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Touchscreen Landscapes

[Image: Screen grab via]. This new, partly digital sand table interface developed for military planning exercises would seem to have some pretty awesome uses in an architecture or landscape design studio.

The Civic Minimum

[Image: From Gravesend—The Death of Community by Chris Clarke]. Gravesend is a suburb east of London, hosting on its own eastern edge something of a secondary suburb: a mysterious town on the edge of town that turns out not to be a town at all.

A Geography of Devices

[Image: Tokyo subway map, via re:form]. "Just as postal systems remade geographic places into zones determined by politics and history," Amy Johnson writes for re:form, "social media technologies are remaking them today." "Historically," Johnson writes, "the categories of both who helps in natural disasters and who is helped have largely been organized around place, in this case mapped according to its political and geographic dimensions, by government agencies and relief organizations with parallel structures.

We Can Terraform It For You Wholesale

[Image: Real estate development or avant-garde earthwork? The future streets of Ascaya; courtesy of Ascaya].

Landscape, Redacted

[Image: "Looking east over unbuilt Ascaya lots, Black Mountain beyond, Henderson, Nevada," 2010; from Black Mountain by Michael Light].

Atmospheric Crystallography

[Image: From the original research paper (PDF), via Popular Science]. Popular Science reported last week that a "weird crystal"—a "salt made from cobalt"—can "absorb all the oxygen in a room," and, more crucially, release all that oxygen later, at which point it can safely be breathed.


I received a review copy of Héctor Tobar's new book Deep Down Dark the other week and read the entire thing in one sitting.

The Underground Wind Bulbs of Utah

[Image: From a PDF by Dresser Rand]. A new electricity distribution system being described as the "'Hoover Dam' of the 21st century" will bring wind energy from Wyoming to customers in California—and it will get there by way of a $1.5 billion artificial cave built specifically for storing air inside a salt dome in Utah.

Untitled Landscapes

[Image: Untitled (Uranium tailings); Mexican Hat, UT, 2005, by Victoria Sambunaris, from Taxonomy of a Landscape].

Empty Landscapes of Invisible Dangers

[Image: "The Polygon Nuclear Test Site 1 (After the Event)," Kazakhstan (2011); photo by Nadav Kander/©Nadav Kander, courtesy of Flowers Gallery].

Procedural Forestry

[Image: A "procedural forest gone wrong... or right?," developed by Florian Veltman]. We looked at procedural Brutalism the other week—and, deep in the BLDGBLOG archives, we explored the moors of a procedurally generated British countryside—so why not procedural forestry?

Celestial Chiaroscuro

An interesting new project called Satellite Lamps, by Einar Sneve Martinussen, Jørn Knutsen, and Timo Arnall, attempts to visualize the ever-drifting, never exactly accurate workings of GPS.

Implied Landscapes

[Image: "Colour experiment no. 61," 2014; photo by Jens Ziehe, via Tate Britain]. The forthcoming exhibition of J.M.W.

Procedural Brutalism

[Image: Procedural Brutalism by Cedric]. Here are a few GIFs of procedurally generated architecture by a game developer named Cedric, built using Unity.


[Image: From "Geometria et Perspectiva" by Lorenz Stöer (1567), via Bibliodyssey]. I just thought these images were cool: geometry workouts engraved in the 16th century by Lorenz Stöer, featuring dense architectural exercises of pure geometry, with shapes drawn for the sake of shapes—on top of shapes in front of shapes—all illustrating what perspectival rendering can achieve with complex spatial environments.

Demolition School

[Image: The Broelschool, Kortrijk, Belgium, via Space Caviar]. As part of the 2014 Biennale Interieur, curatorial group Space Caviar is hosting what they call a "demolition workshop" in the Belgian town of Kortrijk.

Through the Cracks Between Stars

[Image: Trevor Paglen, "PAN (Unknown; USA-207)," from The Other Night Sky]. I had the pleasure last winter of attending a lecture by Trevor Paglen in Amsterdam, where he spoke about a project of his called The Last Pictures.

Weather is the Future of Urban Design

[Image: From a newscast about Istanbul's recent tornadoes]. It's hard to resist a story where urban design is blamed for creating tornadoes.

Powers of Quarantine

[Image: Liberian security forces "enforce a quarantine of the West Point slum, stepping up the government’s fight to stop the outbreak and unnerving residents." Photo by Abbas Dulleh/AP, via Al Jazeera America].

The Great Age of Clouds

[Image: A "hurricane" at Saturn's south pole, via NASA; see also The Planetary Weather Report]. In Frédéric J.