The 1,000 square foot Michigan Theater was built in 1926 with ten foot crystal chandeliers and theater goers followed a mandatory black tie dress code. The glamour declined as the venue became a screening area for hockey games in the 1950’s and used as nightclub twenty years later. By 1976, the theater shut its doors and discussions commenced concerning its demolition. Since the theater served as a structural element of the neighboring office building, demolition was deemed potentially detrimental and the space was adapted as a parking lot. In a twist of fate, the theater has returned to its roots as it sits on the original site of the garage where Henry Ford built the quadricycle, his first automobile.
Source: Messy Nessy
After 4 months of work with a team of animators and illustrators led by artist Adam Pesapane (aka PES), Honda released a stunning 2-minute short entitled Paper to chronicle its history and varied product line. The majority of film was shot on one long table and consisted of more than 3,000 hand-illustrated images shot individually. The film mirrors the detail and thoughtfulness required by designers and engineers during the design process. The oldest technique for animation, cutout animation continues to inspire designers and allow them to represent imagery of complex visual and narrative layering through a simple, analog process.
Source: Visual News
Caustic patterns of a 3D printed glass structure. Photo: Chikara Inamura.
By utilizing digital fabrication, a designer is no longer limited to one type of medium. For example, a designer can create beautifully intricate jewelry without being a trained metalsmith. The MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group has collaborated with colleagues in the MIT Glass Lab to develop a way to 3D print molten glass. The resulting vases, fixtures, and sculptures are mathematically perfect, bearing no marks of human error. A mesmerizing video of the process is part of the virtual exhibition highlighting the work.
Slavery in Brazil ended in 1888, and an expansive body of photographs was left behind documenting the lives of enslaved Africans in colonial Brazil. Lourdes Garcia–Navarro has been researching these images in the Moreira Salles Institute, which provide insight into the lives of slaves and the roles they were forced to play in the 19th century society and economy. Additionally, Garcia–Navarro has found significant evidence linking present-day demographics and societal class distinctions of domestic workers to their roots in the culture and power structures of slavery.
Toxic Beauty | Kacper Kowalski
A World Press Photo Award winner, Polish photographer Kacper Kowalski began his career practicing architecture and then became committed to flying and photography. Kowalski’s photographs stunning and surreal abstractions of nature and the built environment—often documenting catastrophic intersections.
Source: Kacper Kowalski
CityLabs’s collection of photos and histories of Chinese nail houses reveals the stark physical manifestation of resistance to urban transformation. A nail house or in the United States a holdout are the homes of owners that don’t sell to make way for development. These owners are often revered as modern day folk heroes or dismissed as fools fighting the impossible beast of change. For the United States the most iconic holdout of the 21st century is Edith Macefield of Seattle, the detailed story of her holdout has been turned into a fascinating episode of 99% invisible and can be listened to here.
Jim Vallandingham uses his background in software development and data visualization to create maps of the most segregated cities in the United States. His project, titled Visualizing the Racial Divide, illustrates the fracturing of cities along these deeply entrenched racial boundaries. Through animation, Census tract data is unpacked in a very visceral way—cities appear to shatter apart with increasing force at points of the most drastic racial divisions. Below is a still from Vallandingham’s Chicago map animation.
Stephanie K. Clark creates mini portraits of homes with the medium of thread. The thread allows for the architecture to beam texture and warmth. What further highlights the homes is the barren landscape drawn in black and white. Explore her works here.
Source: Visual News
Dr. Tim Retzloff‘s essay The Association of (Gay) Suburban People published by Places’ online journal builds off Retzloff’s previous research and publications on how the city and suburbia shaped gay and lesbian life and politics during post WWII metropolitan Detroit. The Association of (Gay) Suburban People chronicles the existence of the Association of Suburban People (ASP) founded in the mid-1970s in suburban Detroit, during an era when it was assumed that gay culture and space only existed in urban areas.
The ASP was founded when informal spaces for gay men to gather in suburban Detroit became dangerous as the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department staged sting operations. Throughout ASP’s existence, ASP successfully queered suburban homes and co-opted dozens of public places for its own ends. APD had a mission “to recast the relationship of gays with suburbia.” Retzloff explains the mission and culture of ASP by quoting Michel de Certeau, ‘they escaped it without leaving it.’”
AARP has launched an online tool called Livability Index that is free and easy to navigate. The tool scores the livability of neighborhoods based on seven categories: transportation, environment, health, civic and social engagement, and educational and employment opportunities. The weight of the categories can be adjusted to reflect one’s personal values and preference.
Although AARP is an NGO and interest group that primarily focus on the affairs of senior citizens, this tool is applicable for people of all ages. Popular planning theory advocates that making a city that is livable for seniors and children benefits all residents.
Source: Next City
Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
“Holdouts” is the common term for individuals or parties who refuse or resist to accept what is offered. But what happens when a developer of a property has a single holdout standing in the way of their “progress”? In China, you build around it. The Atlantic has offered a compilation of images depicting extreme instances of such situations across China. Images of pre-planned communities surrounding the ruins of nearly demolished buildings, construction sites preparing to pour the concrete foundations around familial cemeteries, and vacant lots with one remaining inhabited holdout.
Source: The Atlantic
Next City profiles the cooperative business economy that has sprouted from disaster in New Orleans. New Orleans East has a large Vietnamese-American population that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina as well as the BP oil spill. Vietnamese-Americans’ homes and businesses were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill disproportionately hurt the Vietnamese-American community, since they make up a third of all shrimpers in New Orleans.
As the Vietnamese community was in crisis, the idea of VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative was introduced as a way to revitalize their economy from within—to ensure existing residents directly benefit. The article details more cooperative movements in New Orleans and the most successful U.S. cooperatives that specifically aim to support distressed communities.
Source: Next City