncomfortable and ugly traces, but it rarely goes deeper into the city’s bloodstream. we need architecture that deals with these intrinsic contradictions, that faces them, that expresses them, that proposes solutions and not make-up. architecture should be to cities what written word is to history. architecture should make way for some reality in its smooth, polished, candycane mindset.



"And photographs of the victims of war are themselves a species of rhetoric. They reiterate. They simplify. They agitate. They create the illusion of consensus...Invoking this hypothetical shared experience ("we are seeing with you the same dead bodies, the same ruined houses"), (Virginia) Woolf professes to believe that the shock of such pictures cannot fail to unite people of good will. Does it?"

Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others


dress like an architect _ 00

on my first visit to the harvard gsd, the girl who was my student-tourguide said: "well, at least you already dress like an architect..."


" (architects) dress in the manner that expresses the creativity and yet remains professional, so as to not frighten the natives in the building and business trades. (the architect style) is elegant and streamlined, however it allows for the knit ties and the unusual eye-wear, and of the course, the attractive leather shoes..."

from manolo the shoeblogger

start (join me for a sweet adventure...)

no. i am not an architect. people sometimes mistake me for one. some say i am a frustrated architect. i don't care. either way, i've always enjoyed the figure of the amateur. here i will collect my everyday and somewhat schizophrenic notes and clippings on my encounters with architecture: practice, myth, language, lifestyle, sphere of knowledge, field of dreams, battleground, egotistic spasms and all its pretty-shiny-things (or not). do you wanna hold hands?