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Culture Productivity & Work

The design of the classroom from 1750 to today

The design of the classroom is a technology, and you can interpret that in a lot of different ways. Architects can make that look more, and less, typical. But the point is the instruction, the interaction in the classroom, not that it looks more like a circle or more like a square or whatever else.

The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids by Alexandra Lange 

(via NPR)

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Photo Challenge Photography photoJournal Quotes Travel

Ascending Museo Soumaya

I spent a few days in Mexico City last week. One of our stops included The Museo Soumaya building in the upscale Miguel Hidalgo district.

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Photos by Wells Baum

Designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, the curvy-shaped building contains five floors of European art, including the sculptures of Auguste Rodin.

The above picture shows my older brother ascending the stairs leading to the museum’s main entrance. More images below.

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Arts Photography Tech

The Stahl House Movie

The Stahl House by Ryan Baum (see more pictures)

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to see my brother Ryan Baum graduate from SCI-Arc, an architecture school in downtown Los Angeles.

Each student was responsible for presenting their thesis in front of faculty and special guests. For his final project, my brother put some renderings together over the Stahl House to recreate the iconic modernist house built by American architect Pierre Koenig in the hills of Los Angeles in 1969. He also redesigned the interior dining room and living room with sculpture.

You may have seen the Stahl house in fashion ads and movies like the Big Lebowski, or most famously in black and white photographs taken by Julius Shulman who helped spread modernist Southern California architecture with his “one-point perspective.”

Inspired by the technological blurred paintings of Gerhard Richter, Ryan 3D painted the house’s corrugated facade.

As you can see, Ryan’s contemporary redesign purposely blends in his with the house, making it look authentic. But it his short, hilarious Lebowski-esque film that takes the masquerade metaphor once step further, adding to the mystery of why the home could never sell. The Stahl House was finally declared a LA-historic monument in 1999, before becoming listed as National History place in 2013.

I encourage you to watch the ten-minute movie and check out more of Ryan’s work on his site. PS: Billy Idol fans get ready!

The Stahl House Movie: A realtor’s quest to sell the Stahl House takes a hilarious turn in this mockumentary about icons and contemporary Los Angeles.

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Arts Creativity Culture Tech

The shipping high 

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It took nearly two hundred years to build the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Those who built it never saw it finished. Now we can 3-D print a building in 17 days, like “baking a cake and applying whip cream on it.

The Notre Dame is still around while most buildings will be destroyed and rebuilt. The same goes for media: pictures, books, music, and blog posts.

We are making too much stuff and not spending enough time enjoying it. Consumption is ephemeral; information is fast food. Writes Ben Callahan for Offscreen Magazine:

“Ray Kurzweil wrote about the Law of Accelerating Returns back in 2001, suggesting that the rate of technological evolution grows exponentially. This means we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century. It will be more like 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate. His work explains why we can build amazing structures faster today than ever before. What it doesn’t explain is how this impacts us as makers: how the immediacy with which we can create changes us.”

The urge to keep making, to keep shipping, means more creations will be forgotten and therefore less likely to be timeless.

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Quotes Uncategorized

“It’s as though people expect you to blow one note..”

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gif via Ramin Rahni

“It’s as though people expect you to blow one note all the time, and I guess a lot of people can only blow one note. But there are people who can blow two or three notes, and I guess I’m one of them.”

Frank Gehry

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Arts Creativity Culture Photography

Garden Lobby

Photo by Wells Baum

It recognized the imperatives for user-friendly populism in its great glazed, covered garden foyer, “the living room of the city,” a lobby space opening to all major parts of the building as well as to the outdoors and the street.

Read Frank Gehry And The Walt Disney Concert Hall