October 16, 2009 by Colin
Lately, I’ve been zoning in on books that discuss location – whether through wayfinding, past experience in urban and wild settings, the development of innate navigational skills, or novel treatements of life in particular locations. Here’s a sampling from my recent bookshelf:
Where am I? – Colin Ellard
” … Two things seem to be universal in wayfaring cultures like the Inuit and the Australian Aborigines. One of them is that they’ve honed this exquisite eye for detail that we don’t have. The other thing that these cultures do is use narrative and story. The best example of all is these song lines in Aborigines – what they’re doing is they are making an explicit connection between their creation, the creation of everything, and the shape and size of the landscape. They’re using song lines as a kind of navigational aid, but at the same time there’s this spiritual connection to place …” (Globe and Mail)
Retrofitting Suburbia – Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson
” … But we found, over and over in interviews, people being really sad when their mall had died. “I had my prom in that mall,” they’d say. They attribute the mall with a lot of bonding, a lot of time growing up—they really loved their malls. When it died, the first reaction was: Let’s find a developer to fix our mall. Most people didn’t want a downtown-type structure, they just wanted their mall back. It takes a paradigm shift, like the example of Belmar (see pictures at right).
Belmar was built five miles outside of Denver, and originally had no desire to be urban at all. But by the time the mall died, the surrounding suburban community of Lakewood, Colo., had become the fourth-largest municipality in the state. They had put in a library and a city hall, but it was set up like a strip mall. They eventually found a developer for the property who said “I won’t redevelop the mall, but I’ll give you a town center.” It took a while, but they bought in, completel …” (Popular Mechanics)
Stripmalling – Jon Paul Fiorentinohttp://canuckflack.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=3243&message=1
” … Jonny lives and works in a strip mall in Suburban Winnipeg. For some people, this would be exciting and fulfilling enough …”
Personal Space: the behavioral basis of design – Robert Sommer
Before “getting up in your grill,” there was “personal space.” This is the original work, which drawn from initial insight found at a psychiatric hospital in Saskatchewan.
Hollywood in the Neighborhood – Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley, ed
How Hollywood and the new breed of popular entertainment – movies – arrived in the heartland, and the effect this had on the community.
October 1, 2009 by Colin
“They were decent,” he said. “They were strong. And they failed in the most beautiful way you can imagine.”
- Reinhold Messner, the famed mountain climber, praising the members of a doomed 1953 trek to climb K-2.
Charles S. Houston, one of the members of that expedition, passed away this week. (NY Times)
October 1, 2009 by Colin
Maybe I’ve been eating a little too much southern food lately. I could swear this bill board for Labatt’s Blue said ‘hamhocks.’