Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

Harvey Molotch’s “The City as Growth Machine”

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

This is sociologist Harvey Molotch: like a handsomer Munch from Homicide: Life on the Street
“A city and, more generally, any locality, is conceived as the areal expression of the interests of some land-based elite.”

Harvey Molotch‘s seminal 1976 article “The City as Growth Machine”—which is still applicable today—just happened to be published the same year of the UN Habitat Conference on Settlements that took place in Vancouver (and is the subject of my upcoming book).

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The Tudor house, colonialism, white gold and toothache

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

“This is why we love the Tudor period so much, because it’s the age of discovery, and there’s a sense that anything was possible.”

“Discovery”? That’s one way of putting it.  This BBC documentary, Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home, outlines how the sudden change in house architecture and lifestyle in the Tudor era for the middling rich—merchants and yeoman farmers—was made possible by merchant trade with conquered colonies.

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From Syria to Greece to Corbusier: Hozoviotissa monastery

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Earlier this summer a number of the Syrians fleeing civil war landed on the Greek island of Amorgos. Amorgos is not a common landing point in the exodus—most people are now landing on Kos not far from the Turkish coast. But Amorgos is the easternmost of the Cycladic island group, so I am guessing people coming west from Turkey through the Dodecanese islands reached it first (see map at bottom).

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“When Hipsters Dream of the 1890s” – an abridged version of my hipster essay is now in Briarpatch Magazine

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Briarpatch Magazine, one of Canada’s oldest lefty political mags, has published an abridged version of my earlier essay on heritage hipsters and colonialism redux.

If you want to read the original and longer post (with a far drier title) it is here: Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c.

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Post-mortem on the old Eaton’s building: an interview with Cesar Pelli

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The TD Bank building and Eaton’s building by Cesar Pelli, photo © Michael de Courcy, mid-1970s

This is not a true post-mortem, since Cesar Pelli‘s 1973 Eaton’s building has not actually been demolished—and how rare it is to be able to say that in Vancouver, now one of North America’s capitals of demolition.

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Turbo Architecture

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

This example of blobitecture is being proposed for Vancouver, apparently to be squeezed between two older buildings on the waterfront in the historic neighbourhood known as Gastown. There has been no public hearing regarding the building, so the public have taken to social media to express what seems to be more displeasure than pleasure.

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