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A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future. With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future. With Luke Jones and George Gingell.
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Location:

United States

Description:

A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future. With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

Language:

English


Episodes

Conversation 1 — Fred Scharmen — Zero-G Carnival

9/16/2018
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A short post-script to the Space Age episodes — we talked to Fred Scharmen about the mid 1970s NASA Space Settlements design study. You can read his essay at Places Journal where you can also see a selection of Rick Guidice and Don Davis’s illustrations. We’ll have a new full episode out very soon — Luke's graphic novel is here Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at...

Duration:00:41:39

41 — '2001 – A Space Odyssey' 2/2 — Live on BBC 12

8/23/2018
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The second part of our discussion of '2001 — A Space Odyssey'. At a certain point quite early on we started referring to the Monolith as 'the Obelisk' and neither of us noticed. Oh well. Thanks for listening and let us know your thoughts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

Duration:01:05:33

40 — '2001 – A Space Odyssey' 1/2 — Pink Upholstery in Cartesian Space

8/2/2018
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Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001 a space odyssey is the iconic depiction of space travel, channeling the optimism and excitement of radical advances in space exploration and technology. It’s an uncompromising, utterly singular film, whose vision of a possible future is carried through comprehensively. Its scope and ambition are still basically unequalled. Kubrick is famous for the obsessiveness of his research — in this case bringing in expertise from leading scientists, cutting edge...

Duration:01:08:03

39 — Catastrophe Curves — Early 90s Computer Architecture

7/17/2018
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The 1990s were when computers really entered the mainstream of architecture. The rise of personal computing, with wider access to inexpensive machines, the world wide web, advances in software and hardware, all took place against the background of global political transformation that at the time was theorised as the End of History, the breakup of the Soviet Union, democratisation, and the apparent rise of a single, global, liberal capitalist world order. But the exploration of CAD,...

Duration:02:00:45

38 — Le Corbusier — 9 — Villa Stein & Villa Savoye

7/2/2018
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We now have a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode. Projects like the Villa Stein and Villa Savoye are icons of modernist architecture — among the most famous of all modern buildings — images and symbols of what modern architecture is. Below all the machine age crispness, there's also a certain amount of weird bourgeois sex stuff as well. This is the second part of the conversation we began in episode 37 — it's best to listen to that one first. Music —...

Duration:01:15:16

37 — Le Corbusier — 8 — Five Points Towards a New Architecture

7/1/2018
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We now have a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode. Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanerret's 'Five Points' (1926) were an attempt to condense the fundamental structural and design principles underlying their new architecture. Drawing on the discoveries made during design and construction of their early villa projects, the points are in a sense the culmination and fulfillment of the original 'Maison Domino' idea of 1914. The points set the template for the...

Duration:00:51:35

36 — Bernard Rudofsky & 'Architecture Without Architects'

6/13/2018
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We’re launching a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode. Bernard Rudofsky’s exhibition Architecture Without Architects at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1964 — and the fantastically successful book which followed it, have become an iconic polemic in support of the architectural ‘vernacular’. Ever-keen to play up his own iconoclastic distance from mainstream of architectural thought, Rudofsky would later claim that the idea was, at the time he...

Duration:02:53:26

35 — 'Playtime' & 'Mon Oncle' — Modern life in Tativille

5/7/2018
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Jacques Tati's 'Mon Oncle' (1957) and 'Playtime' (1967) playfully dramatise the clash between old and new in the fast-changing cities of post-war France. Nostalgia, alienation, the absurdity of modern life and work, play, rhythm, rebellion and the curious affordances of materials and everyday items... serious fun, with silly noises. Hope you're all enjoying the summer weather and speak soon! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at...

Duration:02:56:58

34 — Adolf Loos's 'Ornament and Crime' — Bathroom Kink

4/10/2018
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Adolf Loos’s essay ‘Ornament and Crime’ (1910) is considered the classic modernist polemic against the frills and folderols of the established arts of the day. We're in the city of Freud — and the neurotic subtext is very close to the surface. We discuss a little of Loos’s career as an architectural iconoclast, jersey fanatic, and pervert :-/ Then we go on to a more freeform discussion of ornament in the contemporary, during which we massively contradict ourselves several times. We...

Duration:02:27:48

33 — Le Corbusier — 7 — Early Mass Housing

3/25/2018
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In this episode we explore in two early schemes for mass housing, at Pessac and in Stuttgart. Among many other things, we talked about — ‘The New World’ Music & Interlude — - Harry Ross ‘Get Me an Apartment - Part 1’ from archive.org Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

Duration:02:12:26

32 — Le Corbusier – 6 – Urbanism — Let's Demolish Paris (Again)

3/5/2018
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The concluding part of our discussion of ‘Urbanism’ (1925) — we look at the proposals for a Contemporary City for Three Million (1923), and the notorious Plan Voisin (1925). For Le Corbusier’s detractors, these are really the crimes of the century. We did our best to think of something nice to say about them. Music — Dave Gabriel ‘Midst of their morning chimes’ Oneohtrix Point Never ‘Nobody Here’ Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at...

Duration:01:06:33

31 – Le Corbusier – 5 – Urbanism – Of Men & Asses

2/13/2018
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The first of a two part episode exploring Le Corbusier’s infamous and much-derided urban proposals, exhibited in the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion in 1925. In this part, we’re conducting a close reading of ‘Urbanism’ (sometimes known as ‘The City of Tomorrow and its Planning’). We mostly stayed on topic but there are allusions to Music — Free Music Archive Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

Duration:02:00:08

30 – Franz Kafka's America

1/14/2018
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Franz Kafka’s first, and least-finished, novel is an imaginary journey around the USA (a country he never visited). Written in 1912, it’s a fantasy of America at a time when seemed, to Europeans at least, to be the most futuristic (and mysterious) place on Earth. Kafka’s fascination with machinery, technology and engineering is on display in ‘Amerika’, in which the young Karl Rossmann finds himself cut adrift in a land of glass elevators, miles-long traffic jams, endless hotels, filled...

Duration:01:47:10

29 – Le Corbusier – 4 – At Home He Feels Like A Purist

12/23/2017
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For our Christmas episode, we're discussing the early Purist villas! Knowing the right people, and a relentless programme of self-publicity yielded a steady stream of clients for Le Corbusier in the early 1920s, and allowed him to explore an architectural complement to Purism, most notably in a pair of houses for art-loving ‘batchelors’ — the Ozenfant Studio and Villa La Roche. We found time to discuss (probably with unwarranted levity, sorry) the death of Le Corbusier’s father George,...

Duration:01:12:17

28 – Le Corbusier – 3 – Towards a New Architecture

12/13/2017
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A new epoch has begun! Le Corbusier’s ‘discovery’ is that the style of future architecture is to be found new inventions of the machine age — planes, cars, ocean liners. But ‘Towards a New Architecture’ is, at its heart, an argument for a fusion of timeless values and contemporary technology — provocatively encapsulated in its juxtaposition of a sports car and the Parthenon. We went through the book in order, focussing on the chapters: Mentioning along the way: LC’s early books Music...

Duration:02:00:37

27 – Le Corbusier – 2 – Oyster and Breezeblock Years

11/27/2017
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We’re in Paris, 1917, where Charles-Edouard Jeanneret is making friends, thinking about sex (and writing enormous letters about it), designing the occasional mechanised abattoir / concrete garden terrace, going bankrupt, trying to sell concrete blocks to postwar society, inventing a new style of painting, launching a highly costly art magazine, and (finally!) acquiring the name under which he would become famous — Le Corbusier! One of us had a very creaky chair in this episode. Also we were...

Duration:01:40:19

26 – Le Corbusier – 1 – Have Formwork, Will Travel

11/13/2017
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We’re taking on the origin story of (for better or worse) the most important architect of the 20th century — Charles-Edouard Jeanneret aka Le Corbusier. His origins — petit bourgeois, Swiss, provincial — can make his eventual rise to world-enveloping notoriety and era-defining influence seem all the more unlikely. We’re digging into his childhood, family, education and travels as a young man before taking on a couple of early projects. We discuss — Early projects — Travels, and meetings...

Duration:02:36:58

25 – Palace of the Soviets – Wedding Cake Stalinism

10/30/2017
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First announced in 1931, the project for the Palace of the Soviets in Moscow evolved into a staggeringly vast and bizarre proposal which stalled during WWII when only the foundations had been completed. A 400m tall neoclassical fantasy topped with a vast statue of Lenin; the Palace would probably, if completed, have still been the tallest building in the world in the year 2000. Forming a counterpart of sorts to our discussion of the Chicago Tribune — the Palace is another worldwide...

Duration:02:11:09

24.5 – Blade Runner 2049

10/23/2017
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Don’t listen if you haven’t seen the movie yet! We discuss Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. It’s pretty formless and we forgot the names of most of the characters, actors, significant plot entities. You’ll get who we’re talking about it you’ve seen it. We refer in passing to — Moebius & Jodorowsky ‘The Incal’ Vladimir Nabokov ‘Pale Fire’ Robert Louis Stevenson ‘Treasure Island’ Outro — Dharma — Plastic Doll (1982) Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at...

Duration:01:06:45

24 – Blade Runner – Do You Like Our Owl?

9/16/2017
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As a postscript to our discussion of Cyberpunk in episodes 20-21, and vaguely looking ahead to the release of the upcoming sequel, we talked about Ridley Scott’s 1982 film ‘Blade Runner’. We were really winging it on the research for this one and as a result it marks a high point for getting key facts completely wrong, including — the name of a key character (see if you can guess which one!), various attributions of ethnicity, dates, names, places, the ending of the book on which it’s...

Duration:01:54:50