The Imaginary (and Utopian) cities of Jack Kirby

‘Asgardian street scene’ by Jack Kirby
‘New Genesis’ by Jack Kirby

Via 70s Sci-Fi Art 1 + 2

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re: wijkwandelingen

Recently the local Denver YIMBY Facebook group was discussing a piece published over at Governing which explored ‘When Citizen Engagement Becomes Too Much‘. Specifically, the pros/cons of technocratic vs participatory forms governance through the example of Austin’s CodeNext process.

My response included the below;

Further, while I do believe in the value of technocratic expertise, I would disagree that we need less citizen participation/feedback in governing. If anything more. For instance things like participatory budgeting, which I have heard some council-members speak favorably of. I’ve also attended meetings where tabletop games or insta-polling were used and the consensus of the room was that these were very useful, rather than officials being able to merely check the box via monologue heavy community “listening sessions”.

Or how about even more fine-grained, neighborhood scale approaches like wijkwandelingen?

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.

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