word 17 : embalm



1. to treat (a dead body) so as to preserve it, as with chemicals, drugs, or balsams.
2. to preserve from oblivion; keep in memory: his deeds embalmed in the hearts of his disciples.
3. to cause to remain unchanged; prevent the development of.

see also: dead space



"architecture was deeply affected by the separation of surface and substance. up until the nineteenth century, formal architecture made regular use of ‘load-bearing walls’, walls that –in addition to any decorative motif they might have–provided the support system of the building, held the building up. even though it was common to apply neoclassical or other facades to brick wall surfaces throughout the eighteenth century, walls served an important structural function. in designing them, an architect had to combine purposes of engineering and ornamentation simultaneously… there was a connection, a symbiosis, between the intricacy of the image and the method of craft being used to fashion that image...(by the nineteenth century) there was an intrinsic tension between the look of a building—which attempted to reproduce a style originally achieved by the chisel of the preindustrial craftsman—and a method of construction which was only hastening the degradation or annihilation of the decorative crafts. style architecture was becoming a matter of pure appearance..."

stuart ewen, all consuming images. the politics of style in contemporary culture



no, it's not a mirage. it's not a collage.

the persian palace at the 1894 san francisco midwinter fair (offshoot of the chicago columbian exhibition of 1893). how do you like that...


i still haven´t decided on any "specific interests." candyland is a search outline. some of the search threads are superbroad: architecture, politics, pop culture, etc. others are apparently more specific but actually tie all the broad ones and it all becomes a real mess (i.e. the border city, radical histories, or the modern mexican look). some of my friends like to call me an archeologist of pop. i like the sound of that. i also have some grounded, earthly concerns. like alternatives to urban renewal (think urban rehab or urban reactivation). i don't know how far this will go, or if any of this sounds particularly interesting (or even slightly) to any of y'all. but like we say here in cataluyna, es lo que hay. i'm not into architecture as much as i'm into architectural fantasies and perceptions, failed architectures, modern ruins and substrata architectures (someone called it infrascaping). i think mankind is pretty much fucked, but there's still some remanents of humanity worth squeezing.



superglossy megaprojected hypermade-up pictures of dubai usually show perfectly dreamy blurred edges surrounding everything : mansions, hotels, skyscrapers… like the leading ladys’ porcelained faces in fifties flicks. but dubai is more lynchy. superluxury looks pretty boring up close, the palm is levittown on shrooms. intrigue and speculation sprout faster and taller than all those fugly buildings. Take the palm again. I heard (from a little bird) that nakheel recently edited the palm’s wiki, where citing an article in the daily telegraph some muck had come up:

controversy was engendered when it was revealed that after launching the project, nakheel increased the number of residential units on the island (with a concomitant reduction in the amount of physical space between individual properties) from the originally-announced 4500 (comprised of 2000 villas and 2500 apartments) to an estimated 8000 without recompense to those investors who had purchased early in the expectation of greater separation between properties.

other delicious tidbits like low quality construction, david beckham getting a big-time discount on his lot to promote the hoax and workers living in camps add to the whole noiresque feel of the new sunshine colossurbanism.

word 16 : reactor



1. a person or thing that reacts or undergoes reaction.
2. a device whose primary purpose is to introduce reactance into a circuit.
3. a patient or animal that reacts positively towards a foreign material.
4. an apparatus in which a nuclear-fission chain reaction can be initiated, sustained, and controlled, for generating heat or producing useful radiation. also called atomic pile, chain reactor, chain-reacting pile, nuclear reactor, pile.
5. a large container, as a vat, for processes in which the substances involved undergo a reaction.



one full hour of dubai exotechno


via dysturb



sorry people. i've no time for posting. take a raincheck. goodies soon. teddy cruz exotijuana stuff. more words you need. disneylanding. back to touring the bush (mexico monster city, don't wanna miss it). borderlandia stravaganza. barcelona slanting (the real barrio xino). wholesome, architecty fun. promise.



recently i read a post dissing renzo piano's new nyt building, saying that pretty much the whole thing about it being innovative and "smart" architecture was pretty much bullshit, that it was more about surface and effects, the usual thing splashed with some fancy dressing. stepping back from the terms of my guy vs. yours or my style vs. yours criticism, a beautiful, subtle foto essay by anne leibovitz published in vanity fair hints at some of the contradictory issues behind the building (and building in general, we could say). the black and white photos seem ancient (early xxth-century ancient). beams and rough guys, like some twisted jazz age love song. other pictures look straight out of the seventies, village peopley. the slick and the wow of these huge cultural artefacts (skyscrapers i mean) usually have a dizzying effect, enough to make us forget the stale,conservative, out-of-date values and social frameworks they embody. leibovitz's behind-the-scenes pictures, unintendedly, maybe out of nostalgic urges, actually bring us to reckon with how little there is of our supposed innovative and progressive drive in this type of buildings, how small some of our steps have been.

via mark