Archive for the ‘Daily’ Category

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Wonder Wednesday

October 18, 2017

Supermarket chalk artists can be amazing!

source

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Philosophy Tuesday

October 17, 2017

So there’s this funny* tendency we have, as humans and that is the tendency for one disparaged group to disparage another.  For a group, or individual, under duress to all to readily and quickly turn around and perpetrate the same onto another group.

On the one hand, this doesn’t seem to make any sense… surely this group, or individual, knows what it feels like to be disparaged, denigrated, diminished, disowned, and discriminated against, right?  The hurt that accompanies it, the feelings of frustration, the harshness it is to exist under… why would they then do likewise to another?

But, on the other hand, it also makes perfect sense – in the same context.  This is the world they (we) live in, this is the world that has been modeled, this is the world that has been taught, a world where if you are to have power and agency, you gain it, at least in part, via the act of disparagement.  It is what the “powerful” and “well to do” and “respected” and “right” and “normal” people and groups do.  They disparage.   It is a hierarchical system, a caste.  And so, to be, and to demonstrate you are, in “power”, you disparage.  It is the path forward, the path to confidence, security, and self-determination.

Except, of course, that it doesn’t really work.  Nor is it authentic.  And in the end, if we’re honest, doesn’t leave anyone on any side feeling great.  It only perpetrates the precarious anxious knife-edge feeling of precariousness, balancing on that “knowledge” that, at any moment, something may happen that will drive us out of favour and perpetrate our rush to the bottom of that ladder.

No matter where on the chain we (currently) sit, there’s no authentic self-confidence there, no peace of mind, and no self-actualization.   And , above all, no freedom or self-expression.

There isn’t much more to say other than the invitation play the game of being mindful and present, and be aware of what the actual impetus is when jumping on the disparagement train.

There are plenty of other trains that lead to far more exciting and heartening places.  Let’s travel on those.

 

* Funny in the cosmic sense, though it is also, at the same time, not so funny at all and cosmically unfortunate.

** Years ago I played in my first LARP (Live Action Role-Playing Game).  When I got there, a bunch of the regulars were talking, and were fully embroiled in disparaging this other, particular, fandom.  “Yeah, those losers are almost at the bottom of the geek hierarchy chart…” one person proudly said.  Putting aside the vapidity of such a chart, the illuminating thing was that LARP players are also right near the bottom of that same chart.  This person was using a chart that disparages them to disparage someone else… trapped in the downward spiral in hopes of somehow regaining pride and agency.   (It didn’t/doesn’t work)

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Architecture Monday

October 16, 2017

I just got back from the Monterrey Design Conference this past weekend, filled with lectures that not only wowed architecturally or artistically, but also got me examining things and thinking in new ways, which is always very cool.  There are a number of projects to share, but tonight I’ll start with this one, because while I may think there are some design aspects that are not quite fully resolved, I really like how it takes the necessities and plays with them hard, springboarding from the constraints to create a multiple series of wins.

The brief for the project by the city was a for a gymnasium, with a community centre.  There were requirements for the size and height of the gym, and a max height for the property.  The retail/supermarket on the first floor may have been part of the brief (I can’t remember), but other than that, the developers were allowed to add in whatever they chose.  Now, for a gym, you need some deep trusses to support the roof (as having columns in the middle of your playing surface is just a drag for everyone).  And so the first of the various nifty bits in this project came in coming up with the idea to use the height of those deep trusses and nestle some residential apartments in between them.    The space between the trusses would otherwise have been “wasted” – now instead you’ve got 12 new housing units for the city.

The units themselves are quite nicely done, with a courtyard in the middle, a tall living area, and a small loft that opens onto a deck.  I especially like how the countertop becomes the landing for the staircase, and even more so how the huge windows at the end of each unit is angled to provide a vista down the street, rather than looking straight into the building across the way.

This sawtooth edge also is used to good effect in the gym, providing indirect natural light in a way that prevents glare and also protects the windows from errant sports balls.  The community room nicely sets out from the building slightly as a glass box, and is attached to the gym via a grand staircase & bleachers, letting it be both separate and part of the gym as needed.

Overall the whole design does a lot of its work vertically, nestling and stacking its functions in and around themselves and the structure until everyone wins:  a grocery store, a community space and gym, and apartments with plenty of light, interest, and a view onto the world.  Good stuff.

Sundbyoster Hall II by Dorte Mandrup Artkitekter

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Wonder Wednesday

October 11, 2017

Some beautiful, minimalist, B&W photography…

Biwa Lake Tree Study 2 – by Michael Kenna

(who has a tonne of equally gorgeous and sensuously rich photographs)

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Philosophy Tuesday

October 10, 2017

The greatest crime is
The overlooking of
Who you really are
In favor of
The story of
Who you think you are.
This preoccupation with
Your personal drama is
The cloud that masks
The sun.
*****
What one really is
Is what one is
In the absence of
The who that
One thinks one is.
*****
There is no requirement to
Transcend the past.
All that must be done is to
Stop carrying it,
Like a block of stone,
On one’s back.

-Wu Hsin

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Architecture Monday

October 9, 2017

Ok, I can’t help but love this store as, during school, I designed a laundromat that prominently featured/used copper piping throughout, not only for the conveying of water but becoming lights, seats, and reading nooks.  It’s not used quite as much here, but the piping that feeds the central island – which also becomes a light fixture – is still a prominent enough element within the design.

Beyond those copper pipes, the rich, slick, red display cases and countertops (inspired by the red colour from cut bonito flakes (the store specializes in ingredients for dashi, the Japanese soup stock) are wonderful offsets to the rough and very raw concrete that forms the structure for this impossibly narrow building in Tokyo.  It’s a very focused store, with a very focused space within.

by Schemata Architects

 

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Wonder Wednesday

October 4, 2017

I really like the coat of arms of the new Governor General of Canada!  Full of lynxes, spaceships, music, and our beautiful blue planet without borders… very fine work.  (Doubly so for the lynxes!)