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Architecture & Design Travel

Photographs of the aerotropolis, post-modern cities built around airports

Should the airport be the hub of the city?

According to photographer Giulio Di Sturco, the post-modern city is one of the aerotropolis, where the city, business, entertainment, and nature activities are all centered around the airport.

Di Sturco’s ongoing project Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next explores the emergence of globalized architecture and generic spaces happening in Singapore, Bangkok, and Songdo, South Korea.

“These cities capture the breadth of themes running through civilization, from the re-appropriation of the natural landscape to our unquestioning faith in technology, set in the backdrop of architecture refined in elegance and logic,” writes Di Sturco.

“It is the post-modern city. A vision, or perhaps a mirage, it is a window of opportunities to solve the dilemma of modernity: reconciling economic development and sustainable growth.”

Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore. ‘Its sci-fi interiors are nature reimagined, nurtured to fill the vast hangars of super-modernity’ From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is the gateway for Southeast Asia. It has the world’s tallest free-standing control tower (434 feet), and the world’s fourth largest single-building airport terminal (6,060,000 square feet). From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
New Songdo International Business District is a compelling aerotropolis strategically located just over 7 miles from Incheon International Airport. From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
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Architecture & Design Technology

Dual head-mounted listening devices

via tw

This dual-mounted listening device served as an aircraft detection device before the invention of radar in 1935.

The Dutch military used the elephant-looking ears to detect approaching enemy aircraft by listening afar for engine sounds.

There were various iterations of the acoustic locators.

The Germans created a dual sight and sound system in 1917 that combined sound-ranging capabilities with binoculars to scope out aircraft.

The Dutch also created personal horns in 1935 that were double the size of the personal sound locator.

England built concrete acoustic mirrors around its coasts up until 1935.

Learn more about pre-radar objects here.

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Architecture & Design Technology

The cake server by Joseph’s Machines

Brooklyn-based inventor Joseph’s Machines makes comical DIY contraptions. His latest video shows a chain-reaction machine deliver him a piece of cake. It also includes a baby poking an iPhone, a string of melting butter, and a chandelier.

The video took 3 months to make. Piece a cake!

Joseph’s gadgets are inspired by the cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg who built complex, interconnected machines in the early 1900s. Today, people use the expression Rube Goldberg machine. to describe anything convoluted, from machines to politics.

Rube Goldberg’s Self-Operating Napkin (1931)
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Architecture & Design Nature Sports Travel

A timelapse of the Pas-de-Calais region

The Pas-de-Calais department hired a creative agency to promote travel to Northern France.

After taking 350,000 photos, the result is a beautiful look in both timelapse and hyperlapse formats at the diversity of the Pas-de-Calais region’s environment with an emphasis on architecture, landscape, and sport.

This video project was commissioned by the Pas-de-Calais department to promote its territory. While waiting for an original and creative idea, we opted for a dynamic video only realized in timelapse and in hyperlapse.

Through various themes (nature, memory, sport, …) we have, for two months, crisscrossed the Pas-de-Calais to capture the best of this beautiful department.
3 intense minutes to make you want to discover or rediscover this space so rich, conducive to change of scenery and the meeting of a marked culture.

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Architecture & Design

New York’s Park Avenue once included a walkable park lane

New York City Park Avenue in 1920s

Park Avenue in New York City used to have a dedicated park lane that ran down the middle of 5th Avenue. Hence the name “Park” Avenue.

Even more, the term parking was first referenced in association with trees, not driving lines.

From The Etymology of Parking:

According to the 41st Congress, the proper way to park in cities was on the side of the streets with the roadway running down the center. Of course, in 1870 the members of the Senate were discussing the parking of trees and smaller plants, not automobiles. The first parking system was an early street tree system where parking defined the planting of trees, grasses, and flowers along the side of roadways and the creation of sidewalks for pedestrians.

But given the ubiquity and priority of cars, the park gradually narrowed to make more room for vehicles.

An aerial shot of Manhattan in 1924 with the walkable parks included

As a consequence of the automobile explosion, lawmakers also passed laws to forbid jaywalking. Cars officially ruled the road, not pedestrians. And crosswalks bloomed.

As someone who used to work in New York, remnants of these ambulatory streets are still there, especially around mid-town. Some of the small islands create a little space for statues and decorations, especially around Christmas time.

Hat tip to Adam Fisher-Cox on Twitter

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Architecture & Design

Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower

In the 1880s, French designers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier mocked up what would become the Eiffel Tower.

Maurice Koechlin's first drawing of the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france
Maurice Koechlin’s first drawing of the Eiffel Tower 

Thankfully, someone held on to 14 of the rejected designs. Number 3 seems to come closest to the final design, with embellished trusses added to the lower tier.

Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france #history
Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower

It’s hard to imagine Paris without the iconic Eiffel Tower today. However, engineer Gustave Eiffel never built the structure with the intention of keeping it up.

The city wanted to tear it down after the Exposition Universelle of 1889. But the same community of artists who criticized the Eiffel Tower’s initial design ended up mobilizing to save it.