Friday, February 27, 2009

What Do You Consider Work?

Here is a discussion thread I started in Archinect's world famous discussion forum. The question is a relevant one addressing the legitimacy of internet browsing, writing blogs, posting in internet forums etc., as work. You can foolow it through or submit your thoughts for it there. Here is the link to that discussion thread:
What Do You Consider Work?

I have long asked this question and pondered about it myself.

Many times when I am doing a research and browsing internet, I consider it work.
Many times writing down ideas but not getting paid for it at the moment, I consider work.
Looking at someone else's project, I consider work.
And of course working on paid projects I consider work.
Often reading a book is considered work.
For me the work is one continuous loop.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Architectural firms' websites become more and more like magazines

thoughthubs copy

Thoughthubs, Geographies, Economic News, In-House Articles and similar titles are becoming build in sections of large architectural companies' websites. It is no longer enough for global clients to see and admire the few drawings and finished project photographs. They want to know how the firm is dealing with financial crises, employee cutbacks and what they are working on which locations at the moment.

HOK Message to Our Clients (move the mouse on HOK logo)
SOM on Bending the Grid
RTKL on ThoughtHubs
Foster Essays
OMA on TVCC Fire (news section)

These are great examples on how today's practices continuously handle their own press and stay relevant. Most we have been reading in magazines have been infomercials anyway...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Elseplace's first issue of the occasional series on random Wikipersona selection. Recommendations are accepted

Alex Jacob (born October 27, 1984 in Houston, Texas) is an American professional poker player.

Among his biggest poker accomplishments are winning the Peter A. Fabrizio Memorial Poker Classic in 2003 and finishing runner-up at the 2006 World Poker Tour (WPT) tournament in Foxwoods Resort Casino on April 9 2006, winning $655,507. Jacob secured his biggest paycheck to date by winning the 2006 U.S. Poker Championship with a first-place prize of $878,500. Jacob has 3 WSOP Final Tables, including a 3rd in Event 3 in No-Limit hold'em at the 2007 World Series of Poker

He graduated in May 2006 from Yale University with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. His talent was spotted there as early as 2004 by James McManus, when he sat down to play at Yale one night and mentioned Alex in an article about the experience months later. Additionally, he is well known for his graciousness and sportsmanship in tournament play.

Alex Jacob's Wikipedia page

Tuesday, February 17, 2009




01 and 02Greatest couple on Earth

arts highschool3

There is a strange feeling about all these transformations. Unfortunately digital photograph will not age this way... They just crash...

Try your own here
and here...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day

woodlawn cemetery, santa monica, valentine's day
I have visited the Woodlawn Cemetery, on my way to dog park. On Valentine's day. As I was driving by the Fourteen Street and Pico Blvd., in Santa Monica, I was drawn into the cemetery, perhaps by the light it bounced from its green open spaces. I parked the car with the puppies watching me with curiosity and took two pictures, latter one looking up to sky, is an accidental one as I was trying to close the camera.
I have seen a family and a single young man praying by the side of different graves. Both graves looked fairly fresh. The other graves looked well adjusted and weathered, countering sadness of recent departures from this world, with the longevity of love...
What stranger visits a cemetery on Valentine's day?
woodlawn cemetery, santa monica, valentine's day

Thursday, February 12, 2009


space debris

-Houston we have a problem

At any given moment there are thousands of men made objects, mainly satellites, circling just outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Recently two of these satellites, one Russian and one American, collided above Siberia, drawing attention to this growing problem. Looking from the enhanced illustration above, it is a miracle more of these high speed collusions don't happen.

A related article from New York Times' SPACE & COSMOS Section

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Unnatural Selection

photo; science progress

What should I do before I call to place an order?
What comes in a shipment?
How do I place an order?
What methods of payment do you accept?
Do you offer a payment plan?

If I didn't link you to Xytex Corporation website and post the picture above, you'd never guess we are talking about ordering human sperms here. For starters, consider these;"Hair Color," "Eye Color," "Ethnic Origin."

In an article titled "Unnatural selection," writer Marlowe Hood expands on the scene;
"Picture this: prospective parents excitedly clicking through an online catalogue, ticking off the optimal mix of traits for their yet-to-be-conceived child."

In an opportune moment like this, we would also like to say, "happy birthday Darwin."

Additional link: The Handmaid's Tale (the film)

Aquaculture's before and more

before aquaculture

after aquaculture

In 1970, aquaculture accounted for just 3.9 percent of the world’s supply of shellfish and mollusks for human consumption. By 2000, aquaculture’s share of that food source had grown to 27.3 percent. A conspicuous example of that expansion appears along China’s Bo Hai coast.

More @ NASA Earth Observatory

Monday, February 9, 2009

TVCC Fire, 2/08/09

TVCC Fire, 2/08/09

It is true the situation went into the scale of architecture's 9/11 with the incredible carrying capacity of the countless blogs and fire experts, Rem haters, starchitect opposites, sensation riders, ambulance chasers, regime critics, anti communists, anti capitalists and friends of the enterprise.
As we speak, the smell of the burning rubber and melting steel is already upon China. I don't know if Rem Koolhaas is on a jet plane, to the burned job site.
Whatever the reason for the inferno at the building, one thing is clear that it will be remembered as the day iconic building died, by many. As if proponents of the 'whatever' needed a physical evidence that it has died, this could be it for those people... A believable turning point. When, these days, everyday marks something of the restless times. Best days to be in the news business, if you can stand the constant drumming.


No, not so much the building itself, but the ghostly man next lot, whose dominating presence has been covered by the soot coming from its dead competition.

Perhaps this was a murder, by the two legged monster who killed her and chose the Lantern Night to do it. Since its extreme experience with construction, waited patiently just like the insane arsonist. An opportune moment arrived, when the rubber detail was being wrapped around her, he knew this was the best time to set the fire and blame on the Lantern Night...
A terrible crime has been committed in the name of egotism and irresistible desire for absolute power.
A robust dictator turned its back to demising beauty. A cruel bastard...




Let’s go the other way around. this time the theme is a love story...
Imagine, the irresistible attraction between two tombs in Taj Mahal... The ultimate lamentation of Love and Death, not as good as poetry but better than the filmic and the theatrical versions because of its inescapable presence as two architectural beings, even bisected.

The CCTV was never two, without TVCC of course. Now that his Juliet gone in a towering fire on a Lantern Night.
A sad situation. Watching your Nancy burn in the rubber hell. Contemplate your own future there.
Scared. Sad. Separated by death.


I don't want to know why the building is burned. Architect’s fault or not, Lantern Fire is not my business.
When this all clears up,
I am interested in finding a new girl, no maybe a new nothing, no maybe a temporary lover, no maybe a long term mistress.
Get real, this is now. The speedy world of cast concrete, fast erect steel and extrusions to attach the German made glass.

I want to see the Yang's Yin...

A first memorial for a building...

She, in either scenario, set on fire in two mysteries. Gone, blackened. Leaving the bird's nest and his ETFE girl, the only hi profile couple in Beijing.

Sure, it is a crazy pair of a story above. For the famous pairs at least...

Does that remind you Koolhaas' Delirious New York buildings in bed? Not as full blown love as this though... Theirs was just sex...

Sad story indeed.

You can burn an Icon but Troy, written in Iliad is already seven stories deep below the terra firma... Not necessarily gone.

We need fire marshals and the love stories all the same for its news value...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Music of Resistance

From Al Jazeera

The Music of Resistance is a six-part documentary series that tells the stories of musicians who fight repression and sing about injustices.

They are unique musical personalities from some of the world's most troubled areas - what makes them different is their need to communicate their politics through music.

They are all ambitious and talented but for them 'making it' is not about diamonds and sports cars - it is about radical political change.

They come from Nigeria, Mozambique, the favelas of Brazil, Cape Verde, the desert of the Southern Sahara and inner-city London.

Framed in their historical context and current political circumstances, The Music of Resistance will illustrate their messages through live performances, interviews and images from the communities they sing about and inspire.

Vigario Geral is one of the most dangerous, drug-invested, suburbs, or favelas, in Brazil. Shootings are a daily occurrence but it was the massacre of 21 residents by police that sparked a remarkable music group.
Anderson Sá turned his back on drug dealing and crime and formed AfroReggae - a group devoted to providing an alternative to the children in the favela.

The nomadic Touareg tribes have endured years of drought and civil war. The one constant through this hardship has been the music of Tinariwen.
Once a group of rebel soldiers, training alongside Colonel Gadaffi in Libya, after years of struggle and violence Tinariwen decided to lay down their guns and fight with a different weapon - music.

Seun Kuti is carrying the weight of one of the heaviest musical legacies in Africa. He is the youngest son of Fela Anikelapu Kuti, the creator of Afrobeat and the voice of Nigeria's disenfranchised.
Seun is motivated by endemic corruption and the abuse of Nigeria's youth.

It is a simple request - clean water and sanitation. Afflicted by polio as a child, Feliciano Dos Santos was determined to make sure that young citizens of his native Mozambique do not suffer the lack of sanitation that spreads disease.
This message has become central to the music of his band, Massoukos.

Nuno Santos (aka Chullage) is a Cape Verdean living in Portugal. Half of his fellow Cape Verdeans in Lisbon do not have official documents and live on the fringe of society.
Like so many migrants from this small African island, he faces discrimination daily. His music tries to redress this injustice.

The Music of Resistance airs at the following times GMT:
Monday: 1230; Tuesday: 0330, 1400; Wednesday: 0630, 1930; Thursday: 0130, 1030; Friday: 0330, 1000, 1430; Saturday: 1730; Sunday: 0430, 2030
Watch Al Jazeera