Where have all the architecture zines gone?

December 15th, 2008 § Karynn

While researching architecture and design publications a couple weeks back, I stumbled upon the occasional defunct site: “current” stories marked for 2006 and footers bearing the words, “last updated January 31, 2000.” I didn’t think anything of it at the time, except recently I came across the exhibition A Few Zines: Dispatches from the Edge of Architectural Production. The text for the project says,

In the 1990s, zines such as Lackluster, Infiltration, loud paper, Dodge City Journal and Monorail subverted traditional trade and academic architecture magazine trends by crossing the built environment with art, music, politics and pop culture—and by deliberately retaining and cultivating an underground presence. Much has been made of that decade’s zine phenomenon—inspiring academic studies, international conferences and DIY workshops—yet little attention has been paid to architecture zine culture specifically, or its resonance within architectural publishing today.

A Few Zines: Dispatches from the Edge of Architectural Production does both. Rather than attempting to present an exhaustive retrospective of architecture zine culture, it highlights complete runs of several noted zines that began in the nineties. The exhibition also features contemporary publications that continue to draw inspiration from the self-publishing tradition, such as Pin-Up, Sumoscraper, and Thumb.

The zine movement has come and gone, but in its place has arisen a vibrant culture of blogging – not quite as underground as the zine but still in the vein of self-publication. It is still too early to say what influence the blogosphere will have on architecture, but its influence is growing and 3six0 is glad to be a part of it.

For those interested, A Few Zines runs January 8-February 28 at Studio-X in New York.

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don’t mess with rhode island

December 11th, 2008 § Aaron

rhode-island2

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Shadow Model

December 10th, 2008 § Manuel

The sun hangs low in the sky, the brisk breeze stings our cheeks, the lethargy of the ever darker afternoons takes over…we are approaching the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.  As somebody who grew up much closer to the equator (where there is much less seasonal variation in the sun’s position in the sky) I love the immense variation of the sun and the shadows it casts: the impossibly long shadows cast by the sun throughout the day.

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This morning as I walked into the office the sun cast a shadow of a model (sitting on the window ledge) onto one of our translucent window blinds.  This simple projection of a model into a shadow-line drawing was striking in its stark and simple beauty.  But what drew me in was also the expression of a time of year, a time of day, a quantity of light, and a quality of light.

As an architect it is always wonderful to discover (and employ) the ever changing palette that nature washes across our buildings and spaces.

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wood knot

December 8th, 2008 § Olga

knot-stick

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Poll: Does an architect lose credibility if s/he can’t draw?

December 8th, 2008 § Karynn

A recent article in Architects Journal quotes Prince Charles saying,

I don’t trust any architect who can’t draw, and who doesn’t submit a drawing, or a measured drawing from which I can judge what the building is going to be like.

Prince Charles’ comments come from his perception that architects rely too much on technology, to the point in which technology goes from being the “slave” to the “master”. What is your opinion? Do you think manual drafting is essential to the profession? Would you trust an architect more if s/he gave you a hand-drawn sketch manual draft versus a computer rendered drawing CAD rendered draft? Or does the idea of receiving something hand-drawn drawn in pencil and pen seem old-fashioned to you? Taking the 2-D design to 3-D form, how do you feel about an architectural model built from physical materials versus a 3-D model on the computer CAD rendered 3-D model?

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[polldaddy poll=1178174]

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A Night of Awards

December 5th, 2008 § Karynn

Last night 3six0 received two awards from the Rhode Island AIA at its awards dinner. Here’s a brief description of each project:

Achilles – Honor Award

The clients approached 3six0 with an outside of the box concept: a store / restaurant / bar / gallery for a former warehouse space in Boston’s Fort Point Channel District. This unconventional problem demanded an innovative solution: instead of compartmentalizing the different programs in the deep but narrow space, 3six0 developed a design which allowed the different activities to overlap. Inspired by the strength of the concrete and steel industrial shell, we designed a system of 28 glass and steel merchandise cases riding on steel rails mounted to the ceiling. The cases roll open during the retail hours and agglomerate into clustered vaults at night; transforming the retail space into the extension of the bar/lounge beyond. The chef wanted flexibly sized tables, for the small, medium, large and extra large dishes of his menu. Groupings of 2-tops was an obvious solution, but the uneven existing floor caused uneven joints between the tables. We developed a rail system that supports the tabletops and allows them to slide and group.

Shepherd of the Valley – Honor Award

The construction of a new freestanding chapel is the first stage of expansion for the Shepherd of the Valley church. 3six0 developed a tectonic based on the concept of “spirare” (spirit), “inspirare” (breath) and “spiral”, expansion and contraction. The geometry of the ceiling/roof and floor spirals north setting the structure, windows, and ceiling/wall acoustic fins.

We are honored by the AIAri’s recognition and also congratulate our colleagues on their achievements from this past year. A full list of winners is available on their website.

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