New York & India

Rush out and buy these special issues before they disappear from the shelves at the end of the week: The Economist’s terrific Survey of New York and New Scientist’s comprehensive special on science in India. Both are outstanding – the best specialist journalism in Britain and lots of clever, exclusive content. Both mags are really… Continue reading New York & India

Misery at Ground Zero

Don’t read this excellent review from the NYRB if you’ve been sort of distractedly assuming that the reconstruction of the twin towers in NYC was going to be one of those uplifting stories of human nobility, resilience and creativity in the face of brutal nihilism; vigorous American mercantilism overcoming poisonous cynicism and all that. It’s… Continue reading Misery at Ground Zero

A changing city

If it weren’t a really crass thing to do I think I’d probably say that Walter Benjamin would have loved this mournful photo-record of change in the built fabric of Berlin over nearly twenty years. I’ve been to Berlin a few times. The first was long before the wall came down – around the time… Continue reading A changing city

places and camphone privacy

Camphone hysteria is building. Gadgets with built-in cameras are being banned all over the place. Looks like we’ll see an arbitrary patchwork of camphone rules emerge ??some will ban them, others encourage them ??most, presumably, try to ignore them. But maybe this is actually a rational response to new surveillance tech. Maybe an evolved public… Continue reading places and camphone privacy

Your licence fee in action

Over at BBC Radio 3, they’re having an Architecture Week and they’ve dug out a lot of interesting archive audio for the web site including, among other things, lectures by Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind, interviews with IM Pei, Renzo Piano, Nicholas Grimshaw and several interesting documentaries, including one about Le Corbusier.

Somebody’s listening

I’m pleased to be able to tell you that, a few short months after I suggested it, Craig’s List has arrived in London. Danny wrote about it back in June. Incidentally, I think Craig’s List is such an unqualified public good that Ken Livingstone ought to underwrite it in some way – perhaps supporting the… Continue reading Somebody’s listening

Building Magazine on why construction needs migrant workers

Gordon Brown’s announcement of a larger quota for desperately needed overseas construction workers is cue for a good piece from Building magazine about migrant workers on UK sites. The article focuses on the experience of workers on the huge Paternoster Square development, next door to St Paul’s Cathedral in The City – from Italy, Hungary,… Continue reading Building Magazine on why construction needs migrant workers

And watch out for those pea-soupers…

Strange ‘insider tips’ from The Economist’s London City Guide that came through my letterbox the other day, apparently cut and pasted from a 1950s travel guide: Table manners are keenly observed as a sign of good breeding. Never talk with your mouth full; never reach across the table; do not wave cutlery around or yell… Continue reading And watch out for those pea-soupers…

Libeskind in New York

Choosing an architect to replace the twin towers was always going to be a pretty high stakes game. The fact that it was happening in New York City, one of the most politically and culturally charged places on earth, could only make the whole thing more intense. Hal Foster (architecture critic and generally cool postmodernist)… Continue reading Libeskind in New York