Recently in Places re; Community Plumbing

W. C. Heller & Company, The Shelving with Brains, 1922

Back in July, Shannon Mattern traced the genealogy of the American hardware store to the earlier, general store and explains How the hardware store orders things, neighborhoods, and material worlds.

This is a vision of the hardware store as episteme. It holds (and organizes) the tools, values, and knowledges that bind a community and define a worldview. There’s a material and social sensibility embodied in the store, its stuff, and its service, and reflected in the diverse clientele. That might sound a bit lofty for a commercial establishment that sells sharp objects and toxic chemicals…Here, amidst the nuts and bolts, we cultivate the potential to order things, places, communities, politics, and values — we might even say, to build and repair worlds.

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Sugar Hill is a mixed-use housing development in New York City’s Harlem

Photo: Ed Reeve, courtesy of Adjaye Associates

I have previously seen less flattering angles and discussions regarding the concrete patterning and overall black, fortress-like, visage of this building.

However, this angle/view, makes me reconsider, that perhaps it is rather Excellent!

More decorative, faceted than I realized.

via Archinect

re: Gulf futurism

Yet Gulf futurism offers no new imagery to displace the hegemonic ones in power—instead setting up the scaffolding to reproduce the injustices, structural degradation and racial erasures of the present. As ethnifuturisms go, it feels like there’s something missing, too. Where’s the longing, the displacement, the impossibility of return? Where’s the Afghan, the Filipino, the Indian, the Iranian, the Somali, the Pakistani, the Bangladeshi, the Iraqi, and all the other non-Khaleeji Arabs all bound up into one pathologised brown body? [Experimental jazz musician] Sun Ra had to go all the way to Saturn; the Gulf futurist doesn’t need to go anywhere because they’re welcomed, and even reified, right at home.

via Scott Smith’s “chat” with Rahel Aima

National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, by Charles-Édouard Jeanneret

In 2016, Unesco named the National Museum of Western Art to its World Heritage List, joining the Acropolis of Athens and the Alhambra, as well as the monuments of Nara and Kyoto, among the lasting achievements of architecture.

The interior of Le Corbusier’s National Museum of Western Art | Credit; Anthony Cotsifas

More via Nikil Saval in NYT

re: Weston Havens House et al.,

e-flux published Mabel O. Wilson in Dimensions of Citizenship, on injustice and “the psycho-geography where these racist ontological assaults take place” by way of Claudia Rankine.

To wit;

Private property is exclusionary. That is the power ownership wields—whether it’s a homeowner or a corporation like Starbucks. When the growing privatization of public space and hyper surveillance of public spaces is overlaid onto the historical racialization of citizenship and property in the US, black citizens continue to feel the pain and violence of exclusion.

re: Fontanone dell’Acqua Paola, Trevi Fountain, Fonti dei Canali et al.,

Stefano della Bella, A rider making his horse drink from a fountain, ca. 1646, from “Diverses figures et griffonnemens,” published by Israël Henriet. [Metropolitan Museum of Art]

From the perspective of architecture history, this factor complicates both the design and experience of these structures; for it requires that the traditional cognitive scheme involving the object and the viewer be replaced by a more complex phenomenological triad consisting of architecture, water, and the body…From the washerwomen to bikini-clad tourists, we can see that fountains were scaled not only to buildings and cities but also to the movements and sensations of bodies. 17 In this light it is worth remembering that the exclusion of bodily experience from the realm of architecture is a relatively recent phenomenon.

By Anatole Tchikine  in Places Journal

In the Terrain of Rain – Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha at Bengal Institute

In their presentation Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha question our typical understanding of rain, water and river, and rephrases how all these are connected to our behaviour towards nature. They show evidence of how being gentle to water and letting it flow is always better than forcing and containing it within hard-lines of dams and barrages, and how natural drainage systems can save us during the upcoming crises of climate change rather than controlling it by force.

via Bengal Institute