Can anyone explain why Victorian mansions like the ones the Addams Family and the Munsters were depicted as living in were, apparently, widely seen as plausible homes for monsters by the mid-20th century? Bonus points for detailed / scholarly analysis of this question.
What are the best websites and books for learning the basics of structural engineering? [more inside]
I just got news that I got an internship at an architectural office (altough I just graduated as a a graphic designer) in Tokyo, which is crazy exciting. However, they can't offer any compensation (small studio) so unless I find another job next to this, I need some really cheap solutions. I just sent an email to the studio, asking them for assistance, but figured meta could help. My plan is to stay for 2-3 months. I saved up some money from side jobs, and don't mind spending it on this experience, but the less it makes a dent the better. My only idea so far was to work as some kind of au pair (I speak English, German, Dutch and Croatian fluently, I'm good with kids, but I am a guy, which I guess is not too popular a gender for babysitting), in exchange for a room. Any ideas? Also, some place where I could look for a small job on the side (preferably something where I could use my design skills, but don't mind a day job)? Also, how much can I expect to spend monthly if I'm, technically, still on a student budget? Thank a lot!
I have a large room that I would like to illuminate with LEDs. I'm thinking of putting a ledge around the the walls about 45 cm / 18 inches from the ceiling and laying LED strip lights along it, directed upwards so they bounce off the walls and ceiling (which are painted white). Would this look weird? Would it light the room adequately? I'd make the ledge with a groove in the top surface so that you can't see the LED lights from floor level. [more inside]
The organization I run rents a large, old theater for once-a-week film screenings. Problem: the air conditioning is broken, and the theater doesn't have the capital to fix it before the summer ends. But we have screenings scheduled weekly through the end of August. Are there any good ways to keep a large space cool without a working AC system? (How did people keep cool in indoor spaces historically, pre-AC?) [more inside]
I'm considering going into Architecture. Bad idea? [more inside]
Are there any online stores that sell teaching aids for demonstrating principles of architectural engineering? I am wanting to buy model columns, arches, domes, trusses, cantilevers, and so forth, to use in architectural history classes that I am teaching. The goal is to demonstrate the physical forces that act on buildings, so I don't need models of finished buildings and bridges, but rather models that show how the structures work--preferably in an interactive way. Any leads would be most appreciated.
For a project I'm currently working on as part of my graduation in Graphic Design, I wanted to compile something like an atlas of fictional cities. These may be from books, legends, stories, video games, advertisements, comics, really whatever... Even "real" cities but alternate versions, imagined or in some way deviate from their real counterpart are valid. [more inside]
Help me find the name of this building or whatever it is! [more inside]
I am looking for some great movies about the history of Jewish art and architecture. I am most curious to learn about ancient and medieval Judaica, but if you know of treatments of modern Jewish art and architecture that would be good to know about too. Any recommendations would be most appreciated.
Please tell me of your favorite art/design/architecture blogs, pages, and websites — the more obscure, the better. [more inside]
I have been tasked with finding a web solution for a volunteer group associated with a university. There are already pages on one of the departments' websites, however, it will be months before any changes can be made to that as it's under the rule of a CMS which is about to be migrated and to which we won't be able to really do anything until November. We want all the usual stuff like a blog and a Twitter widget and latest news and yadda yadda, but anything we add - and possibly anything we remove - would have to wait till November if we use the existing hosting arrangement. This is why I want to stick up another web infrastructure for us somewhere else, probably not hosted by the university. [more inside]
Looking at a blog of early colour photos from Paris I found myself wondering why the building in the right foreground of this building appears to expand outward from its base. The blog. [more inside]
Manic Pixie Dream Architecture: please point me towards any websites/books/magazines/blogs/etc. which show weird/cool/unique/interactive design features (e.g. secret/hidden doors) in non-mansion homes. [more inside]
Is there any art that you find ugly, but still admire or value? [more inside]
Are there any documentaries about George Nakashima available to view online? I would like to know more about his life and his work. I am particularly interested in the architecture of his studio.
I have been obsessed with this building in Alexandria, Virginia for years. I want to know more about it - who designed it, when it was built, past tenants, and so forth. Should there be public records available somewhere and if so, where can I find them? [more inside]
In New York, and many other cities, developers can build bigger buildings than would otherwise be allowed, as long as they provide amenities such as parks, schools, affordable housing, etc. I want to show students how this works by providing a photo or drawing of a real building, annotated to show how much of the height is due to these bonuses. For example, a drawing of a 50 story building, where the first 30 floors are unannotated, but then 30-35 are labeled "plaza," 35-40 "affordable housing units," 40-45 "subway entrance" and so on. I want it to be from a real building, and clear enough to show via a projector. I'm surprised this doesn't already exist, but I've done plenty of searching and can't find it.
What do you call this style of window, broken up into panes by dividers? I read an NYT trend piece on its popularity in loft apartment architecture a few years ago, and they used a very specific term.
A couple recently purchased a beautiful Hacienda-style home on my street. They want to tear it down and replace it with a soulless, bland, aggressively imposing mini-McMansion. Luckily, I live in a really special city with an incredibly strict design review committee. What can I do to fight them? [more inside]
I love to stop and draw when I take walks in New York. I'm inspired by architectural details and monumental perspective, contrasts of space and light. Usually I wander aimlessly until I find an interesting spot to sit with my sketchbook, but that's a bit tougher when it's 20 degrees outside. I'm in the process of setting up weekly sketching adventures with a novice artist friend, and I feel there should be some planning involved. Help me compile a list of potentially inspiring places we can sit and sketch in the city without our fingers freezing off. [more inside]
What architectural style is this house? Or what style was it originally? It's located in the Midwest and was built in 1941. I've tried this neat tool, but nothing seems to fit. Maybe the place is just a mutt.
I was reading an introduction to "The Tale of Genji," and I was struck by the claim that Genji's manor is the most well known example of the architecture of the time, even though it never existed. Are there any corollaries in the West? Elsewhere? [more inside]
I've got Home Designer Architectural 2014 and a desire to buil a house on a steep hillside. I need topographic data for this. [more inside]
Is there a good resource for the symbolism in Gaudi's Sagrada Familia? I am especially curious as to what the skeletons mean, but I want to know what everything represents that he included in his plans. [more inside]
I am about to graduate from Harvard Architecture School (GSD) with an M.Arch. and am trying to think about what to do in terms of next career steps. I've worked in architectural offices over the summers (some prominent ones) and not been too thrilled with the work and am now trying to decide what to do about my career. A factor in my decision is earning potential and salary. [more inside]
Twitter, Ticketmaster, Google, Facebook how do their architecture and infrastructure work. Looking for a book/site which explains how these tech services may be assembled. Obviously not looking for the secret sauce or anything. Just wanting to understand the bigger picture of how large scale technology work and come together. Not looking to understand the code aspect or nitty gritty details of how each component works. Just broad understanding is what I am looking for. I am a UI engineer looking to get more background on middleware and backend systems. Please recommend any sources/sites/blogs/books to help me gain decent insight.
I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas? [more inside]
I'm looking for an expert witness in the area of architecture copyright in the US. The Northeast would be ideal. It seems like there are a million online, so any additional recommendations would be much appreciated. [more inside]
What urbanist/transit/maps/architecture/local history-related attractions should I hit up in Toronto? [more inside]
Looking for a book describing how to date a building using physical evidence in the building itself. [more inside]
I am an architect and recently laid-off. I want to use this time as an opportunity to start an architecture non-profit that assists communities to create their own public spaces. Think community centers, playgrounds, libraries, farmer's markets, etc. I am relatively young, naive, and idealistic. Where do begin? Whom do I speak to? How do I start? Any words of advice will do. [more inside]
What are some good MA programs in Urban planning in the US? With emphasis on working from the architectural side on large scale developments, particularly in relation to tourism. [more inside]
I have designed a house (in Google Sketch Up) that I intend to build. I have not insignificant relevant experience, but I'm neither an engineer nor an architect. Can I just give my design to any old architect and have them turn it into a coherent blueprint for a house that won't collapse? How much should I expect a thing like that to cost? [more inside]
Please name some architects who are affiliated with (or who were directly/indirectly influenced by) Iannis Xenakis and/or his musical ideas (composition based on mathematical principles, stochastic methods, etc). [more inside]
“Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul” [more inside]
Please recommend blogs, tumblrs, pinterests, or whatever the kids are calling it, that collect beautiful renderings of speculative landscape, architecture, and urban design projects, especially utopian projects.
Writers I like: Johan Huizenga, A. S. Neill, Christopher Alexander, Philippe Gaulier, James Paul Gee. Thoughts I'm interested in: the systemic formation of culture; how we interact with and are shaped by said systems; how those systems emerge as part of a "playful" procedure; how play is often used as a release from cultural standards. Who else will I like? What ideas will fascinate me further? [more inside]
Help me find this urban public spaces book. [more inside]
Which other countries (if any) have a specific, famous office for their heads of government, comparable to the Oval Office for the President of the United States? [more inside]
What are good resources for seeing sample house plans and construction drawings? [more inside]
Building nerds, can you help? I am finally biting the bullet and leaving interior design for a new life in architecture school. In preparation for my big step up, I'm keen to source databases and architecture websites that include plans, sections, elevations, site plans, 3D renderings, drawings etc of their featured buildings. [more inside]
For the sake of my dwindling sanity, can anyone point me towards the blog post I read about a "concentric" model for data-driven software architecture? I've googled like mad but haven't come anywhere close to it because the only search terms I can come up with are either vague or have additional meanings that pollute the results. [more inside]
Architectural digest: looking for great examples of home extensions for city houses. [more inside]
My university has a relatively large number of libraries. The oldest ones were obviously designed to have closed stacks. In other words, a patron would submit a request for a particular book to the staff who would, in turn, retrieve it from the stacks and deliver it to the patron. The newest library with that design opened circa the 1930s. Then, at some point, library architecture philosophy changed and campus libraries built in the 1970s and later were obviously designed to have open stacks. The older libraries have been converted to open use. Library science and architecture types, I ask you: When did this change, which appears on my experience to be a nearly universal characteristic of library design, occur? And why?
I've recently become fascinated by (a) long-forgotten "hidden" rooms in houses and other buildings and (b) "dead space" in houses, e.g., large unfinished areas behind walls that are only perhaps discovered years later. Help me find more examples of this sort of thing -- preferably examples with pictures! [more inside]
Why are most buildings rectangular? [more inside]
What is the real name/location of The Arcadian building in the TV show "How I met Your Mother"? [more inside]
I'm looking for an architectural term. I'm sure it's one I should know, but I'm blanking on it. To make matters worse, I'm having a difficult time searching for a picture of the feature, because I can't come up with the right term. Let me try to describe what it is. [more inside]
Did the Finns make a major contribution to the original Internet architecture? [more inside]