The Dailies

Word of the Day

Feint (v./n., FAINT)

A deceptive maneuver, especially a military one, or to deceive with a feint. The classic example is the rope-a-dope, but the modern one is

Gif of the Day

TagsJumpEscalator going downBeachExit stage rightThe future's so bright, we gotta wear shadesInterest in Justice League?

Link of the Day

Why you hate contemporary architecture (with bonus!)

While we were busy at work on our writing/editing week, we stumbled across a terrific longform essay from Brianna Rennix and Nathan J. Robinson about why contemporary architecture fails so much. Rennix and Robinson largely take aim at two things: contemporary architecture has no concern for the people who will actually be using a space or for anything ornamental. This results in imposing, harsh, "honest" buildings that are crushing to use each day:

Let’s be really honest with ourselves: a brief glance at any structure designed in the last 50 years should be enough to persuade anyone that something has gone deeply, terribly wrong with us. Some unseen person or force seems committed to replacing literally every attractive and appealing thing with an ugly and unpleasant thing. The architecture produced by contemporary global capitalism is possibly the most obvious visible evidence that it has some kind of perverse effect on the human soul. Of course, there is no accounting for taste, and there may be some among us who are naturally are deeply disposed to appreciate blobs and blocks. But polling suggests that devotees of contemporary architecture are overwhelmingly in the minority: aside from monuments, few of the public’s favorite structures are from the postwar period. (When the results of the poll were released, architects harrumphed that it didn’t “reflect expert judgment” but merely people’s “emotions,” a distinction that rather proves the entire point.) And when it comes to architecture, as distinct from most other forms of art, it isn’t enough to simply shrug and say that personal preferences differ: where public buildings are concerned, or public spaces which have an existing character and historic resonances for the people who live there, to impose an architect’s eccentric will on the masses, and force them to spend their days in spaces they find ugly and unsettling, is actually oppressive and cruel.

It's a terrific essay that's well worth your time. Go read it over at Current Affairs.

Also, if you want to see what beautiful architecture looks like, Ismael Sanz-Pena has made a zeotrope-like video that slowly descends an image of a cathedral in Norway. It's a little hard to explain, but it gives a good view of the architectural details:

TagsWritingArchitectureBeautyHuman factorsBrutalismVox populi?