Promoting a Healthy Building Culture

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Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is a Washington, D.C. based collaborative institution working to advance solutions that empower entrepreneurs and investors in forging a more dynamic and entrepreneurial economy throughout the United States. The group recently released their findings on issues of blight in U.S. cities outlined in the Distressed Communities Index. Using a seven metric system the group created a customized data set that gives a ranking to more than 25,000 zipcodes. The seven metrics the group utilized ranged from percent of unoccupied housing that is habitable, median home income, and change in number of businesses in a three-year period. The group created interactive maps, infographics, and a findings report using the compiled data.

“It is intended to facilitate a better understanding of the pervasive pessimism many Americans feel about their own communities and personal economic prospects in spite of years of steady U.S. economic expansion. Looking forward, it aims to identify the communities most at risk of being left behind by the country’s continued growth and development in the years to come.”

Source: Cleveland Scene Magazine

Brutal Ruins: Casa Sperimentale

Oliver Astrologo

Oliver Astrologo

Outside of Rome, in the coastal village of Fregene, architect Giuseppe Perugini built his own experimental home Casa Sperimentale. Perugini’s residence “…combined an array of rotating structures, suspended prefab modules and kinetic elements in a masterful use of Brutalist concrete aesthetics.” The house has sat vacant since Perugini’s death in 1995. Photographer and urban explorer Oliver Astrologo captured a series of images of the building in its desolate beauty.

Source: Visual News

Google Earth Anomalies

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Artist Clement Valla’s Postcards from Google Earth capitalizes on the digital anomalies that occur during the generation of still satellite images for the Google Earth. Valla focuses on the images’ edge conditions and states: “They are the absolute logical result of the system. They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error.”

Source: Visual News

Capturing Construction: Historic Images of Seattle’s Space Needle

Workers stand inside the Space Needle’s restaurant level, circa January 1962. (George Gulacsik / Courtesy of The Seattle Public Library)

Workers stand inside the Space Needle’s restaurant level, c. January 1962. (George Gulacsik / Courtesy of Seattle Public Library)

The Seattle Public Library is now the repository for 2,400 never-before-displayed photographs of the construction of Seattle, Washington’s iconic Space Needle. The unique collection chronicles the construction process from pouring the foundation to the placing of glazing in the restaurant. The collection offers an intimate view into the implementation of an engineering and design wonder.

Source: The Seattle Times

From Above: Impacts of Industrial Farming

Aerial Feedlots | Mishka Henner

Aerial Feedlots | Mishka Henner

While combing satellite images of American farmland, British photographer Mishka Henner  noticed anomalies in the landscapes. Bodies of water were unnatural colors and the aerials appeared manufactured or altered. In fact, they were; the landscapes were the sites of massive waste lagoons—the byproduct of industrialized farming. The open-source satellite images also allow Henner to publish and present Feedlots without fear of criminal suit over the controversial “Ag Gag” laws.

Source: inhabitat

Earth-Sheltered Architecture

Edgeland House, Austin, TX | Bercy Chen Architects

Edgeland House, Austin, TX | Bercy Chen Architects

Present day subterranean dwellings often merge modern design aesthetics with architectural traditions that are as old as humanity itself. Tailored to the landscapes of their specific geographic settings, they are both visually striking and energy efficient—utilizing traditional passive heating and cooling techniques, and advanced design and building techniques. The Edgeland House in Austin, Texas by Bercy Chen Studio sits on a rehabilitated brownfield site and is described as “a modern reinterpretation of the Native American pit house, one of the oldest architectural forms known in North America.”

Source: Web Urbanist

Trending: Map Coloring Books

Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex | Gretchen Peterson

Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex | Gretchen Peterson

A trend that is gaining momentum, adult coloring books are being created by artists, designers, and architects. Now, Gretchen Peterson—a GIS mapmaker paving the way for female cartographers—is helping to bring the art of map design to a larger audience with her graphically intricate project City Maps: A coloring book for adults. The book’s 40+ illustrations depict aerial line drawings of cities the world over satisfying adults’ impulse to color.

Source: City Lab

Ruins of the USSR: “Soviet Ghosts”


Soviet Ghosts | Rebecca Bathory

Photographer Rebecca Bathory blends the urban explorer experience with her journalistic-style documentation of the crumbling ruins of a once vast empire. Her book, Soviet Ghosts, documents the “strange interval caught between modernity and antiquity” of the former Soviet Union’s Brutalistic and Stalinist architecture. Bathory sees her work as a form of visual preservation, as the images may soon be all that remains of this once monumental architecture now decaying and abandoned.

Source: Visual News

Natural Camera


Photographers Adam Donnelly and David Janesko build site-specific cameras out of the landscape that is being photographed. They arrange materials — such as logs, sticks, sand, leaves, dirt and shells found on-site — to construct the camera body. The camera’s aperture is made from a found object that already has a tiny, round hole. Sometimes the “cameras” are large enough for the photographers to stand in and they operate as mechanical camera parts, like the shutter or film advance. The resulting images strive to capture what nature sees versus what the photographer sees.

Source: Adam Donnelly

Book Mountain


Guy Laramee has spent the last thirty years exploring a variety of mediums including dance, music composition, sculpture, painting and anthropology. He chooses the best discipline to represent his respective idea and will often combine mediums. Most recently, Laramee has released a series of carved dictionaries and encyclopedias with ink, pigment and wax detailing. The excavated landscapes are intended to comment on the cultural knowledge that is diminishing with the disappearance of books.

Source: This is Colossal

Modern Treehouse


Designer Aibek Almasov has challenged the typical identity of indoor/outdoor architecture by encompassing the outdoors inside of the building. He has designed a four-story cylindrical house in the hills near Almaty, Kazakhstan to surround a 40-foot tall fir tree. The top floor of the building is a dedicated viewing platform from the vantage point of a tree top. The sleek design recognizes the opportunity for a creative architectural solution while designing within the parameters of the natural landscape.

Source: Phaidon